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2018 Report

The Insidious Power of the Anti-Choice Movement


The anti-choice movement has spent decades finding new ways to insinuate themselves into our government, our policies, and our politics. They’ve been working tirelessly to build political power and pursued small victories that help stack the deck in their favor.

This movement — funded by secret foundations injecting millions into this work — is slowly chipping away at abortion access across the country.

For years, anti-choice activists have been working hard to set the stage for even more aggressive attacks on our reproductive freedom. With Trump in office and Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court, they believe they’re closer than ever to their ultimate goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. They’re using anti-choice fake health clinics to stop women from accessing real reproductive care, and they’re leaning on extreme anti-choice protesters — who harass, shame and intimidate women and clinicians — to undermine legitimate clinics.

Despite the fact that 7 in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion, a virulent anti-choice agenda sits at the core of the conservative political machine, pulling the levers of the highest powers—and finding new ways to undermine our reproductive freedom and our ability to choose our own destinies.

But, knowledge is power and that’s why we wrote “The Insidious Power of the Anti-Choice Movement” report — to help sound the alarm. With a clear view of the attacks they’re preparing and the energy we’ve built over the past year, we have the strength we need to fight back and demand dignity for every person in this great nation.

Here’s what the report exposes:

  1. The anti-choice movement has created a pipeline for conservative legal minds from law school to the courthouse: The anti-choice movement has been strategically curating and nurturing judges to appointed to federal courts, laying the foundation for courts that will rule in their favor–all the way up to the Supreme Court.
  2. Their political influence creates the illusion that the anti-choice agenda is more popular than it is: The anti-choice movement wields outsized influence, appearing to have more support than they actually do, because individuals at every level — be it a protester, leader of a fake health clinic, or founder of an anti-choice advocacy organization — have outsize influence in their field and actively work to reinforce each other’s work and raise each other’s profile. This echo-chamber effect creates the facade that their audience is broader than it actually is, and makes anti-choice beliefs seem much more popular than actually reflected in public opinion.
  3. Anti-choice organizations maintain on-the-ground efforts by creating and propping up deceitful, fake health clinics that lure women in with misinformation: Fake health clinics with an anti-choice agenda are increasingly medicalizing their advertisements, yet they are not providing the corresponding medical services. And often, the individuals operating the fake health clinics are the same people who protest outside abortion clinics– creating a tightly woven network of anti-abortion activists that each fulfill different roles in the movement.
  4. Anti-choice organizations craft model anti-choice legislation with the goal of provoking a challenge to the foundation of Roe v. Wade: The anti-choice movement crafts legislation that’s intended to go through the court system and provoke a challenge to Roe v. Wade, hopefully overturning it one day.
  5. The anti-choice agenda is deeply embedded in the broader conservative movement’s funding machine, but flies very much under the radar: the major funding behind virtually all facets of the anti-choice movement (from fake health centers, to legal organizations, to political campaigns) is done by a handful of conservative mega-donors such as the Betsy Devos and Rebekah Mercer families. Wealthy, conservative families fund every facet of the anti-choice movement, creating an infrastructure of power and influence in the White House, the judiciary, Congress and media.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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