23 November 2010

Help Keep the Right at Bay: Double Your Dollars for Reproductive Justice by Dec. 1

Much has been said about this month's electoral shuffling and the impending doom it could mean for abortion rights struggles nationwide. So, as Thanksgiving nears, the Ms. Foundation is especially thankful for the remarkable work of our grantees who advocate for reproductive rights, health and justice across the US. From Colorado's perennial "personhood amendment" (called Amendment 62 on this year's ballot) -- which would assign personhood rights to a fetus and deal a huge blow to abortion rights -- to the ongoing fight to ensure contraception is covered in the implementation of health care reform, it is clear that the battle to protect and expand reproductive freedom remains fraught. In the face of greater conservative control over legislation come January, particularly at the state level, reproductive justice organizations are uniquely positioned to continue this fight, but will require even greater resources to keep the Right at bay.

For more than 40 years, the Ms. Foundation has funded organizations that have changed the landscape in the fight for reproductive justice. The grassroots groups we support -- often led by young women, women of color and low-income women and LGBTQ individuals -- are best situated to fight for the rights of diverse groups of women and men because they are part of these communities themselves. Their approach is effective because it places value on previously marginalized voices, while building strategic -- and sometimes unlikely -- alliances with groups that traditionally might not have seen themselves as part of the reproductive justice movement.

These groups are partnering across issue -- from child care, to green jobs, to living wage, to sex education -- to create progressive coalitions that are proving their power to push back against measures that threaten reproductive rights. The fight to defeat Amendment 62 in Colorado is a case in point: grantee group COLOR (Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights) worked in partnership with Engage Colorado -- a coalition of economic justice, immigrants rights, civic engagement and affordable housing organizations -- to convince Coloradans to reject this anti-choice initiative. Their collective efforts led to a defeat of the measure by a 3-to-1 margin on Election Day -- a result reproductive rights, health and justice organizations around the nation can cheer for, and seek to replicate.

But they can't do it alone. Grassroots organizations need your help to fight the growing tide of anti-choice legislation, sure to escalate in the coming year. Until December 1, 2010, the Ms. Foundation is offering you the opportunity to support the crucial work of women-of-color-led reproductive justice organizations: for every dollar you donate a special matching grant will double your support -- dollar for dollar.

This is your chance to multiply your impact by providing groups working at the state and local level with the resources they'll need to combat right-wing forces. This election season has proven just how intense these fights are likely to be; now is the time to invest in the solutions of women on the ground, who have worked with too little for too long.

Donate today!

Photo: California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, 2008, by Elizabeth Rappaport

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