AUSTIN (CBS Houston) – An abortion rights advocacy group in Texas is raising money to help women from low-income households afford the procedure for themselves.
The group, called the Lilith Fund, is dedicated to making sure “equal access to abortion is guaranteed for all women, regardless of economic situation.”
“The right to choose an abortion is meaningless without access to abortion services,” the group stated on their official website. “Restrictions on abortion access and funding are discriminatory because they especially burden low-income women.”
In addition to offering financial aid and counseling to women who want to end their pregnancies, the Lilith Fund also sponsors outreach initiatives and educational courses that are meant to foster understanding of reproductive rights in their community.
According to their mission statement, Lilith Fund’s vision is “a Texas where each woman has the means and opportunity to plan her future and her family with dignity, respect and community support.”
The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that the Lilith Fund is one of a number of organizations throughout the country raising money to help women afford abortions, most of which were founded in the 1970s. A reported 40 states presently have such non-profits in them for women seeking assistance.
In order to raise the money, representatives from the organizations told the paper that they hold events ranging from bowl-a-thons to wine tastings and yard sales.
“Abortion funds are often the only lifeline available for low-income women,” Kimberly Inez McGuire of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health said to the Dispatch. “Restrictions that close clinics may mean a woman has to drive four hours rather than 30 minutes, or may have to take one, two or three days off her job and arrange for child care.”
Demand for aid and information has reportedly increased over the years, too, with the Lilith Fund seeing a 47-percent rise in the amount of calls to their hotline from 2010 to 2012 – all the more inspiration for those who work at the Fund, such as hotline operator and board member Sarah Tuttle.
She told the Dispatch, “It’s about having access to abortion and that not being about economics. I can’t imagine not doing it – it would just leave all these people out in the cold.”