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January 24, 2022

Ms. Foundation Announces $100K Grant to Access Reproductive Care-Southeast on 49th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Nation’s oldest women’s foundation responds to urgent need to support abortion access with larger than average rapid response grant and continued investment in women and girls of color in Southern communities

NEW YORK – Today, the Ms. Foundation for Women announced a $100,000 one-year rapid response grant to Access Reproductive Care-Southeast (ARC-SE) to support general operating costs as the organization builds power in Southern communities of color by providing financial and logistical support to Southerners in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

This rapid response grant is intended to address the numerous, compounding challenges facing women in Southern states today. The repercussions of Texas’ extreme abortion ban SB8 and the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health have put reproductive justice on the line, and the need for funding is pressing. 

“As we mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and face its uncertain future, our ability to amplify, trust, and respect women’s voices, and protect people’s bodily autonomy is more critical than ever,” said Teresa C. Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation. “The Ms. Foundation is proud to support ARC-Southeast, and we remain committed to championing reproductive rights and eliminating barriers to abortion access. This grant is a testament to the Ms. Foundation’s investment in grassroots leadership and trust in the communities facing the challenges to have the solutions, and we implore the philanthropic community to rise to the urgency of this moment and employ trust-based philanthropy for organizations to meet the unique needs of their communities.” 

ARC-SE first received a grant through the Ms. Foundation’s Oma Fund in 2019. The organization, led by women of color and a member of The National Network of Abortion Funds, works to ensure the availability of safe and compassionate reproductive care, including abortion services, and provide education and leadership development to build power in communities of color to abolish stigma and restore dignity and justice. 

“While abortion remains legal, abortion care is simply not accessible for so many of us, especially folks across the South,” said Oriaku Njoku, Co-founder and Executive Director of ARC-SE.  “At ARC-Southeast, we believe that funding abortion is an act of radical love that eliminates barriers to abortion access through mutual aid. We know the anti-abortion movement will continue trying to do as much as they can to take our human rights away — especially access to abortion. ARC-Southeast is deeply committed to funding abortions and building power to show up and speak out against the reproductive oppression Southerners face every day. We must think bigger, act bolder, and demand a future with true reproductive justice, where people — especially those of us with marginalized identities — can get abortions without leaving our communities or jumping through hoops.  This funding from the Ms. Foundation will support us in making reproductive justice a reality for Southerners seeking abortions in spite of living in a politically hostile region.” 

For nearly five decades, the Ms. Foundation for Women has made grants totaling more than $70 million to build women’s power across the country. For equity purposes, please visit our website to see the full grantee list

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The Ms. Foundation for Women transforms our democracy by building women’s collective power. Guided by a gender and racial justice lens, we resource grassroots movements that center women and girls of color, advance feminism in philanthropy, and advocate for policies that improve women’s lives across the country. Since 1973, we’ve opened up worlds of possibility for women and girls. But to finally achieve justice for all, we need you in our fight. ​Learn more and get involved at ForWomen.org.