How Philanthropy Can Unite in Protecting Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice

A coalition of philanthropy leaders has come together to protect abortion access and reproductive justice. This piece was originally published by Inside Philanthropy on 6/24/2022.

The United States Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — that the Constitution does not confer the right to abortion, overturning Roe v. Wade — was another gut punch to much of the country. As gender equity and reproductive justice funders already connected to the work, we were similarly devastated by the news, but we weren’t surprised. 

For years, we’ve been following the lead of our grantee and movement partners by investing in and organizing for abortion access as part of a broader approach to reproductive justice. Reproductive justice, a framework developed by Black women, calls on us to fully embody intersectional approaches to solve this crisis. That framework connects abortion access, birth justice, climate and economic justice, and many forms of bodily autonomy, including freedom from state violence. This work is a testament to the power of consistent and persistent organizing. It is also a reminder that the current challenges to abortion access are a backlash to the very real wins of the reproductive justice movement, including our expanded understanding of what is possible when we go beyond what was guaranteed by Roe and focus on the human right to control our sexuality, our gender, our work, and our reproduction. As Black Queer poet and activist Audre Lorde once reminded us, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

We understand that the struggle we face now has been building over decades. We recognize the need to move beyond rapid response funding toward multi-year investments in bold movement-building work led by the communities at the center of injustice in order to build power for the long term. This will require multiple philanthropic giving strategies.

Read more about the 5 immediate actions philanthropy can take to increase or deepen investments in the fight to protect abortion access and bodily autonomy via Inside Philanthropy.


Elizabeth Barajas-Román is president and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network

Rocio L. Córdoba is executive director of Funders for Reproductive Equity

Sheena Johnson and Meenakshi Menon are interim co-executive directors of Groundswell Fund and Groundswell Action Fund

Teresa C. Younger is president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Joy Messinger is director of training and leadership development of Funders for Justice.

Philanthropy Advocacy