Abortion Access in The Aftermath of Harvey

How You Can Help

Hurricane Harvey and the Thousand Year Flood failed to do what the worst efforts of anti-choice Texas politicians have also failed to do—shut down the Houston Women’s Clinic. At least for more than a few days. After going dark on Saturday, the clinic was back up and taking care of patients as of Thursday August 31—running on generator power.

The challenges and difficulties ahead for the HWC and for women in the areas affected by Harvey are mind-boggling. If you want to help, below are some organizations to direct your support to via the suggestions of the HWC and a great article in Romper.

Texas is a hard place to access abortion care even under the best of weather conditions. As you know, it has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, and the conservative legislature is always busy piling more on.

Despite the Supreme Court’s overturning of many of the worst Texas abortion laws, over half the state’s clinics had already been closed.

TODAY, as so much of Texas is trying to survive Harvey, Lone star clinics start with new legal battles in Austin over a new law that would ban the safest and most common method of abortion performed after 12 weeks –  set to go into effect as you read this.  

These harsh laws combined with the harsh conditions brought on by Harvey wreak havoc on women trying to access abortion care in the Houston area in the wake of the storm. Transportation is difficult if not impossible in many areas. Those who can make it to a clinic have to make it there TWICE because of the 24 hour waiting period.

The HWC’s Kathy Kleinfeld told Romper that the storm has caused a delay that “really looks like it’s going to be about a week for most patients.” That can drastically increase costs for women, many of whom have limited resources. The cost of the necessary procedures goes from $550 to $850 at 12 weeks. And any women who passed the 20 week point are now going to have to go out of state, if they can.

Many of the organizations set up to help women overcome the obstacles put in their way by politicians are now helping them overcome the obstacles created by Harvey. Here are a few:

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) Provides financial resources for women to access abortion care. They’re arranging for additional support for those in the Houston area, especially for transportation.

Fund Texas Choice (FTC) Is a statewide practical support network that provides transportation and lodging to people who must travel to access abortion care.

The Clinic Access Support Network (CASN) Houston-area organization that provides practical support to people seeking abortion in the form of housing, transportation and other needs.

The Lilith Fund Has a special emergency fund for Harvey Survivors. They’re a   Texas abortion assistance fund whose service area covers the Southeast region of the state and who deal with over 6,000 callers per year.

The situation is extraordinary, but so is the resilience of the people in the reproductive care community of the Houston area. Any assistance you can give would be hugely appreciated. And thanks again to all the staffers and volunteers who have gotten the Houston Women Clinics and others back up and running.