The Not-So-Secret Secret of Abortion Funds

Amber Fraley
9 min readMar 8, 2018

Recently, I attended an abortion fund conference. There are probably two things in the previous sentence that need to be clarified: First off, what the heck is an abortion fund? And what in the world would an abortion fund conference be? Glad you asked.

Abortion funds are private, non-profit organizations that take in donations to fund legal abortions for those who need financial assistance. Abortion funds are generally state- or region-specific. A relatively low-population state, like Arizona or Kansas, for instance, may have only one abortion fund, while more populated states may have more than one. Sometimes funds cover a specific metro area.

Abortion fund volunteers, and our supporters, believe anything that gets in the way of a person receiving the legal medical care she (or he) is entitled to, is a violation of her (or his) rights. We believe this includes cost, which is why we do what we do.

After the outcome of the presidential election, I sought out my state’s abortion fund, hoping to volunteer. I was angry — okay, I was fucking furious — and I had to have some place to put that anger, or it was going to eat me alive. When I became an abortion fund volunteer, I was afraid I might be stepping on the toes of the women already doing the work. But they welcomed me with open arms, and pretty soon I was asked to join the board, because when the subject is reproductive justice, everyone is needed.

For safety reasons, I can’t tell you exactly when or where the abortion fund conference met, and I sure as hell won’t tell you who else attended. Although I will say this: A lot of those abortion fund volunteers would be happy for me to share their names. They’d be proud to share their names. But I’m not going to waste their time trying to contact them for their permission, because for one thing, I know they’re busy, and for another, a lot of us are still struggling with coming out of the closet, so to speak. Because when the subject is abortion, certain people with anti-choice agendas can get pretty scary.

I was angry — okay, I was fucking furious — and I had to…

Amber Fraley

Writing about abortion rights, mental illness, trauma, narcissistic abuse & survival, politics. Journalist, novelist, wife, mom, Kansan, repro rights activist.