Cheers for Choice: Holiday Party Success

DCAF and friends celebrated a fantastic 2015 at our 11th annual holiday party on December 7 at Capitale. This year, we provided more than $135,000 in small grants to help women seeking abortion care, and that’s something to celebrate. To cap it off, we raised about $15,000 at this year’s holiday party — a great way to welcome 2016.

DCAF is entirely volunteer-run.  But some of our volunteers go above and beyond the usual above-and-beyond. We honored these incredible volunteers for their truly outstanding work:

Volunteer of the Year: Jenn R.

Rookie of the Year: Dee S.

Honorable Volunteers: Lisa W. and Sarah W.

Case Managers of the Year: Arona K. and Liz R.

We’re also indebted to our generous sponsors, who make our work possible:

Platinum Level Sponsor ($1000)

Catholics for Choice

Gold Level Sponsorship ($500)

Natale Zimmer and Michael Battaglia

Rebecca and Brandon Gotwalt

Silver Level Sponsorship ($250)

Allison Mitchell

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)

Catherine Heffernan Gibson

Chitra Panjabi and Pete David

Jill Morrison

Katie Breslin

Marya Torrez

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia

National Women’s Law Center

Reproductive Health Technologies Project

Sara Morello

Suzanne Swink and Colleen Crinion

Tiffany Reed

Women’s Information Network

Bronze Level Sponsorship ($100)

Center for Reproductive Rights – Angela Hooten

DC Doulas for Choice


Jenn Mellen

Lake Research Partners, Inc.

Meliora Pet Care – Laura Steiner

Michelle Campbell

Rachel Larris

Many thanks to all who attended and all who gave. Cheers to choice!

By volunteer Mollie L.


Billiards-a-Thon super successful — thanks to you!

BAT THANK YOUA huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported the DC Abortion Fund’s annual Billiards-a-Thon last month! In our biggest fundraiser of the year, we were also more successful than ever before: We raised more than $52,000 for our patients – that’s a quarter of DCAF’s annual budget!

We always know that we can count on our supporters, but this year was an especially awe-inspiring. More than 60 of our 90+ billiardists had never hustled for DCAF before. But they believe in the cause, and they were able to raise a huge chunk of money to help abortion patients in need of financial assistance. We are so humbled and so glad that y’all joined the cause.

Of course, the Billiards-a-Thon isn’t all seriousness. It’s also lots of fun. Our event included a highly competitive pool tournament (won handily by a one-woman team!), plenty of prizes, a photo-worthy money pit, and incredible costumes. We saw RBG’s Angels, some Pawnee Goddesses, an homage to Beyoncé’s most feminist moments, and more.

We want to thank Bedrock Billiards for hosting us, Captain Cookie for providing sweet treats, Secret Pleasures, Adam and Eve, and I Heart Guts for donating sweet prizes, and most of all, the incredible teams of volunteers who helped make this event a great success. Thank you, everyone.

If you don’t want to wait for next year to stay involved with DCAF, you can volunteer with us year-round. We’ll see you soon!

Have you joined the Billiards-a-Thon yet? Here’s why you should.

share2Have you joined the DC Abortion Fund’s Billiards-a-Thon yet? There’s still plenty of time to start a team and raise some money to help us hit our goal of $55,000. But if you’re hesitant, why not let one of our fundraisers, Claire, tell you why she’s hustling for us:

When I was invited to join a team for DCAF’s Billiards-a-Thon last year, I felt the conflicting feelings of resolve and dread.

It was awkward and uncomfortable enough to ask my college classmates to donate to our alma mater — a pretty uncontroversial request. How could I possibly ask people to fund abortions? What if I totally fail?

I tried to squash those feelings and focus on the reason why abortion funds like DCAF exist in the first place — because choice is still inaccessible to so many. Many counties in the countrylack an abortion provider, so those with limited resources often have trouble traveling to reach the closest clinic. Worse, moreabortion restrictions were enacted from 2011-13 than in the entire previous decade—and they justkeep oncoming, chipping away at the rights affirmed by Roe v. Wade.

The sad truth is that the poorest in our society suffer the most from restrictions on abortion. My strong belief in social and economic justice not just calls me, but demands me to take real action to right this injustice, not only in my day job but in my free time as well. When I see all-volunteer abortion funds like DCAF filling the gaps in resources available for those who are unable to access the reproductive health care they need, I am inspired — and frankly, relieved. It’s powerful to see members of our community coming together to make sure choice is a reality for women in the DC area.

Bolstered by all of the stories and statistics I see every day at work and in the media, last April I started writing personal emails to my friends and family, highlighting why supporting DCAF is so crucial. And I started tweeting as well. What I discovered was that while the initial ask was intimidating, my friends and family, if asked, believe just as strongly as I do in the work that DCAF does to insuring choice is a reality. Not only did I meet my fundraising goal last year, but I surpassed it!

While the goals, teams, and billiards give a little competitive incentive to fundraising, the bottom line is that DCAF—and abortion funds across the country — need every dollar possible. Though I’ve already reached my personal fundraising goal this year (!), I continue to hustle for DCAF every day until the Billiards-a-Thon. Here are some real numbers on why you should too:

  • $231 DCAF’s average pledge to patients.
  • $337 The average cost of a first-trimester abortion in the DC area.
  • $5,720 The average cost of a later abortion in the DC area.

Has Claire convinced you yet? Then join us, start a team, or just give a donation. We hope to see you on April 26!

Written by volunteer Claire G; image by volunteer Emma C.

Girls to the Front: Join DCAF at Punk Rock Karaoke

prochoiceriotThe DC Abortion Fund is getting some major visibility and support from one of our favorite groups. Join DCAF for Punk Rock Karaoke! This incredible collective has generously offered to give the proceeds of their latest DC event to our fund.

PRK is just what it sounds like: a night of singing your favorite punk (and punk-ish) songs, all while raising dollars for DCAF. Punk Rock Karaoke travels the northeast and packs the back room at the Black Cat every time it’s in town.

Take it from our volunteer manager, Lindsey: “Punk Rock Karaoke is not only a great advocate for nonprofit organizations across the Northeast; it’s also one of the most fun nights of the year. DCAF feels really lucky to be the beneficiary of such a positive resource in our community.”

So brush up on “Deceptacon” and “Rebel Girl.” The cost is $8 to get in, and all of the proceeds go to DCAF! For more information and to RSVP, check out the event’s Facebook page.

Punk Rock Karaoke

9 p.m., Saturday, April 11

Black Cat

1811 14th St. NW

Metro: U Street/Cardozo

By volunteer Victoria C.; image via Punk Rock Karaoke

One month until the Billiards-a-Thon!

BATcollageIn just one month, we’ll be celebrating our sixth annual Billiards-a-Thon! Like other abortion funds around the country, we gear up every spring to hustle for money. It’s important for many reasons: It raises a quarter of our annual budget for patients, for one thing. But it’s also a gathering, a reminder why the work we do matters.

This year, we want to raise $55,000 for patients who call the DC Abortion Fund for financial assistance. It’s more than we’ve ever raised before. But we know with your help, we can reach that goal. Please join us, and then come celebrate reaching that goal on Sunday, April 26!

How often do you get to hang out with a room full of other pro-choice advocates? How often do you take a day to celebrate all the effort you’ve put into making choice a reality?  How often does a brunch beer help an abortion patient get care? Just once a year, friends: during the Billiards-a-Thon.

You still have plenty of time to sign up, join a team, or start your own. So get after it! Every little bit helps, and it all leads to a great afternoon with friends. We’re counting on you – and so are the patients we help.


DCAF event with Congresswoman Norton 3/24

Women's History Month FlyerPlease join DC Abortion Fund at Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s abortion rights round table in celebration of Women’s History Month. DCAF board president Val Vilott will serve as a panelist.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – 6:30-8:30pm

GWU Hospital Auditorium

900 23rd St. NW

This is a great opportunity for D.C. residents to speak out on the importance of expanding abortion access. Congressional restrictions on abortion care directly hurt our community.

Many DCAF callers have Medicaid insurance, which won’t cover their procedures, so our clients must suddenly scrape together several hundred dollars out-of-pocket to obtain the care they need.  All people deserve comprehensive health insurance that includes abortion coverage.

Until that happens, DCAF will do what Congress won’t – help people find the resources to manage their lives and health with dignity and compassion.

Get Involved With Upcoming DCAF Events

Looking for a way to get involved with DCAF? Want to meet and hang out with other pro-choice advocates? You are invited to join DCAF for these upcoming events!

Join us for a screening of Vessel, a compelling documentary about Women on Waves, a reproductive rights group that sails internationally to provide abortion services aboard a ship to women living in countries with anti-abortion laws. The event will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the Angelika Theater, located one block from Union Market and accessible by Metro at NoMa/Gallaudet station. Begin the night by meeting the DCAF board and fellow pro-choice supporters in the Angelika lounge area at 6:30 p.m., followed by the screening at 7:15 p.m. Visit this link to buy your $15 ticket ahead of time. You may also purchase tickets at the door for $20 suggested cash donation. We hope you will join us for this fun and informative event!

DCAF will also be at the Women’s Information Network’s Young Women of Achievement Awards on Thursday, Feb. 26. WIN holds these awards annually in order to celebrate young women leaders who are making a difference in the community. The night will consist of a networking reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. It will be located at the Carnegie Institution for Science and tickets can be purchased for $30 here. Come out to celebrate the great achievements that have been made and to meet other pro-choice ladies!

Last but certainly not least, join us for an afternoon of fun and fundraising at DCAF’s annual Billiards-a-Thon! This is DCAF’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and this year, the stakes are high. Our goal of $55,000 is our highest ever, so we need your help! Your donations will help make it possible to finance abortion services for more patients in the DC area. By giving back to DCAF, you will help remove barriers to reproductive choice for our patients! The fun will take place on Sunday, April 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. Register here!

Create a team, join a team, or go solo! Set a fundraising goal to be reached by the event date and start telling everyone you know about DCAF and your commitment to helping people in the DC area have access to safe abortion services without financial barriers. After a few weeks of fundraising, enjoy an afternoon of billiards, food, drinks and mingling. We hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please email

Written by volunteer Victoria D, graphic by volunteer Kate C with image from 

Roe v. Wade Events in the DMV

Roe v. Wade vigil January 22, 2013

This week we celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade (the official day is January 22nd) and the DMV has some events going on.

DC NOW’s annual Roe Anniversary Reception
Thursday, January 22nd
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Busboys and Poets: 1025 5th St, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Meet members of the local NOW community, hear from speakers, and enjoy some drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
RSVP on Facebook.

Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition Day of Action
On January 22nd, activists from across Virginia will join together to demand that the Commonwealth protect reproductive freedom. Times and locations vary, so check out the page and make sure to RSVP.

If you’re in the mood for something more artistic yet still in the vein of bashing abortion stigma, we suggest heading to the Studio Theater for Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign. It is composed of 13 scenes from 10 different female playwrights with one mission: to create a new conversation about abortion and move beyond the political rhetoric and divisive debate to a more personal understanding of the role abortion plays in women’s lives. It is only showing one night, on January 20th. You can get tickets here.

Join All Above All Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at 7:00 pm EDT for the Google Hangout “Is Roe a Reality for All*. The following rad women will be on hand to chat and take questions:

Shivana Jorawar, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Amanda Williams, Lilith Fund (Texas abortion fund serving low-income women)
Jessica González-Rojas, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Have a question? Just submit them when you RSVP. Or, you can tweet your question to #Roe4All and tag it with @AllAboveAll.

All Above All will also have a tweetchat on January 20th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. They’ll be asking the question, what will it take to get #Roe4All?

There will also be a call hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) on January 21st from 4:00 – 5:00 pm. NCJW leaders from Louisiana, Washington, and Tennessee and a guest from the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) will share key lessons from their local work to advance abortion access and affordability in the context of reproductive justice. There will also be time for questions and to share your own efforts, as well as connect with other advocates.

Know of any other events? Email and we’ll add it to the list.