GoFundMe Will Help You Ban Abortions, But Not Get One
Last week, news broke that a woman had taken to the popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe to help pay for her second trimester abortion. GoFundMe pulled the campaign, saying that it was not appropriate for the site because it contained “subject matter that GoFundMe would rather not be associated with.” Turns out they are only comfortable funding campaigns that help stop a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body — not support it.
As of this week, the site will no longer handle these types of fundraisers on a case-by-case basis. According to updates made to their “content guidelines” page, “Termination of Life” campaigns are not allowed:
Termination of Life
- Suicides or assisted suicides
- Abortions (human or animal)
- Ending the life of an animal
- Content associated with or relating to any of the items above.
“Termination of Life” implies fetal personhood — a very anti-choice approach to a woman’s right to make all decisions about her body and cells that may be growing in it. That the site grouped a necessary medical procedure that enables women to control the quality of their life with the rest of these topics is pretty telling.
It’s not simply the subject matter of abortion that GoFundMe is uncomfortable with. As of yesterday, several campaigns whose aim is to ban the procedure are still active. Salon reports:
One campaign that raised $1,510 of its $1,700 goal described its mission as “Advocating for Women & Girls at the UN,” and informed potential donors, “Your donation will help spread the word of more atrocities that take place in American abortion clinics.”
Another campaign called “Walk for Women and the Preborn” raised $210 of its $1,000 goal, and includes in its mission, “The EU and Planned Parenthood continue to batter the Irish with ever greater violence to accept abortion, abortion which is the greatest act of violence against woman or child in the history of our world.”
A campaign organized by antiabortion group Personhood Alabama states bluntly, “Do you want to end abortion in Alabama? Personhood Alabama has a plan for doing just that.” That campaign exceeded its original fundraising goal of $200.
The 23-year-old woman who took to the platform for help may or may not have known what a shit-storm she was about to cause. I am fiercely pro-choice and think all women have the right to make these decisions — at any point in their pregnancies. My only problem with “Bailey” is that I knew that through this campaign she would become the poster-child for the anti-choice movement. I could almost hear them all gleefully exclaiming, “See! We told you!” They finally would have a living, breathing example of a late-term abortion to point to — the type of procedure that actually takes place less than one percent of the time, and almost always due to a health complication. The type of procedure the anti-choice movement constantly points to as if it were commonplace. It’s not.
People raise money for all sorts of things — you don’t have to agree with them or donate. If GoFundMe is going to say they are uncomfortable with the “subject matter,” shouldn’t all funding on the subject matter be discontinued? When they apply the ban unilaterally, it makes a statement;
GoFundMe is anti-choice.