Discover more from Home with the Armadillo
Trump's Texas Judge Tries, Fails to Keep Abortion Hearing a Secret
Plus: Florida's six-week abortion ban moves a step closer to becoming law
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.
Regular readers will notice a new feature! If you make it all the way to the end of the newsletter, you’ll be treated to Goodnight and Good Dunk, a little sign-off nug featuring a pro-abortion burn. If you spot a good dunk out in the wild, tag me/shuffle it into my inbox.
The big takeaway: This week, two stories from nearly opposite ends of Texas give form and shape to the legalized terror of the modern anti-abortion landscape. First: an anti-abortion Trump appointee to the U.S. Northern District of Texas, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, tried to prevent the public and the media from finding out about a hearing in his Amarillo courtroom on Wednesday in a lawsuit demanding the FDA rescind approval for the abortion medication mifepristone. When the hearing got underway, only a handful of reporters and members of the public were allowed to view the proceedings. And second: last Friday, a Galveston man named Marcus Silva filed suit demanding $3 million in “wrongful death” compensation from his ex-wife’s friends for, he claims, assisting his ex-wife in ending her own pregnancy. Silva is being represented by Jonathan Mitchell (who designed Texas’ “bounty hunter” abortion ban), Texas State Rep. Briscoe Cain (who wants to prosecute people for funding abortion), and the anti-abortion Thomas More Society.
While marginalized Americans have for hundreds of years rebuked and attempted to reform a fundamentally racist, sexist, and classist justice (“justice”) system established to protect and preserve white supremacy, patriarchy and property, the 2022 Dobbs ruling shattered a comfortable fiction for many who previously believed that the rule of law would forever serve as some sort of immutable, freedom-defending forcefield that would always prevent the worst incursions on civil and human rights. With the Supreme Court’s commitment to ending abortion confirmed, we now wait to see whether more courts — federal and state — will serve as further proving grounds for legitimizing the increasingly powerful fear-mongering fascism of the anti-abortion political establishment.
When (I don’t think it’s a question of “if”) these courts do engage in such legitimization, I hope we recognize it not as betrayal of American democratic principles, but rather the system working as intended, serving the people it was always intended to serve.
The Top Headlines
“Abortion training in Texas is vanishing” (Texas Observer)
What’s going on with abortion bans, legal challenges, and bills at the state and local levels:
🟢 “North Dakota Supreme Court upholds temporary block of state’s abortion ban” (Bismarck Tribune)
🟢 “California bill to protect doctors who mail abortion pills” (Yahoo News)
🟢 “Alabama senator files legislation to loosen state abortion restrictions” (Alabama Reflector)
🟡 “Nebraska State Sen. Merv Riepe proposes less stringent, 12-week abortion ban” (Nebraska Examiner)
🟡 “Republicans propose exceptions to 1849 abortion ban” (Wisconsin Public Radio)
A coalition of media outlets sent an open letter to Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the judge who tried to hide this week’s medication abortion hearing from the public: “Across the ideological spectrum, the public is intensely interested in this case. The Court’s delayed docketing of notice of Wednesday’s hearing, and its request to the parties and their counsel not to disclose the hearing schedule publicly, harm everyone, including those who support the plaintiffs’ position and those who support the defendants’ position.”
Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern argue that a Texas man’s lawsuit against women who he claims helped his ex-wife end a pregnancy is all about fear-mongering: “The fear of winding up ensnared in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit that ruins the lives of one’s closest friends is certainly a good motivator. Mitchell, Cain, and the Thomas More lawyers want all pregnant Texans to understand that they are being watched —in this case, by a vindictive ex—and will be reported to the state if they seek to terminate a pregnancy. They are never safe from men who will wield litigation as a tool to punish women who attempt to escape a manipulative partner. This is spousal abuse via lawsuit.”
Physician Alyssa Burgart reminds medical providers that “we are not cops,” and that there is no legal or moral obligation to report people who have abortions to law enforcement: “We need it to be clear that health systems, healthcare workers, and health data companies primary responsibilities are to patients, not law enforcement.”
The Utah Abortion Fund fact-checks Utah Gov. Spencer Cox:Per the Utah Hospital Association, zero elective abortions took place in Utah hospitals last year. So until hospitals step up to fill this gap, Cox is incorrect.Are you enacting a de facto total abortion by signing the bill to close clinics? "Absolutely not," @GovCox says, insisting that they clarified the terms. It is in a hospital setting, and hospitals weighed in on that, he says. @fox13 #utpol #UtahBen Winslow @BenWinslow
The West Alabama Women’s Center’s Robin Marty reminds us how valuable the knowledge held and services provided by abortion professionals can be.
Want to get an abortion news roundup like this in your inbox every week? You’ll and never miss a top headline, a tweet, a take, or an action item!
The Fuck Are We Supposed to Do About It?
💸 From your wallet: Contribute to a mutual aid fund to support Aracely Garcia, one of the women targeted by a coalition of anti-abortion lawyers and politicians for allegedly helping a friend end her own pregnancy (that link is a tweet with Venmo details from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice’s Nancy Cárdenas Peña; international support can be given via PayPal).
🙏🏽 Dallas: Join the TEA Fund on Saturday, March 18 at Common Desk Addison to write thank-you letters to the Dallas City Council for supporting a Roe anniversary resolution.
💻 Online: The United State of Women’s self-managed abortion webinar featuring experts from URGE and If/When/How is Wednesday, March 22. Details here.
💻 Online: Rewire News Group’s virtual conversation on medication abortion with Ushma Upadhyay, Elisa Wells, and Garnet Henderson is Thursday, March 23.
💻 Online: The Midwest Access Project’s Reproductive Justice Advocacy Workshop is Wednesday, March 29. Register by Monday, March 27.
United States: Applications for the Third Wave Fund’s Own Our Power Fund are due by Friday, April 21. From Insta: “youth-led reproductive and gender justice organizations with an annual budget of up to $500,000 USD are eligible to apply, with a priority on groups located in regions or focused on issues that are philanthropically under-resourced.”
📻 Anywhere: Listen to No Body Criminalized, the new podcast hosted by If/When/How Repro Legal Defense Fund director Rafa Kidvai.
💸 Everywhere: It’s Abortion Access Fund-A-Thon season! Find a team, a fund, and/or a fundraiser near you, or start your own! Fund some abortions!
📥 Anywhere: Looking for a job in repro? ReproJobs can help you spruce up your resume!
💸 From your wallet: The Repro Legal Defense Fund, which supports and defends people criminalized for abortions and pregnancy loss, has teamed up with the Transgender Law Center to launch the Trans Legal Health Fund. Donate today to fund legal defenses for people criminalized for accessing gender-affirming health care!
🧑🏾⚕️ 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.
💸 From your wallet: The Valley Abortion Group is a new all-trimester abortion facility fundraising to open in New Mexico — donate to the GoFundMe.
🧑🏾⚕️ 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.
👕 Anywhere: get swag!
“Abort mission” totes and shirts benefit the Brigid Alliance and the Abortion Support Network.
📖 Anywhere, resources edition:
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.
Read the National Immigration Law Center’s know-your-rights-guide to abortion access for immigrants and share widely.
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.
✍️ Sign and share:
Anywhere: Sign the RJ Response to Stop Cop City.
💸 From your wallet: 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!
Goodnight and good dunk: There’s a bad op-ed in the New York Times this week from an OB-GYN who appears to have very recently realized abortion access is under attack, arguing that what this country needs now is a centrist approach to abortion restrictions, something nobody ever thought of before in the whole history of time. We Testify’s Renee Bracey Sherman offers a few choice thoughts, among them: “I can’t believe we still have people out here not getting the fucking lesson: we cannot protect some abortions over others because they will eventually come for all of them. The exceptions has never worked, both when Alan Guttmacher dreamed it up or for this useless sack of hair.”
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.