Other Group

Digital Defense Fund (DDF)




Washington, DC


Pro-Abortion Technology Group




Kate Bertash

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Digital Defense Fund (DDF) is a pro-abortion technology and advocacy organization that supports abortion providers and individuals seeking abortions. It provides security evaluations, training, and implementation support for abortion-provider organizations and publishes recommendations and support to individuals on how to avoid surveillance or leaving data trails when seeking an abortion in areas where it may be illegal. 1

DDF is a project of the Hopewell Fund, which is managed by Arabella Advisors. It frequently partners with left-of-center digital rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. 2


Digital Defense Fund (DDF) was formed in 2017 in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the start of the Trump administration to support digital security for the abortion access movement. 3 It is a project of the Hopewell Fund, 4 which is managed by Arabella Advisors. 5 The Hopewell Fund sponsors groups focused on expanding abortion access. 6

Since abortion has been restricted by many states following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, digital data could be used as evidence of a crime. DDF is one of several groups that is focused on ways to avoid surveillance and eliminate data associated with abortion-related activity to avoid potential prosecution. 7

Work Areas

Digital Defense Fund provides support to  abortion access and abortion provider organizations through digital security evaluations, security implementation support, security training for staff, and development of security policies and procedures. 8

Team training for client organizations includes an introduction to digital security and privacy, data security, and information on surveillance techniques and how to address them. 9

DDF publishes recommendations to individuals seeking abortions, such as disabling location services in a phone, using encrypted messaging services instead of texting, creating an email account specifically for the abortion procedure then deleting the account after its completion, and using prepaid gift cards or cash to pay for the procedure so that these data cannot be used later against someone getting or providing an abortion. 10 It has created guides for individuals on how to protect sensitive data regarding an abortion from being accessed by law enforcement. 11 DDF’s Guide to Abortion Privacy includes a reference for Repro Legal Helpline, 12 a project of pro-abortion legal group If/When/How and Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. 13

The resource library maintained by DDF includes slide decks, guides, and materials on data protection, data privacy, and how to address digital threats such as phishing, fraud, and data breaches. The library publishes additional guides and information from left-of-center advocacy groups such as Electronic Frontier Foundation, Front Line Defenders, and Center for Constitutional Rights. 14

Events and Recognition

In July 2021 left-wing abortion advocacy group Reproaction partnered with Digital Defense Fund director Kate Bertash and project manager Amanda Bennett on a webinar on how to “keep your internet activity private” while searching for and managing abortion options. 15

Bertash was a panel discussion participant at a June 2022 conference entitled “The Color of Surveillance: Policing of Abortion and Reproduction” hosted by the Center on Privacy and Technology, a think tank at Georgetown Law. 16

In May 2022, Bertash presented online safety training at the Women Mayors Network, 17 a project of left-of-center Mayors Innovation Project and Equity Agenda. 18

In November 2022, Bertash joined Cynthia Conti-Cook, tech fellow at the Ford Foundation, and Yveka Pierre, senior litigation counsel for If/When/How, at Harvard University Law School for a panel discussion on “Lawyering for Reproductive Justice.” 19  

Bertash has also spoken at hacker conference Def Con along with Electronic Frontier Foundation discussing ways that hackers can help people obtain abortions and avoid leaving a trail of evidence for law enforcement. 20

In November 2022 the Electronic Frontier Foundation presented Digital Defense Fund the EFF Award for Civil Rights Technology. 21 Electronic Frontier Foundation is a left-of-center digital rights advocacy group funded by large left-of-center foundations such as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Open Society Foundations. 22


Kate Bertash has been the director of DDF since its founding in 2017. She is the founder of Kennahara, a product development company focused on designing clothing that disrupts surveillance on the public. Her designs are available through Adversarial Fashion,” 23 a “subversive startup” that creates clothing designed to disrupt automated license plate readers (ALPR). 24 Bertash began designing the clothes due to concerns that protesters outside abortion clinics were taking pictures that included cars that could be processed through ALPRs to identify and prosecute those involved in abortions. 25 She is the lead organizer for Abortion Access Hackathon, 26 a group of over 1,200 members funded by left-of-center pro-abortion organizations such as A is For, National Organization for Women, National Institute for Reproductive Health, and the National Network of Abortion Funds. 27

Amanda Bennett was project manager at DDF until May 2023. Previously she was a case manager for pro-abortion group Jane’s Due Process. While at DDF, Bennett has spoken at several events, including Netroots Nation 28 which also featured President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D). 29


  1.  What do we do?” Digital Defense Fund – About. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://digitaldefensefund.org/services
  2. “About Us.” Hopewell Fund. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.hopewellfund.org/about-the-fund/
  3. “Digital Defense Fund.” Idealist. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/1769112d51d749b783207128a7793665-digital-defense-fund-washington
  4. “Donate.” Digital Defense Fund. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://digitaldefensefund.org/donate
  5. “About Us.” Hopewell Fund. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.hopewellfund.org/about-the-fund/
  6. Hayden R. Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Haff-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center. https://darkmoneyatm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money_small.pdf
  7.  Geoffrey A. Fowler and Tatum Hunter. “For people seeking abortions, digital privacy is suddenly critical.” The Washington Post. May 4, 2022. Updated June 24, 2022. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/05/04/abortion-digital-privacy/
  8. What do we do?” Digital Defense Fund – About. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://digitaldefensefund.org/services.
  9. “What do we do?” Digital Defense Fund – About. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://digitaldefensefund.org/services
  10. Ramenda Cyrus. “Abortion Seekers Must Protect Themselves – and Their Data. The American Prospect. July 1, 2022. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://prospect.org/health/abortion-seekers-must-protect-themselves-and-their-data/
  11.  Ashley Belanger. “Sneaky ways cops could access data to widely prosecute abortions in the US.” ARS Technica. November 23, 2022. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/11/sneaky-ways-cops-could-access-data-to-widely-prosecute-abortions-in-the-us/
  12. “Keep Your Abortion Private & Secure.” Digital Defense Fund. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://digitaldefensefund.org/ddf-guides/abortion-privacy
  13. If When How homepage. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://ifwhenhow.org/
  14. “Learn.” Digital Defense Fund.” Accessed March 26, 2024. https://digitaldefensefund.org/learn
  15. “Periods, Pregnancy, Abortion, and Your Digital Security.” Reproaction webinar. July 30, 2021. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://reproaction.org/resource/periods-pregnancy-abortion-digital-security/
  16. “The Color of Surveillance. Georgetown Law – Events. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.law.georgetown.edu/privacy-technology-center/events/the-color-of-surveillance-policing-of-abortion-and-reproduction/
  17. “Join Us: May is for Mayor Safety.” Mayors Innovation Project. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://mayorsinnovation.org/2022/04/11/may-is-for-mayoral-safety/
  18. “Women Mayors Network.” Mayors Innovation Project. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://mayorsinnovation.org/our-work/women-mayors-network/
  19. Alejandra Caraballo, Kate Bertash, Cynthia Conti-Cook, Yveka Pierre. “Lawyering After Dobbs: Securing Care and Digital Privacy. Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. November 8, 2022. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://cyber.harvard.edu/events/lawyering-after-dobbs-securing-care-and-digital-privacy
  20. “Speakers.” Def Con. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://defcon.org/html/defcon-31/dc-31-speakers.html#McSherry
  21. “EFF Awards.” Electronic Frontier Foundation. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/11/eff-award-winner-digital-defense-fund
  22. ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer – Electronic Frontier Foundation. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/full_text_search?sort=&year%5B%5D=2021&q=electronic+frontier+foundation&submit=Apply
  23.  LinkedIn – Katherine B. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kbertash/
  24. Luke Dormehl. “Meet the subversive startup that’s fighting mass surveillance with t-shirts.” Digital Trends. August 28, 2019. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/creator-of-adversarial-fashion/
  25. Hannah Murphy. “Meet the activists perfecting the craft of anti-surveillance.” Financial Times. June 24, 2021. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://www.ft.com/content/a0f8d8c5-ee5c-4618-bfbd-6bfb383b803e
  26. LinkedIn – Katherine B. Accessed March 26, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kbertash/
  27. “Sponsors/Partners.” Abortion Access Hackathon. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://www.abortionaccesshackathon.org/sponsors
  28. “Amanda Bennett.” Netroots Nation. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://www.netrootsnation.org/profile/amanda-bennett/
  29. “Keynotes.” Netroots Nation. Accessed March 27, 2024. https://www.netrootsnation.org/keynotes/
  See an error? Let us know!

Digital Defense Fund (DDF)

Washington, DC