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Pandemic abortion crisis: More women need services, but access is harder than ever

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As soon as stay-at-home orders came down across the country, a number of Republican-controlled states tried to argue that abortion was a "non-essential" service and that women who want abortions could just wait until the pandemic was over. That's a blatantly false and cruel argument. Trying to bar women from abortion is bad enough in regular times, but it seemed even more sadistic during a pandemic and an economic crash, when financial and health concerns weigh more heavily than ever on women deciding whether or not continue pregnancies.

As the opportunistic abortion bans are fought over in the courts, we now have hard numbers showing how much the need for abortion — and for financial support for abortion services — has risen during the coronavirus pandemic.

"There are absolutely increases in calls for help, and that's compounded by the complexity and difficulty in getting to care," Yamani Hernandez, executive director for the National Network of Abortion Funds, told Salon.

Abortion funds operate by giving financial and other forms of assistance, such as housing and transportation, to women seeking abortions. Some of these groups are seeing sharp increases in women seeking help. Tampa Bay Abortion Fund saw a 30% increase in callers in April. Chicago Abortion Fund saw a 35% increase in callers in March and April. Funds in Ohio and Texas have doubled their spending limits, and in Texas, at least, are........

© Salon