Letter from Yamani Hernandez, Executive Director
The change abortion funds are sparking begins one at a time.
One Heart-to-Heart conversation about compassion. One trip to the coffee shop wearing the “Everyone Loves Someone Who Had an Abortion” t-shirt. One answered call from someone who needs help. These moments add up to a powerful collective force for action, as we fight with and for people whose rights have been threatened by reproductive, racial, and economic injustice.
With your dollars, your voice, your truth, and your love, you show us the power of one person every day. You play an important part in the combined work of many dedicated individuals investing in abortion access, and your actions ripple across and strengthen this network. That is why we are creating pipelines of engagement that start with one individual and build across our membership, regions, network, and the nation.
This special edition of the newsletter provides an example of the ripple effect of building collective power through the experiences and testimony of two individuals in our network: Mars Earle and Samantha Romero. Mars and Sam are leaders at their local abortion funds and have grown their individual leadership through a number of our programs including Movement Makers and We Testify. Their involvement shows how abortion funds come together with other funds regionally and nationally to create movement level change.
These concentric rings of involvement and impact show the many pathways towards our mission to build power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.
We hope you enjoy getting to know our strategies better through the testimonials of Mars and Sam. We invite you to follow links to read much more online wherever your heart takes you.
Thank you for supporting abortion funds,
Individuals are making waves in this network and bringing change to our abortion access movement and beyond. Individual membership is in its second year and our energized base of committed, involved members is growing. We wrapped up our first Individual Membership drive since our inaugural launch in January 2017. Keep reading…
Movement Makers is National Network of Abortion Funds’ leadership development program, that launched June 2017. Through an intensive cohort approach, 25 individuals took part in skill-building, embodying values, and transforming systems with a trauma informed, holistic sense of leadership. Read more…
On the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, We Testify Abortion Storytellers collectively testified in a dozen outlets, changing the conversation moving beyond the legalization of abortion to the reality of how our access has been eroded over 45 years, and how resilient people seeking abortions have been. Press Clippings
Become a Member
Individual membership is for anyone at any time – whether you’re a supporter, fund member, bowler or admirer, you’re invited to join our network. As our membership grows, so does our excitement about getting to build power and organize with you. Join today!
Organizational Development for Abortion Funds
We know that funding abortion helps people who need support today, but we’re also fighting for our future: where everyone has access to resources and support for ALL reproductive choices. Abortion funds have specialized organizational structures that have distinct infrastructure needs not seen elsewhere in the movement. A key piece of our work at NNAF is to support abortion funds in their formation, growth, sustainability, and connectivity.
We’re also working through a network-wide values alignment process! Here are some quotes about our four core values from abortion funds. Read more about abortion funds and our shared values here.
“I have appreciated the process we’re going through to build values alignment for membership. It sends a clear message about a person or organization’s values and what they’re willing to do for this movement to make sure we’re on the same page with shared understanding and expectations. For me, that’s what leadership and culture change look like.” – Sam Romero, West Fund
“We believe that each person comes to us with a complex decision influenced by their multiple identities and experiences. We fund everyone who asks for our help without judgment or prejudice.” – Aphrodite Medical Access Fund
“We are intentional about not shaming or re-traumatizing callers. Callers can be harmed by the ways we intersect with them. It’s our job to avoid that. We are proud of providing and teaching compassionate care and we are a soft landing point instead of part of an oppressive system.” – Women’s Medical Fund
“We know that bodily and reproductive autonomy is a core human right and must inform all of our activities. In our counseling, when we break through stigma to build a sense of empowerment, it feels like we are making a difference. We answer 10,000 emails a month, and each one feels like we are building that individual’s autonomy. We celebrate this at our team meetings!” – Women Help Women
“Collective power is fundamental to fighting for social change. At All-Options, this means cross-movement building, investing in critical social and political issues, and centering and investing in marginalized and underrepresented communities. Last year we worked collaboratively with other members of the Indiana Reproductive Justice Coalition to collect over 2,000 valentines to send to state legislators.” – Hoosier Abortion Fund (All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center)
One our core strategies is to strengthen and expand our network so we can effectively fund abortion and build power together. Because movements move at the speed of trust, a core component of network building focuses on not only what we work on together, but how we do it.
This year we have prioritized building healthy relationships between member organizations to create radical collaboration needed to ensure that more people can get the care they need as they travel across states and that advocacy is in collaboration as a region. That means creating and implementing programs and convenings for organizations and individuals such as our Annual Summit, Regional Convenings in the South, Midwest, Northeast and West, and cohorts that work together to guide decisions for how our network moves forward. Learn more about the strength of our network.
Samantha Romero, board chair at West Fund, describes what her experience has been in this network:
“This network is in a minority in the [abortion access] movement as a whole, and we are small but mighty. It gets to the heart of why these relationships are important – holding each other accountable, making each other stronger, supporting each other. If we’re not collaborating, communicating, and building this network, we’re not going to be able to see our history, how much we’ve all grown, and impacted the work we’re each doing.”
Mars Earle also describes what it’s been like to move from being a part of Southern abortion funds to building trust across the network:
“I feel so deeply invested in collective liberation from these relationships. I am so blessed that I can show up in what feels like any city across the country, and I know someone who is down, who will open up their home, feed me, day-to-day doing important work with each other. When I think about other abortion funders in this network, I think to myself, ‘I see you, I know you, I feel less alone.’”
Moving Together at the Speed of Trust
We believe dialogue, storytelling, and intentional conversations are powerful tools for organizing and strengthening our movement. We are changing culture when it comes to abortion access and funding through creative communications, engaging digital campaigns, and encouraging intimate conversations about abortion in groups and between people who care about each other. Read more…
Read all about it…
There are multiple ways to get involved with abortion funds, from individual membership to working with an abortion fund. Fund leaders, Sam Romero and Mars Earle, exemplify how to be involved at all levels and quotes from them are featured throughout this newsletter.