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Philly sends $500,000 in emergency funding to the Abortion Liberation Fund of PA

The ALF-PA was formed in 1985 after the Pennsylvania General Assembly cut Medicaid funding for abortion.

  • By Mark Eichmann/WHYY
More than 30 people gathered outside of the state Capitol on May 3, 2022 to protest the leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would reverse Roe v. Wade.

More than 30 people gathered outside of the state Capitol on May 3, 2022 to protest the leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would reverse Roe v. Wade.

Abortion is still legal in Pennsylvania, but Mayor Jim Kenney said there are still financial obstacles facing people seeking an abortion. That’s why the city is sending $500,000 in funding to the Abortion Liberation Fund of PA.

“Providing financial support for people seeking abortions is one of the ways we will support Philadelphians in their fundamental right to bodily autonomy,” Kenney said in a statement.

“Even before the Supreme Court’s decision this year, anti-abortion restrictions have made it far too difficult for people to access safe and often life-saving procedures, because public insurance won’t cover it and the costs of the procedure — to say nothing of traveling to a clinic, taking time off from work, childcare, and other financial considerations — are prohibitive.”

The ALF-PA was formed in 1985 after the Pennsylvania General Assembly cut Medicaid funding for abortion. Since then, the group has helped thousands of people seeking abortions. In the fiscal year 2021, the group says they distributed $668,000 to at least 3,600 people.

More than 30 people gathered outside of the state Capitol on May 3, 2022 to protest the leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would reverse Roe v. Wade.

“By offering this as a general operating grant, Philadelphia is trusting our expertise and decision-making in determining the best use for these funds in expanding abortion access and reproductive freedom,” the group said in a statement following the city’s announcement. No information or identifying details about who gets help from the city funds will be reported back to the city. The only data required to be turned over is the number of people who receive funding, which ALF-PA points out is already publicly available.

“This money is not the end of state-led reproductive oppression,” the ALF-PA statement said. “We are excited to use this municipal funding to expand our budget so we can continue the opportunity to continue providing financial support, especially in a time when abortion is increasingly criminalized and inaccessible.”

While praising the city’s funding, ALF-PA was critical of the city’s latest budget which includes a $30 million increase in police funding. “We are keenly aware of how cops and criminalization maintain and further the same state oppression that restricts bodily autonomy.”

The group says more than 75% of its revenue comes from personal donations, with most gifts coming in around $50.

“The Abortion Liberation Fund has a long and impressive history of dismantling barriers to abortion and reproductive justice, and we are proud to support their work and the people they serve with this historic and unprecedented commitment of funding,” Kenney said.

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