A Texas-based non-profit has created an "Emergency Fund for Harvey Survivors," a fundraiser focused on collecting funds for women who seek abortions in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The Lilith Fund "funds abortion and advocates for change through the movement for reproductive justice," according to its mission statement. On Thursday, the group's official Facebook page posted a graphic of Houston reading, "Join us in supporting Harvey survivors seeking an abortion but cannot afford it." The post included a link to where users could donate money to assist displaced women obtain abortions.
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Amid the devastating destruction of Hurricane Harvey, many different organizations, businesses, and individuals have raised millions of dollars to assist in aid, rescue, and relief efforts. President Donald Trump announced Thursday he would donate $1 million of his own money to the cause.
Thousands of people in Texas are holed up in arenas, churches, and their homes, awaiting rescue or assistance. They are without basic needs such as water, food, clothes, blankets, and shelter.
In the wake of the devastation, many individuals have been named "heroes" as they take out their personal boats, jet skis, kayaks, and canoes, and risk their lives to rescue fellow Texans.
The Lilith Fund has chosen to focus its funding elsewhere amid emergency relief efforts.
While the organization's social media post explained the donated funds would "assist displaced women obtain abortions," the donation page says simply that it is an "Emergency Fund for Harvey Survivors." There is no mention of abortions or that the donated money will be used to fund abortions.
The caption accompanying the graphic on Facebook reads:
We're creating an emergency fund for Harvey survivors seeking abortion care. With increased barriers like temporary clinic closures, displacement, loss of homes/vehicles, and more, access to abortion just got even more difficult for those affected by Harvey. Donate to our emergency fund at: lilithfund.org/donateharvey.
The donation page includes no such information.
Some other groups have also been focused on goals outside of funding rescue, food, water, clothing, or shelter, and still disagree with Lilith's fundraising approach. Members of New Wave Feminist are focused on empowering women during the tragedy. The group has collected supplies and has reminded women "they are not alone," RedState reported.
The founder and president of New Wave Feminist, and a Texan, Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, said of Lilith's approach:
The fact that this group would use a natural disaster to fundraise is absolutely appalling. For so many struggling right now, they need to know that their fellow Texans are here to support them with resources and real help so that they can make nonviolent choices. Just because they’ve lost everything, that doesn’t mean their child has to lose their life.