Each year, I look forward to the National Network of Abortion Funds fundraisers—be it bowling, board games, or simply being a financial supporter. The activities are fun, the company is good, and it’s energizing to be around others who also support every person’s right to access abortion. Whenever I’m at a DC Abortion Fund event, I am sure that, together, we can make sure all people have the access they deserve.

Ultimately, I look forward to these fundraisers because I believe that everyone has the basic right to control their lives and their bodies—and the right to abortion is meaningless if you can’t afford it.  

Accessing an abortion can be expensive: the cost of the procedure itself, taking time off of work, and transportation to get there. No one should have fewer rights because they simply can’t afford it. That’s why this matters, and that’s why I DCAF.

I DCAF because I know what it looks like when we don’t have meaningful access to abortion. I’m from a tiny, rural town in California, a town where there was no real sex-ed in the schools and  where the high school had one of the highest pregnancy-per-capita rates in the state. It’s also a town where abortion was deeply stigmatized—no one talked about it, except to shame it. Even if you did know where you could get an abortion, most couldn’t afford it. For many, getting pregnant meant an end of choices.

I DCAF because the freedom to control your own body—to decide if and when to have sex, and with whom; if and when to get pregnant; if and when to carry a pregnancy to term—is essential for equality.

I DCAF because across the country, people are trying to chip away at equality, making it more difficult for people to control our bodies and our choices. Congress, states, counties, and towns—there’s seemingly no end to introduced legislation that would curtail abortion access. And at the same time many of these policymakers are making it harder to access birth control or information about safe sex. Let’s not call these measures anything other than what they are: sexist, racist, classist attacks on the fundamental freedom to control our very bodies.

I DCAF because there is no equality without abortion. Abortion is not only a question of gender equality—access to abortion is a question of economic and racial justice. If abortion is legal but inaccessible, then it’s only really a “right” only for those with money and privilege, and because of the deep racial injustice in our country, that disproportionately affects people of color. Access to abortion is necessary for economic mobility and for ensuring people can make the right choices for themselves.

I DCAF because the question of whether or not to get an abortion is a question for only one person: the pregnant person. No one else should get to decide that—not a room full of male politicians, not a partner, not economic circumstances.

Ultimately, I DCAF because I trust people to make their own choices about their own bodies and lives, and I am committed to making that choice real.

By volunteer Tarah D.