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Sheryl Sandberg Gives $3M to ACLU

Sheryl Sandberg is donating $3 million to the ACLU for the fight for access to abortion.

Sheryl Sandberg was the COO of Meta (aka Facebook) for 14 years until August this year. She’s also the founder of LeanIn.Org, an activism platform for women’s employment rights. And a billionaire, worth approximately $1.7 billion as of 2021, most of that in Facebook stock. She still serves on Meta’s board of directors.

The American Civil Liberties Union reported her donation on Tuesday, announcing that the money would be distributed over the next three years. It will help the ACLU to bring measures to ballots to fight abortion bans all over the country, badly needed in the wake of the Surpreme Court’s decision to vacate Roe vs Wade.

“With Sheryl’s support on abortion rights, we can kick it into overdrive and redouble the fight for abortion access in the states,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said. “We will educate voters on where their elected representatives stand on this important issue and turn the abortion issue into a referendum on candidates’ courage and character.”

The ACLU has already spent $6 million in helpin to get pro-choice measures onto red state ballots alone, so while Sheryl’s donation is helpful and the largest the ACLU’s political arm has ever been given, it’s nothing to get very worked up over.

“It will be decades before we can clean up this mess through litigation,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU’s executive director. “We’ll get back there. We will re-establish a fundamental right to an abortion at the federal level. There will be another case that overturns Dobbs. But that will take us decades.”

“A lot needs to go better for women,” said Sheryl Sandberg about equality in general. “We need to do much better for women in leadership. We need to much better for women of color. We need to do much better for women everywhere in the country.”

That work starts with abortion rights, Sandberg said, adding that “this issue is the one where we have taken the biggest single step backwards – a single step backwards that none of us could even believe could happen.”

Photo: Markus Wissmann / Shutterstock