An American woman originally from Illinois is helping women leave their homes to get abortions because she thinks it’s unfair some women can’t legally abort in their countries.
“Abortion is legal, but not everybody can get one, and how is that fair?” Mara Clarke told CBS News, explaining she knew early in life her mission was to help women around the world have abortions if they so chose.
Clarke, originally from Le Grange, Ill., moved to New York in the early 2000s to work for a group that provided free housing for women who traveled to the U.S. to get abortions. Aborting in their home countries is against the law. Clarke, after her time in the Big Apple, moved to England where she sought to work at a similar organization dedicated to helping women have abortions.
Clarke, after realizing no such group existed in the U.K., decided to create her own organization and founded the Abortion Support Network (ASN) in 2009. The London-based operation grew from less than 90 requests for money or home-stays during its first year of business to over 1,000 requests in 2017.
ASN offers both financial assistance and housing to women traveling from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, according to its website. The organization determines funding by evaluating each case individually and assessing need as well as funding availability.
“We also provide confidential, non-judgmental information to anyone who contacts us via phone or email,” the abortion network boasts.
Clarke’s organization continues growing, while abortion advocates are calling for Ireland to repeal its Eighth Amendment outlawing and penalizing those who attempt or successfully abort an unborn child. Fewer than three in 10 Irish support elective abortions, according to Breaking News. Support for elective abortions is low, indicating Ireland’s Repeal The Eighth campaign will likely fail. The campaign calls Ireland’s law “archaic and dangerous.” (RELATED: Ireland’s Abortion Campaign Totally Runs Out Of Steam)
ASN will likely cease to operate if Ireland repeals its 8th amendment, but Clarke insisted she will keep charging ahead until this occurs. “Abortion Support Network lives to be made obsolete, but we will continue to help anyone who contacts us for as long as we can,” she told CBS News.
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