Health

PSA: You Can Turn Credit Card Points Into Gas Cards for Abortion Seekers

The Supreme Court’s devastating overturning of Roe v. WadeAccording to the, abortion in 26 states will likely be illegalized or severely restricted by the end of this month. Guttmacher Institute. And while we don’t yet know exactly what abortion access will look like in post-RoeAmerica or how these restrictions are enforced, we know this: Abortion funds and providers will be overwhelmed.

Clinics are available in places where abortion is protected (at least for the moment). gearing up to serveA large influx of people living in neighboring states that ban abortion. Those in so-called “abortion deserts” may have to travel more than 500 miles round-tripFor the procedure. And even in states where abortion rights are protected, traveling long distances can still be necessary—and serve as a major barrier to access.

“There are five abortion clinics in Montana (the fourth largest state in the U.S.), and a lot of our clients are in rural areas and have to travel more than 200 miles just to get care,” Kate Kujawa, chair of the Susan Wicklund FundSELF was told by SELF that a Montana abortion fund partners with providers. “For out-of-staters, it’s often double that.” Not to mention that the majority of states require a waiting period—usually 24 hours—between mandated pre-abortion counseling and the procedure itself, which means receiving care often involves traveling to and from multiple appointments.

This is in addition to the fact that gas prices are surging in the U.S.Typically, the first-trimester abortion is performed. cost between $500 and $600, an estimated 75% of people seeking an abortion are classified as either poor or low-income, getting an abortion can be nearly impossible—more of a road closure than a roadblock. This means that a lot people will need to access care in a lot of ways.

There are many creative ways you can donate now to abortion funds, support groups, or providers.

Cash donations are, of course, welcome and often preferable, “because we can send it out immediately in the form that we need,” says Kujawa. But they’re certainly not the only way to support those most affected by abortion bans and barriers. There are other ways to help:

Convert credit card points that are not used to purchase pre-paid gas cards

SELF previously reported that gas cards can be a simple way to help people overcome travel-cost barriers. “Gas cards also let us get money to, say, a client’s friend who is offering to drive them, or to a volunteer,” says Kujawa. “We’re working on adding volunteer drivers, but currently our board members are the ones who will jump in at the last minute and spend two or three days driving across the state multiple times to help people access care.”

If you have a credit card that allows you to accumulate points and redeem them for rewards, you can check your card’s reward portal or app to see if pre-paid gas cards are an option. If so—and if you have enough unused points—you can have the gas card mailed or emailed to you, and then send the physical card or print-out to an abortion fund, practical support group, or clinic in an envelope or as part of a care package (more on how to do that safely and effectively below). Keep in mind that cards with smaller amounts are easier to distribute, so keep it at $25 or $50 instead of $100+. You can also include a little note to ensure it’s clear what your donation is for.

Also great: Gift cards to restaurants and national grocery stores.

Along with paying for gas, people who are driving hundreds of miles—and possibly missing a day or more of work—for an abortion may also need help covering the cost of food and other necessities while on the road. Depending on your card’s rewards program, you may also be able to redeem your points for gift cards to restaurants, grocery stores, or drugstores—“anything that can help people access the things they need to care for themselves or their children while they’re traveling, and when they return home, is really helpful,” says Kujawa.

Source: Slef

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