Skip to main content Skip to footer

ASN April Newsletter: All-weather activism

Published on
  • Report from the AGM
  • New website
  • ASN in the news
  • Women we’ve helped
  • Putting the “Fun” in Fundraising
  • Call for hosts in Manchester and Liverpool

Report from the AGM

Thanks so much to all the volunteers and supporters who came to our AGM and party! From continuing to increase the number of women we are helping to strengthening our relationships with grassroots organisation in Ireland and Northern Ireland, to growing ASN’s volunteer network, we have A LOT to be proud of. If you missed the party, you can follow this link to our 2012 Annual Report  If you would like a hard copy of the report, please email us.

We also wanted to shout out to ASN’s AMAZING VOLUNTEERS. Whether they are letting women stay in their homes overnight, taking calls from women in desperate circumstances, designing our annual report, writing this eBulletin, managing our Twitter account and Facebook page or giving us advice on the best way to move forward, our volunteers are PRO CHOICE ROCK STARS.

And finally, at the AGM we said goodbye to two of our longstanding trustees – our treasurer and the chair of our board. Words cannot express our gratitude for how much they have helped us and we look forward both to working with them in different capacity in future as well as working with the new trustees that will be announced in our next Newsletter.

New website!

If you’ve visited lately you may have noticed a few changes. We’ve updated our website to be more user friendly for both our service users and our supporters. Hope you like it!

ASN in the News

This month, ASN was featured in the Spring Issue of Bitch Magazine, “The new law of the land: pro-choice meets pro-church in Northern Ireland’s first abortion clinic”

We also took part in a Guardian live chat on access to abortion on 13 March.

Women we’ve helped

In March, ASN heard from 26 WOMEN, including:

The mother of a teenager who was drugged and raped at a birthday party, which brought echoes of the Steubenville, Ohio rape case to this side of the Atlantic. This family was faced with a number of hardships in addition to this crime, and while they were able to raise a small amount of money, this was used to pay for a passport for the young woman. Before they contacted us, the girl was so desperate to end the pregnancy that she tried to self abort and self harm. ASN was able to cover the cost of the procedure as well as flights for the young woman and her mother. Said her mother: “God bless you all. What you are doing will eventually save my daughter’s life”.

“Myself and my partner have found ourselves in a very difficult financial situation as he has recently been made unemployed and we are struggling to keep our home. I have suffered from depression for over a year now and am finding this situation very difficult to cope with. I have recently been ill and believe that is why the contraceptive pill did not work.”

A mother living with friends as all her utilities have been cut off. In debt and just out of an abusive relationship where her partner beat and raped her. Receiving treatment for depression and panic attacks and has attempted suicide in the past. Has sold everything non-essential to cover cost of food and other necessities for herself and her children and was also able to raise 50 Euros towards the cost of her abortion. ASN was able to book her flights and pay the majority of the cost for the procedure.

“I’m 19 and a student and I’m approximately 18 weeks pregnant. I can’t financially and emotionally support a child so I’m planning on having an abortion. The problem is my partner and I have both been saving and scraping money together but we’re still short. I was enquiring as to whether we could get any assistance, be it monetary or just providing us with somewhere to stay when we get there.”

“I am the mother of one little adorable boy. I have been living in Ireland for many years but am not Irish. My partner has been out of work a while now and last month I have been told that my job was gone too. A few days later I found out that I was pregnant. In our current situation it is impossible for us to rejoice over a new arrival when we don’t even know how we’re going to manage to pay our next rent. It is with a lot of sadness that we come to the agreement of having an abortion. But we know that it would be unfair to bring up a child in such unstable environment.”

“I am in need of an abortion. I am from Ireland and do not want to continue this pregnancy. I have booked an appointment with Marie Stopes in East London. Are these a reputable clinic?”

Heard from a young woman on her way to the clinic for a termination due to a foetal anomaly. While we were able to arrange a last minute grant, the client wound up being turned away from the clinic as her BMI was too high for them to perform the procedure.

We thank these women and men for allowing us to share their stories.

Fabulous fundraisers!

We keep telling people how easy it is to “fun-raise” for ASN, and here are a few examples!

Aine O’B hosted a cocktail party and raised £111.00 for ASN! Says Aine: “It was really easy to raise money for ASN, and also to raise awareness. Lots of the people I invited to the cocktail party had no idea abortion was so restricted in Ireland, and more said they knew but had never thought about it or had never really thought about abortion at all.”

Bébhinn F helps host monthly Dublin Nights for Choice and in March raised €560/£468 for ASN! The next Night for Choice is this Saturday, 6 April, and will benefit the Abortion Rights Campaign of Ireland.

Mary B is a London-based artist who is having an exhibition from 7-19 April at the Polish Cultural Centre (POSK) at 238-246 King Street, Hammersmith W6. There will be a private view Sunday 7 April from 5-8 pm. Check it out – and should you be an art enthusiast and moved to make a purchase, a percentage of proceeds from sold work will be donated to ASN!

Doesn’t fundraising for ASN sound fun and easy? Please do get involved!

If you are a runner, the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon – held annually in Dublin – is the largest all-female running event in the world! This year it will be held on the 3rd of June at 2pm (the Irish June bank holiday) and will start at St. Stephen’s Green. If you’re interested, please sign up for the Mini Marathon here and email [email protected] to find out about raising funds for ASN – and ASN t-shirts!

Or you can check out ASN’s fundraising toolkit which is chock full of easy to implement ideas for fundraising.

Call for hosts in Manchester and Liverpool

ASN has recently had an uptick in calls from women in the Isle of Man, as well as from women travelling from N/Ireland to Manchester and Liverpool. Do you live within 30 minutes of the MSI Manchester, South Manchester Private Clinic (SMPC) or bpas Merseyside clinics and have a spare room, pull out sofa or air mattress and the desire to have a direct impact on a woman in need? Please get in touch – even if you’ve been in touch previously – as we’ll be scheduling a day in both Liverpool and Manchester for host interviews. Contact Mara or 07913 353 530 if interested.