Why did you decide to start an abortion fund?
As residents of the rural South, we understand the social and structural barriers faced by people attempting to access abortion care in our region. Escorting patients from their cars to clinic doors is incredibly necessary but we knew our patients needed more. Through the Yellowhammer Fund we will provide funding for anyone seeking care at one of Alabama’s five clinics, and will help with other barriers (like travel, lodging, etc.) as well.
What are you most nervous about in today’s political climate?
As with any work relating to abortion care, there is an element of danger — especially in the South. Since our fund is volunteer-based, some of us could potentially face push-back from employers, neighbors, friends, or family. We have already experienced difficulties identifying allies in our community who will support our work without perpetuating abortion stigma. We are not the first to face these hurdles and we’re confident we’ll be able to build and sustain a strong base of support.
What’s most important for people to know about Alabama?
We have everything from a 48-hour waiting period to parental consent laws. We have emboldened anti-choice groups outside our clinics who receive support (financial and otherwise) from our state legislators in Montgomery and Washington, D.C. We have a Republican supermajority constantly targeting abortion access while looking for ways to restrict access to healthcare and social welfare programs. However, Alabama also has a fierce group of activists who work tirelessly to ensure that clinic doors stay open and that people can afford the care they need.
Abortion access is getting more scarce across the nation, but if we’ve learned anything down here, it’s that strong networks, like that which is fostered through organizations like NNAF, can take on anything and come out on top!