By Olivia Becker
In the hours after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, anecdotal evidence pointed to a surge of support for an organization that will likely find itself the target of a Trump administration: Planned Parenthood.
And sure enough, the nonprofit has seen an “outpouring of support” from both longtime and first-time donors since Hillary Clinton conceded the election, a spokesperson for the organization told VICE News. Besides cash donations, volunteer signups and phone calls have also come pouring in.Kaitlyn Buchler, a 23-year-old Clinton supporter, said it was hard not to feel “hopeless” after Tuesday’s results. But she decided to set up a monthly recurring donation of $5 to Planned Parenthood as a way of showing her support.
“As a young woman, I’m feeling very vulnerable today,” Buchler said. “I’m truly fearful of what a Trump presidency will mean for women’s reproductive rights.”
Buchler, like many others who reacted to the results of Election Day by giving to the women’s health organization, was troubled by what a Trump administration would mean for reproductive rights. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has been a vocal opponent of abortion and reproductive rights. As governor of Indiana, he led the charge to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics across the state and signed into law a ban on abortions for fetuses with Down Syndrome and other medical conditions. The law also made the transfer or collection of fetal tissue a felony and forced women to hear an ultrasound of the fetus before they were allowed an abortion.
The measure was so controversial, even some pro-life Republicans spoke out against it.
Pence has been unapologetic about his anti-abortion stance. In a Trump administration, “we’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” Pence vowed in September.
Liz Estey, another 23-year-old Clinton supporter, donated $25 to Planned Parenthood for the first time Wednesday. She is disappointed her candidate lost but said Trump’s election was even more painful for her because of “the symbolic statement it makes to women in this country.”
“It’s unfathomable to me that so many people in this country can’t see or don’t care how Trump treats women,” Estey said. “I’m sad, angry, disappointed, but above all else I feel betrayed.”
Over the course of his unprecedented campaign, Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, said he would punish women who get abortions, and made the phrase “grab them by the pussy” one of the more memorable sound bites of this year after a leaked 2005 tape caught him saying he can grope women because he’s a celebrity.
Women who donated to Planned Parenthood in the wake of Trump’s election said they needed to do something to address a sense of panic or hopelessness.
“I seriously woke up this morning in a daze and feeling very worried about what it means to be a woman in this country,” said 24-year-old Chelsea Beeler, who donated $20 to Planned Parenthood Wednesday morning. She added that she plans on making a heftier donation as soon as she gets paid next week.
Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards responded to Trump’s victory by reassuring people that the organization would continue its mission.
“There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses to our democracy, to our economic security, to access to reproductive health care, and most especially to the safety and dignity of people of color,” Richards said in a statement. “We will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the care they need.”
New Yorker Ryan Sloan gave $35 — his first time donating to the organization — because, he says, it’s clear Pence wants to defund it.
“I want them to be able to keep doing what they do,” Sloan said. “From a selfish standpoint, it feels good to be doing something.”
Other donations have been more high-profile. Rapper El-P from the group Run the Jewels said he gave $5,000 to Planned Parenthood on Wednesday.
“i was taught to do that if you can and you dont publicize it or draw attention to it,” he wrote on Twitter. “But today im thinking of my mom, sisters and nieces.” – Vice News
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By Olivia Becker