Recently, Bailey, a 23-year-old living in Chicago, Illinois, chose to ask for funding for her abortion through a GoFundMe.com campaign titled “Bailey’s Abortion Fund.” The page has stirred up so much negative talk that it’s even gotten her an interview with Vice Magazine, released on Sep. 5. After that interview went live on Vice’s website, GoFundMe determined that her campaign was something that the website “would rather not be associated with” and took it down.
I understand Bailey’s choice for relying on GoFundMe to assist in funding for her abortion. Lately, kick starters have been a great means to fund causes, from jump-starting a nonprofit organization to support for an upcoming web series to even paying your rent. So, what is the real issue here? The fact that Bailey’s kick starter is about abortion? Or is it Bailey’s lack of remorse for her procedure? Or is it that GoFundMe isn’t sensitive to women’s issues?
Bailey chose to make her abortion and her struggle a public one, something that many people think should not really be discussed. In fact, on the deleted page, Bailey felt strongly about her decision. In the description, it stated that Bailey was “currently unemployed, completely broke, in debt, and in no position to hold down a job.” The description even included Bailey’s lack of desire to become a mom. Bailey chose to look at the situation realistically, economically and for her health. Even in her interview with Vice, Bailey admits her difficulties as a pregnant 23-year-old woman. She’ s even stated that her pregnancy has been “really, really painful.” In other words, it’s been a complicated pregnancy for her.
GoFundMe apparently knows best in not wanting to place itself in the middle of a controversial topic like abortion. And, it is a private company. At the same time, kick starters on antiabortion appear to not be a problem for the webpage. There have been several campaigns that intend to ban or block abortion, yet GoFundMe lets that slide, from “Walk for Women and the Preborn” and “Help Replace Planned Parenthood…the largest abortion provider in the world.” There is absolutely no neutrality or choice in the matter. GoFundMe has absolutely shown support for ONE stance, denying the other any option.
And, isn’t this the same website that allowed Darren Wilson – Michael Brown’s shooter – to even have a page, and even allow the racist comments that came along with it? Isn’t this the same kick starter that’s allowed many criminals to raise money for bail and support? GoFundMe has allowed a lot of interesting *coughs* questionable things go on their website.
Again, GoFundMe has made some pretty questionable choices. Again, it’s a private company. But this issue is not just about the tangled topics weaved on abortion. It’s also about freedom of speech here. As “crazy” as Bailey’s campaign is, GoFundMe’s choice to delete the campaign is based on moral judgment from people, not thinking of the practicality of certain situations which calls for abortion, let alone to call for measures like GoFundMe to pay for the procedure. GoFundMe should not embrace one side of a complicated topic and ignore the other. If that’s the case, it should allow both perspectives to raise money for their causes.