As donations to abortion funds dwindle, activists demand more philanthropic cash to bankroll abortions.
Abortion activists are continuing a high-profile campaign—commenced in early 2022, in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs’ decision, which overturned the 1973 Roe precedent that permitted on-demand abortion for nearly half a century –of donor-hectoring, declaring the philanthropic left has failed to contribute sufficient funds to pay for actual abortions.
Chop-chop for baby chop chop?
Could the fetal-parts resale market have experienced a price drop for harvested viable unborn organs? Whatever the alleged reasons for the Abortion Industry’s alleged financial woes, the dramatic demands for nonprofit cash—said to be needed to pay for abortion services—continue apace, with the latest lamentation over a “funding slowdown” found in a recent The Chronicle of Philanthropy interview with Oriaku Njoku, who runs the National Network of Abortion Funds, an organization that is unabashed, and often gleeful, about its intentions to bankroll abortions (its website offers advice on Can I get a discount at my clinic? and merchandises everything from T-shirts proclaiming “We’re Having Abortions Forever” and “Funding Abortion That's Hot! Sauce").
The Chronicle reports that
Calls to abortion hotlines have increased sharply over the past year, but people and institutional philanthropies haven’t continued giving at a level to meet the increased need, says Njoku. “It’s this mismatch where the need is increasing, but the amount of support that’s coming in has not balanced out.”
Yes, you read that right: Needs for things such as . . . child care. Seems it costs more now (maybe blame the Biden administration’s inflationary policies?) to watch the kids while vested volunteers shuttle low-income, minority moms to the neighborhood abattoir.
Even in Chicago, an abortion fund recently reported that their average funding amount for travel expenses, child care, other related logistical costs increased from $120 pre-Dobbs to $375 after. Some funds are running out of money because the needs have increased so much.
Complaining about a philanthropic “sense of complacency” after the “energy around Dobbs and the donating started to dwindle,” Njoku told the Chronicle that the typical philanthropic mindset, which seeks strategic plans, doesn’t mesh with what she claims is the pressing need for pro-abortion nonprofits to add to the colossal body count—approaching 65 million U.S. abortions since 1973—that is the core of their mission:
Especially with some of the new funders, we’re hearing things like, What is your playbook? What is the actual strategic plan of the movement? What is the 30-year plan? That’s a little hard right now. This is uncharted territory for so many of our organizations. We’re having conversations and really trying to figure out what a strategy looks like. But abortion still needs to be accessible, and we need to keep our clinics open to make sure that abortions are available.
In order for us to get the wins that we want, it really does require a deep, long-term investment from philanthropy and individual donors.
Njoku’s kvetching comes a few months after a similar Chronicle piece—this one an op-ed titled “As Threats to Abortion Access Grow, Emergency Philanthropic Funding Isn’t Nearly Enough”—that demanded an influx of tax-deductible abortion bucks, but for more than just emergency services:
[P]hilanthropy alone will never solve the reproductive-care crisis. Despite the generosity of many donors, the scale of care needed and the magnitude of the abortion-access crisis will require sustained government funding that moves the legal and cultural needle. For philanthropy, that means investing in groups that can build power to influence policy change. In many instances, those are the same organizations seeking to address immediate care needs.
Not every abortion activist uses desperation rhetoric. While bemoaning the fact that Dobbs short-circuited what would have been a macabre 50th-anniversary celebration of Roe in January 2023, Elizabeth Barajas-Román, writing for Inside Philanthropy about the “party that wasn’t,” took an upbeat tone, laced with obligatory woke jargon, and provided a target—“women's funds”—for philanthropic bucks:
I have a 30,000-foot view of the collaborative impact and vital work of women’s funds. These community-based foundations invest in the leadership of women and girls, especially Black, Latina, Native American, and other women and girls of color, as well as transgender women and gender-nonconforming people—and are doing some of the country’s most impactful philanthropy around abortion access.
Fifty years ago when Roe was first passed, there weren’t any women’s funds. Now, there are hundreds around the world, on every continent except Antarctica. Women’s funds exist in every state that has banned or is moving to ban or restrict abortion—and sometimes, that women’s foundation is the only gender and racial justice organization in that community. Women’s funds have earned trust and have grown deeply connected networks over the past five decades. Data shows that on average, women’s funds move money nine months faster than traditional philanthropic channels. That matters because the abortion landscape changes by the day, and women’s funds know how to get money to the right community partners, fast. For all of these reasons, supporting women’s funds is the best way to solidify the local philanthropic infrastructure needed to fight for reproductive justice for all.
All but for the babies.