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”
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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.
While the Supreme Court has affirmed that Americans have a constitutional right to abortion, it doesn’t mean getting one is easy. While the ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt finally struck a blow against some of the nation’s most draconian anti-abortion laws, there are still hundreds of laws on the books that make a getting an abortion more difficult, and anti-choice groups are finding new and creative ways to block access. Low income women and women of color suffer the most in the fact of these restrictions.
Whether it’s a law that requires you to go to a faraway clinic twice because there’s a mandatory waiting period, or the Hyde amendment that blocks funding for abortions for low-income women, these restrictions can make accessing reproductive healthcare prohibitively expensive. The National Network of Abortion Funds works to make sure that abortion isn’t just a right on paper. You can donate to them directly, and/or choose from their list of local abortion funds who need support in the ongoing effort to make universal abortion access a reality.
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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).
In exciting news for fans of smart political comedy, Jessica Williams announced that she is leaving The Daily Show to pursue a pilot for Comedy Central about “a politically minded young woman who may be ‘woke’ but doesn’t know what she’s doing.” While we eagerly await that show, Vulture has a roundup of some of her best segments on TDS. You can also get your Jessica Williams fix in the meantime by listening to 2 Dope Queens, her magnificent podcast with the equally hilarious Phoebe Robinson.
This is one of my favorite Jessica Williams segments, in which she interviews a lawyer that represents fetuses in Alabama (yes, that’s a thing).