US/World

Crowdfunding Site GoFundMe Shuts Down Illinois Woman's Campaign To Raise Money For Her Abortion

GoFundMe Has New Guidelines: No More Crowdfunding For Abortions
After the GoFundMe crowdfunding site closed a controversial campaign to pay for an abortion, it has since changed its guidelines. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Bailey is unemployed, pregnant, and single. The Illinois woman, whose last name is not being released, wanted an abortion but couldn’t afford it. She turned to GoFundMe for help, and the site accepted her cause. She started to raise money, but her campaign sparked a lot of criticism and was recently shut down, Jezebel reported.

Bailey has been trying to get help to pay for her abortion for a while. Her reason for the procedure: She’s just not ready to be a mother, she has no job, and her pregnancy has been extremely painful and just unbearable. “Sometimes the pain is so bad that I can’t get out of bed, and I can’t go to the bathroom,” she told Vice. “When I cough, it feels like my organs being shredded inside of me.”

GoFundMe is rated the top fundraising site in the world for personal causes and life events, the website says. The go-to crowdfunding site helps people raise money in a time of crisis or for any other good causes, like the child cancer survivor who raised money to create chemo bookbags. The website originally accepted Bailey’s campaign, but the word abortion didn’t sit well with everyone, so GoFundMe chose to close the account. “In this particular case, your campaign contains subject matter that GoFundMe would rather not be associated with,” a customer happiness representative said in an email, according to the Daily Dot.

Not only did GoFundMe discontinue Bailey’s campaign, but they have also created new guidelines. They will not support any campaigns involving funding for an abortion, adult material (sexually inappropriate), breaking the law, terminating of life, mutilating the body or taking illegal medications, any cause supporting hurtful language, violence or hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, profanity, treasonous behavior, or false, misleading, dishonest statements, or sorcery, according to a press release.

Despite their motto “crowdfunding for everyone,” only certain causes will be approved, and at any time GoFundMe can cancel a campaign. “While the vast majority of fundraising activity we see is both heartwarming and inspiring, there will always be those who attempt to challenge GoFundMe’s existing Acceptable Use Policy,” the company said on the website.

When Bailey’s campaign was removed from the website, she had already raised enough money for the abortion and was given  $2,500, her goal amount. “Removal of your account will not affect any of these withdrawals, but your campaign can no longer be held on GoFundMe,” the representative clarified. According to Bailey’s friend, she already has plans to go through with the procedure, Jezebel reported.

After Bailey’s incident, many are wondering if  GoFundMe is pro-life.  It’s unclear, but it does support several pro-life causes, such as Buck For Babies and Heroic Media 20 Weeks, which raised $1,475 to stop long-term abortions.

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