While not everyone faced with an unexpected pregnancy will choose to get an abortion, it is an unavoidable fact that for many people giving birth is a too much of a financial, physical or emotional burden at this point in their lives, making abortion a safe – and constitutionally guaranteed – option.
Unfortunately, not having the money to pay for an abortion – and the expenses surrounding it, such as time off work, travel, lodging, childcare and more – is what causes many people to delay the procedure, which, ironically, can then drive up the costs.
In 11 states even private insurance plans provided by employers are forbidden from covering abortion except in very limited cases like life endangerment or a physical threat to the pregnant person – only two of those states consider sexual assault to be a reason for insurance to cover an abortion, and nine of those states offer abortion coverage only through a separate rider with its own additional payment.
It’s even more difficult if you have a public insurance plan, as 26 states limit any insurance plan that uses tax dollars – not only Medicaid coverage, but also plans bought on the public insurance exchange – from covering any elective abortion procedures, limiting reimbursement to cases of rape, incest, severe health risks or life endangerment.
Abortion funds work either directly with a patient to help bridge a financial gap, or directly with an abortion clinic that has a patient with economic needs.
But funding needs continue to increase throughout the country due not just to lack of insurance coverage for abortion but also the additional costs besides the procedure itself, such as gas for traveling long distances because there are no local providers, or a hotel room in order to be in town for the 24 to 72 hours a state may require you to wait between seeing a doctor and terminating a pregnancy.
Since 2010, state legislatures have enacted more than 400 restrictions on abortion, from outlawing common second-trimester procedures to regulating the corridor width for any medical facility providing abortions to mandating that women have, and in some cases, view, an ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy.
For people in low clinic-density states and states that ban abortion after a certain number of weeks, terminating a pregnancy often means leaving their home state altogether.
Putting enough money in a personal abortion fund not just for an abortion (if it’s not covered by insurance), but for time off, travel and other expenses obviously can be overwhelming, so like preparing for any emergency, take small steps.
And if you end up not needing the money in your emergency fund, it can always be used somewhere else, or even given to a real abortion fund to assist others in need.
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