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In a 6 to 3 decision on June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, reversing the court's 50-year-old decision that guaranteed a woman's right to obtain an abortion. The court's action also set off trigger laws that banned or severely restricted abortions in some states and prompted protests across the country.

Carolina Abortion Fund says surge in donations and volunteers is leveling off

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After the leaked Dobbs Supreme Court opinion and the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many abortion rights groups saw a flood of donations and volunteer requests. Now, one organization in the Carolinas says that support has hit a plateau.

Carolina Abortion Fund, or CAF, helps people in North and South Carolina pay for and get to abortion appointments. It operates a free hotline where callers can request grants, as well as coordinate transportation and lodging for the procedure. In May and June, the group received some $210,000 combined in donations. That funding lately has leveled off at around $35,000 a month, said Kat Lewis, a CAF board member. Pre-Dobbs, average monthly donations totaled around $24,000.

“There’s always these bursts,” Lewis said. “There’s ads on TV. There’s Amy Schumer talking about threats to birth control and bodies and it comes in those waves … I think the folks in the work every day are just exhausted to the umpteenth degree.”

She said requests to volunteer with CAF’s hotline have flattened, too. In May and June, CAF’s social media was flooded with messages from people hoping to volunteer. Only about 20 out of 100 candidates followed through and became regular volunteers.

“They have their lives to go back to,” Lewis said.

Abortion is currently legal in North Carolina up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion rights supporters in the state are bracing for a continued fight over access to the procedure after Republicans narrowly failed to win a supermajority across both chambers of the statehouse.

Republicans fell one vote short of having a supermajority in the state's General Assembly. Cooper has said he would veto any measure that restricts abortion access. But his veto power is fragile, since even one House Democrat switching to vote with Republicans could tip the scales on abortion policy.

In South Carolina, abortion is legal until around 20 weeks of pregnancy. The state’s ban on abortions after roughly six weeks has been temporarily blocked, while the South Carolina Supreme Court considers whether the measure, the “fetal heartbeat” law, violates the state’s constitutional right to privacy.

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Claire Donnelly is WFAE's health reporter. She previously worked at NPR member station KGOU in Oklahoma and also interned at WBEZ in Chicago and WAMU in Washington, D.C. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and attended college at the University of Virginia, where she majored in Comparative Literature and Spanish. Claire is originally from Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at cdonnelly@wfae.org or on Twitter @donnellyclairee.