Letter from Yamani Hernandez, Executive Director
Six years ago, I accepted an offer to join the National Network of Abortion Funds as their new executive director. When I joined the staff, there were twelve full-time employees. The organization had a budget of just over $2 million a year; we fiscally sponsored the All* Above All Campaign at a similar level. In my first year, we could all squeeze into one house for our annual retreat. We cooked in a communal kitchen and built a new staffing plan together on notecards in the dining room.
During my time at NNAF, this organization and our network have seen tremendous growth. New funds have emerged and joined us. We’ve expanded our organizing strategy to meet an increasingly hostile political climate and embraced individual supporters ready to take action. We’ve made it clear that this work is about building our collective power, and you responded to that vision. You’ve shown up in moments of crisis and invested in long-term, visionary plans like our Operation Scale Up. With your support, we’ve increased the amount of money we’re able to regrant to abortion funds from $970,000 in fiscal year 2016 to $10 million in fiscal year 2022.
As many of you know, my tenure as NNAF’s Executive Director will come to an end in January. The search for NNAF’s next leader is already in motion — when you receive the spring newsletter, you’ll be able to read their letter of introduction. Looking back on my time here, I’m most proud of the decisions that embodied our internal commitment to economic justice: a thriving wage for all staff; prioritizing hiring from our membership; investment in a pace of work that allows staff to rest and heal. We have kept our core values central not only in what we say, but also in how we treat staff and partners.
Truthfully, that victory is bittersweet. The benefits we offer should not be determined by organizational policy or resources. Our government should provide these supports, just as it should provide access to abortion. In the absence of government systems, however, we are the ones who create safety and security for one another. It’s shameful that we have to do this; it’s beautiful that we can.
It’s been my privilege to be a leader within this powerful, compassionate, and visionary network. It’s been a joy to build with all of you.
National Network of Abortion Funds
On December 1st, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case centered on a Mississippi law that bans abortion after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. Read more about how this case is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Each year, the National Network of Abortion Funds’ Membership Team sends out a detailed survey to all abortion funds in our network. We ask them about requests received, callers supported, dollars distributed, and more. Check out these highlights from the results of the 2020 Membership Enrollment Survey.
The National Network of Abortion Funds’ Technical Assistance (TA) department was created to respond to individual requests for support and connects fund members with the resources they need. Read more about how our TA team supports local funds.
As COVID-19 cases declined over the summer months, KHJN staff moved forward with planning a hybrid event for their volunteer case manager gathering. Read more about their experience and hear from KHJN’s Support Fund Director, Meg Sasse Stern.
There’s a long history in this country of framing charitable giving as something that wealthy people do to help those who are less fortunate. We’d rather talk about what it looks like when you donate to support abortion funds and why some of our donors have been motivated to give. Read more.
Show your support for local abortion funds by rocking their beautiful merch! A rotating selection of items from member funds can always be found in the “Local Funds” gallery of the National Network of Abortion Funds’ shop. Want a “Hex The Cis-Tem” t-shirt from Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire? We’ve got it. A peachy mug from Carolina Abortion Fund? Yep, that too. Click here to see the full selection.
Our network of 92 abortion funds stretches across the United States, dipping into Mexico (Fondo MARIA) and crossing the ocean to work internationally (Abortion Support Network). As abortion becomes increasingly restricted at the state level, abortion funds will rely on volunteers and donors to meet growing requests for funding and practical support. If you’d like to get involved at the local level, you can find a complete list of local abortion funds here.