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Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Health, Law, Politics, Women | 1 comment

Individual Texans are doing for pregnant women what the rest of America should be doing

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Individual Texans are doing for pregnant women what the rest of America should be doing:

And maybe we are, state by state. It’s a ground level, individual woman’s solution to government’s (illegal?) discrimination against women. An organization in Austin is using phones and contributions to arrange for women who are under 20 weeks pregnant — and far from any abortion clinic to — get where they need to go.

New state regulations had forced several of Dallas’s six abortion clinics to close, creating weekslong waiting lists. By the time the woman could get in, she would be up against the Texas ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.

But she could not afford the trip to New Mexico.

So it was that she had left a phone message with a hotline in Austin and, on a recent evening, heard back from Lenzi Sheible, the 20-year-old founder of a fund to help low-income women pay the unexpected costs of traveling for abortions in Texas — or to states beyond. They spoke four times that night as the woman wavered about going to Albuquerque alone.

“You can always call me when you get to New Mexico; just talk to me,” Ms. Sheible said. By the end of the evening, she had texted the woman confirmation numbers for a flight the next day, $680 round trip, and four nights’ stay at an Albuquerque hotel, with shuttle service to the clinic. …NYT

Anyone who has travelled around West Texas knows how far you can get from … just about everything (except, of course, some of the most seductive landscape and sense of freedom to be found anywhere). For someone of few means, a quick trip to north central New Mexico demands some serious outlay.

Ms. Sheible’s fund now has a seven-member board that includes her husband, Warren Sheible. In January, the group will have its first paid staff member. In just over a year, she said, the fund received about $60,000, mostly in small amounts, and has spent about $25,000 to help 106 women statewide. …NYT

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