Here's How You Can Support Reproductive Healthcare Right Now
Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, there are ways to support those affected.
The tragic aftermath following the United States Supreme Court’s decision to overrule the landmark 1973 opinion in Roe v. Wade on June 24 has begun to unfold. Without the federal protection for abortion from Roe that was established law for nearly 50 years, states now have the ability to further regulate and restrict abortion access. Moves to do exactly that in some states have been swift.
In fact, several states have “trigger” laws, which are laws that effectively banned medical abortion as soon Roe fell. Other states are expected to ban or severely limit access to abortion in the next month. These bans come after decades of existing barriers for people to access abortion care. Many states have struggled to meet the need for abortion access due to lack of clinics, restrictions on where clinics could be, and interference from anti-choice groups long before the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, authored by Justice Samuel Alito.
Reproductive justice advocates have been sounding the alarm about the potential for Roe v. Wade’s demise for decades, cautioning that it was insufficient policy to guarantee reproductive healthcare to everyone in the US in the first place. Poor people, Black people, and people from other or intersecting marginalized communities in certain regions of the country have never had equitable access to abortions or reproductive healthcare. Without federal protections for abortion, even more people will be in jeopardy. Regardless of your state, the overturning of Roe will affect us all.
“Make no mistake: The right to choose is absolutely essential. Only the woman knows her physical and mental health, her job, her income, and how much more she can or cannot bear,” said Vangela M. Wade, president and CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice, which was co-counsel on Dobbs v. Jackson, in a statement shared with Thrillist. “She is also the only person who knows whether her partner will be supportive, will abandon her, or will abuse her and her child. She, not a politician, needs the autonomy to decide whether to move forward with a pregnancy.”
Below are ways to get involved, whether you’re coming into the fight for abortions for the first time in your life, or are looking for ways to expand the activism you’ve been doing.
This is arguably the most important action you can take. If you do nothing else to support the abortion rights movement, give some money. Money is essential to the operation of clinics, for distributing educational resources, and for helping people who need abortions out of state.
“Abortion funds are uniquely positioned to meet this moment, as they have been supporting their communities for decades in navigating barriers to abortion access. But they are woefully under-resourced compared to larger organizations,” Debasri Ghosh, the managing director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, told Thrillist via email. “By supporting your local abortion fund with a monthly donation, whatever the amount, you are directly supporting your own neighbors and ensuring funds can plan for upcoming shifts and help more people get their abortions.”
“Right now, abortion funds need you to invest your time, your money, and your resources into the work that they’ve already been doing, and they need us to follow their leadership and expertise,” Ghosh continued.
Below is a list of abortion funds and resources Thrillist has compiled so you can join this fight for the long hall.
National Reproductive Health Funds
Indigenous Women Rising
According to the website, “this abortion fund is open to all Indigenous people in the United States and Canada who have the capacity to become pregnant and seeking an abortion in the United States.” In the US, Indigenous women are twice as likely as white women to die from complications caused or made worse by pregnancy. A study published in 2014 found that access to 85% of facilities on federal land serving Indigenous people in the US were not providing abortions.
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
Operating in five states and supporting the Latinx community nationwide, the National Latina Institute fights for equitable access to reproductive healthcare. “For too long, complex systems of oppression have robbed us of the resources we need to make informed decisions about our bodies,” the website states.
National Network of Abortion Funds
If one were to think of abortion funds as an interconnected web, NNAF would be pretty close to the center. NNAF is a network of more than 90 organizations. According to the site, the orgs work “to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access. Some of them work with clinics to help pay for your abortion. Some of them offer support such as transportation, childcare, translation, doula services, and somewhere to stay if you have to travel to get your abortion.” A donation to this fund will be spread throughout its network.
Keep Our Clinics
This national organization helps fund independent clinics across the country. About three out of every five people who have an abortion are served by an independent clinic. A donation to Keep Our Clinics will support keeping these clinics open and operating.
Plan C intends to keep safe abortions accessible to as many people as possible. Donations will “directly support our research, pilot projects and communications campaigns to change the landscape of abortion access in the US,” the website states. You may have seen infographics shared on Instagram about Plan C, but here is a quick explainer: Plan C assists in getting medication abortion to people who want to safely end an early pregnancy, by sending the medication by mail. There are two variations of the medication, which can be taken orally and at home. Plan C has a comprehensive guide on how to self administer the pills, and how to contact medical professionals for added guidance.
Local and Regional Reproductive Health Funds
“Local abortion funds often work to cover the costs of abortion care and related expenses
in addition to what larger organizations provide,” Maureen Scott and Jakki Durón, board members at Wild West Access Fund, told Thrillist. “We do not fundraise for the purpose of collecting wealth or to hold onto for future lobbying, rather, we are always working to redistribute funds to our community members who need it when they seek abortion care.”
This organization supports Southerners in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, who need funding or logistical support in seeking an abortion. “We envision a world where all Southerners have full access to care and support around their reproductive health decisions without biases or barriers,” the organization’s website states.
The Yellowhammer Fund is an abortion fund and reproductive justice organization that serves Alabama, Mississipi, and the Deep South. Beyond providing financial assistance, Yellowhammer focuses on community education and empowerment, policy advocacy, and mutual aid.
Arkansas Abortion Support Network
This organization is an all-volunteer, nonprofit, organization that has a mission to reduce barriers to abortion access in Arkansas. The organization provides assistance to cover costs associated with the procedure, travel and lodging, and childcare, as well as coordinates clinic escort volunteers, and provides community outreach and education.
Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc.
This organization, based in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been operating since 1975. Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc provides funding for about 300 women and girls per year in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
Florida Access Network
Florida Access Network advocates for reproductive justice, funds abortion care, and provides logistical support to people seeking abortions.
Kentucky Health Justice Network
This organization directly helps people who are seeking abortion by providing financial assistance, transportation, interpretation, and more. The organization also supports transgender people seeking healthcare, including affirming healthcare. In addition to direct services, Kentucky Health Justice Network also works to educate and advocate for the communities it serves.
Carolina Abortion Fund
This fund supports people seeking abortions in North and South Carolina who aren’t able to pay for the care themselves. The fund provides financial, practical, and emotional support to people seeking abortions and believes in using practices of radical care.
The Roe Fund supports people in Oklahoma with emotional support, financial assistance for reproductive services, and connections to other health resources. In the past five years, the organization has assisted 1,600 people.
This group supports people seeking abortions in Georgia. The fund provides assistance with funding, transportation, and housing.
“We provide financial assistance and emotional support while building community spaces for people who need abortions in Texas—unapologetically, with compassion and conviction,” the Lilith Fund website states. It’s the oldest abortion fund in Texas, and plans to continue its mission through legal ends.
Kansas Abortion Fund
Founded in 1996, the Kansas Abortion Fund has been removing barriers and assisting Kansans in need of financial support. “Very simply, we are the last resort for financial assistance to Kansans who are seeking abortion services, wherever they obtain an abortion in the US,” the website states.
Wild West Abortion Fund
This is a newly formed abortion fund that serves the people of Nevada. The fund assists with helping people pay for abortions and the associated costs, and help Nevadans find clinics and other resources as they need them. “Wild West Access Fund of Nevada is a fund that works towards making abortion care free and accessible to all,” the website states.
Women’s Medical Fund
Since 1972, the Women’s Medical Fund has been serving people in Wisconsin who seek abortions. In 2021 alone, the fund supported 1,500 people who were seeking an abortion, whether that was inside or outside of the state.
Birthmark Doula Collective
This organization exists to help any birthing person. Based in Louisiana, Birthmark Doula Collective “is a birth justice organization dedicated to supporting, informing and advocating for pregnant and parenting people and their families in New Orleans.”
601 for Period Equity
In the organization’s own words, “601 for Period Equity is a Black woman-led, grassroots organization based in Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi. We are dedicated to ending period shame in the Black community and uplifting marginalized menstruators who typically get left out of the mainstream movement for period equity.” The group focuses on providing education, advocacy, and mutual aid.
This is a Southern-based organization that operates nationwide. Its purpose is to “build an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.” This includes everything from doula training, reproductive justice education, and programming.
Holler Health Justice
This group practices mutual aid in Appalachia, offering free emergency contraception, as well as rapid response mutual aid. “Organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice, Holler Health Justice builds power with Appalachian communities and individuals most disproportionately affected by health inequities, including people of color, those in rural areas, those with low income, and LGBTQIA+ folk,” the Holler Health Justice website states.
Listen, reading is never the sexiest step to take, but it’s an important one. Reproductive justice organizing didn’t begin the day that Roe was overturned in 2022. It’s been going strong for decades. The first big step in getting involved is being informed. You aren’t going to reinvent the wheel when it comes to fighting for abortion rights.
“It’s important to understand and acknowledge the origin of reproductive justice, which is a framework coined by Black women in 1994 and is defined as ‘as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities,’” Ghosh told Thrillist.
Ghosh recommends checking out resources from SisterSong to learn more. Consider attending a training from Abortion Access Front, where you’ll learn the history of abortion activism and how to fight to protect abortions now. The Center for Reproductive Rights has a handy glossary on the language around abortion legislation. Digital Defense Fund provides digital security for the abortion movement, and the group has dozens of resources on how to operate online without putting yourself or others at risk.
You don’t need to become an overnight expert on the entire history of the reproductive justice movement in order to help, but it makes you a better advocate to have a lay of the land and to be familiar with the work of the people who were in this fight before us.
“Engage with your communities on these issues as this is not something an individual can carry or solve, and strong communities will allow for support networks for those who need abortions even while restrictive laws are in place,” Durón and Scott said. “Please don’t try to re-invent the work that is already happening. If your state doesn’t already have an abortion fund, by all means, reach out to the National Network of Abortion Funds and see if members of your community are able to build one with you. Otherwise, check out your area’s existing organizations for both your safety and those that seek abortion. Especially in restrictive states, it’s important that you are able to do this work, and winging it leaves you open to being affected by these new, unjust laws.”
If you want to give your time to the reproductive rights movement, you can volunteer with many of the funds listed above, if they are located in your area or have online opportunities. The NNAF has a list of more than 90 abortion funds in the US, and if you find one in your area, Ghosh recommends joining its email list and following the fund on social media. That way, when the fund needs volunteers, you’ll be notified.
You can also volunteer to be a part of a clinic defense team and work as a patient escort through organizations like Planned Parenthood and Abortion Care Network. This is a way to help people seeking abortions feel safer as they go into doctors appointments. Clinics are sometimes surrounded by anti-choice protesters holding signs and yelling at people who enter and exit the building.
You can also have conversations with people in your life to build empathy and understanding around the subject of abortion. NNAF has a Heart-to-Heart resource, which can help facilitate conversations that can break down stigma.
“The most important thing to remember is that there are organizations and networks that have been helping their communities navigate barriers to abortion for decades,” Ghosh said. “It’s critically important to look to their leadership and guidance in this moment of crisis and listen to what they need. It’s also the busiest abortion funds have ever been, so if you reach out to your fund and they can’t get back to you, please be patient! This is going to be a very long haul and we’ll need you beyond this initial surge of outrage and interest.”
Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.