Non-profit

Keep Birth Control Copay Free

Website:

keepbcfree.com

Type:

Left-Wing Healthcare Advocacy Group

Project of:

Women’s Equality Center (New Venture Fund)

Keep Birth Control Copay Free (also known as Keep BC Free) is a left-of-center advocacy organization which opposes efforts to repeal the Obama administration’s mandate under the Obamacare law that requires employer-provided health insurance companies to cover the costs of birth control, abortion-inducing drugs and devices, and sterilization. [1]

Launched in 2017, the group is a pop-up project of the Women’s Equality Center. The Center is fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) funding and fiscal sponsorship organization managed by the left-leaning Washington, D.C.-based “dark money” consultancy Arabella Advisors. [2]

Despite significant media coverage throughout the last half of 2017, Keep BC Free’s media coverage page shows no media exposure past December 2017. [3] It has not issued a Tweet or a Facebook post since September 2018. [4][5]

Funding

Keep BC Free launched in 2017 with a 12-month, $400,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to the New Venture Fund, the pass-through funding and fiscal sponsorship entity that runs Women’s Equality Center and Keep BC Free. [6]

Its funding outside of New Venture Fund since that time is not publicly available. New Venture Fund gave $325 million to 150 projects in 2016. [7]

Advocacy

Keep BC Free’s campaigns to force U.S. employers to cover women’s birth control and abortifacients at no cost to women. They are one of the Women’s Equality Center’s four major projects, all of which aim to promote expanded access to abortion. [8] Two of the Center’s projects are international.

Keep BC Free aims to accomplish its mission through aggressive messaging campaigns. Its many memes use eye-popping statistics, images, and colors to drive support. [9] It made headlines among feminist and abortion-backing media outlets for several 2017 campaigns, including an online portal so that supporters of the Obama administration mandate could send comments to federal regulators who were rolling back the 2012 regulation. [10]

The campaign worked with Hollywood comedians to create a video in support of the mandate. [11] The comedians represented a number of shows like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show.”

With the support of Planned Parenthood and other abortion-advocacy groups, Keep BC Free created a portal so that women could send purported invoices for money spent on birth control and abortifacients to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). [12] The invoice campaign also used social media hashtags and handles to create greater virality. [13] Keep BC Free staff visited Washington, D.C. to ostensibly hand President Donald Trump an invoice. [14]

Keep BC Free’s bus campaign made local stops around the country to gain support for the mandate and to increase the number of fake invoices filed to HHS. [15] The bus campaign was supported by video and other tools. [16]

A number of state-based groups coalesced under the Keep BC Free umbrella to oppose the rollback of the mandate. [17]

Leadership

No members of leadership are mentioned on Keep BC Free’s website. Amy Runyon-Harms was frequently cited by media outlets as the group’s “campaign coordinator” in late 2017. [18] Runyon-Harms is an alumna of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and the social-liberal Gill Foundation. While this position is not listed on her LinkedIn page, she has listed herself as a D.C.-based “independent consultant” since 2016. [19] Runyon-Harms’ Twitter page regularly shared Keep BC Free material and hashtags in 2017. [20]

References

  1. Keep Birth Control Copay Free, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.keepbcfree.com/ ^
  2. William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, New Venture Fund Grant, October 20, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2017. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-a-contraceptive-consumer-advocacy-campaign-by-the-womens-equality-center/ ^
  3. Keep Birth Control Copay Free, Press, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.keepbcfree.com/press.html ^
  4. Twitter, Keep Birth Control Copay Free profile, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://twitter.com/KeepBCFree ^
  5. Facebook, Keep Birth Control Copay Free profile, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.facebook.com/KeepBCFree/ ^
  6. William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, New Venture Fund Grant, October 20, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2017. https://hewlett.org/grants/new-venture-fund-for-a-contraceptive-consumer-advocacy-campaign-by-the-womens-equality-center/ ^
  7. New Venture Fund, About NVF, Accessed November 5, 2019.  http://www.newventurefund.org/about-nvf/ ^
  8. Women’s Equality Center, Our Work, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.womensequalitycenter.org/our-work ^
  9. Find-IMG, Keep Birth Control Copay Free, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://find-img.com/ ^
  10. Christine Grimaldi, “One way to resist Trump’s bureaucratic war on birth control,” October 26, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://rewire.news/article/2017/10/26/resist-trumps-bureaucratic-war-birth-control/ ^
  11. Janey Burns, “H. Jon Benjamin plays a feminist condom in new Keep Birth Control Copay Free promo,” May 25, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2017/05/25/h-jon-benjamin-plays-a-feminist-condom-in-new-keep-birth-control-free-promo/#59bb51c54db7 ^
  12. Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez, “You can now send Trump the bill for your birth control,” October 25, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2017/10/177759/birth-control-invoice-trump-campaign ^
  13. Jessica Lahitou, “What is the Keep Birth Control Copay Free campaign? You can now “bill” Trump for your contraception,” October 25, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.bustle.com/p/what-is-the-keep-birth-control-copay-free-campaign-you-can-now-bill-trump-for-your-contraception-2982939 ^
  14. Twitter, Keep Birth Control Copay Free profile, December 5, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://twitter.com/KeepBCFree/status/938082939681804290 ^
  15. Christina Morales, “Birth control bus promoting affordability stops by UF,” November 28, 2017. Accessed November 5, 2017. https://www.alligator.org/news/article_1eb1d216-d4b1-11e7-9cc2-6f6158f733cf.html ^
  16. Gates Bradley, “Keep BC Free campaign – send an invoice bus tour,” Accessed November 5, 2019. https://vimeo.com/260461261 ^
  17. One Wisconsin Institute, “Trump administration continues to undermine access to birth control,” May 18, 2018. Accessed November 5, 2019. https://progressnow.org/category/press-releases/page/35/ ^
  18. Google Search, “amy runyon-harms  “keep birth control copay free”,” conducted November 5, 2019. https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS873US873&ei=NHK5XbiqBMaO5wKi8bagDg&q=amy+runyon-harms++%22keep+birth+control+copay+free%22&oq=amy+runyon-harms++%22keep+birth+control+copay+free%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3…7687.11965..12055…0.2..0.76.1233.20……0….1..gws-wiz…….0i71j0i30.eoueUidLJLY&ved=0ahUKEwi4lOz27sPlAhVGx1kKHaK4DeQQ4dUDCAs&uact=5 ^
  19. LinkedIn, Amy Runyon-Harms profile page, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-runyon-harms-4263964 ^
  20. Twitter, Amy Runyon-Harms profile page, Accessed November 5, 2019. https://twitter.com/amyrunyonharms?lang=en ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. Health Care Voter
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