New Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign Significantly Bolsters Abortion Funds’ Response to Global Pandemic
In response to the public health crisis and an abrupt interruption to critical local fundraising caused by the novel coronavirus, the National Network of Abortion Funds is today launching the Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign, a push to raise $2 million for abortion funds and their callers. Abortion needs do not stop for a pandemic, and abortion funds are continuing work to fill the already overwhelming gaps in access. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NNAF remains committed to providing crisis relief funding to abortion funds, who are responding to a spike in requests for financial and logistical support. NNAF has already collected and distributed $1 million to abortion funds network-wide in direct response to the pandemic.
As the need for funding grows, NNAF has set the goal of raising an additional $250,000 by June 30th for abortion funds from individual donors as part of the Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign.
The timing of the pandemic derailed plans for the National Abortion Access Fund-a-Thon. This year, abortion funds were counting on committed supporters raising $2 million during the annual grassroots fundraising season. Fund-a-Thon, formerly known as Bowl-a-Thon, supports much of the funding and operating budgets of abortion funds each year, and has taken an undeniably substantial hit as people face very real financial and personal uncertainty. Even in a typical year, resources are limited, and most funds are not able to offer support to every caller. The Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign commits to providing crisis relief funding to abortion funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While not from the Supreme Court as anticipated, this is a crisis to abortion access we’ve been planning for. On top of the usual devastating barriers to abortion, the global pandemic has added layers of hardship. Between necessary public health precautions, an overburdened healthcare system, and anti-abortion officials restricting abortion using the pandemic as their cover, this crisis creates the perfect storm,” said National Network of Abortion Funds Executive Director Yamani Hernandez. “Abortion funding requests are increasing, without the security provided by the largest annual fundraiser for abortion funds, as the pandemic rapidly depletes abortion funding budgets. It is our collective responsibility to try to make up that difference. So we’re doing what we’ve always done during crises: raise and distribute money for abortion access.”
Every dollar raised by the Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign will go to NNAF member abortion funds. People who call abortion funds are more likely to be impacted by lost wages, lack of paid leave and health care, inability to afford rent, groceries and other essentials, and other injustices exacerbated by COVID-19. Many abortion fund callers live in states opportunistically using this public health emergency as another chance to block abortion access. Abortion funds are facing a swelling influx of people who might not have needed to call an abortion fund a month ago, but are now facing economic instability and uncertainty, new difficulties affecting their parenting options, and a landscape more hostile to their reproductive choices.
Abortion funds are committed to continuing their critical work. NNAF member funds on the ground report that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in dramatically increased call volume – in some cases more than double what would be anticipated. In Texas, 60% of Lilith Fund clients have reported a loss of income or other negative life change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Indiana, the number of calls to the Hoosier Fund doubled in one week. In many states, legal back-and-forth means abortion access changes by the day, leaving people like those calling the Northwest Abortion Access Fund in Alaska rushing to find out if clinics are open that day. Abortion fund case managers are supporting clients traveling hundreds of miles as they simultaneously juggle their own childcare needs and financial uncertainty. For the majority of abortion funds that are run by volunteers, the people fielding increasingly complex calls for support are doing so in their limited free time. People calling deserve the enduring stability that abortion funds provide, and Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign is a path to answer our mandate for action. As resources are even more limited in the face of a global pandemic, abortion funds are responding quickly and effectively with the resources they have. Find your local abortion fund here.
Make a donation to the Abortion Funds Crisis Relief Campaign by clicking the button below.
The National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.