Sharing our resources could mean the difference between a person getting an abortion or not. But let’s be honest—talking about money can be uncomfortable. Bringing up your own donation plans with family and friends about and asking about theirs can feel taboo. And right now, with painfully high inflation and gas prices, it’s not the easiest time to feel generous.
We asked people—well off and not, working and students, able to get pregnant and not—to explain their giving methods. Here are a few ways real people make room in their budgets for abortion funds.
The monthly donation method:
Taylor, 25, went with the “set-it-and-forget-it” method that many abortion funds recommend: She picked an amount of money she felt comfortable with and set it as a recurring monthly payment to an abortion fund, like an app subscription but more meaningful. “I decided to make a monthly donation after the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked,” she says. She gives $25 monthly, an amount she says is a “small portion” of her monthly income.
Elizabeth, 54, did the same: she set up a monthly, automatic donation to NNAF. “My budget is very tight. I’m a full time ride-share driver, am clawing my way out of a financial hole from being a full-time caregiver for my late parents, and life is just hard right now,” she says. “I have my budget cut down to the absolute minimum, no luxuries. However, abortion access is a fundamental right and I’ll be damned if I let the Republicans drag us back to the 1850’s.” On the day that the Supreme Court struck down Roe, she decided to start driving extra hours so that she can up her donation. “I meet amazing young people every day in my job and I want them to have all rights possible,” she says.
Billie, 32, chose NNAF and ARC-Southeast, which serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. She landed on her donation amount about by taking her monthly Netflix subscription cost and doubling it. “I’ve come to realize we really need to do more than vote if we want to take power for ourselves and make change in the world,” she says.
Megan, 38, set up a $10 monthly recurring donation to the NNAF, too. “I have found that a little monthly is easier for me to budget than larger one-time donations,” she says. While plenty of democrats will be fundraising off the Roe decision, Megan is wary. “I cannot in good faith put money toward election funds for legislators who are not acting,” she says. “Instead I chose to put my money where effective and safe networks for abortion access already exist.”
Emily, 36, started donating to an abortion fund when the draft Supreme Court decision leaked in May. “I grew up ‘pro-life’ in an Evangelical Christian family,” she says. “I attended anti-choice rallies as a child and volunteered for Republican candidates as a teen specifically with the hope to ‘end abortion.’” She changed. So did her budget. Now she donates to the Abortion Fund of Arizona. “My household income is stable, so the donation comes out of ‘fun’ money,” she says. “I didn’t need to cut anything out, which means I should probably increase my monthly donation. More people than ever will need it.”
The tithing method:
Nora, 33, is in a two-income household. She started giving to Indigenous Women Rising, New York Abortion Access Fund, and The Brigid Alliance because she was feeling “helpless,” like so many of us. “I was raised Catholic, and in Catholic school you’re taught to tithe: The idea is that 10% of your income goes back to the church. I’m not Catholic anymore, but that’s one of the few concepts I actually liked—not the idea of giving to the church so much, but of dedicating money to something bigger than yourself,” she tells Glamour. Nora aims to dedicate 10% of her monthly budget to donations, though not all the donations are to abortion funds. “I feel that I have a responsibility to give.”