| November 14, 2005 at 03:22 pm
The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project held funeral services November 14 "for those who died due to lack of access to safe and legal abortions," according to to a spokeswoman. "We must work to keep this from continuing." The funeral procession gathered Monday afternoon at Broad and Belvidere streets in midtown Richmond, Virginia and walked down Belvidere to Monroe Park. From there, the group gathered in front of Virginia Commonwealth University's Cabell Library where the names and stories of those who died were read. The material came from the National Organization for Women's web site at www.now.org
. According to the spokeswoman, the RRFP works for "reproductive justice and empowering individual choice. The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project is dedicated to providing unbiased financial assistance, when funds are available, and practice support to people in need as well as to provide education to those individuals and the community at large about reproductive rights and sexual health. "Further, the RRFP is committed to creating safe environments for persons of all genders, sexes, and sexual orientations to receive reproductive health services and education suite to their needs. "Forty-nine percent of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, and a out half of those pregnancies are terminated. In Virginia, 28,780 women obtained abortions in 2000. More than a political decision, abortion is a real life decision being made by real people. "In 2000, the cost of a non-hospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation ranged from $150 to $4000, and the average amount paid was $372. "Nineteen percent of legal abortion is in the US are obtained by teenagers. Virginia law required parental consent - a law which often delays them from getting necessary services, adding unnecessary health risks and cost. "In Virginia in 2001, Medicaid only funded two abortions, providing a total assistance to $2,000. "Almost half of the women having late abortions say that they were delayed because of problems arroding, finding, or getting to abortion services. "An overwhelming number of counties in the US lack access to abortion providers. In the South census region, where Virginia is located, 32 percent of women having abortions were forced to travel at least 50 miles, and ten percent traveled more than 100 miles to reach clinics. "Tens of thousands of women and girls who would obtain an abortion if public funding was available it are force to carry the pregnancy to term each year. For them, the right to an abortion is an illusion."