Tuscaloosa AL – EIN 821822204 yellowhammerfund.org
Yellowhammer believes that providing financial support to marginalized communities is an act of justice and dignity. As such, we center our work around the pregnant person seeking assistance in whatever form that takes. Yellowhammer seeks to minimize the gatekeeping required to ensure pregnant people seeking assistance get their needs met.
We believe that pregnancy is not an act that occurs in a vacuum, and that it may be necessary to look beyond simply funding an abortion in order to address reproductive inequities in our society.
Yellowhammer believes that barriers to accessing an abortion are unnecessary and seeks to tear down all hurdles that can delay or even prohibit a pregnant person from seeking care. We believe that these barriers extend beyond politically motivated restrictions like gestational bans, waiting periods and clinic closures and can include lesser known barriers at clinics themselves.
Abortion in Alabama
Abortion in Alabama is legal. Several legal challenges are blocking the recent abortion ban legislation. Abortion is a divisive issue in the state, with 37% of adults believing it should be legal in all or most cases and 58% believing it should be illegal in all or most cases. Recent support to restrict abortions in the state has come from white evangelical Christian women. There have been laws about abortion in Alabama dating back to the 1800s, when the state legislature banned the practice out of a desire to protect women's health because of the number of deaths linked to the practice. In 1972, a year before the US Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling, abortion was legal only in cases where the woman's physical health was endangered. Women have gotten around restrictions by traveling to other states. The state legislature was active in trying to pass cardiogenesis or "fetal heartbeat" detection date abortion bans starting in 2014, and continuing unsuccessfully for the next few years. After the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, the state legislature passed new legislation with the hope of challenging and overturning Roe v. Wade. The number of abortion clinics in Alabama has been on the decline for years, going from 45 in 1982 to three in 2019.
Abortion rights activism takes place in the state. One organization involved with this is the . Women have also protested the denial of access to abortion as part of the #StoptheBans movement in 2019 in Montgomery and Birmingham. There is also a pro-life movement in the state that opposes abortion.
The abortion debate most commonly relates to the "induced abortion" of an embryo or fetus at some point in a pregnancy, which is also how the term is used in a legal sense.[note 1] Some also use the term "elective abortion", which is used in relation to a claim to an unrestricted right of a woman to an abortion, whether or not she chooses to have one. The term elective abortion or voluntary abortion describes the interruption of pregnancy before viability at the request of the woman, but not for medical reasons.
Anti-abortion advocates tend to use terms such as "unborn baby", "unborn child", or "pre-born child", and see the medical terms "embryo", "zygote", and "fetus" as dehumanizing. Both "pro-choice" and "pro-life" are examples of terms labeled as political framing: they are terms which purposely try to define their philosophies in the best possible light, while by definition attempting to describe their opposition in the worst possible light. "Pro-choice" implies that the alternative viewpoint is "anti-choice", while "pro-life" implies the alternative viewpoint is "pro-death" or "anti-life". The Associated Press encourages journalists to use the terms "abortion rights" and "anti-abortion".
Free birth control correlates to teenage girls having fewer pregnancies and fewer abortions. A 2014 New England Journal of Medicine study found such a link. At the same time, a 2011 study by Center for Reproductive Rights and also found that states with more abortion restrictions have higher rates of maternal death, higher rates of uninsured pregnant women, higher rates of infant and child deaths, higher rates of teen drug and alcohol abuse, and lower rates of cancer screening. The study singled out Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kansas as being the most restrictive states that year, followed by Arkansas and Indiana for second in terms of abortion restrictions, and Florida, Arizona and Alabama in third for most restrictive state abortion requirements.
According to a 2017 report from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health, states that tried to pass additional constraints on a women's ability to access legal abortions had fewer policies supporting women's health, maternal health and children's health. These states also tended to resist expanding Medicaid, family leave, medical leave, and sex education in public schools. In 2017, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi have among the highest rates of infant mortality in the United States. In 2017, Alabama had an infant mortality rate of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 births. Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was rejected by Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri. Consequently, poor women in the typical age range to become mothers had a gap in coverage for prenatal care. According to Georgetown University Center for Children and Families research professor Adam Searing, "The uninsured rate for women of childbearing age is nearly twice as high in states that have not expanded Medicaid. [...] That means a lot more women who don't have health coverage before they get pregnant or after they have their children. [...] If states would expand Medicaid coverage, they would improve the health of mothers and babies and save lives." According to the 2018 Premature Birth Report Cards, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were all given an F.
According to the 2018 America's Health Rankings produced by United Health Foundation, Alabama ranked 7th in the country when it came to maternal mortality. A 2018 March of Dimes report said the preterm birth rate among African American women in Alabama and Louisiana was much higher, 51% higher, than women of all other races in the state.
Poor women in the United States had problems paying for menstrual pads and tampons in 2018 and 2019. Almost two-thirds of American women could not pay for them. These were not available through the federal Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC). Lack of menstrual supplies has an economic impact on poor women. A study in St. Louis found that 36% had to miss days of work because they lacked adequate menstrual hygiene supplies during their period. This was on top of the fact that many had other menstrual issues including bleeding, cramps and other menstrual induced health issues. This state was one of a majority that taxed essential hygiene products like tampons and menstrual pads as of November 2018.
Alabama was one of only two states in the US (along with Minnesota) in 2019 that did not have a law that terminated parental rights of men who produced a child via rape or incest. In 2019, an effort was made to pass legislation doing so in the case of rape, but it did not pass as such. It was changed to allow courts to terminate parental rights of parents who sexually abused their own children.
Between 1892 and 1935, there were 40 prosecutions and five convictions in Alabama for women having abortions.
In 2014, 37% of adults said in a poll by the Pew Research Center that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. 58% of people in Alabama said abortion should be “illegal in all or most cases.” According to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) study, 60% of white women, the same percentage as white men, in the state believed that abortion be illegal in all or most cases.
In recent years, white women have played a major role in helping Republican male anti-abortion rights candidates get elected. In 2017, around 63% of white women voted for Republican Roy Moore and not for Democratic senatorial candidate Democrat Doug Jones. 98% of black women voted for Jones. One of the biggest groups of women who oppose legalized abortion in the United States are southern white evangelical Christians. These women voted overwhelming for Donald Trump, with 80% of these voters supporting him at the ballot box in 2016. In November 2018, during US House exit polling, 75% of white evangelical Christian women indicated they supported Trump and only 20% said they voted for Democratic candidates. 75% of white evangelical Christian women voted for Moore in 2017.
With states like Alabama and Georgia passing restrictive abortion laws in early 2019, some businesses announced they would boycott these states. Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin said that these boycotts would likely mean two tech companies would not base themselves in the city. Other states moved to try to take advantage of this political situation, including New Jersey where Governor Phil Murphy related a statement that said, “New Jersey is open for business for any company that, given the assault on a woman’s right to choose perpetrated by states like Alabama and Georgia, is seeking a home that recognizes basic constitutional rights. [...] New Jersey offers not only a hospitable business climate, but also maintains its progressive values, which include defending a woman’s right to choose. “
Fetal heartbeat bills by state, including time limit without exceptions marked:
Heartbeat bill passed (to go into effect)
Law partially passed by state legislature
Law blocked by court order
By the end of the 1800s, all states in the Union except Louisiana had therapeutic exceptions in their legislative bans on abortions. In the 19th century, bans by state legislatures on abortion were about protecting the life of the mother given the number of deaths caused by abortions; state governments saw themselves as looking out for the lives of their citizens.
By the end of 1972, Mississippi allowed abortion in cases of rape or incest only and Alabama and Massachusetts allowed abortions only in cases where the woman's physical health was endangered. In order to obtain abortions during this period, women would often travel from a state where abortion was illegal to states where it was legal. emergency), was introduced into the Lower House. The bill passed the Lower House on April 30 (74-3), the Senate on 14 May, and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey on 16 May.
The state was one of 23 states in 2007 to have a detailed abortion-specific informed consent requirement. By law, abortion providers in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi were required to perform ultrasounds before providing women with ultrasounds, even in situations like in the first trimester where an ultrasound has no medical necessity. In 2013, state Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law applied to medication induced abortions and private doctor offices in addition to abortion clinics.
Dates of when heartbeat laws come into effect (as of May 25, 2019)
The state legislature was one of five states nationwide that tried, and failed, to pass a fetal heartbeat bill in 2014. House Bill 490 prohibiting abortions once a cardiogenesis or "fetal heartbeat" is detected passed the Lower House (73-29) on 4 March 2014. The bill later died in committee.  Despite this, Alabama's Lower House was the first state in the nation to pass such a bill. The state legislature tried and failed again in 2015 to pass similar legislation where they were one of three states, again in 206 when they were one of four states, and again in 2017 when they were one of eight states to attempt to pass a fetal heartbeat bill.
The law as of March 2019 required women wait 24 hours after their initial appointment for an abortion before they could have a second appointment for the actual procedure. State law at the time prohibited health insurance companies on public exchanges from offering abortion services unless the life of the woman was at risk, or the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.
Nationally, 2019 was one of the most active years for state legislatures in terms of trying to pass abortion rights restrictions. State governments with Republican majorities started to push these bills after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a US Supreme Court judge, replacing the more liberal Anthony Kennedy. These state governments generally saw this as a positive sign that new moves to restrict abortion rights would less likely face resistance by the courts.
Then, House Bill 314 banning abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizing the procedure for doctors (except in the case of medical emergency), was introduced into the Lower House on 2 Apr 2019. The bill passed the Lower House on 30 Apr (74-3), the Senate on 14 May, and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey on 16 May. In mid-2019, the state legislature passed a law that would make abortion illegal in almost all cases after 8 weeks. It was one of several states passing such laws in May 2019 alongside Missouri, Louisiana, and Georgia. The Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law in mid-May. At the time that the legislation passed, only 16% of the state legislators were female.
The US Supreme Court's decision in 1973's Roe v. Wade ruling meant the state could no longer regulate abortion in the first trimester. In August 2018, the dilation & evacuation (D & E) legislation passed by Texas and Alabama were working their way through the federal courts appeal process. The Eleventh Circuit ruled the D&E legislation to be unconstitutional, blocking it from being enforced, and the Supreme Court of the United States denied to hear its appeal in its 2019 term.
On February 6, 2019, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against an abortion clinic, , after his girlfriend had a legal abortion there in January 2017 as she did not want to continue her pregnancy. He also sued three employees of the clinic and the pharmaceutical company that made the drug for the medication induced abortion. Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger recognized the status of the unborn fetus as a person on March 4, 2019 in accepting the case.
In May 2019, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union said they would challenge Alabama's recently enacted abortion ban in the federal courts. In June 2019, it was reported that a woman Marshae Jones; whose pregnancy was terminated after she was shot in the stomach in 2018 during a fight, was arrested on grounds of manslaughter of the fetus. The case is still on going.
Total abortion clinics in Alabama by year.
Between 1982 and 1992, the number of abortion clinics in the state decreased by 25, going from 45 in 1982 to 20 in 1992. In 2014, there were five abortion clinics in the state. In 2014, 93% of the counties in the state did not have an abortion clinic. That year, 59% of women in the state aged 15 – 44 lived in a county without an abortion clinic. In 2017, there were two Planned Parenthood clinics in a state with a population of 1,117,288 women aged 15 – 49 of which two offered abortion services.
was a clinic operating in the state in 2017. There were five abortion clinics in Alabama in March 2019, and all were located in metro areas. They were located in Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Mobile and Montgomery. Of the five clinics operating in March 2019, one was only one on weekends.
In 2019, the Yellowhammer Fund assisted women at three abortion clinics in Alabama in paying to have an abortion. In May and June 2019, Alabama's abortion clinics were regularly getting calls from women trying to find out if they could still use their services to get a legal abortion; legislative changes had resulted in a lot of confusion from pregnant women about their abortion rights in the state.
In the period between 1972 and 1974, the state had an illegal abortion mortality rate per million women aged 15 – 44 of between 0.1 and 0.9. In 1990, 456,000 women in the state faced the risk of an unintended pregnancy. In 2010, the state had nine publicly funded abortions, none of which were federally or state funded.
59% of Alabama women lived in a county without an abortion clinic in 2014. There was an average of one abortion clinic every 10,483 square miles that year.
Number of reported abortions, abortion rate and percentage change in rate by geographic region and state in 1992, 1995 and 1996
Census division and state
% change 1992–1996
East South Central
Number, rate, and ratio of reported abortions, by reporting area of residence and occurrence and by percentage of abortions obtained by out-of-state residents, US CDC Estimates
^number of abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44; ^^number of abortions per 1000 live births
Women's abortion experiences
had an abortion when she was a 17-year-old. While her father is a pastor at a Southern Baptist church and while he opposed abortion and read her Biblical verses to explain why abortion was wrong, King-Shepherd's father accompanied her to a clinic to get an abortion. According to King-Shepherd, "I think that just speaks to the incredibly complex decision, not even just the decision to have an abortion, but the incredibly complicated beliefs surrounding abortion even."
Abortion rights views and activities
President Amanda Reyes said in 2019, "Republicans don't have fewer abortions than Democrats or liberals or anarchists or communists. It's that our political rhetoric paints people who have abortions as largely the same — poor women, young women, irresponsible women, women who hate children. [...] It's gotten us to a point where we can't see the fact that we're all having abortions, and we're doing it for reasons we personally think matters — and that's all that matters. Pro-life women are having abortions, too."
The Yellowhammer Fund is an organization that financially assists women in Alabama who are seeking an abortion but have difficulty paying for one.
After Alabama passed its restrictive abortion legislation in 2019, The National Network of Abortion Funds got more than US$262,000 in donations from more than 12,000 total people. Yellowhammer Fund also saw a huge surge. Thanks largely in response to fundraising efforts by one activist, the organization got close to US$30,000 in donations in a three-hour period.
On May 19, 2019, women from Montgomery participated in an abortion rights march outside the Alabama Capitol building as part of a #StoptheBans rally. Another protest took place in Birmingham, Alabama on May 19, 2019. Women participating included Liz Satterfield.
California Senator Kamala Harris held a 2020 Democratic Party Primary campaign rally in Birmingham on June 7, 2019. One of the messages she talked about during her rally was abortion rights in the state. During the rally, she said that if she were president, she would require the Department of Justice to review any state law restriction abortion access “if it’s coming from a state that has a history of limiting those rights.” This way, the US Government could make sure that such laws were constitutional before going into effect and prevent states like Alabama from continually trying to challenge established precedent that has legalized abortion through cases like Roe v. Wade.
Anti-abortion views and activities
is a non-profit family planning clinic in Fultondale that opposes abortions. In 2019, they were seeking funding for a new ultrasound machine to assist pregnant women that use their services. Unable to pay for it on their own, the Southern Baptist organization donated the funds to support a clinic that teaches life begins at conception. The North Jefferson Women's Center will never refer women to an abortion provider, even if the pregnant woman desires such information.
The Southern Baptist Convention held their annual convention in Birmingham in June 2019. The timing was coincidental with the efforts in the state to restrict legal abortion access, but opposing legal abortions was part of their planned two-day discussion.
This van was parked outside of the Women's Clinic that was bombed by Eric Rudolph in the mid-1990s. It's still open, and obviously still draws protesters. It had broken down though, and the woman who owned it, couldn't get anyone to let her use their phone to call for a tow.
On May 12, 1984, two men entered a Birmingham, Alabama clinic on Mother's Day weekend shortly after a lone woman opened the doors at 7:25 A.M. Forcing their way into the clinic, one of the men threatened the woman if she tried to prevent the attack while the other, wielding a sledgehammer, did between $7,500 and $8,500 of damage to suction equipment. The man who damaged the equipment was later identified as Father Edward Markley. Markley is a Benedictine priest who was the Birmingham diocesan "Coordinator for Pro-Life Activities". Markley was convicted of first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree burglary. His accomplice has never been identified. The following month (near Father's Day), Markley entered a women's health center in Huntsville, Alabama.
On June 15, 1984, a month after he destroyed suction equipment at a Birmingham clinic, Father Edward Markley, a Benedictine priest who was the Birmingham diocesan "Coordinator for Pro-Life Activities".[I 1][I 2] Kathryn Wood, one of the workers, received back injuries and a broken neck vertebrae while preventing Markley from splashing red paint on the clinic's equipment. Markley was convicted of first-degree criminal mischief, one count of third-degree assault, and one count of harassment in the Huntsville attack.
Between 1993 and 2015, 11 people were killed at American abortion clinics. The Army of God claimed responsibility for Eric Robert Rudolph's 1997 shrapnel bombing of abortion clinics in Atlanta and Birmingham. The organization embraces its description as terrorist. On January 29, 1998, Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Rudolph admitted responsibility; he was also charged with three Atlanta bombings: the 1997 bombing of an abortion center, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, and another of a lesbian nightclub. He was charged with the crimes and received two life sentences as a result. Nurse Emily Lyons was permanently injured as a result of it.
^According to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade:
(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgement of the pregnant woman's attending physician. (b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health. (c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgement, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.
Likewise, Black's Law Dictionary defines abortion as "knowing destruction" or "intentional expulsion or removal".
^ abMitra, A. G.; Laurent, S. L.; Moore, J. E.; Blanchard, G. F.; Chescheir, N. C. (July 1996). "Transvaginal versus transabdominal Doppler auscultation of fetal heart activity: a comparative study". American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 175 (1): 41–44. doi:10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70248-x. ISSN0002-9378. PMID8694073.
TUSCALOOSA, AL 35403-1565 | Tax-exempt since Sept. 2017
Classification (NTEE) Reproductive Rights (Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
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