Apr 5, 2024 - News

Abortion fund sees little "rage giving" with six-week ban looming

A protester holding a sign that reads "Abortion is murder" with the murder crossed out and "healthcare" added in its place.

Protesters at an abortion access rally in 2022. Photo: John Parra/Getty Images for MoveOn

Donations poured into the Tampa Bay Abortion Fund after the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022, but a similar spike has yet to materialize this week as the clock started ticking for a new six-week abortion ban to go into effect May 1.

Why it matters: Helping women access abortions in Florida and across the South is about to get a lot more expensive, Tampa Bay Abortion Fund board member McKenna Kelley told Axios.

State of play: Few people find out they're pregnant within six weeks, so fund organizers are bracing to cover travel costs, hotel stays and other support for patients who will no longer be able to access the procedure in Florida.

  • Such practical support ranges from $10 to $1,900 depending on the case, Kelley said, with the average being about $1,100.

Driving the news: The volunteer-run fund, which helps people seeking abortions coordinate and pay for abortion care, has seen just a small spike in donations this week, Kelley said.

Flashback: In the months after the Dobbs decision overturning Roe was leaked and later formally issued, the group raised more than three times the previous year's budget.

Yes, but: The so-called "rage giving" slowed last year, Kelley said. The group received $272,000 in individual donations last year compared to $755,000 in 2022, according to the fund's 2023 impact report.

  • In the meantime, demand has increased. The group fielded 910 calls in 2021, 1,761 in 2022 and 3,389 last year.

The big picture: Abortion funds across the country have faced similar drop-offs in giving as demand for services has increased, per the Associated Press.

Between the lines: The Florida Supreme Court set the six-week ban in motion at the same time justices ruled that a proposed constitutional amendment restoring abortion access could go on the ballot this November.

  • News of the referendum's approval likely overshadowed the urgency of the stricter ban, Kelley said.

What they're saying: "It was personally quite frustrating on Monday to see celebration … knowing how many people are not going to be able to get an abortion between May and, if the ballot measure passes, whenever that goes into effect," Kelley said.

The bottom line: "It's really important that if you care about people having access to abortion," she said, "you help support us."

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