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Since Dobbs, Midwest Access Coalition has seen an increase in need for abortion-related costs like travel, childcare

Midwest Access Coalition

Since Missouri banned nearly all abortions following the Dobbs decision in June, Missourians who can get pregnant must now travel to other states to get abortion care.

There are funds that are available to directly pay for some or all abortion care – like from the Missouri Abortion fund. However, that fund only covers abortion care and there are many other expenses related to the procedure – like transportation, accommodations, food, childcare, etc.

And this is where the Midwest Access Coalition (MAC) comes in.

KBIA’s Briana Heaney sat down with MAC’s Director of Strategic Partnerships Alison Dreith.

"We don't have any requirements for service. We don't have an age limitation. We don't have an income threshold because abortions are expensive."
Alison Dreith

Alison Dreith: When I became pregnant, I was 35. I was married. I was the head of a reproductive rights organization. I was middle class, and I decided to get my care in Illinois.

Most people who want an abortion are going to get an abortion, you know?

Brianna Heaney: So, traveling is nothing new, probably to most Missourians...

Dreith Right. Traveling for abortion has always been an issue as we've had just a patchwork of access over the last 50 years.

Heaney: Are you seeing people traveling more? And what does that look like?

Dreith: Yes, people are definitely traveling more. It's a big spike. So, before Dobbs we saw – through 2022 – we were seeing about 30 clients a week, beginning in January this year, and that was certainly up from 2021. Just because of states like Texas and Oklahoma.

But since Dobbs, and Missouri has gone dark. Indiana has gone dark. Kentucky. Ohio has a six-week ban. We're servicing about 200 clients a week now.

Heaney: Wow. What is the range of people that you are available to help? I mostly mean, are you only able to give funding to people over the age of 18 seeking abortions, or…

Dreith: Oh, no. We're really proud to support anybody who says they need our help, we really trust the clients that we serve to not only tell us what they need, but that they need it.

We don't have any requirements for service. We don't have an age limitation. We don't have an income threshold because abortions are expensive, and especially for Missourians where there's not only a federal ban on using state Medicaid to access abortion care, there, the Missouri legislature has also passed a ban for private insurance to cover abortion in Missouri.

And so, no matter what, all Missourians are going to have to pay out of pocket for their abortion care – unless they get an abortion fund to help support them, and that cost starts at $550 for maybe a medication procedure, and can go up to $10,000, depending on how late they are in their pregnancy.

So, that is a significant cost out of pocket that even you know, the most income stable person might not be able to have, you know, $10,000 at their disposal for healthcare. And so we want to make sure we can support anything that those clients may need.

Briana Heaney is a senior at the University of Missouri’s journalism school studying cross-platform editing and producing and minoring in economics.