Coronavirus update: Abortion Support Network is closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation. As long as borders and clinics remain open, we will help those who are able to safely travel access abortions abroad. We will also provide information on safe abortion pills for home use where appropriate. If you need an abortion, please get in touch and we will help you as much as we are able. Coronavirus is simply YET ANOTHER obstacle faced by people living in countries with inadequate provision of abortion services.

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January 2011 eBulletin

Published on

December saw a verdict in the ABC v Ireland case – and a lot of media coverage for ASN. 2010 ended with one of our busiest months ever. Check out the details for our next exciting event! Find out how you can get involved – we couldn’t do it without you!

  • ABC v Ireland
  • ASN in the news
  • Women we’ve helped
  • Help us help women
  • The next ASN event
  • Get involved

ABC v Ireland

On 16 December the European Court of Human Rights announced its verdict in the ABC v Ireland case. The case was a challenge to Ireland’s abortion ban by three women who were forced to travel to England to access a safe and legal abortion. In the end, the ruling, which found in favour for one of the three women, will only impact a small number of women in Ireland – those facing life threatening illnesses. While the ruling was heralded as a victory by some campaigning organisations as an important first step, ASN believes that the ruling will have limited impact on the majority of women needing an abortion in Ireland, and, of course, no impact at all on women living in Northern Ireland.

You can read more about the verdict here:

ASN Press release
ifpa press release
bpas press release

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

The ABC Verdict brought with it wide-reaching media coverage of ASN. We were featured in more than 20 print, online and broadcast media outlets in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, America, France, Italy, New Zealand and Ethiopia, as well as a number of blogs, including:

Irish Times: Ruling ‘exposes’ State’s failure to legislate
Irish Times: Money plays ever increasing role in decisions of Irish women to travel
Guardian: Irish abortion ban violates human rights, court rules
Humanist Association of Northern Ireland: Ireland’s Abortion law violated woman’s rights
Global Post: Will abortion ruling slow Irish exodus?

Woman we’ve helped

In December, we heard from 11 people (9 women, 1 husband, and 1 woman’s mother) and were able to provide each one of them with the appropriate mix of funding, accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information. These included:

A 23 year old student and single mother who we helped with a grant, who sent this text: “hope you know how much that you have helped me out. If you ever need anything I’ll be sure to help. Thank you so much.”

A young woman who came to England thinking she was only 11 weeks pregnant then found out that she was over 20 weeks. As the clinic she was at did not have a late license, she had to go back home and return several weeks later. ASN provided a grant and overnight accommodation with a host.

A young woman with a 2 year old whose job is not secure and her partner is a student with no income. She said. “We’re united in our decision not to have another child. Our main worry is getting there, travelling, sorting out childcare and other logistics. With Christmas coming money is especially tight.”

A young girl who lives in a hostel with her baby as her mother threw her out when she fell pregnant the first time. She lost £100 trying to access an early medical abortion through an unscrupulous online provider.

A mother of two with a medical condition that made the procedure especially difficult. We were able to work with her to find a clinic to perform the procedure. “I’ve been calling people for weeks and no one could help me until I spoke with yourselves.”

A young teen who was at first so scared to tell anyone that she tried to self abort. Thankfully no harm came to her, and we were able to assist her and her mother in coming over for the procedure. And a special thanks to hosts Fiona and Sarah who were able to host this woman and her mother for three nights – including New Year’s Eve!

ASN thanks these women for sharing their stories with us, and for permitting us to share them with you.

Help us help women

December was another busy month for us, and without the incredible dedication and generosity of our partner clinics, ASN would not have had the funds to assist all of these women. We’re expecting an increased number of calls in the early months of 2011 – not only because the numbers of abortions carried out tend to be at their highest at this time of year but also due to the fact that recent media coverage will make more women aware of ASN.

Since 1 October, we’ve heard from more than 30 women needing our support, given grants to 13 and hosted five women for eight nights. This also includes women we referred to Women on Web and women who we did not have to fund because clinics were able to reduce their rates for several women able to raise most – but not all – of the necessary funds. That’s almost half the number of women we heard from all last year – in three months!

As you can imagine, the increased number of calls are straining ASN’s resources. In fact, if it weren’t for our amazing partner clinics (we couldn’t do it without you, bpas, Calthorpe Clinic, South Manchester Private Clinic and Marie Stopes!) we would have had to say no to several of the women who contacted us in December. While we have almost £450 coming in each month available for grants, we’re in need of a lot more when dealing with women facing severe financial difficulty who need to raise between £300 and £1390 for the procedure alone.

Can you imagine having to tell a woman that you cannot help her with the £50 or £100 or £200 that will make the difference between her having or not having the ability to access a safe and legal abortion?


Donations – via standing order, money transfer, PayPal or in the ASN bucket at one of our events – are urgently needed and gratefully received.

Every penny given to us by individual donors goes directly to help women.

If you have been thinking of making a donation, setting up a Standing Order, or telling your friends about ASN, now would be a great time to do so.

A donation or a standing order helps support women in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland who desperately need access to safe and legal abortions.

The next ASN event – 31 January

Lights! Camera! Action! Did you ever want to be in a documentary film? Now’s your chance! Our next ASN Pro Choice Happy Hour will be a combination networking event, comedy show, and potential star maker! Long time activist Ann Rossiter will be performing her stand up comedy/performance “abortion monologue” entitled Making a Holy Show of Myself. A film crew making a documentary on Ann and the Irish abortion situation will also be there to film the proceedings. This is your chance to network with pro-choice people, have a laugh (who says abortion activism can’t be fun?) and be a part of an important film. This event will be held at the Punch Tavern in central London on Monday, 31 January from 7-10 pm. Ann will also have copies of her book, Ireland’s Hidden Diaspora, available for sale. Admission is free! Please RSVP here.

Get involved!

As a volunteer-run organisation, ASN counts on people like you to make things happen. Interested in getting involved? We’re always looking for help, especially with fundraising and event coordination.

Are you interested in fundraising for ASN? Let us know and also check out our Fundraising Toolkit.

Keep in touch
Have a friend who would be interested in learning more about ASN? Forward them this newsletter and encourage them to follow us via Facebook Group and Twitter.


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 more than 90 women in difficult circumstances who have contacted us.