Laura Klassen, the 33-year-old Canadian activist known for her viral pro-life “magical birth canal” videos, is claiming the crowdsourcing site GoFundMe is withholding nearly $3,000 in donations to three women in need.
The Choice42 founder told Faithwire her organization was flagged by GoFundMe’s Trust and Security Team on April 17. The company said “the intended recipient for our campaign’s donations was located in a country that is not supported by their payment processors,” she explained. Klassen is trying to send the money to three different mothers in Zimbabwe, Canada, and the United States.
“They wanted to know our action plan for getting the money to this woman [in Zimbabwe], which we promptly sent,” she said. “We went back and forth with them for about a week, and then we were told that the money was unlocked. It was not.”
Klassen, who said she had not heard from a GoFundMe representative since April 28, received an email Tuesday from Igor, an employee for the company. His response, she said, coincided with her public Facebook post about GoFundMe.
In his message, which Klassen shared with Faithwire, Igor wrote: “Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, Elizabeth. We are experiencing a very high volume of requests due to the COVID-19 crisis. I wish I had a way to call you, but we handle all of our support via email.”
“Please know that a lack of phone support is not an indication of a lack of caring on our end,” the message continued. “We just want to make sure that they’re keeping track of our conversations, account details, and other specifics that would be lost in a phone conversation.”
Klassen said staffers with GoFundMe have also indicated there is an issue with the driver’s license associated with the fundraiser. She said her group has responded to that inquiry and is awaiting an answer. However, Klassen said, Choice42 has “had no issue with this with our past GoFundMe fundraisers.”
Faithwire has reached out to GoFundMe for a response to this matter. A representative has not yet responded to our request.
The money is intended for three single mothers. The first woman, who lives in Zimbabwe, doesn’t have any family support and has no money, according to Klassen. The cash for her would have given her the opportunity to deliver her baby in a hospital and “afford the essentials for a newborn.” The second is a woman living in Canada who is in the process of becoming a citizen. Klassen said she and her daughter “are slipping through the cracks” and they need the money for rent and groceries. The third woman is a soon-to-be mother in the U.S. who became pregnant as a result of rape. She is living in a trailer with no air conditioning and has no family support.
“These are time sensitive situations and we were not able to wait,” Klassen explained. “The women were becoming extremely stressed and one of our team members, who is unpaid, like the rest of the Choice42 Team, ended up fronting the money.”
The Choice42 founder, whose nonprofit connects with abortion-minded women and works with them to help them choose life over termination and assists them in finding the resources they need, argued it is “unacceptable” she didn’t hear from a GoFundMe representative again until she took to social media.
“Understandably, everyone is facing setbacks with the COVID situation,” she said, “but to cut communication with us is very unprofessional. Our situations with women and babies in need are time sensitive and we were unable to wait for GoFundMe to send us our money.”
“We will not be using this fundraising platform again,” she added.
To learn more about Choice42, or to make a donation, click here.
Notoriously left-wing media outlet Vice News profiled Klassen recently – you can check that out here.
Faithwire Managing Editor Dan Andros contributed to this report.