Foundation Watch

The Biggest Cog in Warren Buffett’s Global Abortion Machine


Warren Buffett, the Wizard of Omaha, is famous for his wealth, investment advice, and frugality. But he also deserves recognition of a darker kind: the most prolific funder of abortions in human history.

I’ve traced a flow of nearly $5 billion from the billionaire to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation—named for his late ex-wife—and then on to hundreds of groups in the Left’s massive abortion machine. Call it the abortion-industrial complex, an unmatched array of think tanks and advocacy groups pushing experimental second-trimester abortifacients, at-home abortions, and taxpayer-funded abortions in the poorest parts of Africa.

While Buffett is hardly the only liberal billionaire busily backing population control in the name of human “progress,” the research reveals a staggering reliance on the quiet Malthusian’s billions—so much so that some groups are effectively arms of the Buffett abortion machine.

The National Abortion Federation

Take the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an association representing over 430 abortion providers across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Colombia.

In 2020, more than 85 percent of NAF’s $9 million income came from one donor: the Buffett Foundation. That’s up from the roughly 50 percent that the Buffett Foundation supplied the abortion giant in 2019.

Interestingly, this overreliance on Buffett led the group to defend its status as a 501(c)(3) public charity—which by law cannot receive the bulk of its funding from a single family or donor—with an impressive spin in its Form 990 filing:

NAF has recently undertaken significant efforts to attract new and additional public support. Recognizing the value of NAF’s work to the community, a small number of private foundations have provided NAF with support in recent years not only to help the organization continue its work but also to begin a new development effort to broaden NAF’s base of support. . . . In fact, NAF has received financial support from hundreds of individual donors, in addition to grants received from a number of different foundations.

The Hotline Fund

But NAF’s finances dwarf in comparison with the group’s Hotline Fund, a separate (c)(3) controlled by the parent organization that exists to refer women to abortion clinics, many of them subsidized by the group.

Nearly 95 percent of the Hotline Fund’s $30 million budget for 2019 came from the Buffett Foundation. The Hotline Fund’s IRS Form 990 for 2020 has yet to be released, but we’ve traced just under $58 million from the Buffett Foundation to the fund—almost double the amount for the previous year.

While it’s unclear how much the group spends performing abortions each year, a line item tagged “Justice Fund” in the group’s 2019 Form 990 suggests it’s as high as $27 million each year. That’s enough to pay for some 22,600 abortions at $1,195 a pop, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion movement’s top think tank.

All in all, between 2003 and 2019 the Buffett Foundation funneled a staggering $326 million to NAF and the Hotline Fund, accounting for roughly 86 percent of the pair’s total income over that period. (The 2020 figures are omitted to avoid skewing totals absent the Hotline Fund’s 2020 Form 990, but they suggest the trend has continued.)

That’s even more impressive given that, outside of pro-life activist circles, Buffett has flown under the radar as a major abortion funder. But there’s little doubt that he’s earned a new title: King of the Abortion Clinic.

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Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is a Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. He is also a columnist at the Washington Free Beacon and writes regularly for The American Conservative. Ludwig is…
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