Coachella’s Owners Donated $75,000 to an Anti-Abortion Group

Coachella’s Owners Donated $75,000 to an Anti-Abortion Group

by Justine Fisher

30 days after Roe v. Wade was overturned, the right wing isn’t slowing down, and the company that owns Coachella, Stagecoach and Firefly is helping fuel efforts.

The Anschutz Corporation was just exposed for a large donation to an anti-abortion organization, according to Rolling Stone in partnership with Popular Information. Five days after the 1973 Supreme Court decision was overturned on June 24, the music festival's parent company donated $75,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association. Details of the company’s monetary support for the political advocacy group came in their July filings to the IRS.

With abortion rights now unprotected federally, RAGA seeks to elect Attorney Generals who will enforce and impose anti-abortion laws in contentious states. The organization, which The Anschutz Corporation’s founder, Philip F. Anschutz, has been donating to since 2014, contributed to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that struck down Roe v. Wade. One of their members, General Lynn Fitch, was instrumental in the case's legal strategizing, and 24 of their 26 members signed an amicus brief in support of Fitch.

However, The Anschutz Corporation defended their donation in a statement asserting that Anschutz “does not review or support” the positions taken by the numerous organizations he financially supports. While, on the same day that Roe v. Wade was overturned, RAGA made clear that they sought donations to “combat the Democrats’ pro-abortion agenda and stand tall for life,” The Anschutz Corporation claimed to be unaware of the organization’s statement.

Instead, they asserted that the 82-year-old billionaire “believes in a woman’s right to choose and did not support the reversal of Roe.” Anschutz Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corporation, clarified their support for the right to choose in a statement, reiterating their commitment to covering travel expenses for people forced to seek abortions across state lines. With this, they added that they have “the full support” of The Anschutz Corporation.

Though Anschutz has continuously denied ideological support for right-wing political groups, this isn’t the first time the company has funded their endeavors. In March of this year, The Anschutz Corporation contributed $750,000 to the Senate Leadership Fund and the House Leadership Fund, both of which are super PACS aimed at obtaining Republican control of the House and the Senate.

Back in 2017, Anschutz reportedly funded anti-LGBTQ+ groups, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation and the Family Research Council. While Anschutz called this “fake news” and promised to stop contributing to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations, Pitchfork reported that, in 2018, he was still giving money to discriminatory groups, like the Christian youth ministry Young Life.

To make matters even more confusing, a number of artists performing at Coachella and other Anschutz Corporation-owned music festivals have publicly condemned the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Two 2022 Coachella headliners, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles, have vehemently voiced their opposition to the ruling.

Since the leaked opinion and eventual decision, dozens of other performers featured on the Coachella lineup made known their support of abortion rights. Among them was Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Bridgers (who shared her own abortion story), Maggie Rogers, Finneas, Arcade Fire and Kim Petras.

While many musicians have used the stage to speak out in favor of abortion rights, they are now in the position of selling tickets that put money in the hands of those advancing anti-abortion laws.

Photo via Getty/ Christopher Polk