State laws are taking away our freedom of choice and Roe vs. Wade is fragile. Our team fights to maintain and further our reproductive rights and freedoms.
Welcome to our Reproductive Justice Blog space. This is the place to learn more about this important topic and actions we can all take in the continuing battle to promote access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion for all women.
Team Leader: Salli Swartz
Contact: [email protected]
The DA Global Women’s Caucus mobilized for reproductive justice and freedom on October 2nd
along with thousands of women worldwide.
Don’t let the Supreme Court overturn Roe. We must fight for our rights!!
The October 2nd Reproductive Freedom marches were a huge success.
These are two great articles from Ms Magazine with pictures from the Marches (to which we have added our own UK WC pictures)
And read about the powerful Congressional testimony here:
September 18th marked one year since Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. Most of us deeply, deeply identified with feminst writer Rebecca Traister, who clutched a glass of wine and held back tears live on MSNBC as she was asked to comment on what the justice’s death meant.
It was, for many of us, a rhetorical question. We knew that reproductive rights were deeply threatened already. We knew that the court had already gutted the Voting Rights Act. We knew that then-President Trump and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were poised to jam through new justice before the election. We all dreaded what the Supreme Court would do, or not do, without RBG.
A year later, it’s, unfortunately, as bad as we thought. Justice’s Ginsburg’s death made it essentially open season on reproductive freedom and women’s rights. At the end of August, the Supreme Court allowed a Texas law that effectively ends legal abortion to go into effect. Five of the Court’s conservative, anti-abortion justices wrote a single parapgraph declining to overturn the law, even though it is clearly unconstitutional. And Texas isn’t alone. Mississippi passed a 15 week abortion ban in 2018. Lower federal courts blocked the law, but as Mississippi intended, the case made its way to the Supreme Court. After Justice Ginsburg died and was replaced by Amy Coney Barrett, the Attorney General of Mississippi amended its brief to directly ask that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey be overturned. The Court agreed to hear that case in December. If the Texas decision is any indication, the Court will try to find a way to overturn 50 years of precedent and rule that people in the U.S. have no constitutional right to an abortion.
Conservative states aren’t waiting for the Court though - legislators in at least seven states (Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, South Caroline, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Ohio) have already signaled they intend to introduce copycat bills of the horrific Texas law. Other legislatures will likely do so when they come back into session in 2022. But 2021 was alarming enough - more abortion restrictions (90) were enacted than in any year since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. In July, the Guttmacher Institute said it was “Already the Worst Legislative Year Ever for U.S. Abortion Rights.”
Naturally, these restrictions fall disproportionately on women and communities who are already underprivileged and marginalized. Black people, brown people, Native people, LGBTQ+ people, undocumented people face structural barries to accessing abortion, and these laws make it even harder for them. There has always been, and will always be abortion in the United States, regardless of what the Supreme Court says, and who sits on it. However, the Court, and the Justices matter a great deal to who can safely and legally access abortions. It is why we all texted each other the same one word when RBG died. That is, until and unless the right to abortion is codified in federal law.
That bill now exists - The Women’s Health Protection Act passed the house in September and moves on to a Senate vote. It faces tough opposition in the Senate from anti-abortion conservatives - have you contacted your Senator to tell them you support the bill?
Obviously, pro-choice advocates aren’t sitting back and watching these restrictions happen, nor waiting for laws to pass. They (we) have been, and are doing everything in their (our) power to protect women and defend reproductive freedom. A gynecologist in Texas announced that he performed an abotion in violation of the law, and said he was ready to face the legal consequences (and hopefully overturn the law). Abortion funds in Texas and across the country have been mobilizing, fundraising, counseling, and supporting people who still want and need abortions. Litigation and advocacy groups are mobilizing in every state to overturn these laws.
Justice Ginsburg’s death was a blow to reproductive rights. We knew it at the time, and we know that the restrictions that have sprung up in the year since will certainly be followed by more. We also know that the work she started was nowhere near finished when she died. Hopefully, her legacy inspires us to continue to defend and expand the rights she dedicated her career to establishing. It is up to us to make her memory a revolution.
And pack the Court!
GWC WHPA Week
The dual assault from the Texas State legislature and the Supreme Court on women’s rights, our physical and mental health, and bodily autonomy cannot go unanswered. We must contest SB 8 which prohibites abortion after 6 weeks, before most women know they are pregnant. The Supreme Court’s refusal to block this law signals that we can no longer depend on the Supreme Court or any courts to protect our rights.
The only way to protect our reproductive rights is to ensure that the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) of 2021 is enacted as law. It comes up for a vote in the House on September 20th. We must put pressure on our Congressional representatives to vote YES on WHPA! Therefore, the GWC is kicking off WHPA Week campaign today!
Calls to Action
We are asking Democrats Abroad to do two things:
- Call and/or email your reps the week of September 13th-20th
- Participate in a Tweet storm on September 20th at 9am EST/2pm BST
- Call Script: I am an American residing abroad and a voting constituent from [your state]. I am calling on [NAME OF MEMBER] to vote in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. This Act is vital as it will protect women and their reproductive health. It will legalize, on a Federal level, abortion as essential to women’s healthcare. Passing WHPA will effectively overrule all of the heinous anti-choice State laws and any negative SCOTUS ruling on Roe v Wade. Because we have a majority of Supreme Court justices who reportedly do not support a women’s right to have an abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, it important to act now. Without that essential protection we will continue to see a stripping of access to abortion and reproductive health care in Republican-controlled states. [NAME OF MEMBER] has the power to continue to create progress in our country for ALL. Be on the right side of history.
(If your Representative has cosponsored WHPA, you can also thank the office for their support of this legislation.)
- Twitter Message: Please tweet storm in solidarity with the GWC on September 20th at 9am EST/2pm BST using the following messages, hashtags and graphics. Tag your representatives to get their attention.
- Our civil liberties and reproductive rights continue to be threatened every day. Get your #BansOffOurBodies. Pass the #WHPA now. #ActForAbortionAccess, vote yes and protect #RoevWade! #defendabortion
- Each day that the #WomensHealthProtectionAct is not passed, people seeking abortion care are losing their constitutional rights as established by Roe v Wade all over the U.S. We must urge our Congress to take action now and pass #WHPA. #BansOffOurBodies
- Dear [@Senator or Representative’s Social Media Handle], listen to your voters and pass the #WomensHealthProtectionAct!
Follow the Global Women’s Caucus for more WHPA Week content:
What can we do to stop the anti-choice legislation which is getting worse and worse?
We can assure that the Women’s Health Protection Act is enacted.
Nancy Pelosi is bringing it to a vote on Sept 20th in the House and we need your help to call your reps in the House to assure its passage.
Here is the link to the House Representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
For more information see https://actforwomen.org/the-womens-health-protection-act/
And here is a webinar for more detailed analysis:
Why WHPA? Why Now?
Tuesday, Sept. 14
Join us for a deeper dive into what is the Women's Health Protection Act and how it will help us safeguard the right to abortion by preventing heinous bills like Texas's SB-8 from becoming law. Note: There will be information shared about Texas's SB-8
We need all the help we can get and now is the time to ACT
Does this mean some hope? Will it change anything in Texas? Unlikely. But the Women’s Health Protection Act could reverse all of his nasty State legislation.
Call your reps to urge them to vote yes on September 20th when Pelosi is bringing it to a vote in the House.
Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Regarding Texas SB8
The U.S. Department of Justice today issued the following statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland regarding Texas SB8:
“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248.
“The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now.
“The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities.
“We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”
"Plan C and Progress Texas went on a road trip to share information. We went on an abortion road trip to let people know that you don’t need to go on a road trip anymore to get an abortion,” Plan C codirector Elisa Wells told Ms. “You can get an abortion by mail basically anywhere in the United States, including in Texas." Read to full article in Ms. Educating Texans on How to Get Abortion Pills Online: “Your Nearest Provider Is In Your Pocket”
Anti-choice advocates are notorious for spreading disinformation designed to stigmatize and restrict access to abortion. In general, audiences should be wary of anti-choice activists using anecdotal, rather than scientific, evidence to support their claims. It’s also important to take their so-called scientific arguments with a grain of salt. If an argument sounds counterintuitive or wildly exaggerated, it’s probably not true. Read more to find out how to fight reproductive justice disinformation.