The cost of a first-trimester abortion can be more than a family on public assistance receives in a month. Many women who work multiple jobs still do not have enough extra money for an abortion. Low-income women and girls often delay their abortions while trying to raise the money they need. Many times, these delays force them into more expensive and complicated second-trimester abortions. Some never get enough money to cover the cost of the procedure.
We realize that for most of our clients, abortion is not the means that will eradicate poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, drug abuse, or other forms of oppression they face. Yet, in the midst of these everyday problems, the DC Abortion Fund steps in to financially assist clients and take one concern away. DCAF is the only organization in the DC region that is solely dedicated to providing this service.
Our hotline provides a safe and confidential connection to health care services often restricted by today’s political climate around abortion. The call volume on the hotline has quadrupled over the past 4 years. Our work ensures quality reproductive health care for all women regardless of income.
Our geographic scope as a locally based organization affords us the ability to reach an ever-growing constituency of women and girls in need of our services. We partner with the National Abortion Federation and National Network of Abortion Funds to assist women and girls in extraordinary circumstances that reside beyond our geographic service area.
What does DCAF do?
The DC Abortion Fund (DCAF) is an all volunteer-run organization serving women in the DC area who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion. DCAF covers the gap between what women and girls can afford and the full cost of an abortion– making the freedom of choice a meaningful reality for more women.
DCAF operates a hotline that provides free and confidential information on how to access healthcare services often restricted or complicated by today’s political climate around abortion. Our case managers offer financial and pregnancy options counseling to clients and work with area health clinics that also supply birth control and other reproductive health information and services to those who seek it. In addition, DCAF refers clients to post-abortion counseling services.
We answer approximately 169 calls per month from women throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Our average pledge is $163. The client usually comes up with the rest of the money or, for later, more expensive procedures, may obtain additional assistance from other abortion funds. DCAF is the only organization in the DC region that focuses solely on providing this service for women in our community.
Where does your money come from?
DCAF is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and relies on diverse funding streams. We raise money from individuals, foundations, board contributions, and events. As an all-volunteer organization, the board runs all programs (overseeing trained volunteer case managers) and raises the organization’s budget every year.
With whom do you partner?
DCAF has worked closely in the past with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington to ensure its patients received funding whenever PPMW’s Justice Fund ran low, and with the Marie Fund of the DC Prisoners’ Legal Services when needed. DCAF works regularly with Mary’s Center, the Latin American Youth Center, the National Abortion Federation, and the DC Rape Crisis Center to make sure women know where to go when they need assistance.
Where are your clients?
DCAF serves women throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. In FY2011, about 33% of our clients lived in DC, 24% lived Virginia, and 28% lived in Maryland.
How can I help?
We welcome your generous monetary gift and/or your time. To donate online today, please click here. Your gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If you are interested in volunteering and getting involved with DCAF, read more on our How You Can Help page.