Stories from the Hotline
Here are stories from the experiences of Hotline Volunteers and people who have used NRO’s services.
A Hotline Volunteer’s First Call
My first call helped me to understand why the Women in Need Fund is so important. As I did the intake for Josefina (not her real name) I learned a lot about her: she was about 30 years old, she had three children and she had come to the U.S. with her husband, whom she had recently left because he was abusive. Furthermore, Josefina had no income of her own; rather she was receiving $390 a month from a relative, of which $350 went to rent.
Since she needed all $430 to pay for her procedure, I worked with her to reach out to a wider network for help. On her behalf I asked another fund, The CAIR Project, to also contribute to her procedure. She asked Planned Parenthood’s fund to contribute as well. A week later, when Josefina went in for her abortion procedure NRO had helped her to access all the funds she needed. I felt proud to have helped her create the network she needed to pay for her procedure. Josefina called to thank me, but really it is the wide network of NRO donors and supporters who need to hear her “thank you.” You helped make this possible.
Thanks for Financial Assistance
I want to thank you so much for granting me $100 to help me fund the abortion that I needed. Without your help I don’t think I would have been able to go through with my decision. I would have to say it was the most important and best choice I have ever had to make. This will help me to continue with my goals and to graduate high school next year on time. I really just want you to know how amazing your program is and I hope one day when I have a steady job that I will be able to make donations to help people just like me. Thank you so much!
A Thank You Letter
I wanted to send you a thank you letter. I recently found out that I was pregnant, and under my circumstances I could not keep a pregnancy. Due to the late discovery of the pregnancy (20.5 weeks) it wasn’t possible to receive an abortion in my area. However, due to some very caring people at Planned Parenthood and NRO, I was able to find a clinic close enough that I could drive to and have my abortion. Thank you for all your help and funding that was provided for me. I really can’t thank you enough.
What help could I possibly be?
Where to begin. The first week I was taking calls was overwhelming. So many women, so much need. What help could I possibly be? I worried about the generation gap. Roe v. Wade was decided after I had my children; what would I have in common with these women? It didn’t take long for me to realize just how important the Hotline is. I have talked with teenagers frightened of their parents finding out, women who had lost their jobs and could barely feed the children they have, women who were homeless, had medical reasons, undocumented women whose husbands had been picked up by INS. I realized it doesn’t matter what my age is, what matters is volunteering to take the phone calls and do what I can to assist each caller.
The relief in a woman’s voice when I tell her that we can assist her with part of the expense of her abortion tugs at my heart. Sometimes it’s not just the lack of funding that creates such distress. I think of the woman who recently lost her father, the mother of two who was couch-surfing while she got back on her feet after escaping an abusive relationship and losing her job, the woman whose partner was prepared to sell his carpentry tools (his means of livelihood) to scrape together the funding they needed. The gratitude from women who won’t have to forgo groceries for their kids, or hock their kitchen appliances, and from the women who can see a light at the end of this dark tunnel is indescribable. I think of these women and realize what a privilege it is to be a part of something that is so important and so needed. I cannot imagine not being a phone advocate. The only regret I have is not having enough money to give to everyone. I know what it is like to not have a choice to be faced with an unplanned pregnancy and no options. I feel honored to be a volunteer with NRO and would encourage others to volunteer also.