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NEWSLETTER  September 4, 2018 
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Via Fotografías Emergentes. We pray for our pro-abortion rallies to look like this.

We scream

NARAL organized a rally to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court on August 26, but if you were there and didn’t already know that the group’s full name is actually NARAL Pro-Choice America, you wouldn’t know why. It seems like they think that Brett Kavanaugh is a bad man? Definitely Trump is a bad man, in their opinion. Republican politicians: bad. Democratic politicians: good. Actually, some Republican politicians are good, too; three speakers eulogized John McCain (he had died the day before), and one of them quoted him at length, in tears (minute 27:33 here)

Lots of folks have noted that he voted against the creation of MLK Day and sanctions on apartheid South Africa; it also seems relevant to note that he voted against abortion 115 out of 119 times. NARAL Pro-Choice America gave him a 20% score in 2018, the year that we are currently alive in. And yet we hauled ourselves to Manhattan on a 90-degree August day to listen to NARAL Pro-Choice America hail anti-abortion John McCain as a maverick at a rally to (ostensibly?) demand that abortion stay legal. “Be mavericks,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Confusing! We have some questions:

  1. Does being a “maverick” mean being pro-abortion rights and also lauding a man who used his immense political power to restrict abortion rights?
     
  2. At a rally to protect legal abortion, is it “unorthodox” to devote more time to praising politicians than to talking about people who will die without legal abortion?
     
  3. Is a pro-choice group being “nonconformist” if they restrict themselves to lukewarm calls for maintaining the status quo—legal abortion—without also demanding full access?
     
  4. Should we talk mostly about abortion at a rally about abortion?
     
  5. Do women’s rights have anything to do with workers’ rights?
     
  6. Do women’s rights have anything to do with American imperialism?
     
  7. Will we win by texting “UNITE” to 21333?
     
  8. Is “Kava-NOPE” the most powerful chant we can think of?
     
  9. Would anti-choice activists ever publicly shed tears for a pro-choice politician, at a moment when their cause is at its weakest point in 45 years?
     
  10. How many women will die before pro-abortion rallies become powerful grassroots expressions of rage instead of opportunities to shill for politicians?
We read

A Kentucky artist and farmer made a beautiful comic about her experience getting an abortion at the state’s last clinic. | Since the Argentine Senate voted down a bill to legalize abortion, the work continues: at least 2,000 Argentines have defected from the Catholic Church in protest, and Argentina’s equivalent of the FDA approved the consumption and manufacture of misoprostol. Three women have died from complications related to self-induced abortions. | By the end of the year, folks in England will be able to legally take both of the pills used in medication abortions at home. | Turns out that Scott Lloyd’s crusade for forced birth began back in law school, when he wrote an essay about his experience as a young man driving his girlfriend to get an abortion. “It doesn’t speak highly of women to assume that they can’t handle the pressures of being a mother,” he wrote. Now he oversees the provision of healthcare for migrant teenagers. | In January, the Dominican Republic, one of 26 countries with total bans on abortion, will vote on a bill to decriminalize it under certain conditions. | Without diapers, food, medicine, or health care in their home country, Venezuelans are fleeing for Brazil by the thousands to give birth. | The California legislature just passed a bill requiring public universities to provide medication abortion on campus as a “basic health service."

We love 

The only feminism with teeth: the anti-capitalist kind. It's not cute or well-branded. As activists in Argentina continue the fight for legal abortion, socialist feminists are on the vanguard
 
"The first step is: 'ni olvido, ni perdón' ('neither forget, nor forgive'). We will practice escraches (public shaming) against these senators. We will fight to strengthen the network of abortion providers, occupy public hospitals, demand the public production and free use (not only in hospitals) of misoprostol, and for each death due to a botched abortion we will accuse the state and call it a state femicide. [...]

"I think we have to become more threatening. And for that we have to inject our green in the conservative gray... of most of the unions. Because access to abortion is an issue for the working class as a whole. So, while it is women who have to decide, it is the working class as a whole that has to fight to honor that decision."

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