The National Network of Abortion Funds plays a critical role in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movements because it fosters an authentic and radical community rooted in support and compassion.
We provide framing, policy analysis, and local mobilization around complex, rapidly shifting issues connected to racial and economic justice, and we connect national level issues to statewide trends.
We’re working with organizations in our network across the nation to fight barriers on the ground. Our active policy and organizing campaigns begin with ending all abortion coverage bans, especially the Hyde Amendment, alongside the All* Above All campaign.
We’re centering the on-the-ground expertise of abortion funds in building a policy platform that makes the lives of our callers better by focusing on a holistic vision for justice. We’re committed to expanding the conversation to include the voices of those most affected by barriers to abortion access, and to racial, economic, and reproductive justice.
We believe all people are best equipped to care for and affirm their bodies, identities, and health for themselves and their families—in all areas of their lives.
Some of the policies that most affect the lives of people who call abortion funds are:
We believe everyone should be able to use their health insurance to cover the full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Unfortunately, due to the Hyde Amendment barring federal funds covering abortion care, Medicaid recipients, incarcerated people, detained immigrants, federal employees, Peace Corps volunteers, and people in the military are unable to use their health insurance to pay for their abortions, forcing them to pay out of pocket. Research has shown that one in four people on Medicaid are forced to carry a pregnancy to term that they would have terminated. This policy affects those on state health insurance plans in 38 states due to those governments also denying the use of state funds to cover abortion procedures, and restrictions on private insurance plans. These policies disproportionately impact people with limited resources and people of color. NNAF is a founding steering committee member of All* Above All and will continue to support member organizations to repeal the Hyde Amendment federally and similar policies in states.
Every day, abortion funds hear from callers who are unable to fund their abortions due to low wages. For example, those working for tipped wages and those in the restaurant industry experience a two-tiered wage system that keeps them at the poverty level and thus eligible for Medicaid, a health insurance program that denies abortion coverage in most states. We must join the fight to ensure not only that everyone has a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour, but also that we eliminate the two-tier wage system that keeps workers in poverty. We support Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United in their leadership on this issue.
Across the country, legislators are passing laws that seek to criminalize people seeking abortion care, investigate those having miscarriages, and incarcerate pregnant people with substance abuse issues. These laws force healthcare providers to turn their patients in to the police, rather than offer them support and care. Our nation should support pregnant people and those seeking abortions, not incarcerate and punish them.
Over a dozen states have policies that deny families who receive welfare support additional funds to raise their families. This forces people to make decisions about their pregnancies based on economic coercion. We believe that all families should be able to thrive, and government policies should not impact one’s decision whether or not to become a parent.
We believe that everyone should be able to access abortion care, without barriers, and that includes barriers based on age. Young people deserve access to abortion care, but sometimes don’t have the support of their families. Parental involvement laws force them to obtain judicial bypasses, and sometimes makes it so they are unable to obtain the abortions they seek.
Everyone should be able to have access to abortion care in their own communities and on their own terms. Many states restrict the use of medication abortion, which denies people seeking abortions, particularly in rural communities, the ability to access care via telemedicine or in the comfort of their own home. Medication abortion is safe and we seek to expand its availability so people seeking abortions aren’t forced to travel long distances and incur additional costs just to receive care.
Sometimes, when facing an unintended pregnancy, people are unsure where to get accurate, nonjudgmental information about their options. Across the country, anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) coerce people out of having an abortion by spreading misinformation and debunked information about abortion care. We often hear from people seeking abortions who were tricked into CPCs and denied accurate information about their health. We need to ensure everyone has evidence-based information so they can make the best decisions about their bodies.
Our strategy for political decisionmaking
We use the following questions to guide our thinking as we evaluate policies and campaign efforts to support:
- Does this policy expand and increase financial or logistical access to abortion?
- Does this decrease the targeted criminalization of people of color and low-income people during pregnancy, miscarriage, and abortion?
- Does this increase the autonomy of people who have abortions, especially people of color, minors and people under state control?
- Does this policy economically empower individuals and families so that finances don’t dictate reproductive decisions?
Culture Change Strategies
Through creative communications and grassroots organizing, we are shifting culture around abortion access while opening the door for new people to join our movement who haven’t been included in the past.
We are opening new spaces for exploration and collaboration, ranging from the organic nature of kitchen table and front stoop conversations to structured labs—all to innovate new strategies and tools, exchange information and lessons learned, and build a strong network.
As our voices become a chorus for change, we shift from shame to pride, barriers to access, isolation to community and family, and towards the wisdom that abortion is a regular part of our reproductive lives and health care.
Through We Testify, we are ensuring that abortion stories are as diverse as the people who have them. We Testify is a program dedicated to increasing the spectrum of abortion storytellers in the public sphere and shifting the way the media understands the context and complexity of accessing abortion care. We Testify seeks to build the power and leadership of abortion storytellers, particularly those of color, those from rural and conservative communities, those who are queer identified, those with varying abilities and citizenship statuses, and those who needed support when navigating barriers while accessing abortion care.
We have also signed on to a Vision for Culture Change, along with more than 100 other organizations that we co-created with leaders in our network and in the broader movement.