2020: when mutual aid became more critical than ever

You’ve heard us repeating this reality for the past few months: Many of our callers are struggling just as much — if not more — as they were at the beginning of the pandemic.

In January and February, we pledged just over $100,000 each month to help people in our community afford their abortion procedures. That’s more than twice what we usually pledge each month and half our annual pledge budget in just three months — and we’re expecting the trend to continue when we close the books on March.

Pulling together our annual report for FY2020 (which covers July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020), we recognize that this increased demand had started before the pandemic began — but it has only continued to grow exponentially as the pandemic has stretched on.

Your support made a direct impact in meeting the needs of patients over the past fiscal year when mutual aid became more critical than ever, and we’re so grateful for your continued support as the need continues.

Front cover of FY2020 annual report

No matter what the world throws at us, our lines stay open, and that wouldn’t be possible without your support. Thank you so much.

Fund-a-Thon season is here!

Fund-a-Thon season is here! Traditionally, it is a powerful demonstration of mutual aid, as our community comes together to raise money for abortions in the DC area. This year’s Fund-a-Thon looks a bit different as we continue to face this unprecedented time together, but the essence of the event remains the same — an incredible moment of solidarity, when it is more critical than ever.

As we shared last week, abortion access has only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many facing even more financial barriers and obstacles than ever before. Many of our callers are struggling just as much today — if not more — as they were at the beginning of the pandemic, while the need is only growing and abortion funds around the country are scrambling to meet it.

For us, this has meant pushing out more funding than ever before and being there for our callers, no matter what the world throws at us. We pledged a quarter of a million dollars over just three months, which is half of our annual pledge budget. We can’t meet the need on our own, which is why we need you!

We need our community to come together in a big way and help us raise money for the thousands of people seeking abortion care in the DC area.

Join us today by creating an online fundraising page, joining or starting a team, and committing to raise as much money as you can by asking your friends and family to donate.

Ready to go, or still have questions? Join us for a Fund-a-Thon launch happy hour on Thursday, March 18, from 6-7 p.m. to kick off our fundraising efforts, hear more about the increase in funding needs we’re seeing, ask questions, and connect with other DCAF fundraisers. Sign up here for the happy hour, and we’ll send you details shortly before the event.

Even if fundraising for abortion isn’t something you’ve done before, you won’t be alone. We’ll provide resources, including sample emails you can send, and we’ll regularly provide you with tips, tricks, and support.

We hope you’ll join us!

Fight for abortion access today and every day

January 22, 1973 was an important day. It was the day the Supreme Court announced its decision in the Roe v. Wade case—its decision to legalize abortion in the U.S.

But let’s be clear: making abortion legal did not make them accessible.

Since the decision, anti-choice politicians have introduced and passed laws that roll back abortion rights across the country, and clinics, doctors, and patients continue to be targets of harassment and violence.

And far too many people still have their abortions delayed or denied due to their income or insurance status. These barriers disproportionately hurt people with lower incomes and people of color. 

Abortion access has only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many facing even more financial barriers and obstacles due to the health and economic crisis. At DCAF, we’ve seen first hand more callers with large gaps, which has been stretching our budget. But we remain more committed than ever to making abortion accessible in the DC area: because funding abortion is mutual aid.

Help us continue to make abortion accessible by becoming a monthly donor to DCAF. A gift of just $5 a month makes a huge difference.

Thank you for all that you do.

Holding our community close

To say the least, the first few weeks of 2021 have been heavy, especially for those of us living in the DC area.

Between an attempted coup in broad daylight by White supremacists, the up to 25,000 National Guard members descending on the city ahead of Inauguration tomorrow, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a frightening, difficult moment. We are holding our community close at this time, and remain committed to our mission of making abortion accessible.

To stay up-to-date on public safety, street closures, transit updates, and more, you can sign up for real-time information and alerts from the DC government. To sign up, text INAUG2021 to 888-777.

You can continue to get the latest information on DC’s response to COVID-19, including the local vaccine distribution plan, testing resources, help with utilities, food resources, health guidance, and more here.

To our non-Black supporters and supporters with White privilege, we also encourage you to continue to do the work to learn more about White supremacy and police violence and brutality because the events of the past few weeks are not isolated incidents. To start or continue the journey of being actively antiracist, we all have to learn more, speak out, donate, and volunteer with organizations doing the work.

Please take care of yourselves this week.

We Remain Determined

“We don’t know what the next year will bring. But we know DCAF will always be there.”

I wrote this to our community at the end of 2019, without knowing what a difficult year 2020 would prove to be.

Between a global pandemic, economic downturn, and a new conservative Supreme Court majority that will likely be hostile to not only abortion access but also LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, and more, saying it’s been a tough year is putting it very lightly.

But through it all, our DCAF community of volunteers and supporters has remained determined to make abortion accessible in the DC area.

And right now, there’s a rare opportunity to double your impact and ensure more patients have access to abortion care they need! All gifts made through December 31 will be matched by a generous donor, $1-for-$1, up to $25,000 – meaning your gift will go twice as far to fund abortions in the DC area.

Thanks to your support, DCAF has been able to step up and meet the increased financial needs of our callers while continuing to work toward a world in which everyone has personal bodily autonomy and can live in safe and sustainable communities.

As the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis created more barriers to abortion access than ever before, we’ve been able to increase the median pledge to DCAF callers by 50 percent and pledge a total of $437,000 to help people afford their abortion procedures (from March-November 2020, up from $352,000 over the same time period in 2019).

We’ve come so far but can’t stop now. Please, make a tax-deductible gift today to support our work in 2021 and beyond. The matching gift offer expires at midnight on December 31.

-Dee S., DCAF President

Thank You for Making Holiday Party a Roaring Success

Thank YOU for making last week’s Holiday Party such a roaring success!

With your generous support, we raised (*drumroll please*) over $63,000 — a record-breaking amount! — to continue to make abortion accessible to patients in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. What a wonderful way to celebrate DCAF’s 25th anniversary year!

Want to help us help even more callers? Thanks to a generous donor, any gift you make through December 31 will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $25,000!

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people continue to need abortions — and many are facing even more financial barriers and other obstacles due to the health and economic crisis. Thanks to your support, DCAF has been able to step up and meet the increased financial needs of our callers: Since March, our median pledge to callers has gone up by 50 percent, and we’re on track to pledge more dollars than even before.

As the pandemic continues into 2021, we hope we can count on you to continue your support by making a tax-deductible gift today.

Wishing you and your loved ones a safe, restful, and joyous holiday season. Thank you again to our Holiday Party sponsors for their generous support:

Michela Masson

Amanda Bartelme
Carrie Ross and Dr. Marvourneen Dolor
Catholics for Choice
Danielle Geong & Adam Pimentel

Arona Kessler
DCAF Board of Directors
Dr. Sara Imershein
DuPont Clinic
Ladies Who Chat (and Fund Abortions)
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Sara Adland & Kiran Bhatraju
The Guerra Family

Abortion Wholigans
Advocates for Youth
Amy Mannarino
Colin Fleming
Jessica Arons and Shira Saperstein
Johanna Gray & David Muraskin
Melissa Martinie
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
Natale Zimmer
National Health Law Program
National Women’s Law Center
Peggy and David Shiffrin
Planned Parenthood Advocates for DC, Maryland & NoVa
Rabbi Hannah Goldstein and Josh Friedman
Shana Fitzpatrick
Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force

Alison Jones * Caitlin Gullickson * Cara Eisel * Caroline O’Shea * Carrie Engel & Tarik Yousif * Claire S. Gould and Joe Sprott * Hannah Sheehy * Hurley Family * If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice * Illysa Schrager * Jill C. Morrison * Julia Quinn * Kate Vlach & Jon Ettinger * Kathy Yanuck Wenger * Maggie Rosenbloom * Marya Torrez & Michael Farmer * Melissa Shube * Mindy & Danny McGrath * NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland * National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum * Tiffany Reed * Tina & Brian Seliber

Join us for our annual holiday party

While we can’t be physically together for our annual Holiday Party this year, we hope you’ll join us to celebrate this year’s successes virtually on Thursday, December 17.

It’s been a hard year (to say the least), but we still have a lot to celebrate as a DCAF community:

  • We turned 25 years old! That’s 25 years of compassionate case management, growth, and commitment to a world that centers and trusts people with their health care, no matter where they live or what’s in their wallet.
  • We stood in solidarity with our allies in speaking out for immigrant justice, racial justice, and inclusive cash assistance policies to help our D.C. neighbors struggling amid the pandemic.
  • And throughout this tumultuous year, DCAF has continued to raise and distribute money for abortion access — because funding abortion is mutual aid, and the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis means people are experiencing more barriers to abortion access than ever before.

Even though it is happening virtually this year, the core of Holiday Party remains the same: celebrating and supporting DCAF’s critical mission of making abortion accessible and bringing together the community — that’s you! — that makes our work possible.

To make the event accessible during this difficult time, tickets are free, but if you are able, you can add a donation when you register.

As the COVID-19 health and economic crisis continues, we’re finding that more people continue to need more help affording their abortions. If you or your organization are in a place to give more, please consider demonstrating your commitment to abortion access with a sponsorship gift. Learn more about Holiday Party sponsorship levels and packages, starting at $250. The funds raised for this event — like all donations to DCAF — will help make abortion accessible for all.

We can’t wait to “see” you at the party on December 17! We know it’s been a tough year, but that makes this time of community and joy matter perhaps more than ever.

We are feeling all of the things in this moment

Big news! Voters from across the country came out in record breaking numbers to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

We are feeling all of the things in this moment, as are many of you. The incoming administration will open up possibilities for us to push for much needed change.

Because is still so much work to do.

Abortion remains out of reach for many – especially Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), people who face documentation barriers, transgender and gender nonconforming people, and other people who are routinely denied access to health care in many other states across the country. And these barriers are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in places that are already impacted by harsh abortion restrictions, delayed access to health care, and economic instability.

Defending against anti-abortion restrictions is not enough when the reality is that abortion is accessible only to people who have resources.

DCAF remains committed to ensuring abortion is available to all who need it, regardless of how much money they have or where they live. There’s a long road ahead for abortion access, and we need you with us.

If you are able, please consider making a monthly gift to DCAF to support abortion access all year long.