Roe V. Wade Changes the NGO Landscape (news)

Nonprofit News of the week.

Supreme Court Poised To Strike Down Roe v. Wade, Changing Advocacy Landscape For Both Pro-Choice & Pro-Life Nonprofits 

A draft decision of the United States Supreme Court ruling on a pending abortion case appears to show the majority of justices in favor of striking down Roe v. Wade, upending nearly 50 years of abortion-access precedent, according to a leaked draft obtained by Politico. The decision comes as a worst-case scenario for pro-choice advocacy and provider groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, while it also is perceived as a monumental achievement by pro-life groups. As abortion becomes illegal to access and potentially criminalized in the wake of the decision which will be released in June, human rights groups are warning that nonprofits and tech companies may come under legal pressure to disclose sensitive information regarding people who seek information about abortion clinics, emergency contraceptives, and the like. An anti-abortion nonprofit in Wisconsin called Wisconsin Family Action was the target of an arson attack on Sunday.

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Rough Transcript

[00:00:00] This week on a nonprofit news feed, we have our major story, which we made the focus of the week’s newsletter, which is the Supreme court poised to strike down Roe V. Wade, and how we see that changing the landscape for advocacy for both pro-choice and pro-life nonprofits, as well as touching many of them.

[00:00:21] Industries again, this is not gone through, it was a leaked bit, but Nick, you’re going to walk us through this as well as some other news highlights.

[00:00:28] Sure George, I can start us off. So of course, yes, we begin with that first story that was. Reported by Politico, which published a draft decision written by a United States Supreme court, which appeared to show that they were poised. At least when the decision draft decision was written to overturn Roe V.

[00:00:52] Wade, what that means is that nearly 50 years of abortion access precedent coming from the court now, It’s very likely to be reversed. The decision comes as a worst case scenario for pro-choice advocacy groups and health provider groups like planned parenthood. Now pro-choice America and many other groups and funds that work to help women access abortions.

[00:01:23] And. That being said on the flip side of it, there are lots of pro-life or anti-abortion advocacy groups themselves non-profits that are, have been working to get this passed. So essentially you have this bombshell announcement that’s completely altered the, the landscape for advocacy organizations.

[00:01:47] Both, both sides of this issue. And there’s so many reasons and so many ways in which this can pretty dramatically impact America, social life and economics, the list goes on and on, but at its heart, this is ringing. Has a bombshell decision for a lot of people and people have understandably, very emotional reactions.

[00:02:13] George w w what’s your take and how do we think about the many nonprofit organizations that are kind of involved with.

[00:02:20] it’s hard to see through the frustration and many distracting narratives going on, such as , who leaked it, how it happen. I think we. If we’re being honest, could see the dominoes falling after RBG sadly passed and was unfortunately, not really, even remotely honored when it was rushed through, into the Supreme court to change the landscape of how these justices would deliberate Roe V. Wade .

[00:02:53] So, you know, I’ve been waiting through just massive amounts of news, but I think anything that’s. Looking backward saying, oh my gosh, they lied in testimony. And it truly doesn’t matter what we’re trying to focus on. And what I’m trying to look at is the second order effects that are to come and, , pulling those out of.

[00:03:12] Non-profits in the narrative saying here are some that were for some that were against this decision and suddenly the entire table has just been flipped upside down. And so these groups that have previously been more about advocacy and have just removed potentially a layer of support for women who are truly in need and in a time of,, great.

[00:03:39] Great risk. I would say that frankly, planned parenthood and others were supporting in that period of time. There’s no safety net. If suddenly you’re in a state where that’s made illegal. And so you have to move from groups that maybe were pushing paper and other, very lightweight ways of advocacy into new.

[00:04:00] No, you have to support these women in some way. Whether or not that aligns with.

[00:04:06] the.

[00:04:06] Right of choice or right of life. There’s a lot of infrastructure that is just not there. And I see a switch and is about to be flipped and not a lot of planning as a result of it. And so, , I try to park a lot of the hand wringing about how did this happen and this person did that to her. As somebody who’s going to become pregnant, who may be in tremendous need, doubt, concern, risk, and more than one, you know, the data will show you this in a lot of the states that are about to flip back to a draconian that would use the word type of legal system that does not support these women in a safe way.

[00:04:50] And that’s where I’m trying to spend my, my thinking a bit on.

[00:04:53] Yeah, George, I think that’s a good analysis, nearly one in four women. By the time they reach 45 50. We’ll have had an abortion in this United States. And the fact that now what was a relatively routine medical procedure, a lot of these states have snap laws that go into effect the moment. RO would be toppled.

[00:05:22] Those are poised to go into effect. There are some states that are pushing laws to in fact, criminalize abortion, as in getting one or facilitating access to an abortion is now a criminal criminal offense. And that is it’s insane to be honest. It’s, it’s an it’s insane. And The other, the flip side of this, and there’s kind of more of the story as we outlined in the newsletter here is that human rights groups are actually warning human rights watch.

[00:05:56] And other other news organizations are warning that tech companies and organizations with information about people who’ve accessed abortion. Resources or, or procedures. Those organizations with that data may find themselves under legal pressure to disclose that information to prosecutors, if charges were be, to be brought.

[00:06:20] And it’s just kind of another kind of dark direction that this is facing. If getting an abortion becomes a criminal offense. So. Like you said it kind of flips the whole thing upside down. We don’t know. I don’t think where this is going to go from what I’m seeing on the advocacy side, there are tons of abortion funds that are organizations that help facilitate a women accessing an abortion.

[00:06:51] And even in states where it’s perfectly legal people, it can be tough to access. Right. You know, there’s so COE, there’s monetary barriers and there’s a lot of organizations on the ground that have some experience doing this, but they’re about to find themselves as a lifeline for a lot more people than they anticipated very quickly.

[00:07:14] So it’ll be interesting to see how that.

[00:07:15] The word here is legality. And when you change that word, you suddenly have a whole host of I’ll use the word weapons provided to the court system. To mandate, demand and force companies that may have data say Google, potentially apple, depending on where the data resides in the searches and information and stored contacts.

[00:07:45] And what have you, if this is a legal question, but because it’s been made illegal for a woman who is by the way, Even beyond sort of the questions of rape and incest and very, very real medical endo topic type pregnancies, where you will really have to get a get an abortion to save your life potentially is that,, the process of, of having a child in America, despite all our advances has carries with it, 60 X, 60 times percent, 60 times, the amount of.

[00:08:19] That an abortion does. And so with that, and you’re using the word legal as a thought exercise, consider how marijuana laws carry across states right now. And if you drive across the border with a certain amount of legally purchase marijuana, I did something illegal here. It is illegal over there and you go state by state.

[00:08:41] There are a lot of unfortunate second order effects that could happen. And. The, the landscape gets a little bit more scary and I think it’s a great, that human rights watch has already sounding the alarm with enough time for companies to start anonymizing de anonymizing and protecting people that.

[00:09:02] will be put in danger in these states and areas.

[00:09:07] I agree. Really important things to think about. And again, if this is, it goes up and down the ladder, right? This is, this is a fundamentally altering in the ways that very few policies or laws or quite frankly, events, at least in my lifetime have had in terms of. Life as an American, quite frankly.

[00:09:31] So of course, we’ll continue to watch this story. The one aside is that you’ll probably start to see increasing tension on both sides over the weekend. And anti-abortion nonprofit and in Wisconsin called Wisconsin family action was the target of an arson attack. Over the past couple of decades, both organizations on both sides of this issue have seen instances of violence.

[00:09:58] Unfortunately, but it’s yeah, I don’t know, kind of at a loss of words with what more to say, but something we’ll

[00:10:06] Yeah, I would say if you’re, if you’re frustrated, , one thing just to speak, , personally, as a, as a. Parent, Of, you know, one little girl in one little way. And also as a leader of a company, I thought I was compelled to say something to the staff. And I’m going to probably continue to try to also message her around this, just about where we sit, what we think and what we do to help keep the focus, because a lot of people are frustrated and where I try to point us toward is that this is the.

[00:10:38] Social justice pendulum swinging in a way that we really disagree with that violates precedent. That actually for the first time, in as many years, these like 50 plus years removes a right, that we thought was an amiable and granted into the contract of America. And one thing I know about pendulums is that when you push them very hard to one side, they come.

[00:11:05] With force back the other direction. And so the positive, cause I always push myself to think this way that I as do see coming is that a lot of people just woke up to the fact that what was granted and what was taken for granted has been taken away and people do not like it. When you take things away, we feel lost two X, the amount of gain.

[00:11:30] So I think a lot of people just woke up and they woke up at.

[00:11:32] a time when the midterms are coming. And That’s why I believe there isn’t a sort of large brass band being walked down Washington right now. But the GOP, I think there’s a lot of people afraid to talk about what the actual implications of what a minority has just pushed onto a majority.

[00:11:50] That’s a great point, George, when you take a step back and then contextualize it and think about. Broader trends.

[00:11:58] All right, pivoting a little bit. I’ll take us into the summary on, I’ll say a much lighter note billionaire owner and or previous owner, not no longer chief executive of Amazon, but billionaire, nonetheless, Jeff Bezos has donated $120 million to as yet unnamed. Nonprofit. Apparently this brings his non-profit donations up to 233 million, at least in terms of unnamed nonprofits, he’s giving money to George why’d you throw this in the mix.

[00:12:35] I just wanted to throw a little, two things. One of the throw a little shade that he’s only about five Billy, 5 billion short of what his wife ex-wife has done is a philanthropic leader, but also I think you want to keep an eye on where his kind of dollars are going because there’s a lot more dollars behind it.

[00:12:56] And it’s very interesting to see. Where frankly, one of the richest men in the world is deploying capital in the social impact sector. So it’s not just a sort of billionaire watch, but it’s saying where, where is that? That mindset shifting and this particular time.

[00:13:12] I think that’s a good point in a world where billionaires seemingly increasingly dominate the news and trends and other aspects of our life. Looking at Elan Musk, controlling the Twitter verse I think it’s important to keep an eye on. Our next story comes from the Chronicle of philanthropy.

[00:13:32] And it is about the Chronicle of philanthropy, which has announced a quote, ambitious growth plan to put the national spotlight on the social sector, which is their way of saying they are becoming a nonprofit news organization. The Chronicle of philanthropy previously I did not know this was actually wholly owned and operated by.

[00:13:54] The Chronicle of higher education, which is kind of the premier news source for colleges and university and higher education type news. But that is itself a private, independent for-profit entity. But now the Chronicle of philanthropy is breaking off into their separate own nonprofit organization.

[00:14:12] One of many newsrooms to do so of late. This is absolutely a continuation of the trend.

[00:14:20] I feel like it’s a great way for a leading voice on non-profits to in fact, you know, walk the walk and I, I hope them All the success we enjoy their work and yeah, hopefully it continues to grow as a, an extra valued source of information and sector.

[00:14:40] All right, I’m going to wrap our next two stories together because they’re related. This is following up on a story that we talked about a couple of weeks ago about the black lives matter organization which came under some heat for the publication that it had purchased a multimillion dollar home in The the, the bay area.

[00:15:04] And also came under criticism for not filing form nine nineties and in general, a lack of transparency around its financials. So the two articles we have here is an opinion published in the Washington post, which from, I think, a large. Hacktivists perspective is critical of the organization for not necessarily engaging or being as transparent with the local chapters and the family funds that were set up for victims of police brutality and the desire at the activist level for a little bit more accountability for the national organization, which in.

[00:15:46] 2020 saw $90 million in donations. The other news source is from the AP and which the former director of the organization, Patrice colors denied wrongdoing but also laid out some of the concerns of people within the activist community. I should say that at the bottom of that article, I thought this is a little bit more important.

[00:16:10] They did file a nine 90, which technically brings them up to date. But the nine 90 only goes until June of 2020. So does not include Really the tremendous growth they’ve seen over the past couple of years within that financial disclosure. And I think we wanted to highlight this story again because we brought it to this podcast a couple of weeks ago.

[00:16:34] And George, we sifted through the only articles we really could find were quite frankly from right wing news sources that were, were talking about it. And but we, we identified. Within that, that there actually is kind of a genuine thing to talk about within that narrative. So we wanted to highlight from the activist level, what people are thinking about this, but yeah.

[00:17:00] George, do you have any other thoughts or things to add on that?

[00:17:03] Yeah.

[00:17:04] we definitely looked through quite a number of news outlets and clearly, you know, outlets that rhyme with the word pot. Have you had a field day with this into, you know, something where, you know, a kernel truth has turned into a tree of lies and manipulation, but there is still seeds of what actually, you know, did happen.

[00:17:26] And we try to go to primary sources and that quote from colors actually from the AP I don’t know. Read it directly on paper. It looks crazy. She said, we use this term in our movement a lot, which is we’re building the plane while flying it. I don’t believe in that anymore. The only regret I have with BLM is wishing that we could have paused for one to two years.

[00:17:48] Just not do any work and just focus on the infrastructure. You know, the foundation paid 6 million for this Los Angeles compound in 2020 and has, you know, brought ire and criticism. Here’s the truth. There is, there’s a problem. I’d say with crisis crowd funding, when a bunch of money is thrown at an organization of the moment, regardless of whether they have the infrastructure to achieve what the moment demands.

[00:18:18] There’s a reason why traditional philanthropies capital P philanthropies will not give more than X percent of a total revenue. In a grant to a non-profit, let’s say you are a half a million dollar organization, many philanthropy say you’re eligible for up to, let’s say 50% of your operating revenue for our grant, because the true fact is if they were to get more, say 5 million or 50 million, they wouldn’t have the infrastructure to use it.

[00:18:49] And what’s worse. Could actually send them into a bit of a tailspin of hiring too quickly, focusing on the wrong things and not having the infrastructure to manage that money and that word. Can’t just be glossed over. And I think this is just an honest quote from exactly what happened. You know, they were, you know, suddenly handed tens of millions of dollars and then expected to operate like an organization with that revenue.

[00:19:14] And the truth is it’s not there that it takes a long time to hire, to set up these systems. And again it’s you know, I think it’s great that she’s out there making, you know, trying to bring back this, this narrative and obviously it’s yeah, the probably, I mean, it hurts quite a bit. She says that, that this is quote a false narrative and it’s impacted me personally and professionally that people would accuse me of stealing from black people.

[00:19:41] And you know I think. It’s a, it’s a tough moment. The foundation announced state 19 million fundraising amount. Wow. I didn’t realize it was that high anyway. Things for you to look at and to consider around these macro issues of, of funding. Hmm.

[00:20:00] Should we do a feel-good story, Nick? We’ve been, I put some, I put some good wins in there this week. I knew I had been letting the team.

[00:20:08] Yeah, George let’s do a feel good story. This comes from Wilmington, Wilmington’s homepage for business. Tart title of the article is about seeing a sea turtle in need. And. This is about a, a sea turtle rehabilitation project. And within the 31 sea turtles residing at the center as of this year they could be released back into the ocean after recovering from various elements.

[00:20:44] There is one turtle named Lenny a Ridley turtle that can’t be released because. Blind and can’t survive on her own. But just want to shout out that the awesome organizations in this case, the Karen Beasley, sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center which is taking care of sea turtles and sea turtles are awesome.

[00:21:05] I, I learned from finding Nemo that they live a very long time and I think that’s very cool. So I’ve always been a big.

[00:21:12] All right. So I had to look this up, see turtles can live up to 50 years or more. So that’s, that’s great. That they’re, they’re taking care of taking care of these animals. Good job. And also kudos on anytime we get an article pun. So good job seeing those sea turtles. All right, Nick. Thanks for bringing all the news to us.

[00:21:35] Thanks, George.