Will philanthropists step up in a world without Roe?
And a look at housing protections for LGBTQ Americans
Last week I was invited to speak about my Aid Access reporting on NPR. We talked about how loose digital privacy laws will become more dangerous in a society that criminalizes abortion, and the urgent need for reform, since expecting individuals to completely change their internet practices is wholly unrealistic and unreasonable. I was glad to read this New York Times op-ed today by the great sociologist/writer Zeynep Tufekci, where she makes some similar points as I did on the radio segment, but much more comprehensively, and with great history and legal background. Highly recommend! All is not lost here, but this is definitely an issue that has been under-discussed and poorly understood. Lawmakers need to feel much more pressure to act.
Speaking of pressure to act, I have a new story in Vox exploring whether the U.S. philanthropic sector would step up to fund abortion access for low-income and uninsured people if Roe were overturned. Charitable foundations have been leaders in funding reproductive healthcare domestically and around the world — like contraception, family planning services, STD prevention, and neonatal care. But foundations have largely avoided funding access to abortion services, and to the extent that they have donated to reproductive rights, it’s been primarily to large national advocacy groups and organizations focused on research and litigation.
There’s been a lot of rightful attention on abortion funds lately — the grassroots, often volunteer-led organizations that help cover the cost of abortion care — but those funds do not come close to meeting the existing need for support now, and will not be able to meet the increased need post-Roe on their own either. I take a stab at trying to estimate what that financial need might look like, and at the growing pressure on philanthropy to step up on an issue they’ve historically distanced themselves from.
The second Vox piece I published last week looks at the evolving landscape of housing protections for LGBTQ Americans and some of the unique challenges they face to finding safe, affordable homes. There is some genuine good news to report — particularly around finally including LGBTQ discrimination under the federal Fair Housing Act — but I also look at where we still have a lot of real work to do.
Thank you for reading! And as always feel free to send me ideas, questions or feedback.