Last week was a rough one for many of us. But abortion funds across the country still here, and we’re not going anywhere. In spite of the unconstitutional and unjust bans being rolled out, abortion is still legal in all 50 states. But legal is not accessible. And at DCAF, we work hard every day to help people access the abortion care they need, regardless of what’s in their wallets or where they live. We’re committed to the fights ahead.
You’ve probably seen a lot of articles and Facebook posts floating around about what you can do to help patients in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, Louisiana, South Carolina, and other states who are considering or have passed restrictive abortion bans.
Here are some ideas:
Donate to a regional fund. Here are some:
Sign up to volunteer with your local fund. Whether that’s DCAF or a fund in another state or region, we’ll need to work together to make sure patients get the funds they need for abortion care.
Donate to your local abortion fund. Better yet, become a monthly donor to support their work year round. Abortion funds in areas where folks can still access this essential health care service will face a higher demand for their services as people travel further distances to get the care they need and deserve. We’ve already seen this trend at DCAF.
Share your abortion story. Viral campaigns like #YouKnowMe on social media, or more organization-specific storytelling efforts like DCAF’s are a great way to destigmatize abortion and highlight what we know: 1 in 4 women have abortions, and not only women need access to abortion services.
Study up on what’s next and deepen your own political commitment. Stay up on the news, learn more about reproductive justice and the fight for abortion rights and access by checking out Radical Reproductive Justice or Handbook for a Post-Roe America.
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 have work to do.
2018 was a big year for DCAF. Under a new administration that has already proven itself to be hostile toward reproductive rights, it was also a year that DCAF supporters increased their support of access to abortion care for patients in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas.
Your support made a direct impact in meeting the needs of patients.
You can view our FY18 annual report here.
I’m so proud of DCAF’s leadership team and all the work done as part of this incredible organization.
I can’t wait to see what we can do together in 2019 and beyond!
by Jeryl Hayes, DCAF President
This year, we are grateful. Grateful for generous supporters like you, for our strong community, and for the partners and activists who stand with us on the frontlines for reproductive and social justice.
But there is a lot at stake.
The role and growth of abortion funds have perhaps never been more critical.
As Dr. LeRoy Carhart, a Maryland provider, has said: “Many patients face barriers when accessing care: forced waiting periods, anti-choice legislation, travel expenses, taking time off work, child care, and finances all impact a patient’s ability to receive care when she has chosen abortion. Organizations like the DC Abortion Fund provide support, emotionally and financially…Without funds like DCAF access to abortion would be a right in name alone.”
As we face increasing and frightening state restrictions on abortion access and an uncertain future with the courts, we continue to work every day to make reproductive choice a reality for everyone—regardless of income.
This year we’ve provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to patients to cover the gap between what they are able to pay and the full cost of abortion care. We’ve assisted more callers than ever before.
Despite the obstacles to come, we remain committed to our mission and our work. DCAF will remain ready to be a resource. And we are only able to do this because of you.
To make an impact throughout the year, please consider making a monthly donation to DCAF! You can make your monthly, or one-time, gift at dcabortionfund.org/donate.
What a year! We’re still pulling together the final numbers for our annual report, but we already know we’ve shattered previous records. We’ve provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to patients to cover the gap between what they are able to pay and the full cost of their abortion care. We’ve assisted more callers than ever before. And all this in a world with a decidedly anti-choice administration and a multitude of state and national restrictions designed to deny access to abortion care.
So much of this success is thanks to people like you.
Here are the details:
Who: You and the rest of the DCAF community
What: DCAF’s Holiday Party
When: Monday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Sax Restaurant and Lounge (near Metro Center)
If you or your organization are interested in giving at the leadership level for this year’s event, please click here to learn more about sponsorship levels and packages, starting at $100. The funds raised for this event — like all donations to DCAF — will help to continue to make abortion accessible for all.
After you’ve decided to have an abortion, there’s the matter of paying for it. Volunteer case managers at the DC Abortion Fund are here to guide you through the sometimes challenging process, but we also put together this brief set of questions and answers about covering the cost of your abortion.
How much does an abortion cost?
It varies. The cost of an abortion can depend on a variety of factors, including your health, the clinic, and the stage of your pregnancy. Abortion care can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars, depending on a variety of factors including the patient’s health, how far along they are in their pregnancy, and which clinic they’re going to.
Can I use my insurance?
It depends. Health insurance can reduce the cost of an abortion. A few states require insurance plans to provide insurance coverage of abortion while several states deny access to insurance coverage of abortion. The Hyde Amendment has paved the way for federal abortion coverage restrictions for patients on Medicaid, CHIP, and other federally-funded insurance programs–although some states use their own funds to cover abortion for Medicaid enrollees. Your insurance company will be able to tell you whether they cover abortion care. Like any other medical procedure, it’s important to find out which providers and services are included in your plan. If you’ve still got a balance after pulling together your resources, organizations like DCAF, the National Abortion Federation and other abortion funds around the country may be able to help make up the difference between the cost of your procedure and what you can cover.
Will my parents, partner, school or employer find out I had an abortion if I’m on their insurance?
Your confidential health information, including the result of a pregnancy test or an abortion, is protected under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). However, if a parent or partner is the primary insurance policyholder, they may receive an explanation of benefits (or EOB), a document that may be sent whenever care is provided under a policy that itemizes submitted claims. Some states require or presume that your medical provider will send an EOB. This may be simply a line stating the name of the provider or office and the amount billed, but it may include more information. So while your abortion provider will keep your health information confidential, the explanation of benefits may provide information about the medical services you receive. And if you are insured as a dependent, this EOB may reach your parent or partner if they are the policyholder. Ask your care provider how services will appear on insurance paperwork, or research the laws and policies of your state.
If you have insurance through your school or job and are the primary policyholder, the EOB will go to you, as the primary policyholder. But some schools or employers refuse to cover reproductive health services, such as contraception or abortion, meaning that you may have to pay the entire cost out of pocket.
If you are a minor, in addition to confidentiality concerns surrounding EOBs, your ability to access abortion or reproductive health care depends on where you live. Different states have different policies when it comes to parental consent, so it is worth looking up the laws in your state. In DC, minors can consent to abortion. In Maryland, minors seeking abortion need to notify their parents, and in Virginia they need both parental notice and parental consent. Organizations like Jane’s Due Process have great information and resources around access to abortion care for minors.
Can I talk to someone about whether this is worth the expense?
We at DCAF affirm that you are the decision maker in your life. While we do not offer options counseling, we do offer financial counseling, should you decide to obtain an abortion. If you are interested in options counseling, we can refer you to an organization that may help.
Looking for a question/answer you didn’t see? Click here for more information about funding an abortion.
Need help? Please call DCAF’s free, confidential helpline at (202) 452-7464 and leave a voicemail for our case managers. Include your name and phone number, how many weeks pregnant you are, the date of your doctor’s appointment, and whether or not it is okay for us to leave you a voicemail. Here’s a link to more resources.
By volunteer Rebecca K.
Angry? Emotionally drained? Fired up to fight back? So are we.
The past few weeks were rough for many of us, especially for survivors. But we’re still here, and we’re not going anywhere.
From the very beginning, we knew Brett Kavanaugh was a dangerous pick for the Supreme Court — and not just because he’s signaled his view on access to abortion. He’s made clear that access to birth control, LGBTQ equality, immigrant rights, and voting rights will all be in jeopardy.
Not to mention that he’s been accused of sexual assault and misconduct — an act that should itself disqualify him from ever becoming a Supreme Court justice — by multiple women.
We’ve already seen more people traveling to the DC area for abortion care because of increased restrictions in their state (many are already living in a post-Roe world), and we only expect the demand to grow, especially with Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
But no matter what happens after he joins the bench, we will always be committed to working together with you — our community of supporters — to make abortion accessible.
It’s been a rough few weeks following the Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
From the very beginning, we knew Brett Kavanaugh was a dangerous pick for the Supreme Court. If he’s confirmed, it’s very likely that Roe v. Wade would be overturned and more than 20 states would quickly ban abortion in most or all circumstances.
He’s made clear that access to birth control, LGBTQ equity, immigrant rights, and voting rights will all be in jeopardy.
And now, he has been accused of sexual assault — an act that should itself disqualify him from ever becoming a Supreme Court justice.
Everyone’s been asking you to call your senator or sign a petition — and you might be thinking, “but I live in DC! What can I do to stop Kavanaugh?”
Here’s three things you can do right now:
DCAF supporters and leaders are speaking up in front of the White House, at the steps of the Supreme Court, and on the phone with their senators to #StopKavanaugh.
And they’re donating to DCAF (over $3,000 during our Taco or Beer Challenge alone last week!) because they know our work is more important than ever. Our supporters know that no matter what happens, our patients will count on DCAF and its incredible volunteers to make sure people will still be able to access abortion care. Will you join them?
Last week was an incredibly tough week for abortion rights advocates. With a devastating 5-4 loss in the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra and swing justice Anthony Kennedy retiring on July 31, the future of abortion access is one big question mark.
For those feeling helpless, I feel you. It’s daunting to think that the progress we’ve made in the 45 years since Roe v. Wade could be rolled back with a majority anti-choice court. Whether that rollback looks like a full reversal of Roe v. Wade or incremental losses like the NIFLA decision, the message is clear: we can’t depend on the Supreme Court to uphold abortion access.
With the courts in jeopardy and an anti-choice Congress, community organizations like the DC Abortion Fund are even more essential. There’s already a multitude of national and local restrictions on abortion care, and it’s not hard to predict that things will most likely get worse. If restrictions continue to increase without check in our judicial system, we must take it upon ourselves to ensure that folks are able to access abortion care, regardless of financial or physical barriers.
Organizations like DCAF will be front and center in providing financial help, especially if resources are stretched even thinner to account for the inevitable influx of pregnant people seeking procedures. If Roe falls and there is no longer a federal right to abortion, it’s likely that even more people will have to travel to places like Maryland—which guarantee a right to abortion under state law—to get the care they need.
If you are financially able, I encourage you to make a recurring or one-time donation to DCAF. Truly, every little bit helps and will go a long way in these uncertain times.
That feeling of helplessness won’t go away completely, but we can do our part in making abortion a little more possible.
By volunteer Caitlin V.