National Network of Abortion Funds Rallies at the Supreme Court for Abortion Access
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — WASHINGTON, DC: The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) joins a coalition of reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations Wednesday March 2 to bring the voices of abortion funders to the steps of the Supreme Court. The case Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of people across the United States by definitively stating that unnecessary, unsafe laws that put abortion out of the hands of people are absolutely an undue burden, and that TRAP laws must be ruled unconstitutional.
In January, NNAF took the critical step of submitting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court because it’s imperative that the stories of those most affected reach the halls of judicial power. Volunteers and staff from 11 funds, including Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, traveled to Washington, DC to make their voices heard and advocate for their callers.
“Abortion funds hear every day from those who are struggling to make ends meet, and for whom a pregnancy would be devastating. They help to counsel and connect people to resources. They make real change” says Yamani Hernandez, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Amanda Williams, Executive Director of the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Texas NNAF member fund, says “We refuse to be sidelined or be treated as pawns in a high-stakes game by our anti-abortion government. The people who suffer for it the most are the ones who call our hotlines. They are poor, they are people of color, they live in rural communities. They are facing documentation and language barriers. They are disabled, LGBTQ, Native and indigenous people. And they are worthy and deserving of the safe abortion care they seek.”
“Sadly, cost and distance are not the biggest barriers to access. If our patients saved every dollar they had, they still could not afford a safe and legal abortion. Two-thirds of our callers seeking abortions are parents, half are uninsured, a quarter are students, and 61 percent are unemployed,” Alyssah Roth, board member of the West Fund, Texas NNAF member fund, shares.
“It is past time for the Supreme Court to say the right to an abortion is meaningless if it is only available to those who live in abortion-supportive states. Who make more money. Who are able to exercise their privileges to get the life-affirming and life-saving care we all deserve. It is time for the Supreme Court to support and protect the millions of people whose lives are affected by abortion,” said Yamani Hernandez.
“Regardless of the outcome, we will not stop fighting. This movement is powerful, it is ground-breaking, and it is resilient. Young people will never stop fighting. Queer people of color will never stop fighting. And Texas will never stop fighting,” states Alyssah Roth.
Yamani Hernandez, Amanda Williams, Alyssah Roth, and volunteers from additional abortion funds are available for interviews upon request.
The National Network of Abortion Funds is a network of grassroots, local organizations that are funding abortion and building power to fight for cultural & political change. NNAF provides technical support and infrastructure for our member funds on the ground, and runs its own abortion fund, the George Tiller Memorial Abortion Fund. In 2014, NNAF and member organizations received 116,000 requests, and assisted 30,000 individuals seeking $3.5 million in funding for abortions, transportation assistance, translation, and childcare.
The Lilith Fund assists Texans in exercising their fundamental right to abortion by removing barriers to access. Lilith provides direct financial assistance and counseling to empower people seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and education and outreach within the community about reproductive rights.
The West Fund in El Paso, Texas, and works to make abortions accessible for all people. West Fund are a small group of volunteers who believe reproductive justice is only possible when all people have the information, ability, and resources to make their own healthcare decisions. Through education, community building, and gap funding, West Fund hopes to empower west Texans, helping them achieve their decisions and access the healthcare they deserve.