On behalf of the board of directors of the DC Abortion Fund, I want to wish you a very joyous Mother’s Day!
Every day I’m inspired by the women who find DCAF and how they maneuver the harsh policy hurdles that affect their access to health care.
On this Mother’s Day, we want to honor a special demographic of women we serve: the mothers of minors seeking abortions.
Rena* is a single mother of four and pays her household bills with her bi-monthly disability checks. This week she called DCAF looking for help for her 14-year-old daughter Rachel*. Rachel is a straight-A honors student and has won multiple athletic scholarships at school.
Rachel had been suffering from fibroids and was seeing her gynecologist regularly to figure out treatment. She was given a pregnancy test that came back negative and the green light to start treatment. When she returned to her doctor’s office this past week, she was given an ultrasound before her fibroid procedure. This is when Rachel’s doctor broke the news: not only was she pregnant, she was well into her second trimester. Rena was shocked and Rachel was devastated. Rachel had not missed a period and had had sex once, with a friend.
The clinic that Rachel was referred to gave Rena DCAF’s number. When she called, she told me that she needed several thousands of dollars for Rachel’s procedure. Rena had $2,000, which was her life savings.
Rena said, “If I don’t get the abortion that my daughter wants…that she is begging me for…it will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Immediately DCAF’s network sprang into action — DCAF was able to make a significant financial pledge and contact other partner organizations on Rachel’s behalf. And with DCAF’s financial counseling, Rena was able to raise another $500.
Today I called Rena and Rachel to let them know we had raised enough money for her procedure tomorrow and I could hear them cry tears of relief on the other end of the phone.
Rena has asked me to thank the amazing individuals who have made it possible for her to give her daughter a second chance. And I was so inspired by Rena’s persistence and compassion for her daughter that I wanted to share her story with you.
DCAF salutes mothers everywhere. We know firsthand that the business of compassion is not always easy, but always just and right.