Thursday, June 27, 2013

ASN June Newsletter: Summer of our supporters

Here is ASN’s June newsletter. In case you don’t know, or don’t want to read to the end, here is an explanation of the organisation:

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.
Registered Charity Number 1142120

I am not affiliated with ASN, but I do support them.  Read on for the newsletter.

• Ran, ASN, Ran
• Abortion is no laughing matter
• ASN in the news
• Women we’ve helped
• Taking the pulse of ASN’s supporters
• Next ASN eBulletin in August

Ran, ASN, Ran!
ASN sends our thanks to the Fab 5 who not only decided to fundraise for ASN, but did so by putting on ASN t-shirts and wearing them proudly while running the 10K Flora Mini Marathon in Dublin. They raised almost £1000 for ASN, or just over with Gift Aid. If you are interested in fundraising for ASN, please let us know at

Abortion is no laughing matter
But the wonderfully hilarious comedienne activist extraordinaire Kate Smurthwaite IS. On 30 June, ComedyDublin is presenting Kate with a group of other folks prone to hilarity, with the proceeds going to Abortion Support Network. Kate has appeared on BBC 1, Channel 4, Channel 5, BBC World News and Sky TV and is a regular feature of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. More information on the event can be found here. You can also follow Kate on Twitter @Cruella1.

ASN in the news
The Guardian, 3 May 2013
Ireland's pro-choice activists risk prison with mass leafleting campaign
“This information needs to be put into the hands of women and I hope the leaflets find their way into every women's toilet, changing room and pub in Ireland."

National Catholic Reporter, 22 May 2013
Ireland at tipping point with abortion laws
“The reason we do this is because we know when you restrict abortion you don’t stop abortion, you just make it that when faced with unplanned pregnancy women with money have options and women without money have babies or try really desperate and dangerous things.”

BBC Heart and Soul, 8 June 2013
After Savita
“For the majority of women who need abortions, it’s inconvenient. But the women we hear from, by the very fact they are calling a total stranger in another country and begging for money? These women are already disenfranchised.”

Women we’ve helped
In May, ASN heard from 41 women, another record month continuing the steady increase in client calls. We thank our fantastic phone team for their tireless efforts as well as our supporters for enabling us to have the resources to help these women.

A woman with several children who had lost her job due to ill health. Struggling to support her family on benefits and with her health in danger from the pregnancy, she was still denied an abortion by her government. ASN was able to help.

A young mother of two, who said, “This isn’t something I want to do. It’s something I have to do.”

A young teen with a controlling boyfriend who monitors her phone usage. Thankfully she was able to tell her mother about the pregnancy and we were able to be in contact through her mother’s phone.

"I think I'm 22 weeks pregnant and I need help. I can't have this baby, I've been trying to get money together and I told the father he has just left me. I'm in college and have no money I depended on my parents and they will disown me if they knew I was pregnant. I'm getting really worried and I don't know what to do. Anything will help. I know my time is nearly up so I'm beginning to really worry, I know I shouldn't have left it this long but this is my last option and I can't have this baby.”

"I am sorry to be in a position where I need to contact you. I am currently 10wks 6 days pregnant and I cannot continue with this pregnancy. I am awake every night and worried and resentful. I have children already, including one who is disabled. My ex husband was abusive and physically assaulted me over the years. After we split he hospitalised me again. I am in a new relationship and I have no finances to speak of.”

"I am a nineteen year old student. I am around 12 weeks pregnant. I'm thinking about travelling over to the U.K to have an abortion but I do not have the funds required at this moment in time. I am too scared to tell my parents of the situation that I am in. If you could help at all with this situation it would be greatly appreciated.”

“I have two very young children and the youngest was diagnosed with a severe disability. I am so scared this baby will behave the same or worse and either way I can’t handle having another child!”

A young woman who spent £400 on fake abortion pills in Dublin. After ASN was able to help with £200 towards the cost of the procedure, she emailed “I’ve been to the clinic and everything was done. Thank you for everything you give me and my children another chance thanks for your help if in the future you need for anything I am here a big thank you!”

“I am a 23 year old with a young child and have found out I'm pregnant again. I’m really not in a position to keep this baby as i am struggling financially with one as it is. I was wondering if ye could help in any way."

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

Taking the pulse of ASN’s supporters
We have something new for you this month - ASN's first-ever supporter survey! We want to get to know our fantastic supporters - that's you! - a little better. Please click here to complete the survey - it should take about five minutes. Please feel free to spread the word to friends who also support ASN - the more responses we get, the better. Thank you in advance!

Next ASN Newsletter
As we’re so late into June, the next ASN Newsletter will hit your inboxes in August. Here’s hoping for some sunshine between now and then! If you miss your ASN fix between now and then, be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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 many women who have contacted us for support.

Find ASN on Facebook, Twitter and on their Website. Call them on +44 (0) 7897 611 593 or email

Our mailing address is:
Abortion Support Network
London, Greater London W4
United Kingdom
Copyright © 2013 Abortion Support Network, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New comics 22nd June 2013

This was a DC week, woo hoo!  Well, I'm still reading Uncanny X-Men, so there's a lot of that too.  I've put up tons of photos of Uncanny on my twitter, which is sort of charting my progress.  The link is here, if you wish to go and laugh at the 90s.

Spoilers ahead for the latest issue of Thor, Superman Unchained 1, Supergirl 21, Wonder Woman 21, Animal Man 21, Demon Knights 21 and Ultimate Spider-Man 24.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kick Ass 2

Jim Carrey has said he cannot support the new Kick-Ass film, because of the violence his character commits. Source here:

Fine. All well and good.

Mark Millar’s response?

"Ultimately, this is his decision, but I've never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life."

That is fucking stupid. Not only is he mixing up something fictional with something real he is ascribing intent to Carrey that Carrey doesn’t give. Gaah.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Midsummer Solstice!

It's the longest day of the year, hooray!

Today is variously known as the time of ripening, the golden season, Coamhain or Litha  It's a good time for divination and building bonfires to cleanse your home.  Sunflowers, St John's Wort, Marigold, Fennel, Honeysuckle and the Oak are the plants of the season.  As I look in my garden I see that the Hawthorn only just stopped flowering a week or so ago and the Oak is yet to come into flower.  Everything is so late this year.  British strawberries have only just come into season an they should have been out at Beltaine.

There is the idea that the 8 festivals mark out the life of the God - born at Yule, nursed at Imbolc, grows to adulthood at Ostara, marries the Goddess at Beltaine, fertilises the earth at Midsummer, is honoured as High King at Lughnasa, sacrifices himself for the people at Harvest and dies at Halloween.  Throughout this all the Goddess is present as and in the earth.  Neither will survive without the other.

Yesterday I baked gingerbread biscuits and this weekend I will decorate them with sun emblems.  I intended to get up this morning and do half an hour's worth of sun salutations.  That didn't happen as I slept in late.  I set up my altar decorations last night and this morning went into the garden and picked some flowers for it:
I chose honeysuckle and broom flowers, because they are in flower, and a clematis petal which had fallen off the plant.  We have a few other plants in flower but none that I felt right in picking.  We need to plant sunflowers.

I am having great difficulty in setting up decorations in this house.  I want them in the conservatory for the light but the only surface is rather small and cramped, and as you can see from the picture, rather full of other stuff.  I don't feel like there is room to put out candles or incense and there is also no room to pull up a chair alongside it.  I had lovely ideas of using it for a meditation space but don't seem to have managed that either.

One day I will feel comfortable with it, but for now, I'll just bumble along!

I will try and pick up some sunflower seeds and fruit to snack upon, and this evening I'm going to the pub to meet some friends.  It's not my traditional way of celebrating but I think it will be fun!

Have a wonderful day everybody!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Man of Steel film review

I saw Man of Steel on Saturday.  What follows are my thoughts on it.  Don’t read it if you don’t want to be spoiled.  There’s a lot of spoilers.  Oh, and I had already discussed it in depth on the latest Radio Bamf podcast (for which I am now a regular team member). So give that a listen too.  We all had varying opinions on it and the discussion was spirited, to say the least!

I would advise you all to go see it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

More X thoughts

I'm now up to Uncanny X-men 272 - the X-tinction agenda.

I am confused about Jubilee's powers - does she just produce light or does she produce explosions as well?  If so, what is she exploding?  Does she create something combustible?

Thinking more on the art, although the adults tend to have the same body type, either muscular male or leggy slim women, the anatomy is largely correct.  The women aren't (usually) put in sexual poses, there aren't any escher girls.  The poses and actions are on the whole, feasible.  I guess you could say that the women's legs are too long and the men's muscles aren't 100% accurate, but I don't have a problem with that, because that's the artist's style.

I was under the impression that Wolverine was meant to be attractive, rather then a short hairy animal.  I guess that's what Hugh Jackman and Hollywood does for me.

I'm enjoying the letters pages.  In the back of 270 there is a suggestion from a Londoner about who should be cast in an X-men film.  She suggests Arnold Schwarzenegger as Colossus, Grace Jones as Storm, Madonna as Dazzler, Dennis Quaid as Havok and Julia Roberts as Storm.  The editor suggests Clint Eastwood as Wolverine.  Bearing in mind that this was in 1990, what do you guys reckon to these suggestions?  I think they are pretty good.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Comics review 8/06/2013

So this week I have mostly been reading Fearless Defenders 5 and 1990s Uncanny X-Men comics.  Thoughts follow after the break.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Wonderful article on the Empowered comic

Just go read it.  Empowered is a subervsie feminist comic with an intelligent and likeable heroine, that is all about cheesecake and sexy stuff and getting tied up but does it right.  I reviewed the first volume over on New readers...

Friday, June 07, 2013

The Nail

I would like to read this book. Having looked at the blurb on Amazon I must say that I take issue with one part of the description:

Now, without a symbol of unimpeachable integrity or a selfless leader who inspires greatness in their ranks.

What does Wonder Woman stand for then?

Eejits. I still want to read it though. That and Another Nail. Anyone else read it? Is it any good?

However, I first must get through my X-Men comics! :D

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Another week, another set of reviews (and a Bamf session)

I guested on Radio Bamf again on Sunday. I feel a lot more positive about this episode, although I have come to realise that I suck at verbally summarising and reviewing books. I’m much better responding to other people’s thoughts and ideas. Anyways I had fun, I think it was a good show, so go have listen to episode 15 either at the website or  on Youtube (with automatic captions) and iTunes.  Links are on the we Are Arcade page.

Thanks again to the Bamf team for having me on. Catch them on twitter and facebook.

Now read ahead for comic reviews and spoilers of Supergirl/Prysm Double shot, Signs and Voices, Professor Elemental, Adventures of Superman 1, JLA 4, X-Men 1, Fearless Defenders 4 and Princeless # 3 (second volume).