Meet Your Local Abortion Funder is an interview series conducted by NYAAF volunteer Chanel Dubofsky in which she interviews current NYAAF board members about why they are involved in abortion fund work.
Sunny has been on the NYAAF board for a year and a half as the institutional fundraiser. She heard about NYAAF through her friend and colleague at the Ms. Foundation, Irene Xanthoudakis, who is a NYAAF founder.
Why do you do this work?
Honestly? Because it makes me feel like a superhero. Because every person who calls us has their own story, their own reasons for calling, their own plans and decisions to make. NYAAF gives them the means to make the decision they want to make – whether it’s a $50 pledge to a clinic on their behalf, or information about how they can find an abortion provider near them. The people who call us are empowered by NYAAF; and when I am the one talking to them, asking them what they need, it’s hard not to wear a cape and brightly colored underwear!
What does reproductive justice mean to you?
Reproductive justice is the goal of full information, full ability to ask and have questions answered, full availability of technologies and treatments, and the full means to access all options of reproductive and sexual health care. Reproductive justice is more than reproductive rights, as it keeps those people most often marginalized by bias, racism, homophobia and other bigotries at the center because these are often the people who cannot access their rights.
I want to highlight that information and informed consent are essential pieces of reproductive justice. This goes beyond the usual sex ed information on the differences among the pill, the IUD and fertility awareness, but must include how one’s own body works (it’s fascinating and beautiful!).
What are your hopes for the future of abortion access?
That it is absolute.
Abortion access is one of many components of this goal of reproductive justice. NYAAF’s work, and the increasing need for our services, highlights that rights are not the only thing we need to fight for, even in in today’s anachronistic assault on legal abortion. For so many people, especially those with low or no income, in rural areas, without English as a first language or afraid to try their luck with the system because of immigration status, past incarceration or other circumstances, a legal right is besides the point. These are issues of access. And we can’t achieve our goal of reproductive justice without it.