Emelda Kavanaugh-Ortiz
Emelda Kavanaugh-Ortiz campaign supporter

Dear Friends & Supporters,

WE NEED YOU TODAY! There is no easier way to say that we need help. I know that times are tough for everyone. And while Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) is definitely feeling the impact of restricted funding, the women we serve are feeling it even more. As an organization that operates on less than $200,000 annually, we can only give what you give.

Many of you know how personal this work is for me. At 17 years old, I had an abortion. I remember what it was like to not have the means to take care of myself or even afford birth control. Had I been forced to carry a pregnancy to term that I was not ready for, I would not be the mother I am today.

I see my own story reflected in so many of the women we serve. For instance, take Damiella, a student completing her final year of college, with plans to continue on to medical school. When CAF received her call in May of this year, she was not ready to become a mother. Luckily, CAF was able to provide her with the choices and support that she deserved- a right that is, for too many, merely a privilege.

This is just one of many success stories this year! Over the past year, CAF has provided more than 100 women with financial support. We assist some of the most disenfranchised young women in Illinois -- the majority of whom are between the ages of 17 and 26 years and are already mothers. Nearly 95% of these women are receiving some sort of governmental assistance. However, they want control of their reproductive health. They deserve this!

And while financial resources are critical to providing access to reproductive healthcare, we know that education, training and leadership development opportunities are crucial parts of the work we do, and necessary tools for the women we serve. We do this work on a daily basis-- and with very little funding!

You may have seen CAF in the community over the past year. Our various advocacy projects have taken us all over the city—and the Midwest! Whether we are passing out condoms and health information in Lawndale, or rallying to protect choice in Nebraska, CAF is committed to expanding our community outreach and educational forums.

My son and daughter were my choice. Whatever reason a woman has for choosing to have an abortion, it is her choice. A choice based on her life, her circumstances and her unique situation. Every person has the right to regulate the body they live in, and this includes reproductive health!

We must continue to do the work we do to change the systems that continue to oppress poor women. It is your commitment to “Making Choice Possible” that drives our ongoing work.


Gaylon Alcaraz, Executive Director

P.S. Make a difference today for a woman in our community! Please make a donation before November 30th, and help us continue to Make Choice Possible!

Board of Directors:
Veronica Arreola, Khadine Bennett, Mariah Pearl Cunnick, Searah Deysach, LaKeesha Harris, Robyn Nardone and Jean Peterman

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