Sep 27 • 14M

Abortion, Every Day (9.27.22)

Idaho colleges to ban birth control & talking about abortion

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

Feminists have been warning that birth control would be next: The legal team at the University of Idaho has issued guidance that the school no longer offer birth control because of the state’s abortion ban. The university’s general counsel wrote in an email obtained by The Washington Post that “we are advising a conservative approach here.” In addition to not providing birth control, the email recommended that the school only provide condoms “for the purpose of helping prevent the spread of STDs…[but not] for purposes of birth control.”

The Associated Press also noted that Idaho law prohibits schools from dispensing emergency contraception, or even referring students to a place where they can get Plan B.

It’s not just contraception that’s on the chopping block in the state, but free speech: The guidance also notes that a school employee who even says something in support of abortion could end up with a felony conviction and being barred from all future state employment.

Also in Idaho, the state supreme court has pushed a hearing on Planned Parenthood’s case against the state abortion ban by a week—the case will determine if any of the state’s abortion restrictions are unconstitutional.

Doug Mastriano, the Republican running for governor in Pennsylvania, has been downplaying his abortion extremism during his campaign—but in 2019, he said he believed women who have abortions should be charged with murder. Sure, not radical at all!

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton literally ran from his home last night in order to avoid being served a subpoena related to a lawsuit filed by abortion funds that want to help people travel out of state for care. The process server told the Texas Tribune that Paxton fled with his wife in a car so he wouldn’t be served. I thought these guys were into being traditionally masculine? Is running scared part of that?

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt was confronted by a rape survivor while taking audience questions at an event yesterday. Jeannie Kirk, who read from a written statement, called out the governor for passing an abortion ban without rape or incest exceptions:

“I would like to ask you to explain how you can possibly make a decision so harsh that females that have been raped, a heinous crime forced on a woman without her permission, depositing unwanted sperm into her body, stealing from her dignity, her self-worth, her identity, leaving her helpless, worthless and scared of her own shadow…[are forced to carry the pregnancy]”

South Carolina’s House of Representatives are reconvening today to consider an even more restrictive version of the state’s ban (which seems unlikely to pass, but still.)

ABC News has a short segment on a town in Illinois that has mixed feelings over becoming a destination for people seeking abortions:

New Jersey abortion clinics are seeing an uptick in patients since Roe was overturned; a former U.S. Senate candidate in Wisconsin, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, has converted her campaign into a pro-choice PAC called Women Win Wisconsin; newly-elected New York Rep. Pat Ryan, who just proposed the Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act, says his mission while in office is to protect reproductive rights and freedoms; and here’s a short article/profile on Cara Mund, the independent running for North Dakota's U.S. House seat using abortion access as her primary campaign issue.

In Arizona, where an 1864 abortion ban just went into effect, Planned Parenthood has asked the judge to delay her ruling. Meanwhile, CNN talks to one of the last women in the state to have a legal abortion: “I am very angry. Very. All I see is a group of people—men, mostly—making a decision for all of us women when they have not one idea what it is like to be in our shoes.” Abortion providers in Arizona have been sending patients out-of-state to seek care. One patient who was denied an abortion said, “I need to get it done—regardless if that’s going to a different state or going across the border. It just sucks that this is the last resort for people.”

In the nation…

Teenagers across the country are increasingly seeking long-acting birth control in the wake of Roe being overturned. Can’t really blame them.

A new poll shows that 7 out of 10 American women from all political stripes believe that lawmakers are “out of touch” on abortion issues.

And the American Cancer Society is warning patients that fertility preservation methods—often used in younger people with cancer who want to ensure they can have children later on—could be in danger under new abortion laws.

I’ve written before about how Republicans are trying to redefine ‘abortion’ not as a medical intervention but an intention to end a pregnancy; now Ted Cruz has joined that fucked up bandwagon:

At WNYC, The Brian Lehrer Show interviews Cari Sietstra, director of the Period Pills Project, to talk about what ‘pregnancy’ really is and the benefits of reframing medication abortion as pills that bring your period on; The Washington Post highlights the states where elections for state supreme court justices will have a huge impact on abortion rights; and a new survey shows that half of homebuyers want to live in a state where abortion is legal.

Meanwhile, VA health facilities are stepping up their security measures as centers begin to offer abortions, even in states where the procedure is illegal. Here’s hoping they’re not needed.

You love to see it…

Pro-choice rally in Arizona

High school activists in Tucson, Arizona have started a reproductive rights club to raise awareness and plan protests (like a recent student-led, city-wide walk-out). They’re also focused on sex education: “It’s an opt-in sexual education curriculum, so you don't even have to take sex-ed if you don't want to in high school. It's very abstinence based-non-comprehensive. So that's where a lot of these problems start with people not really understanding what the problems are and what their options are,” one high school senior said.

Pro-choice activists in Tennessee will march over 500 miles across the state to protest the state’s abortion ban and raise awareness about the horrific impact its having. To join, volunteer or donate, click here.

And in Wisconsin, the Dane County board passed an ordinance that would ban the county from giving any money to groups that investigate or prosecute abortion. Lots of cities and counties have been passing local resolutions in an effort to help decriminalize abortion or lessen the impact of state abortion bans—but this is a great, innovative step I haven’t seen elsewhere. Essentially, the ordinance bans the county from receiving money from, or contracting with, any federal, state, or municipal agency that criminalizes abortion.

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