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  • Leslie Ramyk

ROE DECISION A WAKE-UP CALL FOR PHILANTHROPY

The Conant Family Foundation prioritizes abortion access for all. Today's SCOTUS ruling, while not entirely surprising, is nevertheless devastating. Instead of restating what others have already so eloquently argued, we are reposting today's message from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.


For years, abortion providers and activists have been sounding the alarm that a strategy focused exclusively on national level advocacy, legislation and the courts was failing to secure access for pregnant people on the ground and insufficient to winning the long-term struggle for reproductive justice. The Supreme Court’s controversial, but predictable decision to disregard precedent and overturn the landmark 1975 Roe vs. Wade case is a disastrous validation of the danger of ignoring frontline voices.


“This is a moment for funders to be bold and brave. No more hiding behind anonymous gifts, no more refusal to support abortion clinics and funds on the ground,” said Brandi Collins Calhoun, Movements Manager for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). “The movement needs practical support at all levels, in all states. Less than 2% of philanthropic funding for reproductive rights has gone to abortion funds. That needs to change immediately. Abortion funds and clinics are the first responders for pregnant people seeking care and they will need more resources than ever to respond in this increasingly hostile environment.”


The domino effect of the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade will be felt not only in the 26 states like Kentucky and Oklahoma where trigger laws are in place to criminalize abortion immediately. It will be felt as well in the many states where abortion remains legal as more and more people are forced to travel out of state to access abortion care. People of color and low-income communities will be the most impacted by further barriers to access and alternatives to in-patient medical procedures such as self-managed abortion care are likely to become more and more critical in this new reality.


“We are facing a moment where the basic healthcare and civil rights of millions of people in this country are in jeopardy. Philanthropy needs to give flexible, multi-year general operating support so that groups can embrace the full array of creative strategies and tactics in response. This is a marathon and not a sprint – fad funding will not solve a problem in the making for decades,” said Aaron Dorfman, NCRP President and CEO. “Philanthropy has a long history of supporting social justice movements that engage in non-violent protest, civil disobedience and direct action to fight unjust laws. This crisis calls for no less.”

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Check out these NCRP resources to learn how funders can support the reproductive justice movement in this moment:


Funding the Frontlines: NCRP’s Roadmap to Supporting Abortion Access Roadmap https://www.ncrp.org/initiatives/movement-investment-project/our-active-movement-areas/reproductive-access-gendered-violence-movement/abortion-roadmap-intro


How Abortion Funds Fill the Gaps and Overcome the Barriers for Access & Care https://www.ncrp.org/news/abortion-funds-need-philanthropy


Perspective: Why I Fund the Frontlines https://www.ncrp.org/initiatives/movement-investment-project/our-active-movement-areas/reproductive-access-gendered-violence-movement/abortion-roadmap-intro/abortion-as-healthcare-roadmap-why-i-fund-the-frontlines


Perspective: You Say You Don’t Fund Reproductive Justice? There’s Still a lot You Can Do https://www.ncrp.org/2022/05/funding-reproductive-justice-now.html


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