Thu 4/30 @ 6 – 8pm
Bowl like your reproductive rights depend on it. Because, in a major way, they do. Join Preterm for the 6th annual Preterm Access Fund Bowl-a-Thon and stand up to make healthcare accessible to all while enjoying a fun-filled night of bowling, food and advocacy.
The Bowl-a-Thon is part of a month of bowling fundraisers held by abortion funds throughout the country. Sponsored by the National Network of Abortion Funds, the event will raise money to help low-income women cover the cost of abortion via the Preterm Access Fund.
Nancy R. Pitts, Director of Development and Communications at Preterm, says, “More than half of our patients have health coverage through Medicaid, which by law doesn’t cover abortion care in Ohio and 32 other states. Preterm is committed to making healthcare accessible to all, regardless of income.
“We believe that everyone should have the right to shape their own life and the right to care for themselves and their family with dignity. All funds donated to the Preterm Access Fund go directly to help low-income and uninsured patients cover the cost of their abortion.”
Advance registration is required for the Bowl-a-Thon, which takes place Thu 4/30 at Madison Square Lanes in Lakewood. Each bowler commits to raise at least $50 in order to attend the event. Of course, the point is to raise funds for a good cause, so bowling and attendance are completely optional.
But, if you fight the good fight, you’ll want to join in this celebration of empowerment and stand tall with Preterm, which has served the community as an abortion clinic for over 40 years. Sure, there are the protestors and detractors; and then there are the people who’ve received invaluable advice and care through the clinic’s services, which are expected to expand.
“Our exciting news is that we are in the midst of expanding our services into other sexual and reproductive healthcare, while keeping abortion at the center of our work,” says Pitts. “Our patients have told us for years that they would like to come to Preterm for more of their healthcare needs — and we are currently making that a reality. Currently, we offer birth control counseling, STD testing and treatment, and wellness exams/PAP treatment. We also offer culturally competent care to the LGBTQ community.”
Pitts continues, saying, “We feel very well-regarded by the patients we serve and our community. The majority of our patients learn about Preterm via word of mouth. We are routinely complimented by patients about our kind, compassionate and knowledgeable staff in patient feedback forms, emails, phone calls and handwritten notes.
“We are also grateful for the large amount of support we have in the greater Cleveland area—from event attendees to online followers and subscribers to Preterm volunteers and donors.
“Still, abortion remains a divisive political issue locally and across the country. We face challenges big and small from angry protestors who attempt to shame our patients and staff to a hostile legislature that continues to restrict access to reproductive healthcare in Ohio. The Ohio legislature is currently considering several bills that would severely restrict access to abortion care even further. We continue to fight back against these measures. Check out NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s website to stay on top of the latest legislative attacks.
“It appears more people are becoming aware of the grim climate of abortion access in Ohio and nationwide. According to the Guttmacher Institute, ‘by the end of the first quarter of the year, legislators had introduced 791 provisions related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Nearly 42% of these provisions (332 provisions) seek to restrict access to abortion services; abortion restrictions have been introduced in 43 states.’ With recent bills to restrict abortion getting national media attention, along with high profile Supreme Court decisions still in people’s minds, we feel public awareness of reproductive health is spreading.”
Lace up those bowling shoes and throw a strike for reproductive justice.
The Preterm Access Fund Bowl-a-Thon takes place Thu 4/30 @ Madison Square Lanes in Lakewood. Sign up and join. Anyone not interested in registering but would still like to make a financial contribution can donate directly to the event by visiting bowlathon.nnaf.org/preterm.
Cool Cleveland correspondent Sarah Valek studied art and writing at Ithaca College. After graduation, she came back to Cle and served two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. She can be found on all sides of the city in pursuit of homeschooling activities for her son and the perfect soy latte. Contact her at CoolEditor@CoolCleveland.com or via Twitter.