Sep 30 • 14M

Abortion, Every Day (9.30.22)

14 children needed abortions in Kentucky last year

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Jessica Valenti
Daily audio updates & commentary on abortion in the United States.
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NYC protesters this week

In case you missed it, I wrote a column today about the lie of abortion exceptions, and how they’re more about protecting Republicans’ public image than making abortion accessible to victims. For paid subscribers, apologies for the interruption towards the end of the audio! My kid’s friend’s parents came to pick her up and all turned to chaos. Never a dull moment when you do one-take audio episodes. :)

In the states…

Conservatives keep telling us that raped and impregnated children are an anomaly—just a pro-choice political talking point—but according to data released today by Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Office of Vital Statistics, 14 children under 15 years-old needed abortions in the state just last year. Interestingly, the data the state publishes doesn’t provide just how young these children were—just that they were under 15. (We do know from a past report, however, that in the last two years two 9 year-olds needed abortions.) Also in Kentucky, ads have started to go up explaining the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot this November:

The American Association of University Professors has urged the University of Idaho to rescind their guidance on abortion and birth control, saying the school “has abandoned its duty to uphold the mission of the institution and signaled to all the world that the university is no longer committed to academic freedom.” Backlash against the school has been widespread; the Academic Freedom Alliance also sent a memo urging administrators to “assume a leadership posture in such situations and emphasize to state political leaders the importance of preserving academic freedom in state universities.”

Seems like some Republicans aren’t so against Sen. Lindsey Graham’s national ban proposal after all. Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany told a reporter that while he believes abortion is a state’s issue, “I could see at the federal level, setting a floor” at 15 weeks.

Virginia’s Republican congressional candidate Yesli Vega, on the other hand, is dodging questions about whether she supports a federal life-at-conception bill.

The New Republic has an interview with the head of an Arizona abortion fund about how the newly-enforced law is impacting people in the state. From Eloisa Lopez, executive director of Pro-Choice Arizona and its program the Abortion Fund of Arizona:

“They’re going to extremes. They’re bringing back bills from the 1800s. They know they are losing soon, and that is I think what keeps me going. The path that they’re on is not sustainable.”

All eyes on Indiana, where the state Supreme Court will decide if the abortion ban there is unconstitutional. Attorney General Todd Rokita believes it will stand, and plans to start investigating abortions immediately if the court allows it to.

Abortion rights activists in Illinois are worried that Republicans could win the state Supreme Court, putting abortion access in jeopardy. Terry Cosgrove, president of abortion-rights group Personal PAC says, “Whoever wins control of the court will decide whether abortion remains legal in Illinois.”

The Minnesota GOP sent a memo to Republican candidates telling them to dodge questions about abortion by saying it’s already a “protected constitutional right.” They really don’t want voters to be reminded that if given the opportunity, they’d ban abortion.

Here’s some more info on one of California’s new abortion protections—and this one is important no matter where you live. One of the measures aims to ban tech companies from sharing abortion-seekers’ personal information to law enforcement, or complying with warrants from out-of-state law enforcement officials seeking to prosecute anyone over abortion. The law would put California at odds with other states, but this is the kind of pro-active big thinking we like to see.

Don’t forget to watch the gubernatorial debate in Texas tonight, 8pm EST.

In the nation…

Yesterday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform heard testimony about the harm abortion bans cause. Here are a few key quotes (more to come):

“Women’s progress has always been inextricably linked with the ability to control our own bodies.” ~ Jocelyn Frye, the president of the National Partnership for Women & Families

“Who are you going to be? Will you sit in judgment of people who are pregnant without knowing them or their circumstances? Or will you listen and be the compassion our country so desperately needs right now?” ~ Kelsey Leigh, Pittsburgh resident who had an abortion due to a fetal abnormality

“Over and over again, we are forced to violate our conscience and our training to turn away patients who need us.” ~Houston-based doctor Dr. Bhavik Kumar

I’m trying to figure out why so many conservative news outlets published this quote from AOC mockingly, because it is…totally correct?

“Forcing poor and working-class people to give birth against their will, against their consent, against their ability to provide for themselves or a child, is a profound economic issue and it’s certainly a way to keep a workforce basically conscripted to large-scale employers and to employers to work more against their will, to take second and third jobs against their desire and their own autonomy.”

Democrats are taking out full-page ads about abortion in ten Senate battleground states that read: “If Republicans take the Senate, they'll ban abortion everywhere. Don't let them.”

Mother Jones reports on the connection between anti-abortion groups and the online movement for “natural” (non-hormonal) family planning and birth control, and how they’ve capitalized on the explosion of the wellness industry.

This is wild. VICE spoke to an Australian woman who was questioned by Customs and Border Protections officials who asked her if she recently had an abortion. Yes, really. When taken to task over the interaction, the CBP says that the question was completely appropriate: “The questions you were asked were in line with the policies and procedures related to travelers in CBP custody.”

Anti-abortion activists aren’t just harassing clinics, but people in their homes; medical professionals explain why, despite Republican insistence, maternal-fetal surgeries aren’t an alternative to abortion; more on Blonde’s bizarre anti-abortion messaging; and ELLE Magazine talks to abortion funds across the country about how they’ve been faring since Roe was overturned.

You love to see it…

Like A Head n Shoulders, Despina Stokou

Artists have joined together to hold a benefit auction for abortion rights. It’s a little too pricey for me, but definitely take a look at the incredible art up for auction.

Students across the country will be walking out in protest of abortion bans on October 6th. More than 50 high schools and colleges are participating in the Day of Student Action for Reproductive Justice.

The Fox News sect is furious over this tweet from the Women’s March calling themselves “unapologetically pro-abortion,” spinning it into some sort of gotcha (“the mask is off!”), but I say abortion is a human right and a moral good—why wouldn’t I be pro-abortion?

And this new skit from Amy Schumer is great in that laugh-to-keep-from-crying way:

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