Women look for ways around Kentucky abortion ban

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WAVE) – As the commonwealth watches the State Supreme Court proceedings on the future of the Kentucky abortion ban, Kentucky women are talking about making tough personal decisions.

“Almost every day I hear from a woman who is scared,” Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong said. “As someone who has a one year-old and a three-year-old, I am constantly surrounded by women in a similar life stage to that I am in, which is growing our families. And people are terrified about what happens if they become pregnant and something goes wrong and that pregnancy isn’t viable.”

Before the state ban, there were 4,441 abortions in Kentucky. Almost all of them were at the two providers in Louisville. People providing assistance say some women are now seeking abortions out of state in places like Illinois and Virginia.

“In previous months we’ve been helping 150 to 170 women every month at one single clinic in Louisville. When it closed, we didn’t know where women were going,” A Fund Inc. President Kate Cunningham said.

A Fund Incorporated spends up to $20,000 a month through a hotline for Kentucky women now seeking abortions in states where they are still legal. But Cunningham said her case load after the ban has dropped from providing financial assistance to scores of women a month to just 15.

“So either women came up with resources on their own, which I think is highly unlikely,” Cunningham said. “Or perhaps they’re getting access to medication abortion, the pills.”

The website PlanCPills.org offers state by state information, including for Kentucky, on how to get abortion pills.

Cunningham said a medication abortion, could reduce the cost to hundreds instead of thousands.

Councilwoman Armstrong led the push for safety zones around Louisville abortion clinics. She now finds the ban affecting decisions of women even before they become pregnant.

“So I actually have several close friends who as a result of where we are, have said I would rather just go ahead and go through a surgery to make sure that I can’t become pregnant anymore,” Armstrong said. “Because being pregnant right now is such a scary thing to think about.”

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