Nonprofits Ask Hollywood to Step Up Donations to Abortion Access Groups – The Hollywood Reporter

Last summer, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion rights groups saw a flood of interest and activism nationally — and from Hollywood. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Hamilton team raised money for a fund called Ham4Choice that funneled donations to nonprofits that provide abortion access. Harry Styles and Lizzo donated millions to organizations like Planned Parenthood and Physicians for Reproductive Health. Inside Amy Schumer and The Daily Show name-checked such small groups as The Brigid Alliance, which arranges and pays for travel for people seeking abortions, sending new donors their way. And in November, Phoebe Bridgers and Maggie Rogers raised more than $75,000 for The Brigid Alliance through a 24-hour rerelease of their cover of “Iris.”

But more than a year later, the rush of giving has slowed, just as the need for funding of reproductive rights groups is rising, activists say.

“When the leak happened [in advance of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling], it fueled a surge of passion and emotion across the country, and that included the entertainment industry,” says Sarah Moeller, The Brigid Alliance’s senior director of external relations. “Now, the momentum has dropped off. There are so many things challenging our society right now. It’s hard to sustain people’s attention when there’s a new disaster every day.”

In July 2022, some 600 new donors gave to Physicians for Reproductive Health, setting a record for the doctors organization; this July, the group had 200 new donors, raising less than a third of what it had during the same month last year. “The energy has died down, which is challenging and disappointing because the need for our work is just as much, if not worse,” says PRH senior director of engagement Sara Kirkwood.

Nearly 22 million women of reproductive age live in states where abortion is unavailable or severely restricted, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization devoted to reproductive rights. “Abortion funds are fielding more calls and assisting more people than ever before as people navigate increasing and unnecessary barriers to abortion access,” says National Network of Abortion Funds executive director Oriaku Njoku.

Giving is still above its pre-Dobbs levels at Planned Parenthood, according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America chief development officer Jethro Miller. “Preliminary reporting for our current fiscal year shows that PPFA donors have been motivated to give exceeding our initial fundraising targets,” Miller says. But, he says, donors are giving “at a reduced rate compared with the weeks immediately following the Dobbs decision.”

Abortion rights groups say they appreciate what Hollywood delivered in the immediate aftermath of the overturn of Roe — as well as recent events like an abortion rights picket at Amazon Studios headlined by Lily Tomlin — but need long-term relationships with donors. “We’re grateful to folks in the entertainment industry who have donated in support of abortion funds, shared their stories and used their voices to uplift abortion funds since the end of Roe v. Wade,” Njoku says. But “it is critical entertainers continue to use their platforms year-round and inspire their fans to help abortion funds secure sustaining resources. We need everyone for the long game.”

From left: Harry Styles, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Maggie Rogers have all helped fund abortion rights groups post-Dobbs.

From left: Harry Styles, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Maggie Rogers have all helped fund abortion rights groups post-Dobbs.

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

This story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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