Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Alison Turkos, Co-Chair of the Board of the New York Abortion Access Fund. When she’s not breaking down barriers to abortion access she’s probably talking about how much she loves Vermont.
I fund abortions in New York and I do so proudly, but let the record show: I’ve never been to Texas. I’ve never spoken to a Texan who is unable to get an appointment at a clinic because of the wait or logistics, like travel. I’ve never had to tell someone that unfortunately I can’t fund their procedure because I’ve reached my budget for the week or that I can only pledge $150 towards their abortion when they really need $300.
But abortion funds in Texas experience this every day and they’ve been doing this work for years. Abortion funds are critical resources, especially in Texas; because the right to abortion is meaningless if it is impossible to afford the actual procedure.
There has been an incredible showing of support for the people of Texas because of the recent enactment of House Bill 2 (HB2). Sarah Tuttle, board member of the Lilith Fund located in Austin TX, reminded us earlier this week over at Abortion Gang that “clients are people. This isn’t just a cause. These are people’s lives, people’s families. [Lilith’s] clients are not just patients, stories, plaintiffs, witnesses or data”. We want to support all clients of TX abortion funds and on Monday night thousands will come together once again to say, “we stand with you; we support you.”
We in New York wanted to show our support the best way we knew how – by raising funds to send to the people on the ground who work day in and day out to help people navigate the changing landscape of abortion access.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with an incredible group of comedians, actors, poets, writers, musicians, activists and more for “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose,” an online telethon on Monday, November 18th. Lizz Winstead and Sarah Silverman will host this 3-hour online event raising funds for the Lilith Fund, TEA Fund, Whole Women’s Action Fund, and Fund Texas Women.
Jessica Luther, Sarah Slamen, and Heather Busby will join us on stage in New York to talk about their experiences over the summer as House Bill 2 made its way into the Texas Legislature and abortion clinics. Now that HB2 is in effect, 248 of 254 counties have no abortion provider, meaning patients are now forced to travel even greater distances to access the abortion care they need.
I’m proud to fund abortions in New York, to stand with the people and families of Texas, and to be an organizer of this event. When I heard that within a year an estimated 28,000 people will not be able to access abortion care in Texas because of HB2, I wanted to do something and I’m sure you do too. So let’s do our part and let’s do it together! Let’s raise hell and money to ensure Texans abortions are safe, legal, accessible and FUNDED!