This year, for the second time, I will be participating in the New York Abortion Access Fund’s Bowl-at-Thon fundraiser. Last year I was able to raise $1010, and this year my goal is even higher: $1400.
I am bowling because strong supporter of the to choose regardless of one’s economic situation and I believe in reproductive justice for all people. In my time as a clinic escort at Planned Parenthood, I was face to face with people who would spend their Saturdays harassing those who needed to access the clinic for any reason. I volunteered because I wanted to show my support for patients needing abortion care during what I could only imagine to be a very difficult time. That is the same reason why I’m doing this now.
The dual goals of the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon are to raise awareness of economic barriers to abortion care and to strike down these barriers by raising money to pay for abortion care and to improve state and federal policies that interfere with access to abortion for the most disadvantaged women.
More information from the National Network of Abortion Funds:
What are abortion funds?
Abortion funds are groups of people who help women pay for their abortions.
Nearly all abortion funds are grassroots organizations that work directly with women and families who face obstacles to abortion. Funds help women to pay for an abortion and for travel to a clinic or for an overnight stay in a motel near a clinic. Some funds provide a place to stay in their own homes for women who have to travel a great distance. Many funds also help women to pay for contraception and the morning after pill.
Abortion funds are often women’s only allies as they try to raise money to pay for an abortion.
They are also at the forefront of a dynamic and growing movement that honors the leadership and voices of low-income women, young women, and women of color.
Who are abortion funds?
Some of these groups were started by women who themselves had trouble paying for an abortion. Others were started by women and men whose neighbors asked them for help. Others were started by church groups, synagogues, and clinic staff. By women and men of every age, from college students to people in their 80s who have been doing this work for more than 30 years.
Some abortion funds have dozens of volunteers and some paid staff; others are still run by one or two people working from a kitchen table.
Large or small, they all exist for the same reason: every woman needs to have the ability to make her own decision about having a child, no matter what her income is.
While the fight for Medicaid coverage of abortion will help millions of women in the long run, only abortion funds are helping women right now.
Abortion funds change the world, pretty much every day…one woman at a time.