Breaking news in North Carolina: The NC Division of Social Services has recommended the elimination of the State Abortion Fund!
* Click here to send a letter asking State Legislators and Gov. Bev Purdue to stand up and defend reproductive freedom in NC *
The NC State Abortion Fund was originally established in response to the Hyde Amendment so that all women, regardless of income, would be guaranteed the ability to make personal, private childbearing decisions. We must stand up and make our voices heard to ensure that the State Abortion Fund does not disappear in North Carolina. But we can do more then just save the fund, we can fix it.
North Carolina took a great step towards ensuring reproductive freedom in 1978 by establishing the State Abortion Fund. This fund was set up to provide funding for women to obtain an abortion in the case of threat to the life of the mother, and in cases of rape or incest. In 1996, however, extreme anti-choice legislators tried to make this fund more restrictive.
(From Planned Parenthood NC) In order to access the Fund, women must live below the federal poverty level, but not qualify for Medicaid. This essentially excludes almost all low-income women. An accessible State Abortion Fund, as well as state-funded prenatal care, ensures that low-income women have the same ability to make reproductive health decisions for themselves and their families as do women with higher income and greater means.
We have the opportunity in North Carolina not only to save the State Abortion Fund, a lifeline for some women living below the poverty level, but also to restore it to its original intent. The State Abortion Fund was originally intended to ensure that the constitutional right to choose applied to all women, regardless of income level. The NC Division of Social Services wants to cut the fund, but North Carolinians need to step up and tell our legislators to FIX the fund, not destroy it.
I believe that reproductive freedom and the ability to choose when to have a child is a right, not just a privilege of those with money. We can’t leave low-income women behind when it comes to access to abortions, and it is crucial that we save and fix this fund.
Please take a minute to send a letter via Planned Parenthood of NC’s action center. Letters go out to Governor Bev Purdue, the House Budget Committee, and several prominent Senators who must be encouraged to stand up for reproductive freedom in North Carolina. You can do more than just send a letter. Tell five friends about this cause and get them to speak up as well! Please spread the word about this on Facebook and Twitter, and make sure NC doesn’t leave low income women behind regarding the right to childbearing decisions.