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Anti-Abortion Laws Are Anti-LGBTQ Laws. We Must Fight Back

Georgia. Ohio. Missouri. Kentucky. Utah. Mississippi. Now Alabama’s governor has signed one of the most restrictive laws on reproductive freedom in the last 45 years. Some of these laws – like Alabama’s – make no exceptions, even for rape or incest.

This avalanche of state-level anti-abortion laws isn’t over either. And it’s all part of an alarming, rapidly moving trend toward chipping away at individual freedom. Actually, it’s not even chipping. At this point, they’re chopping.

Cloaking attacks in religion

Predictably, Alabama’s Governor Ivey justified her signature by invoking religion.

Alabama’s Governor is hardly alone in cloaking these attacks in religion. As a foundation that is of, by, and for the LGBTQ community, Horizons knows all too well how religion can be twisted to justify restricting freedom. That’s as true with respect to controlling our own reproductive health as it is to living authentically in our gender identities and sexual orientations.

And this isn’t simply a matter of some states here and there. All of these state-level moves constitute a single, frightening strategy to give the U.S. Supreme Court a chance to overturn Roe v. Wade. The same right-to-privacy foundation that underlies Roe underlies many of the protections for LGBTQ people as well. Reversing this legal precedent would be disastrous for our shared movements. Make no mistake: Reproductive justice is LGBTQ justice.

Fighting back

We also know that decrying a frightening trend doesn’t do nearly enough. That’s why we’ve joined an important initiative that’s bringing together foundations from around the country. Called the Rights, Faith, and Democracy Collaborative (or “RFDC”), this initiative pulls together funding from multiple foundations, using a strategy that centers racial equity and faith communities, an increasing number of which find it deeply troubling that religion is being used to harm others.

Unfortunately, those who want to claim a religious right to deny services to women or LGBTQ people have found willing partners in many state capitols and the current federal administration. These coordinated attacks on the freedom of already marginalized communities has pushed religious exemptions far beyond what the Constitution allows, attempting to create a broad license to discriminate. The RFDC is a direct response to these attacks.

Working across movements, the RFDC pools both the expertise and grant funds of more than 10 foundations to give critical support where it’s needed most urgently: in states and for organizations on the very front lines.  To date, nearly $2 million has been strategically invested, with plans for multiples of that amount to come.   

How you can help

Even at this dangerous moment, we have plenty of reasons for hope – passage of the Equality Act in the House of Representatives, marriage equality in Taiwan, and the continuing actions of people like you who are determined not to reverse the clock on freedom. One way you can help is by giving directly to a local organization fighting for reproductive freedom, here in California or elsewhere around the country. You can also support our work with the Rights, Faith, and Democracy Collaborative; all donations here will contribute to our support for the RFDC. 

It is up to us fight back together – to fight for a future of freedom for us all.