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04 January 2011

Final Thoughts on the "Personhood" Pledge

By Diana Hsieh

Just a few days ago, I closed the books on the pledge project for Ari Armstrong's and my policy paper, The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life. I'm so grateful to all the people who contributed to Ari's and my work by their pledges. The paper would not have been updated without those contributions -- many of them very generous and all of them appreciated. Given that the measure didn't even break 30%, I'm so glad that we put in those grueling hours. Plus, I'm really proud that we offered the most substantive defense of abortion rights from an Objectivist perspective written to date.

I can't properly explain how motivating the pledges are. It's not just that I'm paid for my work. It's that I'm paid directly by individuals, many of whom I know personally. And in the process of pledging, those people tell me what my work means to them. Given that activism can seem like a grind sometimes, that's hugely important to me.

Amy Mossoff was one of the pledgers on this project, and I really appreciated her take on the pledge model as a way of raising money for such projects. Here's what she said, shortly after the paper was released:

I haven't read the whole paper yet (just the intro), but I already know that am pleased with my (oh so small) investment. Thanks for your great work, and the brilliant pledge idea, which allows me to support things like this without sacrificing or else feeling like my scarce money was just a meaningless drop in the bucket.

Unfortunately -- and for the very first time -- a few people failed to make good on their pledges. I've sent multiple invoices over many months, but I've not heard back from these few people. I wouldn't mind quite so much if they would just write me to explain. As I've said with every pledge project, I'll gladly void the pledge (or offer a refund) to anyone not satisfied with the product delivered, provided that he explains his reasons. Of course, if a person lost his job and needed every penny to put food on the table, I'd be happy to void his pledge too. I'd just like to hear back, so that I'm not left hanging. So... if you're one of those people who pledged but never paid, please do me the courtesy of e-mailing me some kind of explanation.

For now, while I have so many other projects in the works, I've decided to put the Coalition for Secular Government on hold. I might blog for Politics without God on occasion, but likely nothing more. However, never fear... Ari and I will surely fight Colorado's next "personhood" measure in 2012. We've already put in far too much work on the issue to let those theocratic bastards take the moral high ground... ever!

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