The Justice through Empowerment Network (JEN) helps South Dakota patients, not just with funding for their abortion, but also with costs associated with transportation, childcare, lodging, interpreters, medications, food, birth control, and the morning-after pill. If a patient is unable to access care in South Dakota, JEN will help them get to another state. We are acknowledging the reality of our situation and partnering with established abortion funds and advocacy organizations to ensure that patients receive the care they need, regardless of location or income.
The Guttmacher Institute determined in 2017 that South Dakota has 7 out of 10 barriers in place that make it more difficult for patients to access abortion. This was before COVID-19. Beginning in April of 2020, the state has no active abortion providers because of travel restrictions in place and it is unknown when they will be able to resume services.
The Turnaway Study found that 95% of abortions patients still felt that having an abortion was the right decision for them over five years after their procedure. The study also found that patients who were denied a wanted abortion were four times more likely to live below the Federal Poverty Level and that there were “serious implications” for both the children born and the children already existing in these families. Additionally, patients denied abortions:
are more likely to experience serious complications later in their pregnancy (including eclampsia and death)
are more likely to stay in abusive relationships
initially report increased anxiety and loss of self esteem
Provide practical support for South Dakota patients seeking abortion care and family planning services. This includes educating the patient, helping them access existing assistance programs, and financially assisting with all aspects related to their procedure, including transportation, lodging, childcare, food, interpreters, birth control, contraception, and additional prescriptions.
Reduce abortion stigma through education and social marketing campaigns. We want to ensure patients in South Dakota know that abortion is a common, safe medical procedure and they are not alone.
Network with other local and regional organizations for a comprehensive grassroots network of support and funding. JEN will be the safety net for patients that have been abandoned by the policies of the South Dakota government.
Everyone deserves access to safe, legal abortion care regardless of their location, income, or life situation. JEN is here to provide financial and emotional support to patients seeking abortion and family planning services in South Dakota.
Many abortion patients are already struggling financially.
Last year, CNBC reported that 60% of Americans wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 financial expense. Now, with current economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, patients will need our support more than ever.