Rage Against the Machine will donate $475,000 to abortion access groups in Illinois and Wisconsin following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade Friday.
“We are disgusted by the repeal of Roe V. Wade and the devastating impact it will have on tens of millions of people,” the reunited rock act wrote on social media. “Over half of the country (26 states) is likely to ban or seriously restrict abortion very soon, if not immediately, which will a disproportionate impact on poor, working class and undocumented BIPOC communities.”
When Rage Against the Machine initially set their Public Service Announcement reunion tour in 2020 — the trek was ultimately delayed nearly two-and-a-half years by the Covid-19 pandemic — the band attempted to circumvent high-price ticket scalping by having their own dynamic tier of tickets. The profits from those tickets would “raise a substantial amount of money for charities and activist organizations we support in each city,” Tom Morello explained in February 2020.
“To date, our fans have raised $475,000.00 from the sale of our charity tickets at Alpine Valley and the United Center. We are donating that money to reproductive rights organizations in Wisconsin and Illinois,” the band wrote Friday. The band’s long-postponed tour finally begins July 9 at East Troy, Wisconsin, followed by July 11 and 12 gigs at Chicago’s United Center.
While the repeal of Roe v. Wade does not immediately impact Illinois, abortion rights are potentially under attack in Wisconsin, a state that had a pre-Roe criminal abortion ban in place and, depending on state leadership, could be reinstated by the court’s ruling; Gov. Tony Evers’ attempt to repeal that ban was rejected by the Wisconsin State Legislature Friday.
In a separate tweet, guitarist Tom Morello wrote, “My great grandmother, Mary Maude Fitzgerald, died from an illegal, unsafe abortion. Her widower, Thomas Fitzgerald, an itinerant worker, couldn’t raise their 3 kids alone & sent them off to families that took them as servants. He died alone of TB in a work camp.”
Rage added in their statement, “Like the many women who have organized sophisticated railroads of resistance to challenge these attacks on our collective reproductive freedom, we must continue to resist.”