This delicious taco or beer campaign is the "Ice Bucket Challenge" of abortion access
If there is any good in this world, your social feed is about to become a sea of friends noshing on beer and tacos for a very good cause.
On Wednesday, the annual "Taco or Beer Challenge" kicked off its third challenge that raises money for abortion funds. The gist of this social media-fueled campaign (#ToBC16) is easy and tasty. Here's how it works.
Step One: Eat a taco or drink a beer, or heck, do both.
Step Two: Donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds, a network of organizations that funds and promotes abortion access.
Step Three: Take a pic and upload it to social media with #ToBC16, and then challenge three friends to do the same. Because in this day and age, if it's not on social media, did it even happen?
Writer Andrea Grimes started the ToBC in August 2014, aka the summer when everyone was drowning in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Though Feministing noted that the challenge started as somewhat of a joke, the impact was real: The ToBC raised $30,000 to fund abortions during its first year, Jezebel reported.
Why fund abortions?
In the U.S., abortion is often an expensive privilege and not a right. The NNAF connects women with grassroots organizations that help them overcome obstacles to getting abortions, which may include but are not limited to travel expenses, procedure expenses, contraception or emergency contraception.
51% of abortion patients pay out of pocket for abortion care
Most people "hear 'abortion' and think 'Planned Parenthood,' and that's about as far as they get," Grimes told Jezebel. "But the great thing about ToBC is that folks hear 'taco' and 'beer' and that perks their ears up, and then they hear 'abortion fund,' and they're like, 'Holy shit, I can eat a fucking taco and drink a fucking beer and directly fund this thing I didn't even know I could fund!!!"'
First-trimester abortions are several hundred dollars less expensive than second-semester abortions, the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization working to advance sexual and reproductive health across the nation and the globe, noted in a report released in August 2016. Yet according to data from 2014 that was cited in the report, women are regularly experiencing delays with abortion access that can make the procedure cost-prohibitive or inaccessible.
"Anti-abortion legislators have the ability to keep abortions out of reach of those who can't pay," Lindsay Rodriguez, the communications manager for NNAF said in an email. A whopping 51% of abortion patients pay out of pocket for abortion care, the Guttmacher Institute noted.
Due to financial limitations, the NNAF is only able to assist around a third of the people who contact the organization to seek financial support. But if it raised a fraction of the $115 million raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge, it could make a massive difference, Rodriguez said.
Why tacos and beer? Why not?
"Tacos and beers have about as much to do with abortion as ice buckets have to do with ALS — but they're much, much more enjoyable," Feministing wrote. Amen. Luckily, people are eating up this good cause. Check out some of the supporters on social media.
During the first year of ToBC, Dan Savage, Martha Plimpton, Sarah Paulson and Jesse Tyler Ferguson all took the challenge. Rodriguez said.
In years past, several stars have spoken publicly about their abortions. Nicki Minaj, Jemima Kirke, Sharon Osborne, Margaret Cho, Vanessa Williams Chelsea Handler, have all reflected on their choice to have abortions, Nylon reported.
But the ultimate dream celeb for ToBC? Beyoncé, of course. "I have a dream of Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj feeding each other tacos and donating to abortion funds, like in the Feeling Myself video," Rodriguez said.
Now that'd really be something to taco bout.