Sean Fieler, anti-abortion funder of the Femm app (Image: Youtube.com)
A recent Guardian article revealed that a menstruation-tracking app called Femm, downloaded by over 400,000 users across the world, is funded by major anti-abortion donor Sean Fieler.
The app, which also features reproductive health advice from unlicensed “medical experts”, encourages users to avoid hormonal birth control in favor of “natural” birth control methods.
Fieler is a General Partner at Equinox Management Partners LP, a hedge fund based in Princeton, New Jersey. According to his online bios, he also sits on the boards of a number of conservative think tanks and anti-abortion organizations, most notably the Manhattan Institute, the Acton Institute, and the Susan B. Anthony List.
According to a ReWire investigation, Fieler gave over $18 million between 2010 and 2014 to anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, and pro-theocracy candidates. Notably, he’s made donations totaling over $500,000 to the Susan B. Anthony List-affiliated Women Speak Out PAC, and over $1.5 million to Campaign for American Principles. Other notable funders to these two PACs include the Mercer family (see here and here).
Femm receives much of its income from private donors including the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a charity backed almost exclusively by Sean Fieler, a wealthy Catholic hedge-funder based in New York…
The Chiaroscuro Foundation, with Fieler as its chairman and main backer, provided $1.79m to the developers of the Femm app over the last three years, according to IRS statements. Fieler also sits on the board of directors for the Femm Foundation, a not-for-profit which operates the app...
According to the Femm Foundation’s annual reports, it received $618,653 in donations in 2017. The same year, Chiaroscuro gave Femm $445,500, the majority of its budget. Chiaroscuro gave an additional $350,000 in 2016, and $1m in 2015.
Here’s a LittleSis map of Fieler’s ties:
As state anti-abortion bills continue to grow in number across the country, it’s critical to keep an eye on mega-donors like Feiler who are finding new ways to push their ideological agendas. Femm App is a particularly disturbing example of how the anti-abortion movement is developing technology that not only collects data about users fertility cycles, but pushes an anti-contraceptive agenda under the guise of reproductive health.