Abortion fund activists push for local and national funding reforms

February 19th, 2013

Categories: economic justice, health care reform, New York Abortion Access Fund, unfair laws, Women's Medical Fund (Pennsylvania)

Local abortion funds help women and girls pay for abortions they would otherwise not be able to afford--and they also work for fair laws that respect the lives and futures of all women. In just the past month, two abortion funds have fought for policy changes--and won! City and state efforts to restore Medicaid funding are taking root across the country, and abortion fund activists are instrumental in this push.

On February 15, the Philadelphia Board of Health unanimously passed a resolution calling for federal and state funding of reproductive health care, including abortion. Susan Schewel, the director of Pennsylvania's Women's Medical Fund and member of the Board of Health, said, "I hope we look back twenty years from tonight and say we were at the very beginning of restoring public funds on abortion."

And in January, on the 40th anniversary of the passage of Roe v. Wade, New York Abortion Access Fund board members Alison Turkos and Phillip Kim testified at a New York City Council hearing in favor of a resolution calling on Congress to end bans on abortion funding. The resolution passed the committee unaminously and was adopted by the city council the following day.

Measures such as these are just the beginning, but they are critically important in the effort to overturn bans on abortion coverage that discriminate against low-income women and their families. There is a groundswell of support for restoring dignity to all, and local abortion fund activists are shaping that debate.

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