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NEWSLETTER  |  JANUARY 9, 2018  |  Vol. 1, Issue 1
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We emerge from the trash fire that was 2017. | Photo by Andrew Gaines on Unsplash.
All the Abortion News That’s Fit to Print.

I signed up for a daily Google Alert for the word “abortion” a few weeks ago. The amount of rightwing clickbait I receive every day now has been... instructive. Can conviction be measured the sheer volume of articles smearing Planned Parenthood and wringing hands about baby parts? If so, the left has lost this war, or doesn’t care to fight. If not: in 2018, we need to read and circulate more rigorous writing about abortion that calls for no less than free abortion on demand. That’s why we’ve started this newsletter.

For our first issue, we look back at some of the big stories about abortion that guided our activism in 2017, a year in which we outnumbered anti-choice protesters ten to one; made the case for a rigorous clinic defense strategy; defended the Planned Parenthood on Bleecker St. and Bronx Abortion twice, and hosted numerous film screenings and panels.

Join us on January 25 at Verso Books to plan another year of unapologetic grassroots abortion activism.

Meanwhile, here’s what happened in 2017.

The Trump administration moved to stop undocumented pregnant people from accessing abortion care…

March: Trump’s new head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, E. Scott Lloyd, instituted a new policy requiring undocumented minors to get his permission before they can do anything related to accessing abortion care.

September: A seventeen-year-old undocumented girl sought Lloyd’s permission to leave her shelter to obtain an abortion. He said no, though she had raised the funds to pay for it and arranged transportation to the clinic herself.

October: The seventeen-year-old sued and successfully obtained an abortion. Her statement is worth reading.

November: The Trump admin asked the Supreme Court to allow them to block other undocumented pregnant people from accessing abortion (and to discipline the ACLU attorneys who defended the seventeen-year-old).
...and was so very destructive in so many other ways, probably too many to count, but here are a few!

May: Trump reinstatesd and drastically expanded the Global Gag Rule, preventing pregnant people around the world from accessing information on safe abortion care.

October: Trump’s Health Department declared life begins at conception.

November: Republicans included rights for the unborn in their tax plan.

December: CDC received a list of forbidden words including “evidence-based,” “science-based,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” and “fetus.”

Anti-abortion groups were emboldened.

September: Demonstrators invaded three clinics around the country, physically forcing their way in and refusing to leave.

November: “And now the Lord has answered -- this is the last remaining abortion mill, not only in Louisville, but also in Kentucky.” Ugh.

December: The number of protestors at North Carolina’s busiest abortion clinic was more than enough to drop its full Saturday roster to less than half.

Abortion continued to not be murder
(*whisper* it’s a moral good).

May: Texas become the latest state to mandate the burial or cremation of fetal remains, which is pretty cruel shit.

September: Ohio Republicans floated a total abortion ban and criminalized the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome.

December: An El Salvador woman miscarried and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. A judge rejected her appeal. She is one of many Latin American women in countries with total abortion bans who have been convicted of murder after miscarrying.

Insurance coverage was less than comprehensive.

January: New York state based Fidelis Care refuses to cover abortion, sterilization, and most forms of birth control.

August: Texas passed a law prohibiting insurance companies from covering non-life threatening abortion care, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Look at these smiling slimeballs.

December: Other states did the same, with varying degrees of cruelty. Poor pregnant people suffered most, per usual.

Democrats shrugged.

March: Male Democrats floated the idea of moving to the right on abortion as an electoral strategy.

June: Nancy Pelosi said that abortion is “fading as an issue” for voters; Bernie Sanders said “you just can’t exclude people who disagree with us on one issue” (guess which issue).

August: Being pro-choice is not a litmus test for Democrats, according to the chairman of the DNCC.

Free. Abortion. On Demand.

July: The government of Quebec committed to making the abortion pill available for free for all residents. Quebec’s health minister, who is a man, said this: "We would have gone forward with this decision even if the price was on average a higher cost than the regular surgical procedure… because we believe, again, that women in this province do have a choice and this is a choice.” Imagine!

August: Oregon passed the United States’ most progressive abortion rights legislation.

September: In Illinois, low-income pregnant people can now use their Medicaid insurance to access abortion care. Baby steps, America!

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