Mission / Values / How We Work
The New York Abortion Access Fund supports anyone who is unable to pay fully for an abortion and is living in or traveling to New York State by providing financial assistance and connections to other resources.
The New York Abortion Access Fund believes that every person should be able to determine their own reproductive destiny and have access to the resources, rights, and respect to be able to do so. We believe that access to affordable abortion care is a critical component of full-spectrum healthcare services. We are working towards a world where abortion funds are not necessary because affordable, safe abortion care is part of mainstream medical practice and covered fully by all types of insurance.
NYAAF believes that the people who call our hotline are experts on their own lives. We believe that they do not owe us anything, including their stories or repayment, in order to qualify for abortion funding. At our core, we believe that anyone seeking an abortion has the right to access one.
We recognize that systems of oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and others contribute to systemic injustices in the healthcare system. NYAAF is committed to recognizing and addressing these barriers to the best of our ability.
NYAAF’s belief in physical autonomy is a core link between our belief in the right to an abortion, and our belief in the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people to access holistic health care and services. We recognize that people who identify as men can become pregnant and seek abortions; we strive to meet the needs of all people who seek our funding.
We work to provide additional resources to callers beyond the scope of abortion funding, such as referrals for Medicaid enrollment, to demonstrate that we value the wellbeing of our callers beyond their need for an abortion.
NYAAF also recognizes that many of our callers would choose to continue their pregnancies if they were in different financial circumstances. As such, NYAAF does not try to speak for the motivations of our clients by framing abortion as an issue of choice. Reproductive freedom is a matter of social justice, not just an individual choice. We trust and support the decision of the caller and take their lead in adopting the language they use in talking about their pregnancy and circumstances.
NYAAF does not scrutinize how many abortions someone has had, whether contraception was used, whether a sexual assault was reported, or any other information that is volunteered by our client, nor do we attempt to encourage anyone to behave in a certain way. If someone identifies a desire to learn about how to report an assault, how to avoid pregnancy, or other concerns, NYAAF provides information and makes appropriate referrals.
We consider these values to be at the core of our decision making as a board. They serve as an indispensable guide to all of our fundraising, programmatic, administrative, and communications decisions and actions. Our board, comprised of a diverse group of individuals who are all committed volunteers, all strongly believe in the values and mission of this organization. These shared values reflect an understanding of our work as part of a larger social justice and reproductive justice movement to ensure the full rights of all people. By building and supporting this movement, we strive for a world where everyone has the right and ability to determine their own future.
NYAAF provides funding directly to clinics on behalf of the people we serve. When a clinic we work with sees a patient who needs assistance, NYAAF is one of the potential funding sources to which they turn. The clinic then bills us for the amount we commit to covering.
Why does New York State, a state where people can get public health insurance coverage for abortion services, need an abortion fund?
Shouting protestors are not the only barrier to abortion access. Abortion is prohibitively expensive for many people with the average cost ranging from $523 at 10 weeks, to $3000 at 24 weeks gestation. Even in New York and the 16 other states that provide Medicaid coverage for abortion, thousands of low-income people fall between the cracks. Many people may be too poor to pay for abortion procedures, but they are uninsured and not poor enough to obtain public health insurance coverage, such as Medicaid.
In addition to helping people from New York, NYAAF also assists people from out of state who need help covering the costs of their procedures in New York. New York City is a major destination for many people across the country seeking abortions for a number of reasons. Some people find that abortion is more affordable in NYC than in their home states, others come from areas where there are no abortion providers at all, and others come because they may be able to have procedures done in later stages of pregnancy.
NYAAF has made grants to people from New York and from many other states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland. We have also helped people from as far away as Texas, Utah, and Bermuda to access safe legal abortion in New York.
The need for abortion funding is so great that there are more than 100 abortion funds across the country. For more information on funds outside of New York, visit www.nnaf.org.