If you don’t work in policy or the pro-life movement, or if you’re not particularly passionate about the issue of abortion, you may never have heard of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions (with the usual exceptions of cases of rape or incest or where a mother’s life is at risk).

Regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the ins and outs of this federal policy, you probably appreciate the logic behind it. Many of us consider abortion nothing less than taking the life of an innocent person. Not using federal tax dollars to fund it is a no-brainer.

And then there is the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Apart from repealing Hyde, the folks over at NNAF have lots of suggestions for women who cannot afford to procure an abortion. Here are a choice few:

  • Do I have a credit card? Does a friend or family member have one? (If I have time, can I apply for a new card? Could I request a limit increase, which can often take effect on the next business day? I can put just a portion of the cost on a credit card if my limit isn’t high enough.)
  • Can I get a line of credit at my bank?
  • Is there an emergency fund at my church?
  • Can I use my cable bill money toward my abortion and then ask someone else for help with my cable bill?
  • Are there people who might not help me cover the cost of an abortion, but would help me cover other costs? Am I comfortable lying to a friend or family member, telling them that I had an unexpectedly high electric bill or gas bill due to heating or A/C costs?
  • Are there bills that I can pay late or skip this month? Can I talk to the electric company about changing the due date for my bill? (Note that it’s illegal for utilities to shut off the heat source for non-payment during the coldest winter months.)

So: there you have it. Taking on credit card debt, not paying your bills in the knowledge that your utility company may still have to supply you with their service, dipping into the emergency fund at your church (which may or may not strongly oppose abortion), or lying to a friend or family member are all acceptable solutions if you are struggling to pay for an abortion.

P.S. If you have a moment, consider contacting the NNAF’s board members and the organizations that these individuals represent to see if they’re actually comfortable encouraging women to use all these strategies. See the list below:

Sarah Audelo, Senior Manager, Domestic Policy, Advocates for Youth; Washington, D.C.

Veronica Bayetti Flores, Assistant Director, Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program, Hampshire College; Member, New Leadership Networking Initiative; Amherst, MA

Margaret Chapman Pomponio, Executive Director, WV FREE; Charleston, WV

Carol Cohan, Consultant, Women’s Emergency Network; Miami, FL

Marlene Gerber Fried, Senior Advisor to the President and Faculty Director of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program, Hampshire College; Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts; Amherst, MA

D. Lynn Jackson (President), Assistant Professor/Field Coordinator, University of North Texas; Network National Case Manager; Texas Equal Access Fund; Dallas, TX

Karen Law, Executive Director, Pro-Choice Resources; Minneapolis, MN

Shanelle Matthews, Communications Manager, Forward Together; Oakland, CA

Eesha Pandit, Executive Director, Men Stopping Violence; Member, New Leadership Networking Initiative; Atlanta, GA

Sue Steketee (Secretary/Treasurer), Director of Surgical Services and Operations, Planned Parenthood of New Mexico; Abortion Assistance Fund of Planned Parenthood New Mexico; Albuquerque, NM