ACLU Announces Multiyear Donation from Sheryl Sandberg to Protect Abortion Access Nationwide

The $3 million contribution will supercharge the ACLU’s abortion advocacy work

October 4, 2022 9:15 am

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NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that philanthropist and business executive Sheryl Sandberg has committed $3 million to the ACLU Ruth Bader Ginsburg Liberty Center to support the ACLU’s advocacy to fight abortion bans nationwide.

The contribution will support the ACLU’s work fighting to protect reproductive health care in courts, legislatures, and at the ballot box over the next three years following the Supreme Court overturning federal constitutional protections for abortion first established nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade. The impacts of eliminating this protection means the harms of state abortion bans will fall disproportionately on the same women and other people who have always faced systemic barriers to care — communities of color, people living on low-incomes, undocumented immigrants, young people, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities. With an office in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU is uniquely poised to restore abortion rights nationwide — even as it defends those same rights in state courts.

“Sheryl Sandberg understands that bodily autonomy and the ability to make decisions about when and if to have a child are central to women’s futures. As the resounding victory in Kansas showed us, extremist policies on abortion don’t stand a chance when voters have the final say,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “With Sheryl’s support on abortion rights, we can kick it into overdrive and redouble the fight for abortion access in the states. We will educate voters on where their elected representatives stand on this important issue and turn the abortion issue into a referendum on candidates’ courage and character. We’ll also invest heavily in ballot measures to ensure voters are heard loud and clear when legislatures and governors need to be overridden by the voices of the electorate. The midterm elections are the warm-up to the 2024 general election, when abortion access will certainly be on the ballot in almost every race.”

Sandberg, the founder of Lean In and Option B, has been a key ally in the fight against extreme anti-abortion laws and policies for years. Her partnership will allow the ACLU to expand its advocacy nationwide, including efforts to educate voters on judicial candidates’ record on abortion, oppose abortion bans in state legislatures and Congress, and support ballot measures protecting abortion access.

“Few things are more important to women’s equality than access to safe and legal abortion,” said Sandberg. “Today, over one-third of women in the U.S. can’t access safe abortions. We’ve only just begun to see the devastating impact that state abortion bans will have on women’s health, and their ability to determine the course of their own lives. Now, more than ever, we must keep up the fight to defend our right to choose and protect abortion access. I am proud to work with the ACLU to educate voters and persuade more people who support rights for women to act – and restore rights that were taken from us.”

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