New fund launched to help pay for Connecticut abortion care
With the Supreme Court poised to rule on the future of Roe v. Wade as early as Thursday, Connecticut is preparing for an influx of out-of-state patients seeking abortion care. Now, a new nonprofit will help them pay for it.
The REACH Fund of Connecticut aims to raise an initial $50,000. It’s open to both in-state residents and patients traveling to Connecticut.
That includes patients like Lori Brown-Loftis. of Oklahoma City. She decided to have an abortion after learning her fetus had a life-threatening genetic disorder.
"She would not be viable,” said Brown-Loftis. “Most children either die during childbirth or shortly after.”
Her home state recently passed a near-total abortion ban.
"I don't know how much clearer we can be,” Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said recently. "We don't believe in abortion in Oklahoma. We don't want it in our state.”
So, Brown-Loftis had to travel out-of-state at significant personal expense.
"It was incredibly difficult,” she said.
By contrast, abortion has been guaranteed under Connecticut state law since 1990.
Some patients from other states are already seeking abortions here, according to reproductive rights advocates. The REACH Fund will help cover the cost of their procedure but not travel costs.
The group’s co-founder, Liz Gustafson, says the fund will mainly help patients who live in Connecticut.
"There's still a lot of logistical and financial barriers that folks do encounter here,” she said. "That can include high deductible insurance plans. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal insurance plans from covering abortion care, so that includes, like, Tricare."
In-state patients often have to travel long distances for appointments and long wait times, especially in rural areas. To address the issue, a new law allows physician assistants, advanced practice nurses and midwives to perform the procedure -- but only in the first trimester.
Patients who need financial help don't have to do anything. The REACH Fund works directly with clinics.
In spite of the difficulty, Brown-Loftis says she does not regret her decision.
"Had I been forced to carry that pregnancy, knowing that I would not get to bring that child home, would have caused so much trauma,” she said.