Resources for Alabama Patients: Minimizing COVID-19 Risk at Clinics, Unemployment Info

AT THIS TIME ALL CLINICS IN ALABAMA ARE OPEN. WE WILL UPDATE THIS MESSAGE IF THAT CHANGES.

COVID-19 and Abortion Access: What You Need to Know

Clinic directors understand that abortion isn’t an “elective” medical procedure, but rather a serious health issue that ideally should be addressed as quickly as possible. Because of that, clinics will attempt to remain open for as long as they can, as well as work to minimize health risks to both patients and staff.

Here are things that you should know if you are seeking a termination during this health crisis:

1)    Be sure to contact your clinic on the day of any office visit, prior to coming to the site. If there is a closure (either because of a possible exposure, or because an essential employee is unable to make it into the office), the clinic will work to inform you as quickly as possible if this happens, but it is always best to double-check.

2)    Bring your own supplies. Clinics are stocked with essentials like soap, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc., but there is a national shortage at the moment. If you have hand sanitizer on hand, please bring your own.

3)    Be washing your hands. Remember the 20 second hand-washing rule (Or sing “Happy Birthday” twice, or the first two verses of “Who Run the World (Girls)”).

4)    Sneeze or cough into tissue or elbows.

5)    Try to keep your distance from other patients whenever possible. If you can, leave 6 feet of space between you and other patients and staff. If the waiting room isn’t full, leave at least one open chair between you and someone else. If you are comfortable enough to come to the clinic without a support person, leave them outside and have them pick you up once the procedure is complete in order to minimize the number of people in the waiting room.

6)    Do NOT come to the clinic if you feel ill. Check your temperature before you leave. If you are running any fever, you must stay home and reschedule. We understand that waiting periods, gestational limits, child care and other factors may cause you to consider coming for the termination anyway. Please reconsider – we promise we will find a way to help you still get your abortion in a way that is safe for everyone.

Special considerations for those who may have to take public transportation (bus, train, airplane) to get a procedure.

1)    Double check schedules. Realize that many cities are reducing routes and frequencies for public buses or trains because of city shutdowns and risk minimizing protocols. Airlines are furloughing employees and domestic travel is being limited and may potentially be banned for non-essential flights. Schedule as early as possible but also be aware that these travel options may soon not be available.

2)    Practice social distancing as much as possible in transit. Try to maintain distance from other travelers by utilizing empty seats in vehicles and lobbies.

3)    Be aware of restrictions in whichever cities you may visit. Some cities are limiting access to restaurants to take out only. Some grocery and convenient stores may be closed. Try to take as much of your own food and supplies (sanitary pads, Tylenol, tissues) as you can to be prepared for any shortages or shutdowns.

We understand this may be very difficult, and may even look impossible right now. We promise we will do everything within our power to get you the abortion that you want, regardless of the hurdles you are facing.

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits In Alabama

If you are an Alabama resident affected by a layoff, furlough or potentially even a contract or gig worker who is unable to work enough due to the COVID-19 crisis, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits from the state of Alabama. To see if you qualify, go to the Alabama Department of Labor web page and click on File a Claim. On that page, you can choose the first option “Establish a New or Reopen a UC Claim,” then “Continue” at the bottom of the page.

The next page will be a series of options but you only need to click on the final one labeled “Proceed.” This will take you to a page that offers information on how to file your Unemployment Compensation (UC) Claim, either by continuing online or by calling the Unemployment Compensation Telephone Claims Line at 866-234-5382. Phone calls must be made before 4:30 pm on Fridays in order to receive compensation for the following week.

If you continue online, you will be asked to enter a social security number and establish a pin number, and answer a series of questions about your recent employment history. Please be patient with the website, which appears to be experiencing time-outs due to high demand.

Robin Marty

March 19, 2020

Donate to Support in Reproductive Justice in Alabama

The Yellowhammer Fund envisions a society in which reproductive decisions are made free from coercion, shame, or state interference, a society in which individuals and communities have autonomy in making healthy choices regarding their bodies and their futures.

As members of the National Network of Abortion Funds, we’ve funded abortion care and practical support for Alabamians since 2018.