Olivia Rodrigo’s Team Reportedly Won’t Let Abortion Funds Hand Out Plan B or Condoms at Shows Anymore

Two Missouri reproductive rights groups gave out free birth control at Rodrigo's recent tour stop in St. Louis. After it went viral, the singer's team allegedly said no more.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Team Reportedly Won’t Let Abortion Funds Hand Out Plan B or Condoms at Shows Anymore

Olivia Rodrigo is helping raise money for abortion funds and inviting them to set up tables at U.S. stops on her GUTS tour, but multiple fund workers told Jezebel that, as of Wednesday, Rodrigo’s team will no longer let them hand out supplies like condoms, lube, or emergency contraception following news coverage of one show and concerns that children could access those items.

At the St. Louis show on Tuesday, the Missouri Abortion Fund partnered with Right by You to hand out condoms and emergency contraception (EC). Someone posted a photo with the caption: “free planb at @oliviarodrigo in st. louis tonight đź’“ thank you.” The post went viral, with more than 11 million views as of publishing, and the free birth control generated headlines in the U.S. and internationally due to the singer’s celeb status, and the fact that Missouri has a total abortion ban.

The reaction was mostly glowing but there were a few right-wingers, including Missouri state senator Bill Eigel (R), who falsely claimed that the morning-after pill is an abortifacient. (It’s not, it prevents pregnancy by blocking sperm from fertilizing an egg or preventing the release of an egg in the first place.) Eigel, we must note, is running for governor.

Multiple sources told Jezebel that, the next day, the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) told member funds slated to table at future tour stops that Rodrigo’s management now prohibited them from distributing these supplies. The reason given was that the items would be too accessible to young girls in attendance. (Though, if they’re very young, presumably they’re not at the show without a chaperone?)

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, director of engagement for Carolina Abortion Fund, said the group handed out EC at the Charlotte, North Carolina, show on March 8 without issue. (A photo on their Instagram account shows a table with condoms and blue-and-yellow boxes of EC.) Orlovsky-Schnitzler said they gave out every single box they brought.

Destini Spaeth, chair of Prairie Abortion Fund, which will be at the St. Paul, Minnesota, show on Friday night, told Jezebel that PAF had hundreds of boxes of EC ready to give away, but now it can’t bring them. “We are missing the opportunity to share our resources and this feels almost performative when we have actionable things, like EC, that we could hand out to young people who encounter so many barriers to care,” Spaeth said. Putting tangible resources in people’s hands “is community care and a huge part of what abortion funds do.” The fund will still be there with as many buttons, stickers, beanies, and resource pages as they can carry. “[I] just wish we could bring more,” Spaeth said.

A third abortion fund worker, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of professional retribution, told Jezebel that an NNAF staffer told funds via Slack on Wednesday that Rodrigo’s management said they couldn’t have EC, condoms, or lube at their tables. When people asked the staffer for clarification, they relayed that the singer’s management cited concerns about the items being out on tables at shows children were attending, as well as news coverage of the viral photo.

Jezebel contacted Olivia Rodrigo’s publicist, agent, and manager for comment, as well as NNAF, and we’ll update this post if we hear back.

Spaeth said PAF has tabled at Pride events, schools, local concerts, and more, and has never been told it couldn’t bring supplies like EC and condoms. She underscored that many abortion funds across the country give out free emergency contraception, with multiple access options including pick up, drop off, or shipping.

The news coverage of the birth control often improperly credited the singer. “In the wake of the distribution going viral for [Missouri], we at CAF have been struck by how many outlets are framing this as ‘Olivia Rodrigo is giving out EC’ rather than the funds or mutual aid groups who actually brought the goods,” Orlovsky-Schnitzler said. “To be clear: We are extremely grateful Olivia Rodrigo is making such a public choice to bring abortion funds into her tour. It’s genuinely incredibly awesome. It’s just been difficult for us to get a foothold in the conversation, and remind folks that they can—and should!—be donating to abortion funds.” She added that CAF only received a few direct donations to the fund at the March 8 show.

The anonymous fund worker said the tour was a fantastic opportunity to connect young people to resources, as that group can face the most barriers to access—which makes the singer’s decision all the more upsetting. “It’s frustrating to be told, ‘You can talk about the work you do but you can’t do any of that work,'” they said. “Yes, abortion funds fund abortion, but we also do a lot of other things. Every fund is a little different, responding to the needs in our unique communities. For a lot of us, that means we give out EC and condoms. It’s another way to support people at all stages of their reproductive life.”

When reached for comment, Stephanie Kraft Sheley, the project director and founder of Right by You, told Jezebel that the group got a “joyful and appreciative reaction” from St. Louis concertgoers and “glowing responses” online. She thanked Rodrigo for shining a light on abortion funds and noted that free community supplies are a key part of their work. “We, like many abortion access organizations nationwide, routinely give out free emergency contraception at community events, and it’s unfailingly popular,” she said. “We’re very grateful for this partnership with Olivia Rodrigo and the visibility she’s offering to abortion funds nationally, and we also want the public to understand that supplying the community with pregnancy prevention and safer sex supplies is a significant part of what abortion funds have to offer.”

Orlovsky-Schnitzler reiterated that she’s glad Rodrigo chose to elevate abortion funds on the tour but added that there’s a strange dynamic at the moment. “We’re in this funky zone now where media is reporting on it and folks are thrilled—except they’re not reporting on it being killed by her management team,” she said. “We at least need folks to know that the media attention for something that we were proud to do has led to this being shut down.”

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