You may have seen recent allegations of improper sexual conduct against Dr. Willie Parker, who until recently was the namesake of one of our internal abortion funds. The National Network of Abortion Funds is in solidarity with those who have come forward. Every person in the abortion access movement holds responsibility for fostering an ethical environment, free from harassment, violence, and improper or unprofessional conduct, sexual and otherwise. We all hold this responsibility, whether we are an abortion funder, provider, volunteer, employee, or supporter. When one of us is accused of failing to live up to these standards, it is all of our responsibility to make space for victims to speak or be silent as they choose, and with values of autonomy, compassion, intersectionality, and collective power, move through accountability and restorative justice towards healing.
As previously announced, in the fall of 2018, we began a process to merge our two internal national abortion funds, the Dr. Willie Parker Fund and the Dr. George Tiller Memorial Fund, and shift their focus from individual abortion funding support to a process where the funds are redistributed to member organizations in areas that need resources most. This funding will continue to support direct abortion funding for those who call abortion funds and is aligned with our larger strategy to scale abortion funds and invest in building regional power. Over the past several months, we have been making internal shifts to launch this consolidated fund in July 2019 under a new name honoring people who have abortions, as they are the people who are at the center of our mission and our work.
Our network made the decision to merge our two internal funds out of an understanding that member abortion funds are best equipped to support callers as experts in their local and regional communities. This is particularly relevant in the South, where abortion-seekers experience some of the most severe legislative barriers, scarcity of clinics, and abortion stigma. The National Network of Abortion Funds remains wholly committed to supporting and working alongside Southerners navigating these entrenched barriers and fighting for the reproductive justice we all deserve. We will continue prioritizing this region in our new national abortion fund and look forward to sharing more in the months to come.
In the meantime, out of respect for you — our supporters — we want to make sure to remove any and all obstacles to supporting abortion funding in the South without being concerned about whether doing so matches the values we all hold dear. We encourage you to give deeply and generously to the women of color-led abortion funds providing support to those in Mississippi and Alabama.
National Network of Abortion Funds Board of Directors