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Hyde and go seek funding: a mixed-methods study of abortion funds in the United States

Ariella Messing, Johns Hopkins University

Project abstract

Abortion funds raise money from individuals and foundations to provide financial and logistical assistance to people who need help accessing abortion care. Despite the increasing importance of abortion funds in ensuring that all individuals can access abortion care, this phenomenon is not well described in the literature. This study will employ empirical methods to examine the organizational structural, operations, and characteristics of abortion funds as well as the lived experiences of abortion fund staff, and will employ philosophical methods to consider and contextualize the normative implications of the empirical findings.

The first aim, which looks at the abortion funds as organizations, will employ a survey to classify the 70 abortion funds into a multi-dimensional taxonomy. The second aim focuses on the individuals who make up these funds; using the taxonomy developed in aim 1, the second aim will identify participants for semi-structured in-depth interviews to better understand the motivations for, experiences of, and impact of volunteering for an abortion fund. Lastly, the third aim will analyze these empirical findings through a normative lens, in conjunction with legal and philosophical literature, to consider pro-choice complicity-based arguments in the context of funding for abortion care.

This study will be conducted in cooperation with the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF). Findings from this research will fill a significant gap in the literature, inform future research directions and practice, and illuminate the voices and experiences of those doing critical behind-the-scenes work to enable access to abortion care.

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