NFT Artist Raises $3 Million to Support Abortion Rights Groups
Soon after the Supreme Court’s leaked initial draft majority opinion to overturn precedents of Roe v. Wade came out on May 2, NFT artist Molly Dickson decided to take action. She created a 10,000-piece NFT collection to raise funds to support abortion rights groups across the US.
COWGIRLDAO, a charitable arm of Computer COWGIRLs, which Dickson established, partnered with blockchain-based non-profit organization Endaoment to donate a total of $3 million of NFT sales when they’ll have been fully minted.
“As an artist being in the space, I was surprised how neutral Web3 is. I think even in the last few days, we’re really starting to see a lot more support,” Dickson told Blockworks.
“I think we’re seeing like less neutrality [in Web3] in the last few days, which I think it’s great because there’s so much potential for Web3 to be an additional level of fundraising beyond what we have already,” she added.
The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) has about 200 voting members who are Bad Habits Pack collectors, according to Dickson. Each member can vote to decide which organization will receive funds.
The prices of the collection range between 0.03 ETH and 0.9 ETH. 100% of the proceeds from this series of collections are received by Endaoment that allocates to organizations supporting reproductive rights, while 1.5% is kept by Endaoment.
They're here. 👢 #ProtectReproductiveRights with @cmptrCOWGIRLS https://t.co/0PdD4gt3EP pic.twitter.com/rAVau5j9DY— endaoment.eth (@endaomentdotorg) May 19, 2022
Computer COWGIRLs: From local to national push
Dickson first launched her genesis collection called “Computer COWGIRLs” in response to the restrictive Texas abortion ban in February. The proceeds from the first collection, which was nearly $30,000, were donated to Fund Texas Choice.
Following the Supreme Court’s leaked draft, the Texas-native and COWGIRLDAO started amid a national push as she launched the second collection, titled “FUCK YOU.” The first donation of over $27,000 was sent to the Roe Fund in Oklahoma before the Supreme Court published its decision on June 24.
“Oklahoma had passed the most restrictive abortion ban at that time so we kind of went all in for Oklahoma especially because we anticipated being able to raise money in chunks like that instead of spreading it out,” Dickson said, noting that COWGIRLDAO has pivoted its strategy along alongside the evolving legal landscape.
When asked about the hurdles in the crypto space, Dickson expressed the worry of seeing local funds shut down accepting donations amid the SCOTUS decision, while trying to push to make the donations as specific as possible.
“I hope that we can keep the momentum for this but overwhelming I think is a real thing, too,” she said. “[At] Computer COWGIRLs at least, I think we try to walk that line of allowing our collectors a place to be outraged and also a place where they can just decompress.”
Meanwhile, Endaoment has launched the Protect Reproductive Rights Community Fund, which allows anyone to donate to seven organizations supporting reproductive rights, such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
With Pussy Riot and Unicorn DAO, they co-created LegalAbortion.eth, a wallet address that allows Web3 users to donate funds anonymously where “[users] don’t get a tax receipt because they’re sending their ether and USDC to this wallet whereas if someone donates directly through the community fund [that is] able to offer a tax receipt and they can choose to be anonymous or not,” Alexis Miller, Endaoment’s donor engagement and strategic partnerships lead, said in an interview with Blockworks.
Miller said as of June 28 Protect Reproductive Rights Community Fund has raised over $6.9 million.
Dealing with the consequences of impending state bans
In crypto communities at large, many exchanges and financial services companies are still weighing how to respond to employees’ concerns related to abortion travel outside of states with newly enabled restrictions.
A spokesperson at Fidelity Investments told Blockworks that they “offer generous benefit packages that meet their varied needs, and these include health plans with broad national networks that provide benefits for in- and out-of-state care.” Yet, their current health plans provide coverage for travel and lodging for a limited number of procedures such as transplants without plans to “extend travel benefits to additional medical procedures.”
A Reuters piece pointed out that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 prohibits states from “adopting requirements that ‘relate to’ employer-sponsored health plans.” “Courts have for decades interpreted that language to bar state laws that dictate what health plans can and cannot cover,” it reads.
As of press time, crypto firms including AAX, Binance US, BlockFi and Coinshares didn’t respond to Blockworks’ request for comments.
For Dickson, going forward, she and her fellow DAO members will reevaluate their strategies as the trigger ban in many states go into effect within the 30 days of the Supreme Court’s decision, including possibly moving with a “more centralized plan and some ways to make this a much faster process.”
COWGIRLDAO is preparing to make the second donation from the “FUCK YOU” collection, and the DAO members will vote on the exact beneficiary in July.
COWGIRLs launched a DAO inspired by the UkraineDAO project, led by UnicornDAO, which raised over $8 million for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion of the country. UkraineDAO sold an NFT collection of the Ukrainian flag to raise funds.
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