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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May eBulletin

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Welcome to your ASN eBulletin. Which one of our fabulous film screenings will you be attending?  If London, be sure to reserve your seats now as space is limited! We were able to help nine women this month. Are you interested in helping us plan our next big event? And there are more ways to support us than ever!

  • Lights! Camera! Fundraisers!
  • Women we’ve helped
  • An ASN Milestone
  • Support Us
  • Get involved

Lights! Camera! Fundraiser!

Have you saved the dates for one of the upcoming screenings of “Abortion Democracy: Poland South Africa”? The film shows how, inconceivably, it’s easier to get an ILLEGAL abortion in Poland than it is to get a LEGAL abortion in South Africa. All three screenings will include a Q&A with director Sarah Diehl. All proceeds will go towards helping women access safe and legal abortions. Those attending Bristol and Warwick will get to meet ASN Board Member Carolyn Philips, and those in London will have the chance to buy homemade baked goods!

  • Monday 9 May, 6.30 – 8.30pm

University of Warwick Physics Lecture Theatre, CV4 7AL

£3.00 per person, £2.00 student/concessions

View their Facebook Event here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=187187787993717

  • Tuesday 10 May, 7.00-9.00 pm

At the SisterShow Revisted Festival, an exhibition on Feminism in Bristol.

Centre Space Gallery, 6 Leonard Lane, Bristol BS1 1EA. £3.00 – £5.00 sliding scale entry

  • Wednesday 11 May, 7.30-9.00 pm

Birkbeck University in London, Room B20, Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

Suggested voluntary donation: £5.00. There will also be treats for sale!

Seating is limited. Please RSVP!

 

Women we’ve helped

In April we heard from nine women needing our assistance. A great big round of applause to volunteer phone coordinator, Gil, who fielded eight out of those nine calls during her week with the phone. This month we’ve decided to share some of the actual notes made by phone coordinators to give you a fuller picture of the women we hear from (with any identifying information removed to protect privacy).

age 30, 3-4 weeks; had just found out she was pregnant; was referred to us by clinic; advised her to contactWomen on Web to obtain an early medical abortion. she has no internet but will use friend’s; felt this might be a good option for her; I told her if she had a look and decided against it to call us back to discuss further options. age 24, 9 weeks, Had just come to final decision to have abortion, was in something of a hurry now that decision made to get it done immediately. Mother and Father aware and supportive, told them because she would need their financial help. Thought they could get boat to Scotland.

age 29, 10 weeks. Found out today she’s pregnant. Went to [family planning clinic] for scan. 2 kids, in relationship; partner is supportive but neither has any money until the end of the month. I agreed grant 220 euros; she says will pay back as much of that as possible after the end of the month.

Age 24, 6 weeks. Single parent . Found out today is pregnant. On maternity leave from part-time job, father not aware of the pregnancy. She can’t afford flights; we agreed to pay for flights.

19 weeks pregnant. Has 3 kids, including one under one. Initially looked into trying to self-abort as felt could not afford to pay for termination. She in desperate state; knew was pregnant at 10 weeks but couldn’t book abortion because no funds, saving for 8 weeks, has @600 euros; worried about own health but ‘terrified’ to go near a hospital in case they force her to have baby. ASN to pay flights and balance of fee left after client funds and discount from clinic

age 39, 5 weeks. Had taken Emergency Contraception after sex but ineffective. Quite distressed, mainly wanted to talk; partner is aware, supportive, will help financially. She feels a huge sense of shame, guilt and crisis; ‘I can’t have this baby. I’m devastated, I don’t know who to turn to, I don’t know what to do, I’m terrified, frightened’ ‘I want to take the abortion pill because I can’t face the idea of the surgical procedure’. ‘I don’t want to have this abortion but I can’t have this baby’.

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

An ASN Milestone

ASN has already granted more money this year (since Oct 2010) than we did in the whole of last year. That’s with 5 months left to go of this year! The grants we have made so far this year have been to 38 individual women, totalling £7,772.13. Last year we funded 33 women with £7,701.52 towards the cost of their abortion or travel. Neither of these figures represent the additional women we have helped with reduced fees from clinics, with accommodation, or with confidential, non-judgemental information. YOU, our supporters are helping ASN help these women. So thank you!

Support Us

It wouldn’t be an ASN eBulletin if we didn’t ask you to donate. Our goal for this fiscal year (through Sept 2011) is to raise £1,000 per month in regular income. We are currently at £570 so are more than halfway there!

A donation or a Standing Order helps support women who desperately need access to safe and legal abortions.

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.

Want us to work for your money?

Our wonderful volunteer and treasurer Susie is running the Edinburgh marathon for ASN. In Susie’s words:

“The Marathon is 26.2 miles, on 22 May in Edinburgh. I have been training since New Year’s Day, and have got up to 18 miles in my training so far. I’m raising funds for ASN for the same reason I volunteer for ASN. I am incredibly lucky to be living in a country where I could access an abortion quickly, and for free, when I needed one. My biggest worry was an incredibly patronising GP, and that was stressful enough. I want to do my bit to help make it just a little bit easier for women in Ireland and N Ireland. I train 5-6 hours per week, rain wind or shine. I’ve paid my own entry fee and travel/accommodation so all sponsorship will go direct to ASN. So if people would like to give some £££ it will help keep me focussed in the last few weeks.”

Donations to Susie can be made via the regular ASN channels. Please mark your donation “Run, Susie, Run”.

Get Involved!

We know that many of you on this list have donated, and we thank you for it! While financial contributions are our most urgent need, there are other ways to get involved.

Do you like to party? Or love graphic design?

While it may seem like only yesterday that ASN celebrated our first anniversary, we are already planning our 2ndbirthday party! Interested in getting involved? We would love your help in planning the event. We are also again seeking a pro bono designer to layout our annual report – probably no more than 16 A5 pages. Is this you? Email us!

Raising awareness

WE know that abortion is virtually illegal in Ireland and N Ireland, and that there is limited to no provision in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. But most people don’t. Many people think that women in N Ireland must have access to abortion because it’s part of the UK. But they don’t! Many people think that, well, abortion is against the law, but surely not if a woman is raped? Yes, even then! While we know it’s not exactly easy to work abortion into a conversation, we do ask that you bring it up whenever possible. For instance, one of our volunteers was recently approached for a donation to a children’s charity on the high street. When she explained that all her fundraising dollars went to ASN, the “chugger”, in addition to not knowing about the law in Ireland and N Ireland, noted that ASN and her organisation are both protecting children in their own ways – and gave a £5 donation to ASN. So spread the word – you never know what reaction you might get! Or forward them this ebulletin, and encourage them to sign up.

Plus we are still seeking volunteer hosts and a volunteer phone coordinator. Hosts should live within easy commuting distance of Ealing, Richmond, Brixton and Streatham. To be a phone coordinator, you need to live in London, and have regular access to email and the ability to return calls within 48 hours. Please contact us if you are interested in one of these roles.

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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 140 women in difficult circumstances who have contacted us.