When the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’s radical anti-abortion law stand in the first week of September, reproductive justice leaders were not surprised. In a healthy, safe and equitable world, all pregnant people should have access to high-quality abortion care. But that has never been a reality, especially for queer, Black, immigrant and indigenous people and people of color.
What can philanthropy do? Be bold and vocal about direct and flexible funding to local abortion funds and clinics.
That was one of the main takeaways from NCRP’s Sept.14 emergency funder call, “What Texas Tells Us About Our Health: The Reality of Abortion Access & Philanthropy’s Duty Today”. The call, co-sponsored by [our sponsors] was pulled together to give funders an opportunity to learn directly from those working on the ground in Texas what they could do immediately to help local, independent abortion clinics and funds.
Our staff members, Stephanie Peng and Brandi Collins-Calhoun were joined by a panel of frontline leaders Rosann Mariappuram of Jane’s Due Process and Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi of Pegasus Health Justice Center. The panel also included Elise Belusa, Director of Programs and Operations at Tara Health Foundation.
Together, they spoke about their experiences as frontline leaders, the impact that the Texas ban has had on their work thus far, and what philanthropy can do now to help local, independent abortion clinics.
Panelists talked about how the issue was more than just restricting access but also restricting the entire health care system in Texas.
Panelists were clear in their demands with funders when asked what they needed now and in the future.
“One big need right now is unrestricted multi-year funding because our future is so unclear. When you hear abortion funds you might just think of the direct service piece but we’re also the advocates,” said Mariappuram. “We’re the abortion storytellers. And we are the pipeline of the people most impacted being centered in the policy fights in the press, and so when you give multi-year unrestricted funding to grassroots or to abortion funds, you really are investing in real policy change on the local and state level.” — Rosann Mariappuram
“Give your money away now.” said Belusa. “Get it out the door, it’s not doing any good sitting in your bank account and try if you can to get the process reduced to get the money out the door. I recognize it’s harder at larger foundations but to the extent you can, don’t ask for proposals, just make general support funding available.” — Elise Belusa
“We need this law overturned and we have to stop it from happening in other states. For that, we need bold funding from funders who are not afraid to fund civil disobedience and are not afraid to fund actions that maybe could get them in trouble,.” said — Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi.
Read the full article about Texas abortion ban by Avery Crocker at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.