Couples Use Wedding Registries to Fund-Raise for Abortion Rights

Mary Ziegler, a law professor and historian at the University of California, Davis, who has written five books on abortion in the United States, said reproductive rights groups had long had a fund-raising advantage over anti-abortion organizations, in part because the former tend to be more recognizable. “There hasn’t really been the equivalent of a Planned Parenthood on the pro-life side,” Ms. Ziegler said, adding that most Americans support legalizing abortion.

According to her, raising money for abortion rights groups through wedding registries is “the kind of setup that would favor the pro-choice movement” because it “historically has had a larger base of support from people who haven’t been as intense” as abortion opponents. Donating via a registry is “not the sort of thing that requires you to be spending all day outside of a clinic either helping people enter or blocking them from entering — it’s something that is fairly low workload,” Ms. Ziegler said, “and that’s where the fact that you have these majorities helps you.”

Ms. Forrest, the Zola spokeswoman, said the National Network of Abortion Funds was the second most popular reproductive rights organization featured on the website’s registries this year, behind Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has also been the most popular abortion advocacy group featured on the Knot’s registries, according to Ms. Bach, its spokeswoman.

Adaline Lining and Michael Schlegelmilch, who had a civil union in July 2020, named the National Network of Abortion Funds as one of several organizations guests could donate to in lieu of giving them a gift at a wedding celebration they held in July.

The couple, who live in Somerville, Mass., had initially planned to ask for donations to Labor Notes, a group that supports unions, and the Massachusetts Bail Fund. But Mr. Schlegelmilch, 35, a high school English teacher, and Ms. Lining, 31, a sixth grade social studies teacher, chose to also include the abortion advocacy group on their Zola registry after the Supreme Court issued its Dobbs decision.

“In my family, growing up, abortion was talked about openly as a choice and thing to support and do,” Ms. Lining said.

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