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NEWSLETTER  |  February 17, 2018  |  Vol. 1, Issue 4

We Say Sorry, But No

On February 3, we held an early-morning action at a church with a fondness for targeting Planned Parenthood patients.

“Excuse me, sir. If you could please stop, uh, harassing women? That would be great.” | Photo courtesy of Maria Silvestri.

Afterwards, we exhaled and debriefed. Maria Silvestri summed up our position well in Socialist Worker: “The moral high ground is not theirs to claim, and we will not let them have it any longer. The fight does not get to be on their terms, and theirs will not be the only voice. And we will continue to return to their space when they repeat their processions.”

Speaking of which: We’re marking our calendars for March 3. The Basilica of St. Patrick’s will be going on another anti-abortion pilgrimage to Planned Parenthood and we’ll be meeting them at their gates with a firm “sorry, but no” and a gentle reminder that “targeting people while they attempt to access a legal and constitutionally protected form of healthcare does not make you righteous!!!!”

And we’ll be at the Winter Film Awards on February 24 to attend their screening of Let Women Choose, a documentary about how pregnant people fare in Ecuador, where abortion is illegal. The director, Xiana Yago, is also a physician. Her film draws lines between unintended pregnancies and sexual violence, which is a vital thing to do in this era of #MeToo. Please join us!

We Watch the Skies

The BBC is reporting on the activity of 40 Days for Life as if it were a cruel and strange form of street harassment, which it is, and that is so refreshing. | In Manchester, a wave of escalating clinic harassment (antis have doused patients in HOLY WATER) is leading the city council to consider a ban on clinic protests. | In Perth, clinic staff are begging for legal protections from increasingly abusive protestors. | Four Detroit-area protesters are about to go on trial for trespassing as part of a “Red Roses Rescue,” where they invaded a clinic and attempted to halt any abortions from taking place. | Fourteen (former!) regulars at Choices here in Jamaica, Queens are now on trial for being particularly aggressive assholes.

We read...

Some sneaky shit in Trump’s 2019 budget proposal empowers ICE agents to deny transportation to people seeking abortions in their custody for pretty much any reason.

Google Maps can’t differentiate between crisis pregnancy centers and real abortion clinics.

Before medicine became professionalized (and masculinized), reproduction was women’s business. Literally—women made a ton of money running abortion businesses. (Echoing through the caverns of history: Trust women! Trust women!)

A Black woman in Mississippi whose newborn died after a home birth has been charged with second-degree murder. Over a month later, we still don’t know why.

An intriguing new book on ethics and the discourse of “ordinary abortion” is out.

American soldiers needing abortions for any reason other than rape or incest have to seek them out on their own dime, which means that dozens of other countries have better reproductive healthcare coverage for members of their armed services than we do.

ICYMI: Until this week, female prisoners in Arizona were allotted twelve pads a month and no tampons. They’re also paid fifteen cents per hour and are punished for a dress code violation if they bleed through. And this is the face of the Arizona legislator who killed a bill which would have provided an unlimited supply of period products to prisoners:

Image courtesy of T. J. Shope’s asinine Twitter account.

His name is T. J. Shope and he says that he killed the bill because the Department of Corrections vowed to do something about it, and that thing has turned out to be… raising the monthly cap on pads to thirty-six. A box of tampons still runs $3.99, or about twenty-seven hours of labor. Thanks for representing your menstruating constituents so bravely, T. J.!

We love...

Photo via

Lorraine Hansberry: loved women, wrote beautiful lists, was monitored by the FBI, is the subject of a wild new documentary, stormed Broadway at the age of 28, and gave seminal roles to “a generation of Black actors.” She died of cancer at the age of 34; her family and doctors never told her about her diagnosis, a common practice at the time. (Trust women, over and over again.) Today she has the final word:

“It is time that ‘half the human race’ had something to say about the nature of its existence. Otherwise—without revised basic thinking—the woman intellectual is likely to find herself trying to draw conclusions—moral conclusions—based on acceptance of a social moral superstructure which has never admitted to the equality of women and is therefore immoral itself.” 

—From a 1957 letter to The Ladder, the country’s first national magazine for lesbians 

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