Prioritizing community care and safety amid threats of escalating violence
We are grateful to you, the abortion funding community, for being one of solidarity, connection, mutual caring, sensemaking, and shared purpose.
NNAF is closing until January 25th, in recognition of the grief, mourning, safety, and survival planning needed as we navigate this historic and violent intersection of imminent white supremacist violence, sedition, and lethal mismanagement of the global pandemic. We hope you’re finding safety and care for yourselves and your families at this time.
The calculated act of sedition we witnessed last week was attempted murder of thousands of members of Congress, support staff, and essential workers. It was likely a COVID superspreader event. It was the continuation of centuries of white supremacist violence that run deep in our nation’s history. It was also an inside job — an attack ordered by the president on national television, supported by hundreds of elected officials perpetuating months of lies, and aided by law enforcement and defense apparatus to undermine democracy. At its core, it was a horrifying display of white power, entitlement, and rage. Sadly it was familiar to many of us who have experienced the anti-abortion threats and harassment leveled against people who have, provide, and fund abortions every day. White supremacy is the root of police brutality, lack of abortion access, and gaps in livable wages, housing, healthcare, education, and more. And we know that the people most marginalized by U.S. society—Black and Indigenous folks, people of color, immigrants, young people, transgender and non-binary folks, and those in abortion-hostile regions in the South and Midwest—are forced to pay the highest price.
We appreciate and align with Groundswell Fund’s reflections last week reminding us that this backlash is a response to the progress our movements are making in growing political power toward the shared vision of liberation. This vision centers Black feminist leadership, Black-led organizing, and the need to move a clear interconnected agenda for racial justice, reproductive autonomy, economic and worker justice, decriminalization, and sustainability without compromise. We remain vigilantly in defense of abortion access, as we navigate the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate onerous in-person requirements for medication abortion this week.
The ongoing threat of escalating violence in Washington, D.C. and state capitols on the week of Biden’s inauguration, the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade reminds us how much further we need to go to ensure our liberation. Each year, the government passes a budget with the Hyde Amendment putting abortion out of financial reach for those struggling to make ends meet. For almost a full year of a global pandemic, with staggering loss of life and livelihood, the government refuses to do its job to provide for its people. In both cases we know that the burden is then put on nonprofit organizations like abortion funds to pick up the pieces so that communities needing healthcare, housing, food, and respite in the face of grief, trauma, and emotional weariness can survive. Over and over again, we are called to lift this boat together so our people get to shore. In order for us to do this work, we must also find places to catch our breath, rest, and grieve.
We urge you to join us in moving toward your individual, family, and community safety and wellness. Some resources that we have found helpful in navigating this moment are: Vision Change Win’s Community Safety Toolkit and Political Research Associates’ Activist Field Guide to the Armed Alt Right.
We are with you in care, safety, and collective power. As the historian, writer, and activist Barbara Ransby said, “They are many, but we are more.”