Ms. Margaret Hempel
Ford Foundation
1440 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

Dear Ms. Hempel,

Standing in the shadow of the Women’s March there is a population energized and ready for action. With the intention of mobilizing this force, UltraViolet, an organization dedicated to fighting sexism and expanding women’s rights, seeks $250,000 from the Ford Foundation to fund its ongoing campaign to defend women’s reproductive rights. Women—especially women of color and women in underserved areas—are once again being forced to scale barricades to access birth control and safe abortions. UltraViolet is committed to protecting a woman’s right to determine the fate of her body, health, and future with a campaign titled No Access = No Choice. This effort aligns with the Ford Foundation’s commitment to amend laws, policies, and public narratives that restrict the sexual and reproductive rights of women of color and low-income women. No Access = No Choice also speaks to the foundation’s interest in helping women’s rights networks to develop strategies that cross regional boundaries—focusing on disparately impacted rural and underserved areas.

Statement of Need

In this country, reproductive healthcare resources are rapidly vanishing. The current administration ran on an aggressive pro-life campaign, making numerous promises to their supporters to shutter and defund Planned Parenthood clinics. The visceral response to the Trump/Pence Administration’s promises to decrease access to birth control is palpable. In a recent interview, CEO of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards noted that clinics are responding to an unprecedented 900% increase in requests for IUDs, a long-term form of birth control that lasts up to 12 years—a period that exceeds the current president’s potential time in office.

Planned Parenthood provides 2.5 million people with services each year and 54% of their clinics exist in rural and underserved areas. In parts of the country such as Texas, there are no alternative health clinic options if Planned Parenthood is shut down. In the last five years, nearly 300 laws restricting abortions have been put in place and nine states have tried to ban abortion. Last year alone, both red and blue states closed 150 clinics while opening only 21. Over 30 million women live near a shuttered clinic and 90% of US counties have no reproductive healthcare provider, even though one in three women will have an abortion. The effort to dismantle Planned Parenthood is much more troubling when the current administration is simultaneously dedicated to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA provides 27 million women with inexpensive birth control and reproductive healthcare. If repealed, tens of millions of women would face difficulties obtaining birth control: 56% of young women say they struggle to afford birth control, and of them 57% are young Latinas and 61% are Black women.

No Access = No Choice Campaign

UltraViolet’s campaign applies cutting-edge techniques to reach and galvanize communities. In the US, 70% of people support a woman’s right to access reproductive healthcare, including abortions. In contrast, President Trump’s current approval rating clocks in at 40%. During the 2017 Right to Life March in Washington, DC, UltraViolet launched the No Access = No Choice campaign. One of its preliminary actions was to fly an air banner over the march that read: “Abortion Access More Popular than Trump.”

The No Access = No Choice campaign will utilize online and print advertising as well as billboards, banners, and exhibitions to publicly oppose the anti-reproductive rights narrative. It will also collaborate with local and national women’s rights groups, coordinate and train volunteers to host neighborhood UltraViolet meetings, and provide a presence at major rallies and protests.

Anticipated outcomes of No Access = No Choice include:

  • Through online outreach, UltraViolet will encourage its members to generate public pressure and demand politicians stop legislation that requires funerals for fetuses, promises to defund Planned Parenthood, and calls for full constitutional rights for fertilized eggs.
  • UltraViolet will generate public outrage against the HR7 Bill, which passed days after the Women’s March and gave permanence to the Hyde Amendment. This amendment denies millions of women the right to use public funds, such as the ACA and Medicaid, for abortions.
  • UltraViolet and its members will work to ensure that Congress does not pass the so-called “Heartbeat Bill.” The first of its kind to reach the federal level, this bill outlaws abortions at the first detection of a heartbeat by a medical practitioner—sometimes as early as six weeks.
  • UltraViolet will pressure Congress and lawmakers to revoke Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that put unreasonable financial pressures on reproductive health clinics. These laws often shut down clinics and burden low-income women with having to travel hundreds of miles and pay out of pocket for safe abortions and other reproductive health services.
  • UltraViolet will harness public outrage and insist that representatives in Congress halt the repeal of the ACA, which currently provides tens of millions of women with inexpensive birth control.
  • In brief, the progress/success of the campaign will be measured by media coverage, response from lawmakers, social media shares, volunteer involvement, event participation, and the number of signatures collected for petitions.

UltraViolet empowers communities to stand up for themselves while also providing an opportunity to tap into the national women’s movement. With hundreds of thousands of participants and a growing online community with millions of social media followers, UltraViolet is connected and has the means to reach an agitated population to create change. UltraViolet’s actions have been covered by major news outlets, and the organization is part of a broad-based coalition of women’s rights groups involved in examining and challenging the administration’s opposition to reproductive rights.

Budget

Funds will be used over two years to mount a social media campaign, $75,000; purchase media, $75,000; and support on-the-ground and digital events—video streaming, temporary office space, staff travel, volunteer training, and material production and distribution, $100,000.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit this letter of intent detailing our campaign initiative. By supporting UltraViolet’s campaign to protect access to reproductive healthcare resources, the Ford Foundation would positively impact the lives of millions of women. We look forward to your response and request for a full proposal. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Sr. Development Officer Caroline Rodriguez at CarolineRod@gmail.com.

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