Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Abortion Support Network - August bulletin

Find them on twitter: @abortionsupport

Welcome to your ASN eBulletin. July has been another busy month – and things show no sign of slowing down. ASN’s Mara Clarke stood up for women in Ireland at a Pro Choice demonstration. We have a new phone team! ASN is looking to expand our hosting network outside of London. Save the date for our second birthday party – and why not take advantage of the opportunity to organise a film screening for ASN? Check out the second London Reproductive Health Happy Hour!

• The calls keep coming in
• New phone team
• Pro Choice Rally 9 July
• Upcoming events
• Hosts wanted and other ways to get involved
• Keep in touch
The calls keep coming in
In July, ASN heard from 24 women. In comparison, last July we heard from five. In fact, in our busiest month last year we heard from 12 women, whereas this year we’ve had several months where we’ve heard from more than 20 women. We are incredibly grateful to our donors, who provide us with the means to help these women when they call, and to the clinics we work with, who do everything in their power to help these women in need.
Women we heard from this month included:
  • A 20 year old woman who became pregnant despite using oral contraceptives whose partner became violent and abusive when she told him about the pregnancy 
  • A woman who felt so guilty and alone she spoke of suicide
  • A mother of two who arrived at the clinic at a later gestation than anyone had suspected, and on a day when there was no doctor available to perform the procedure at her gestation. We were able to book her an appointment at a nearby clinic the same day.
  • Three women in various circumstances who we helped to access a medical abortion through Women on Web.
  • A single mother of two and recovering substance user. Her sister was able to help her with some of the funds, and ASN was able to make up the balance.
  • A single mother who was advised not to have another child due to complications in her last pregnancy. When she approached her family for help she was told that she’d ‘made her bed and would now have to lie in it.’
  • A young married couple facing a pregnancy affected by severe foetal anomalies. Their situation is so dire they are hoping she miscarries to save making the difficult and costly trip to England.
Email from a woman looking for help:
  • Hey i really dnt know wat to do im 23 yrs old and i cant get an abortion over here and im now pregnant roughly 7 weeks i have 200 pounds i am on benefits no 1 will help me my doctor called me a murderer earlier and told me to leave his clinic please help i feel suicidal and have depression and severe anxiety, thank you

And finally, a thank you from the mother of a teen we helped in June:
  • Hi I was wanted to Thank you again without your kind help I don't know how I would have been able to help my daughter as there is no help for woman/young girls here! She found out about your charity through talking to a Councillor. You were so caring, understanding of my predicament. I hope that if any other single mums of a 16 year old daughter finds themselves in my position find out about your charity as the cost of travel & clinic costs are horrendous on a single wage.
ASN thanks these women and men for sharing their stories with us, and for permitting us to share them with you. We also thank the clinics, counsellors and other groups who ensure that these women receive the care they need.

New phone team
Thank you to everyone who came forward to volunteer as ASN phone coordinators. As the link between women in difficult circumstances and the funding and information that can help them, the phone is a vital channel for ASN. We are just now in the final stages of interviewing and training our new team.

Pro Choice Rally 9 July

We were glad to see so many of you at the Pro Choice Rally held 9 July at Parliament Square. For those of you who missed it, we have a clip of ASN’s Mara Clarke, who was among speakers including Dr Evan Harris, Dianne Abbott MP, Lisa Hallgarten of Education for Choice, writer Laurie Penny, and Darinka Aleksic and Kate Smurthwaite of Abortion Rights.

Upcoming Events

• ASN’s second birthday celebration will be in the evening of 26 October in central London. Save the date!

• Interested in hosting a film screening? The fabulous Sarah Diehl is returning to England with her film, Abortion Democracy: Poland South Africa. She will be attending a screening/ASN fundraiser in Newcastle 20 October and is looking for other venues to show between Newcastle and London between 20 Oct and 25 Oct. If you live in the UK and are interested in organising a screening of Abortion Democracy: Poland South Africa, get in touch!

• The Repro Health Happy Hour returns! Join pro choice Londoners at a networking/drinks/social event 23rd August. More details here.

Get involved

As a volunteer-run organisation, ASN counts on its wonderful volunteers and supporters to help the women who contact us. We are currently seeking the following volunteers. Please contact us if you are interested in one of these roles.

Hosts - ASN is expanding! In addition to seeking hosts within an easy commute of Richmond, Ealing, Streatham or Brixton, we are also seeking hosts in Birmingham, Merseyside/Liverpool, Bristol and Manchester. Have a spare room, pull out sofa, or air mattress and the desire to host a woman in need? Get in touch! And make sure to tell your prochoice friends who live in these places about ASN!

Event Planning - Host a film screening, help plan an ASN event, or create something of your own. For inspiration, check out our Fundraising Toolkit.

A few words from you
As ASN starts writing our second annual report, we want your input. If you have made a donation, what compelled you to choose ASN to support? If you are a host, what makes you host? Why are you involved with ASN? Let us know!

Are you one of the more than 500 people who follows us on Twitter? If not, sign up now! Have a friend who would be interested in receiving this newsletter? Forward this to them and encourage them to visit www.abortionsupport.org.uk to sign up to receive our monthly eBulletin.

Thank you!!

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 women in difficult circumstances who have contacted us.

With best regards
Abortion Support Network
+44 (0) 7897 611 593
Charity Number 1142120

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