First off, thank you to everybody that helped make the West Fund’s Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon such a great success! We managed to raise over $2,100 to help our patients. The struggle for reproductive justice is never over -- especially here in Texas -- but we are building momentum for abortion access for ALL people.
My name is Gina Lawrence and I have volunteered with the West Fund for almost half a year. I got involved because I believe that reproductive justice is so much more than abortions--it’s about choice, autonomy, and intersectional feminism. I love working on the web and graphic design, so I have been able to practice my skills and interests AND help West Fund be even better. For the Bowl-a-Thon, my team, The Rhetorical Choice, raised $715 -- more than any other team -- and we’re all young, dedicated, and persistent. No special skills required!
Since the West Fund launched in December 2014, we have pledged money to 19 patients who would otherwise not be able to access an abortion. Abortions are not cheap, and of the procedures we funded, 39% cost under $500, 52% cost $500-1000, and 8.6% cost $1000+. For people who live paycheck to paycheck, $500 is a big chunk of change. 55% of West Fund’s callers already have children and know the high cost of raising a child; when faced with the high cost of an abortion, patients are left with nowhere else to turn.
Here in El Paso, West Fund serves the community that we represent, with our patients coming from a variety of backgrounds. Of our callers 76% identify as Latin@, 14% white, and 9.5% Black. Some callers have been homeless or living in transitional living situations, 30% have been students, 53.8% have been unemployed, and 3.7% were making part time or minimum wage. The border is a unique place to be doing this work, and the West Fund has been able to help dozens of folks who need us, even in the short 6 months since we started funding. We’re 100% volunteer-run and every dollar we raise goes directly to helping people access abortion.
Check out this sweet infographic that breaks down who we help:
I can hardly believe it has been a month since the Bowl-a-Thon! Time really flies when the work is never-ending. Just because we have finished our fundraiser doesn’t mean that we are done for the year -- the Texas legislature has been hard at work making access to abortion even harder and especially hard for those who need it most. Politicians passed new restrictions this week, making it more difficult for minors to get due process to access their abortions. There are many more bills in the coming weeks, all of which will make accessing and abortion more difficult, more expensive, and more restrictive.
Thank you to everybody who helped West Fund raise awareness and money to help this very important cause.
If you think you missed your chance to help us make access a reality, don’t worry. We are always taking donations here, and you should definitely consider becoming a recurring donor by donating just a few dollars each month.