Auction for Access
Temple Judah (3221 Lindsay Ln SE, Cedar Rapids) — Saturday, Oct. 21 at 5 p.m.Sign supporting the right to chose at the Women’s March in Des Moines, Jan. 21, 2017 — photo by Mei-Ling Shaw
People will be able to support reproductive rights and have a good time at the Auction for Access in Cedar Rapids on Saturday. The auction is a fundraiser for Iowa Abortion Access Fund (IAAF), which has helped women seeking to exercise their right to choose cover the cost of clinic expenses since 1978.
“We were the first organization of our kind in the nation,” said IAAF board member Jessica Smith.
The Cedar Rapids-based nonprofit makes payments directly to clinics that partially cover costs incurred by women who would otherwise be unable to afford, or have great difficulty affording, services.
“There are more barriers to the right of choice than just the legal ones we see legislatures create,” Smith said. “There are also issues of proximity and income.”
Smith pointed to the law passed earlier this year requiring a 72-hour waiting period and the closure of four Planned Parenthood clinics in June, following former Gov. Branstad’s decision to block the group from Medicaid funds. (According to Planned Parenthood, those clinics served 14,676 patients between 2014 and 2017.)
“This means a lot of Iowans have to travel to larger cities to reach a clinic,” Smith said. “And because of the waiting period, they now have to choose whether to stay in those cities for the 72 hours or…
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