That’s how many abortions Anne Nicol Gaylor has funded via her Women’s Medical Fund non-profit group.
(Gaylor may be better known for co-founding the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1976 — her daughter is now one of its co-presidents.)
An article in the Wisconsin State Journal profiles her work and her legacy:
The fund’s sole purpose is to pay for abortions. Last year, it paid out $162,202, about 75 percent of which came from individual donors, the rest from foundations.
There is no office and no paid staff. Gaylor, whose title is administrator, takes all of the calls — some 800 a year — at her dining room table on her home phone, the same one her four children and two granddaughters reach her on. There is no answering machine.
“It would burden anyone else to deal with all those calls,” said her husband, Paul Gaylor, 84, a former vice president for a building maintenance company. “But she listens to every woman and cares for every single one of them.”
Gaylor said her motivation came from a doctor who told her about a girl who was raped by her father and had to drop out of high school to raise the child. “Those kind of stories are so numerous and so tragic,” Gaylor said.
On the phone with strangers, Gaylor is gentle but pointed in her questioning.
“The guy who got you pregnant, is he helping you pay?” she asked a 19-year-old woman from Sheboygan with two children and a third on the way.
“What will you do next time so this doesn’t happen again?” she asked a 25-year-old woman from Madison.
I’ve read a lot of stories about people who have fought their whole lives so that women could have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion… but I can’t believe this story eluded me for so long. Gaylor is someone who refuses to only talk about the issues. She’s taking action and putting herself at risk in the process. That’s awe-inspiring to me.
I’ve never been in a situation myself where abortion has ever had to be considered… but I know people who have. The decision is hard no matter which way you go. And not all atheists are pro-choice, but I would hope all of us would agree that money shouldn’t be the deciding factor in a woman’s decision.
It looks like the group doesn’t take online donations, but you can still give to them via check.