Sun, Nov 13, 6-7PM: The future of abortion & birth control in Trump’s America; Merle Hoffman, Farah Diaz-Tello, Chrisine Grimaldi

 Joy of Resistance is now heard on Sundays at 6-7 PM on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM (EST), and streams at . Follow us on twitter at @joyofresistance Email us at Donate to WBAI at

Joy of Resistance will try to parse out the likely future of abortion & birth control under a Trump Administration, with guests: Merle Hoffman, Farah Diaz-Tello and Christine Grimaldi

Within his first 100 days in office, Donald Trump has said that he intends to:

1) Appoint a Supreme Court Justice who will vote to overturn Roe v Wade (the federal law that made abortion legal in 1973) in a new rightwing-majority Court. He has said he would leave the legal status of abortion up to individual states.

2) Move to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), which will leave 20 million people without health insurance and particularly affect women of childbearing age who rely on the ACA for no-copay (free) birth control, saving women about 1.4 billion dollars per year. Some women are advising others to get an IUD quickly and also to stock up on birth control pills and abortifacient pills!

3) Back the Republican Congress in making the Hyde Amendment (which forbids Medicaid to cover abortion) into permanent law (it is currently a “rider” that must be renewed each year).

Our guests in the discussion will be:

1) Merle Hoffman, founder and CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center on what it was like before 1973 when abortion legality was up to individual states. Merle, who opened her first abortion clinic in in New York State in 1971, when abortion was illegal in most of the country but legal in NYS, will talk about what that era was really like–and how she sees the future for reproductive rights.

2) Farah Diaz-Tello, an attorney who has worked with National Advocates for Pregnant Women and is now Senior Counsel for the Self Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team.

Two days ago she tweeted: “With Obama’s election, there was a run on guns. With Trump, there is a run on IUDs. The difference is sobering.”

3) Christine Grimaldi, who writes for Rewire, on her recent article: Democrats Ready Congressional Resistance to Looming Anti-Choice Attacks

We will also be playing topical feminist music throughout the show.


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Sunday, May 21, 6-8 PM: “Forbidden: Too Liberated.” What would happen if society prioritized women’s happiness? Two books and a panel!

Joy of Resistance is heard on Sundays 6-7 PM on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM (EST), streams at Follow uson twitter at @joyofresistance Email at Donate to WBAI at

OLBCCover (1)

Cover of book

Joy of Resistance is proud to offer our listeners the newly-released feminist classic graphic novel: “Our Lady of Birth Control: A Cartoonist’s Encounter with Margaret Sanger”, a 160-page graphic novel by award-winning cartoonist/graphic artist (and activist) Sabrina Jones (for a pledge of $50. to support WBAI and feminist radio at the station). It spans the life and times of the woman who bucked the rigid sexist taboos of her age to start a movement for women to be able to decide for themselves if and when to bear children (we are still fighting for that goal!) Scroll through and enjoy these drawings–there are hundreds more in the book!

We will also be offering Jill Filipovic’s just-out book: The H Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness (featured in the Sunday NYT Review of Books and the Atlantic. This book stands on it’s head the social constraints of the “self sacrificing woman” and explains how prioritizing women’s pleasure and happiness would make things better for everyone. (4)

And a CD recording of the PEN World Festival event on May 3: The Panel: Forbidden: Too Liberated–4 authors/feminist thinkers talk about sex, women and the “cap” on women’s pleasure.



See below for more illustrations from Sabrina Jones’ Graphic Novel “Our Lady of Birth Control: A Cartoonist’s Encounter with Margaret Sanger”.

Sanger was arrested many times, even exiled from the U.S. (but always came back to continue the fight); she had many lovers, was part of the Greenwich Village cultural rebellion of her era, was a working-class nurse, mother of three and a Labor organizer–a revolutionary in more ways than one.


(above): “The Woman Rebel”, Sanger’s magazine for which she was jailed for sending ‘obscene’ material through the mail


(above): Margaret Sanger, husband Bill come to Greenwich Village to join Emma Goldman, John Reed, Eugene O’Neill and other political rebels & artists

Sabrina Jones’ autobiographical sections of Our Lady of Birth Control show her own journey into activist art in response to the anti-feminist backlash of the Reagan era, from street theater and protest graphics to alternative comics.

These interweaving stories are illustrated in page after page of deliciously rich and beautiful–and often humorous–drawings, accompanying a story which will add to your knowledge of such topics as what, exactly, women DID for birth control before the modern era–and includes some of the theoretical debates of the time–with a careful look at the controversy about Sanger and the Eugenics movement.


(above) Hypothetical debate between Sanger and abortion rights activist today


 (above): activists carry Sabrina Jones’ iconic repro rights graphic, often seen, during the 90’s, at marches and on flyers

The program will feature a live interview with the artist.

Joy of Resistance is proud to offer this newly released graphic novel which includes about 600 drawings of the quality of what you see above–a fascinating journey that you will both enjoy and learn much from (and which is getting great reviews!).

You can pledge during our show by calling (5i6) 620-3602


Feminists win 10-year fight for Morning After Pill over-the-counter availability to women of all ages!


Feminists Win 10-Year Fight in Landmark Birth Control Victory! Obama Backs off Morning-After Pill, Drops Appeal!

 *For immediate release* June 10, 2013

(From the Press Release of National Women’s Liberation, who have been leading the 10 year struggle for the Morning After Pill to be over the counter and without restrictions)

In response to a battle for over a decade to eliminate all restrictions on access to the Morning-After Pill, the Obama administration has just announced that it will comply with a federal court ruling ordering the administration to make the drug available without restrictions, and plans to drop its appeal.

“The provision of emergency contraception without restriction is a landmark victory for reproductive justice,” said Andrea Costello, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Senior Staff Attorney and lead attorney for the National Women’s Liberation Plaintiffs

“We are going to make sure that the government does indeed comply with the Court’s Order. The denial of full access to the Morning-After Pill has been an outrageous political decision and wholly without scientific basis – under both the Bush and Obama administrations. In recent days, we passed the 48th anniversary of the landmark birth control case of Griswold v. Connecticut, which recognized the constitutionally protected right of women to decide whether or not to have a child. It’s about time that the Obama administration recognized that access to all forms of birth control, including the Morning-After Pill, are essential for women to not just have this right, but exercise it.”

Annie Tummino, lead Plaintiff and Coordinator of National Women’s Liberation, said, “This decision by the Administration affirms what feminists have been fighting for all along – the Morning-After Pill should be available to females of all ages, on the shelf at any convenience store, just like aspirin or condoms. Women and girls should have the absolute right to control our bodies without having to ask a doctor or a pharmacist for permission.”

Plaintiff and NWL-New York Chapter organizer Erin Mahoney said, “This is an acknowledgement by the Obama administration that they have been unlawfully withholding the Morning-After Pill from women and girls in the United States.

The Morning-After Pill was already available without a prescription in at least 63 other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and Ghana. We are glad the United States has finally started to catch up to women around the world.”


Under the past two administrations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refused to remove restrictions on access to the Morning-After Pill (also known as “emergency contraception”) that were never supported by scientific evidence and subjected decision-making about the pills to politics at women’s expense.

On April 5, Judge Edward R. Korman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled in the Plaintiffs’ favor in Tummino v. Hamburg that there was no scientific basis for the Obama administration to continue to restrict access to emergency contraception. Judge Korman ordered that it be made available to women and girls “without a prescription and without point-of-sale or age restrictions within thirty days.” Citing the Obama administration’s “unjustified departures” from established policy to make safe medications available to the public, the court found that the administration invoked arguments that were an “excuse to deprive the overwhelming majority of women of their right to obtain contraceptives without unjustified and burdensome restrictions.” The Court found that the FDA had improperly restricted this safe and effective contraceptive after election-year “political interference” from the White House, and had done so against the medical and scientific evidence recommending the drug be made readily available.

Instead of complying with the Court’s April 5 Order, the government filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that sought to continue to impose scientifically unjustified restrictions on access to emergency contraception. The Obama administration filed its appeal one day after it announced a “sweetheart” arrangement with the manufacturer of the one-pill emergency contraceptive drug that would force all women and girls to present government-issued ID to store clerks in order to obtain emergency contraceptives, and that would continue to deprive over-the-counter access to young teenagers. The government also requested two stays of the Court’s April 5 Order – one was denied by Judge Korman and the other denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as to two-pill emergency contraceptive products.

For more information, see and



Feminist News Stories: April 17, 2013 Joy of Resistance radio show

Morning  After Pill to be Made Available Without Age Restrictions

On April 6, a U.S. federal judge ordered that the Morning-After Pill be made available “without a prescription and without point-of-sale or age restrictions within thirty days.”

Judge Edward R. Korman of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued his Memorandum Opinion and Order in Tummino v. Hamburg which reversed a prior decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS).

Judge Korman found that “[t]hese emergency contraceptives would be among the safest drugs sold over-the-counter.”

Citing the Obama administration‘s “unjustified departures” from established policy to make safe medications available to the public, the court found that the administration invoked arguments that were an “excuse to deprive the overwhelming majority of women of their right to obtain contraceptives without unjustified and burdensome restrictions.”

Referring to “political interference” from the White House, the judge stated “the motivation for [Secretary Sebelius‘] action was obviously political. … [I]t was an election year decision that ‘many public health experts saw as a politically motivated effort to avoid riling religious groups and others opposed to making birth control available to girls.'”

And, according to the press release from National Women’s Liberation (NWL): For over a decade, grassroots feminist activists with National Women’s Liberation – who include the lead Plaintiffs in the Tummino case – have been waging the most important fight on expanding access to birth control in decades in the United States: to make the Morning-After Pill available over-the counter without any restrictions on age or how it can be sold. Today’s ruling is a significant victory in the fight for reproductive rights.

Ten years of speakouts, consciousness-raising, petition gathering, phonebanking, flashmobs, sitting-in and putting pressure on the Food and Drug Administration helped make this court decision possible.  Women cannot be on equal footing with men if we can’t decide when and if we will bear a child. Morning-after pill over-the-counter gives women an enormous freedom. Organizing pays.

Plaintiff and NWL-New York Chapter organizer Erin Mahoney said, “The Morning-After Pill was already available without a prescription in at least 63 other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and Ghana. We are glad the U.S. has finally caught up to women around the world, but it shouldn’t have taken over a decade of pressure from feminists, our allies and a lawsuit.”

Links for story above

Abortion Ban Trends 2013

According to a recent article in RH Reality Check, Abortion restrictions have have once again been in the forefront of bills introduced in many state legislatures in 2013, as they were in 2011 and 2012.

But unlike in recent years, when many laws were aimed at regulating abortion (for example, requirements that women undergo an ultrasound, clinic regulations or insurance restrictions), this year, legislators seem to be focusing on banning abortion outright—either by declaring that “personhood” begins at the moment of conception or by prohibiting abortion even during the first trimester of pregnancy.

During the first three months of 2013, legislators in 14 states introduced provisions seeking to ban abortion prior to viability.

These bans fall into three categories: measures that would prohibit all abortions, those that would ban abortions after a specified point during the first trimester of pregnancy–as little as 6 weeks into the pregnancy in the case of North Dakota–and those that would block abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization.

All of these proposals are in direct violation of U.S. Supreme Court decisions including Roe versus Wade.

Links for story above

France to Implement Free Abortion and Birth Control

On April 1st The French state began reimbursing100 percent of the cost of abortions–and giving girls and women aged between 15 and 18 access to free birth control. They are able able to access it anonymously, to avoid embarassment.

Until now, French women over 18 could only receive up to 80 percent of the cost of an abortion. The move to full reimbursement, which was one of French President François Hollande’s 2012 campaign promises and is part of the 2013 social security budget, is designed to improve women’s access to abortions.

And by coupling it with free contraception for younger girls and women, France hopes to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, and thus the number of abortions.

Abortion was first legalized in France in 1975, though access was limited until 2001.

Despite the expanded access to abortions, France still limits how late in the pregnancy the procedure can be performed, setting the termination deadline at 12 weeks after conception.

These women will be the first generation to experience sex in a society where “sex” itself is not demonized and where protection is not only expected but made readily available.

Links for story above

Rick Ross Fired by Reebok

Reebok has dropped an endorsement deal with rapper Rick Ross, after much pressure from feminists through protests and social media, including, an online petition with 70,000 signatures, massive tweeting and Facebook ads, a phone campaign and a demonstration at Reebok’s headquarters with signs reading “Hey Reebok: Want my business? Stop promoting rape.” A letter was also sent to the company on behalf of 550 rape survivors. The day after the protest the University of Ottawa cancelled their end-of-the-year concert in which Ross was scheduled to perform
At issue is a lyric by artist Rocko, in which Ross is featured, that goes:

“Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that / she ain’t even know it.”

Molly is a form of MDMA, that distorts the senses and reduces inhibitions.It is considered a date-rape drug

The rapper denied he was alluding to raping a woman after drugging her drink, calling it a misinterpretation and claiming that he had never mentioned the word “rape.”

Reebok fired Ross on April 12, saying: “While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse,”

Rocko has since released a new version of his song without Ross and absent the offending lyrics.

Hip Hop Activist and former Green Party candidate for Vice President, Rosa Clemente, called the firing of Ross “a victory for hip hop culture” and said: “We in hip hop culture say NO to rape culture and anyone who thinks it is appropriate to rhyme about rape.”

A number of rappers, such as Talib Kweli have also come out against Ross’ rape lyrics.

Clemente pointed out that 44% of Black and Latina women are sexually assaulted by the time they are age 18.

Links for story above

Russian Orthodox Leader Warns of the ‘Danger of Feminism’

Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, warned members of Union of Orthodox Ukrainian Women that feminism is “very dangerous” and could threaten the stability of Russia.

He went on to claim that feminist organizations proclaim the pseudo-freedom of women, which he described as “outside of marriage and…the family” and that while “man must turn his gaze outward” in order to support a family, “woman must be focused inwards, where her children are, where her home is.”

Patriarch Kirill has become a close ally of Vladimir Putin, a connection that was challenged by feminist punk band Pussy Riot in the iconic performance for which they were later found guilty of “hooliganism.”

Krill’s statement takes place against a background of a declining birth rate in Russia, that is not meeting the replacement rate for the population. Putin has called the declining birth rate “Russia’s biggest problem” and vowed to fight with a program he dubbed the “Mother’s Capital Project.” It includes a policy of giving a cash bonus of about $9,000. to each woman who has a second child and for each child after that–as well as increasing childcare services. His goal is 3 children per family–currently the average is 1.3 children per couple.

In 2006, Putin cited the reasons for the low birthrate as being “low incomes, lack of housing, a low level of medical services and the lack of quality education.”

A low birth rate was not a problem in Russia when it was part of the former Soviet Union.

Links for story above

Below are links to two important stories we wish we’d been able to cover on our April 17 Joy of Resistance show.

1) Issues raised by the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell:

As the Dr. Kermit Gosnell murder trial proceeds in Pennsylvania, the Right Wing is trying to make hay out of it by putting out huge amounts of propaganda to the effect that conditions at Gosnell’s clinic are common and raise questions about abortion in general. RH Reality Check took on this issue and JOR recommends articles of theirs below (others can be found at their website).

2) The Sequestration” budget cuts are continuing to have an inordinate impact on women and set us back in our fight for equality.

Wednesday, April 17, 9-10 pm Joy of Resistance presents: Anatomy of a Campaign–How the 10-year fight to get the Morning After Pill over-the-counter and without restrictions, was won!

On Wednesday April 17, between 9 and 10 pm, Joy of Resistance will feature an examination of the recent victory for women that has been called the greatest pro-active advance in reproductive justice since Roe v Wade. We will  examine in depth, the 10 year campaign that resulted in the landmark April 6 decision by a Federal Judge to make the Morning After Pill available without any restrictions to women of all ages–thereby accomplishing the long-term goal of making it truly over-the-counter and eliminating the need for every woman to show an ID and go through a pharmacist in order to get it.

Our guests will be National Women’s Liberation organizers: Annie Tummino, lead plaintiff in the suit Tummino vs Hamburg; Allison Guttu, arrested in 2005, (along with 8 other women) for blocking entrances to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Brooke Eliazar-Macke, and Alex Leader, one of the campaign’s originators.

Our program will fill in the parts of the story that have been consistently left out of mainstream–and even feminist–media coverage, which focused only on the legal aspects of the victory. Consistently left out was a 10-year grassroots campaign that put pressure on the legal system and “created the space” for the Judge to hand down a positive verdict. This campaign included civil disobedience actions: the 2005 sit-in to block the entrance to the FDA in Washington DC, in which 9 women were arrested; over 5,000 women publicly defying the prescription requirement (which existed prior to 2006) by taking a pledge to “give the Morning After Pill to a friend if she needs it”–and then faxing their names to the FDA in a public challenge to the restrictions; a “flash mob” at a pharmacy, where, in a’direct action’ women placed the Morning After Pill directly on shelves in the Family Planning section.

The entire campaign was built on a grassroots strategy of holding consciousness raising sessions to find out how lack of access to the Morning After Pill actually affected women’s lives–and public speak-outs in which women told these stories.

The Morning After Pill is safe (according to the FDA’s own scientists), and if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex is an effective tool for preventing pregnancy. It works best within 24 hours, which is why the prescription requirement was a grave obstacle for women–especially since unprotected sex–i.e., a condom breaking–was more likely to happen on a weekend, making it is harder to find a doctor to write a prescription in time for the drug to be effective. As a result of the Tummino vs Hamburg suit, in 2006. the prescription requirement was lifted– in itself, an incredible win during the Bush Administration, when the fight for reproductive rights was being pushed seriously backward and there was an active anti-birth control movement.

But there was a compromise within this victory. MAP would be available only to women 18 and over (later changed to 17 and over) and it would be kept behind the counter, subject to approval by pharmacists, and all women would have to show ID to get it. NWL activists decided they could not live with this compromise and persisted in organizing and continuing the lawsuit to overturn it. The results they fought for were finally achieved on April 6.

Civil disobedience actions are historically linked to the fight for birth control–from Margaret Sanger being arrested for giving out information on birth control (then illegal) in the early 20th century, to Pat McGinness, arrested in the 1960’s for dispersing information on where to get an abortion (when that was illegal). The fight for the vote was also peppered with arrests. With so many laws restricting women over the centuries, defying unjust laws was and is a necessary part of feminists winning more freedom. NWL activists drew on, and were inspired by, this tradition, in their fight for the Morning After Pill.

The show will also include our regular “Feminist News Roundup.”