Equity Forward Action (sometimes spelled “Equity Fwd Action”) is a left-of-center advocacy organization that advocates against pro-life policies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The group is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) funding and fiscal sponsorship organization managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors that has been characterized as a “dark money” organization aligned with Democrats. 1 Its sister organization, Equity Forward, is a project of the Hopewell Fund, a funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit also managed by Arabella Advisors.
In 2018, Equity Action launched six-figure advertising campaigns targeting several Republican U.S. Representatives, including Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Pete Sessions (R-TX); Greg Walden (R-OR), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), and Leonard Lance (R-NJ), attacking them over the Trump administration’s border security and immigration policies. 23
Equity Forward Action spent $1 million on TV ads in the Washington, D.C. media market, attacking Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar over the role of his department in the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossers. 4
Mary Alice Carter is referred to as the executive director of Equity Forward Action in media accounts. Carter has more than two decades of abortion advocacy experience. Before working for Equity Forward, she was the interim vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also worked for Physicians for Reproductive Health, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, and NARAL Pro-Choice New York. 5
- Scott Bland and Maggie Severns. “Documents reveal massive ‘dark-money’ group boosted Democrats in 2018.” Politico. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 21, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/19/dark-money-democrats-midterm-071725
- Bedard, Paul. “Dems Turn to Immigration as Winning Election Issue.” August 29, 2018. Accessed February 22, 2020. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/democrats-turn-to-immigration-as-winning-election-issue
- Boerger, Emily. “Equity Forward Action Launches Six Figure Ad Buy Targeting Cathy McMorris Rodgers.” Washington Wire. August 13, 2018. https://washingtonstatewire.com/equity-forward-action-launches-six-figure-ad-buy-targeting-cathy-mcmorris-rodgers/
- Bunker, Theodore. “Liberal Grooup Targets Azar, GOP in Attack Ads on Migrant Crisis.” Newsmax. July 23, 2018. Accessed February 23, 2020. https://www.newsmax.com/politics/Liberals-attack-HHS-migrant/2018/07/23/id/873198/
- “Mary Alice Carter.” Accessed February 22, 2020. https://equityfwd.org/mary-alice-carter