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Abortion Rights

Safe Abortions Everywhere, Regardless Of The Law

In 2008 in Quito, high in the Andes Mountains, a group of young feminist activists dropped a banner from the top of an enormous statue of the Virgin Mary that towers over Ecuador’s capital city. ​“Aborto Seguro,” the banner read, alongside the number for a new hotline that offered callers information on safely using medication to end a pregnancy outside the medical system. In a country where abortion access is extremely restricted and the majority of the population is Catholic, the Ecuadorian ​“safe abortion hotline” was a bold declaration of women’s bodily autonomy. It was also the beginning of what has since become a transnational movement that is increasingly relevant far beyond the region where it was born.

Wins At The Ballot Box For Abortion Rights Still Mean Court Battles

Before Ohio voters amended their constitution last year to protect abortion rights, the state’s attorney general, an anti-abortion Republican, said that doing so would upend at least 10 state laws limiting abortions. But those laws remain a hurdle and straightforward access to abortions has yet to resume, said Bethany Lewis, executive director of the Preterm abortion clinic in Cleveland. “Legally, what actually happened in practice was not much,” she said. Today, most of those laws limiting abortions — including a 24-hour waiting period and a 20-week abortion ban — continue to govern Ohio health providers, despite the constitutional amendment’s passage with nearly 57% of the vote. For abortion rights advocates, it’s going to take time and money to challenge the laws in the courts.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion Nationally

On Wednesday, September 6, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) unanimously ruled to decriminalize abortion at the national level. The SCJN resolved that the legal system that criminalizes abortion in the Federal Penal Code is unconstitutional as it violates the human rights of women and people with capacity for pregnancy. The ruling came two years after the SCJN first declared criminal penalties for abortion as unconstitutional and ordered the northern State of Coahuila to remove sanctions for abortion from its criminal code in September 2021. The ruling was in response to a case filed in 2018 challenging a criminal law in the Coahuila State legislation that punished women and pregnant individuals for terminating their pregnancy.

Attacks On Abortion Rights Are Attacks On All Workers

Over the past year, workers have seen our lives irrevocably changed. The Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs decision gutted a fundamental right to bodily autonomy and plunged millions into crisis and uncertainty. Almost immediately, a litany of horror stories emerged. Doctors denying life saving care for fear of retribution; women trapped with their abusers or killed for accessing abortion care; children — already subjected to unspeakable violence — forced to seek the procedure in the shadows, lest they bear children of their own. Since the ruling, 14 states have implemented full abortion bans, and several others are working tirelessly to restrict access.

Graduate Unions Lead National Reproductive Rights Walkouts

Today, October 6, students from more than 50 schools spanning over 30 states are holding coordinated actions in support of the rights to safe, legal, and accessible abortion, gender affirming care, comprehensive sex education, and free contraception. These events range from resource fairs and “green out” color days, to panels and rallies, to full student walkouts. The students are organizing as the Graduate Student Action Network (GSAN), a nationwide coalition formed over the summer after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was decided and Roe v. Wade was overturned. At several schools, graduate worker unions are playing a key role in organizing October 6 Day of Action events, recognizing the deep connections between abortion rights and the issues traditionally taken up by the labor movement.

Kansas Votes Overwhelmingly To Protect Abortion

Kansas - Kansans have voted to protect abortion rights in their state. Yes, Kansas — the deep red state where Trump won by more than 15 percentage points last election cycle has voted to protect abortion rights. In fact, Kansas has a history of violence against abortion providers, including the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller in 2009.But the vote wasn’t even close. At the time of publishing, the vote was roughly 60% in favor of abortion rights and 40% against. It was overwhelmingly in favor of protecting abortion rights in the state, with a huge voter turnout and by a wide margin. Amidst the dystopian chaos that is the post-Roe world, legislators in Kansas tried to slip one past Kansans, holding a referendum in the middle of the summer, during a mostly Republican primary, in an effort to capture a repeal of the state’s constitutional protection for the right to abortion in a low-turnout event.

National Mobilization For Reproductive Justice

Radical Women joins the chorus of outraged abortion rights supporters responding to the leaked draft Supreme Court decision on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case out of Mississippi. This unprecedented pre-release of a court decision confirms the reality that Roe v. Wade could be fully overturned in coming months. Clearly women’s lives and bodily autonomy have no value in the eyes of the majority of high court justices. However, this fight is far from over.   The leaked decision confirms what Radical Women has assumed to be true, that the conservative Supreme Court is poised to rule against women and all pregnant people’s right to control their reproduction and lives. Now is the time to hit the streets and put pressure on the justices with the message “They strike Roe? We say no!”

Shadow Docket Supreme Court Decisions Could Affect Millions

Traditionally, the process of getting an opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court takes months and those rulings are often narrowly tailored. Emergency orders, especially during the court’s summer break, revolve around specific issues, like individual death penalty cases. Since Aug. 24, that truncated process known as the shadow docket has moved at astronomical speed, producing decisions related to immigration, COVID-19 and evictions and, most recently, abortion.

US Judges Stop States From Curbing Abortions During Coronavirus Crisis

Federal judges on Monday blocked officials in Texas, Ohio and Alabama from banning most abortions in those states as part of their orders to postpone surgeries and other procedures deemed not medically necessary during the coronavirus crisis. The rulings came in a series of legal actions aimed at blocking steps by various Republican-led states cracking down on abortion during the pandemic. The first of the decisions involved Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s announcement last week that abortion providers were covered by a state order that required postponement of non-urgent medical procedures to preserve hospital beds and equipment during the pandemic. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled that Paxton’s action “prevents Texas women from exercising what the Supreme Court has declared is their fundamental constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is viable.”

Collins’s Office Received 3,000 Coat Hangers Protesting Kavanaugh

Activists have sent Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) 3,000 coat hangers, referencing back-alley abortions, in their efforts to persuade her to vote against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The mail-ins accompany TV ads aimed at swaying the senator’s vote and pledges to fund her Senate opponent in 2020 if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh, The Associated Press reports.  The centrist Collins is seen as a critical swing vote in Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing and has said she wouldn’t vote to confirm a nominee who was hostile to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortions. 

Drone Delivers Abortion Pills To Women In Northern Ireland

By Staff of Women on Waves - This morning the Abortion Drone flew from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland at Narrow Waters Castle. After the drone landed safely two women took the pills. At the same time Women on Waves employed a RC speedboat to send over more pills for the women. Making abortion illegal will not keep women from accessing abortion pills, by ship, by mail, through the internet, drone or RC speedboat!

The People Are With Us

It is a persistent belief among many in the political and media establishments that the United States is a “center-right nation” which finds progressives to be far too liberal for mainstream positions of power. If you look purely at electoral outcomes, those who assert this appear to have a fairly strong point. The last several decades of federal politics have been dominated by center-right policies and truly left wing politicians have been largely marginalized (ex. Bernie Sanders). Even Clinton and Obama—the last two Democratic presidents who, theoretically, should be leftists—are corporate-friendly moderates who have triangulated during negotiations with Republicans to pass center-right policy compromises (ex. Obama’s Heritage Foundation inspired ACAor the Clinton Defense of Marriage Act compromise). While electoral results support the idea of a center-right USA, looking beyond electoral politics—which involve a mixture of policy choices, party politics, fundraising, and propaganda—and focusing purely upon raw policy preferences, leaves us with an entirely different picture -- the people are progressive and leaning left on almost all critical issues.

Reproductive Justice Denied to Indigenous Women

In October of last year, Irma Lopez Aurelio arrived at a state health clinic in Oaxaca, Mexico, in labor with her third child. The doctors at the clinic told her to come back, that her labor was not advanced enough and no doctor was available to help her. Irma, who is indigenous, spoke little Spanish and was unable to communicate how advanced her labor was to the monolingual doctors. After hours of waiting, Irma gave birth on the lawn outside of the clinic. In the past nine months, seven indigenous women in Mexico have been documented having their babies in the yard, waiting rooms, or front steps of state clinics. The vast majority have occurred in Oaxaca, the third poorest state, with the largest indigenous population in the country.

Stealing Roe One Law At A Time

"Forty-one years after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, the attacks on reproductive rights are escalating--so much so that, according to a recent study, more legislation restricting abortion has been passed in the last three years than in the decade before that. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, over the course of 2013, 39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these provisions--70 in 22 states--restricted access to abortion services. Some 205 abortion restrictions went into effect between 2011 and 2013, compared to 189 between 2001 and 2010."

Video: Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court. While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate. A 2013 Gallup poll showed that “52 percent of Americans support access to legal abortions under certain circumstances, with 26 percent holding it should always be legal and 20 percent in favor of an outright ban.” Those numbers have shifted little in a generation. However, as Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy, points out Reproductive rights are in a state of emergency.
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