The Next 50 Years of Abortion Care in America

January 22, 2023 marks what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the establishment of federal protections for abortion across the US. But now access to abortion varies across states and trigger bans have eliminated that right altogether in some parts of the Midwest and South. This means 20 million women have lost access to legal abortions. While these changes mark a devastating moment in our nation’s history, we know that making abortion illegal does nothing to stop the need for safe, accessible abortion care. Pregnant people will still seek abortions, no matter where they live. We also know, as a nation, we can do better.

carafem remains committed to meeting the needs of people seeking abortion care and will go even further to explore every legal avenue necessary to ensure people have access to abortion, where and when they need it — no matter their income, zip code, religious beliefs, physical ability, or color of skin. But that is no longer enough. The inequities and inadequacies in the way abortion care has been provided in our country need to change. Now is the time.

While this isn’t where we thought we’d be at the 50th anniversary of Roe, we do want to paint a picture of what the next 50 years of abortion care in America could look like, and how carafem will help usher in the next era.

As people in Kansas showed us in their recent state referendum, no matter your political affiliation, an overwhelming majority of Americans support access to legal abortion care across our country.  This is not a political issue, it is an issue of the heart and mind. It will take a diverse group of allies working together on legislative, judicial, and political strategies to regain federal protections for abortion across our country, and it may take several decades. We believe this is not only possible but inevitable.

While legislative avenues are pursued, carafem is working hard on proactive strategies to help people get the abortions they need and want today. Over the next 50 years, carafem has a clear vision for the future of abortion care in the US. We predict that today’s political interference will actually serve to advance massive improvements in abortion care that will be accelerated by this tragic moment in time: 

  • Faster: carafem is working to make same-day availability or immediate evaluation a reality in all states we serve. This will help to eliminate unnecessary waiting and be much more responsive to people seeking abortion care.
  • Less Expensive: carafem recently lowered the cost of medically supported at-home abortion care to average less than $200. We also accept Medicaid and private insurance for abortion care in many states and partner with local and national abortion fund groups to bring our clients the lowest cost possible. We believe in the future more abortion-supportive states will make use of state funds to pay for care for low-income people who need it. Medicaid coverage for abortion care will be the new litmus test for states that truly support access to abortion. This will eventually lead to Federal Access to funding for abortion through Medicaid.
  • Broadly Understood: From the moment someone realizes they may be pregnant, we envision all people knowing exactly what their options are without doing extensive research. By creating engaging content on networks like TikTok and Instagram, carafem is working to make information about abortion care easier to understand, more accurate, and dare we say fun! In the future, we hope finding an available abortion appointment will be as simple as finding an available hotel room in the areas where people live and work.
  • More Convenient: We believe in giving clients the option to choose the way that they prefer to seek abortion care.  From visiting their own private doctor to seeing an abortion care specialist for an abortion procedure, or having a video consultation or telephone call at a home in their pajamas and having pills sent to their door. All of these things are starting to become available now. carafem is leading the way.
  • More Equitable: Today, some online care feels out of reach for many. carafem is working to create low-tech ways of accessing online care, such as doing a consultation over a phone call or via private text messaging in 90+ different languages. Whether in a rural community far from a physician’s office or in the urban neighborhoods of big cities, people deserve the ability to seek abortion care, in their own communities, and in a way that is respectful of their preferences, values, and socioeconomic conditions.
  • Stigma-free: Around the world, people have different views on abortion care and as it shifts in each part of the globe, carafem strives to bring an unapologetic, positive voice to the conversation, chipping away at negative perceptions along the way. As more and more people are able to find their own voice, we expect the combined positive action of so many will move abortion from being a quiet but urgent necessity to a basic healthcare freedom. When abortion can be provided in a way that fully meets the needs of the person seeking care, we start to see people become more engaged in assuring the same experience is available for the people they love, no matter where they live.

We can’t build a better future without financial support from people like you. To make abortion care more accessible at a crucial time in our nation’s history, we invite you to make a donation now.