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Non-profit helps women get abortions out of state

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Texas House Bill 2 bans abortions after 20 weeks. In response, a new non-profit is helping women travel to other states to get the procedure.

Abortion regulations that passed this summer have made a huge impact. Twelve clinics in Texas were forced to close, according to the Texas Tribune, taking the option away from some women, until now.

Lenzi Sheible says she is trying to give back a right that has been taken away. At 20 years old, the UT student founded Fund Texas Women in November to make that happen.

"We've helped 37 trips so far, for at least part of those trips. So either hotels, bus tickets, or plane tickets if necessary. We've spent about $12,000 so far since November," Sheible said.

The organization is helping women in Texas get the procedure done thousands of miles away or even in other states, like New Mexico, California and Colorado. The reasons why women want an abortion are varied.

"Many times it's because of fetal abnormalities that are not detected until later ultrasounds, sometimes it's for medical complication reasons because the woman herself would have difficulty having the pregnancy, other times it's because abortions in Texas are just so expensive," Sheible said.

According to the Texas Tribune, there used to be 40 licensed abortion providers in Texas. After the passage of House Bill 2, there are 28. More regulations coming in September could push that number down to six. That's why some clinics say they refer women to this non-profit.

"They're all very important to have because we're going to have a lot more women needing more funding to get from a remote location in Texas to another location down I-35 in Houston," Drew Stanley of Whole Women's Health said.

But not everyone is in support. Texas Alliance for Life says there are other options available.

"Many times women feel pressured into that situation by their partners, sometimes parents of minors, sometimes economic circumstances. There is not any woman for which she has to have an abortion because there are no alternatives," Texas Alliance for Life executive director Joe Pojman said.

Pojman says there's a network of more than 200 pro-life agencies in Texas. Eighteen of them are in Central Texas that aim to help women with all of their needs. Sheible says she is meeting women's needs as well.

"What we're doing is helping these women's lives in a way that they couldn't do for themselves at the time," Sheible said.

The ages of those helped have ranged from 15 to 35 years old. Fund Texas Women get their donations from the community. They have also received funding from Comedian Sarah Silverman.

Fund Texas Women:

Texas Alliance for Life:

Whole Woman's Health of Austin

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119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

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