When the crowdfunding site GoFundMe pulled a campaign to raise money for a woman's abortion last week, it claimed that it did so because the campaign was "inappropriate," as it involved a "subject matter that GoFundMe would rather not be associated with."
Yesterday, it updated its guidelines as to what is and is not allowed on the site. Despite language on its "About Us" page indicating that the most popular use of site is for medical emergencies, it now explicitly bans any campaign related to "termination of life," which as Salon pointed out is language favored by antiabortion activists who believe in fetal personhood.
Not only are "abortions (human or animal)" prohibited from the site, but so too is "content associated with or relating to" the procedure, which is why the continued existence of campaigns like "Advocating for Women & Girls at the UN" -- devoted to a woman who wants to go to the UN to tell "my story of forced abortion" and offer "aftercare solutions for sex trafficked survivors" -- is puzzling.
As Salon noted, the "Walk for Women and the Preborn" campaign is also still active, despite the site's updated guidelines. So too are "All Hands on Deck: Ending Abortion in MN," "Survivors Campus Life Tour," "Generation Life Missionary," and "Traveling to fight for unborn babies."
Not only was the campaign of the Illinois woman seeking an abortion, known only as "Bailey," pulled from the site, but GoFundMe refused to disperse the money that had already been collected. "Bailey," who is unemployed and has other medical conditions that make carrying the pregnancy to term unwise, had been seeking $2,500 to pay for the procedure, and had collected $1,100 when GoFundMe pulled the campaign.
She is now accepting donations via PayPal on an alternative funding site.
In an email, GoFundMe likened the ban on funding an abortion to similar bans it has on using the site to purchase firearms or engage in treasonous activity.