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Business leaders donate to anti-abortion groups


Demonstrators held signs outside of the U.S. Supreme Court after Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion was leaked. This is in preparation for a majority court vote to reverse the historic Roe v. Wade decision.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Leonard Leo, Donald Trump’s legal advisor stood before a crowd of more than a dozen Republican-leaning and libertarian donors at Colorado Springs’ Broadmoor resort. Billionaire Charles KochThere, a number of his allies gathered to talk about, among others, the then-President. Trump’sNominees to the Supreme Court, which includes those newly elected Brett Kavanagh.

The meeting that summer at the Koch-backed retreat shows how people in Trump’s orbit kept the wealthiest business leaders in the country up to date as he chose three conservative high court justices — Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and later Amy Coney Barrett — who would help to decide the fate of the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision. The political group was supported by at least $100,000 from financiers. previouslyKoch invites all top donors to their biannual meeting. CNBC spoke with a spokesperson from the Koch network, who said that the organization doesn’t work on abortion.

Leo stated that Trump’s courage is more important than any other president. This was according to notes by an anonymous attendee. “He understands that whoever gets picked has to have been through some crucible, some trial by fire in their life. This is so he can be certain that the person he picks will be completely solid.

The leak of a draft Supreme Court opinionThe 6-3 majority of conservative judges that was established during Trump’s White House term may soon be overturned the Constitutionally protected right to abortion. A ruling this summer would mark another victory for the anti-abortion group, which has long wanted Roe to be overthrown by the court. These groups have been given a significant financial boost by a few wealthy and powerful business leaders.

This draft decision would end nearly 50 years worth of precedent has sparked uproar among abortion rights supporters a fundraising boom for Democrats. CNBC heard Michael Warsaw (CEO of Catholic broadcaster Eternal Word Television Network) tell CNBC that while the draft leaked was encouraging, it would not be appropriate to declare that it is victory before the court makes a decision.

This network is which opposes abortionIt has strong ties with the business community. The company was founded in the 1980s. the network was fundedHarry G. John was an heir to Miller Brewing’s fortune and Joseph Canizaro, New Orleans real estate investor, were among the beneficiaries. The TV network gave $10,000 in 2019 to Susan B. Anthony List. This is a group which lobbies for and publicly opposes abortion according to the company’s 990 filing.

Canizaro didn’t return emails or calls seeking comment. Warsaw claimed that the donation went to support an annual Susan B. Anthony List function. Michelle Johnson, the Catholic network’s spokeswoman, said that the donation was used to support the annual Washington, D.C., dinner. Susan B. Anthony List spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

According to 30 Federal Election Commission filings, and non-profit tax filings, Trump has been supported by a few executives. This network of business leaders, along with their associated organizations has raised more than $40 million. The bulk of the money went to organizations like Susan B. Anthony List or its affiliates.

Corporate America has stayed mostly silentThe court has published the draft decision. However, business leaders are helping to promote the anti-abortion movement over recent years.

Recorded data shows that anti-abortion charities were donated by George Strake Jr., an oil and gas executive and the conservative Mercer families. the ShellCompany foundation managed by oil and natural gas industry leaders

FEC filings indicate that individual donors gave large sums of money to abortion-rights groups since 2020. Many of these organizations were opposed to President Joe Biden’s election, and they could still be active in this year’s midterms as Democrats attempt to maintain their small majority in Congress.

Women Speak Out PAC (super PAC) claims that it amplifies the voice of women against abortion extremists at Congress. Susan B. Anthony List lists the PAC as well as the Susan B. Anthony Candidate Fund under the “SBA List” Family. The Super PAC can raise unlimited amounts of money and spend it all.

Republican megadonor Richard Uihlein gave $4 Million to Uline Inc. during the 2020 election cycle. He is the founder of shipping company Uline Inc.. The Restoration PAC PAC was a separate PAC that also received millions in donations from Uihlein for the 2022 and 2020 election cycles. In fact, it donated $400,000 last year to Women Speak Out PAC. Ellen Barrosse is the former CEO and founder of Synchrogenix technical writing services for health care. The company now owns it. Certara$1,000,000 was given to the PAC by, in January.

John Buser, an executive with investment firm Neuberger Berman donated $25,000 the same month.

Neuberger Berman listed Buser on its website as a managing Director and executive vice chair of its investment advisory arm NB Alternatives. After CNBC reached out to the firm regarding Buser’s donation on Friday, Buser was no longer listed as a bio.

Alexander Samuelson (Neuberger Berman spokesperson) told CNBC Buser was retiring last year. Neuberger Berman is an independent global company. Samuelson explained in an email, that the company does not support any political campaign.

Berman did not respond to questions sent through his spokesman. Reps for Certara, Uihlein, and Certara didn’t respond to requests for comment. Barrosse and Restoration PAC did not respond to requests for comment.

Funding boost for Susan B. Anthony List

Susan B. Anthony List is one of the most well-known anti-abortion organizations. It was established in 1990s following the creation of Emily’s List. This political action committee supports candidates that support abortion rights.

The records reveal that Susan B. Anthony List’s non-profit groups and affiliated political action commissions raised more than $40 million in Trump’s four years as president. According to the 501(c),(4) group, their most recent public disclosure from 2019, it states: “SBA List’s top legislative priorities include passing painful-capable laws prohibiting abortions after five month of pregnancy based upon unborn child’s ability feel pain; and passing laws prohibiting taxpayer funding abortions through Obamacare.

Marjorie Dannenfelser (the group’s president) met Trump during his visit to the White House in 2019, including “to discuss the abortion issue in 2020 Presidential Election,” according a press statement. She tweeted in response to the Supreme Court leak that “if the draft opinion holds, the result will be that we the people get to decide the issue of abortion through our elected officials in states & Congress.”

The group’s 501(c), which allows it to lobby for some political activities, had its best years of fundraising in 10 years, in 2018 and 2019. Records show that the group raised more than $20 million during this period.

According to records, $290,000 was spent by the group on lobbying Congress during the first quarter. This amount is more than any other quarter. According to disclosures, the group lobbyists on matters such as Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Her nomination was opposed by the organization.

It also runs a 501 (c)(3) charity called Susan B. Anthony Education Fund. The group cannot lobby for abortion but it can spread the message. Since 2018, it has raised more than $6 million.

According to other nonprofit disclosure forms, Susan B. Anthony List or Education Fund donors from 2016 are the Leo-allied Judicial Crisis Network (Federation Partners Chamber of Commerce), which is funded Charles Koch and his allies. The Mercer Family Foundation is managed and financed long-time megadonors Robert Mercer and Rebekah Mercer. There is also the Strake Foundation that is a nonprofit run by George Strake Jr., a Texas businessman, philanthropist, which is a donation through the Shell Oil Company Foundation Foundation.

Shell spokeswoman Curtis Smith told CNBC the Shell foundation donated more than $2,000 to Susan B. Anthony Education Fund from funds it received directly from an employee.

Smith wrote in an email, “The Shell Foundation forwards employees payroll deductions and request for match requests to organizations in good standing at IRS.” Shell Foundation does not endorse organizations but encourages employees to give.  It is an individual decision that the employee makes, and not a company’s. This is because the employee was not asked for a match.

CNBC was told by a spokesperson for Koch Network that $500,000 to Susan B. Anthony List came from Freedom Partners’ previous commitment.

According to a Koch network spokesperson, “We don’t and never have worked on the topic of abortion.” “The grant in 2017 was the last payment on a previous commitment by Freedom Partners, which was intended to support SBA’s grassroots efforts to get-out-the-vote among those concerned about government spending — not issue advocacy.”

The Judicial Crisis Network and Mercers spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment. Strake Jr. couldn’t be reached for comment.

Carrie Severino is a loyal ally and leader of Judicial Crisis Network. She tweeted her support for the decision.

“The draft opinion that was reported is thorough, thoughtful, and scholarly. “It does what the majority of Roe and Casey would not do. It looks at the Constitution to see if it contains a right for an abortion.” Severino said.