Cheers to Choice!

It’s been quite the year of growth for the DC Abortion Fund! We provided funding for almost 1,400 patients, and more than 400 volunteers stepped up this year to answer calls from patients, stuff envelopes, fundraise and host events, and advocate for the right for everyone to be able to access abortion care. And we have a new president!

Join us next month to toast our incredible community at our annual Peace, Joy, and Choice holiday party on Tuesday, Dec. 5!

Here are the details:

Who: You and the rest of the DCAF community
What: DCAF’s Peace, Joy, and Choice Holiday Party
When: Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Town Danceboutique (2009 8th St., NW)

Get your early bird ticket for a suggested donation of $20 today! After November 20, the ticket price will go up to $25. Tickets will also be available at the door for a $30 donation.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring this year’s event, please click here to learn more about levels and packages. The funds raised for this event — like all donations to DCAF — will help to continue to make abortion accessible for all.

On Twitter or Instagram? Follow along on the hashtag #DCAFparty. We look forward to seeing you there!

Meet Our New President: Jeryl!

We’re excited to welcome Jeryl Hayes as DCAF’s new president. A longtime advocate for social justice and reproductive rights and an experienced health policy lawyer, Jeryl has worked in coalition with many DC-based reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations. She officially starts her term today and we’re ecstatic to have her on board as we continue to grow as an organization.

 

“I am thrilled to serve as the next president of DCAF. I have long admired the impressive abortion support that DCAF provides for the DC, Maryland, and Virginia communities, particularly as an all-volunteer team. It will be a great honor to work with both the DCAF Board and volunteers to help patients access abortion care services. I look forward to engaging in the direct services linked to the policies for which I have spent my professional career advocating.” – Jeryl

You can meet Jeryl this Friday at a volunteer happy hour around City Center. Please email volunteer@dcabortionfund.org for the exact location.

You can reach Jeryl at president@dcabortionfund.org.

Heartless Measure

This week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 36, which would criminalize abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for situations in which the life of the pregnant person is at risk or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and the survivor meets the criteria for reporting or receiving treatment for the assault. Doctors can be punished by up to five years in prison and/or fines if caught performing or attempting an abortion after the cut off.

Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced this heartless measure in the Senate with the support of 45 other senators. The bill is based on ideology rather than science, and DC Abortion Fund opposes the measure.  

Abortions after 20 weeks are rare, but increasing barriers to access, including mandatory waiting periods, forced ultrasounds, limited clinic options, and high out-of-pocket costs, put patients at risk of having an abortion closer to the 20-week mark. In addition, each week that a patient has to wait to have their abortion procedure performed can add hundreds to thousands of dollars to the price tag and make the procedure more complicated (while still safer than childbirth).

At DCAF, we support patients who need later abortions the same way we support patients who need earlier abortions. We are appalled at this legislation, and promise to serve our patients as we always have: with dignity and respect.

Now more than ever, patients are relying on abortion funds to help cover some of their costs. Please consider donating to DCAF. Your gift helps us remove some of the financial barriers that patients face when trying to access an abortion, and sends a message to Congress that we will not stop fighting for and with our patients.

If you have senators, please contact them at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to oppose this cruel abortion ban.

What We’re Following: Threat to Last Abortion Clinic in Kentucky

Kentucky could be the first state in the nation without a single abortion clinic, depending on the outcome of a recent federal court case. The Louisville abortion clinic EMW Women’s Surgical Clinic is the only open clinic in the state and closure would severely limit safe, legal and high-quality reproductive healthcare for women.

EMW, joined by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, filed suit in 2016 after receiving notice that the clinic’s abortion license was to be revoked. The state cited deficiencies in transfer agreements from the clinic to local hospitals even though it was originally approved. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order so that the case would remain open until a judge ruled on it. The groups are asking U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers to overturn regulations that they argue are medically unnecessary and create an unconstitutional barrier to abortion. The three-day trial concluded on September 8, but a ruling could take months.

Back in January this year, the Kentucky state legislature passed two new laws limiting abortion access: one making it illegal for women to get abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the other requiring women to obtain and view an ultrasound before having an abortion.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, who are representing the clinic, argued that the state’s regulations “impose an undue burden” on a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. These regulations are cited by the Kentucky government as the reason for revoking the clinic’s abortion license.

According to the Courier-Journal, during the trial a state health regulator blamed hospitals, saying they failed to provide sufficient agreements with EMW. EMW and Planned Parenthood alleged that the state pressured or intimidated hospital officials into declining to enter into these agreements.

What reproductive rights stories are you reading? Share with us on Twitter at @DCAbortionFund.

by volunteer Amy M.

You are not alone. We support you.

“The Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) leaves 800,000 DREAMers and immigrant youth who call the US home at risk of deportation. For many of them, the US is the only home they’ve ever known. Without DACA, they don’t know what their futures hold or if they will be able to stay in this country. The DACA program provided peace of mind and a voice, including things that many of us take for granted, such as the ability to pursue higher education and hold a driver’s license.

“Rescinding DACA is yet another act of white supremacy. It is rooted in racism. The same systems that pardon people like Joe Arpaio and orchestrate mass deportations are the ones that are putting our ability to access health care at risk. We all deserve protection, health, and freedom no matter our immigration status.

“We at DCAF believe that borders shouldn’t get in the way of people’s health, education, livelihood, or family. We condemn the administration’s actions and are holding our community close during this time.

“Our community is stronger when we stand together. We will continue to serve our patients, regardless of immigration status. To our patients, volunteers, and community members who are impacted by this uncertainty: You are not alone. We support you.

“We encourage everyone to visit weareheretostay.org for resources and opportunities to take action now.”

by DC Abortion Fund Board of Directors

Anti-Choicers Won’t Stop Us.

We got some hard news this week.

Two abortion clinics in Maryland — Prince George’s Reproductive Health Services and Germantown Reproductive Health Services — will be closing because the property owners decided to sell the facilities.

Dr. LeRoy Carhart, one of the few abortion providers in the country who provides later abortions, has worked at the Germantown clinic since 2010 and has faced opposition from anti-choice protesters demanding that the clinic close. His clinic was the only place on the East Coast where patients seeking later abortion (after 26 weeks of pregnancy) could access care. The next closest clinics that serve these later cases are in Boulder, Colorado, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Appointments are already being cancelled. And the cost of an abortion — and the difficulty of traveling the distance to access one — is rising for patients.

Dr. Carhart said he is determined to open his own practice to continue providing care to patients who need it. But in the meantime, the old clinic is under contract to be purchased by an anti-choice group that worked for many years to shut it down.

Painful, to say the least. But anti-choicers won’t stop us.

Last week, we hosted our annual Taco or Beer Challenge fundraiser and raised over $4,000 to help patients access the abortion care they need. And when protesters showed up, our passionate supporters drowned them out and restaurant patrons unrelated to our happy hour donated to show their solidarity with us.

It’s time for us to continue to be loud and proud for abortion access. Chip in what you can today to show that we won’t be stopped. We will continue to help patients access the care they need.

Farewell From Our President

To the DC Abortion Fund Community:

After one and half amazing years serving as the President of the DCAF, I will be stepping down from my role at the end of August. Serving DCAF has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences to me both professionally and personally.

I’m in constant awe of the endless dedication and passion of our volunteers, case managers and donors, the tireless work of the brilliant Board of Directors, and the strength and conviction of our patients. It is because of you all that I am able to move in a different direction knowing that this board and this community will continue to fight, continue to win, and continue to provide abortion unapologetically.

As we move forward through challenging and difficult times in this country, I hope that the DC Abortion Fund continues to affirm that we’re in solidarity with our volunteers, donors, and patients of color, challenges the intricate and intersectional systems that keep our patients from accessing the care that they need, and centers the patients’ lived experiences in our work with the community.

I will always remain an avid supporter (and donor) of the DC Abortion Fund. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the successes of the board and the years ahead by coming to our Taco or Beer Challenge events on August 21 at 6 p.m. at El Camino (Bloomingdale) and on August 25 at 6 p.m. at Mission (Dupont).  

by Kersha Deibel

Taco + Beer + DCAF = Perfection.

Do you love tacos, or beer, or both? Same! You should join us for the fourth annual Taco or Beer Challenge!

How does this work? Just eat a taco, drink a beer, and donate to DCAF. It’s easy (and delicious).

Taco or Beer Challenge – Night 1
Monday, Aug. 21, 6:00 p.m.
El Camino (108 Rhode Island Ave., NW)
RSVP on Facebook

Taco or Beer Challenge – Night 2
Friday, Aug. 25, 6:00 p.m.
Mission (1606 20th St., NW)
RSVP on Facebook

Please note that both spaces are wheelchair accessible.*

Bonus: at both events, we’ll be honoring our outgoing president and fearless leader Kersha Deibel and thanking her for her service over the past two years.

Can’t make it? The beauty of the Taco or Beer Challenge is that you can do it anywhere! Just grab a beer and/or a tacomake a donation, and share on social media at #ToBC17.

*Mission’s staff is trained to keep an eye out for guests needing to use the wheelchair accessible entrance. They will walk the guest around the building and in through the back kitchen door. The main floor is all one level and there is a wheelchair accessible restroom.