The Haven Coalition coordinating committee had an important, long-planned meeting last night. Our organization has grown exponentially in the last year, and so has our bond to each other, our enjoyment of working together, our feelings of strength and pride in our accomplishments. Also our anger that our work is so necessary!
Haven is one of the hardest things about leaving New York. It's more than the time and energy I've invested, though that is very significant. It's the friends I've made, the deep connections I feel to the women who do this work.
For those of you who don't know, Haven is a volunteer network that assists women who travel to New York City for second trimester abortions. Abortion, though still legal, is inaccessible to millions of American women. Women motivated and determined enough to travel to New York City, usually with very limited resources, then face the daunting prospect of having to stay overnight for a two-day procedure.
Haven volunteers meet a woman (and often, her friend, boyfriend, mother or other companion) at the clinic, bring her/them home, provide dinner and a place to stay -- and often a sympathetic ear, then bring them back to the clinic the following day. Before Haven existed, women in the middle of this procedure slept in bus stations or on a park bench.
I am one of the women who keeps Haven running. When I joined there were about 15 "hosts" (that's what we call our volunteers). When I started coordinating, there were 30. Now there are about 60.
For the last year and a half, Haven has been a huge part of my life. It is by far the most rewarding activism I have ever done, and I'm going to miss it a ton.
The one-night stand, 19 years later. Earlier this week, Allan and I celebrated the 19th anniversary of the day we met: July 20, 1985. Allan even gave up a few innings of a Sox game to spend the day together (thanks to a little relationship-saving device called the VCR). What a romantic guy! No really, he is.
We've spent every July 20 since 1985 doing some New York exploring type of thing. Where will we be living and what will we do on July 20, 2005??