Wednesday, May 11, 2022
In the aftermath of the Dobbs leak, there has been a lot of discussion about what a post-Roe world would look like. Understandably, the vast majority of that discussion has surrounded women's autonomy and reproductive rights, and what other rights we might lose under Alito's reasoning.
It may be worth taking a look at who would be shaping a post-Roe world. And at least one major player, it seems, might be the Foundation to Abolish Abortion, a Texas-based 501(c)(3).
FAA seems to be a fairly new organization; it received its exemption in 2020. And for 2019 and 2020, it reported less than $50,000 in gross receipts. It hasn't provided any significant amount of information to Guidestar or Propublica, but as best I can tell, it is exempt as an educational organization. (If anybody has a copy of FAA's Form 1023, I'd love to see it! I tried to submit a request, but I'm not clear on whether the request went through or not.)
I don't know how educational FAA is; it is heavily involved in governing, though. It helped draft Louisiana's HB 813 (a bill that Louisiana Right to Life opposes as too extreme) and it claims to be involved in similar legislative drafting in other states.
Now, on the one hand, tax-exempt 501(c)(3)s are clearly allowed to lobby, as long as they don't endorse candidates for office.
But on the other hand, an organization does not qualify for exemption if it devotes "more than an insubstantial part of its activities to attempting to influence legislation by propaganda or otherwise."
Now, I don't know what FAA does, and its filings so far don't disclose that. But it's definitely worth exploring the role that nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations play in shaping a post-Roe world and asking ourselves if that's really the role they should be playing.
Samuel D. Brunson