The Abortion Pill Underground

Since Roe was overturned, thousands of people in red states have found a way to get an abortion—often thanks to providers operating at the edge of the law.

May 7, 2024

When Kay found out she was pregnant at the end of last year, she knew three things clearly. “I was poor and I had an unwanted pregnancy and knew I couldn’t afford a standard abortion for hundreds of dollars,” she told me. A 29-year-old student already raising one child, Kay lives in Texas, where abortion is banned. The nearest clinic she could find was at least a 12-hour drive away. But Kay thought there might be another option. “I went to Google and started searching if it was possible somehow to receive abortion pills through the Internet.”

It was not only possible; it was much easier and more affordable than Kay had expected. She found online services that offered to ship the same medications that were available in clinics right to her doorstep in Texas for $150 or, if she couldn’t afford that, for free. It seemed so simple that Kay thought it might be a scam. “I was scared I would wait for the pills and they wouldn’t work when I got them,” she said.


Abortion funds run short of money as demand soars and donations fall

Olivia Goldhill
Jan. 23, 2024

The head of the Abortion Fund of Ohio had a sinking feeling as she looked at its end-of-year finances last month. The fund had paid out $1.5 million in 2023 to help close to 4,400 patients get abortions — up from 1,175 the year before — and the pace wasn’t sustainable. If the fund didn’t take a pause for a few weeks, she feared it would run out of money and have to close for good.

The nonprofit stopped taking calls on Dec. 19, and made the “very very difficult decision” to suspend operations until Feb. 1, said Taren Holliman, the organization’s program manager. It’s among a handful of abortion funds that have had to temporarily halt operations as demand outstripped donations. Both the Utah Abortion Fund and Indigenous Women Rising paused for a month last summer after exceeding their budgets, and many more are reevaluating their funding policies and tightening purses.


18 Months After “Dobbs,” Here’s How Abortion Providers and Activists See Things

Abortion funds and logistical support groups are enabling people to travel out of state to obtain abortion care.

By Eleanor J. Bader , TRUTHOUT
December 28, 2023

After the Supreme Court’s June 2022 Dobbs decision eviscerated the already limited federal right to abortion, 14 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia — banned the procedure.

In some of these states, clinics closed. According to The Guardian, 42 U.S. clinics shuttered in 2022, plus 23 more in 2023. But as disturbing as this is, it is not the full story. Despite financial, legal and political obstacles, many clinics in states that have banned abortion have pivoted, continuing to provide essential reproductive health services such as contraceptives, STI testing and treatment, and routine gynecological exams, with some expanding to deliver prenatal and gender-affirming care. In addition, new clinics have opened in states like Wyoming and Maryland where abortion remains legal.


‘Feels horrible to say no’: abortion funds run out of money as US demand surges

A lifeline for many in states with abortion restrictions, abortion funds are being pushed to the brink due to rising costs and a drop in donations

Carter Sherman
Fri 22 Sep 2023

Laurie Bertram Roberts never expected Americans to keep forking over money to pay for other people’s abortions. But the abortion fund director didn’t think it would get this dire.

When the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade last year, people donated tens of thousands of dollars to Roberts’ organization, the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, which is dedicated to helping people afford abortions and the many costs that come with it. But, in August, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund had to stop funding abortions. It’s now closed until January 2024.


Some states are restricting abortion. Others are spending millions to fund it

June 20, 2023
Sarah McCammon

As a growing number of states restrict abortion, other states and some local municipalities are substantially increasing funding for abortion and other reproductive health services.

At least 15 municipal and six state governments allocated nearly $208 million to pay for contraception, abortion and support services for people seeking abortions in the year since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to data provided to NPR by the National Institute for Reproductive Health.


USA – Abortion Funds Face Slowdown in Giving a Year After Supreme Court Ruling

By  Eden Stiffman
JUNE 12, 2023

On the evening of May 2, 2022, a draft opinion of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization leaked, signaling the imminent reversal of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established the constitutional right to abortion. That same day, the National Network of Abortion Funds had tapped Oriaku Njoku as its new executive director.

As a co-founder of Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, the South’s largest abortion fund, Njoku was clear-eyed about what would come next.


USA – How anti-abortion laws impact the Black community

With some of the highest maternal death rates in the nation, Black pregnant people face extreme impacts on their health, particularly those in states with restrictive abortion bans.

By Rebekah Sager
April 17, 2023

When the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization last June, overturning Roe v. Wade and ending federal constitutional affirmation of the right to abortion, medical experts and pro-abortion activists working in the Black maternal health community say, they knew the result could be dire.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black pregnant people are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white pregnant people. And Black infants are nearly four times as likely to die during birth as white infants, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health reports.


USA – When abortion havens restrict access, where can people get care?

Florida, an abortion haven for people from Alabama and Texas, has proposed a six-week abortion ban

by Sakshi Udavant
March 23rd, 2023

Republican leaders across the U.S. have been on a successful mission to roll back abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June of last year. Abortion is now completely illegal in 12 states, making exceptions only in rare cases, such as the pregnant person’s life being threatened.

People living in areas where abortion is banned have been forced to travel to “abortion-haven” states where access is legal and safely available. But now, states that had once been havens for abortion care are cracking down on access, putting those who had been traveling from neighboring states in a more challenging position.


EXPLAINER: Undoing of Roe quickly shifts abortion in states

By Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press
Tue., Dec. 20, 2022

Anti-abortion groups hoped and strategized for decades for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was delivered in June, ending a court-protected right to abortion after nearly 50 years. The fallout was immediate and far-reaching — and it’s not over yet.

The midyear ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established the right to abortion, shaped the national political agenda for the rest of the year and put abortion access in flux. The shifts are expected to keep coming as lawmakers, voters and judges weigh in.


Independent Abortion Clinics Are Critical to the Healthcare Ecosystem—And Must Be Protected


In 2022 alone, at least 42 independent abortion clinics have been forced to close or stop providing abortion care. We need everyone in this fight to keep our clinics open.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it made apparent what abortion providers have known for years: that abortion bans harm our communities and force clinics to close. Without those community-based clinics, even the right to abortion is meaningless.