Evangelical anti-abortion group raised the most money during Midlands Gives day

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Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The abortion rights debate in America got fresh fuel in the aftermath of a document leak which suggested the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to strike down the landmark abortion right case Roe v. Wade.

Midlands residents had a chance to speak with their pocket books the next day, and an anti-abortion group came away with the most funds by more than $70,000.

A Moment of Hope raised $237,262 from 317 unique donors. Second place Oliver Gospel Mission had 442 unique donors but came in at $161,707.

Here’s the Midlands Gives 2022 leaderboard. The day is organized by Central Carolina Community Foundation which facilities donations to non-profits. It’s a non-partisan group.

A Moment of Hope operates outside of Columbia’s Planned Parenthood clinic. Workers offer gift bags and attempt to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds and pursue other free health services they provide.

The clinic is one of just three clinics statewide which offer abortion services, which could be further restricted or banned if Roe is struck down.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic operates the clinic and raised $12,435 from 114 unique donors. Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) also advocates for abortion rights and raised $46,129 from 248 unique donors.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood and WREN were not available to comment on Monday.

A Moment of Hope Executive Director Mark Baumgartner credited generous matching donors, Columbia’s Christian community, and the rising success of Midlands gives to the large fundraising.

“The pre-born are people. They’re people that are being targeted, just like historically slaves were and so I think our community maybe connects those dots and says ‘hey this is a people group that’s being targeted and not being treated as persons,’” he said.

He said he was initially concerned the leak would dampen fundraising, but those fears were unrealized.

“God’s people, Christians around town want to get involved and support what we’re doing out here,” he said.

It’s unclear how much of an impact the leak had on fundraising. A spokesperson for Midlands Gives was unable to provide leaderboards from previous years.

Data provided by Baumgartner shows A Moment of Hope has led all Midlands Gives days since 2019.

The reported fundraising for the organization has climbed dramatically in that time:

  • 2019: $75,218
  • 2020: $85,525
  • 2021: $138,016
  • 2022: $237,262

This year Midlands Gives opened donations on April 1, and reported $847,755 in early giving for all organizations as of 6:30 a.m. the morning of May 3 (Midlands Gives day).

It’s unclear how much was given to A Moment of Hope at that point.

However, A Moment of Hope did out-pace the growth of Midlands Gives.

From 2021 to 2022, total giving grew by 11.7 percent.

In that same time period, reported giving for A Moment of Hope grew by 71.7 percent.

On May 3, WIS spoke with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Public Affairs Director Vicki Ringer about if the organization has the resources to help transport women to other states for abortion if needed.

“To say that we’re fully funded right now, no. That would be an unlikely situation because we don’t know fully what that need will be,” she said.

She stressed women with means will not be the worst impacted by any potential reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“This ban impacts and hurts most the people who are low income, who are young, who are brown or black, people of color. People with little resources.”

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