A Message from Jaylynn Johnstone, Board President, Baltimore Abortion Fund
December is when we traditionally hold the Baltimore Abortion Fund Annual Holiday Party, where the BAF community connects with one another and celebrates the year’s accomplishments. It’s a wonderful opportunity for supporters like you to meet the passionate volunteers who help keep BAF running day-to-day. Our holiday party is an especially meaningful event for me because it was the first BAF event I attended in December 2016. I hadn’t been living in Baltimore very long at that point, but, like many of you I was a monthly donor, and I went to show my support.
I wouldn’t have ever imagined that as a trans non-binary Filipino kid from Alaska that I would one day have the honor to serve as the Board President for BAF. I saw Spencer, the first BAF Board President, make a public address at that holiday party in 2016. In keeping with the tradition, I’m making a public President’s address this year, just in a virtual way.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re taking this December to rest and recharge for what is expected to be a difficult fight in 2021. We’re bracing ourselves for many expected legal challenges over the next few years since the Supreme Court now has a majority of Justices who support overturning Roe v. Wade. Maryland has guaranteed the right to an abortion in its state law if Roe is overturned, but that only means our role at the Baltimore Abortion Fund will become even more important. We receive over 200 calls per year from people who plan on crossing state lines to receive an abortion in Maryland. We anticipate this number will continue to grow if SCOTUS overturns Roe.
Supporters like you are what makes the mission of the Baltimore Abortion Fund possible.
Thanks to your support, BAF was able to fund a caller who is battling cancer and didn’t have enough money to pay for their abortion. Your donation allowed us to collaborate with other regional abortion funds to help pay for a caller facing an abortion cost of over $25K. Your monthly sustaining donations provided us with the financial stability to predict how many callers we could fund every month. Will you make a holiday donation before the end of the year to help us fund as many callers as possible in 2021?
I would like to also take this time to thank some outgoing Baltimore Abortion Fund Board Members who have invested greatly into the organization over the last several years.
- Casey: You were thrown right into the fight and you handled it beautifully. I’m so thankful for you advocating and creating more sustainable financial systems. This alone has helped BAF greatly and set us up for future success.
- Imani: Always such a solid rock as my first Vice President. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive person and loved our monthly check-ins. You always gave me this lift when I needed it and I always marveled at how you made being a BAF spokesperson so easy. We took over after a difficult period, and you threw your support behind the restructuring we sought. Thank you for all your help this year.
- Diana: One of the founders of the Baltimore Abortion Fund. I’ve noticed this past year that you’ve been feeling blown away by how much beautiful growth there’s been in BAF’s short history. So much of this growth is because of your wisdom and leadership. I appreciate the small ways you’ve provided advice to multiple Boards and your teaching moments for my own leadership growth. I know this is not a complete goodbye from BAF, but we can’t thank you enough for all you’ve contributed to BAF.
To all of BAF’s supporters: Thank you for everything you do to keep this movement and community thriving. Please, make a tax-deductible gift today to support our work in 2021 and beyond.
Take care of yourselves, and Happy New Year!