Mark Haddon pledges all future US royalties to abortion rights groups

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The Guardian

Author Mark Haddon is to donate all future royalties from US sales of his bestselling book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Haddon made the announcement on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, saying that from now until the supreme court’s “overturning of Roe v Wade is reversed, or some equivalent action is taken” he would be donating all US royalties from the book.

Photograph: Vintage

The National Network of Abortion Funds is a network of grassroots organisations “building power to remove financial, logistical, cultural and political barriers to abortion access”.

Haddon told the Guardian that his decision to donate his royalties was “pretty instant”, following the supreme court ruling taking away the right to abortion, and that he was keen to make a “more public statement”.

He chose the National Network of Abortion Funds because the money “goes most directly” to the people who need support, and also because the word “abortion” was in the group’s name, meaning both its intent and his was clear.

As royalties from Curious Incident are not due for “a while”, said Haddon on social media, he has made a $10,000 donation “to get the ball rolling and as a statement of intent”.

The supreme court ruled in June that there is no constitutional right to abortion in the US, upending the landmark Roe v Wade decision of 1973. A number of states made abortion illegal within hours of Roe v Wade being overturned.

Critics of the decision worry that, as well as endangering lives, it will also lead to the court overturning rulings relating to other rights.

Haddon went on to say on Twitter that if the supreme court looked to “turn its fire” on precedents regarding contraception, same-sex sexual activity and equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, he “may redirect some of the royalties to help people affected by those decisions”.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was published in 2003 and won 17 literary prizes. It was adapted for the stage in 2012, and has sold more than 10m copies.

Haddon is not the only author to show his support to pro-choice organisations. Authors and creators including Neil Gaiman, Shannon Chakraborty, VE Schwab and Sabaa Tahir have donated books to Authors for Abortion Access, an auction that will raise money for the National Network of Abortion Funds’ collective power fund and Keep Our Clinics, a campaign that provides funding to independent clinics to cover expenses such as increased security, building repairs and legal fees in the face of abortion bans and restrictions.

The auction has been organised by authors Rebecca F Kuang and Vaishnavi Patel, and has already reached its $10,000 (£8,500) fundraising target.

The auction runs until July 26, and includes signed books, limited edition copies and boxed sets. Among the lots is a rare leather-bound Easton Press edition of Coraline by Gaiman, and a signed special edition of Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie Larue.

July 14, 2022 at 07:40PM Sarah Shaffi

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