In a series of emails and social media posts, Sen. Kamala Harris responded to Alabama's abortion ban by raising $160,000 to fight it, HuffPost reports. Harris, who's also running for the Democratic nomination for president, began asking for donations to abortion rights groups on Wednesday, according to HuffPost, the day after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country into law.
“Outlawing access to abortion ― including in cases of rape or incest. Threatening to punish doctors who provide abortion care with up to 99 years of jail time. This isn’t a scene from The Handmaid’s Tale. This is happening in Alabama ― in our country ― in the year 2019," the first of the two emails read, according to HuffPost.
The money that Harris raised is to be split between four abortion rights groups: The Yellowhammer Fund, the Clinic Vest Project, ARC Southeast, and the National Network of Abortion Funds. Although she initially aimed to raise $80,000 for the groups, her supporters ultimately gave twice that, according to HuffPost. The next day, Harris posted a Facebook message urging supporters to continue donating to the organizations.
Harris wasn't the only 2020 Democrat to raise money for reproductive rights groups after the Alabama law was passed. In an email to supporters on Wednesday, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg proclaimed that that "reproductive freedom is American freedom" and urged his supporters to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice, HuffPost reports. His campaign hasn't revealed how much the effort had raised.
All of the organizations Harris collected donations for aim to protect women's access to abortion, albeit in different ways. The Yellowhammer Fund helps women in Alabama pay for services at any of the state's three remaining abortion clinics, while ARC Southwest performs a similar function across several southern states. The Clinic Vest Project offers free escorts to women going to and from abortion providers, while the National Network of Abortion Funds aims to "remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access" nationwide.
Alabama's law bans nearly all abortions in the state at any point during pregnancy, including in cases of rape and incest but excluding situations in which a woman's life would be at risk by carrying her pregnancy to term. Although Ivey signed it on Wednesday, the law doesn't take effect for six months.
Planned Parenthood Southeast has already pledged to sue Alabama over the law, and this is by design: Supporters of the law freely acknowledge that they want the law to be challenged in front of the Supreme Court, their ultimate hope being that the high court strikes down Roe v. Wade while ruling on the case.
"These anti-choice bills in Georgia, Ohio and Alabama are a focused, targeted attack led by right-wing groups hell-bent on overturning Roe v. Wade and outlawing abortion completely in the country," Harris wrote in her email to supporters, which was sent once around noon on Wednesday and again seven hours later. "Defending reproductive freedom means standing up and empowering women to make informed decisions with the support, guidance and compassionate care of a doctor — without interference from the state."