We are in the midst of multiple abortion access crises. Barriers to abortion on the state and federal levels have increased in the decades since Roe v. Wade, a trend that shows no signs of slowing. The conservative super-majority now sitting on the Supreme Court means that soon even the protection provided by Roe may come to an end. The pandemic’s effect on unemployment is disproportionately impacting Black and Latinx communities, especially people who can become pregnant. These intersecting pressures are visible in the increasingly complex requests for support reported by abortion funds.
For years, the abortion funds in our network have supported callers navigating financial, legal, and practical barriers. Drawing on their leadership and expertise, we’ve developed a visionary strategy to fully resource abortion funds and transform the abortion access landscape: Operation Scale Up.
You can view a map for navigating a post-Roe future below, or open it in a new window.
The graphic above contains a hand-drawn map with a pink and purple gradient background. The top of the image reads “Operation Scale Up.” The text headers are marked with map pins. A ladder stretches from “where we are going” to “the road ahead.” In between the ladder rungs are the names of abortion funds: DC Abortion Fund, Baltimore Abortion Fund, Blue Ridge Abortion Fund, Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project, and Carolina Abortion Fund. The map also contains the following hand-lettered text:
We Are Here: funding abortion in 2020.
Median # of caller requests: 500
Median # of callers supported: 325
Abortion fund staff and volunteers are dedicated experts who are limited by their budgets.
47% of abortion funds in our network are led by volunteers.
Average pledge: $215
When funds add just 1 or 2 full-time staff, the average number of callers they are able to support nearly doubles.
Abortion funds also provide practical support: rides, childcare, food, doula care, lodging.
Where We’re Going
Anyone who needs help accessing abortion is able to call one hotline and have their needs met instead of calling multiple hotlines to piece together funding and logistical support.
Abortion funds have already created a map for navigating a post-Roe future by accompanying callers through restricted present conditions.
Operation Scale Up was designed in partnership with abortion funds.
All five funds are in the Southeast, where heavily restricted states border abortion access hubs.
The Road Ahead
With general support from our funders and individual donors, we’ve enrolled five funds in the Operation Scale Up pilot program.
Over the next two years, these five funds will expand staff, share data, and plan travel.
Our long-term goal is to offer all abortion funds in our network the resources they need to help people access abortion.
These changes will make it easier to support callers and collaborate with one another.
*All statistics provided in this piece are from the National Network of Abortion Funds’ 2020 Membership Enrollment Survey, with 83 member abortion funds providing data from July 2019 – July 2020.
Read more from the 2021 Spring Newsletter here.