Friday, June 24, 2022
Today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a historic decision holding there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. While the nation reacts in various ways to the decision, it is undeniable that nonprofits played a major role. Since there are restrictions on the political activity of 501(c)(3) organizations, 501(c)(4) organizations also known as “social welfare organizations” featured heavily. For a brief summary of advocacy groups and respective restrictions, including 501(c)(3) organizations, 501(c)(4) organizations, and political action committees, see the website of the non-partisan 501(c)(3) Open Secrets.
The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List was created in the 1990s after the formation of Emily’s List, a political action committee (PAC) designed to support abortion rights candidates. Susan B. Anthony List’s 501(c)(4) is permitted to engage in some lobbying and political activity as long as they do not eclipse its primary purpose. Susan B. Anthony List’s 501(c)(3) called the Susan B. Anthony Education Fund is subject to lobbying restrictions but can disseminate the group’s anti-abortion message. Here is further reading about Susan B. Anthony's List and today’s decision.