“We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health, and reproductive health includes access to abortion. That I believe should be safe, legal and rare. I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to bring down the rate of abortions, and it has been my experience that good family planning and good medical care brings down the rate of abortion. Keeping women and men in ignorance and denied the access to services actually increases the rate of abortion.”—Hillary Clinton
When it comes to condom use, a new study finds that expectations of what alcohol might do and partner type have much more to do with women’s decisions than whether they were drinking or even how much they drank.
“Research from the past decade by the Black Women’s Blueprint and the Black Women’s Health Imperative shows that some 40 to 60 percent of U.S. Black girls are sexually abused before age 18. Those girls are likely to be labeled fast-tailed retroactively by people who need to believe that what happened to them was their fault; they must have done something to entice a man’s interest, so abusers get a free pass. This was evident when R&B singer R. Kelly, who when he was 27 married the then-15-year-old performing artist Aaliyah, was allegedly caught on film urinating on another teenager; his subsequent trial on child pornography charges wasn’t enough to end his career, much less affect his freedom. Kelly’s ability to avoid consequences is unsurprising. Often it is easier for communities to focus on the girls in such cases than on potential predators.”—Mikki Kendall, Of #FastTailedGirls and Freedom
“Reproductive justice exists when all people have the economic, social and political power and resources to make healthy decisions about our gender, bodies and sexuality for ourselves, our families and our communities.”—Marlene Gerber Fried, Thirty-five years of legal abortion: The US Experience
One of the reasons pieces like “Leaning Out” are so offensive is that they tend to reflect the idea that Black women owe their care and concern to everyone but their family. Is this intentional? Probably not. But the intent has no bearing on the impact. Our bodies were property, our labor was not our own, and to have so-called allies demand we serve them and not ourselves will always be abhorrent. Mammy tropes center the idea of Black women working for others while their children are either nonexistent or completely absent. Malia and Sasha Obama are living life in a fishbowl, and what could be more feminist than making sure that they can grow up to be strong, successful Black women?
Feminism is supposed to be about equality and women being able to make their own choices. Yet, when famous Black women make choices that are best for their lives, there’s never any shortage of concern-trolling from people who don’t have to live with those choices. We talk a lot about patriarchy and paternalism, but we rarely speak of the way many feminists feel entitled to tell Black women what they should be doing. The maternalistic tone taken by many white feminists and even other feminists of color toward Black women is rarely seen as problematic. When we talk about solidarity inside the feminist movement, we have to talk about differences not just in oppression, but also in goals.
For Black women, our struggle is not necessarily about access to the workplace; Black women have always had to work in America. Our struggle is to be recognized as human beings. To have our choices be treated with the same respect offered to anyone else. Whether we’re talking about Michelle Obama, Beyonce, or just the average woman on the street, the reality is that some feminists have children, and their decisions aren’t any lessfeminist because they are done in the best interests of those children. In fact, as feminism has never mastered being all things to all people, the reality is that no one is in a position to decide for another woman what kind of work she should do, how she should engage with her family, or even which of her choices represent the “right” kind of feminism.
“Simply put, in most places in this country women that are still young enough to produce viable eggs will not find it easy to obtain a permanent “de-fertility” option. Are you 27 and want your tubes tied? Sorry, you may want kids later, trust us. Have children but don’t want anymore and are tired of taking a daily pill to prevent children? Just keep that up for 10 more years, next thing you’ll know, you will hit menopause and voila! Problem solved.
Except this is all bullshit, because women are not required to produce children, yet they are expected to be the sole responsible party for the life and death of the human race. Women of reproductive age are expected to not only have children, but to desire children. If they don’t want children, they are murderers (pro-choice) , uninformed or just plain sick in the head.”—A Woman’s Duty: Breed!
“If they think they’re going to make me feel badly about what I do, it’s not gonna happen.”—Abortion clinic owner Diane Derzis on sparing with pastors and politicians alike in her latest fight to keep open her Mississippi clinic, the last one remaining in the state. Read more from the AP here.
“That’s why switching genders in street harassment arguments, for example, often doesn’t work. If you ask men if they’d enjoy getting catcalled, more than a few would answer “yes.” For men, being on the receiving end of commentary about their looks while in public isn’t a threatening situation, while it very often is for women and other genders. The same could apply for switching the genders of Lulu: men judging women intimately would be an extension of the way women are already incredibly scrutinized, publicly and privately, for every possible superficial reason that reduces her to her body (dress, sexual conduct, looks, etc).”—Deanna Zandt for Forbes
An abortion ban is fueling a public health crisis in Haiti, as women and girls secretly turn to increasingly deadly methods to terminate their pregnancies.
I wear a coathanger pendant and people often assume it’s related to the We Won’t Go Back campaign - as in, we won’t go back to the days before Roe v Wade legalized abortion in the US. The truth is, lack of access to abortion is killing women every day, in Haiti (where it is illegal), in the US (where it is technically legal but severely restricted, and in many other countries.
The Doula Project is an NYC-based organization that provides compassionate care and emotional, physical, and informational support to people across the spectrum of pregnancy.
Apply today! Applications due December 6th, 2013
People who are passionate, caring, and committed are encouraged to apply. Any experience in doula work, reproductive health, rights and justice work, abortion counseling, health service, or personal experiences can be helpful, but isn’t necessary.
People of color, queer and trans people and Spanish speakers are strongly desired. People with flexible/free weekdays are ideal. While they are willing to negotiate for the right person, priority will be given to those who can commit to at least two four-hour shifts on weekdays per month. People who have applied in the past are welcome to apply again.
As noted here recently, there’s quite a logjam of cases involving challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate, all of them seeking to expand the “conscience” exemptions provided…
The idea that a corporation can be a “person” who needs their religious liberty protected is more than a little insane. Sometimes I wonder how lawyers can argue this stuff with a straight face.
Fields drew attention during a recent live-streamed conversation between bell hooks and Melissa Harris-Perry, when she asked about the tearing down of Black unmarried mothers by other Black women. RH Reality Check spoke with her about being a woman of color leader, stereotypes placed on Black unmarried mothers, and more.
“Men’s rights activists don’t organize marches; they don’t build shelters or raise funds for abused men; they don’t organize prostate cancer-awareness events or campaign against prison rape. What they actually do, when they’re not simply carping in comments online, is target and harass women—from feminist writers and professors to activists—in an attempt to silence them.”—White Hot Rage (via cunicular)
After reading that last article just a couple days ago, I realized something. I am done making excuses for the pro-life movement. I am done trying to explain that the movement is not anti-woman. I am done trying to insist that the movement really is simply trying to “save unborn babies.” I’m done because it’s not true. The pro-life movement supports the exact policies that will keep abortion rates high. It is those who believe in choice who support policies that will bring the abortion rates down.
I am done making excuses for the pro-life movement. I am done trying to explain that the movement is not anti-woman. I am done trying to insist that the movement really is simply trying to “save unborn babies.” I’m done because it’s not true. The pro-life movement supports the exact policies that will keep abortion rates high. It is those who believe in choice who support policies that will bring the abortion rates down.
I was a dupe. I’m ready to admit it now.
The reality is that so-called pro-life movement is not about saving babies. It’s about regulating sex. That’s why they oppose birth control. That’s why they want to ban abortion even though doing so will simply drive women to have dangerous back alley abortions. That’s why they want to penalize women who take public assistance and then dare to have sex, leaving an exemption for those who become pregnant from rape. It’s not about babies. If it were about babies, they would be making access to birth control widespread and free and creating a comprehensive social safety net so that no woman finds herself with a pregnancy she can’t afford. They would be raising money for research on why half of all zygotes fail to implant and working to prevent miscarriages. It’s not about babies. It’s about controlling women. It’s about making sure they have consequences for having unapproved sex.
But I am very sure that there are other dupes out there. If you’re sitting there reading this thinking “but I really am in it to save unborn babies,” I am sure you’re not alone. After all, I was one of you.
If you are one who has been a part of the pro-life movement because you really do believe in “saving unborn babies,” it’s time to cut your ties with the movement. You may be an honest and kind-hearted person, but you’ve been had. You’ve been taken in. It’s time to let go. It’s time to support Obamacare’s birth control mandate, it’s time to call off opposition to birth control, and it’s time to get behind progressive programs that help provide for poor women and their children. It’s time to make your actions consistent with your motives. While I am myself no longer morally opposed to abortion, I and others like me share your desire to decrease the number of unplanned pregnancies and to ensure that every woman can afford the option of keeping her pregnancy.