Continuing our introduction series, we are pleased to present AASN board member and secretary, Sarah Frith Coleman. Sarah tells us what drew her to AASN and what she enjoys about the work.
"You are worth more than being considered as only an incubator." - my mother
I am a member of AASN for many reasons. Despite our country's current political climate, I strongly believe that all Americans deserve access to high-quality health care, and that includes abortion. ABORTION IS HEALTH CARE, and we owe it to women to preserve access to it. We also owe it to ourselves and future generations of women to not be afraid to say "abortion" out loud and discuss our stories. One of the things that really attracted me to AASN is the use of "abortion" and its clear focus on abortion access.
I joined AASN as its mission corresponded with my values, and I remain an active member because AASN makes real differences in women's lives. As a clinic escort, it has been a humbling experience meeting women and families and hearing their stories. The common thread is that all are trying to do their best. It hurts my heart to see the pain on their faces as judgmental protesters yell at them, and I try in some small way to make their clinic experiences better.
An unexpected pleasure as an AASN member has been meeting like-minded people. Sometimes it's easy to feel isolated in the Bible Belt, but I have met many wonderful people with the common goal of preserving abortion access. Having this community keeps me energized for the battles we continue to face against reproductive rights.
AASN is also extremely accommodating in terms of one's schedule and level of comfort when it comes to engagement. Not everyone is comfortable with clinic escorting, and AASN is very understanding and provides other ways for members and volunteers to stay involved in its activities. That may seem small, but that is very important to me in terms of AASN sustainability.