November 11, 2022

These Black-Led VC Funds Have Joined The Fight For Abortion Rights

In a decisive move to fight against the recent overturning of Roe V. Wade, more than one hundred VC firms have come together to create VCs for Repro, a coalition of venture capital firms united in support of abortion rights.

Roe v. Wade’s Impact on Black women 

Since the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe. V Wade law, abortion is no longer a federal right in the US. As a result, across more than half the US, many women must carry their pregnancies to term.

As Black women in the US are nearly four times as likely to have abortions and are more likely to die from pregnancy-related conditions than white women, the overturning of Roe v. Wade disproportionately impacts Black women. Other inequities make it even more difficult for Black women to travel out of state for abortion than their white counterparts. 

The extreme impact lack of access to abortions will have within underserved communities is the reason why several Black VC firms have joined the VCs for Repro coalition to give a voice to the unheard. 

What is VCs for Repro?

The VCs for Repro group is a coalition launched by Backstage Capital‘s general partner Christie Pitts and Synastry Capital’s president, Janna Turner. The alliance aims to amplify its social and cultural significance to spark meaningful conversations and actions within society. 

“Criminalizing abortion violates human rights and is anti-innovation. This matters to the people investing in the future of our economy.”

The group, which two partners initially founded, has quickly grown to a network of hundreds of VC firms. The group includes several Black-owned capital firms such as MaC Venture Capital, Black Operator Ventures, LongJump, Precursor Ventures, Zane, and Unseen Capital

According to VCs for Repro, over 100 firms with over $106 billion in managed assets joined the coalition ahead of the US midterm elections on November 8, 2022.

“Criminalizing abortion violates human rights and is anti-innovation. This matters to the people investing in the future of our economy. Vote like it matters to you on November 2022,” said VCs for Repros in an online statement. 

Not only does this union signify a historical shift in how VC firms operate, but it also shows the importance of key players in the industry refusing to remain silent. 

“We have an opportunity to stand together as an industry to make a statement,” Pitts, co-founder of VCs For Repo, said in an interview with TechCrunch. “People have been afraid to speak up. This coalition gives them the opportunity to speak up as one voice and not be separated and therefore exposed and afraid of the potential backlash.”

Read: Black TikTok Coder Creates iPhone Shortcut To Send Fake Tips To Texas Abortion Whistleblower Site

The coalition plans to expand its work further to discuss various topics, from immigration to pay equity and privacy laws. The group also calls for more organizations and businesses to join them in the fight to topple issues plaguing society. 

“It’s important to have people in venture loudly support abortion rights and equitable healthcare, especially men. It is an important use of our privilege,” said Ed Zimmerman, founding partner at First Close Partners, whose firm recently joined the coalition. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.