What is called 'crowd funding' is becoming popular for people who want to make movies, music albums, and start up a business. But a 19 year old University of Texas student has formed a non profit to raise money to get abortions for pregnant women.
"100% of our funding comes from private donations," Lenzi Sheible tells 1200 WOAI news. "Anywhere from $5 to $1,000 from random individuals."
Strict new laws passed by the Legislature last year, and so far upheld by the courts, have resulted in the closing of abortion clinics throughout the state. The most effective in closing clinics has been a law which requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the clinic. In the overwhelmingly Catholic Rio Grande Valley, for example, no hospital has been willing to offer admitting privileges to doctors who perform abortions, which means no abortion clinic is currently operating south of San Antonio.
Sheible says the purpose of her non profit is to raise money to take women to other parts of the state, and even to other states if necessary, to get abortion services.
"It's looking like we can really become a sustainable service which can stay around in Texas for as long as we're needed," she said. "And it looks like we will always be necessary."
She says so far her charity has raised enough money to pay the travel expenses fro 35 women seeking abortions.