Guaranteeing access, one dollar at a time

November 7th, 2011

Categories: Funds

A lovely thank you note, cross-posted here from Sarah at Feminists for Choice:

When Serena proposed the idea of focusing on gratitude this month by honoring pro-choice advocates, I immediately knew who I’d choose: the people that make sure that women who need abortions have the money to do so.

Working in either local funds or the funding arms of major organizations is not an easy job. The need is overwhelming, and there’s never enough money to go around. The hours can be long – in the case of a lot of local funds, the work is literally 24/7 – and the stories can rip your heart out.

But this is such essential work, particularly in our current economic climate. Helping a woman raise $200 or $100 or even $50 doesn’t just mean that she can get an abortion. It means that no matter her situation, she can access the same services as any other woman. It means, as a case manager for the DC Abortion Fund told me years ago, that a woman’s rights shouldn’t depend on her wallet.

It’s hard to remember this when the phone never stops ringing and demand far outstrips supply. It’s hard to remember this when on the other end of the line is an exasperated woman that you’ve never met who isn’t even mad at you, she’s just dealing with one obstacle after another and has hit her breaking point. It’s hard to remember this when you’re also working other jobs because this paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough, or because it doesn’t even provide a paycheck to stretch.

So thank you, for doing this incredibly difficult and incredibly essential work. Thank you for ensuring that Roe is more than just words for so many women. Thank you for inspiring me, and so many others. But most of all, thank you for saving lives.

About Sarah: When she's not writing, Sarah volunteers at her local animal shelter and reads way too much.