RHA and SOTU and OSA

You know in the presidential debate when then candidate Trump talked about ripping babies from the womb in the ninth month as a form of abortion? And you were like “This is just wrong and hopefully we will not ever have to think about it again because everyone can realize it is wrong.”

Well, because we live in truly the worst nightmare timeline, instead of this just being a stupid remark it’s become… a hill every right winger wants to die on.

And so it goes that during the State of the Union last night we had to once again hear about how important and beautiful babies are from a person who, again, ripped REAL babies from their parents when they tried to seek asylum.

We are very very tired of having to say that OBVIOUSLY at nine months PEOPLE ARE NOT JUST CASUALLY HAVING ABORTIONS! It’s just so disingenuous and offensive that the other side has decided to grip onto this obvious lie and just roll with it. Because the people who are actually hurt by these kinds of bans are people who have maybe picked out the crib, painted the room, planned for a birth, and then are given the worst news of their life. And that worst news is followed by constantly having to hear idiot sidewalk screamers and anti-abortion jerks sneer at them  and make their medical planning harder.

So we’d just encourage everyone to read and share these stories this week. First the story on Abortion Patients: “The stories we hear being told about later abortion in this national discussion are not our stories. They do not reflect our choices or experiences. These hypothetical patients don’t sound like us or the other patients we know. The barbarous, unethical doctors in these scenarios don’t sound like the people who gave us compassionate care.”

And also read and force those PRAISING the State of the Union to read these heartbreaking stories from the Guardian.

And just stop this lie about people wanting to terminate a pregnancy at 9 months just for fun. It’s not true and it’s very hurtful. It emboldens extremists who want to hurt providers by giving them ammo that’s completely false. And it has to stop!

State of the Uterus 2019

Today Eunice P. Justice addressed a joint session of Congress for the 2019 State of the Uterus. Here is the official transcript from the speech.

Madame Uterus, Mister Vice Uterus, my beautiful gender neutral First Spouse, invited guests. It has been one year since I stood before you in this majestic chamber to give you the state of my majestic chamber. So today I can assure you, my fellow Americans, that the State of the Uteri is strong.

But, as we know, 2018 was not without significant setbacks. We watched the Supreme Court move further to the right. In fact, it’s now located closer to my cervix than at any time in the past 40 years.

But we also saw advancements. Republicans made history last month by making Marsha Blackburn and Joni Ernst the first women from their party to sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Gone are the days of hiring an outside woman to question the victims of the next sexual predator nominated for a Supreme Court seat. Adding these women to the Judiciary Committee shows us that even though they don’t care, they’re trying to look like they do. And that, my friends, is progress!

While we celebrate these successes, we must also face the harsh reality that there are many challenges before us. Dangerous forces that threaten our way of life. And today, my fellow-pian Americans, I stand before you with a plan to face them head on.

We all watch anxiously as caravans of undocumented politicians continue to make their way to our borders. From East Ovary to West Ovary, all the way to South Vagina – the United States of the Uteri is being invaded by extremist politicians coming from shithole countries like Whitemanistan, and lncel-vania. Some are dangerous. Some are useless, and all of them want to destroy the freedoms the Uteri of America currently enjoy.

Which is why today, I am proposing we build a wall. A great uterine wall. A mighty fortress that once and for all will stop the flow of these personal space invaders, not for a mere 28 days, but for 28 years! 28 centuries! We must stop these illegal fail-ions from penetrating the “I’ll-Decide-If-I-Wanna-Be-A-Mother Land”

Because, as we saw last year, our willingness to do nothing led to over 300 measures being introduced in 37 states, to restrict access to either abortion or contraception by vaginal coyotes who think expanding access means a 40 week abortion clinic in every taco truck in every parking lot of every daycare center in America. And that is wrong!

So in closing, we must ensure that the content of every uteri be determined by the individual owner of said uterus, and not by invaders, whether foreign or domestic. We do not need to make the Uteri Great Again. Rather we must honor our majestic chamber. We must protect our borders. And we must maintain its freshness.

There is much work to be done, especially after 35 days of a shut down. And if you will allow me a point of personal privilege – I do not take credit for this shut down, nor will I take blame for this shut down because, for the last time, the uterus does not have the ability to shut the whole thing down!

So thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of the Uteri.

The Lies They Tell

Today #ExposeFakeClinics launches the #GramTheVan campaign to raise awareness about the deception and lies of fake clinics, particularly in Ultrasound Vans—that’s right! Mobile fake clinics are a growing tactic being used by fake women’s health centers. Help us call them out! Learn how to take action right here. Below,  Lady Parts Justice League writer Molly Gaebe shares her story of a recent trip to a fake clinic.

By Molly Gaebe

I knew what I was getting into. I was walking into the doors of a fake clinic, a place whose sole purpose is to coerce women out of abortion, whether they have made their minds up or not. I knew this as I walked in the front door that said “Choices” in pale yellow, pink, and blue. I knew this as I walked into the waiting area, complete with a glass intake window and pamphlets displayed all around the room. My heart sank for the young couple who was waiting for their appointment, silent, still with their winter coats on, because they did not know. How could they?

This place is designed to look exactly like a medical clinic. But look closer, and you start to see the anti-abortion cracks everywhere. Every pamphlet is about the horrors of abortion (no science to be found anywhere) and the joys of birth (which, for the record, is 14 times more dangerous than abortion). Under where you sign your name agreeing that this place can use your personal health information however they choose, is a disclaimer that includes this line: Volunteers are well trained in crisis counseling and are here because they care about you. They are not necessarily degreed or licensed.

Okay, I won’t even get into the intense creep factor of the “because they care about you” Mommy Dearest vibe. That is for another time and blog. But right there in the fine print, they say, these volunteers are not degreed or licensed aka have no professional training whatsoever. A person signing this form probably wouldn’t even process that line. I mean, it all looks so official, and it’s designed that way.

I was greeted by a woman who is soft spoken and welcoming. She handed me the cup to pee in, which I did—kind of (thank you, friend with pregnant pee!). Then she ushered me into a room with a small brown couch and a chair for her. The room had a coffee table with a big binded book on it, along with a box of tissues.

She asked me all about my life. I told her I have had a surgical abortion before (I have) and am interested in a medication abortion because I heard it is safe, and I cannot afford to have a child right now. She picked up the big binded book from the coffee table, opened it quietly and cautiously, like something bad was about to happen. It was if she was about to read an R.L. Stine book to a child called The Curse of the Mummy’s Abortion.

Page by page, she went through this massive binded document with sections describing the worst possible outcomes of medication and surgical abortion. It looked very official, these lies laid out in print surrounded by stock photos of tortured-looking women with their heads in their hands. The whole (seemingly never ending) appointment was about making abortion seem unsafe and like the riskiest decision I could make around my pregnancy.

When I told her I had had an abortion before, out came the lies about the effects that my abortion will have on my fertility, my mental health, and my chances of getting cancer. One of the pamphlets she read included this line:

A Possible Relationship with Breast Cancer: Carrying a pregnancy to full term gives a measure of protection against breast cancer, especially a woman’s first pregnancy. Terminating a pregnancy may result in a loss of that protection.

WHATTHEHELL. For real. HAVE THIS BABY or you revoke your rights to a cancer free life. The guilt factor they heap on you is really impressive.

Throughout the appointment, I told her twice that my abortion made me feel relieved, because it absolutely did. That clearly wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear. After I told her about my good experience and joy around my first abortion, she went silent. Then she read more from the pamphlet that listed only these as the possible things I would feel after another one, should I choose to accept it: Guilt, grief, anger, difficulty bonding with a partner, eating disorders. She wasn’t done. Clinical depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts and behavior.

The entire sessions was this relentless hammering on possible disastrous emotions and behaviors and future cancers and perforations I would experience. Not calm, not relief, not joy, all the emotions I felt when I actually did have one.

She told me there is a link between breast cancer and abortion because our bodies “change with the hormones” and “everything in our body is interconnected.” Ok, sure that sounds like science.

I was also told that if I went through with my (very early) abortion I could have a hysterectomy and die. I was told it could endanger my chances of getting pregnant in the future, and if I managed to get pregnant, it would risk my health. She gave me some sort of convoluted explanation about how having had an abortion is like having scar tissue on your arm. If the scar is deep enough, it will affect your nerves and your muscles and “how you feel and how you use it.” Sure, this sounds like more science.

I want to say here that yes, there are risks and complications associated with abortion, AS WITH ANY PROCEDURE. But to misrepresent them as the most likely outcome is flat out wrong. It’s condescending and harmful to people who are looking for help, guidance, and FACTUAL EVIDENCE. The facts are that abortion is one of the safest procedures out there, and that the most common emotion associated with it is relief. We don’t need places like these mischaracterizing abortion. Doctors already go through all the risks of abortion with their patients. We don’t need abortion haunted houses like these frightening vulnerable people.

I also want to say here that the woman was very nice to me. She wanted me to know, as the disclaimer said, that she cares about me. If these places really cared about the people walking in the door, they wouldn’t have to scare and lie to them. If they really cared, they would work in their communities to provide sex education and birth control and advocate for more resources for couples like the the one in their waiting room. They don’t, because their concern is only to coerce people out of abortion, and into birth.

No matter what their circumstances or what they want. I told her when I came in, I wanted a medication abortion. Her response was to send me out the door with lies, a prayer, and a few  bags of diapers and blankets (which I donated to a women’s shelter.)

Reproductive Justice and Black History Month

It’s officially February all, the long national nightmare of January has ended! And we’ve emerged from the below zero degrees weather to … 8-degree weather. The Reproductive Health Care Act in New York has PASSED and much like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it is causing people on the other side to have a legit MELTDOWN.

Now that it is February 1st it is the first day of Black History Month. So we wanted to talk to you a little bit about the difference between reproductive justice and reproductive rights. Often these terms get thrown around and are used interchangeably but they shouldn’t be and it’s important to understand the differences! LPJL is a reproductive rights organization that centers abortion access and works to end abortion stigma. That means the framework which we come into our work is first to make sure pregnant people have legal access to reproductive health care options, especially abortion.  We advocate for this in all communities especially marginalized communities that don’t have the resources to do so at the political level – whether local, state or federal.

Reproductive Justice (RJ) is a framework created by women of color in 1994 to address the inequalities that reproductive rights leaders, typically white women, didn’t center or experience. RJ is not singularly focused but rather more encompassing and highlights the challenges women of color and vulnerable communities face at all stages of their reproductive health from birth control, pregnancy, abortion, and sexual freedom. It truly centers the people most affected by the stigma around abortion and oppressive laws and lifts up their stories, amplifying the voices from those communities and works to change society so all humans can have self-determination, which takes time and continued organizing.  

As an organization run by white women, we’re also aware that we have blind spots and that we can always be doing MORE to amplify other voices. So we are excited to announce that throughout the month of February we will be interviewing prominent leaders and total badass organizers from the reproductive justice movement. EVERY THURSDAY you’ll get an interview and there might be a few bonus ones peppered throughout the month too. We hope to talk about the state of reproductive justice in 2019.
Let us know if there are any questions you really want us to address! And consider donating to some great reproductive justice orgs this month like SisterSong or Access Reproductive Care Southeast!

Forever Reminder: Abortion Until Birth Is Not A Thing

Well it’s that time of year again where everyone kinda gets cabin fever from staying in because of the frigid temperatures and people start just spewing, the worst propaganda. Like, we expect nonsense from these zygote lovers but, boy oh boy things have gone into overdrive of late. Enter the whole “they’re killing living babies” argument. Yes, you read that right, the other side is saying that we want a baby to be born and then want to kill it. Just like… what??? No, obviously not. That’s OBVIOUSLY not what we stand for.

See, this Ben Shapiro tweet:

Now you’re saying we murder babies outside the womb? Feel like you need to stick on message. Like we all agree born babies are babies. You’re fighting against a nonexistent enemy here.

The trouble started with — well just these guys’ general radical ideology and un-empathetic viewpoint and rigidity to the point of cruelty, but probably specifically with — the Reproductive Health Act in New York and a similar act in Virginia.

So let’s address RHA. Tomorrow on Operation Save Abortion we’ll have a full breakdown of both!

When we kept reading these sensational headlines like “New York Wants You to Be Able to Kill Your Toddler” we were like “Even for them, it seems extreme.” We maybe even kinda wondered if we… read the RHA wrong. BUT NOPE obviously not. As Jia Tolentino pointed out, the RHA doesn’t even GO AS FAR as some people wanted it to. The RHA just means that abortion is not under the criminal code any more (yeesh, a BARE minimum thing) and that providers can provide abortion up to 24 weeks (which is NOT the third trimester, my guys) and “after the 24th week of pregnancy if a woman’s health or life is in danger, or if a fetus is not viable.”

So this brings up an interesting reality of what abortions we choose to talk about and which we choose to be sympathetic too.  Basically, a lot of RHA advocates have acknowledged that people can be more sympathetic if they see that like, hey look, a lot of the women who gets an abortion after 24 weeks, USUALLY desperately wants their baby, but have been given terrible news about the fetus’ ability to survive outside of the womb. The stories are often heartbreaking and devastating and you’d literally have to be a monster to not feel sympathy for them.

But guess what, the other side is in fact full of a bunch of monsters that JUST COMPLETELY IGNORE STORIES LIKE THIS! Like you know the idiot anti-vaxxers that are killing kids… that’s kinda what these anti-abortion extremists are like. They’re like “You know, a doctor who has years of medical experience says your baby will live a short extremely painful life, but I,  person who knows nothing, believe you can just pray a lot and things will be OK.”

OK OK, so we’ve established, a lot of people are making a crushing decision. But what a lot of advocates also acknowledge is that establishing this kind of story where abortion is the very last option… isn’t always how the world works. And, you know, it’s really a decision between a patient and her doctor, at the end of the day. Like, you can have whatever opinion you want on the subject, but… you’re not the one carrying the fetus or the one taking care of the patient.

This is all to say that although YES a majority of abortions this late are because of devastating diagnosis (and yes it is the majority don’t let the fucking other side try to argue otherwise), we just can’t know everyone’s stories. So that’s why we try to offer some grace, in saying that the laws shouldn’t be designed to rigidly judge what is a “good” abortion and what kinda abortion should be shameful. Because we don’t think any abortion should be shameful.

And that’s where the other side gets us. Because we’re not willing to sell our side out and be like “Ok, in this case, she prob shouldn’t have gotten an abortion” they trap us and say we’re for infanticide.

But again, because they’re so stupid, they don’t realize that we’re talking about DIFFERENT THINGS HERE. And they can never, really, actually trap us. Because again.. there is no world in which a GOOD doctor would help a woman give birth to a live healthy baby and then be like, “You want me to just kill this real quick?” And if the doctor DID do that, OF COURSE WE WOULD WANT HIM/HER to go to jail.

And jesus christ, we can’t believe we’re still talking about this.

Buyer’s Remorse

Y’all, we cannot even understand the frickin’ AUDACITY of men. Like, it knows no bounds. Take for example this great opinion piece about  48-hour waiting periods in Wyoming. A republican representative tried to make an argument that those waiting periods were good because they prevented women from having “buyer’s remorse.” Y’all mind if we pop off a bit??

OK so first off this rep says that while buying a sports coat where he was worried about the “fit and feel” he was assured by the woman working at the store that he could return the coat if it didn’t fit in a few days. And he said since abortion is such a big decision that people should get two days to decide upon it, at least.

Hmmm, let’s think about all the ways this is stupid as shit. ONE: if you don’t like your sports coat you don’t have to wear it every day for the next 18 years. TWO: In many ways he should not use a RETURN policy to describe the importance of abortion because if anything, abortion is kinda a return and it seems like he is pro-returns. THREE: Everyone who is having abortion has THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR MORE THAN TWO DAYS. Basically no one finds out they’re pregnant and immediately within the hour is at a clinic like “No time to think, just do.” Most of the time pregnant people have had at least 8 weeks to “try it out” and have decided in fact, that they don’t want to be pregnant. And also, as people who can get pregnant, living in the world, believe it or not, we’ve all in some capacity had to THINK about what it’d be like to be pregnant and if we would want to be pregnant. See unlike a sports coat, a uterus isn’t think we put on and take off.

This kinda “coat” talk speaks to how condescending fucking all anti-abortion arguers are. Oh really bro, you think you’re just being KIND giving us TIME TO THINK by making us wait two days after we’ve made our choice? You do know that like, abortion providers already ask if you’re sure, right? They’re not just like, going in there the minute you get in.

And this reminds us of the bullshit abortion reversal laws in North Dakota. An idiot on twitter tried to argue with us by saying, “You do NOT like women to be informed of the CHOICE to reverse their abortion?.” LOL wow, you got us bro! Except maybe by that point she’s been asked like, 20 times if she’s sure in her choice. And abortion reversal bullshit is just used to threaten and scare vulnerable women who are maybe nervous about if they’re taking the pills right or a variety of other things. Also again, the abortion reversal technique is kinda just like me saying “well, you could try throwing up the pill.” It’s not been scientifically tested and it’s just kinda based on the fact that like, if you don’t take pills the way you’re supposed to, yeah, sure, it might not work.

Trust that we have made up our mind and are capable of making our own decisions and have, you know, a pretty clear idea of what pregnancy and abortion results in. OK! And also return that sports coat dude, it looks terrible on you.

Louisiana: Don’t Do This, Girl

Gah it’s time to talk about Louisiana. You know how with every single law that anti-choicers push they’re like, “Fuck the Constitution.” Just like, blatantly. “Fuck the Supreme Court.” Always? Well, Louisiana did that in spectacular fashion recently and then AN COURT OF APPEALS ALSO SAID FUCK THE SUPREME COURT.

ThinkProgress does a great job of breaking down the bullshit. Basically Louisiana passed an TRAP law which says that providers have “admitting privileges” at local hospitals. One: y’all obviously don’t know how hospitals work. Two, it’s total crap that causes clinics to close and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help anyone. Also, a law similar (virtually the same) to this was JUST struck down by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. And Louisiana’s Court of Appeals was just kinda like “fuck that.”

The zygote lovers would argue that because they don’t believe the law is fair, they don’t have to follow it. Which, like, I guess stand by your convictions to the end. But we’d argue that because it is law (for now at least) places that pull bullshit like this should be severely punished! With fines or reprimands or something that makes them STOP pulling this shit over and over again.

We’re sick of fighting for the same shit! WE WON THIS ONE! Also it’s just so blatant! Like, we see you, you anti-abortion assholes, it’s just so transparent how much you DON’T want to help anyone.

Don’t Bring Adoption Into This

We’re not mad OK, just disappointed. And, oh, OK, mad too. You see, last weekend there were a bunch of anti-abortion Voldemort marches across the United States. And by “a bunch” we mean like, 3, but that’s still too many. I mean, IN SAN FRANCISCO?!?!? We thought so much better of you, San Fran. This is like how there’s an anti-abortion bill being introduced in MFing WASHINGTON right now. It’s like, where are we supposed to fantasize about visiting for our abortion vacation now (oh shit, we’re not supposed to talk about those… completely fake things that anti-abortion politicians pretend are real)?

Apparently a few prominent “we hate people with uteruses” groups missed the event. And to this we say “WHAT THE FUCK ELSE WERE YOU DOING?” Like, isn’t this your whole thing? Your only message. You like, couldn’t be bothered?

But the March angle we’re maddest about comes out of ILLINOIS where they emphasized the importance of adoption. DO NOT BRING ADOPTION INTO THIS.

Reading this article, we’re reminded of this great Willie Parker quote from the Atlantic:

“Adoption and abortion don’t have anything to do with each other. When a woman’s pregnant she has two options. She can continue her pregnancy or she can end it. For a woman who decides she can’t end the pregnancy, she can then consider parenting or adoption.”

We love adoption, but we have to agree with Willie Parker here, bringing adoption into all this is … ignoring the issue. And also let’s be clear, there are DEFINITELY more kids (who aren’t babies) in foster care and up for adoption than there are parents looking for kids. Or at least there are kids who need a little extra help who … no one will adopt. And in the case of South Carolina, there are parents who desperately want kids but are LEGALLY being denied the right to adopt because of their sexuality or religion.

So like, maybe don’t just argue that every person with an unwanted pregnancy can just DEFINITELY find a good family for her kid. Because like everything with anti-abortion extremists, they want to argue that the world is black and white and everything works out as it’s supposed to. AND THAT IS NEVER THE CASE.