NFPRHA's Position

NFPRHA supports access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion.

Abortion care is an essential health service that must not only be legal, but also affordable and accessible to all people who seek it, and one that clinicians must be able to provide without facing civil or criminal penalties or threats to their or their patients’ safety. NFPRHA strongly condemns the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and end nearly 50 years of a constitutionally protected right to abortion. This ruling puts the health and lives of millions of people across the country in immediate jeopardy and disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous and other people of color; LGBTQ+ people; people with disabilities; people with no or low incomes; and young people.

 

Legal Landscape for Abortion

The legality of abortion varies from state to state. To identify current laws in a particular state, including whether the state bars all abortions or restricts abortions at a particular gestational age, visit Abortion Finder’s State-by-State Guide and Guttmacher Institute’s Lay of the Land. State laws are likely to continue changing in many states throughout the summer of 2022 and beyond.

States where abortion is legal may still have restrictions on the use of medication abortion3 and/or require parental involvement if someone under the age of 184 needs to access abortion care.

Additional legal and practical barriers exist for many people, including people living with no or low incomes, people who receive health care coverage through the federal government (such as Medicaid or the Indian Health Service), people who live in border areas and do not have the residency documentation needed to cross internal immigration checkpoints, people in state or federal custody, people with disabilities, and people under guardianship. Local abortion funds or abortion providers may be able to provide more information about access options for someone in one or more of those circumstances in a particular state.

In practice, access to abortion care and even referrals for abortion care may be chilled beyond what is prohibited by state law as clinics navigate ambiguous language in state prohibitions, aggressive and/or disparate enforcement, and a dynamic legal landscape due to litigation.

Entities That Can Help People Access Abortion Care

Abortion providers:

Many health centers offer abortion care, including Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent (non-Planned Parenthood) providers. The majority of abortions are provided by independent providers, but the public is often less familiar with such entities. To locate all abortion providers in a particular area, visit ineedana.com or abortionfinder.org.

Abortion funds:

Abortion funds are entities that provide financial support to individuals who need assistance paying for their abortion care. In addition to the monetary support they provide, abortion funds are key referral sources, connecting individuals to clinics that can best meet a patient’s particular needs and to other organizations that can provide additional support. Abortion funds may also serve as practical support organizations. Abortion funds vary widely in their funding and staff capacity and typically have geographic restrictions on where they provide support. To find an abortion fund that works in a particular state, visit abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/.

Practical support organizations (PSO):

PSOs provide resources, such as lodging, travel assistance, child care subsidies, and coverage for miscellaneous costs, to make it feasible for individuals to access abortion care. Some abortion funds are also PSOs. If they are separate, abortion funds and PSOs typically work closely together to ensure wrap-around coverage for people seeking abortion care. To find a PSO, visit apiaryps.org/pso-list.

Additional Resources

The US Department of Health and Human Services has created a website – reproductiverights.gov — that lists people’s rights with regard to accessing abortion, contraception, and other related health care services.

As some states move to criminalize seeking and/or obtaining abortion care, experts expect an increase in investigations of and potential prosecutions related to any pregnancy that does not result in a live birth, such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, especially for pregnant people of color. National Advocates for Pregnant Women5 provides legal support to individuals in these situations.

There are two anonymous hotlines available for people looking to speak with someone about their pregnancy options and/or their abortion. All-Options hosts a talkline (1-888-493-0092) where people can speak to volunteer peer counselors to discuss their pregnancy options and past experiences with pregnancy, abortion, parenting, and infertility. In addition, Exhale Pro-Voice hosts a hotline (617-749-2948) for nonjudgmental post-abortion support from volunteer peer counselors. Both lines are open seven days a week, though for only certain hours each day.

In some states, people under the age of 18 need to notify a parent or guardian of their decision to have an abortion or to obtain a parent’s consent. Furthermore, some states require parental notification or consent of both parents. Most patients do have the option of accessing a judicial bypass to access abortion care without parental involvement, though the process is often challenging. If/When/How operates a Judicial Bypass Helpline that may be able to assist a young person navigating this process.

If someone has questions about managing an abortion or miscarriage, the M&A Hotline can connect them to medical professionals, and the Repro Legal Helpline can connect them to legal experts. The M&A Hotline also provides information on where to access the necessary medications for a self-managed medication abortion.

The Digital Defense Fund (DDF) has published a Pregnancy & Abortion Privacy Guide that includes detailed instructions, limitations, and threat modeling considerations about abortion and digital security. DDF has additional information on digital safety for individuals seeking abortion, providers, and abortion supporters in this blog post.

Messaging Resources

Many organizations have worked on abortion-related messaging guides, ranging from sample social media posts about abortion availability to recommended talking points when discussing self-managed abortion. Here are some that may be useful:

NFPRHA:

Talking points (PDF) tailored for publicly funded family providers, including those in the Title X network. NFPRHA members can contact NFPRHA staff to further tailor these for their particular needs.

Liberate Abortion:

Resource hub from a coalition of national, state, and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations. The hub includes social media recommendations, talking points, template op-eds, and suggestions for working with reporters.

National Women’s Law Center:

Abortion Values Messaging Guide that offers recommendations for how and why to ground messages in individual and organizational values.

Physicians for Reproductive Health:

Factsheet on the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion.

NFPRHA offers this resource hub to assist family planning providers in better understanding the impact of the Court’s ruling and to connect individuals and organizations with up-to-date resources. The information provided is not, and is not intended to provide, legal advice to any entity or individual nor is it intended as a solicitation; entities and individuals should consult with their own legal counsel as to the impact of any information provided on this page for their health system, service site, or person.

For additional resources & information, access NFPRHA fact sheets and federal comments by issue or read NFPRHA's publications and recent press statements. 

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

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Phone: 202-293-3114  |  info@nfprha.org

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