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October 3, 2019

Open Society Foundations Announce Funding for Reproductive Justice Movement in the United States

NEW YORK—The Open Society Foundations are providing $2 million in grants to support reproductive justice in the United States, a movement led by women and queer people of color. The new funding comes amid aggressive legislative rollbacks at the state level, which threaten people’s ability to access and make decisions about their reproductive and sexual health care.

The funding from the Open Society Action Fund, a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization affiliated with the Open Society Foundations, will go to three organizations—All* Above All Action Fund, Groundswell Action Fund, and National Network of Abortion Funds—and provide nonpartisan 501(c)(4) funding to build power in their respective communities.

“For decades, the lack of 501(c)(4) capacity in the reproductive justice movement has limited its power to win. Groundswell Action Fund is excited to be playing a leading role in supporting the organizations who are putting down the cornerstone for this capacity. This generous funding from Open Society is a key accelerator. It will help us accomplish in two years, what would have taken much longer,” said Quanita Toffie, director of Groundswell Action Fund

Black feminists coined the term “reproductive justice” in 1994 to emphasize the necessity of uplifting the needs of communities of color who face the greatest disparities in reproductive healthcare. Black women fare worse in nearly every health indicator in the United States, but particularly in reproductive and sexual health. Reproductive justice organizations not only focus on expanding abortion care, but also advocate for a full spectrum of issues that impact health, such as access to contraception, comprehensive sex education, sexually transmitted infection prevention and care, pregnancy care, domestic violence, criminal justice, and immigration reform.

“We are proud to support those on the front lines fighting for reproductive justice—organizations and activists who work to safeguard reproductive health and defend against attacks on bodily autonomy,” said Tom Perriello, who leads Open Society-U.S. and the Open Society Action Fund. “These brave advocates work in some of the most socially and politically contentious states in the country, bringing both a racial justice and economic justice lens to their efforts. Their fight is our fight.”

“People of color are fired up and leading the movement to lift discriminatory policies like the Hyde Amendment that deny insurance coverage for abortion for people struggling to make ends meet, especially women of color, young people, immigrants, and the LGBTI community,” said Destiny Lopez, co-director of the All* Above All Action Fund. “As the momentum to lift the Hyde Amendment grows, the All* Above All Action Fund is building political power from the streets to state legislatures to the ballot box and working to ensure each of us can make our own decisions about abortion care without shame or political interference.”

The National Network of Abortion Funds supports around 70 abortion funds nationwide, which are organizations that remove the financial and logistical barriers for low-income women in accessing abortions.

Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, said, “We’re thrilled with the Open Society Foundations’ investment in the National Network of Abortion Funds in a climate where the need for abortion funding is growing exponentially. Our membership is a radical safety net of locally rooted grassroots organizations that challenge the notion that direct service is not political. Access to abortion is a necessary precursor to movement-building work that centers the leadership of those that have historically been denied bodily autonomy. Together with partners like Groundswell Action Fund and All* Above All Action Fund, abortion funds are growing their organizing infrastructure, mobilizing resources to get people to care, developing the leadership of people who call abortion funds, and creating the intersectional movement we need to win.”

The Open Society Foundations have a long history of fighting for basic human rights. The Foundations have supported cutting-edge work to protect and expand reproductive rights across the globe, most recently standing with organizations that overturned Ireland’s abortion ban and calling for the repeal of the Global Gag Rule, which threatens women’s health and advancement worldwide.

The Open Society Foundations urge other private donors to join the call to support women of color and LGBTI-led organizations in their efforts to ensure reproductive justice and freedom for all in America.

The Open Society Foundations are a network of independent legal entities that share a common mission to promote open societies. The Open Society Action Fund is a nonpartisan tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization that is part of the Open Society network and is permitted to support lobbying activities.