Donations And Support Are Surging To Pro–Abortion Rights Groups

NARAL Pro-Choice America said donations had increased an astonishing 1,403% since the Politico story went up on Monday night, with 51% of those coming from new donors.

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Demonstrators gather outside of the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022, in Washington, DC.

Pro–abortion rights groups told BuzzFeed News they’ve seen a surge in support since Monday night’s leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion suggesting the conservative majority of justices were set to wind back decades of abortion rights in the US.

“We saw a significant uptick in donations and people coming to our website looking for ways to volunteer and engage given the acute threat to reproductive freedom posed by this Supreme Court,” NARAL Pro-Choice America spokesperson Kristin Ford told BuzzFeed News.

Ford said donations had increased an astonishing 1,403% since Politico published the document on Monday night, with 51% of those coming from new donors.

Kelley Robinson, vice president of advocacy and organizing at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said they had seen an "overwhelming response from supporters."

In addition to people turning out to protests, the number of new Planned Parenthood volunteers is also up ten-fold, according to Robinson.

"We’ve experienced a 650% increase in online actions, a sharp uptick in online giving, and a more than 110% increase in people seeking information from our websites," Robinson said.

ActBlue, the nonprofit tech company that facilitates fundraising for left-wing groups and candidates, said donors had given $27.5 million from Monday night through Thursday.

The Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, the largest US abortion fund, has also seen an increase in the number of donors as well as people expressing interest in volunteering, according to WRRAP executive director Sylvia Ghazarian.

“What’s definitely of great interest and support to us is that our monthly contributors have definitely significantly increased since the leak from Politico,” Ghazarian said, “and we’re delighted by that because that is consistent support we can count on a monthly basis.”

As abortion rights supporters protest across the US, celebrities like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Phoebe Bridgers have been urging people to donate to abortion funds like WRRAP, the latter doing so while revealing she had undergone the procedure while on tour in October.

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Shayla, who has made the five-hour drive from Texas to Louisiana twice, sits in the waiting room of the Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, Louisiana, April 19, 2022.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, WRRAP sends almost 90% of its funding to over 700 clinics and providers across the US to assist those who are in financial need and seeking an abortion.

But costs have risen in recent months, Ghazarian said, as more and more people are being forced to travel to access care due to new abortion restrictions in their home states.

“The whole situation turns something that could cost $500 into something that costs $1,000,” Ghazarian said.

In states like Texas that have already introduced restrictive laws in recent months, the surge in donations has been welcome, but it may still not be enough.

“While we have seen a sizable increase in support this week, the reality is that we've never been able to fully address the need, even before SB 8,” said Texas Equal Access Fund executive director Kamyon Conner, referring to the law that effectively banned abortions after around six weeks and enabled civil lawsuits against abortion providers.

Activists too have noticed an uptick in support as they make hurried preparations for a world without Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision nearly 50 years ago that made abortion legal nationwide.

“My phone has been flooded with all manner of emotions, ranging from anger to sadness to bewilderment,” said Margaret Chapman Pomponio, executive director of WV Free, an advocacy group in West Virginia that has been directing choice fund donations to the state’s only remaining abortion provider.

Chapman Pomponio said she and other activists are now working to organize in West Virginia, which already has a ban in place on abortion should Roe be overturned.

“West Virginians are ready to take their outrage to the streets,” she said. “It’s our job as advocates to channel that energy, that anger, and that fear into positive motion.”

Ghazarian, the WRRAP executive director, said abortion advocates had been trying to prepare supporters for the likelihood that the Supreme Court will strike down Roe, but she said Monday’s surprise leak of the draft opinion seemed to finally awaken them.

“I think the shock of the leak and what was in that opinion caused individuals to be very angry,” Ghazarian said.

If Roe does fall, as seems likely, WRRAP will need even more funding to assist women in conservative states who have to travel elsewhere for abortions.

“We are aggressively seeking donations right now because we need it to support what is about to happen, which is the fall of Roe,” she said, “and these donations will greatly impact those in need of services.”

UPDATE

This story has been updated with figures from ActBlue and Planned Parenthood.

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