ABC Funds the First Women of Color-Led, Employee-Owned Abortion Clinic in the U.S.
Valley Abortion Group (VAG) is a women of color-led group of local providers opening a clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico that will focus on providing patient-centered abortion care later in pregnancy.
Providing Abortion Care in Late Stage
Alaska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Colorado, Vermont, and Oregon are the six states where abortion is technically legal at any point in pregnancy – plus the District of Columbia. But that doesn’t mean it’s accessible to patients past 28 weeks in these regions, in fact, there are only a few clinics that provide third-trimester abortions. Of the many reasons why someone might need an abortion in the third trimester, the increasing criminalization of abortion across the country is ticking up on the list. Now that thousands of patients are forced to go out of state for abortions they need time to access funds, plan travel, request time off work, and coordinate child care. Clinics in abortion-friendly states are seeing an influx of patients and wait times to schedule an appointment are lengthening. When you put all of this together the writing is on the wall: there is a need for more abortion care later in pregnancy.
In New Mexico, the only clinic in Albuquerque that had provided third-trimester abortions has stopped offering them after 24 weeks. As a group of local providers experienced in providing later abortion care, VAG is stepping up to meet the urgent and growing demand by opening the first women of color-led, worker-owned abortion clinic in the U.S.
Focused On Local Needs
VAG intends to operate within a cooperative structure that promotes economic, racial, and gender justice for patients and staff. Their patient care follows a survivor-centered, trauma-informed model that honors and embraces the diversity of New Mexico’s cultures and communities while welcoming and supporting patients from out of state.
Following the overturn of Roe, a rush of new providers opened clinics in New Mexico, many with a focus on caring for out-of-state patients. VAG maintains their commitment to the New Mexico community by accepting local insurance, including Medicaid, and working with local organizations to increase access for patients from rural and tribal areas.
A New Vision for Abortion Care
VAG has intentionally designed a structure that is just for their patients, staff, and community. They will care for their patients using a midwifery model, which puts equal emphasis on the physical and emotional well-being of the patient. After working in traditional reproductive health clinics and experiencing first-hand the equity deficits present in those structures, VAG’s founders created a worker-owned, sustainable, community-conscientious, cooperative leadership model that will allow decisions around patient care, practice, and financial sustainability to be made by those working on the ground.
VAG is one of the Abortion Bridge Collaborative (ABC) Fund’s most recent grantees. The ABC Fund was established to ensure enduring abortion care across the U.S. by moving money rapidly to protect and advance reproductive justice nationwide. Our grantmaking is led by activists, movement leaders, abortion providers, funders, and attorneys from the reproductive rights, health, and justice movements. We designed a common proposal grant application process that keeps grantee experience at its heart and puts less burden on our applicants’ shoulders. Centering the experience of grantees and grant applicants is often not a priority in philanthropy, but it should be. When VAG told our Grantmaking Advisory Council that our process was widely different than what they had experienced elsewhere and that it helped them feel trusted and supported, we were both proud that our model made it easier for a frontline organization doing critical work to get the support they need and aware that we must continue to advocate for an equity-centered funding model to be standard practice in our sector. The Abortion Bridge Collaborative is honored to fund the establishment of VAG’s groundbreaking clinic with a $200,000 grant.
- Keep up with Valley Abortion Group’s work by following them on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
- WDN’s Abortion Bridge Collaborative (ABC) Fund just released our first impact report, read it to see what we’ve been able to achieve together in support of abortion access and reproductive justice.