Activists and entrepreneurs are looking for alternatives to help fund an “abortion-focused” DAO after the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
Ultimately, they see it as a way to fund women in states where more than two dozen abortion services may be severely restricted or banned.
However, if Roe is overturned, it’s worth noting that abortion won’t be “outlawed” — instead, states will be able to individually determine the legality of the procedure.
Currently, 13 U.S. states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and Wyoming, have expressed their willingness to pass “trigger laws” to ban abortion, which will be pending before a decision is made. Abortion was effectively banned immediately thereafter.
With many anti-abortion groups already accepting cryptocurrency donations, most national abortion nonprofits and healthcare providers still don’t accept cryptocurrency, as it still hasn’t entered much of the conversation since the SCOTUS draft leaked.
However, Elissa Maercklein, CEO of NFT collective Crypto Chicks, said that conversation could soon shift. Back in February, Crypto Chicks donated 5 ETH (more than $15,000 at the time) and about $10,000 to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), making it the first cryptocurrency donation the organization accepted.
“When I contacted them, they were a little surprised, but excited to learn more,” Maercklein told The New York Times. In working with IPPF, Maercklein ensured that the organization will continue to accept cryptocurrency donations through the Giving Block platform, which will also enable multiple anti-abortion groups, including the Alliance for Freedom, National Right to Life, and American Students for Life.
How will the “abortion rights” DAO work?
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, these “trigger laws” will create new barriers and costs for providers and women seeking abortions, according to OB-GYN Dr. Giobannina Anthony.
Ideally, members of the abortion rights DAO would pool funds to pay for out-of-state travel, outpatient procedures and the pill, which accounts for 54 percent of abortions in the United States.
Big tech companies, including Amazon and Citigroup, have also agreed to help employees pay for travel, though penalties could be imposed in many states where financially facilitation of abortion has legal consequences.
The utility of DAOs
In 2021, more than $40 million in ether was raised through DAOs, starting with the Constitutional DAO and then the rise of cryptocurrency donations to Ukraine through the Ukrainian DAO organized by Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova.
The DAO has raised more than $7 million in a few days through the sale of Ukrainian-flagged NFTs to help provide humanitarian and relief efforts amid the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
As discussions around Roe’s overthrow continue, the question remains whether Web3 could offer another way to raise funds through digital currencies
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