ASN March Newsletter: Spring into celebrations!
- ASN’s AGM is Thurs 7 March, followed by a party for all!
- ASN in the news
- Fundraising news
- Women we’ve heard from
- Sexual Health UK Awards
ASN AGM and PARTY
ASN will hold our second Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 7 March at The Retro Bar, 2 George Court, London, WC2N 6HH. The AGM, which is open to any ASN volunteer, will be from 6 – 6.45, followed by a party open to all. Come along, raise a glass, grab a copy of our new annual report, listen to the awesome Stephanie Lord of Choice Ireland speak, and celebrate another year of helping women together. Nibbles will be provided. Please RSVP by email to coordinator@abortionsupport.
ASN in the news
This month saw ASN feature on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire Show (no longer available online) and BBC Panorama as part of a show called “The Great Abortion Divide” and the fabulous Laurie Penny included ASN in her Vice Magazine piece “The Holy War on Irish Wombs”.
The past few months have been good to ASN. Last August we announced that we’d reached our goal of £1,000 in standing orders and set a new goal of £1,500. With more than 160 individuals donating almost £1,300 per month, we’re just over £200 away! Thanks to all of you who have contributed.
While reactions to the BBC Panorama piece on abortion have been overall mixed, we were pleased to receive just over £500 from people who decided to support ASN after seeing the show.
And big rock and roll thanks to Girl Germs London for throwing a pro-choice music night fundraiser and raising £313 for Abortion Support Network. Want to know about their next feminist fundraiser gig? Follow Girl Germs on Facebook or Twitter.
And if you have donated to us, make sure you’ve filled out your Gift Aid form – it gives us an extra 25p for every pound you donate!
Women we’ve helped
In February, ASN heard from 22 women, including:
An email from a young man, “My girlfriend and I found out that the baby we’re expecting is incompatible with life, the baby has a rare abnormality and will not survive outside the womb and because of backward Irish law we don’t know where to turn.”
Called by the single mother of a pregnant 16 year old. She is supporting her family as best she can with a mix of her part time work and child benefit and they sold Christmas presents in order to raise funds for the abortion. We were able to give them information on what airlines don’t require passports, help them book flights, and fund the young teen’s procedure.
Contacted by the support worker of a very vulnerable woman. She is a single mother, a recovering drug user, has a number of health issues, and is trying to escape an abusive relationship. We were able to help her afford to travel for her abortion.
A young student who lives with her parents, who she can’t tell about her pregnancy as she fears they would not be supportive of her choice to have an abortion. She and her boyfriend were able to raise the funds for her flights but not enough to cover the procedure, which ASN helped with.
A young woman who had come over for an abortion but hadn’t booked a return flight and didn’t have enough money to get home.
A woman who, just before discovering she was pregnant, was diagnosed with cancer. She had recently moved to the country and has virtually no support system. She decided to obtain an early medical abortion through www.womenonweb.org.
A single mother of a young child. After exploring her options, she decided not to have an abortion.
“hi just enquiring if there is any help i could get??? I’m a mother of 3 and am in absolute shock that I am pregnant never wanted any more kids and relationship is not stabile enough to be having a new baby and financially I couldn’t afford. I was totally against abortion but it is the only thing that i want to do as feel really down about being pregnant and never got this on any of my other kids. I was hoping to go next week but am trying to get the money together to go if there is any help at all it would be appreciated or even if you know the best clinics or the cheapest ones. Thank you”
We thank these women and men for allowing us to share their stories.
Sexual Health UK Awards
Abortion Support Network is both thrilled and humbled to have been shortlisted for an award for the Sexual Health UK Awards! ASN Director Mara Clarke is up for “UK Sexual Health Professional of the Year”. We’d also like to wish Janey Stephenson good luck – her piece “The Secret Abortion Trail” has been shortlisted for The Rosemary Goodchild award for excellence in sexual health journalism. For those of you who want to fancy up and be there on the night to see who wins, tickets to the black tie gala are available here.
Abortion Support Network (ASN) is an all-volunteer charity that provides financial assistance, accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information to women forced to travel from Ireland and Northern Ireland and pay privately for abortions in England. The cost ranges between £400 and £2000 depending on circumstance and stage of pregnancy. While other organisations campaign for much needed law reform, ASN is the only group on record providing women travelling for abortions with the thing they need most immediately: money.