It’s all too much.
It was the Week from Hell—and Hell is far from empty. Get set for 2018. But first, let’s recap last seven days.
First & worst, we had the attack of the GOP tax bill that screwed everybody from—well, everybody who won’t be celebrating New Year’s at Mar-a-lago. We told you the many ways this nightmare bill hurts reproductive health, including undermining Obamacare and making maternity care more expensive. And as always, it targets the most vulnerable.
Oops! Did we just say “vulnerable”? Now we’ll never work for the CDC. It came out this week that the Trump administration has given them a list of seven words they can never use in their reports—and “vulnerable” is one of them. So is “fetus.” Of course. Did we mention this was the Week from Hell?
This week saw yet another round of the now-ironically named Department of Health and Human Services trying to prevent detained immigrant teens from accessing abortion care. The courts forced DHHS to back off, but they show every intention of continuing to use these attacks as a means of harassment.
Oh, and DHHS is also hiding 99% of the public comments on rule changes that could allow religious groups to discriminate against transgender people or those seeking abortions.
And then it was all capped off by a Mexican cardinal announcing that the recent earthquakes were divine retribution for abortion and “gender ideology.” Remember last January when we were asking ourselves if things could get any worse? Well they did… but they can always get better. And we had some bright spots this week.
Two immigrant teens WERE given access to abortion care, and courts have consistently ruled in favor of the rights of people in that situation. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a 20-week abortion ban. And a federal court put the brakes on plans to allow your employer to dictate your birth control choices.
And at least the Worst Week Ever came at a good time. We all have the final week of the year to rest up and make sure that the weeks going forward keep getting better.
And that’s the week that was.
REMORSE CODE: Here’s the latest on the much-hyped “abortion regret” meme. As we’ve been telling you for some time, anti-choice crusaders love to push the lie that that there is widespread regret among people who choose abortion. And they like to use a scientifically bogus “abortion pill reversal” myth to frame their scheme. A San Diego doctor claims that he can “reverse” the increasingly popular medication abortion procedure after the patient has taken one pill of the two-pill process. There is a lag of one to two days between taking the pills. Here are the facts—he can’t. A certain percentage of abortions will fail in any case if the second pill is not taken. And here’s another fact—abortion patients do NOT change their mind halfway through. And the whole notion of “abortion regret” is being cynically manipulated by anti-choice people. Certainly there are a lot of conflicting emotions involved in any major life decision, but actual studies show that by far the most common emotion following an abortion is simply relief. The Anti’s need to stop trying to replace that relief with regret through their shaming tactics.
COUNTRY MATTERS: If every pregnant person deserves the right to choice, then those that choose to go through with their pregnancy deserve the right to accessible and affordable maternity care. And increasingly, that’s just not available in rural areas. Due to declining population, 80 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and over 200 maternity wards shut down between 2004 and 2014. Over half of rural counties in America don’t have hospital-based obstetrics. Mothers have less access to prenatal care, and the US infant mortality rate is the worst among developed countries. We need to value motherhood by making it voluntary AND safe for those who choose it!
CRUSHING WAIT: Legal teams defending abortion rights in IOWA have a message for conservative lawmakers in that state—they be trippin’ if they think they can force those seeking abortions to make multiple trips to the clinic. Iowa has imposed a 72-hour waiting period for abortion procedures—forcing many in the largely rural state to travel long distances for more than one clinic visit. And right now lawyers for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa are busy arguing a court case over these restrictions, pointing out that the waiting period puts an undue burden on poor women who can’t afford the travel or missed work. Waiting periods are one of the oldest tricks in the anti-choice book, but the clowns who oppose reproductive rights are still good at pulling out their old tricks along with all the new ones. Thanks to all of the legal eagles who keep up the fight against them!
MORE WAIT PROBLEMS! Meanwhile, FLORIDA is dealing with its own 24-hour mandatory waiting period for an abortion. That 2015 law has been put on hold by the Florida Supreme Court, but a judge is hearing arguments on it this week. Like even longer forced waits in other states, the law forces patients to make at least one extra trip to the clinic—for people who are hard-pressed for the time and money. Don’t let uterus-occupying bullies wait you out! Props to Gainsville Woman Care for taking this case on!
TAKING ON THE GORE-GOYLES: What’s worse than an unwanted dick pick in your inbox? How about a bloody fetus on your commute? Yep, the nasty GORE-GOYLES who haunt busy intersections by waving bloody images of medical procedures were at it again, this time in Mokena, ILLINOIS. But once again they were met with SHEROIC counter-protesters who parried their SHOCK & SCHLOCK tactics with cold hard TRUTH! You can’t argue with a gory propaganda poster, but you can let the public know that there are people willing to stand up to this kind of intimidation and harassment. A huge shout out to everybody who is out there countering the gruesome message of the anti-choice ghouls! Let’s leave no gory fetus pic unanswered!
LPJL’s Pittsburgh stop means drinks with the Allegheny Reproductive Health Center was a blast. We love our Indie providers and we’re so lucky to be able to take them out for a burger and a beer – or maybe a few beers because it seems we uterus tattooed everything in sight.
Today we take our first action in the CPC campaign AND DID IT LIVE ON FB to show folks how easy it is to make a difference!
Plus Jill Sobule comes today for A SECOND ACTION and for our Pittsburgh show tomorrow night!! If you are in the Burgh, come and join us at Mr Smalls Wednesday, doors 7pm.