And why you should give a monthly donation to Baltimore Abortion Fund starting NOW
Maryland is a state where access to abortion is protected and accessible. But, no matter who is in the Oval Office, it’s important to note that access doesn't always translate into everyone getting the abortion healthcare they need if they can't afford it.
That’s why the Baltimore Abortion Fund, alongside supporters like you and other abortion funds around the country, is working to remove financial barriers, and toward a vision of justice and liberation.
Time is of the essence and abortion is not cheap.
An abortion gets increasingly more expensive the longer a person waits. Clinics determine the cost of an abortion based on two primary factors: the number of weeks since a person’s last menstrual period, and which type of procedure the person gets. In Maryland, a medication abortion (a combination of two pills administered under provider supervision that can be taken up to 12 weeks, or in the first trimester) can range from $350-600. A surgical abortion can be many thousands of dollars, depending on timing and if there are any complication factors.
Over 60 percent of people who call BAF’s helpline are in their second trimester (13–26 weeks), and they report their procedures average about $3,500. And this is before factoring in the cost of travel, accommodations, childcare, and taking time off work with no pay. It is prohibitively expensive for many pregnant people and their loved ones.
Have Maryland Medicaid? It should cover the cost of your abortion.
The Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, so abortion care is not typically covered under federal Medicaid. However, 16 states in the US choose to use their own state Medicaid funds to cover the procedure, and Maryland is one of them. This means that some people who choose not to carry their pregnancy to term can use Maryland Medicaid, but it’s not guaranteed. Unfortunately, hundreds of people who call the BAF helpline each year are not able to pay for their abortions with private insurance or state Medicaid. Your donation to BAF helps fill that gap.
About 30% of people who call the BAF helpline come to Maryland from other states for their abortions.
Maryland is a destination for individuals seeking abortion care from across the nation (because of some form of state restriction), and especially The South and Midwest, but also northern neighboring states.
– Legislated mandated waiting periods are nothing more than an intentional burden designed to make access harder, and ban abortion by another tactic. In West Virginia, a patient must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage them from having an abortion, and then wait 24 hours before the procedure. Maryland does not have a waiting period.
– Pennsylvania has Targeted Regulation for Abortion Providers laws that require abortion clinics to meet unnecessary and burdensome standards related to their physical layout, equipment, and staffing. This requirement forced clinics that could not afford expensive renovations to close, and so patients must now travel much farther to seek care.
– In Virginia, the parent of a minor must be notified and consent (!) before abortion care can be provided. If the minor does not want parental involvement, a court order has to be obtained to waive the requirement. In Maryland, people under 18 years old can get a physician bypass, which assesses the maturity and circumstances of the minor, without having to go to court.
In 2019, we expanded our funding to cover individuals traveling to Maryland for their abortions. We’ve seen a 50% increase in callers, most of those from out of state. We’re proud to be able to help those traveling to Maryland for care, but our weekly budgets go fast these days.
People still need abortions during a pandemic.
Abortion remains out of reach for so many, especially Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, people who are undocumented, and transgender and gender nonconforming people. And these barriers are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Abortion funds are mutual aid, and have been for decades. We are strategically poised to be an important resource during this difficult time. Baltimore Abortion Fund will be here for our helpline callers who need help paying for their abortions.
Abortion funding is a political act deeply rooted in solidarity. It is based on a belief in collective power, and the responsibilities we have to our larger communities. Together, we can support our community and smash the financial barrier to abortion. We need your consistent financial support to keep funding callers because people have abortions year round, not just when it’s in the news. The best way to help is to set up a monthly donation to BAF.
Will you sign up to support our work in 2021 and beyond? Become a monthly sustaining donor today.
The Baltimore Abortion Fund is a volunteer-run nonprofit that is making safe abortions more accessible by ensuring that anyone living in or coming to Maryland who needs an abortion can get one, regardless of income. Removing financial barriers is critical to protecting access to abortion care. This is particularly important for individuals who have low income, and Black, Indigenous, immigrants, and other People of Color who have always faced systemic and social barriers to abortion access.