Lilith Fair: No money for crisis pregnancy centers!

Seriously, Lilith Fair? Just when I was thinking of attending you because my country music crush Loretta Lynn is playing your festival this year, you have to go and encourage your fans to support anti-choice charities. Boooooo.

This year, the women's music fest organized a giving group on Facebook called Choose Your Charity where fans can vote for a charity to receive $1 for every ticket sold to the Lilith Fair concert in their city. I'll admit that I joined this group yesterday, voted for a charity in the Portland area, and didn't think twice about it. However, Lilith Fair fans in some cities are having a more frustrating experience.

From LifeNews (that's right Lilith Fair, you are garnering praise from anti-choice blogs):

To the surprise of pro-life advocates, the Lilith Fair team included pregnancy centers in the mix of groups and the Facebook users who voted decided to award them as their charity to receive the funds.

Fans in Minneapolis and Indianapolis, for example, are given the option of supporting Metro Women's Center and Indianapolis Life Center -- both are life-affirming pregnancy centers that help women find abortion alternatives and legitimate pregnancy support. Other cities such as Atlanta and Seattle also saw pregnancy centers selected.

For an organization that, despite the jokes about kumbaya sing-a-longs, has always had a reputation for standing up for women's rights and serving as an alternative to more mainstream music festivals, this is disappointing. Why is Lilith Fair lending their support to organizations that are anti-choice?

A Lilith Fair: No money for crisis pregnancy centers! group has been started on Facebook if you'd like to join in telling Lilith Fair that this so not cool.

Further reading:
"Lilith Fair Empowers Women to Support Anti-Choice Charities" from The Stranger
"Anti-Choice Organizations Among Potential Beneficiaries of Lilith Fair's Choose Your Charity Campaign" from The Chicago Reader

by Kelsey Wallace
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9 Comments Have Been Posted

Is this really worth being

Is this really worth being offended over? Women's reproductive rights extend far beyond abortion. Pregnancy support centers have the potential to offer women with an alternative to abortion. We need to ask ourselves if a choice between abortion and between having a baby born into poverty without support is really a choice at all. I think this effort to go against lilith fair is close minded and not taking into account the full spectrum of women's choices.

Worth being upset

Yes, it is worth being upset about this. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) have an embarrassingly low utilization of their funds. They waste most of their money on propaganda and actually have very few patients. And like you said, women's reproductive rights extend beyond abortion, yet CPCs focus exclusively on working against abortion, to the detriment of facilities like Planned Parenthood, which actually do provide many services other than abortion. CPCs hurt women all across the board: preventative care, birth control, protection.

CPCs are the real issue, not "anti-choice"

The issue at hand is not so much that they are providing a forum or potentially thousands to the CPCs, but two things:

CPCs are KNOWN for telling young pregnant women in crisis false and misleading information to scare them, and keep them from accessing safe and legal methods of birth control--not just abortions or morning after pills. The idea that someplace in Indianpolis, whose mission, as stated is to "apply biblical truths" to crisis pregnancies, might get $30,000 bucks while the LEGIT women and girl centered (not faith based/dogma centered) orgs like rape crisis centers or shelters are left out it insane. And that Lilith PICKED these charities by simply GOOGLING them. And then said sure you can vote, but ultimately we will pick--but who trusts them now?

Other issues

I suppose what frustrates me about this is that there is a maternity care crisis here in the US. Have you seen the Amnesty International report Deadly Delivery? Please look at it. When I see feminists rallying against CPC's possibly getting funding from Lilith Fair, it just seems so petty and short-sighted when women are dying due to poor care. There are huge injustices going on in maternity care from institutional racism to unauthorized pelvic exams and what amounts to surgical rape.
Imagine if feminists volunteered at CPC's and helped empower women in their pregnancies rather than scaring them into it. What if they offered broader services like natural childbirth classes, lactation support or support for women with post-partum depression ? I know CPC's generally don't offer this stuff, so it is kind of a silly argument, but I really believe that CPC's and maternity homes have potential. It's time that feminists work with pro-lifers (not necessarily on CPC's, but something), because it is bad out there for childbearing women in the US, really bad.

I agree that it seems like

I agree that it seems like the pro-choice movement doesn't actually do enough to help pregnant women who choose to continue their pregnancies and then parent. I think part of the problem is that pro-choice groups tend to try to work through influencing legislation, and not so much at the grassroots level. I get annoyed about this too, and tend to take pro-choicers to task about it (and I AM pro-choice, and also oppose things like "partial-birth abortion bans") when I see them hyping abortion a bit too much as a "solution" for single parenthood, teen parenthood, parenting-while-poor, etc. I mean, if they want to lend credence to the claim that Planned Parenthood was begun by a eugenicist and continues that mission today, wringing the hands over someone's temporary economic status or temporary marital status or an age that's only going to last one year--those are GREAT ways to lend that credence.


To say that feminists never stand up for the right of marginalized women to parent our babies isn't quite accurate. Hello, Mothering magazine? The lactavist movement? NOW's once-upon-a-time campaign to secure Social Security benefits for homemaker mothers?


To say that feminists should join forces with THE primo front group for the adoption industry which routinely disenfranchises mothers, traumatizes babies, and has engaged in a decades-long social experiment which has destroyed lives on all sides of the adoption triad... That is just insulting.

If you think feminists need crisis pregnancy centers, go open up a PRO-CHOICE crisis pregnancy center. Don't ask us to contribute our lives and resources toward shoring up a movement that punishes us for daring to think that we're human beings with human rights, and that childbearing is not a crime.

While we're at it, how about let's start thinking about parenting in terms other than giving birth to and taking care of an infant, and start being more concerned about mothers (*sigh* and fathers... I know the "what about da menz" types are lurking) who face crisis situations when their children are at ANY minor age.

I lost my son because my choices were welfare, family, or nothing. AFDC had been changed to TANF *by a pro-choice President* the year he was born. My family were worthless. So it was nothing. He was adopted by his grandparents the following year--quite against my will, as I had no money to fight an interstate custody battle. Here it is a decade later, and the choices are STILL welfare, family, or nothing.

I guess we are going to have to do this ourselves, because no organization has any help for us, not even NARAL, Planned Parenthood or Lilith Fair. And it's OK if we have to do it ourselves, but I'm more than a little tired of activists on ALL sides saying they're fighting for us when it's plain they're not. Why don't you try being honest with us so we can accurately assess the problem and then make intelligent decisions to address it, rather than waste more time hoping for succor that never arrives.

I hate to say it but abortion was never completely illegal in this country and there have always been ways to end pregnancy early if it's caught soon enough, with or without sanction from a doctor or the state. But once you have the kid? Well, then it's not so simple. But where are our resources going? To the easier problems, it looks like. Go figure, huh?

The definition of feminism

While I'm against pro-life politics and CPCs, it seems to me that Lilith Fair has actually adopted a policy that is very feminist, i.e. giving the women participating more choice. While I disagree with those that have chosen to support causes I do not - I can't fault the organization for giving them the freedom to do so.

Did you read the

Did you read the article?
They cared so much they simply googled "womens charities" in each city, and they ultimately pick which ones from the top three get the money. Who trusts them to do that now?

While I'm against pro-life

<blockquote>While I'm against pro-life politics and CPCs, it seems to me that Lilith Fair has actually adopted a policy that is very feminist, i.e. giving the women participating more choice.</blockquote>

"Choice" =/= "pro-women". I don't see how supporting organizations that lie to women, and disempower them by denying them the opportunity to make informed decisions is in any way feminist .

Hate to break it to you,

Hate to break it to you, NiteOwle, but the options available to us are not limited to "keep your legs closed, have an abortion, or give it up to a deserving Christian family, you dirty slut."

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