EMA serves women of the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast who are in need of financial assistance to obtain abortions. Our mission is to provide funding for abortions for women and girls who are faced with an unintended or problem pregnancy which they cannot afford to terminate. When funds are available, and at the board’s discretion, EMA may also provide funding for birth control including tubal ligations. Travel expenses may also be provided when these expenses prove to be an obstacle for the women to obtain their abortions. EMA will preserve their privacy and dignity and make sure they are provided safe medical care. Our clients are most often women on public assistance and/or the working poor. We also help many young women on the threshold of their lives trying to become productive members of society, such as high school or college students.
Women seek out EMA’s services because they do not have the physical, emotional or financial wherewithal to bring a child into the world and feel that continuing the pregnancy would jeopardize their own future and/or that of their children.
EMA consistently has had requests for financial assistance due, in part, to the lack of comprehensive sexuality education in our schools which would include information on contraceptives.
Florida currently does not have a statewide standard for teaching sex education in schools and Palm Beach County has adopted only an inadequate abstinence only program, which does not include information on contraceptives.
- Women living with HIV/AIDS
- Women who have drug or alcohol addictions
- Women who are already mothers who have, on average, more than one child
- Women who are single (80% in 2011) with an average age of 21
- Women who are homeless (3% – 2011)
- Women who are victims of rape and/or incest (3% – 2011)
- Women who are victims of domestic violence (7% – 2011)
- Women who are unemployed (62% – 2011), only 5% were in full-time employment in 2011
- 4% of the procedures in 2011 involved cases where maternal life threats were present
One of the most difficult situations is severe fetal anomalies. We funded 13 such cases in 2011. By the time the women discover this situation, find a provider to terminate, come up with part-payment for the procedure, and arrange the funding, their abortions often cost $2,000-$3,000, a prohibitively steep sum when living at or below poverty level.
Many women come to us in their second trimester and desperate for help. These abortions can range from $595 to $2,600. This happens because of government gag rules that prevent social workers from providing any information about where to obtain an abortion, and fake clinics, so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers or CPCs, that prohibit them from obtaining prompt and accurate information.