Holiday Giving Edition
Happy holidays! Today, I’ll provide a quick update on a few key issues and then provide recommendations of organizations to donate to this holiday season.
Not Dis- or Mis- but No. There has been an enormous amount of discussion of the rise of mis-information and dis-information about abortion, but perhaps the bigger problem is no information. Social platforms like Facebook and TikTok are suspending accounts of abortion advocates and providers with very little recourse for having the accounts re-activated.
Plan C, an online hub of information about abortion medication, was suspended from TikTok with no explanation. After marshaling pushback from lots of different people and accounts, Plan C was reinstated, with no explanation. And even though public pressure helped Plan C get back on TikTok, they are still banned from Google ads.
Venny Ala-Sriua, the Executive Director of Women on Web, a leading international information source for abortion medication, was suspended by Facebook for using the words “abortion medication.” Facebook decided that using the word abortion, in any circumstance, is not allowed on their platform. And “abortion medication,” legal and safe medication in most parts of the world, is cause for suspension. Who decided that mentioning medication was on par with child pornography and hate speech?
Here we are, again, at the intersection of the public square and commerce. To clarify, I mean our public square and Facebook’s commerce. Rather than hire human beings to monitor the ways the word abortion is used on their site, it is easier, less expensive, and safer for Facebook to do this by writ and algorithm. Better for their business that they simple ban the use of the word -- women in need be damned! What are they most afraid of? Republicans on Capitol Hill rescinding Section 230 and their liability protections, of course. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have an easy answer to all of this other than to keep electing folks who are not in the pocket of the social platforms and are willing to try to hold them accountable for their anti-democratic behavior.
Access to accurate information is absolutely imperative right now in our fight for reproductive freedom. We need to keep shining a spotlight on the hypocrisy of companies like Facebook, which immediately after Roe fell pledged to support employees while continuing to censor information on its platform. Facebok is not alone, of course, TikTok and Twitter are also censoring information, although we should keep our hopes down on fighting TikTok and the Chinese government on this.
VCS for Repro. Until Roe was overturned, venture capitalists wanted nothing to do with reproductive rights. A friend of mine has a favorite phrase, “Look for the opportunities in the broken places.” Well, we certainly have a lot of broken places in reproductive freedom and justice! VCs for Repro is a coalition of venture capital firms investing in the next generation of technology and businesses supporting repro rights. This isn’t “nice” -- this is smart and profitable!
Holiday Giving for Abortion Rights. Here are a few ways you can support abortion rights during the holiday and giving season.
Don’t Ban Equality. Check out the companies on this list that are supporting abortion rights. If you’re looking to buy a relative a sweater, maybe start with companies on this list like J. Crew or Eileen Fisher.
Donate to Repro Rights/Justice causes. It’s a perfect time to donate to causes doing a great job fighting for reproductive justice, providing access to quality information and services. Here are organizations I think are doing important and impactful work right now for reproductive access and justice:
Plan C, the online hub for all things abortion medication.
Obstetricians for Reproductive Justice, a group of OBs encouraging other doctors to become public advocates for repro justice. \
IfWhenHow, online legal adviceon access to reproductive services.
The M&A Hotline, immediate advice from doctors.
INeedAnA. online resource to find abortion resources nearby,
SisterSong, home base for the reproductive justice movement.
Of course, these are just a few of the many wonderful reproductive rights organizations you can give a donation to today.
One more way to give today: You can give an Every.org gift card. The recipient can use the card to give to any cause they want on Every.org. Why not give the gift of generosity?
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, peaceful, healthy holiday season.