March 29, 2023

“This is no longer just at the federal level — this is state by state, ballot by ballot, judge by judge,” Sandberg told POLITICO. “This is now a political battle that will affect everyone. So many people care about this issue and we need all those people to become much, much, much more active.”

Sandberg, who has a history of donating to Democratic power brokers and political action committees campaigning for the election of abortion rights advocates, said the latest donation is opening a new chapter as she seeks to take a more active role in politics.

“This is the beginning of a very deep partnership” with the ACLU and other advocacy groups, she said.

Bestselling author and former top aide to Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers of the Clinton administration has… also said: she plans to focus on philanthropic work in her post-Meta career, “given how pivotal this moment is for women.”

During her final years at the helm of Facebook, Sandberg came under fire for the spread of misinformation and disinformation on the platform under her charge — including an explosion of false and misleading messages about abortion methods and their risks. She also angered some Democratic lawmakers when she downplayed Facebook’s role in the Jan. 6 riots.

Asked about what she could have done differently and what Meta should do in the future, Sandberg declined to comment, citing her role on the company’s board of directors and arguing that it’s not “appropriate” for her. to comment on its policies.

Romero added that providing more accurate information on both the medical and legal aspects of abortion could help combat the misinformation that continues to be rampant on social media, including Facebook, and said the ACLU will make a significant push later this fall. will do on that front with the help of Sandberg’s donation.

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“We will provide a much more detailed map of where people can get advice and help,” he said. “It will include websites, references, accessible legal documents, know-your-right material – a real concerted effort to correct the record and inform the public.”

The ACLU said the funding will also help the group ramp up its work on the legislature, prosecutors and state supreme courts in North Carolina, Ohio, Kansas, Arizona, Tennessee and Nevada. They also plan to use the money to campaign for abortion rights votes in Vermont and Michigan and against an anti-abortion measure in Kentucky, among other things.

“We must hold every elected official accountable,” Romero said. “What are you doing to protect abortion rights? We don’t accept a mumbled answer to a very obvious question.”

State Supreme Court races, the ACLU said, are of particular concern because voters tend to be insufficiently informed about the candidates’ ideology and because the elected judges can determine the outcome of many of the group’s lawsuits. that are currently underway.

Sandberg said she decided to get more involved when the Supreme Court ruling was overturned Roe v. Wade coincided with her decision to leave her longstanding position in Silicon Valley. Though she has previously donated to progressive causes, including abortion rights, including a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood shortly after President Donald Trump took office in 2017, she said a longstanding relationship with the ACLU steered her in his direction.

Sandberg has been persistent critic of the Supreme Court ruling since POLITICO published the draft opinion in May, call the decision a “huge setback” in a Facebook post and an extension in a Thursday interview about what the increasing restrictions on the procedure could mean for women.

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“My mother talked to me about what it was like to be in college in this country before abortion was legal,” she told POLITICO. “She had a friend who got pregnant and needed an abortion. She came from a family who could send her to another country where she had a safe and legal abortion. But there were other people at the school she went to who didn’t have access to that and had everything from the failed, unsafe, illegal kind to the self-generated kind. People died and people had very long-lasting health effects. I can’t believe I’m going to send my daughters to college with fewer rights than I had.”

Three months after the fall of Roe v. Wade, more than a dozen states have enacted near-complete abortion bans, with several exceptions for rape, incest, and life-threatening cases. While lawsuits filed by the ACLU and other advocacy groups have recently halted enforcement in a handful of places, including Ohio and Indiana, the list of states where abortion is virtually inaccessible continues to grow. And many GOP-controlled state lawmakers this year battled it out over how sweeping restrictions on procedure should be scuttled, efforts to pass new laws are expected to try again when they meet again in January.

Organizations across the political spectrum are also pouring unprecedented resources into candidate campaigns and voting initiatives that will shape the future of abortion rights.

NARAL, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and EMILY’s List recently announced that they are collaborating on a $150 million on the midterms of 2022 “to make sure the election of reproductive freedom champions goes up and down.”

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And one of the leading anti-abortion groups, SBA Pro-Life America, plans to spend at least $78 million, while other conservative state and national groups are also buying advertisements, sending mailings and deploying door-to-door personnel. to beat.

“The dobbs This decision has awakened a lot of people—that’s the story of the election,” said Julie Sweet, the director of the ACLU’s Liberty Division who oversees her abortion rights work. “So we need to be there to help people cast an informed vote.”