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NEWSLETTER  |  April 3, 2018  |  Vol. 1, Issue 7

We cause a stir

This feels like a lifetime ago now, but last week we held an action in Foley Square to oppose a rally of antis who believe that abortion should be illegal, full stop, no exception for rape or incest. We were outnumbered by quite a bit, but we managed to make them feel very, very upset! Some highlights:

  • The very spunky, very misguided woman who walked over to us (from quite a ways away!) and berated us about abortion causing breast cancer (it doesn’t) and wouldn’t leave until her friends came over and pulled her away.
  • Laura posing as a dead woman on a gurney under a bloody sheet. She really committed, even with the wind and that woman shouting in her face, and she was magnificent.
  • The man who kindly informed us that we are snowflakes and lesbians. “Go back to your lesbian lovers!” he said. Don’t mind if we do!
  • The lovely mother and daughter from France who stopped to chant with us.

In conclusion: Antis should talk to their doctors about their elevated blood pressure, and vive l’avortement!

Coming up: Join us at our next organizing meeting at 7pm on Tuesday, April 3, at Mayday Space, where we’ll be talking about how abortion access fits into the framework of reproductive justice. Details and links to the readings we’ll be discussing are in the Facebook event.

We cherish facts

Abortion is very, very safe. It’s safer than many far less fraught, regulated things (such as colonoscopies and lightning strikes), and according to a landmark new study from the National Academies of Sciences, it’s safe enough to be performed super routinely by a range of clinicians, not just doctors. Some key takeaways from the study:

  • Most abortions can be safely performed in an office setting
  • Nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and physician assistants have the clinical skills to provide the most common types of abortions
  • The earlier in pregnancy that the abortion occurs, the safer it is
  • Laws that restrict the availability of abortion make the procedure less safe

The NPR write-up of the study inexplicably gives a good bit of space to warmed-over talking points from the head of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (“I mean, we all know that the fetus is killed during an abortion”do we??), so here’s a very good article about it in the L.A. Times instead.

We read

Speaking of needless, anti-science regulations: Indiana just passed a law compelling doctors to report all abortion complications to the state. | Drop everything and read this story about the underground network of more than 2,000 women who risk imprisonment to provide home abortions: “Home providers face opposition from lawmakers and anti-choice groups, but they also have not found much support from the major pro-choice groups, which have fought for decades to protect clinical abortion. With few political allies, these providers have been doing this work quietly and on their own.” | A brief history of Ireland’s deeply classist abortion ban, ahead of the upcoming referendum on May 25. | “ _____  Endangers Low-Income Women, Women of Color” is an evergreen headline. This week, fill in the blank with “Mississippi Abortion Ban.” Outlawing abortion after 15 weeks, it’s the most restrictive abortion law in the country and it’s already disrupting care and draining state funds that could be used for… oh, I don’t know, the needs of living, breathing people? | The Atlantic has given a column to Kevin Williamson, a man who believes that women who have had abortions should be killed by the state, preferably hanged. “I take very seriously the idea that The Atlantic should be a big tent for ideas and argument,” said editor Jeffrey Goldberg in a staff memo about the hire. A tent so big, there’s room for elevating the voices of men who believe that 25% of all women should be executed! Wow! Wow. | Meanwhile, in the annals of This Shit Doesn’t Happen in a Vaccum: Ohio gears up to criminalize all abortion (punishable by life in prison or death).

We love

Mass Mobilization on Three Continents

In Brazil, tens of thousands demonstrated after Marielle Franco, a black, queer councilwoman and beloved advocate against police violence was assassinated: “I am here because I’m not going to see another slain black body in Brazil. I’m fed up. That’s enough.” Here is a beautiful tribute with good context from The Intercept.

In the US, days after the March for Our Lives brought hundreds of thousands (millions?) to the streets, hundreds rally in Sacramento against police violence and the murder of Stephon Clark. An autopsy has revealed that police shot him eight times in the back in his grandmother’s backyard.

In Poland, a country with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the EU, tens of thousands of women marched again in opposition to a bill that would further tighten those laws, chanting “Your rule will end but your shame will last.” Write that in period blood and mail it to your legislator.

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