Let’s BOWL!

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Hello amazing supporters! The NYAAF Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser is back and better than ever!

Whether you want to help a great cause, support an existing team, or you’re eager to show off those bowling skills, find out more about the Bowl-a-thon here.

The Bowl-a-thon is what allows NYAAF to continue our vital work. It’s the event that keeps NYAAF’s services available to those who need it most. That’s why we need your help!

This year, we’re aiming to break Bowl-a-thon records & raise an amazing $100,000! Will you help us achieve that goal?

We’ve compiled this handy list of FAQs, but if you have additional questions feel free to reach out to us, so we can get you bowling! Click the jump to read more.

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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.

NYAAF in the LA Times and Albany Times Union!

It’s been an exciting few weeks at NYAAF! Our Board Co-Chair Alison Turkos was quoted in this great piece about abortion funds in the LA Times.

Two weeks ago, a New York State Senator said,  “Never once in 15 years has someone called my office who needed an abortion and couldn’t get one. Abortion access is not an issue in New York state.” We couldn’t disagree more. So we wrote to the Albany Times Union to give them correct information about abortion access in New York. An excerpt of our Letter to the Editor is below:

According to the Guttmacher Institute, three are 5.6 million New York women of reproductive age below 100 percent of the poverty line. It’s not that New Yorkers don’t have trouble accessing abortion care; it’s that they don’t call their state senator and ask for help.

Read the whole thing here.

Special Screening of the film After Tiller

Please join us for a screening of the award-winning documentary film After Tiller on September 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by NYAAF with the filmmakers, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson. A portion of your ticket purchase will benefit the New York Abortion Access Fund.

Buy tickets here. You can RSVP on facebook here.

Details:
When: September 21st, 7:00 p.m
Where: Film Society at Lincoln Center
70 Lincoln Square, #4
New York, New York 10023
Tickets: $20, includes movie screening and Q&A session with the filmmakers, must be purchased in advance. 

Top 5 Reasons You Should Join Us to Support Texas Abortion Funds

Join us to support abortion access in Texas! Here’s why:

  1. We’ll be raffling off awesome swag and cool prizes!
  2. The first 35 people to enter get a free drink ticket and special prize with entry!
  3. We’re celebrating all that is Texas! Dust off those cowboy boots & cool Stetson and show us what you got!
  4. Access to abortion matters — and all but 5 clinics in ALL OF TEXAS are in threat of closure!
  5. Therefore, it’s extremely important that we help raise money for abortion funds that desperately need it!

So join NYAAF, in solidarity with Texas abortion funds, the Lilith Fund and the Texas Equal Access (TEA) Fund, for a Texas-sized abortion-funding bonanza! Our bar night will raise money to help Texans pay for an abortion when they can’t afford it.

When: Friday, August 16, 6:00-9:00 PM
WhereBranded Saloon, 603 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
Cost/Ticket info: Each ticket will be $20 at the door. The first 35 to arrive get a free drink ticket and prize with entry!
RSVP on Facebook & spread the word!

Nearby Trains:
2,3,4: Grand Army Plaza  |  B, Q: 7th Avenue  |  C: Clinton-Washington

Proceeds will be split between the two Texas funds, the Lilith Fund and the TEA Fund.

Urgent: Funding needed today

UPDATE: Thanks to our incredible supporters, we were able to raise the $3100 in just 2.5 hours. THANK YOU! Both Paulina and NYAAF are very grateful for your generous support.

Dear NYAAF supporters,

Over the last week, we’ve been working with a young woman in a tough situation. And now we need your help.

Paulina* is full time student and a recent immigrant to New York State. She has no monthly income and limited health insurance. By the time Paulina discovered that she was pregnant, she was past New York’s legal limit. Paulina is currently 26 weeks pregnant and has an appointment for an abortion tomorrow, Tuesday, August 6, in Colorado. This is one of the only clinics in the country that will perform the procedure at this point in pregnancy.

The total cost of the abortion is $8000. Paulina’s insurance will only cover part of the procedure. Paulina has managed to pull together some money in addition to transportation from New York and lodging while in Colorado. NYAAF also reached out to some other abortion funds to help us cover the cost of the procedure.

Paulina still needs $3100 in order to make her appointment tomorrow. This is fifteen times our average grant amount, and so we are emailing to ask if you can make an emergency contribution so that Paulina can safely terminate her pregnancy. 

If possible, please provide your support in either of two ways:
1) Make an immediate donation by credit card by clicking here.
2) Email info@nyaaf.org with the amount of your pledge and then send us a check. Mail to NYAAF, FDR Station, Box 7569, New York, NY 10150.

Thank you so much for your consideration.

Best,
Maureen Stutzman and Alison Turkos
Co-Chairs, NYAAF Board of Directors

*Not the client’s real name. We shared her experience with her permission. We are using “she/her” pronouns at the client’s request.

TruthOut Article: “Not Everyone Who Has an Abortion Is a Woman”

Activist and journalist Lauren Rankin wrote a wonderful piece about gender inclusivity in the abortion rights movement. She explains,

We must acknowledge and come to terms with the implicit cissexism in assuming that only women have abortions. Trans men have abortions. People who do not identify as women have abortions. They deserve to be represented in our advocacy and activist framework.

She also quotes NYAAF’s values statement! We’re honored to be included in this piece and excited to work with other organizations (like the EMA Fund, for example) to work towards gender inclusivity in our movement. As Lauren says in her piece, “All people who need an abortion should be able to access one, and that does not solely apply to women.”

Our First Annual Report!

Our Board worked over the last several months to put together our first ever annual report. This report contains an abbreviated history of NYAAF, details the abortion access landscape in which we operate, explains our intake process, gives key descriptive statistics about the people we serve, and much more. Take a look!

Thank you to our wonderful data coordinator and Board Member Marissa Rousselle who worked countless hours to put this report together.

What are our values?

Over the last few months, the NYAAF Board of Directors has been working on  figuring out how to make NYAAF a gender inclusive organization. We want to make sure that NYAAF isn’t just working toward every woman’s right to access affordable abortion care, but every person’s right, regardless of their gender. We realized that embracing gender inclusivity is about more than not assuming the gender pronouns that our callers use or replacing “woman” with “people” everywhere on our website. Becoming gender inclusive is an important part of our values as an organization.

We realized that we didn’t have a cohesive statement about our values. Inspired by the EMA Fund, we brainstormed as a board and came up with the following list. Let us know what you think in the comments:

New York Abortion Access Fund Statement of Values 
The New York Abortion Access Fund believes that every person should be able to determine their own reproductive destiny and have access to the resources, rights, and respect to be able to do so. We believe that access to affordable abortion care is a critical component of full-spectrum healthcare services. We are working towards a world where abortion funds are not necessary because affordable, safe abortion care is part of mainstream medical practice and covered fully by all types of insurance.

NYAAF believes that the people who call our hotline are experts on their own lives. We believe that they do not owe us anything, including their stories or repayment, in order to qualify for abortion funding. At our core, we believe that anyone seeking an abortion has the right to access one.

We recognize that systems of oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and others contribute to systemic injustices in the healthcare system. NYAAF is committed to recognizing and addressing these barriers to the best of our ability.

NYAAF’s belief in physical autonomy is a core link between our belief in the right to an abortion, and our belief in the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people to access holistic health care and services. We recognize that people who identify as men can become pregnant and seek abortions; we strive to meet the needs of all people who seek our funding.

We work to provide additional resources to callers beyond the scope of abortion funding, such as referrals for Medicaid enrollment, to demonstrate that we value the wellbeing of our callers beyond their need for an abortion.

NYAAF also recognizes that many of our callers would choose to continue their pregnancies if they were in different financial circumstances. As such, NYAAF does not try to speak for the motivations of our clients by framing abortion as an issue of choice. Reproductive freedom is a matter of social justice, not just an individual choice. We trust and support the decision of the caller and take their lead in adopting the language they use in talking about their pregnancy and circumstances.

NYAAF does not scrutinize how many abortions someone has had, whether contraception was used, whether a sexual assault was reported, or any other information that is volunteered by our client, nor do we attempt to encourage anyone to behave in a certain way. If someone identifies a desire to learn about how to report an assault, how to avoid pregnancy, or other concerns, NYAAF provides information and makes appropriate referrals.

We consider these values to be at the core of our decision making as a board. They serve as an indispensable guide to all of our fundraising, programmatic, administrative, and communications decisions and actions. Our board, comprised of a diverse group of individuals who are all committed volunteers, all strongly believe in the values and mission of this organization. These shared values reflect an understanding of our work as part of a larger social justice and reproductive justice movement to ensure the full rights of all people. By building and supporting this movement, we strive for a world where everyone has the right and ability to determine their own future.