March 12th, 2014
As clinics are closing in Texas, abortion funds are responding as quickly as possible.
We're responding by organizing the Texas Practical Support Convening. Funds on the ground are responding by increasing their fundraising efforts (the Lilith Fund has Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon events in a record five cities this year, including the Rio Grande Valley!) And activists are responding by starting NEW abortion funds.
Former Lilith Fund volunteer Lenzi Sheible, a 19-year old college student who participated in the Texas Practical Support Convening we organized earlier this year, founded Fund Texas Women in response to the state's sweeping new abortion bans. She is profiled this week in the Texas Tribune:
"What we do seems like we are intentionally trying to get around the legislative barriers that exist, which we are.”
Fund Texas Women is a practical support fund, meaning that rather than helping pay for abortions, they focus on other barriers: transportation and lodging. These expenses can be enormous, especially for patients that need to travel long distances, increasing the overall cost of an abortion. Each clinic closure means added travel distance, and now that Texas has banned abortion after 20 weeks, that means leaving the state for later abortions.
Since Fund Texas Women launched its hotline in November, they have already paid for more than $10,000 in bus tickets, plane tickets, and hotel rooms for women and girls who lacked the resources to travel for an abortion.