The Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund has about 24 hours to meet our $35,000 fundraising goal. As of this writing, that means raising $5,871 in 24 and a half hours.
The thing is, I've had to do this before, so I know it can be done. Except when I've done it before, there's been no fancy donation website, no teams, no costumes, no party to celebrate the victory.
Instead, it's just been me and one woman on the other end of the phone. Me taking notes and the caller telling me in halting detail everything that she's been trying to do to raise money for her abortion. Telling me about her kids, her unemployment, her health, her housing. Telling me that she's giving up hope, that she's about to quit, but then she remembers how devastating it would be to her family if she carried the pregnancy to term.
How they're barely making it right now.
In the five years I've been volunteering with the EMA Fund, there have been maybe two dozen times that I've had to come up with $5,000 or more on incredibly short notice.
*$5,000 to pay for a procedure that should be accessible to everyone -- not just the rich or comfortable.
*$5,000 to help her get on a cheap bus and ride to NY because of endless bureaucracy that means she's got to leave the state--even if the pregnancy is doomed, even if her health is in danger.
*$5,000 plus the cost of some cheese and crackers for her to try to quell her nausea for the 5 hour bus ride. $5,000 plus finding her a place to stay. $5,000 plus an interminable bus ride back to Boston at the end of her two-day procedure.
See, I know it can be done. I know it can be done because women do it, because I've done it. I've made a dozen calls while a woman is selling her car, her bike, her sofa. I've negotiated with abortion clinics while a woman asks her friends, her family, her ex for money. I've written emails like this one begging acquaintances for money, while a woman tries to find someone to watch her kids for two days.
So really, I've had it easy. I could do all that work from my home, my car, my porch. I did that work and all the while I knew where my next meal was coming from, I knew that I'd be able to pay rent and the light bill. Whereas the caller does that work and then has to climb on a bus for an exhausting two-day procedure, maybe coming home to an empty kitchen, overdue bills.
You've got it easy, too. To make a difference, all you have to do is donate. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CLICK ON THIS LINK and give money to help us reach our goal. To help us partner with women who have no one else to turn to. To help us make a difference, to make abortion accessible.
Right now, you have power, control, and agency over your life. Please exercise it wisely: share some of that power with someone else.
PS: Did you know that President Obama has declared this to be Women's Health Week? Coincidence? Or high irony? Cast your vote by donating! Only 24 hours and 26 minutes left!