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Abortion is care
Abortion is autonomy
Abortion is dignity
Abortion is community
Abortion is healthcare
Abortion is liberation
Abortion is a fundamental human right
We need to bust all abortion stigma
We need to protect, defend, and support our abortion movements
Our freedom to decide over our bodies is not up for debate. Supporting the reproductive justice movements, ensuring access to abortion services and care, is essential to bring about a more equitable and just world. It is not possible to advance our human rights or even think about creating gender equity or social justice without supporting abortion.
As we experience the human rights violating efforts to restrict, penalize, and criminalize abortion across the world, we need funders to show-up with the same bravery, resistance, resilience, and persistence of our communities powering the reproductive justice movement. The movements have and continue to lead powerful efforts – which in many cases put their livelihood and lives at risks – with little to no funding. This is unacceptable, especially when foundations, in the US alone, have– over $1.2 trillion in assets and a legal requirement to disburse a small percentage (at least 5%) of their assets every year.
All funders need to act in solidarity by meeting the current and long-term needs of the reproductive justice movement. And , as funders, take a stance to bust abortion stigma and support abortion.
Funders who do not take a position on supporting abortion or fund it, need to acknowledge the outsized effect they have on philantropy and thus human rights as a whole. Thinking that not having “a position” is a valid option, only shows the privilege that funders have in their power and comfort. The reality is that by not busting the abortion stigma across philanthropy and supporting abortion, you have actively chosen the side of oppression.
Supporting abortion is supporting a fundamental human right. A core component of this effort is busting the abortion stigma that is produced and reproduced pervasively across society, especially within the philanthropic sector. It is a root issue that is moving us further away from our collective liberation. It shows up in philanthropy in so many ways: like the minimal amount of funding allocated to abortion efforts or the way in which human rights, reproductive health, and gender equality is often separated from abortion access and care, or how the word abortion seems to shut doors and minds. From inroads’ organizational experience and that of our community, we have faced the impact of stigma by being uninvited to strategic spaces even after significant collaboration due to someone in a position of power being uncomfortable with abortion work, continue to face threats and thus require additional security measures, have been asked to remove abortion from our names, told that we cannot be funded because “reproductive rights does not include abortion work”, and have been forced to remove our work from communications in well known philanthropic publications.
The work to bust the stigma begins with the internal and intentional work to dismantle it. When foundations are silent about abortion, even when they support this work, it hurts the movement and perpetuates stigma.
As funders, we have the power and freedom to talk about our work with few or no repercussions. Breaking this silence is meaningful and healing. Silence is the weapon the opposition uses to keep us scared to say abortion, to say gay, to ask for help. When we take a stance for our collective freedom, it supports liberation. We do not need saviors, but true solidarity and commitment to support and protect our abortion.
Take action by signing this pledge to take a stance on supporting abortion, funding the communities powering the reproductive justice movement, and advocating to bust abortion stigma across the philanthropic sector and beyond.