Grassroots donors like you are at the very core of abortion funding — as are our clients. So, as we close out 2016, we want to tell you about Tye, one of the hundreds of clients we worked with this year, who generously shared her story with us. Tye’s words underscore how important our supporters are, and how much of a difference your contributions make in the lives of each of our clients. As you read about her experience, please consider making that difference today with a donation to NYAAF.
Tye’s experience with NYAAF:
I’m originally from New York, and I currently reside in Georgia. As a 40-year-old proud mother of three going through a divorce, when I missed my period, the furthest thing from my mind was pregnancy. I’d been with my husband for seven years, and nothing had happened outside of our daughter. Since I was turning 40, I honestly thought I was going through menopause. I’d never been 40 before, so there’s no blueprint!
I’d started working out and doing 5 miles a day, joined a boot camp, and could see my body slimming down, except this one area, which I could never get right. Overall, I was still trying to mentally grab my hands around the fact that what used to be my life was no longer my life.
But I laid down here one day and I just felt something. I thought it was gas. And at that point, the light bulb went on. I guess I was in denial for quite a bit, and I’m just saying to myself, “No this can’t be, there’s just no way. Scientifically, it doesn’t make sense.” So I decided to go to the doctor. Sure enough, the furthest thing from my head, was it: I was pregnant.
A lot of things were going through my mind, of course. In the situation I was in, there was just no way. No time is ever the right time, but this time was really the wrong time. Still, I wasn’t exactly worried. I knew I was paying for top-of-the-line insurance. Coming from New York, I know that women are allowed to have a termination up to 24 weeks. I just assumed that was what it was throughout the country. Perhaps that was rather ignorant, but that’s just what I thought.
I called Kaiser, my health insurance, to get the authorization for me to go to the nearest facility. Everything was going as planned, until they did the sonogram. It turns out I was past the state limitation in Georgia. Immediately I was very sick. They gave me a list: Maryland, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, or something like that. All places I’ve never been. I was 21 weeks, not what I was expecting at all. If anything, I was counting back from maybe 3 or 4 weeks.
So again, yes, I’m thinking of all kinds of things. It’s a very emotional thing. This is very traumatizing for a person because you’re beating yourself up, “What did I do?” You’re literally googling things on how to miscarry on your own—you’re just thinking of ways of how you can correct this. I have no family here, and there’s no way I’m going to go to New Mexico or Colorado or any of these places; where would I be going?
So I said, “OK, I’m going to go New York. I work every day, I have insurance, I should be ok. I have this money that comes out of my salary so that I’m well taken care of when I need it the most.” I called the insurance company and they said I do not have coverage outside of Georgia. But Georgia regulations say I can’t do it in Georgia. Considering the state regulations, you would think that if I needed to go to another state it would still be covered, but no, that wasn’t the case, no was no. There was no compromise, there was no human interpretation.
Then the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) was recommended to me. I was going to fly to New York from Georgia, on the next flight. When I was going to New York, the price I was given was just for 21 weeks. Each additional day was an additional charge. I was given a price of $3000, of which I was going to cover $800, and I was approved with NYAAF for the balance.
So I went to the facility, and I was told it went from $3000 to about $6000—I think it doubled. I got sick again, because this was it, I had no other resources. When I had gotten the first approval, I immediately started crying tears of joy because I did not have any other options. So when I found out this was doubled, I just knew there was no way I could cover this excess amount.
I spoke to my case manager, Ryan, again, and he said he’d talk to NYAAF’s Board of Directors to see what could happen. So I basically left the facility not knowing what was going to happen. At that point, I had my mind set, like I guess this is it; I’m going to have to tell my family what’s going on and this is what it’s going to be. I was basically forced to have this child.
Ryan called me in the middle of the night, and told me he got the new approval. I started crying again. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it. This organization I knew nothing about actually saved my life.
There was no lengthy process, no paperwork that needed to be filled out. I guess I just couldn’t believe that it existed. And to be quite honest, I’m still in awe. I’m never ever going to forget this. I am definitely indebted for life to NYAAF, so I needed to share my story.
I don’t think many people understand how traumatizing the whole experience can be. They say, “How could you not know you were pregnant?” There are some cases where you really just don’t know, innocently, because there’s no way I could put myself through all that I went through, when I could have resolved everything sooner, without having to pay for airfare and hotel lodging, and everything else that it took for me to make this happen.
To me, it was a life or death scenario, that’s how serious it was. So when Ryan called and told me that I got the approval, I broke down and cried on the phone, because it was a life or death situation.
I worked with [NYAAF Volunteer Case Managers] Rachel and Ryan, and they were both sensitive to my needs and heartfelt. They worked quickly, and were very attentive. I was left thinking, “This person is actually going to try to help.” And again, I had no other place to turn—all of my trust was basically on this other person who was on the other end of the phone who I knew nothing about. It just saddens me that more women do not know that NYAAF exists. Not to take advantage of it, but just to know that there are organizations out there to really help you when there is no one else—when you feel like you’re forced to have a baby because of insurance and state regulations.
My life depended on whatever NYAAF could do for me. And that’s how I felt. And they came through.
Words just don’t express the amount of gratitude that I have for the donors that actually take the time out to think about others and donate to the organization. There are people that are very grateful. I’m one of them. Wholeheartedly grateful. Thank you. Thank you very much is all I can say. If I could do more, I would, because they need to know that they do save people’s lives. I don’t know how many people are grateful for what you all do collectively, but the statement that you’ve made in my life is definitely profound; it’s unforgettable. Unforgettable. That’s really my story.