A Vision for Abortion Access in Uncertain Times - National Network of Abortion Funds
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A Vision for Abortion Access in Uncertain Times

January 23, 2017

A photograph of abortion fund members standing together at an event. The photograph has a yellow tint.

January, 2017

In this volatile political climate, it’s more important than ever to center a full and abundant vision of reproductive justice in the work we do. The National Network of Abortion Funds is committed to shifting the conversation about abortion, and to ensuring it’s a real option, accessible without shame or judgment and framed within the broader context of life. Whether carrying a pregnancy to term, having an abortion or trying to parent the children one already has, seeking abortion is one moment where people who are experiencing racism and economic injustices see those forms of oppression magnified.

We fund abortion today because we know that barriers to abortion access are ample, and growing daily. Anti-abortion ideologues feel empowered in a climate of hate and shame to push their agenda harder onto people with the fewest resources to fight back. The Hyde Amendment already disproportionately affects people using their federal insurance from getting a safe, affordable abortion. People with low incomes, those who are using Bureau of Indian Affairs insurance, federal employees, federally incarcerated people, and members of the military are all excluded from exercising their right to an abortion by restrictions on their insurance.

On top of that, every day, anti-abortion politicians are pushing more nonsensical and harmful regulations on patients and providers to make getting an abortion even harder; they’re working tirelessly to try to shame us, to get us to give up, to build their power on our backs. Funding abortion is a political act; redistributing money and volunteer energy to those seeking abortions in the face of oppression is an act of solidarity and strength.

We organize to build power for tomorrow. While we’ll never stop fighting for the right to get an abortion without shame or economic hardship, we know abortion is just one place where our reproductive lives are unfairly controlled. In the fight for accessible and affordable abortion, we’ll also fight for the right for us all to build the families and have the children we want, without economic coercion. When all areas of our sexual and reproductive lives are respected and supported, and when we’re given access to information, contraception that works for our lives, and robust health care options for caring for ourselves and our communities, we will be closer to making free decisions. We envision a world where all people have the power and resources to care for and affirm their bodies, identities, and health for themselves and their families — in all areas of their lives. We believe that the voices of people most impacted by barriers to care are the voices that should be the loudest and most heard.

We know accessible abortion is bound with the fights for economic and racial justice. As long as we’re in a society that devalues our options and opportunities with racial discrimination, where families are fearful for the lives of children harmed and killed by state violence, where schools and housing are divided unjustly, and where not all children have the resources to get the comprehensive health care they need, we’re less able to make pregnancy decisions free from fear. When many of us are not being paid a living wage, when we don’t have paid time off to spend taking care of our well-being and our family’s health, when we are struggling to make ends meet around every paycheck, we are less able to make pregnancy decisions free from coercion. When our families are fully cared for and our networks can help care for us, we will be stronger.

We are not free until we can bring our whole selves to these decisions, knowing we have the support and resources for whatever we decide is best for our lives. The National Network of Abortion Funds will continue to work until we are all truly trusted with the autonomy to be a whole person with plans, dreams, and options, whether we decide to have an abortion, parent, or participate in adoption.

When we are surrounded by uncertainty, the one thing we can be sure of is that we need each other more than ever before. In this spirit, we reaffirm our fight to leave no one behind. We are not free until we all are free, and we will not see justice until all of our lives are protected and respected. We will continue, and work harder, to center the stories of people having abortions and calling abortion funds. We will work every day towards a world in which every reproductive decision, including abortion, takes place in a thriving community that is safe, peaceful, and affordable.

In Solidarity,

Yamani Hernandez
Executive Director
National Network of Abortion Funds

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