Carolina Abortion Fund preparing for 4,000% increase in demand for financial aid for women seeking abortions in the Carolinas

Board member says many South Carolinians will need assistance to travel to North Carolina for abortion care
The Carolina Abortion Fund is expecting a 4,000 percent increase in demand.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 9:02 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Abortion clinics in North Carolina are preparing for more women to travel across state lines for abortions, but the cost of travel could be a barrier for some women.

It’s why organizations like The Carolina Abortion Fund, which helps women pay for abortion care and other costs associated with it, are preparing for higher demand. According to board member Lauren Overman, the Carolina Abortion Fund is expecting a 4,000% increase in demand. Since 2011, the Carolina Abortion Fund has helped women struggling to pay for abortions. In a post-Roe world in 2022, Overman says not only demand but also support has never been higher.

“Ever since the leak of the draft opinion we’ve been inundated with volunteer requests,” Overman told WBTV.

Related: Stricter abortion ban on the table in SC, would ban nearly all abortions

She says they are maxed out on volunteers, but the fund needs more financial support. As a 501c3 non-profit, it relies on public donations and funding from National Network of Abortion Funds.

In South Carolina, abortions are now prohibited after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be five or six weeks into a pregnancy. The Carolina Abortion Fund is now helping more women cross state lines and pay for more appointments.

“They might have to go to the clinic in South Carolina to figure out how far along in the pregnancy they are, and then if they are beyond the gestation allowed in South Carolina, they have to travel to North Carolina,” she said.

The fund works with clinics across the Carolinas to connect women to care and help finance it.

“We usually do offer gas stipends,” she said. “We do also work to help with lodging and travel expenses. When you get in contact with the fund you will get a case worker and you will go through the specific resources you need help accessing.”

She says not only are they sharing resources, they are also educating women on how to start that 72-hour waiting period before leaving their home state.

“The next 24 to 48 hours after your appointment in South Carolina, the facility in North Carolina will give you a call to do the state-mandated counseling and start the clock on that 72-hour waiting period,” she said. Pro-life organizations are also seeing an uptick in requests by people wanting to volunteer and show support.

Josh Kappes, with the organization Love Life, told WBTV in a statement:

“Overall, leading up to and since the SCOTUS decision, we have seen a major increase in churches wanting to become a “House of Refuge Church.” These are churches that desire to be safe places for women to run to for help. We are training them on how to respond and highly encourage these local churches to partner with their local pregnancy resource center.”

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