August 18, 2015 —
Ohio-based not-for-profit Women Have Options plans to distribute about $50,000 this year in quarterly grants to the state's eight remaining abortion clinics to help low-income women access reproductive health care services, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Network of Assistance
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Women Have Options is one of about 100 groups in the National Network of Abortion Funds. NNAF Executive Director Yamani Hernandez said the national organization in 2014 provided $3.5 million to clinics across the country and disbursed $16,401 to clinics in Ohio between August 2014 and July. On average, NNAF provided each patient with $252 in aid, Hernandez added.
Since its founding in 1992, the volunteer-operated Women Have Options has helped more than 3,000 women access reproductive health care, including abortion services and contraception. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Women Have Options raises its funding via donations and grants, as well as through an annual event, called the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, that raised about $15,000 last year.
Adrienne Gavula, chair of Woman Have Options, said the clinics that receive funds from the organization can use them at their own discretion. However, she said clinics need more funding because abortion care can range between $400 and $1,200. Additionally, costs related to the procedure are also increasing as more clinics shut down, with women having to drive longer distances to access care and pay more for childcare. According to the Columbus Dispatch, five clinics have closed in the state since 2013, and three others -- in Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo -- are at risk of closing under the state's abortion restrictions.
In 2014, Women Have Options provided $46,000 in financial aid to 467 low-income women to help them access abortion and contraceptive health care services.
Meanwhile, other groups working to help women afford reproductive health care provide emergency hotlines that clinic employees can use to ask for funding on behalf of a patient. According to the Columbus Dispatch, clinics frequently will work with multiple organizations to help cover the cost of an abortion.
Some clinics also have their own funds to help patients. For example, Preterm, a Cleveland-based clinic, provided $663,575 in aid in 2014, including grants from Women Have Options and the clinic's own fund. Preterm spokesperson Nancy Starner said the clinic provides an average of $143 to patients, and more than 90% of patients receive some kind of aid (Ockerman, Columbus Dispatch, 8/17).