Oct 5 • 16M

Abortion, Every Day (10.5.22)

Conservative women's mag: IUDs can cause women to kill their newborns

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Jessica Valenti
Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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In the states…

Absolutely not: Florida schools are requiring girls who play sports to fill out health forms with multiple questions about their periods, including the date they last menstruated and the average number of days between each of their periods. State school boards claim it’s just about athletes’ health, but doctors point out that there’s no good reason for this information to be accessible to school administrators—it’s something that just should be between a patient and doctor. Considering the health forms are filled out and stored online, the concern over privacy and reproductive health is giving parents reasonable pause.

The Arizona pharmacist who refused to fill a 14 year-old’s prescription for her severe rheumatoid arthritis said it was because the girl was of “childbearing age,” The Washington Post reports. Fucking gross. Also in Arizona, the Republican running for governor, Kari Lake, is catching some heat from all sides after saying, “It would be really wonderful if abortion was rare and legal, the way they said it before.” A spokesperson had to clarify that Lake does not, in fact, want abortion to be legal.

A federal judge has ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to testify in an abortion rights lawsuit brought by state abortion funds (this is the case where Paxton literally ran from his home to avoid being served the subpoena). Abortion funds are suing to get assurances from Paxton that he will not seek to prosecute organizations that help women get out-of-state abortion care.

Abortion clinics in North Carolina are facing increased harassment since Roe was overturned: A one clinic in Raleigh, IndyWeek reports, protesters are trying to prevent patients from getting into the clinic, taking pictures and videotapes of people do try to walk in, and screaming about ‘murder’ over loudspeakers. Kelsea McLain, who organizes clinic escorts through the Triangle Abortion Access Coalition, says, “The big shifts we’ve seen have been related to the emboldening of protesters, how they feel a little bit more entitled to do what they do, to encroach on the property lines.”

The anti-choice protesters seem to be especially interested in videotaping and taking pictures of patients coming in from other states where abortion is illegal. The concern is that if those states start to prosecute (or allow citizens to sue) women who cross state lines for abortion, that surveillance could be used against them.

In Indiana, attorneys for the state responded to an abortion ban lawsuit and their response is…quite something. The ACLU filed a suit on behalf of anonymous women of different faiths who argue that the ban violates their religious freedom, and Indiana is saying these women don’t have standing because they’re not pregnant. But wait, there’s more. From the state’s response:

“Preserving human lives outweighs speculative concerns about hypothetical future pregnancies…Feelings of anxiety and changes to contraceptive and sexual practices—do not amount to substantial burdens on religious exercise.”

Fuck these guys.

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Grifter and Pennsylvania Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz refuses to answer questions about whether or not he’d support a national ban on abortion. (The non-answer seems like an answer in itself, of course.)

Meanwhile, Republican Paul LePage said in the Maine gubernatorial debate that he’d veto a national 15-week abortion ban—but only after a very odd and awkward exchange in which the former governor stumbled and stuttered his way through the question.

The city council in Des Moines, Iowa has decided to not pass an ordinance to decriminalize abortion in the city by limiting law enforcement’s ability to investigate abortion-related ‘crimes’. Such ordinances have become popular in progressive cities in red states—I guess Des Moines isn’t quite there.

NPR has a segment on how Planned Parenthood Great Plains in Kansas is struggling to keep up with their increased patient-load as they see more and more patients from out-of-state. The demand is so high, in fact, that abortion providers are only able to see 10 to 15% of those who request an appointment: “It's almost like playing the lottery.” The same thing is happening in Michigan, where the number of out-of-state patients seeking abortions has more than doubled.

The Associated Press has a piece on Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels and his constant flip-flopping on abortion—he just recently came around (supposedly) to supporting rape and incest exceptions. The piece points out the national implications of the race, and drops this bomb: “It’s the most expensive governor’s race in the nation in terms of ad spending, with both sides spending about $55 million on TV so far.” Whew.

In Louisiana, the executive director of the immigrant-advocacy group VAYLA, Jacqueline Thanh, writes in an op-ed that the abortion ban is going drive young people out of the state: “Given Louisiana’s shrinking and aging population, such a migration would have dire economic consequences.” Also in the state, congressional candidate Katie Darling has one of the most effective (and emotional) campaign ads I’ve ever seen. Make sure to watch until the end:

A new poll in Maryland shows that voters there have abortion top-of-mind—and 78% of respondents said they support the state’s constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights. The state also just received substantial new funds to help protect and expand abortion rights.

In the nation…

Yesterday the Biden administration issued guidance to colleges from the Department of Education, reminding them that Title IX protects students from discrimination against pregnancy—whether that pregnancy is carried through or ended:

Schools must treat pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, and recovery therefrom the same as any other temporary disability with respect to any hospital or medical benefit, service, plan, or policy for students.

At the meeting where the guidance was announced, President Biden also spoke out against the birth control and abortion speech ban at the University of Idaho: “We’re not going to sit by and let colleges throughout the country enact extreme policies.”

Since Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed a national abortion ban, I’ve been predicting that Republicans would start to come out in favor of it—that they’d claim abortion would still be a states’ rights issue, and that a 15-week ban is just a ‘reasonable’ floor from which to start. Right on cue, we’re seeing conservatives start to call the ban “common-sense” and “sensible.” It’s important to keep an eye on the language here; this is going to be their defense against increasing (and correct) accusations of extremism.

This is important: Doctors are pushing the FDA to label abortion medication mifepristone as a treatment for miscarriage management. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) told the FDA the medication “is a safe and essential part of the most effective regimen for miscarriage management.” Danco Laboratories, one of the companies that make the medication, said they weren’t planning on submitting an application for the change but would “reconsider in the future.”

You love to see it…

This is too cool: There’s a virtual concert tomorrow raising money for Abortion Access Front and just check out this line-up: Neko Case, Margaret Cho, Judy Gold, Jen Kwok, Adira Amram, Beth Stelling, Monica Martin, Gina Brillon, Storm Lever and Bitch. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. More info in the video below:

Speaking of cool events, at a New York abortion-rights fundraiser this past weekend, icon Patti Lupone auctioned off personal singing lessons!

Today’s hate read…

Remember when I told you about the conservative influencer who launched a Peter Thiel-backed wellness company that collects data on women’s periods under the auspices of giving health tips? Well apparently that app was created by Evie magazine, which tries to pass itself off as a normal women’s publication (as opposed to a sneakily anti-feminist, anti-abortion propaganda). This is some sneaky shit: Today the publication put out a piece about IUDs that tries to seem objective by publishing ‘pros’ and ‘cons’, but then goes on claim that the copper of an IUD can cause you to hear voices, give you constant pain, and “play a role in certain mothers drowning their newborns [and] committing suicide.” What the fuck. Of course the article ends by suggesting fertility awareness.

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