THE ABORTION RIGHTS Campaign returned a funding grant worth €23,000 from a US donor on advice from the Standards in Public Office (Sipo).
According to the Abortion Rights Campaign, the grant was received from Open Societies Foundation to fund “educational and stigma-busting projects”.
The story was first reported in the Irish Catholic newspaper.
The Open Societies Foundations is funded by US billionaire George Soros - a major backer of liberal causes around the world who supported a campaign by lobby group Sex Workers Alliance Ireland against planned new sex laws.
Sipo wanted proof that the grant wasn’t for political purposes, as under Irish law, it’s not permitted to use foreign donations for domestic political campaigns.
The Abortion Rights Campaign does not agree with Sipo’s advice, but said that “in good faith have returned the grant in order to comply with all regulatory frameworks”.
They said that it wasn’t alone in applying for foreign grants and that the majority of the Abortion Rights Campaign’s funding comes from voluntary donations from members and supporters.
The organisation, which has no paid staff and is run by dedicated volunteers, operates on a small budget.
Spokesperson Linda Kavanagh said:
Our focus remains on advocating for reproductive rights while striving to lift the stigma surrounding abortion in Ireland.
“Every cent we receive goes back into the movement towards choice, change and destigmatising abortion in Ireland.”