Documenting the impact of Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. (EMA) Fund

April 2021

Documenting the impact of Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. (EMA) Fund

Ibis Reproductive Health. Documenting the impact of Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. (EMA) Fund. April 2021.

The majority of people who get abortions in the United States are considered poor or low-income, but 35% of abortion clients are Medicaid recipients. The passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976 barred the use of federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and endangerment to the life of the pregnant person, making it difficult for the average abortion client to afford the procedure. Additionally, many states ban or restrict private insurers from covering abortion services, causing many abortion clients to pay for the procedure out of pocket regardless of their insurance status.

Charitable organizations called abortion funds have risen to prominence in order to help bridge this gap. Abortion funds in the United States comprise over 70 grassroots organizations and served over 56,000 clients in fiscal year 2019.

A 2020 study analyzed changes in demographic characteristics and service utilization rates over time among abortion seekers who received a pledge—a commitment to help cover the cost of the client’s abortion—from the Emergency Medical Assistance, Inc. (EMA) Fund in Florida between 2001 and 2015. This fact sheet is a complement to this study and visually highlights trends in abortion fund provision by the EMA between 2002 and 2016. 

We are grateful to our fall 2020 intern Althea Bourdeau, who contributed to the creation of this factsheet.