10 books for our current political moment

We can hardly predict what the next four years hold for us, but the signs are anything but encouraging. We need to steel ourselves for the fight ahead, learn from the past and find comfort and encouragement anywhere we can, including books.

Here is some recommended reading for your holidays that feels just right for our political moment: Continue reading “10 books for our current political moment”

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Politicians are ignorant about reproductive freedom, and we need to educate them

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It has certainly not gone unnoticed that women’s reproductive freedom has been at the mercy of mostly male politicians who have never had to grapple with the real impact of access to reproductive healthcare (except perhaps when arranging an abortion for a mistress). Just this past week, we saw two examples of men in power who are aggressively ignorant about the reality women deal with in this country and how abortion and birth control affect our lives.  Continue reading “Politicians are ignorant about reproductive freedom, and we need to educate them”

Wednesday watch: Samantha Bee on Catholic hospitals

With reproductive rights under attack everywhere you turn, from Congress trying to defund Planned Parenthood to state legislatures mandating fetus funerals, there’s a stealth threat that hasn’t gotten as much attention but also poses a huge danger to women’s health. The ACLU reports that one in six hospitals beds in the US is now in a Catholic hospital that follows the church’s health directives, even when they threaten a woman’s life. Samantha Bee brings her perfect blend of humor and righteous indignation to the issue on this week’s episode of Full Frontal.

You can’t be pro-choice and pro-Hyde

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There are many people who say (at least in a hypothetical situation) that abortion wouldn’t ever be a choice for them, but they don’t think anyone should interfere with a woman’s choice to have an abortion. Some of them would call themselves pro-choice. The important thing is that they do not believe their personal feelings need to be reflected in the laws that govern every person in this country. Combine those people with ardent advocates for reproductive freedom, and you get a solid majority in this country.  Continue reading “You can’t be pro-choice and pro-Hyde”

Wednesday watch: Comedians in Cars Getting Abortions

Last month, the Supreme Court struck down two provisions of Texas’ draconian anti-abortion law HB 2 and affirmed the constitutional right to abortion in stronger terms than many of us had dared to hope. It was an amazing victory that gives energy and momentum to the reproductive freedom movement.

And the sad fact is, we’re going to need it. New anti-choice laws went into effect in about one-fifth of states on July 1st. There are laws in this country that mandate waiting periods, that force women to look at ultrasounds, even ones that appoint a lawyer for a fetus or require burial or cremation of aborted fetuses. Then there are anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers that trick women and try to block their access to reproductive health care.

We have a fight ahead of us, and a little humor always helps along the way. This new video from NARAL Pro-Choice America features comedians Alice Wetterlund and Nato Green in a parody of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” that shows them navigating the barriers that make it difficult to access abortion (full disclosure: I was involved in the production of this video).

Anti-choice groups may be following you into an abortion clinic through your phone

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Most of us have no idea what we’re signing off on when we agree to the terms of an app we’ve downloaded. There’s a huge amount of data about us that companies have access to thanks to our ever-present smart phones. An investigation by Rewire reveals a chilling new implication: anti-choice groups are using geo-fencing to advertise to women while they are inside abortion clinics.  Continue reading “Anti-choice groups may be following you into an abortion clinic through your phone”

Wednesday watch: TRAPPED

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A lot of news about new abortion restrictions just washes over people. It’s hard to keep up with the onslaught, and a lot of the laws sound technical. What difference does it make to require an abortion clinic to be an ambulatory surgical center? What’s the big deal about mandating that an abortion doctor must have admitting privileges at a hospital? The new documentary TRAPPED cuts through the jargon to show the human devastation caused by these attacks on reproductive rights.

I had the honor of sitting on a panel following a screening of this film last weekend with a wonderful group of women, including June Ayers, a clinic director featured in the film. I felt so much gratitude for the providers in the film who were fighting back against increasingly draconian and nonsensical regulations because they care so much about the women who need their help.

Watch the trailer below, and find a screening in your area.