Lady Parts Justice League had the pleasure of spending a week in Montgomery, Alabama last summer. We loaded up our Mobile Justice Unit, hit the road, and joined some good ole’ southern abortion rights activists in defending Reproductive Health Services, their local clinic, from an onslaught of anti-choice extremists.
The righteously badass activists we met on that trip successfully secured a house right next door to Reproductive Health Services clinic and have been using it to house their supplies and hold meetings. Affectionately named the POWER House, their headquarters even serves as a safe space for clinic patients, along with their children and companions, to relax in while waiting for their appointments at the clinic next door. The POWER House activists hold comprehensive sex education lessons in this space and also provide support programs for the local LGBT people in the community. These services that Montgomery’s local activists are offering are more vital than ever in Alabama, a state that is not only hostile to abortion and gay and trans* rights, but also insists on teaching abstinence-only sex education to teens.
This week brought some bad news for our friends at the POWER House. A local Crisis Pregnancy Center organization (you know, those religious groups who pose as clinics and lie to people seeking abortion services) are trying to buy the POWER House for more than it is worth. If they get their hands on the property, they will have full access to the clinic next door and free range to harass patients and providers.
Our friends at the POWER House are not going down without a fight, and neither are we! They have set up a crowdsourcing page THAT YOU CAN DONATE TO HERE. We have been donating our own money and are asking our followers to help out in any way they can. Contributing to this fund is a direct and easy way to help protect abortion access in Alabama, a state that is under attack from its own anti-choice, homophobic, transphobic, sexually repressed legislators. Please consider donating to this important cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Check out the POWER House facebook page and learn more about these incredible activists and how you can support them!
This #PlayoftheDay blogpost was written by LPJ writer and comedian, Leah Bonnema.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Trinity Health Corporation which operates 80 Catholic hospitals nationwide. Here is the suit in layman (*lame-man*) terms…
If a female shows up in the ER of one of the Trinity Health Corp hospitals, and the only way to save her life is to perform an abortion, they won’t do it. Seeya, wouldn’t want to be ya (women).
THC is like: Hey y’all, totally legit, we’re complying with theEthical and Religious Directives, or ERDs of U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, which prohibit abortions under all circumstances, even if the life of the mother is in danger.
And the ACLU is like: Nuh-uh biatches, you get Medicaid funding which means you have to follow the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which states that when a patient comes in with an emergency condition, the hospital has to provide whatever treatment is necessary to stabilize said patient.
The doctors in these hospitals aren’t just holding back care, they also are holding back information. Women have been denied care and then not even told why. How many people in rural areas only have access to a Catholic hospital?! How does leaving someone afraid and in need of help align with anyone’s moral code?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
Catholic hospitals also nix birth control, sterilizations, and certain prenatal tests. WHAT YEAR ARE WE LIVING IN!?!?!?! Do they have a stake out back to burn women on as well?!
My name is Caity. I am a feminist and a proud member of the Lady Parts Justice League. Those are tough words to say for a sixteen-year-old girl from a rural Alabama community, where the only developed areas are a Dollar General, a gas station, and a high school. As you can imagine, there aren’t many of my kind out here and slut shaming and victim blaming is common practice among not only the students but also the teachers. Our sex education system is nonexistent. Though we are taught how to not get raped, abstinence-only “health” class has become the standard. The boys and girls are not allowed to touch; so much as a Christian side-hug will not be tolerated. Hugs lead to sex, and sex leads to babies, and that won’t look good for the school’s pregnancy or dropout rate. Being a bisexual, feminist, rape victim in rural Alabama definitely isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I am not the only feminist at school; I am, however, the only one who realizes I’m a feminist. People don’t understand that being a feminist does not equal hating men. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to chop a guy’s testicles off and feed them to my fifty cats, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m going to tell a woman how to live her life. Feminism is about equality. Feminism is about a woman being able to do whatever the fuck she wants with her body without the interference of the government or a random asshole who decides he owns another human being. In short, feminism is the radical notion that women are people and deserve to be treated as such.
The summer before my sophomore year, I attended my first rally, which called for the separation of church and state. While there, I met people like Mia Raven, who helps run the Montgomery abortion clinic. My mother began to volunteer with the local clinic and that’s how I got involved. Our job is fairly simple: safely escort women into the clinic so that fuckboys don’t cause them to do anything dumb… like drive into a building. Yes, that was a thing that really happened. Antis be crazy.
I love helping people, and I amexcited to be the newest guest blogger for the Lady Parts Justice League.
We are finally back in the Big Apple and feeling all the feelings. Our trip was such a whirlwind that the weight of it all didn’t quite hit us until we were back in the van a few hours outside the Northeast. This was an especially emotional trip for me. I cried so much, you’d think I was on my period. But it was hearing the stories of these people, who sometimes feel so isolated and ignored, that kept reducing me to a blubbering human tear-puddle.
None of us expected that saying goodbye would be so difficult. The profound connections we made with the fearless activists, who are fighting day in and day out to defend abortion access in Mississippi and Alabama, are simply awe-inspiring. We learned about their struggles, their dreams, what motivates them and what they need from the rest of us in order to keep going. Be on the lookout for lots of videos coming soon, you will definitely want to hear their moving words!
One thing that really hit me as we crossed back over the Mason-Dixon Line was the realization that, when we get back to our routine in the LPJ League clubhouse, when we’re sitting around the writers’ table pitching ideas and talking about legislation and Supreme Court cases that are coming down the pike… now we know who they affect. Now it’s personal.
When we hear about another threat against an abortion provider or an act of vandalism on a clinic, we may know that provider or have defended that clinic. These brave people are now our sisters and brothers; our family, and this trip has up-ticked the urgency and determination in our fight against abortion stigma and those trying to keep women from having access to safe and legal abortion services.