Everyone deserves the right to access abortion

Dear friends, allies and supporters,

2013 was an amazing year for the New York Abortion Access Fund and we are so thankful that you were part of it!

This year, we pledged $96,716 to help 364 people coming to New York from 15 states access the abortion services they desperately needed. To support the growing need for our services, we held outstanding fundraisers such as a screening of the award-winning documentary After Tiller, our second annual Celebrate Access Awards, and the most successful Abortion Access Bowl-a-thon to date.

Help us meet our goal today!

We’re over halfway to our 2013 End of Year Giving Campaign goal of $25,000! Our average pledge is $250 so meeting this goal will help many of our clients. Please consider donating today!

Despite our achievements in the past twelve months, 2013 proved to be another challenging year for abortion rights in the U.S. During the 2013 state legislative sessions, more than 450 abortion restrictions were introduced and nearly 70 enacted by lawmakers across the country– including some of the most extreme we’ve ever seen.

Abortion funding organizations like NYAAF were tasked with stepping in to help people impacted by increasingly restrictive laws and ever greater hurdles to access.

In fact, NYAAF served more people in 2013 than we ever have before – but it was a responsibility we took up proudly, due in large part to our many dedicated and unwavering supporters.

We have an enthusiastic set of board members and volunteers, but the ability to do this work depends on people like you. By supporting access to abortion, you are supporting those who are most in need of help.

This year, we ask that you continue to support NYAAF – and that you stand up for the belief that everyone, no matter their income, deserves to access the health care services they want and need.

With our most sincere thanks,

Maureen Stutzman and Alison Turkos
Board Chairs, NYAAF Board of Directors

7 Reasons to Give to NYAAF

A guest post by Chanel Dubofsky

1. In 2008, 39% of New York counties had no abortion provider. This means more people needing abortions must travel further to have the procedure done, and makes the work of NYAAF even more urgent and crucial.

2. New York State is a haven for people who need abortions. The state does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states.

3. More donations = more abortions fundedThe amount of funds NYAAF has pledged as well as the number of grantees served continues to grow with each passing fiscal year.

4. The average cost of procedure NYAAF sponsored was $906, and the most common was $500. The average grant size was $303. Could you afford that out of pocket?

5. In NYAAF’s  first ever email “Emergency Appeal,” 41 people donated $1,719 towards care for Sophia, a New York state resident undergoing chemotherapy, whose pregnancy and fetal anomalies were discovered at an advanced stage after doctors told her she could not get pregnant. The abortion itself cost over $12,000 (before travel costs and accommodations). Despite Sophia’s personal contribution and significant assistance from the National Abortion Federation, there remained a $1,750 balance. This pledge size was ten times NYAAF’s average grant amount.

6. When you give to NYAAF, you’re supporting a truly collaborative funding process. Resources are coordinated among  grantees, clinics, and partner abortion funds. More than three-quarters of grantees contributed money toward their abortion. One grantee contributed $4,900, while another was able to contribute just $30. The average grantee contribution was $355 and the most common grantee contribution was $200.

7. Abortion is a common experience: At current rates, about one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45.

Why I Donate to NYAAF

A guest post by NYAAF volunteer Jill Haber.

How often does the average person think about abortion? I work in an abortion clinic, and for me, it is all day, everyday. I find it fascinating how many different perspectives from which the abortion discussion can be framed. Abortion intersects public life in areas as disparate as politics, public health, medicine, religion, economics, culture, and philosophy. These intersections are almost never mutually exclusive either. Regardless of how it’s framed, abortion ignites passion in activists on all sides of the issue.

It is difficult to view it in so many different lights when you are working with individuals. My job is to help people seeking abortion. Much like anyone else, I tend to get wrapped up in the politics of what I do, but while working with someone going through something so deeply personal, politics couldn’t be further from my mind. At that moment, what is important is that we do everything to make a potentially complicated situation easier for this person. That’s how NYAAF helps. They focus every dollar on the individuals: the people I work with. The people who make up the statistics that end up in a research paper or in a debate.

The reasons for abortion are endless—wanting to finish school, supporting a family you already have, homelessness, rape, or perhaps that it’s not the right time to bring a child into the world. The truth of the matter is that abortion is not part of anyone’s grand plan. What a politician feels about a person’s reason for abortion seems like the most inconsequential opinion in the world at the moment when I am sitting with a person seeking an abortion.

When you donate to NYAAF, you’re giving money in order to enable a person to have an abortion without needing to forgo their rent. Even in a state like New York known for abortion access, there is still a huge need for financial assistance. When you do not have insurance or not qualify for Medicaid, you’re expected to come up with a large sum of money, often hundreds or thousands of dollars, which is a hardship for many families. NYAAF helps people seeking abortion services in New York and traveling to New York. Since New York has fewer legal barriers than many other states, that adds up to helping a lot of folks from out of state—in fact, about 25% of the people they funded last year traveled to New York for an abortion. When you donate to NYAAF, you’re making a huge difference to someone. You’re helping them move forward in a situation where they otherwise would have been stuck.

I support NYAAF because its volunteers and donors make a difference for the individuals seeking abortion care. The story behind every abortion is as unique as the person asking NYAAF for help. It is the people who are behind the statistics that matter, and that is why I donate.

Texas Solidarity Forever!

Last night, in partnership with NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of supporters, we helped raise $50,000 to benefit the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, The Texas Equal Action Fund, The Whole Woman’s Health Stigma Relief Fund, and Fund Texas Women. Our Board Co-Chairs released the following statement:

The New York Abortion Access Fund is thrilled to support our colleagues in Texas as they fight to make sure that abortion is accessible to any person who needs it. We join our fellow organizations in working to improve the health and rights of all of the individuals we serve, particularly those who are most marginalized and affected by these restrictions based on their income level, race, immigration status, or gender identity. If we want to ensure Texans’ access to reproductive health services, it is absolutely necessary to support the crucial efforts of organizations like the Texas Equal Action Fund, Fund Texas Women, Lilith Fund, and Whole Woman’s Health. Together, we stand in support of Texas!

Miss out on the telethon? Don’t worry: It’s not too late to donate to help Texans access the abortion care they need.


Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can Choose: Supporting Low-Income Texans

On Monday, November 18, join NARAL, NYAAF, and a TON of famous people to support abortion funds and practical support networks in in Texas! More details here.

Our board Co-Chair Alison Turkos wrote about the event on Feministing:

I’m proud to fund abortions in New York, to stand with the people and families of Texas, and to be an organizer of this event. When I heard that within a year an estimated 28,000 people will not be able to access abortion care in Texas because of HB2, I wanted to do something and I’m sure you do too. So let’s do our part and let’s do it together! Let’s raise hell and money to ensure Texans abortions are safe, legal, accessible and FUNDED!

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.

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.

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.”