Anti-Abortion Politics May Weaken Our Defenses Against Alien Invasions
Can't believe I just typed that sentence
Here’s another edition of Hard to Believe It’s Only Tuesday, a weekly roundup of the top headlines, tweets (for now!), toks, takes, and more in abortion news. You can always email me (email@example.com) or DM me on instagram with action items, takes, and news clips. This post is probably too long for email, so click on the links up there ^ above the headline to open in your browser or the Substack app. You don’t want to miss this week’s Good Night and Good Dunk!
PROGRAMMING NOTE: It’s time for summer abortion reads giveaways! Scroll down past the tweets section to learn more.
The big takeaway: This week, I’m struck by the disparate-but-connected impacts abortion bans have on so many facets of our lives, no matter where we live. We expected all kinds of reproductive health care to become even more limited in abortion-hostile geographies, but I for one did not have “abortion politics will gum up our alien invasion defense system” on my bingo card. And yet.
The Top Headlines
“This Alabama health clinic is under threat. It doesn’t provide abortions.” (Politico) — A really important look at the West Alabama Women’s Center and how abortion bans decimate access to all kinds of reproductive care. Case in point: a clinic that began offering abortion care in Louisville in 1981 until the procedure was banned last year announced this week that they are selling their building.
“Congress threatens to block Space Command headquarters funding as abortion politics affect location decision” (NBC News)
“The Gen Z cliff: Why young Americans are mobilizing on abortion and LGBTQ rights” (Reckon)
“Is California really the abortion haven it claims to be? Not for this woman.” (KQED) — A reminder that there’s work to be done everywhere, and ‘blue’ states can always, always do more to improve, protect, and expand abortion access.
“Here’s what to expect from likely appeals in the licensing litigation against local OB-GYN” (Indiana Capitol Chronicle) — Dr. Caitlin Bernard was disciplined after speaking publicly about providing abortion care to a 10-year-old assault survivor.
“In Florida, these Black women see the fight for abortion access as part of a greater struggle for their safety” (The 19th) — A thoughtful profile of the coalition Black in Repro, which is “training women to lobby legislators, educate their communities, and build alliances.”
“‘It felt like coming up for air’: Abortion patients defend mifepristone access” (USA Today)
“Missouri hires an anti-abortion marketing agency” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Western Maryland abortion provider will open in ‘abortion desert’ as other states further restrict abortion access” (Maryland Matters)
“The press is falling for anti-abortion ‘fetal heartbeat’ propaganda” (The Intercept) — And sadly has been for a really, really long time.
Here’s what are politicians and politicos on the national stage are doing and saying about abortion in advance of the ‘24 election:
“Leaked recording shows DeSantis supporters worried about abortion ban” (MSNBC)
“In New Hampshire, DeSantis avoids talking about Florida’s abortion ban” (NYT)
“Florida Supreme Court closer to abortion ruling, and maybe deciding DeSantis’ political future” (Florida Phoenix)
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren probes abortion access amid states’ patchwork plans” (Stat)
What’s going on with abortion bans, legal challenges, and bills at the state and local levels:
🟢 “Lawsuit filed challenging [Nebraska] law restricting abortion, gender-affirming care for trans youth” (Nebraska Public Media)
🟢 “Nevada governor signs new abortion protections into law” (NBC News) — Notably, Gov. Joe Lombardo is a Republican.
🟡 “Oklahoma Supreme Court strikes down two state abortion bans” (The Oklahoman) — Yellow because while it’s always a relief when courts don’t do the absolute worst — the laws stuck down concern forcing patients and providers to wait for a “medical emergency” in order to end a pregnancy to save a person’s life — abortion is still banned in Oklahoma.
🟡 “Judge halts efforts by city of Eunice [New Mexico] to sue the state over abortion access” (Source NM) — The ruling is fine and good, but yellow dot here because losing these cases is part of the plaintiffs’ strategy to escalate a Comstock-based abortion ban to the Supreme Court.
🔴 “Texas Legislature passes bill reining in ‘rogue’ prosecutors” (Texas Tribune) — By “rogue,” they mean district attorneys who use prosecutorial discretion when deciding not to go after people who have, provide, and support abortion care.
🔴 “City of Gallup [New Mexico] to consider local anti-abortion ordinance” (KUNM) — See the Eunice story in the yellow dot section for more.
It’s me in MSNBC looking at the connective tissue between the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the future of abortion rights nationwide: “The expertise of on-the-ground organizers in states where abortion is banned or heavily restricted — especially for people of color, queer and trans folks, and low-income folks — deserves our nationwide support and solidarity, not snark and a look the other way. What’s happening in Texas shows us just how thin the line is between the potential for progressive change and more of the same old right-wing repression. Things will almost certainly get worse before they get better, which is why leadership from folks who’ve seen a hell of a lot of ‘worse’ is more important than ever.”
Repro legal scholar Mary Ziegler is in the Boston Globe warning against the possibility of a national abortion ban in 2025.
Indigenous Women Rising’s Sandy Harris and Jennifer Lim reflect on lobbying on behalf of their communities at the New Mexico Legislature. From Lim: “I know the existing systems and structures we have aren’t everything, and it’s the people who always matter the most - if most legislators and legislation were focused on communities, it would look very different, but this is politics, and it’s a designed to play out a certain way. It’s complicated and difficult to have to work within the confines of whatever we have now knowing, and personally believing, it cannot be reformed, but it doesn’t mean we give up.”
Congressional staffer Sarah Drory is in Elle writing about her decision to share her abortion story on Capitol Hill.
“This thing, but make it Wes Anderson” is one of my favorite enduring video memes of the past several weeks. Here’s Carafem with a medication abortion version.
Ohio organizer Mary Drummer added an abortion-related extension on Missouri organizer Jess Piper’s viral tweet dunking on the lie that trans and queer folks are trying to convert our children.
Let the record reflect that we do in fact need this tweet from Buckle Bunnies Fund’s Makayla Montoya Frazier on a mug.
This tweet from the Repro Legal Defense Fund highlights how our fights for justice are all intertwined:
No Choice: The Destruction of Roe v. Wade and the Fight to Protect a Fundamental American Right by Becca Andrews
Regular readers will be familiar with Becca Andrew’s repro coverage in a variety of publications, including Mother Jones and Jezebel, though she’s currently at Reckon. No Choice features on-the-ground reporting on abortion bans and real stories from folks most harmed by incursions on reproductive dignity and freedom. To learn more about the book, I recommend this great interview with Becca from Amy Littlefield in The Nation.
On Thursday 6/8, I’ll choose one lucky reader to win a copy of No Choice. Keep your eyes on your inboxes!
The Fuck Are We Supposed to Do About It?
👕 SWAG OF THE WEEK! 👕
It does exactly what it says on the tin: ABORTION SQUAD gear benefits the Online Abortion Resource Squad!
🧑🏽🤝🧑🏽 Anywhere: The Take Root: Red State Reproductive Justice 2023 conference in Louisville, KY is now open for proposals! This is an incredible organizing, collaborating, and community space for folks who are passionate about reproductive justice.
📱 North Texas: The Texas Equal Access Fund is looking for bilingual Spanish-speaking volunteers for their text line. Here’s where to sign up.
🖥️ Anywhere, for lawyers and health care providers but anyone is welcome: Join If/When/How for a continuing education webinar on self-managed abortion and criminalization on Thursday, June 22.
📞 Anywhere: Apply to be an All-Options talkline volunteer!
📥 Anywhere: Looking for a job in repro? ReproJobs can help you spruce up your resume!
🧑🏾⚕️ Anywhere, for medical residents training in abortion care: Obstetricians for Reproductive Justice and others will fund residents who need to travel out of state for abortion care training through December 2023 (or retroactively since July 1, 2022). Here’s how to apply.
🧑🏾⚕️ Anywhere, for health care providers: UCSF’s Dobbs Impact Study is looking at instances of “poor-quality medical care since the Dobbs decision,” and they’re encouraging providers to submit de-identified stories.
🤠 Texas: Local teen-friendly businesses in in Bryan, College Station, Lubbock, or San Angelo can become pickup spots for repro kits assembled by Jane’s Due Process. Here’s the application form.
💸 From your wallet:
Contribute to the Repro Worker Aid Fund (or apply to be a recipient!)
Donate $$ and pads to Just the Pill’s mobile clinic.
Donate to the Online Abortion Resource Squad, which supports the R/Abortion subreddit 24/7/365.
Donate to Elevated Access, which transports folks for abortion and gender-affirming care.
Find your local abortion fund and donate!
The Valley Abortion Group is a new all-trimester abortion facility fundraising to open in New Mexico — donate to the GoFundMe.
Buy something off the wishlist of an independent clinic, abortion fund, or clinic defense group, or donate to support abortion funds. This link distributes your donation to 90+ funds around the country. Or donate to support independent abortion providers!
✍️ Sign and share:
Anywhere, but especially for Alabamans: Sign the Yellowhammer Fund’s petition against a bill that would allow the prosecution abortion and even some forms of pregnancy loss as homicide.
Anywhere: Sign this multi-org-backed petition demanding Google stop “collecting and retaining location data and aiding abortion prosecutors.”
Anywhere: sign the Fight for the Future petition to demand better digital safety and security on Slack!
Anywhere: Sign the RJ Response to Stop Cop City.
Anywhere: All Above All*’s petition to lift outdated restrictions on medication abortion.
Anywhere: UltraViolet’s petition calling on pharmacies to provide medication abortion access where it’s legal to do so.
📖 Anywhere, resources edition:
Subscribe to the No Body Criminalized podcast from the Repro Legal Defense Fund’s Rafa Kidvai.
Read this solidarity + organizing brief from Interrupting Criminalization and a coalition of repro and anti-criminalization orgs.
I Need An A’s new “stories” section provides resources, support, and information for folks seeking abortion care.
Plan C Pills has published a self-managed abortion field guide in super fun, accessible zine form.
Physicians for Reproductive Health has updated guidance on discussing and reporting on later abortion care.
The Repro Legal Defense Fund and the Community Justice Exchange have an extensive, attractive, and fact-filled guide to abortion criminalization in both English and Spanish.
Check out the “Pro Choice, But” campaign to better understand how to talk with folks who are, well, pro-choice … but.
Read the National Immigration Law Center’s know-your-rights-guide to abortion access for immigrants and share widely.
Familiarize yourself with this Digital Defense Fund guide to keeping your abortion private and secure, or check out the If/When/How Repro Legal Helpline guide to internet safety.
Read this guide on using trans-inclusive language from ARC-Southeast and the Transgender Law Center.
REPRO Rising Virginia has a thorough guide to updating your protest signs to make sure you’re using the most forward-thinking, respectful, and impactful language around abortion.
Here’s a big list of action items and info created by @RHAVote, and another big list of action items and info created by Alison Turkos.
Goodnight and good dunk — Jane’s Due Process is not having your teen parenting stigma today or any day!@janesdueprocessThe last thing pregnant teens in our state need is negativity and shame surrounding their pregnancies. 💕#Texas has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country (20.3 in 1,000 teens according to @cdcgov) and it’s predicted to increase with the abortion and birth control bans being passed. We believe Texas teens deserve the right to choose whether or not they want to be pregnant. That’s why we give practical support to teens who want to travel out of state to receive abortions, privately access emergency contraceptives, and get comprehensive sex-education. 🌟 If you’re a Texas teen in need of support navigating traveling out of state for abortion, contact our hotline at 866-999-5263. For pregnancy and childbirth support check out: @theafiyacenter @txcampaign @southernbirthjustice & @texaslawhelp also has a wonderful article titled “Pregnant and Parenting Minors and Health Care” which details the rights of pregnant and parenting minors in Texas if you want/have to remain pregnant. #teenpregnancy #teenparent #teenmom #teenpregnancysupport #teenpregnancyprevention #teen #texas #texasparent #parenting #abortion #reprorights #prochoiceTiktok failed to load.
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That’s all for this week. I’m sure I’ve missed something you’d like to see featured in this roundup, for I am but one woman with a computer and an abortion-news-induced drinking problem. Holler at me — firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM me on Instagram, and I’ll try to add follow-ups as I’m able.