Ring the alarm I been through this too long

OMG did you SEE what happened on Game of Thrones last week? Cersei enacted a bunch of abortion restrictions and all but one abortion provider closed. OH DID YOU MISS THAT DELETED SCENE??

You see, in the United States, state after state, community after community, has been stripped of abortion access and their abortion rights. We’ve been ringing the alarm on these frickin’ “heartbeat” bills all year, talking about D&E bans that value propaganda over legitimate medical evidence, ditto for these “abortion reversal” bills (where they literally write into law to… Google something… def always a safe bet, “I’m feeling lucky!”). I mean, we’ve heard politicians REPEATEDLY lie SO FUCKING BLATANTLY and CRUELLY about “infanticide.” But still… media pundits, news shows, the NYTimes, people just didn’t realize that it is a legitimate CRISIS!  The stories only get covered if they’re sensational.

And look, they should be COVERED. What happened in Alabama is A TRAVESTY. The local government BLATANTLY ignored Roe v. Wade, completely, with NO EXCEPTIONS for rape and incest, and ALL with the again LITERALLY STATED express purpose of going to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. These people are too confident now. I mean… LOOK at this LEVEL OF GERRYMANDERING!

We can’t believe Georgia passed a 6-week ban that everyone freaked out about and then Alabama was like “Ohhhh… hold our beer.”

But again, even after a WEEK the Georgia fury was winding down, we were seeing fewer and fewer tweets. If Alabama hadn’t happened, would y’all have just FORGOTTEN because you had to watch the Game of Thrones finale? Well, dear reader, maybe not you, you are loyal. But your friends for sure! So… we knew exactly what to do!

If your friends or your family don’t wanna learn about reproductive rights and abortion restrictions… we FOUND A WAY to get it to them! We made this Game of Thrones parody about all the ways rulers (or shitty politicians) can impose harsh restrictions and close clinics!

So watch, share, and get active. We honestly want to hear that Yellowhammer Fund and the POWER House have millions more dollars and hundred of new escorts by the end of the day!

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.)

Road Diaries: March For Life Where We Sidewalk Counsel

You know how a bunch of jerks screaming outside local abortion clinic isn’t ACTUALLY gonna fundamentally change people to your will (but is gonna scare and intimidate some people into not going in, which, you know, is entirely the point, obvs not helping). Well, we decided that today WE’D BE THE PEOPLE YELLING OUTSIDE THE BUILDING.

More specifically, we went outside the hotel where all the “March For Lifers” were congregating this morning and raised some hell. “You don’t have to go in there,” we yelled. “We love you, we have some literature here for you!” (We handed them our truly great zine designed by the amazing Jaye McBride, which we’ll share on here tomorrow after the Stork Ball tonight… more reports coming soon.) “God wouldn’t want you to keep lying.” “God loves facts.” “We’ll adopt your fiction and make it facts.” “Does your husband know you’re in there!?”

We think that at least a few people realized, “Hey, people yelling in front of where we’re trying to get into very annoying.”

One teen from her window tried to yell “Roe v. Wade has got to go” to us… but you know she couldn’t be as loud as us.

And then one 7 month pregnant woman came up to us and said she would do everything possible to protect her baby. AND WE SAID GOOD, WE ARE HAPPY YOU HAVE A WANTED PREGNANCY. But also maybe go to the climate change march if you’re having a new baby! We only have so much time to ensure Earth is habitable in 50 more years.

If you want to get in on the fun and call some people out come out with us tomorrow if you’re in DC to help us counter protest the March for Life! They’re full of hate and energy, we’ve got to show them we’re so so much more powerful! Or Come to our event at Eaton Hall where we’re watching “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” and hearing from a great panel of people!

“Heartbeat” Bills Are A Gross 2019 Trend

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE! We hate when we see a bad trend developing but have no way to stop it. Just this Tuesday we wrote about the trend of heartbeat bill being introduced in states like Kentucky (and Ohio last year) and then told you to check to see if there was one coming in your state.

Well guess what, we can add two more states to the abysmal list: South Carolina and Florida both have politicians who filed fetal heartbeat bills this week! In South Carolina 50 representatives are co-sponsoring the bill. Make no MISTAKE these bills are total and complete abortion bans. They’re dressed up in treacly language to make them appear more “humane” but they’re actually entirely cruel and despicable. ROE WAS DECIDED AND REAFFIRMED, GUYS! Stop trying to go backwards!

Speaking of going backwards, we’re paying special attention to SCOTUS today as they decide whether to hear the fetal burial case in Indiana. Real quick: this would require burial and cremation for all fetal remains… even miscarriages. Remember how we asked “Are they gonna start considering SPERMS and periods people too” and it was like… a big joke? NOT REALLY A JOKE NOW. Just disgusting, and CRUEL TO PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO HAVE BABIES AND HAVE MISCARRIAGES TOO. That’s the thing here, these people pretend to care so much about pregnant women and babies, but…. They consistently throw them under the bus in their single-minded quest to shame.

So watch with us and keep your fingers crossed to see which way SCOTUS goes. If it’s bad, we’ll be seeing you in DC this spring!

Abortion Actually Is All Around

It’s the holiday season so you know what we’re gonna talk about ….

Unending bureaucratic bullshit. More specifically, all the shit that is STILL somehow, going on in South Bend. Reminder: Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is trying to open a MEDICATION abortion clinic in Indiana. And somehow, conveniently, the health department just keeps delaying it by not understanding how… companies work. Again, a thing we think health departments should understand. But, you know, it’s not about the minutiae of business affairs. It’s about stopping abortions and hurting people. AND THIS IS JUST FOR MEDICATION ABORTION.

We gotta say that louder, for the people in the back, cuz in Missouri (ugghhhhhhh) people are traveling across state lines to Illinois (awww, beautiful Illinois) because they are required to get PELVIC EXAMS for medication abortions. Jesus Henry Christ! Is there no limit to the level of inhumanities you’ll force a person to go through to convince you she is capable of making an adult human decision. Should we have to walk around outside naked for like one hour, just to be safe? Should we fucking have to tell every person we’ve ever had sex with that we’re getting an abortion? WHAT THE FUCK WOULD APPEASE YOU?

We’re fighting a battle out there against some real monsters who seem to have all the time in the world to fill out paperwork. Oh yeah, and who also get just like… a ton of money. So, if you want to help Lady Parts Justice League consider donating today! We’ll use your money to travel around the country and fight back against anti-abortion Orcs.

 

DONATE HERE!

A Feminist Carol: Donate This Holiday Season!

 

Democracy was dead, to begin with. Well, not dead so much as severely beaten down by years of neglect. You see, voter suppression was at an all-time high, and even in places where our side won, it felt, increasingly, like we had lost.

And so three ghosts came to all the anti-choice politicians one holiday season and asked them, to please have some empathy. And they’re ghosts and they can work fast in one night but… it didn’t stick. And Roe was still barely hanging on.

So we could try that whole ghost gambit again. Maybe it’ll work the 700th time. Or you could just donate to Lady Parts Justice League. Cuz we won’t just visit these shitty anti-choicers one night a year, we’ll be at their office, we’ll call their office, we’ll send emails, we’ll protest, and most importantly, we’ll ruthlessly mock them when they step out of line.

So donate to LPJL this holiday season! And know your money will go towards us traveling to clinics, protesting fake clinics, and fighting for safe and affordable abortion access!  

DONATE HERE!

Snakes on a Plain

Our friends at Whole Woman’s got some bad news outta South Bend yesterday! It seems that one of the most effective tactics the enemies of  abortion access has is bureaucracy and the tale of Whole Woman’s Health Alliance trying to open in Indiana is a great example. WWHA applied to open a MEDICATION ABORTION clinic there over a year ago. You know, medication abortion, the thing you SHOULD be allowed to do at home but for some reason can’t because big old male politicians think they are “protecting women” by making five doctors watch them swallow a pill. That’s like… their kink.

In the frickin’ year since Whole Woman Health Alliance applied for the license they’ve faced nothing but red tape! Their license got denied in January for… look it’s so boring, we fall asleep explaining it… but basically the health department didn’t know how organizations work. ZZZZZZZZ no stay with us, please, please! ZZZZZZ We promise it’s almost over there’s just a difference between for profit and not-for-profit ZZZZZ OK FINE LET’S JUST SAY IT WAS SOME BULLSHIT AND MAYBE A HEALTH DEPARTMENT SHOULD UNDERSTAND HOW ORGANIZATIONS WORK.

So it took until AUGUST for a judge to hear WWHA’s appeal. The judge was like “Uhhh, no duh, they should be allowed to open,” because, you know, she was logical. But then the Health Department appealed that and a three-person panel yesterday said WWHA’s license should be denied. Meanwhile the cat hotel next door can just BE A FAKE CLINIC.

Our video explains the nonsense HERE

The point is, it’s just so blatant that the health department does not give a fuck about helping people. This is all some kinda political nonsense perpetrated by people who’ve never had any power suddenly being able to flex on a … healthcare clinic. And it’s PURE GASLIGHTING. A phrase we’re gonna use now to describe all this red tape.

 

We’re sending all our love to Amy Hagstrom-Miller and Whole Woman Health Alliance this week. Keep fighting! You’re like the iguana in this video, we know you’ll make it out on the other side!

THE STATE OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN

Welcome to the post-complacency world! The bad news is that it’s totally fucked up. The good news is that we can change that. We have to. We don’t have the luxury of not giving a shit.

There’s no place better to totally give a shit than Detroit, Michigan. It’s the first stop in the Vagical Mystery Tour’s post-Kavanaugh nomination-this-will-NOT-happen incarnation. And the State of Reproductive Rights in the State of Michigan has a lot to tell us about why we NEED to stop this Supreme Court appointment.

For starters, Michigan has the whole ugly slate of laws and rules designed to harass and torment clinics and patients alike. There’s a 24 hour waiting period that forces patients to make two trips to the provider. They have TRAP laws with unnecessary standards for facilities, and requirements for transfer agreements with hospitals. Telemedicine is prohibited ONLY for abortion services.

And the state of Michigan each year diverts some $400,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money toward FAKE “crisis pregnancy centers”—the LAST thing needy families need! Ugliest of all, Michigan requires you to buy a special “rape insurance” rider if you want necessary abortion services covered by insurance. Have fun talking to your broker about that!

Oh, and the Michigan anti-choice nuts are joining with anti-vaxxer bigger nuts! Republicans in the legislature are pushing a bill to try and use “informed consent” to scare people away from vaccinating their kids with vaccines made from what they call “aborted fetal tissue.” Some vaccines may contain what vaccine experts say is “perhaps billionths of a gram” of DNA fragments descended from cultures culled from legally aborted fetuses over 50 years ago! As much occurs in the fruits and veggies we eat! Really.

Already, 86% of counties in Michigan, accounting for 40% of the population, have no provider. And Michigan is one of the few states where abortion numbers are going up. That’s partly because neighboring Ohio is even crazier in its attacks on abortion rights. From 2010 to 2015, the number of abortions performed on out-of-staters in Michigan more than doubled. That’s just a taste of the panicked abortion travelers you’d see if a Kavanaugh court ever overturned Roe v. Wade.

And what you’d see in Michigan if Roe v. Wade gets tossed is a virtually TOTAL AND COMPLETE BAN ON ABORTION. IMMEDIATELY! That’s because Michigan’s anti-abortion law is still on the books, despite being made unconstitutional by Roe v. Wade. If Roe v. Wade goes, that law, dating back to 1931, rises from the dead like a zombie that feasts on human rights.

THAT is what is at stake in this confirmation fight! THANKS for making that clear, MICHIGAN! We’re here for you, we’re here for us, and we’re here for good!

Kavanaugh? How about Kava-not-so-fast, motherfucker!