Abortion-rights groups see massive spike in donations after several US states pass restrictive laws
Alabama abortion rights activist Amanda Reyes said that watching her state's lawmakers impose a blanket anti-abortion law was one of the most horrifyingly frustrating experiences of her life
Abortion-rights groups across the United States have been left helpless in the wake of the stringent anti-abortion legislation being adopted by several states over the recent months.
However, there has been one positive side effect that has emerged from the entire kerfuffle: A significant increase in donations to groups facilitating safe abortions.
Alabama abortion rights activist Amanda Reyes says that watching her state's lawmakers impose a blanket ban on abortion was one of "the most horrifyingly frustrating" experiences of her life.
Her non-profit organization Yellowhammer Fund assists women in the state to get care at the three abortion clinics in the region and also assists them in getting abortions out of Alabama when required. The group reportedly helped 313 women get abortions in 2018. However, they were only able to serve 92 clients so far this year because of a drop in fundraising.
Reyes said that the situation changed this week with the passing of a near-total ban on abortions in Alabama, which could even punish doctors for performing the procedures.
The founder of Yellowhammer Fund said that her organization is witnessing an outpouring of donations since Tuesday after the Alabama Human Life Protection Act passed the Senate.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the law on Wednesday and the only exceptions allowed in the legislation is to "avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother," for ectopic pregnancy and if the "unborn child has a lethal anomaly."
Reyes, while talking about a surprising uptick in donations, said: "I looked down and checked my phone and saw this just onslaught of donations and tweets and things like that and was just really blown away," CNN reported. "It's a really significant amount of money that's going to have a really fantastic impact on abortion access in the South."
She said that the money has been pouring in from direct donations, adding that Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have raised money on Yellowhammer's behalf.
Multiple Democratic presidential candidates like Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Kirstern Gillibrand and Cory Booker have also asked citizens to donate to the group, with some asking voters to donate the money to similar groups instead of funding their campaigns. Celebrities like Kumail Nanjiani and Piper Perabo have also urged the public to controbute to Reyes' foundation.
Planned Parenthood also released a statement saying that it has seen an increase in overall donations and the number of tribute donations made in people's honor has doubled over the last 24 hours. The group added that it has received notable donations honoring Alabama women and some sarcastric ones honoring the state of Ohio and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.