Black Cat Benefit for the DC Abortion Fund

Looking for something fun to do this week? Join us Wednesday, Jan. 18, for an all-ages concert benefiting the DC Abortion Fund!

Three awesome bands — Cigarette, Governess, and Scanners — will be performing a show to raise money and support for DCAF. DCAF gives grants directly to pregnant people in the DC area, as well as those traveling to the area, who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion.

Check out the bands below, and buy tickets here. Can’t make it? You can still donate.

Cigarette
Governess
Scanners

Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW
When: Wednesday, January 18, 8-11:30 p.m.
Who: Cigarette, Governess, and Scanners

Thanks to the Black Cat and all of the performers for what will be a night of great music.

Only I Know

Letter to U.S. State and Federal Legislators,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today on this most personal issue.

Let me be clear. Only I Know when the time is right for me to bring a new life into this world. Only I Know when my partner and I want to keep our family at four. Only I Know that I don’t have the resources to raise a child. Only I Know that raising a child by myself is not an option. Only I Know that bearing a child and giving it up for adoption is not an option. Only I Know that I’m working two jobs just to support myself. Only I Know when my health is poor and my stamina weak. Only I Know what I need to do to care for my existing children. Only I Know that my contraception failed. Only I Know that I am too young and immature to have a baby. Only I Know that I have no job and lots of debt. Only I Know what I need to do to finish school and find meaningful work. Only I Know that my relationship is new and waiting is best. Only I Know that I have a plan for my life and it doesn’t include an unplanned pregnancy. Only I Know that my children are nearly grown and my childbearing years are behind me. Only I Know that I’ve become pregnant from a sexual assault. Only I Know when the time is right for me to bring a new life into this world.

Only I Know these things. You don’t Know.

It’s that simple.

Thank you for your attention and for backing-the-hell-off this most personal issue.

By volunteer Lynda D.

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Hope.

I’m writing this letter with all the appreciation humanly possible. I was in an abusive relationship for 9 years. I have 2 children by my abuser. I finally got the strength to leave him and move on with my children. However, he found me. The child I aborted was a result of my ex finding me, beating me, and raping me. It was only once I finally found a way to move from Mississippi to Richmond that I discovered I was pregnant. Your fund helped me to not have even more ties to my abuser but to also have the possibility to work and provide for my children.

I came to Virginia with a pregnancy, 2 children and no money. Your fund gave me an opportunity to have a fresh start and a chance to provide for my children financially. I owe more gratitude than this letter can express but please know the work of the fund and its donors does not go unnoticed and is so genuinely appreciated.

Thanks again for my chance at a fresh start with my children. I hope to pay it forward in the way your fund and your donors do daily. Thank you again for the constant contact through this difficult, but necessary choice.

A DCAF caller

Since 1995, people have called the DC Abortion Fund for one simple, heartbreaking reason: They cannot afford the full cost of their abortion care. This constitutionally guaranteed healthcare service is tragically out of reach for many people because of political and economic barriers — barriers that disproportionately affect lower-income people and people of color.

By supporting DCAF, you empower people to take control of their lives and make the best decisions for themselves and their families. You are truly changing lives and creating brighter futures.

A DCAF grant allows callers to escape domestic violence. It enables them to continue to feed and support themselves and their families. It gives them the opportunity to continue their education. It helps them avoid slipping into poverty and, potentially, homelessness. It offers the chance to seek the support and resources they need to heal after a sexual assault. It gives them the ability to wait until they are ready and able to be a parent.

Every caller is different and has their own unique story. But one thing remains the same. They all deserve dignity and trust and respect. And that’s what your support provides.

This holiday season, give the gift of hope. Make reproductive choice a reality for everyone — regardless of income.

$28,609

Thanks to many of you for making our Peace, Joy, and Choice holiday party such a roaring success!

With your generous support, we raised $28,609 to continue to make abortion accessible to patients in the DC area. Our average grant is $170 to cover the funding gap between what patients can pay and the full cost of their abortion care, so the proceeds from this night alone may help an estimated 168 people access the healthcare they need!

We couldn’t imagine ending the year on a higher note — made even more inspiring by celebrating with so many of our volunteers and friends!

Thank you again to our sponsors for their generous support.

Platinum
Catholics for Choice
Planned Parenthood Generation Action
PPFA Health Center Advocacy Program
Jon O’Brien & Colleen Duffy, donated in honor of Renee Bracey Sherman

Gold
ConwayStrategic
DCAF Board of Directors
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force
Amanda Bartelme
Suzy Goldenkranz & Seth Samuels
Rebecca & Brandon Gotwalt
Tiffany Reed & Saj Popat
Jonathan Rucks
Natale Zimmer & Michael Battaglia

Silver
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Organization for Women – DC Chapter
National Women’s Law Center
Plan Bees Alumni
Cordy Galligan
Danielle Geong & Adam Pimentel
Catherine Heffernan Gibson
Allison Mitchell & Kris Gill
Jill Morrison
Chitra Panjabi & Pete David
Suzanne Swink & Colleen Crinion
Marya Torrez & Michael Farmer
Joy Levin Welan

Bronze
Advocates for Youth
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Code for DCAF
Women’s Information Network (WIN)
Chioke Barkari
Laura Blyler
Katie Breslin
Michelle Campbell
Emily Crofoot & Jake Spiegel
Claire S. Gould
Caitlin Gullickson
Sara Imershein, MD MPH
Jessi Leigh Swenson
Val Vilott

Want to help us help even more patients? Donate today at dcabortionfund.org/donate2016

Peace, Joy, and Choice Holiday Party

UPDATE: We’ve been so overwhelmed by support that we’ve reached capacity! If you’re interested in attending our holiday party, please sign up for our wait list and we’ll let you know if spots become available. We’re also continuing to accept donations here

Join us to celebrate our community — and all the work we have done together this year to continue to make choice a reality. We’re excited to toast with you at our annual Peace, Joy, and Choice holiday party on Monday, Dec. 12!

Seven days a week, all year long, DCAF’s volunteer case managers run our free, confidential helpline. In our last fiscal year, we provided over $135,000 in financial support to cover the funding gap between what patients are able to pay and the full cost of their abortion care.

At our annual holiday party, you can learn more about DCAF’s work, meet the volunteers and leaders who keep DCAF running, and join us in a toast to — you guessed it — peace, joy, and choice!

Who: You and other reproductive justice supporters in the D.C. area
What: DCAF’s 12th annual Peace, Joy, and Choice Holiday Party
When: Monday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Lost Society (2001 14th St., NW)

A Very Special Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Platinum
Catholics for Choice
Planned Parenthood Generation Action
PPFA Health Center Advocacy Program
Jon O’Brien & Colleen Duffy, donated in honor of Renee Bracey Sherman

Gold
ConwayStrategic
DCAF Board
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force
Amanda Bartelme
Suzy Goldenkranz & Seth Samuels
Rebecca & Brandon Gotwalt
Tiffany Reed & Saj Popat
Jonathan Rucks
Natale Zimmer & Michael Battaglia

Silver
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Organization for Women – DC Chapter
National Women’s Law Center
Plan Bees Alumni
Cordy Galligan
Danielle Geong & Adam Pimentel
Catherine Heffernan Gibson
Allison Mitchell & Kris Gill
Jill Morrison
Chitra Panjabi & Pete David
Suzanne Swink & Colleen Crinion
Marya Torrez & Michael Farmer
Joy Levin Welan

Bronze
Advocates for Youth
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Code for DCAF
Women’s Information Network (WIN)
Chioke Barkari
Laura Blyler
Katie Breslin
Michelle Campbell
Emily Crofoot & Jake Spiegel
Claire S. Gould
Caitlin Gullickson
Sara Imershein, MD MPH
Jessi Leigh Swenson
Val Vilott

Take Action for Reproductive Justice — Fund Abortions!

Take action for reproductive justice on Nov. 29 and help us fund abortions for patients in the DC area!

Nov. 29 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Along with other incredible nonprofits in DC and around the world, we are participating — and we hope you will too!

Seven days a week, all year long, DCAF’s volunteer case managers run our free, confidential helpline. In our last fiscal year, we provided over $135,000 in financial support to cover the funding gap between what patients are able to pay and the full cost of their abortion care. We worked with over 3,408 callers on our funding helpline — and our case managers gave an average grant of $170 per patient. To date, we have never turned away a single person who was eligible for DCAF funding.

We hope you consider making a gift to DCAF on Giving Tuesday to ensure people in the DC area — regardless of what’s in their pockets — can access abortion care.

To learn more about Giving Tuesday or to give now, click here.

Moving Forward. Together.

Editor’s Note:

This week has been a rough one for many of us. But we’re still here, and we’re not going anywhere.

As an organization, we work hard every day to help patients access the abortion care they need. And we know this fight for reproductive freedom is intrinsically intersectional — we’re working alongside LGBT folks, those living in poverty, immigrants, Black and Latino communities, people of different faiths, and those with disabilities to ensure equity for all.

Perhaps that fight has never been more important.

Like many of you, we are furious, we are sad, and we are stunned. But no matter how you’re feeling right now, please know that we remain committed to working together with you — our community of supporters — to continue to make abortion access possible and support all of our community members in their ongoing struggle to live free from oppression.

Let’s turn our rage into resilience.

I imagined Nov. 9, 2016, a million times. I thought I would be skipping to work, high-fiving strangers, and crying. Turns out I only got the crying part right.

Women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and countless other groups are reeling. What does this mean for us? And what do we do now? I can answer that last one – right now, we can take care of ourselves. Self-care is incredibly important for our mental and physical health, our relationships with others, and our ability to just get through the day.

Sometimes you want to take action and feel like you are making strides to fix injustice, and sometimes you just want to make yourself feel better for an hour. Both are equally important and necessary. Below are some simple ways to take care of yourself as you deal with the emotional and physical toll the election results may have had on you.

Donate your time/money to a cause that will be under attack for the next four years:
DC Abortion Fund (of course)
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
The Trevor Project
NAACP
Muslim Public Affairs Council
ACLU
National Council of La Raza
EarthJustice
Center for Reproductive Rights
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Immigration Law Center
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
American United for Separation of Church and State
Media Matters for America

Donate your time/money to organizations that help women prepare for and be elected to office:
Emerge America
Emily’s List
Running Start
She Should Run

Treat yo’self:
Spend 20 minutes with a dog. Don’t have a dog? You can come hug mine. He has a great smile.

Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. Why not? There is nothing more frivolous and pleasant and you deserve it.

Hug a loved one. Maybe then need it, maybe you need it. It will help you both either way.

Take a walk. Go sit in a park and be outside. If you’re chilly, treat yourself to a ridiculously flavored latte to keep your hands warm.

Immerse yourself in a mindless, enjoyable, fluffy book. There are plenty of amazing indie bookstores in DC. If you tell the booksellers you want something to distract yourself for a bit, they will surely understand and have great recommendations.

Write how you are feeling. It doesn’t need to be anything for anyone but you. If you feel scared, write “I feel scared.” If you have a long, complex emotions that you don’t know how to grapple with, writing them down can help.

Order takeout and binge watch something ridiculous in your pajamas.

Go to a yoga class. There are plenty of free and by-donation classes in the city.

Call a friend. Have a meaningful or light conversation. Connecting with someone else can help you feel less alone.

We do not know what the future holds, but we do know this: We need to take care of ourselves, and we need to take care of each other. We need to be strong. We have work to do.

By volunteer Carrie E.

Crosspost: Supporting New Leaders in the Movement

megagraphicDCAF is an all-volunteer organization, and sometimes our day jobs overlap with our work in reproductive health and justice. This week, volunteer manager Lindsey is at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver. Here’s a post she wrote for APHA’s Annual Meeting blog on Public Health Newswire, about building support systems to help the people most affected by issues of access to health care become leaders in the movement.

APHA’s Women’s Caucus has a long history of sponsoring Annual Meeting sessions on raising women’s voices (often with the organization Raising Women’s Voices). This year, the two groups highlighted the importance of lifting the voices of marginalized people — women, people of color, LGBTQ* people — by giving them the support they need to succeed in grassroots organizations.

Byllye Y. Avery, founder of the Avery Institute for Social Change and the Black Women’s Health Imperative as well as co-founder of Raising Women’s Voices, noted that in the reproductive justice movement (which, as defined by SisterSong, intersects with other justice movements, including racial and immigration justice) there has been a push to lift up those who are disproportionately affected by discriminatory policies that relate to health and wellness. But those with the passion and the will to raise awareness, start nonprofit organizations and work to effect change often don’t have the business know-how to keep the wheels turning, she said.

Read the full post at Public Health Newswire.

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