Hard to Believe It's Only Tuesday: Creepy Cult Edition
Here's what happened in abortion news + takes this week.
Welcome back to Hard to Believe It’s Only Tuesday, my weekly roundup of the top headlines, tweets, takes, and more in abortion news. This week, we bring you a warning about a creepy cult trying to capitalize on abortion headlines, plus a shit-ton of new action items.
The Top Headlines
“Abortion activists strip down to underwear during Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church service.” (Houston Chronicle) — These people, who are calling themselves “Rise Up For Abortion” or variations thereof, are members of a leftist cult obsessed with a guy named Bob (they literally call themselves his “followers”) and drop into the spotlight whenever they think they can use abortion (or other issues/crises) as a recruiting tactic. They do not organize around or support abortion access under any other circumstances. They use deeply problematic, often racist iconography and stunts — female enslavement cosplay, etc. — and are also known to be TERFY and SWERFY (i.e., transphobic and anti-sex-worker/sex workers’ rights). It’s literally a patriarchal cult whose politics are expressly patronizing toward women and trans folks. Texas repro health, rights, and justice folks had to deal with this bunch nearly 10 years ago when they pulled into town to try to capitalize on the omnibus anti-abortion bill that was eventually struck down in the Whole Woman’s case at SCOTUS. They are not invested in local communities, they don’t do they work, they just yell and recruit for the cult. Check out the Tweets section of this newsletter for more.
Becca Andrews in Mother Jones: “… despite even the best of intentions, medication abortion is not a magic fix. More specifically, it is not and will not be the solution for everyone. And the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can set about working toward desperately needed solutions.”
Here’s an interesting, if abbreviated, history of abortion criminalization in the United States from NPR.
The Yellowhammer Fund’s Laurie Bertram Roberts tweets a thread about the criminalization of pregnancy outcomes for substance users, highlighting the fact that policing + prosecutions are already in motion, have been for years, and have had the tacit (and explicit) support of the public — and reminds us that “injustice always spreads.”
West Alabama Women’s Center’s Robin Marty tweets a thread on post-Roe framing: “‘It’s really not going to change much because abortion was already harder to access in those states,’ is a take over seen growing in anti abortion circles to dismiss the lives that will be impacted …”
Attorney Kate Kelly tweets a short but impactful thread about the “Rise Up For Abortion Rights” groups you’ve probably seen on the news doing flashy stunts for abortion. They’re a cult. Do not take them seriously.
Digital security professional @KateRoseBee tweets a short thread on abortion criminalization, digital threat models, and best practices.
The Fuck Are We Supposed To Do About It?
Anywhere: Monday, 6/13 is the National Day of Abortion Storytelling with We Testify and Advocates for Youth. Here’s how to plug in.
Anywhere: Request a copy of Rosie’s Zine to learn more about Rosie Jimenez, the Texan, college student, and single mom who died in 1977 after having an unsafe abortion when she wasn’t able to afford clinical care thanks to bans on abortion coverage. The zine supports efforts to expand insurance coverage for abortion care.
Anywhere: The Third Wave Fund is taking applications until July 5th for their Mobilize Power Fund, “a rapid response fund that resources gender justice organizations to adapt or pivot their work when met with unanticipated, time-sensitive threats or opportunities in their movement building work and organizing conditions.”
Washington, D.C.: “Black Bodies for Black Power” is two days of action for abortion access over Juneteenth weekend.
Anywhere, but Alabama-based: “What Can You Do When Abortion is Illegal?” is a virtual conversation on 6/14 with Laurie Bertram Roberts (Yellowhammer Fund), Dr. Yashica Robinson (Alabama Women’s Center), and Dr. Leah Torres (West Alabama Women’s Center).
Anywhere, but Austin-based: Avow Texas and the Travis County Democratic Party are hosting a virtual training on how to talk about abortions on 6/15.
Austin, TX and Washington, D.C., for Black folks only: 400+1 is hosting The State Has No Authority Here, a “series of actions and events that catalyze divestment from both capitalism & the American state while equipping Black community members with the skills they need to navigate & resist reproductive oppression.” The Austin event is 6/10, and the D.C. event is 6/17.
Austin, TX, Houston, TX, and Jackson, MS: the Liberate Abortion Caravan is coming your way 6/14-6/17.
Dallas: Rally for abortion justice on June 29th, hosted by The Afiya Center, Jane's Due Process, Fund Texas Choice, Texas Equal Access Fund, Avow, ACLU, and Planned Parenthood.
Texas: Join the Texas Abortion Hype Squad!
Denton, Texas: Chalk up some sidewalks! The Texas Equal Access Fund is co-hosting “Big Pride in Lil’ D: Chalk & Chill” with PriDenton on Saturday, 6/25.
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 — email@example.com, or DM me on Twitter, and I’ll try to add follow-ups as I’m able.