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ASN January eBulletin

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ASN January eBulletin: new year, new challenges

Welcome to your ASN eBulletin. A new year brings new challenges – and a newly formatted eBulletin. We’re looking for hosts near to our clinics. We give thanks to all our supporters, who have enabled us to help many women. Keep in touch!

  • New Year – new challenges
  • New Look
  • Seeking hosts near to our clinics
  • Thank you thank you thank you!
  • Women we’ve helped
  • What these stories don’t tell
  • Keep in touch

New Year – new challenges
2012 is here and with it another year of trying to help women who desperately need support. As we enter our third year, we are experiencing significant growth. Between our first and second years, we tripled the number of women we heard from and the amount of funding we provided, and it looks like we’re on track to grow at the same exponential rate this year. As an all-volunteer organisation, we are faced with the ever more complicated juggling act between managing the increase in calls and the time constraints which result from having a staff that, by nature of not getting paid to work for ASN, need to fit their ASN duties around paid work and family commitments. As we continue to grow, we will do our very best to adapt ASN in whichever ways necessary to maintain our levels of service.

New Look
Like the new look of our eBulletin? Big ASN thanks to our long-time supporter and new volunteer Anna, who is designing the eBulletin from abroad. Would you like to volunteer with ASN? We’re  . . .

Seeking volunteer hosts and fundraisers
ASN has experienced an increase in requests for housing, particularly near the clinics that provide abortion to 24 weeks – Richmond, Ealing, Streatham,Brixton and Bristol. Have a spare room, pull out sofa, or air mattress and the desire to host a woman in need? Get in touch, and please pass the word along to any pro-choice friends who live near these clinics.

Host a film screening, ask your pro choice friends to make a £2 Standing Order towards our £1000 campaign, help plan an ASN event, or create something of your own. For inspiration, check out our Fundraising Toolkit.

Thank you thank you thank you!
ASN would not exist without the generous donations of individual supporters and unwavering commitment of our amazing volunteers.  Thank you again for all your support. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to provide accommodation, financial assistance, and confidential, non-judgemental information to the women in difficult circumstances who have contacted us.

Women we’ve helped
In December, ASN heard from 27 women. We are immensely grateful to all of you who enable us to help such women.

A mother of two pregnant by the violent ex-partner that she had only recently been able to leave

A single mother who was short £100 for her abortion despite returning the majority of the Christmas presents she had bought for her children

A young student who found out she was further into her pregnancy than she thought, which made the procedure more expensive. She and her boyfriend were able to come up with £600 towards the cost of the procedure and the flights; ASN was able to make up the £100 shortfall.

A single mother unable to tell anyone but one friend. Her ex takes the kids sometimes but she can’t tell him what’s going on and it’s hard for her to use the internet or speak on the phone as she has two older boys who she doesn’t want to know what is going on.

A single mother of two, pregnant as the result of rape. She thought an abortion would be around £300 and spent four months saving up, only to be told that at her gestation, the abortion would cost more than £1,000.

A married couple who found out at 20 weeks gestation that their foetus had catastrophic foetal anomalies. Between his sporadic work and her freelancing they were able to manage less than 20% of the funds required for travel and cost of procedure.

A young couple with a disabled child. They did everything they could not to get pregnant but did anyway. They are terrified of passing this defect to another child but have only been able to raise a portion of the funds. They are not able to tell their parents as there would be pressure to keep the pregnancy.

A woman we couldn’t help
A non-Irish woman who found out her wanted pregnancy had severe foetal anomalies with no chance of survival after birth. She and her partner agonised over the decision to terminate and in the end decided that termination is the best option for them. However, as a non-citizen she was not able to travel to England.

We thank these men and women from allowing us to share their stories. PLEASE NOTE: All amounts are in £GBP as this is the currency ASN gives grants in. It does not indicate the country of origin of the women on the case.

What these stories don’t tell
These stories, which we strip of identifying details and boil down into bite-sized case studies, are often heart-rending and seldom straight forward. These case studies can’t capture how lost, angry, overwhelmed or scared some of the women who contact us sometimes are. They don’t describe the intricacies of cases that sometimes have our phone coordinators on the phone for several hours for one case – women who have never travelled or booked tickets online, women without credit cards, women who think they can raise one amount of money but call us last minute to let us know they have far less, women without passports, women who have health problems which make abortion in a clinic setting impossible, women who think they are at one gestation and arrive to find they are in a far higher price bracket.

Let’s give another round of applause for the fabulous ASN phone team for taking these calls, the other volunteers who keep ASN ticking along, the donors who enable us to be a help to these women, and to the clinics and referring agencies who make sure that these women receive the care they need.

Keep in Touch
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