If/When/How Legal Defense Fund

As abortion access continues to be evicerated, self-managed abortions are on the rise. Self-managed abortion can be safe and supported and a viable choice for many. Arguably, the greatest risk related to self-managed abortion is criminalization and incarceration by an overzealous prosecutor and criminal (in)justice system.

Take Purvi Patel, who spent three years of a 20-year sentence in prison - for allegedly taking pills she had ordered online to end her own pregnancy - before her conviction was vacated by a higher court. 

Or Jennifer Whalen, who received an 18-month sentence for giving her 16-year-old daughter abortion medication that she purchased online. Erring on the side of caution, she took her daughter to the doctor to confirm that all was well. She spoke openly about procuring the pills for her daughter, and found herself charged with multiple crimes.

Join us in making a catalytic investment to launch the If/When/How Legal Defense Fund to post bail and resource the strongest, most strategic defense of marginalized women and trans people if and when they face these unfair criminal charges.

In addition to keeping people out of prison, early and decisive defensive victories will establish smart precedent and discourage prosecutors from bringing future charges.

Several foundations have expressed interest in investing in the launch of this fund, but none have taken decisive steps. A bold and collective “first move” by WDN will catalyze big money and get this fund off the ground.

We have commitments for $260,000 and hope to raise $500,000. If/When/How needs to raise $2,000,000 to make the decision to launch. We hope to move $500,000 to If/When/How by July 1. Please join us!

In solidarity,
Kathy Barry, Karen Grove, Donna Hall, Hannah Kranzberg, Tamara Kreinin, Janet Levinger, Margery Loeb, Michelle Mercer, Zoe Mercer-Golden, Nancy Reichman, Gretchen Sisson, Michelle Swenson, Patricia West, and Wendy Wolf