Honor Roe By Funding Abortions

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. We’ve been sharing the history of Roe, and we’ll continue to be talking about Roe throughout the month.  But I thought we could take a quick time out from the history lessons and talk about how we can all honor Roe right now – today – all year.

One of the biggest challenges for patient access to abortion is funding.  Economic access intersects race, class, age, gender, and sexual orientation lines.  While an abortion in the first trimester may only cost $350 – $500 (and I say this very loosely), that’s still a lot of money to obtain.  As patients struggle to raise that money, the cost increases the longer they wait – and so does the need for more financial help.

Arizona has some of the worst abortion laws in the US. We seem to like setting the example for other states to follow.  We had three anti-abortion bills pass in 2012, and the bill that has received the most national attention is the 20-week gestation ban.  The bill provides a crazy definition of when gestation starts, so the bill has an injunction while the courts debate when pregnancy actually occurs.  However, when the bill goes into effect, many patients will have to travel out of state to get an abortion – which will only increase the cost and difficulty of obtaining their health care.

The proof is in the pudding.  [Read more...]

When Fundraising Gets Personal

The past few months have been a bit of a challenge for me. I was diagnosed with brain cancer in February. Since then, I’ve been going to treatment five times a weeks, reading everything I can get my hands on to learn about brain cancer, and taking as many naps as I can get. On top of all that, I’ve been pawning my belongings to pay for treatment and asking friends and family to help me.

The response has been overwhelming. Not only have friends and family reached out to support me – total strangers have sent me checks in the mail, saying that they heard about me through so and so, and that they wanted to help. I feel very blessed to have so many people standing in my corner.

The irony is that my own fundraising and cancer treatment have sidelined by efforts to raise money for abortion patients. I’m still involved with Abortion Access Network of Arizona, but I have had to substantially decrease my role. The reason that I say this is ironic is that over the course of the past year, AANA has raised approximately $8000. That’s great news. But the sad thing is that I’ve been able to raise $8000 for my cancer treatment in three months. What does that say about people’s attitudes around abortion? [Read more...]

Give Something Back to RightRides This Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, many of us are beginning to think about all the things we’d like Santa to slip under the tree.  But the holiday giving season is also an opportunity to give back to nonprofit organizations that make a difference all year.

RightRides is one of those nonprofit agencies that is making a positive impact in the lives of women and LGBTQ people New York by offering safe, free rides home on Friday and Saturday nights.  Since 2004, RightRides has driven over 3,000 riders safely home.  In the spirit of the season, RightRides has drafted their Top 10 List of ways that you can support them, and give the gift of safety to others.

Buy Holiday Gifts Online
Before you make purchases on Amazon.com, click RightRides’ affiliate link to visit their website. If you do, 5% of your total payment will be paid to RightRides! Yes, it really is that easy.

Re-Gift Your Duds
If someone gives you a holiday gift that you don’t want or need, don’t put it in the back of your closet or out on the curb, donate it to RightRides’ newly developed Volunteer Incentive Program. Starting in the New Year, RightRides volunteers will be rewarded for their service with small, periodic gifts of appreciation. That magenta scarf your aunt gave you could become a volunteer’s new favorite accessory. Other re-gift ideas include books, theater tickets, bath products, and home accessories–just think of the eco-benefit!  [Read more...]