Every woman and girl should be able to have only the children that she wants to have. ARFWM funds the range of choices that make this vision reality.
- ARFWM provides direct financial assistance to women and girls seeking abortions who cannot afford them. Our primary commitment is to women and girls in the four counties of Western Massachusetts, but we also respond to the needs of those elsewhere in the country.
- We also raise public awareness of the hardship and danger imposed upon women by the legal and economic restrictions on abortion.
- We work with other grassroots organizations in the National Network of Abortion Funds in support of efforts at both the state and federal levels to expand abortion rights and reproductive freedom and to restore public funding of abortions.
WHAT WE DO
ARFWM provides direct financial assistance to women and girls seeking abortions who cannot afford them. Safe, legal abortions are an essential part of women's health care, but they are out of reach for many low-income and young women.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Every woman and girl should be able to have only the children that she wants to have. The Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts funds choices that make this vision reality.
Women and girls have the right to be treated with dignity and compassion. We will support you in the decisions you make.
Women can be trusted with life's important choices. We do not judge or ask you to justify the choices you make. It should not be so hard to choose and pay for abortion care.
Abortion is every woman's right, so reproductive freedom should not have a price tag.
Facts about Funding for Abortion
With the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, abortion became legal for all women in the United States. But with the passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, Congress cut off all federal funding for abortions, and all but a few states followed. States that denied Medicaid abortions created a dual standard where the "right to choose" exists only for those with the money to exercise that right. In such states, approximately one in three poor women are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term for lack of funding. In the process, they often abandon their dreams-of completing an education, escaping from violence, or climbing out of poverty.
In Massachusetts, Medicaid does pay for abortion care for poor women, but there can be problems getting women enrolled in a timely way. Medicaid does not cover the working poor who cannot afford health insurance, nor the homeless. Women in Massachusetts with federal insurance – soldiers and their families, Native Americans using the Indian Health Services, women in federal prisons, and federal employees – and women who work for some religiously-affiliated organizations cannot use their health insurance to pay for abortions. Even when their health insurance does cover abortion care, women in abusive relationships or dangerous family situations may not be able use it safely. These are the women we help.
There are currently three major prongs to the movement for abortion rights:
- advocacy to maintain and expand women's rights to abortion
- provision of direct services
ARFWM and its sister funds are the only organizations that provide direct funding of abortions. The right to abortion is meaningless without the ability to pay.