DCAF selected for Champions of Choice award!

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, one of DCAF’s partner clinics, has selected us to receive their 2011 Community Partnership Award at their annual Champions of Choice luncheon!

We are thrilled to be the recipient of such a great honor. PPMW is a vital part of the reproductive health community in DC, and our board is excited to be able to attend this event.

Want to support DCAF and PPMW? Join us at the luncheon and cheer us on!

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington’s
Champions of Choice Luncheon
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
12-2pm
Capitol Hilton Hotel
1001 16th St. NW
Washington DC 20036

Tickets are $150, and there’s a special young professional rate of $60 for attendees under 35. Learn more and buy your tickets here today!

20 Easy Ways to Raise $1000, Part 2

Previous: 20 Easy Ways to Raise $1000, Part I

Raising money for abortion doesn’t have to be a-bore-tion (ha!).  Lots of people have money they want to give you, they just don’t know it yet.  This is where you come in.

20 Easy Ways to Raise $1000, Part II

Adapted from the National Network of Abortion Funds‘s Bowl-a-Thon Hot Tips

11.    Collect cans from recycling, recruit your friends to do the same and cash in.
12.    Auction yourself – raffle off yard work, house cleaning, massages, cooking, childrearing
13.    Offer to do something your friends and family have been nagging you to do anyway and attach a price to it – you’ll do it if they donate $x to DCAF; offer to match their gift!
14.    Set up a DCAF “Cause” on Facebook and get all your Facebook friends to join and donate.
15.    Panhandle outside the post office for a week.
16.    Write a letter to your friends, family, co-workers, clients tell them why you want to participate in the bowl-a-thon and ask them to sponsor you for $5, $10 or $15.
17.    If you have a favorite bar or restaurant, see if they’ll host a cocktail hour and donate a percentage of the night’s proceeds – especially if you can guarantee a certain number of thirsty guests (this works well on a week night when business would otherwise be slow).
18.    Take advantage of corporate matching gifts programs. Many of your donors may work for companies that have a program like this — their donation could double simply by filling out a form from their Human Resources department and following the steps to submit a matching gift.
19.    Host a concert, burlesque show, talent show, or dance party and charge your friends admission.
20.    Ask someone, anyone, whoever is handy, for $10 every day for a month.

20 easy ways to raise $1000: Part 1

Abortion fund activists need to be shameless about asking for money.  Occupational hazard.  This is a skill not everybody is born with, but it can be learned.  Moreover, it can be fun!

If you want to make an immediate difference in the lives of women and girls in our community, you can support DCAF’s work by raising money for patient grants.  Here is the first in a 2-part post series on how to raise a ton of money, without even really trying.

So here it is: 20 Easy Ways to Raise $1000, Part I
Adapted from the National Network of Abortion Funds Bowl-a-Thon Hot Tips
1.    Give it yourself!  (ok, maybe that’s not so fun)
2.    Have a garage sale – go through your junk and your friends’ junk and sell it all for DCAF.
3.    Have a dinner party – charge your friends $20-30 for a fabulous dinner at your house. Cook something gourmet or unusual. Charge for drinks too!
4.    Get three friends to host a progressive dinner – Start at one person’s house for cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, go to the next house for dinner and the third house for dessert. Charge by the course or for the whole package.
5.    Host a house party – invite folks over to your house (or a friend’s house) for light snacks and invite DCAF to give a presentation and ask for a donation
6.    Ask five people to give you all their pocket change for a month, save yours and pool it together.
7.    Organize a cake walk, bake sale, or lemonade/margarita stand.
8.    Tell your friends and family that instead of birthday and/or holiday gifts, you want them to donate to DCAF.
9.    Lead a hiking, rafting, nature walk, historic tour, mushroom hunt – charge people $15-25 to participate ($30-40 if you provide lunch); advertise in the local paper and around town.
10.    Start a pyramid scheme – invite 5 people to dinner and charge them $5 each. Then ask 2 of them to host a two more dinners and invite 5 more people… and so on…
Your dinner…..$25
from that dinner…$50
from those dinners…$100

Next: 20 Easy Ways to Raise $1000, Part II

A New Day for DCAF!

For the last six years, it has been my honor to serve as Board President of the DC Abortion Fund. As my term comes to a close, it is my pleasure to announce DCAF’s fearless new leader, Val Vilott!

Val is taking the reins at a critical time. As you may already know, we have seen a great increase in our call volume since April, when the federal government tragically banned DC Medicaid from paying for abortion services. Today, DCAF receives over 20 calls a day from low-income women who need help funding an abortion.

Please help DCAF continue to fund these women during a time of great economic disparity – and as we advocate with our allies for sound, pro-woman health care policies in the District.

Our new Board President has been a rising star in the pro-choice community for several years. Val joined the DCAF Board in 2010 after launching our most successful fundraising event in history – the annual Bowl-a-thon!

Since then, Val has worked tirelessly on the Board. She is a natural-born leader and I am confident that she will serve the women of DC, Maryland and Virginia well. I know that Val will take the Fund to new levels with her commitment to public service and reproductive equality. I am honored to continue to serve alongside her as Board President Emeritus, spearheading fundraising efforts.

The need is only increasing, but we are rising to the challenge. Last month we trained 22 new Case Managers. These dedicated volunteers will work with our clients to help them overcome barriers and access the legal health care they feel they need and deserve.

It is the dawn of a new day here at DCAF, and I am so excited to be a part of it. I hope you will join me in welcoming Val Vilott as our new President!

Legislating Discrimination: Why the DC Abortion Ban Hurts

Once again the federal government is harming women and girls in the District of Columbia. Congress is including a ban on allowing DC to use it’s own money to have DC Medicaid cover the cost of an abortion procedure. The passage of this oppressive and discriminatory legislation means that many DC women, girls, and their families, will be denied the health care that they need and deserve.

Women are disproportionately impacted by the cost of health care. Among the reasons for this gender disparity are the facts that women are more likely to be low income, they earn less than men, and they are more likely to list cost has a barrier to getting health care.Women of color feel the impacts of health care costs even more acutely. Women are also less likely to have health insurance through their employer, since only about half of women are employed full time; compared to almost 75% of men who work, and this has left women more reliant upon public health insurance programs, or uninsured.

Nation-wide, African Americans experience the largest disparities in health care, and they have higher incidences of disease, disability and premature death. African-American women are less likely to receive health care than other racial or ethnic groups, and when they do get care they are more likely to receive it late. This includes getting prenatal and other maternal care, and African American women are up to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

To be eligible for Medicaid in DC you must be low-income as defined by the federal poverty guidelines- about $10,000 (or less) for a single person, and $22,050 (or less) for a family of four. You must also meet one of the following qualifications as well- 20-years-old or younger, be the caretaker of a child under age 19, pregnant, aged 65 or over, or have a disability.

Here are some numbers to keep in mind:

This is a bill that will only serve to harm low-income women of color in the District. It is not about promoting life as so many anti-choice lawmakers will try to allege since limiting access to reproductive health care will only increase the disproportionate number of maternal deaths among women of color.

by DCAF volunteer Maggie R.

Happy Father’s Day!

For all of the great fathers and supportive partners out there – thank you for being wonderful. Happy Father’s Day!

House FY12 spending bill has DC abortion ban

The US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will mark up the FY’12 appropriations bill [PDF] today to regulate District of Columbia funding.  One important choice-related issue is included in this legislation: the D.C. abortion ban prohibiting federal and local funds from being used to pay for abortions.

As you all know, earlier this year, anti-abortion members of Congress reimposed the D.C. abortion ban through the FY’11 budget.  This came after a two-year period in which the District was free from abortion-funding restrictions.  DC Medicaid finally began covering abortion services between February and April of this year,  and in that short time paid out $62,000 for abortions for low-income women and girls.

Yesterday morning we learned anti-choice members have included the D.C. abortion ban in their funding bill once again.  Not only is this policy dangerous for women but it also usurps the District’s own local governance, undermines the city’s self-rule, and makes a mockery of the democratic process in the nation’s capital.

We know the need in DC for abortion funding assistance is higher than ever.  As long as Congress refuses to serve low-income women, DCAF will.  Please donate today to support our work ensuring all women in our community have access to abortions.  Women across the DC area are counting on us, and with your help we can make an immediate difference in their lives.

The committee markup is scheduled for today at 11am in Room H-140 of the US Capitol building.

Come Laugh With DCAF next week!

Our friends at DC NOW, the Younger Women’s Task Force-DC, and the Women’s Information Network are hosting a benefit party for us!  Please join the DCAF board for a fun evening with a cause…

Laugh with DCAF!
Hosted by E.J. Ruchman

Thursday, May 26
Madam’s Organ
2461 18th St. NW
5:00 – 9:00pm

Featuring the comedians:
Tyler Richardson  –  Jessica Brodkin
Reggie Melbrough  –  Hillary Buckholtz
Rahmein Mostafavi  –  Mikey Larrick
Emily Ruskowski

A portion of food and drink purchases & all raffle/door donations benefit the DC Abortion Fund.  So bring prochoice friends, lovers, classmates, coworkers, and relatives!  $5 suggested donation.

While DC NOW strives to hold events in accessible locations, Madams Organ has one step in and bathrooms are down 1/2 flight of stairs. Madams Organ staff is happy to assist people entering.  Ages 18+.  Thanks so much for your support, and we look forward to seeing you there!