Latest News from the National Network of Abortion Funds: Feed
June 28th, 2013
By Eesha Pandit, Board Member of the National Network of Abortion Funds. A version of this originally appeared at RH Reality Check on June 27, 2013.
This is such a simple concept that I can't believe we still have to say it, but we do:
The legal right to an abortion means nothing to a person who can’t get to the clinic, the person who can’t speak the language spoken in the clinic, the person who doesn’t have enough money to pay for it, the person who doesn’t have the documentation required.
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis knows it. That’s why she stood for 12 hours in a dramatic filibuster on the floor of the Senate. State Senator Leticia Van De Putte knows it. That’s why she left her father’s funeral, drove 3 hours and arrived on the Senate floor to speak against Texas Senate Bill 5. Also in the know are the hundreds of people, men and women alike, who protested their hearts out for hours—and days—on end and ultimately were the ones who pushed the special session to an end before a vote could be reached on the regressive bill that would make abortion inaccessible to millions of Texans.
June 20th, 2013
20 years ago this month, frustrated by a lack of commitment on the part of political leaders to repeal the Hyde Amendment, determined to ensure that more women and girls would be able to get an abortion without sacrificing basic needs, and infused with the spirit of solidarity, activists with two dozen abortion funds met to form the National Network of Abortion Funds. That meeting turned out to be the first of many.
This week activists from around the world representing over a hundred abortion funds are gathered in Oakland, California to strategize.
To learn from one another.
And to celebrate our 20th anniversary.
We fund abortions because we view the right to abortion as a fundamental human right. And we will be here until there is no longer a need. Over the past twenty years, abortion funds have distributed over $39 million, helping over 340,000 women get abortions they would otherwise not be able to afford.
June 3rd, 2013
Have you been waiting for the other rental shoe to drop?
The total numbers are now in from this spring's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, and we are bowled over: In the largest event of its kind, activists this year went balls out, breezing past goals to strike Hyde: Together, you raised over $553,000 for abortion access!
That's more than $50,000 over the initial goal, surpassing everyone's wildest expectations--an additional amount that represents hundreds more phone calls funds can answer.
The 4th Annual National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, by the numbers:
- Individual bowlers, karaoke stars, and pool sharks: 2,008
- Teams of rollers, rebels, and rowdies: 415
- Cities that held Bowl-a-Thons, Triathlon-a-Thons, and Billiards-a-Thons: 29
- Virtual Bowl-a-Thons: 1
- Abortion funds that benefited directly from the Bowl-a-Thon: 27, including Mississippi!
- Individual donors: 10,843 donors making 12,588 donations
- Average donation: $44
- Percentage of donations $25 and under: 70
- Weekends that the volume of donations crashed the server: 1
- Smallest donation: $1.00
- Largest donation: $5,000, in the form of a matching gift that went to the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund and to one of the NEWEST funds, the New Orleans Abortion Fund in the Gulf Coast region!
That's right: you raised over a half a million dollars in $25 increments. (Just imagine what the possibilities would be if Medicaid chipped in!)
There was no blue state / red state division: bowlers found support in Arkansas and California alike. From Georgia and Hawaii and yes, Alaska. From flyover country and from the coasts. And from around the world: people in places including Hong Kong, Ireland, Australia and Germany pitched in to help make this a bigger Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon than we could ever imagine!
Yes, there were LOLcats. There were gifs. There were rock stars, like The Mountain Goats, and award-winning authors, like Katha Pollitt. There were teams of activists from allied organizations, like NARAL Pro-Choice America, who know their way around a cue stick. There were bridesmaids, robots, and trophies galore. So many costumes! And the puns...oh, the puns.
But mostly there were the 2000+ bowlers who channeled their compassion and creativity into appealing to the best in their friends, their families and their neighbors. Appealing to their sense of justice, knowing that no matter what their bowling score was, or how off-key they sang, or how unlikely it was that they would ever nail a 7-2 split, that their efforts would mean that when a woman calls her abortion fund for help, that fund will have her back.
Thank you to everyone who bowled, sang, or donated for abortion access in the 4th Annual Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon. You made this the best Bowl-a-Thon yet!
April 29th, 2013
We're excited to announce that we are expanding our capacity and are now hiring for two new positions in our Boston office:
The Community Mobilization Manager will coordinate advocacy and movement-building efforts with nearly 100 member funds and other partners, and work to strengthen our network of leaders by providing training and support in key organizing, advocacy, and communications skills.
The Operations and Human Resources Director is a senior-level position responsible for administration, finance, human resources, and oversight of the fundraising team and strategy implementation.
April 13th, 2013
Congratulations to Sara "Sparo" Slater, this week's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon Page of the Week Winner!
Sara is bowling this weekend with the CAIR Project in Seattle, which helps women in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Alaska--Alaska!--get the abortions they need.
Her page was nominated because she really puts it all on the line: her story begins, "I was 16 years old and realized I couldn't remember my last period..."
April 10th, 2013
President Obama unveiled his 2014 budget this morning. We commend the President for striking restrictions on D.C. funding of abortion for low-income women in his budget and for moving to lessen some of the restrictions on coverage for women in the Peace Corps. However, we join many other groups in the women’s health and rights community in our disappointment that he did not take a critical step toward lifting the current Medicaid coverage ban. President Obama could have taken this historic opportunity at the dawn of his second term in office to present a clean budget to Congress; he did not.
April 5th, 2013
Congratulations to April Greene, this week's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon Page of the Week winner!
A little over a year ago, April worked her first hotline shift for the Georgia Reproductive Justice Access Network, which she had helped to get off the ground in 2011 to help low-income women of northeast Georgia. Later that year, she had her beautiful baby, seen here growling with her mama as they take on the forces that deny anyone the medical care they need.
And just this past month, April went back to the hotline for the first time since her baby was born, convinced more than ever that it was time to bowl. In her area of Georgia, 18% of the population lives in poverty and there are no abortion providers.
"In early 2012, I worked my first shift for GRJAN. All week I spoke on the phone to a woman who was trying to line up enough money to make an appointment for her abortion. I remember sneaking away a few times a day to answer her calls or to call her back, adamant about reassuring her that I was still here. She already had a child, a son with a disability, and she had moved to Georgia from a state where Medicaid covered abortion. She was pissed that Georgia offered no such coverage, and I was pissed for her.
After a few days, we scrounged up enough money from her personal resources and other abortion funds to help her feel comfortable about making her appointment, and I pledged her GRJAN's $100 weekly budget. The last time we spoke, she reiterated just how mad she was that she had to jump through so many hoops to pay for her abortion. Over a year later, I still feel her anger."
April's page was nominated because she and her daughter are so obviously awesome (not to mention adorable). And as a new fund in a drastically underserved area, the Georgia Reproductive Justice Access Network will benefit greatly from the support and the cash infusion that the Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon brings. We love the determination of April and her fellow board members and volunteers in northeast Georgia, and pity the fool who doesn't check out April's page! Growl!
GRJAN's current weekly budget is $100. All donations, no matter how small, make a great difference to this fledgling fund, and you can help out at April's Bowl-a-Thon page right here.
To check out past winners and nominate a page of the week, click here. Every Friday we will showcase a new winner!
April 4th, 2013
North Dakota. Mississippi. Arkansas. Virginia. Texas. Sometimes it can seem like we're fighting a losing battle. But in fact, in many places we're gaining ground!
At RH Reality Check, Susan Schewel with the Women's Medical Fund and Megan Smith, founder of the Repeal Hyde Art Project, talk about recent successes in Philadelphia, Cambridge, New York City, and Austin and remind us that:
Choice is meaningless without access, and we can be the ones to push for change. If we want all people to have access to care across the United States, we must create newsworthy initiatives calling for an expansion rather than a retraction of coverage, and we must call upon our elected representatives to do the same.
March 29th, 2013
Congratulations to the Puck Ferrys, this week's National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon Page of the Week winners!
The Puck Ferrys are bowling for the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity in good old Austin, Texas, where they have their work cut out for them. Sure, their red state politics can make them blue, but they rile 'em up and get 'em ornery, too!
Most Bowl-a-Thon teams have five or six people, but you know what they say: everything's bigger in Texas, and the Puck Ferrys have eight, count 'em, EIGHT, bowlers cracking wise and raising funds for abortion access deep in the heart of Texas, including high-powered bloggers for reproductive justice Jessica Luther and Andrea Grimes, and none other than NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Heather Busby. When it comes to protecting abortion rights, these gals know how to circle the wagons.
As you may have heard, it's been a tough couple of years in Texas, even in that bastion of loveable-lefty weirdness, Austin. As Andrea says on her Bowl-a-Thon page (note: possibly NSFW), "in Texas, we may love our boots, but not everybody's come with the same straps."
But the Puck Ferrys have buckled down and amassed what must be the largest collection of animated gifs in the entire Bowl-a-Thon...and they're so close to meeting their ambitious goal of raising $5,000 for abortion access that they may be forced to raise it before the April 28 day of bowling action!
For a good time, click here and explore any one of these bowlers' gif-laden pages.
And to check out past winners or nominate a page of the week, click here.
March 27th, 2013
Twenty years ago this spring, a group of activists came together to form the National Network of Abortion Funds to address the huge unmet need created by the Hyde Amendment. One of those activists was Thomas Huntley Moss of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a WWII veteran who died last week at the age of 91.
He was proud of the Network and dedicated to the Iowa Abortion Access Fund, the local abortion fund that he chaired from in 1987 until 1999. The Iowa Abortion Access Fund is one of the oldest abortion funds in the country and like many of the founding funds in the Netwok, began as a clergy consultation service in the days prior to Roe v. Wade, helping countless women and girls over the decades since its formation in a small town in Iowa.
Thank you, Tom. RIP.
Read the complete obituary in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, here.