NYAAF provides testimony before the New York City Council Committee on Women’s Issues

NYAAF Co-Chair, Alison Turkos provided testimony on NYAAF’s behalf in support of a resolution commemorative Roe. v. Wade and urging Congress to pass the Women’s Health Projection Act.

nyaaf.nyccRead NYAAF’s testimony below!

Testimony of the New York Abortion Access Fund before The New York City Council Committee on Women’s Issues regarding Proposed Resolution No. T2015-2352

January 21, 2015

Thank you to the New York City Council for introducing this important resolution.

My name is Alison Turkos and I am Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York Abortion Access Fund, NYAAF. NYAAF supports anyone who is unable to pay fully for an abortion and is living in or travelling to New York State by providing financial assistance and connections to other resources. When an abortion clinic encounters a patient who needs financial assistance, NYAAF is one of the potential funding sources to which they turn. Over the last twelve years, we’ve pledged over $465,000 to help more than 1,500 people access abortion services. We are run completely by volunteers, are funded almost entirely by individual donations, and every single grant we make goes directly to an abortion clinic on behalf of a patient who cannot afford the cost.

People come from all over the country to access abortion services in New York City, for a variety of reasons. NYAAF has helped people from as close as Pennsylvania and New Jersey to as far as California, Texas, Utah, and France. For some, abortion may be more affordable in NYC than in their home states, while others come because they may be able to have procedures done at later stages of pregnancy. Many people that NYAAF has helped found that New York has fewer barriers to accessing abortion care than surrounding states; some have even come from areas where there are no abortion providers at all.

Many states have a limited number of providers, which leads to fewer clinics, which often means more travel time for many patients. Low-income individuals who seek funding from an abortion fund like NYAAF not only have a hard time coming up with funds for the abortion, but many times have to consider time off work, childcare, travel and hotel costs. We work every day with clients who sell their belongings, go hungry for weeks as they save up their grocery money, or risk eviction by using their rent money to pay for an abortion.

New York is lucky in that we don’t have some of the more onerous restrictions like those we’ve seen in recent years in Texas, which have succeeded in closing the doors of many of the state’s already over-burdened clinics. Ensuring that safe, legal abortion care is available to anyone who needs it requires institutional and political support for abortion providers. Clinics should be able to stay open without unnecessary structural requirements or other governmental hoops to jump through – hoops that serve not to protect patient health, but rather to delay access to safe legal services.
While we are privileged to live in a state where Medicaid covers abortion costs and where laws do not restrict access to abortion care, there are still many in New York who are unable to access abortion care. These are the many patients who turn to the New York Abortion Access Fund for funding. As the growing need for NYAAF’s funding shows, legalities can be meaningless when countless other barriers stand in your way. We are thankful for these courageous city council members who recognize that while abortion needs to be safe and legal, it also must be affordable and accessible. We hope this resolution will push people to think about abortion not just within the limiting framework of “choice”, but as a crucial component in the broader fight for economic and reproductive justice. Thank you.

Reflecting on 2014 and continuing to fight for abortion access in NY state in 2015!

Dear friends, allies, and supporters,

Thanks to supporters like you, the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) has grown tremendously since we made our first grant to a client-in-need back in 2001. This past fiscal year, we pledged $136,401 on behalf of 374 clients living in or traveling to New York State. Your generosity has allowed our clients to access the abortion services they needed and were unable to afford on their own.

While reproductive rights continue to come under attack across the country, New York is a haven for abortion access. At NYAAF, we are constantly reminded of the critical role we play in supporting patients from other states — 31% of our clients last year traveled to New York from another state, often from places where accessing an abortion has become increasingly difficult.

Recognizing an enormous need and constantly striving to better serve our callers, NYAAF embarked on two transformative projects this year. First, we worked closely and critically with an experienced consultant to develop a strategic plan for our development and to determine priorities and best practices for the future. Second, we implemented a new intake model in which highly trained volunteers manage our hotline under the supervision of current board members. Working with our committed volunteer case managers has increased our capacity for calls and has allowed our community to grow in a truly meaningful way. Both projects took a great deal of time, energy, and love – and we are confident that the hard work will pay off as NYAAF continues to improve and grow.

At such an important and exciting time for NYAAF, I hope that we can count on your continued support. Friends like you ensure that we can continue to return every call we receive and that our clients can continue to access the care they need.

Thank you for your commitment to abortion access in our community!

With our love and gratitude,

msesigatesig

 

 

Maureen Stuzman and Alison Turkos
Co-Chairs of the Board of Directors
New York Abortion Access Fund

Our 3rd Annual Celebrate Access Awards: a smashing success!!

cd268d5c-1e32-4a9f-8589-02b738dd2663-2

Our 3rd Annual Celebrate Access Awards party was a huge success, thanks to you!!! We were able to raise over $29,000! Soooo close to our $30K goal! (Want to help us reach that goal?! Donate here, whoo!)

This year’s honorees were MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, the Entitlement Counselors of Planned Parenthood of New York City, and longtime NYAAF supporter and advocate Barbara Kass. We were so pleased to celebrate the hard work of our honorees and to celebrate abortion access in New York with so many of our supporters.

See some photos of the event below! For the rest, check out our album on Facebook!

See below the slides from our e-journal, which was projected as a slide show during the event. Thank you again to all of our wonderful sponsors!

 

NYAAF’s FY14 Annual Report is here!

The New York Abortion Access Fund is very proud to present our FY14 annual report. In it, you’ll find information about our newly-updated intake process, data about who we serve, media highlights, a financial overview, and much more!

FY14 was our biggest year yet and we’re eager to share our successes with you. Please review the report below and contact us at info@nyaaf.org with any questions.

Sincerely,

NYAAF Board of Directors


NYAAF FY14 Annual Report by NYAbortionAccessFund

NYAAF’s Third Annual Celebrate Access Awards!

This year’s honorees are MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, the Entitlement Counselors of Planned Parenthood of New York City, and longtime NYAAF supporter and advocate Barbara Kass! Purchase a ticket for the event and read details below:

What: NYAAF’s 3rd Annual Celebrate Access Awards
When: October 16, 2014, 6:30 PM
Where: 225 West 83rd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, NYC

Ticket prices:
Supporter: $100, one ticket
Silver Level Sponsorship: $250, including one event ticket and a half page message in event e-journal
Gold Level Sponsorship: $500, including 2 event tickets, a half page message in event e-journal, recognition in materials, website, and annual report
Platinum Level Sponsorship: $1000, including 2 event tickets, a full screen message in event e-journal, recognition during the program and marketing materials, website, and annual report

Click here to purchase a ticket for the event!

Punk Rock Karaoke is baaaaack!

 

 

Come sing (or scream!) your heart out for a cause! NYAAF is so excited and pleased to be the beneficiary for Punk Rock Karaoke Northeast! The proceeds from this event will go directly to help folks seeking abortion care in New York, who would otherwise be unable to cover the cost of their abortion.

When: Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 8:00pm
Where: Pine Box Rock Shop,12 Grattan St, Brooklyn, NY
Price: $10 suggested donation
Please spread the word! This event was a BLAST last summer and we look forward to having even more fun this year!
About Punk Rock Karaoke:
Punk Rock Karaoke is a DIY, fund-raising event that benefits a different community group at each event. Like Punk Rock Karaoke on facebook to stay up to date on future events!
Featuring songs from:
Against Me!, Bikini Kill, Black Flag, Bratmobile, Buzzcocks, Choking Victim, The Clash, Circle Jerks, Crass, Dead Kennedys, Descendents, Devo, Flogging Molly, Fugazi, Gogol Bordello, Gorilla Biscuits, Jawbreaker, Joy Division, Minor Threat, The Misfits, NOFX, Operation Ivy, Pixies, The Pogues, Ramones, Rancid, Screeching Weasel, Sex Pistols, Sleater-Kinney, The Smiths, The Specials, Stiff Little Fingers, Wire, X, X-Ray Spex + More!!!

Please join NYAAF for a screening of the “year’s most revolutionary film…”

m_350_oc_1sht_V1.indd

Obvious Child is the abortion movie we’ve been waiting for. Take all your friends, especially the ones who aren’t so sure how they feel about abortion, to see Obvious Child. It will not only help demystify abortion but give concrete examples of how to make someone who’s having one feel loved and supported. Plus, it’s really, really funny.”
                                                                  –  former NYAAF board member Steph Herold

In Obvious Child, “a twenty-something comedienne’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront the realities of independent womanhood for the first time.” But more than that, Obvious Child is a movie that, for many, will be “a landmark moment in cultural history.” It asks the question, “what if abortion is a story’s happy ending?”

Please join NYAAF as we present a benefit screening of Obvious Child. 
A portion of your ticket purchase will benefit NYAAF.
When: Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 7:05 PM
Where: Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston Street, NYC
Price: $20 (click here to purchase tickets)
The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the star Jenny Slate, writer/director Gillian Robespierre, and producer Elisabeth Holm.

This Bowl-a-thon is gonna rule. (Seriously.)

bowlmor-chelsea-piers-04

Hello, bowlers! See that picture up there? That’s the sweet venue where the Bowl-a-thon is taking place in less than 3 weeks! Food, drinks, bowling, abortion funding… what more could you want?

On a more serious note, we put a lot of effort into making sure this year’s Bowl-a-thon is the BEST ONE YET… and thus we present some important things you should know:

  • PRIZES!!! Yes, indeed. We have some awesome prizes in store for 3 categories: Top Fundraising Team, Rookie of the Year, and Best Costumes. People go all out for the Bowl-a-thon & we want to honor your efforts. Plus, we want to see who can top last year’s robot squad team ensemble (ABORITON 3000 activate!)
  • NEW VENUE!!! We booked this new Bowlmor location specifically because it’s all on one floor and therefore more conducive to socializing and generally having a great time! At its core, the Bowl-a-thon is a celebration and we want that to come across. The Bowl-a-thon is also longer than it has been in past years because what’s the fun in rushing to bowl? We’re here to enjoy ourselves!
  • SPEAKING OF FUN!!! What’s more fun that having some drinks & eating food? Not much (besides bowling) and there will be plenty of all of that at the Bowl-a-thon! Also, for the first time ever, we’ve booked a DJ to provide some sweet tunes while you bowl. We heavily encourage you to get your dance on, but be careful – those bowling shoes can be slippery!
  • WE’RE KICKING BUTT!!! That’s right. Not only are we OUTPACING last year’s fundraising but we are WAY ahead as far as number of bowlers registered! This says a couple things to us: people are recognizing the importance of supporting abortion funds and they’re willing to do what they can to help – and we couldn’t be happier about that. As we shared with you, we are pledging more than ever before and it is fundraising events like the Bowl-a-thon that make our work possible. Thank you!
Bowling in NYC is freakin’ expensive! Because of our bigger, better venue, we’re spending a bit more this year. Each bowler costs us $50 (vs. last year’s $40). So please try to raise more than $50 so we don’t lose money! :)
Huge congrats to Jenna J. of team “Spare Me!” Jenna’s fundraising efforts last week won her a $100 credit + private shopping party at Bhoomki, a fabulous boutique in Brooklyn that specializes in environmentally & socially responsible brands! Awesome job, Jenna!
Be the best bowler you can be! If you’ve hit your fundraising goal, raise it! If you’ve been meaning to ask that one friend for a donation, go for it! If you know someone who needs to register, remind them to! We have only 20 registration spots left! Let’s do this!

Party at your place?! (and other ways to fundraise offline)

party

Hello bowlers!

Now that you’ve personalized your fundraising page and sent out emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts to your networks, you may be wondering what else you can do to reach your goal. Even though your fundraising page is online, we encourage bowlers to also use offline tools to raise money.

Here are some suggestions to help inspire you on how to use offline tools and resources to reach your goal:

Organize an event! The possibilities are endless: you and your team can choose to have a bar night, throw a house party, have a bake sale, or even host a stoop sale (weather permitting!). Think you have what it takes to organize a successful fundraising event, but need a little help connecting with the right folks to make it happen? Great! Send us an email to info[at]nyaaf[dot]org (subject line: “Events”) with your idea, and we’ll get in touch regarding next steps.

Offer perks/rewards for donations! Maybe you don’t have time to throw an event, but still want to provide incentives. Consider offering perks à la Kickstarter for donations to your loved ones. Have a ton of books or clothes lying around? Offer an item of their choice to your donors! Have a large social media following? Consider posting a tweet or blog publicizing your donors’ project! Have stellar cooking or baking skills? Make a meal or treat for select donors! The possibilities are endless & everyone has something awesome to offer.

Use your talents! Are you a musician or an artist? Do you have amazing cooking/writing/social media/organizing/styling skills? Consider using your particular talents to offer your donors a free song, piece of art, consultation, or workshop! It’s a way to show your passion while incentivizing potential donors!

NOTE: Don’t forget to log your cash donations on your Bowl-a-thon page!
We want you and your team to get credit for all your hard work! To log cash or check donations you receive your event, simply log in to your participant page at http://bit.ly/NYAAFbowl14. On the left column near the bottom, click “Enter offline donations.” We will collect the cash & checks on the day of the BAT, or you can email us and arrange for an exchange if you’d rather not hang on to it all.

We reached March benchmark goal of $30,000! HURRAY! But with an overall goal of $100,000, we have a long way to go & the Bowl-a-thon is in less than ONE MONTH!

Thank you so much for supporting NYAAF as we get ever-closer to the best Bowl-a-thon EVER! As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions and happy funding!

Many thanks,
Dana
NYAAF Bowl-a-thon Coordinator

P.S. Fundraise & Win Big!

Win a $100 gift certificate to Bhoomki, a fabulous boutique in Park Slope, Brooklyn, that specializes in environmental & socially responsible brands!

In addition, the winner and 6-8 friends are invited to a private shopping party – with complementary bellinis or wine – at Bhoomki where all purchases will be 15% off!

For every $100 you raise between 3/28 – 4/4, you’ll be entered once into the raffle.Winner will be announced on 4/4. Good luck!