On February 9th, the New York Abortion Access Fund will celebrate its tenth anniversary. For ten years, this remarkable organization has been making it possible for New York women to exercise their right to choose when they don’t have the money to afford that choice.
For those of you who don’t know about NYAAF, their mission is to provide grants to women want abortions and can’t afford to pay them. Abortions are legal, but they are expensive, and in some states they are very difficult to obtain: in that sense, abortion is more of a privilege than it is a right. NYAAF tries to combat that problem by granting money to women, often at very short notice, so they can pay to access that right.
As their website explains,
Shouting protestors are not the only barrier to abortion access. Abortion is prohibitively expensive for many women with the average cost ranging from $523 at 10 weeks, to $1,339 at 20 weeks gestation. Even in New York and the 16 other states that provide Medicaid coverage for abortion, thousands of low-income women fall between the cracks. Many women may be too poor to pay for abortion procedures, but they are uninsured and not poor enough to obtain public health insurance coverage, such as Medicaid.
NYAAF is based in New York, but a lot of its grantees are from out of state. This is because while abortion could and should be more accessible in New York, things here are easier than they are in many other places:
In addition to helping local women, NYAAF also assists women from out of state who need help covering the costs of their procedures in New York. New York City (NYC) is a major destination for many women across the country seeking abortions for a number of reasons. Some women find that abortion is more affordable in NYC than in their home states, others come from areas where there are no abortion providers at all, and others come because they may be able to have procedures done in later stages of pregnancy.
So, NYAAF kicks all kinds of ass. But they kick it on a very tight budget. They are entirely volunteer-run, and they need all the financial help they can get. That said, it can be really fun to help them: NYAAF is known for their awesome fundraisers. Sometimes we go bowling, sometimes we watch Dirty Dancing, but we’re always raising money for a truly great cause.
I have no doubt that the tenth anniversary party will be any different, so if you’re in town and you have the cash to spare, go buy yourself a ticket! They’re not cheap; they start at $100. But you could not ask for a more deserving organization. And you can rest assured that the money will go where it’s needed and that it will go a long way.