Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Top Stories This Week
1. Six months after Texas’ abortion ban;
2. Performative social media activism and the war in Ukraine;
3. Florida’s 15-week abortion ban;
4. Creative ways students stand up to book bans;
5. Texas’ anti-trans directive;
6. Migrants’ right to truth commission and reparations; and
7. Tess’ take on birthing while incarcerated.
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Six Months in a State of Emergency (The Cut)
Andrea González-Ramírez writes about the effects of Texas’ abortion ban: “SB8, which effectively banned abortions in Texas when it took effect six months ago, has created an unsustainable demand for abortion services in nearby states that haven’t yet enacted such draconian legislation. Desperate patients with enough resources to travel have been fleeing to clinics in surrounding states, including New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. Several of those states are pretty hostile to abortion care themselves. According to a recent report, around 1,100 Texan patients sought care in Planned Parenthood centers in nearby states between September 1 and December 31, 2021, compared to just 50 in the same period in 2020 – an increase of nearly 800 percent.”
Performative Social Media Activism Doesn't Help Ukraine (Bitch Media)
Stacia Datskovska shares her perspective on performative social media activism and the war in Ukraine: “I experienced Ukraine in its most abundant and vibrant state when I was a little girl there in the early 2000s. It pains me that people who don’t know any better assume the country always looked like the wrecked disaster pictured in every major news outlet. It feels like Americans are expanding “slum tourism” into the virtual realm; in other words, by spreading horrifying videos and photos (infrastructure in ruins, produce crushed and shattered on the floors of supermarkets, debris and dead bodies), the privileged are distancing themselves from the confusion and pain of it all by building a kind of wall. A wall of pity, of condescension even. For a Ukrainian, the 24-hour news cycle’s heavy emphasis on all things Ukraine is hard to process. So is the constant, unsolicited commentary from strangers and friends on Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok—however well-intentioned it may be.” Read more.
Florida Becomes First State to Pass a 15-Week Abortion Ban This Year (Rewire News Group)
Anagha Srikanth explains Florida’s 15-week abortion ban: “If it feels like we talk about Florida a lot, well, we do. And you can blame their lawmakers for that after they passed an unconstitutional 15-week-abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. In addition to banning abortions starting 15 weeks after the first day of the pregnant person’s menstrual period, the bill also adds additional restrictions that would force them to carry a fetus with a ‘fatal abnormality’ for even longer and revises language about tobacco-prevention programs to include ‘women who may become pregnant’ as targets for state surveillance—a hint of what’s to come after Roe v. Wade falls.” Read more.
Students Protest Book Bans Over Content on LGBTQ Issues, Race (Teen Vogue)
Mary Retta details some of the creative ways that students are protesting book bans: “In January 2022, The New York Times reported that ‘parents, activists, school board officials, and lawmakers around the country are challenging books at a pace not seen in decades.’ But students and their supporters are fighting back. In Forsyth County, Georgia, where eight books, including The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, have been removed from school libraries, students are organizing through the student-run organization Our Turn. Their aim is to combat censorship and ensure that students can learn about U.S. history and racism regardless of what material is removed from classrooms.” Read more.
“Next-Level Horrific:” A Lambda Legal Attorney Explains Texas’ Anti-Trans Directive (them.)
Wren Sanders writes about Texas’ anti-trans directive: “On February 22, Texas governor Greg Abbott shocked the nation by directing the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth as ‘child abuse’ Targeting the parents and guardians of trans children and their medical providers, the order has already led to DFPS opening investigations into several families, according to a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, and Lambda Legal. As the plaintiffs in that suit, clinical psychologist Dr. Megan Mooney, along with the unnamed parents of a 16-year-old trans girl, allege that Governor Abbott’s directive is invalid on procedural grounds and that both the governor and the agency have acted outside their authority. They further argue the directive violates parental rights by depriving them of due process and denies trans youth their right to equal protection under the law.” Read more.
Migrants Have Right to Truth Commission and Reparations for Abuses at US Border (Truthout)
Camilo Pérez-Bustillo argues that migrants have a right to truth commission and reparations for abuses at the U.S. border: “Immigrant rights advocates led by Witness at the Border released an open letter on January 17, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, urging the Biden administration to honor his memory by upholding the rights of migrant victims of family separation to full reparations and restorative justice. They argue these steps should include the creation of a truth commission to investigate and document serious human rights crimes on both sides of the border. This is especially appropriate, as well, amid ongoing observances of Black History Month. The Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families created by President Joe Biden’s February 2021 executive order is a necessary but sorely insufficient step toward broader remedies that correspond to Trump-era cases of family separation.” Read more.
Tess’ Take: Birthing While Incarcerated (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog)
Tess Joseph writes about birthing while incarcerated: “Prisons and jails are not safe and healthy places; they are, by design, the site of unthinkable abuse and inhumane conditions. Pregnant people on the inside acutely experience the violence of incarceration. Every year, an estimated 58,000 pregnant people are admitted to jails or prisons in the U.S. Victoria Law notes that many of those pregnant people are left with inadequate nutrition, chained during medical appointments, shackled during birth, and, in some states, prohibited from breastfeeding their newborns at the hospital.” Read more.
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