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...]

Thinking About What Roe Means to Me

The past week has included three incredible celebrations of Roe for me. The first event was a film screening at the UA of “Jane: An Abortion Service.” This film tells the story of Jane, an underground abortion service that helped Chicago women get abortions pre-Roe. Listening to the women of Jane tell their story is so inspiring, and it’s a big part of my motivation for starting an abortion fund in Arizona. Thank you to the Women’s Resource Center at the UA for sponsoring such an incredible event.

Saturday was even more exciting. Abortion Access Network of Arizona had its very first house party fundraiser. One of our board members invited us into her home and provided an overwhelming food spread. Thanks to the generosity of her friends and family, AANA raised over $1400 – which means we will be able to fund another 28 women seeking abortions.

Last night I went to an unofficial Roe Happy Hour with some friends at the bar. We toasted Roe, drank to women’s health, and talked about the things we want to do to keep serving women here in Arizona. It was nice to have a relaxed atmosphere to plot our activism together! [Read more...]