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November eBulletin

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Welcome to your November ASN ebulletin

And we thought last month was busy!


A brief word about ASN from ASN, followed by some of the coverage of ASN in the news this month. ASN doesn’t have a 3rd birthday party – and thanks all of you who didn’t come. Our Standing Order campaign extends. Do you have a head for numbers? If so, we want you! Women we’ve helped this month. Kick off the pre-festive season by having a drink with us!


Time is (not) on our side

ASN in the news

Thank you for not coming to our non-party! Please do let us know if you didn’t come.

And speaking of money . . .

Galway fundraising event

Do you have a head for numbers? And other volunteer opportunities.

Women we’ve helped

Have a drink with us!




Time is (not) on our side


With the opening of the MSI Belfast clinic, a debate on the time limit in the House of Commons, and increased media interest in abortion, it’s been another busy month. As we are all volunteers, time is not something ASN has a lot of. When we experience these large increases in volume – for instance, receiving calls from 22 journalists on top of a high level of contact from women needing help, we respond to the calls and emails whenever we possibly can. Be it during our regular jobs, on the school run or during dinner. We are a small group of committed people, and we do the best we can with what we have, and we wanted to take a moment to give a hip hip hurrah! to ASN’s fabulous volunteers, supporters, donors and partners.


ASN in the News


ASN received an amazing amount of media coverage last month. Huge thanks to those in the media who covered abortion in a way that truly demonstrated what happens to women when abortion is severely restricted, and even bigger thanks to the ASN volunteers, allies, and, in the case of the Toronto Star, the woman ASN helped previously who spoke to the press about both her work with us and her own experience of abortion.


Some highlights of the coverage ASN received around the opening of the MSI clinic in Belfast:


BBC Breakfast, Mara Clarke debates Peter Smith of Catholic Voices


SKY News, Mara Clarke debates Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life


LA Times, Opening of Northern Ireland’s first abortion clinic draws protests


ASN in coverage about the Republic of Ireland:


Toronto Star, First Abortion Clinic in Ireland set to open in Belfast


Stylist Magazine, Abortion: The unheard stories


Al Jazeera, Money woes limit Irish abortion options


And the fabulous Education for Choice 40 Days for Choice Campaign featured two more blogs from ASN volunteers before wrapping up, including “Pro Choice and Christian” by ASN volunteer Katy Ladbrook and the final blog of the series, “A tribute to home-grown UK pro-choice activism” by ASN volunteer Jennifer Reiter.



Thank you for not coming to our non-party!


The ASN non-event to mark our third anniversary was a rousing success! Big thanks to everyone who celebrated in their own way by not attending our party. 65 of you didn’t come to our Facebook event, dozens of you re-tweeted the non-event, and in the process we raised more than £300 of money you would have spent on tube travel and pints if you had attended our party, instead helping us to help more women. Miss the event? Check it out. Gutted you missed your opportunity to donate? You didn’t! Follow this link to see how you can make a standing order, a single donation or fill out a Gift Aid form.


And speaking of money . . .


Remember our £1000 Standing Order campaign? Given that we made our target, but the calls keep increasing, we’ve decided to increase our goal to £1,500. Knowing how much money comes in each month helps us plan the coming month. We gladly and gratefully accept monthly donations in any amount – even £1 a month helps! Take me to the donate page.


Galway Pro-Choice ASN fundraising event


This just in! Galway Pro-Choice will be hosting a fundraiser for ASN with a film screening on 16 November. Films will include X is for Anonymous and Like a Ship in the Night. Facebook event here.


Time on your hands? ASN wants you!


ASN is currently seeking two volunteers – one long term and one for a one-off project:


Have a head for numbers? ASN’s wonderful book-keeper is leaving in March! After 3 years, she’s decided to take a well deserved break. So you love online banking, jive on being organised, like to pay bills on time and have the ability to spend a few hours each week on ASN work? This is a great role for someone who wants to play a critical, on-going role with ASN who has basic book keeping training or experience or a willingness to teach yourself. Training and handover will be provided. Interested? Get in touch for a role description!


Or, Are you a webby word smith? ASN’s website is in need of a refresh. ASN seeks a volunteer who could bring a fresh eye to our site. We have the technical side sorted, but need someone with a flair for copy and an eye for ease of navigation. Sound like you? Get in touch!


Women we’ve helped


In October, ASN heard from 32 [Waiting for an update on this] women. Women we’ve heard from included:


A disabled woman who, despite serious complications with her last baby and the high risk to her life and health, was not able to obtain an abortion on the NHS.


“My partner and I have 3 children already. We are both currently out of work and we really cannot afford to have another child we also have tried all possible ways of raising the funds but we really don’t know what to do, with the money we receive weekly we simply cannot afford such an expense we would be very grateful if you could help us.”


A woman who was pregnant as a result of a violent gang rape – but who we unfortunately were unable to help as she was not able to get the visa she needed to travel.


The mother of a young pregnant teen. She was able to raise £350 by feeding herself and her kids beans on toast for three weeks. As they had no access to a credit card, ASN booked their flights as well as helping with the balance of the cost of the procedure.


“I have decided to travel to the UK for an abortion. I am a single mother with 2 children and I know I could not cope mentally or financially with another child. I am currently a student and am finding it really difficult to come up with the full amount to cover the cost of an abortion.”


A young single mother who had worked with her friends to raise the funds required for her procedure at 16 weeks, but needed hosting. When she arrived at the clinic, she was discovered to be 20 weeks pregnant, meaning the procedure would cost over a £400 more. ASN was able to help cover the difference so she did not have to go home and return again.


A woman who attempted suicide in an effort to end her pregnancy.


We were also able to help several women to access a safe and effective early medical abortion through Women on Web.


We thank these women for allowing us to share their stories.




Have a drink with us! 17 November 2012


While ASN absolutely didn’t throw a party for the 3rd anniversary of its launch date, ASN’s founder is definitely having a party for the 40th anniversary of her birth. All ASN supporters are welcome to come along, meet pro-choice people, and have some drinks. The party will be in a W London bar on the evening of Saturday, 17 November. Email for details.




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 women in difficult circumstances who have contacted us.


Abortion Support Network (ASN) is an all-volunteer charity that provides accommodation, financial assistance and confidential, non-judgemental information to women forced to travel from 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 law reform, ASN is the only group on record providing women travelling for abortions with the thing they need most immediately: money.