Hi friends -
Our 2nd Annual Bowl-a-thon is less than a week away, and we need your help!
Some of you may already know this, but the bowl-a-thon is an annual event that dozens of abortion funds across the country participate in every spring. The National Network of Abortion Funds does a lot of legwork to make the event fun and great way to raise money for abortion funds large and small (like us!)
What you might not know is that, as a smaller and relatively new fund, the bowl-a-thon is incredibly important to BAF as a source of income. Last year we raised over $13,000, or about half of our budget for 2015. The need for help is growing, and the calls to our helpline are increasing every month. In order to continue to help folks in the Baltimore area, we must continue to grow as an organization, so we've set a goal of $18,000 this year.That's why folks like you, and events like the bowl-a-thon that help us connect, are so vital to the work we do.
Sadly, the bowl-a-thon website that our bowlers use to raise money for BAF has been the victim of an ongoing cyber attack. We do not know all the details yet, and frankly, they aren't that important at this point. What's important is to stay focused on what we do best: making sure our callers have the means to access safe abortion care in our state. We had just reached the halfway mark when the website went down, so we're counting on you to help us raise the other $9,000 for abortion access in Baltimore.
While the official bowl-a-thon website is down, you can still support BAF by making a donation here. If you are making a donation in support of a particular bowler or team, after submitting your payment info you will be asked to provide their name.
Thank you so much for your contribution to Baltimore Abortion Fund. Eliminating barriers to abortion care is what we do best, and we're not going to let any hackers get in our way.
p.s.- I hope you will join us for the main event! Our bowlers will be competing for prizes and bragging rights on Sunday, April 24th from 2-5pm atMustang Alley's.
It's hard to believe that this time last year, we were still filling out paperwork and trying to raise start up money to make BAF a reality. Since we started funding last October, we have received hundreds of calls to our helpline and assisted many of our neighbors in Baltimore City and Baltimore County with paying for abortion care.
Thanks to our amazing supporters and the success of our recent bowl-a-thon event, we are excited to share that we are expanding the geographic area we serve.
Effective immediately, we can offer assistance to callers who reside in the following areas:
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
- Anne Arundel County
- Carroll County
- Harford County
- Howard County
- Frederick County
Please note that we can only fund callers who are seeking care from a Maryland abortion provider, and that priority will be given to those who are at least 7 weeks along in their pregnancy. If someone you know needs assistance, please have them call our helpline at 443-297-9893.
The Baltimore Abortion Fund offers support and solidarity with the protesters in our city.
As an organization that deals first hand with issues of discrimination, poverty, and healthcare access inequity, we can attest to the struggles those calling our helpline experience. In a city where race and class divisions have simmered for decades, Baltimore citizens have dealt with these inequities with strength and grace, but they have been largely ignored by the mainstream media and many parts of our city. Police violence against Black residents in Baltimore has been an epidemic for years. The Baltimore Sun has done extensive work on the enduring problem of police violence in Baltimore - their latest article is here.
An organization that strives for reproductive justice is one that must publicly stand against racial discrimination because we know too well that race plays an integral part in the reproductive lives of our callers. Lack of housing, jobs, quality education, and safety are forefront in the minds of people who are choosing to raise, or not raise children in Baltimore. High rates of overzealous and discriminatory incarceration split families from their children. Parents in Baltimore struggle to provide for the families they have. People struggle to pay for abortions they need. Baltimore residents are resilient and resourceful, but the system is stacked against many people, no matter how hard they work. Racism needs to be acknowledged in that struggle. Historic racism segmented our city, and present-day racist policies keep it that way.
We applaud Marilyn J. Mosby bringing charges against all six of the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death, sharing with the community the facts of the case, and in offering official acknowledgement of the pain and suffering of his family and community. But we know this is not justice, and it’s not an end point. It’s a step in the long journey towards true justice, and we will continue to offer our assistance to those engaged in the fight to offer all the residents of Baltimore options and opportunities regardless of their race and income.
A movement for reproductive justice necessarily includes us working together. Racism has always been deeply felt in the struggle for abortion access, with women of color more likely to need abortions, and less likely to be able to afford them. Until racist policies that codify those barriers are eliminated, there will always be a need for abortion funds, and the Baltimore Abortion Fund will continue to stand with those united against racism.
To offer support in Baltimore, please see the following list for ways to help, volunteer, and donate. We cannot do it alone.
Baltimore Uprising - http://baltimoreuprising.org/
No Boundaries Coalition - https://www.facebook.com/NoBoundariesCoalition?fref=ts
Baltimore Bloc - https://twitter.com/bmorebloc
Baltimore United for Change - http://bmoreunited.org/
We are a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds, almost 100 funds across the US and beyond. NNAF offers their statement of solidarity here.