ASN March 2014 Newsletter

  • International Women’s Week brings many ways to support abortion rights!
  • ASN in the News
  • Women We’ve Helped
  • Running for choice
  • Have a flair for leadership, or a spare room?

International Women’s Week brings many ways to support abortion rights!

We’re so keen to celebrate women and hope you’ll forgive us if we stretch it out for a few extra days. This is also the season of Lent, which means the anti-choicers are out in force, protesting outside of clinics as part of “40 Days for Life”. Following are three things you can do to support abortion rights during this time.

Support ASN

Last week ASN launched an appeal  in response to THIS REPORT from Education for Choice, investigating rogue Crisis Pregnancy Centres in the UK. ASN has heard from many women who have been shamed, manipulated, and flat out lied to, not only at Crisis Pregnancy Centres but by healthcare professionals as well. When women contact ASN, we make it clear that we are not counsellors or doctors but there to give them practical advice and financial help, not shame or judgement. Please donate today.

Join the Debate

ASN’s Mara Clarke has been invited to take part in a debate being held as part of the King’s College London’s Student Union’s Women’s History Month Thursday 13 March at 6.30 pm. The motion up for debate is “Abortion Must be Banned”, and we are expecting a heated debate. Come along and show your support for a woman’s right to choose abortion. More info is here.

Support 40 Days for Choice

40 Days for Choice opposes the harassment of clinics by “40 Days for Life” as positively as they can. This time we’re thrilled that they are doing so by raising money for Abortion Support Network as well as raising awareness of abortion-related problems both in the UK and worldwide. Check out their Tumblr, follow them on Twitter or visit this site to support their campaign.

ASN in the News

Following are a few of the places ASN was featured in the media this past month:

25 February
…so to speak (Blog)
ASN volunteer Sophie Rowan writes about the experience of young women who find themselves pregnant in a country without abortion access.

1 February
Voice of Russia Radio
Sex-selective abortions in the UK – is it happening and if so, why?
ASN’s Mara Clarke joins others on a panel to discuss sex-selective abortion.

27 January
Edinburgh Eye
Every woman who needs a abortion should get it on the NHS
The fabulous Jane Carnell of Eye Edinburgh cites ASN in her piece on the absurdity of the fact that women in England, Scotland and Wales can get an abortion on the NHS and women in Northern Ireland need £400-£2000 and a plane ticket.

Women We’ve Helped

In February, ASN heard from 63 women, couples and families.

  • A young university student, unable to pay for her abortion but also terrified at what her future would look like if she was forced to drop out of school to raise a child.
  • A woman supporting herself as best she can on one day per week of work.
  • A young mother who, despite having a job, was unable to raise the cost of her termination, which pushed her further into pregnancy. When she contacted us, she was 20 weeks pregnant but had only raised £1050 towards the cost of a £1310 termination – plus flights. ASN was able to fund the reminder of the procedure as well as provide the client with a host.
  • A mother who had been told that any future pregnancies would be difficult and potentially unsafe for her.
  • A young man and woman contacted us after finding that their one night stand had resulted in a pregnancy. They had discussed all their options and decided they wanted to terminate the pregnancy but neither had enough funds to cover the cost.

This was also a month of fours:

  • Four mothers calling on behalf of their pregnant teenage daughters, aged 15-17.
  • Four women who, after initially calling ASN for help, were relieved to miscarry their pregnancies, meaning they didn’t have to raise the cost of travelling and paying privately for an abortion in England.
  • Four undocumented immigrants unable to obtain the visas they needed to travel for an abortion. Only one was able to access an early medical abortion via Women on Web. The other three women, despite checking with migrants’ rights and other organisations, were forced to continue their pregnancies.

And finally, we received this email, which pretty much sums up the experience of many of our clients:

I am finding the process of organising this journey mind boggling. Maybe my brain is not relaxed enough. I do not have funds yet but am trying to secure a loan. I do not know which clinic is the better option in terms of cost and ease of travel to England. I have no support and am trying to organise this on my own. I would appreciate some assistance as I am currently out of work.

We thank these women and men for allowing us to share their stories – and for your support, which enabled us to help them.

Please note that all monies are written as GBP regardless of where clients are resident, and that “Ireland” can refer to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Running for choice

Are you planning to run the Flora Mini Marathon? Why not run it for ASN? Last year we had a team of five raise just over £1000 for ASN and we’re looking to put another team together. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested!

Have a flair for leadership, or a spare room?

The deadline to apply for the ASN Board of Trustees is Friday 28 March. Trustees work with ASN’s Director and have specified responsibilities along with providing strategic oversight for ASN and helping us fundraise. Please contact [email protected] to request a role description and application if interested.

We are also still seeking volunteer hosts in LIVERPOOL. Do you have a spare room, pull out sofa, or air mattress and the desire to help a woman in need and live within a 30 minute commute of the bpas Liverpool clinic? You won’t be called to host often but when you are, you will know you are having a direct impact on a woman’s life. If interested, please contact us [email protected].

Thank you again for all your support. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to provide financial assistance, accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information to the many women who have contacted us for support.