Equity Forward (Equity Fwd)



Abortion Advocacy Group

Project of:

Hopewell Fund

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Equity Forward (sometimes spelled “Equity Fwd”) is a left-of-center abortion advocacy organization and a project of the Hopewell Fund, a funding and fiscal sponsorship nonprofit managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors. Because it is sponsored as a project of Hopewell, the funders for Equity Forward are difficult to determine. 1

It is the “sister” affiliate of Equity Forward Action, a group that advocates against pro-life policies pursued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Equity Forward Action is also a project of an Arabella Advisors-run group, the Sixteen Thirty Fund.

Equity Forward files public records requests at the federal and state level to go after pro-life policies. The organization obtained 13,000 pages of records from the states of Ohio, Missouri, Arizona, Florida and Georgia. It says it seeks to provide information to other pro-abortion rights organizations. 2

Campaigns and Activism

The organization has established several programs.

One is called “Defund the Bans” that pressures businesses such as AT&T, Coca-Cola, Google, Uber, Comcast, Delta Airlines, General Motors, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo., Pfizer, and Walmart to stop contributing to politicians and organizations that support pro-life legislation particularly at the state level were abortion restrictions were pass in nine states during 2019. 3

The group also set up the website “” that targets pro-life advocates. 4

HHS Watch is a campaign that monitors pro-life policies coming from the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services. 5 HHS Watch posts opposition research to Trump administration appointees and ties they have to conservative organizations. 6

Equity Forward signed a letter condemning the immigration policy of the Trump administration and urging American CEOs not to employ anyone involved with the policy. It accused these officials of being directly guilty for physical abuse, sexual assault, and even the death of illegal immigrant children. The letter was titled “An Open Letter to America’s CEOs” and was dated April 6, 2019.

The organization has had previous campaigns targeting the Trump administration’s budget for HHS, one aimed at HHS Deputy Counsel Matt Bowman and another opposed to the Trump administration’s policies at the border. 7

The organization opposed the Trump administration naming a panel to study the ethics of human fetal tissue research. 8


Carter contributed to a report released by Rhia Ventures titled “Hidden Value: The Business Case for Reproductive Health,” arguing that supporting abortion is good for corporate bottom lines. She co-authored a piece about the report that “makes the case that businesses need to actively support abortion access—not because it’s the right thing to do (though it is), but because it’s a good investment.” 9

In Equity Forward released a 35-page report attacking the Heritage Foundation for having influence on the abortion policies of the Trump administration, calling the influence “alarming.” 10

The organization also attacked Google, alleging the company provided $150,000 in free advertising to the pro-life group Obria Group, based in South Carolina. 11


Mary Alice Carter is named as the senior adviser to Equity Action on the organization’s website and is referred to as the executive director of Equity Forward Action in media accounts. Carter has more than two decades of abortion-advocacy experience. She has appeared on cable news programs. 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. 12


  1. Watson, Michael. “New Dark Money Front Targets Pro-Life HHS Appointees.” Organization Trends. January 31, 2019.
  2. “What We Do.” Equity Forward. Accessed February 22, 2020.
  3. “Defund the Bans.” Accessed February 22, 2020.
  4. “Campaigns.” Accessed February 22, 2020.
  5. “Campaigns.” Accessed February 22, 2020.
  6. Watson, Michael. “New Dark Money Front Targets Pro-Life HHS Appointees.” Organization Trends. January 31, 2019.
  7. “Campaigns.” Accessed February 22, 2020.
  8. Cancryn, Adam and Diamond, Dan. “Politico Pulse: Health Care Anchors Democrats’ Debate Night Fight.” February 20, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2020.
  9. Yoder, Katie. “Media Laud Reports Saying Abortion is Good for Business.” Townhall.  January 31, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2020.
  10. Raman, Sandhyah. “Trump Administration Swayed by Conservative Think Tank on Abortion, LGBT Decisions, Group Says.” Roll Call. April 25, 2019. Accessed February 22, 2020.
  11. Klausner, Alexandra. “Google Awarded Anti-Abortion Group $150,000 in Free Advertising: Report.” New York Post. May 15, 2019. Accessed February 22, 2020.
  12. “Mary Alice Carter.” Accessed February 22, 2020.
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