The DC Abortion Fund is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit that makes grants to pregnant people in the DC area, as well as those traveling to the area, who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion. DCAF is the only organization in the DC region that focuses solely on providing this service in our community.
We face a multitude of state and national restrictions designed to deny access to abortion care. These restrictions disproportionately affect low-income people. We hope to make “choice” a reality because we believe a person’s right to health care should not depend on her wallet.
DCAF case managers work directly with area clinics and funds around the country to provide small grants that fill the gap between what patients can afford and the full cost of their procedure. To date, we have never turned away a single person who was eligible for DCAF funding.
We have 13 volunteer board members who oversee DCAF’s work. The board supervises our case managers who continually operate three lines, one for each of our jurisdictions. We also have volunteers to help with organizing events and campaigns that raise money for the small grants we disburse.
The DC Abortion Fund’s vision is to make reproductive choice a reality.
The DC Abortion Fund exists to make reproductive choice a reality by providing financial support for individuals of any age who lack resources to access abortion care.
The DC Abortion Fund affirms:
DCAF recognizes that every person who calls our helpline, as well as every volunteer and supporter, has a unique background and situation. We strive to serve everyone who contacts us regardless of: gender identity, race, age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, ability, place of origin, citizenship, and all other physical or social defining factors. DCAF is committed to recognizing, addressing, and working with all of these identities to the best of our ability.
DCAF believes in fully embodying the pro-choice principle by:
In 1995, a volunteer with a local rape crisis center was working with a rape survivor who learned she was pregnant. In an effort to raise quick funds for the woman, who wanted an abortion, the social worker email blasted her entire address book asking for money. She raised enough money for the procedure and even had leftover resources.
When she asked her colleagues what she should do with the extra money, they told her to “save it for the next time…” thus the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF) began.
For nearly 6 years, a handful of volunteers staffed our helpline. By 2005, DCAF’s call volume had increased so much that the organization had to grow significantly to keep up with the demand for our services. So a group of committed volunteers formally established The DC Abortion Fund.
In 2006, our current Board of Directors started fresh. We standardized operating procedures for the fund, incorporated as a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia and obtained 501(c)3 status through the National Network of Abortion Funds, and implemented systematic fundraising efforts. We have since obtained our own nonprofit status and continue to grow as an organization. Despite these changes, we hold true to our roots as an all-volunteer, woman-led fund.
The cost of a first-trimester abortion can be more than a family on public assistance receives in a month. Many people who work multiple jobs still do not have enough extra money for an abortion. Low-income people 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 helpline provides a safe and confidential connection to health care services often restricted by today’s political climate around abortion. The call volume on the helpline has more than quadrupled since we began. Our work helps to ensure quality reproductive health care for everyone who calls, regardless of income.
Our geographic scope encompasses the District, Maryland, and Virginia. We serve people who live in the area as well as those who need to travel here in order to have their procedure. We also partner with the National Abortion Federation, National Network of Abortion Funds, and other funds in outside areas to assist people in extraordinary circumstances.
DCAF is a 501(c)(3) 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 other volunteers) and manages the budget.
DCAF serves people throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. We also serve people who live elsewhere but are coming here for their procedures.
We welcome supporters of all stripes to help us with fundraising, case managing, volunteering, and helping to spread the word about our work.
To sign up as a volunteer, either in case managing or in another capacity, please visit our volunteer page.
Pro-choice individuals and organizations are free to utilize our materials. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and credit DC Abortion Fund. Photographs taken by DCAF board and volunteers may not be reproduced without permission.