This Thursday, Jan. 22 is the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court Decision that legalized abortion in the United States after a passionate grassroots struggle. At noon Thursday, women’s rights activists will gather in front of the Supreme Court–to picket and stage dramatic actions, in protest of the severe undermining of the legal right to abortion that has gone on for decades and markedly increased over the past few years. In 90% of U.S. counties today, there are no abortion providers, due to a combination of laws aimed at shutting down clinics and outright terrorist attacks on them, including the murder of abortion providers. A host of obstacles have been placed in the way of finding and paying for an abortion, starting with the Hyde Amendment and including parental notification laws, mandated waiting periods, forced ultrasounds and denial of insurance coverage.
At 9-10 pm on Thursday, Jan. 22, Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI, will air a live discussion with a broad spectrum of reproductive rights and justice activists on the state of reproductive rights as we enter 2015.
Panel guests will be: Loretta Ross, a founder of SisterSong: A Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective; Merle Hoffman, founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center and a frontline activist for decades; Julianna Gonen, Director of Federal Policy and Advocacy for the Center for Reproductive Rights and Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy, who will also give us a report on the protest actions that will have taken place earlier in the day in front of the Supreme Court.
The program will include a recording from the first abortion speak-out, organized by the group Redstockings, in 1969, at which women risked arrest to publicly testify about their then-illegal abortions–and a discussion of the real history of how that struggle was won. There will also be a roundup of feminist world news headlines and period music from the abortion rights struggle. Be sure to tune in; you won’t find as rich a discussion of our history and the present status of our reproductive rights anywhere else.
Feminist Stories and Links for 1/22/15
Abortion news, U.S.
Today, on the 42nd Anniversary of Roe v Wade, the House of Representatives passed HR-7, the ‘No Taxpayer Funds for Abortion Bill’ that will cut off any funding for abortion from government, even indirectly, including tax credits for payment through the Affordable Care Act–and codifies the 1976 Hyde Amendment that prohibits Medicare funds for abortions.It was one of 5 anti-abortion bills proposed in the 1st week of the newly Republican controlled Congress. House Speaker John Boehner had announced a vote on a 20-week abortion ban–but a rebellion by Republican women Senators, after a flood of negative responses made him pull it off the table. Determined to pass an anti-abortion law on this day, HR7 was substituted.
5 anti-abortion bills Republicans have introduced in first few days of new Congress
information on abortion state by state
NYS Republicans refuse inclusion of abortion provision in “Women’s Equality Act”
Republican leadership in NYS has announced that the New York State Senate will take up the Women’s Equality Act, an Omnibus bill proposed by Governor Cuomo, but minus the provision that affirms the state’s commitment to its own abortion law.
Woman in El Salvador must serve 30 years in prison for a miscarriage
A young woman in El Salvador has been refused a pardon and must finish her 30 year sentence for having had a miscarriage. All forms of abortion are illegal in El Salvador, and dozens of Salvadoran women are behind bars for “fetal homicide.’ Though there was no indication that she had intentionally terminated her pregnancy, according to Tim Rogers at Fusion .net “The Doctors snitched her out to save themselves from criminal liability.” The Daily Kos points out that 38 states in the U.S. have Fetal Homicide Laws and women here have been arrested for miscarriages under those laws.
UPDATE!! On the next day after reporting this story, I found out that on Wednesday, this woman’s pardon was re-voted and this time it was granted–So glad to have been wrong on this outcome!! (Though 16 other women are still imprisoned in El Salvador on abortion-related charges.)
Mt. Hoyoke cancels production of Vagina Monologues
The Theater Board of the all-women’s college, Mount Holyoke has cancelled its annual production of the feminist classic “The Vagina Monologues” because it is “not inclusive enough” of those who identify as women but do not have vaginas. Eve Ensler, the play’s author, said in her response: “I think we have to be able to live in a world where talking about vaginas is legitimate, due to the fact that 3-1/2 billion women have them.” In February, around Valentine’s Day, there are thousands of performances of the play around the world, often to raise money for women’s issues.
Petition asks for equal representation for women in Britain’s House of Commons
There is a change.org petition circulating to increase the proportion of women to men in Britain’s House of Commons. Stating that 77% of MPs are men, it asks PM Camerom to move immediatley toward a 50/50 goal and is asking for people around the world to sign. you can find this petition at change.org/p/petition-asking-for-gender-balance-in-house-of-commons.
Armed women repel Boko Haram attack
Several Nigerian media outlets have been reporting on local women in the villages of Attagara and Kawuri in Borno State who recently disarmed nearly a dozen Boko Haram terrorists who tried to attack the Attagara and Kawuri communities over the weekend but the insurgents were instantly repelled by a group of armed women. Other villagers later caught some of the attackers and executed them. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria