Emergency Abortion Fund Report

Between 1998 and 2011, Third Wave Foundation’s Emergency Abortion Fund sought to prevent economic injustice from determining the reproductive outcomes of young people, particularly for young people of color and low-income young people.  The Emergency Abortion Fund closed on September 1, 2011, but Third Wave published this report so that abortion funds and other reproductive health, rights and justice activists and organizations will have access to what we have learned.

Third Wave Foundation believes that reproductive rights, including one’s right to choose to give birth or not, often comes down to a question of access, particularly for groups that are marginalized, underserved, and under-resourced. We give emergency funding for abortion procedures so that people from these communities can assert control over their bodies. We focus our funding on young people of color, minors, survivors of violence and rape, immigrants and undocumented people, and unemployed or underemployed people. Through our Emergency Abortion Fund, we seek to disentwine one’s belonging to an underprivileged group from one’s ability to access emergency reproductive care.

(link to full size infographic)


This summer, we are releasing a new report compiling Emergency Abortion Fund (EAF) data for 2010. Some of our key findings include:

  • The vast majority of minors we pledged to were legally required to notify their parents, or obtain consent from them. Of the 148 pledges made to minors, 64 (nearly half) had their abortions in states requiring parental consent, and 47 required parental notification. In addition, 13 minors deemed it necessary to seek a judicial bypass – that is, appealing to a judge to override the parental consent or notification mandate – for their own safety.
  • 85% of pledges were directed towards second trimester procedures. 10% went towards first trimester procedures. 5% of pledges went towards third trimester abortions.
  • 83% of pledges were made to people of color.
  • 49% of pledge recipients had at least one child at the time of their abortion. Of the people with children, the vast majority had no involvement of a partner.
  • 16% of all pledge recipients were pregnant as a result of rape. Of those pledge recipients, 10% were pregnant as a result of incest. Of the people we funded under the age of 14, 48% disclosed that they were pregnant as a result of rape.
  • 9% of people we funded told us they were experiencing violence from their partner. Overall, partner involvement was very low; only 15% of pledge recipients had a partner involved. Of those cases where a partner was involved, 57% involved physical violence. Of the 505 people we funded, only 6% had a partner involved who wasn’t physically violent.
  • 17% of pledge recipients were homeless compared with 10% in 2009 and 6.5% in 2008.

This report release comes as several bills are pending at state and federal levels that threaten to make it even more challenging to secure a safe and affordable abortion. We believe that now is a crucial time to share what we know about funding abortions for low-income young people to increase support and advocacy within the field.


Emergency Abortion Fund 2010 Report (PDF)


What It Really Takes: Emergency Abortion Fund Infographic (PDF)


Emergency Abortion Fund 2010 Report (posted at Scribd.com)