The Taco Or Beer Challenge Raised Big Bucks

by Abby Johnston

Last August, a bunch of people dumped buckets of ice on their head, then may or may not have donated to ALS. In reflecting on the relative absurdity of dumping ice water on yourself and sharing it on social media, reproductive health writer Andrea Grimes had tastier alternative: eat a taco or drink a beer, then donate to an abortion fund. In an update on Tuesday, Grimes estimated the Taco or Beer Challenge raised nearly $30,000 for abortion funds.

Grimes' challenge was quite simple: Imbibe on tasty tacos or cold beer (or if you're me, both. Multiple times a day), then you donate to an abortion fund of your choice. But even those imminently followable rules were arbitrary. Your taco could be a quesadilla. Your beer could be of the root persuasion. In fact, the only thing that Grimes cared about in this challenge was that you actually donated money to an abortion fund.

In an updated posted on RH Reality Check, where Grimes is a senior political reporter, she estimates that the National Network of Abortion Funds raised over $10,000 in the month after the challenge started on Aug. 18, six times what the fund raised in the same period last year. Texas' Lilith Fund raised $5,000. The DC Abortion Fund raised $3,100. Fondo Maria in Mexico City raised $1,000 at a "taco fest" party. And much of the money given to these organizations came from first time donors.

Grimes told Jezebel in an email that beyond providing a rallying point for reproductive rights, the challenge raised awareness about abortion funds:

I also think a lot of folks just didn't know that abortion funds exist, period. They hear 'abortion' and think 'Planned Parenthood,' and that's about as far as they get. 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!!!" I had a lot of Tumblr submissions, Tweets and FB messages to that effect—people saying they didn't even know they had an abortion fund in their state or area.
Jason Bahr/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

So that brings the Taco or Beer Challenge to a satisfying close for 2014, but Grimes wrote that she plans on reviving the delicious reproductive rights campaign next year. But hey, you don't have to wait until then to eat tacos, drink beer, or, most importantly, further women's rights.

Images: Getty Images