The West Fund is so excited to announce that through some generous grants, including the Third Wave Fund (a fiscally sponsored project of the Proteus Fund) and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, we were able to hire our first class of reproductive justice interns! Continue reading to get to know more about them:
By Jane*, West Fund Volunteer
When I was 19 years old I fell in love with a man seven years my senior. It was a whirlwind romance that climaxed in a proposal after just a month of dating and, after four months, a pregnancy. When I saw the positive result on my pregnancy test, I returned to my college dorm not knowing whether I should feel excited or terrified.
If I love him, why then should I be scared? I did all of the things I thought that a good mother would do, immediately making an appointment with an ob/gyn to get the proper blood tests and prenatal vitamins, all the while knowing that my family would be devastated by the news. My boyfriend was elated. After all, he was 26 and “ready.” As such, he did not take kindly to my trepidation.
We here at the West Fund believe that building power starts here in our community. That's why we are hiring 3 interns for Summer or Fall 2017!
The West Fund stands with immigrants. Being situated at the corner of the US/Mexico Border and New Mexico stateline, we embrace the fact that migration is an integral piece of West Texas culture. When the West Fund was first created in response to the ill-informed, anti-abortion policies of the Texas legislature in 2013, it was natural for us to have patients of various backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, abilities, gender identities, sexual orientations and immigration statuses. Because of who we serve, we feel compelled to speak up for our callers and against the current anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and xenophobic policies.
We're getting to work! Join the West Fund from NOW until April 29 to #FundAbortionBuildPower in west Texas. Your participation with West Fund could be the difference between someone getting the abortion they need or going without.
The West Fund is excited to be joining the National Network of Abortion Funds for their annual Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser!
by Gabi, West Fund Volunteer
One morning in the fall of 2011, I remember waking up thinking to myself, “Hmm, something feels different…” I padded over to my dresser drawer where I kept all things necessary for such “emergencies:” my trusty Diva Cup, extra tampons, and pregnancy tests. I was (and still am!) in a loving relationship with a man I cared for deeply, and though we did our best to be careful, I was aware that sometimes things can just happen.
by Samantha Romero, West Fund President
What if I told you there was a way to expand abortion access to people who need it the most?
Friday, September 30th marks the 40th year that the discriminatory Hyde Amendment has been federal policy. The Hyde Amendment blocks people who have health insurance through Medicaid from getting abortion coverage through their insurance, except in certain instances.
By Claudia Yoli Ferla, West Fund Advocacy Program Director
Harriet Tubman once said “every great dream begins with a dreamer.” Today, we are all dreamers. When I was eight years old, my family had a dream. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela and moved to the United States at a young age along with my single mother to pursue a new life. Like many immigrants here, I learned English and adopted the values of El Paso’s community as my own.
During my high school senior year, my mother became very ill and my family decided that the best option for her was to move back to our home country. At that point I knew that I wanted to stay in the United States to pursue a higher education, that was my American Dream.
The Supreme Court stood with Texans and struck down parts of the dangerous clinic shutdown law that blocked so many people from being able to access safe and legal abortion. This is a HUGE victory! And a slap in the face to the anti-abortion extremists who pretended to care about women's health care long enough to pass these laws.
While this is a victory, we can't forget the devastating affects this law has already had: The dozens of clinics that have closed. The extra unnecessary energy, time and money that people seeking abortion were forced to endure. And the countless people who were unable to access abortion. We won't ignore the damage this law caused — but let it inspire us to fight back.
We commend the Supreme Court’s ruling reaffirming the constitutional rights of all people seeking abortion in this state. This is just the first step in dismantling hundreds of medically unnecessary laws aimed creating barriers to abortion access. While there is still work left to do to ensure all people have access to safe abortion care, we know that when clinic doors are able to remain open across the state, our clients have a better chance of getting the care they need. We remain committed to this work so that all people have bodily autonomy, and the resources and community support to build their families with dignity and respect.
We expect that abortion providers will continue working at full capacity and without the uncertainty of awaiting the ruling, so many more people will be needing our help. If you can, chip in today to ensure we can fund every person who calls our helpline this month.
We will always have work to do to make safe abortion truly accessible and affordable in this state. Thanks for being a part of that.
by Kate Taylor, West Fund Volunteer
West Fund is a non-profit abortion fund that works to make abortion accessible to all people, regardless of their zip code, income, insurance, or immigration status.