Welcome to the Fem2 Friday Rewind, your fast facts in feminist news for the week of 1.16-1.22, 2016.
Here in DC, our Fem2 office is closed due to the impending massive snowstorm, yet we’re here to bring you the news from a local coffee shop instead! We’ll jump right in:
#RECLAIMROE #ROEVWADE #SNOWVWADE #STOPTHESHAM #1IN3
#ROE43: TODAY is the anniversary of is the 43rd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. In 2016, abortion access is STILL being attacked by politicians and anti-choice groups everywhere. We at Fem2 strongly believe a woman deserves the right to choose whether to end her pregnancy. Still, US states have adopted 288 abortion restrictions since 2010, a staggering number that seems to completely disregard the realities of a woman’s life: it’s no surprise that addition of children to any family, no matter their makeup, is an extremely weighted decision that carries serious economic impacts to a woman and her family. The Supreme Court, in the PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHEASTERN PA. v. CASEY, (1992) decision that upheld Roe v. Wade, recognized this in their closing remarks:
“The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” – SCOTUS
HEARTBEAT PROTECTION ACT WON’T BE HEARD: Speaking of SCOTUS, this week they declined via a one-line order to hear Arkansas’ proposed “Arkansas Heartbeat Protection Act” (SB134), which would make abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected. This can be as early as six weeks into the pregnancy – a time in gestation when women sometimes don’t even know they are pregnant. SCOTUS did not give an explanation for its decision (mic drop).
Perhaps they are tired, like pro-choice individuals, of continually stating the fact that restrictions to abortion access create true calamity for women and their families.
To help remind folks, Ms. Magazine collected a series of heart wrenching stories that detail what access to abortion was like before the Roe v Wade verdict.
I have to believe that the people who are anti-choice simply don’t understand the realities of women’s experiences when faced with difficulties to abortion access, spanning health, career, economic, and emotional repercussions that can alter her life forever.
Like so many other feminist, pro-choice people, I wonder why our conversations regarding access to reproductive rights continually drag us back into the dark ages of back-alley abortions where women were routinely maimed or tragically died while simply trying to maintain control over her own destiny?
Just like the ridiculous inundation of Trump-fervor they have imposed upon the people, the media is much to blame for the course of any hot-topic conversation; abortion and reproductive health is no exception.
IN REPORRIGHTS DISCUSSION, MEN GET MORE MEDIA: The Women’s Media Center released a study this week that revealed men control the majority of news coverage regarding reproductive rights. Male journalists account for 52% of articles written on reproductive issues. Also found was that men were disproportionally used as sources on the topic – they received 41% of quote attributions, whereas women just a third.
I find this strange, but not unsurprising – women in the US are continually fighting the control that male politicians and other leadership figures seek to have over the choices women make about their bodies.
We desperately need more women’s voices in media that speak to the actual experience American women live day to day.
#DRAWTHELINE CAMPAIGN: The Center for Reproductive Rights’ Draw the Line campaign seeks to push forward the conversation. Actors including Dascha Polanco, Bellamy Young and Elizabeth Banks performed monologues of real women’s stories of abortion. The campaign’s goal is to humanize the issue, and to again remind us that one in three women in the US has an abortion.
“This is about real women’s lives, health and families. It’s time to stand up and be heard. It’s time to say that enough is enough, and that we are drawing the line.” – Nancy Northup, President and CEO of Center for Reproductive Rights
#SEXUALASSAULT #RAPECULTURE #HOLTZCLAW #JUSTICE
‘BYE, HOLTZCLAW, SEE YOU IN 263 YEARS (AKA NEVER): Context in a conversation is always important. A study came out last week that found many men don’t think that rape is rape (before I start a brand-new rant, I’ll let you read the article and decide for yourself on the battle of semantics vs. reality). Here’s a story, however of someone who knew exactly what he was doing, and that it was very, very wrong.
The disgusting human being Daniel Holtzclaw, former Oklahoma City police officer that got his late-evening kicks raping vulnerable black women while on-duty, was found guilty in December of four first-degree rape counts and 14 other charges. Yesterday, he was sentenced to 263 years in prison for his crimes.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said of the disgraced former officer:
“I think people need to realize that this is not a law enforcement officer that committed these crimes. This is a rapist who masqueraded as a law enforcement officer. If he was a true law enforcement officer, he would have upheld his duty to protect these citizens rather than victimize them.”
While I appreciate his recognition that a true officer under oath would never dream of violating the trust and safety of the public in such an atrocious way, the fact someone like this ever made it through police academy training is something officials should be carefully considering.
#GENDEREQUALITY #EMPOWERMENT #WOMENLEAD #WOMENINPOLITICS
BIDEN CONFRONTS BUSINESSES: VP Joe Biden, speaking to business leaders at the World Economic Forum, voiced again his support for the Violence Against Women Act (one he championed while in the Senate). He urged the men in the audience to speak up when they saw harassment or abuse of women, and encouraged the combating of rape culture in US society.
“The day I look forward to, when I see the women in the Senate, when there are 51 women in the Senate, we’ll finally be over whether or not we’re smarter or you’re smarter, or you’re more venal or we’re more venal. Women are just as venal as men. Same thing. Once we get to the place where it no longer is an issue, that’s when this country can take off.” – Vice President Joe Biden
WOMEN WHO LIKE CATS ARE POWERFUL, TOO: For something a little more encouraging and lighthearted (but altogether seriously awesome) Taiwan’s new president is breaking all stereotypes as a female academic who loves cats and supports gay rights. Tsai Ing-Wen is Taiwan’s first female president, and quite possibly the most powerful woman in the Chinese-speaking world.
That wraps this week’s rewind. If you’re on the East Coast, make smart decisions about any travel during blizzard conditions! Check out #SnowvWade on Twitter, and there’s an awesome fundraising movement going on for abortion access advocates you should definitely know about – a few bucks to the non-profit of your choice per inch of snow you get in your area!
Stay warm and TGIF,
The Fem2 Team
PS If you’re snowed in, be entertained by Danielle Sepulveres and artist Maritza Lugo ‘s depictions of Disney princesses making wise choices about their reproductive health.