Honor Roe By Funding Abortions

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. We’ve been sharing the history of Roe, and we’ll continue to be talking about Roe throughout the month.  But I thought we could take a quick time out from the history lessons and talk about how we can all honor Roe right now – today – all year.

One of the biggest challenges for patient access to abortion is funding.  Economic access intersects race, class, age, gender, and sexual orientation lines.  While an abortion in the first trimester may only cost $350 – $500 (and I say this very loosely), that’s still a lot of money to obtain.  As patients struggle to raise that money, the cost increases the longer they wait – and so does the need for more financial help.

Arizona has some of the worst abortion laws in the US. We seem to like setting the example for other states to follow.  We had three anti-abortion bills pass in 2012, and the bill that has received the most national attention is the 20-week gestation ban.  The bill provides a crazy definition of when gestation starts, so the bill has an injunction while the courts debate when pregnancy actually occurs.  However, when the bill goes into effect, many patients will have to travel out of state to get an abortion – which will only increase the cost and difficulty of obtaining their health care.

The proof is in the pudding.  [Read more...]

When Fundraising Gets Personal

The past few months have been a bit of a challenge for me. I was diagnosed with brain cancer in February. Since then, I’ve been going to treatment five times a weeks, reading everything I can get my hands on to learn about brain cancer, and taking as many naps as I can get. On top of all that, I’ve been pawning my belongings to pay for treatment and asking friends and family to help me.

The response has been overwhelming. Not only have friends and family reached out to support me – total strangers have sent me checks in the mail, saying that they heard about me through so and so, and that they wanted to help. I feel very blessed to have so many people standing in my corner.

The irony is that my own fundraising and cancer treatment have sidelined by efforts to raise money for abortion patients. I’m still involved with Abortion Access Network of Arizona, but I have had to substantially decrease my role. The reason that I say this is ironic is that over the course of the past year, AANA has raised approximately $8000. That’s great news. But the sad thing is that I’ve been able to raise $8000 for my cancer treatment in three months. What does that say about people’s attitudes around abortion? [Read more...]

Founder of Arizona’s Abortion Fund Describes Her Drive to Serve

Feminist Conversations is a regular feature at Feminists for Choice, where we talk to pro-choice advocates about what activism looks like to them. Today we’re talking to Carrie Klaege. Carrie is a long-time women’s rights activist, with experience working as a clinic assistant with Planned Parenthood and as clinic director for Dr. George Tiller. Carrie recently founded the Abortion Access Network of Arizona, which provides funding resources to those seeking reproductive health services. She is currently working toward her master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has a goal of working to decrease gender discrimination in the workplace. When not being a mom, student, and activist, Carrie enjoys reading and designing chainmaille jewelry.

1. When did you first get involved in the pro-choice movement? And what was your motivation for getting involved?
I was raised in a pro-choice family, but it wasn’t until after I had my own abortion that it became clear to me how important access to safe abortion services is.

2. Why did you found the Abortion Access Network of Arizona?

After working in the clinic with people who were scraping together every last penny to have their abortion, I realized how important funding is. [Read more...]