Board of Directors
Colleen Ammerman, Crys Calderon, Shayna Lewis, Sammy Lifson, Jessie Lowell, Daphne Mazuz, Francesca Villa, and Mahsa Yazdy.
Statement of Purpose
The Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund provides funding, financial strategizing, and logistical support to people who live in, or are having abortions in, Eastern Massachusetts and are unable to pay for their abortions. Additionally, the EMA Fund reduces social and economic barriers to abortion services through movement building, advocacy, and education.
The EMA Fund envisions a world where every person has the right to bodily self determination including the means to access an abortion or carry a pregnancy to term without social or economic barriers. We envision a world where every person has the right to determine their own future.
The EMA Fund recognizes that barriers to abortions disproportionately impact women and girls. We work to ensure access for all people of any gender identity and expression, age, language, race, income, ability, citizenship, immigration status, size, location, number of abortions, sexuality, marital status, political affiliation, length of pregnancy, religion, family size, class, ethnicity, veteran status, and for people who are in the military or prison.
We focus on our Eastern Massachusetts community but recognize that the work we do has a ripple effect that furthers the larger movement for reproductive justice.
The following values guide all fundraising, programmatic, and organizational decisions and actions for the EMA Fund:
- We believe abortion should be accessible to all people, for any reason.
- We work to build a world where the EMA Fund will no longer be needed to ensure access to abortions.
- We are working to help build a movement. We do this through staying connected to the National Network of Abortion Funds, other funds within our state and region, community organizations, and abortion providers. We organize educational events for ourselves and others to raise awareness of abortion access and systems of oppression.
- We recognize that systems of oppression, such as racism, misogyny, classism, and ableism, cause a system of unequal access to resources, including healthcare and abortion services. As an organization, we work to support the reproductive justice movement: as SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective says, the ability to have children, not have children, and parent the children one has with dignity.
- We support people who are living in or having abortions within Eastern Massachusetts. We allocate grants, not loans. We do not expect our grants to be repaid. The EMA Fund provides funding, financial strategizing, assistance obtaining insurance coverage for abortion, and logistical support to people who live in or who are having abortions in eastern Massachusetts and are unable to pay for their abortions. Additionally, the EMA Fund reduces social and economic barriers to abortion services through movement building, advocacy, and education.
- When abortion coverage is available through public health insurance, we strive to support our eligible callers to enroll in public health insurance and use it towards their abortions whenever possible. When we help callers obtain insurance coverage for abortions, we increase the likelihood that they will have adequate and affordable care after their abortion procedures. This practice also enables EMA to allocate more funding to callers who are unable to obtain insurance coverage for their abortions.
- We believe that the callers to the EMA Fund are the experts on their own lives. We believe that they know what they can handle, they best understand their circumstances, and that they make decisions based on this expertise. We accept and support the decisions made in these contexts, including those decisions which may challenge our own personal values. EMA Fund services are directed by each individual caller.
- We believe that people should be able to live the lives that they want to. We realize that callers have complex lives that extend beyond accessing their abortions. Our services are set up to help callers not have to jeopardize other parts of their lives in their attempts to access an abortion. We provide money and practical support to callers for their abortions, and further work to connect them to other resources that may support their lives beyond the day of their abortions, such as health insurance.
- We are a volunteer run organization. As volunteers, we can be trained and equipped to do any part of the work of the organization to better assist our callers.
- We work to ensure that as much of our money as possible goes to directly support the people who call us, and to further the movement for reproductive justice. We minimize our overhead costs, including not having regular paid staff.
- We believe that helping fewer people fully is more beneficial than helping more people insufficiently. Volunteers combine grants, clinic discounts, and financial strategizing to meet callers’ full needs. We do not have income eligibility requirements for the callers who access our services.
- We are committed to being accessible to as many people as possible. As such, we will work to increase linguistic and other accessibility to our services.
- We attempt to make sure our events are physically, financially, and linguistically accessible. In addition, we aim to work with venues that are in good reputation with the community and workers.
- We attempt to use ethically and environmentally responsible products and suppliers for our printing and material needs. We aim to have materials printed in every language that our phone line supports.
- We are committed to all volunteers and board members of the organization being equal players on any team or task force. All members of the organization can do direct service and access all EMA Fund documentation. Personnel information and identifying information of callers will be made available to volunteers on a need to know basis.
- We make decisions by modified consensus. Small or immediate decisions about the EMA Fund will be made by the board, or by the relevant task force with board approval. Large or long-term decisions about the EMA Fund will be made by the board or relevant task force, and confirmed by the volunteer base.