Nnennaya Amuchie on Defunding the Police to Fund a Reproductively Just World
Interview: Nnennaya Amuchie
June 30, 2020
Over the past few weeks, many of us have been called to take stock of the ways anti-Blackness impacts our communities, workplaces, and lives, and are thinking about how we can make changes to save the lives of Black people and end the system of policing that is killing them. The movement for Black lives is demanding systemic change for our nation and the world, and one of those calls for change is to defund the police. Some people are left unsure of what that all means and how this intersects with our work in reproductive health and rights. We spoke to reproductive justice activist, lawyer, and Black Live Matter organizer Nnennaya Amuchie about their work and what defunding the police might look like in the reproductive rights space.
ReproJobs: You’ve been an instrumental activist in the Black Lives Matter movement and reproductive justice movement, particularly working on local issues in Washington, DC like decriminalizing sex work, abortion funding, and defunding the police. Can you tell us how you came to this work and why these intersections are the core to your activism?
Tears & Trauma: Even Lockdown Didn’t Stop
28 June 2020
It’s 8.30am and it’s already warm and muggy. 25 degrees worth of warm and muggy
to be precise. A man is shouting, his words fill the sticky air. He repeated
“every child deserves a birthday” over and over again.
He is holding a large homemade sign. It reads ‘Abortion Murders Babies’ in
large black and red lettering. He’s joined by two more men, they also have
signs. One says ‘THOU SHALL NOT MURDER’, the other declares ‘Babies are
MURDERED here’ above a pixelated image of body parts. Hours pass, they stand together.
The shouting continues. Women rush past, accompanied by friends and family,
trying to avoid them.
Bill to ban protests outside abortion clinics backed by MPs at first Commons hurdle
But despite support the bill is unlikely to progress without support from the Government
By Oliver Milne, Political Correspondent
24 JUN 2020
A bill to ban protests outside of abortion facilities has passed its first hurdle in the House of Commons.
The measure, which aims to end the intimidation of women on their way into or out of clinics, was passed with cross-party support after being introduced by Labour MP Rupa Huq.
MP seeks to ban demonstrations outside abortion clinics
Jun 24, 2020
A bill seeking to ban demonstrations outside abortion clinics has been proposed by Labour MP Rupa Huq.
Last year, pro-life protesters lost a legal challenge against the UK's first buffer zone implemented around a clinic in Dr Huq's constituency.
Ealing Council said a 100-metre exclusion zone at the Marie Stopes centre had been put in place after women complained of being intimidated.
The Fight to Protect Abortion Access Amid the Pandemic
June 15 2020
It wasn’t much past 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning in late April, and anti-choice protesters outside the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, were already cantankerous: There were three men with bullhorns, including one on top of a ladder; a 1,200-watt speaker pointing toward the clinic’s front door; and another protester blowing a shofar. “Welcome to the circus,” said Kim Gibson, a clinic escort who works to keep the mayhem away from patients.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has gripped the nation (new cases are still on the rise in Mississippi), protesters disregarded Jackson’s stay-at-home order and have consistently failed to wear masks or keep appropriate social distance — not only from one another, but also from patients, whose cars they readily approach in an effort to “counsel” them and hand out anti-abortion propaganda.
Abortion Clinic Protests Are Still Happening in the Pandemic: ‘They Accost Patients Face to Face’
“They don’t social distance. They block, stalk, push, shove, talk, scream. It’s business as usual out there for them.”
by Carter Sherman
May 26 2020
When Kelly Benzin arrived at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, abortion clinic where she works one recent Wednesday morning, everything seemed normal. Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Heritage Clinic for Women had been drawing about five to 15 protesters a day, she said. One was just setting up his chair as Benzin pulled in.
But around 8 a.m., when the clinic officially opened, Benzin realized that about 25 to 35 people had started to gather outside. Soon, they started to approach patients, handing out roses and trying to talk them out of getting abortions.
Anti-Abortion Movement Is Capitalizing On Coronavirus
In defiance of stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, protesters continue to harass patients at abortion clinics.
By Melissa Jeltsen, HuffPost US
On an average day, even during the pandemic, a handful of anti-abortion protesters line up on the sidewalk outside the Heritage Clinic for Women in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and preach at the women who enter. Their faces are familiar to clinic staff, as are their regular schedules.
But last Wednesday, when the clinic opened in the morning, the staff were startled to find 25 to 30 protesters assembling, many of them holding single red roses. Ignoring the no-trespassing signs, they began swarming the clinic’s parking lot, rushing patients as they got out of their cars.
Abortion rights opponents in several cities have been cited for violating stay-at-home orders
By Harmeet Kaur, CNN
Tue April 7, 2020
(CNN)For some abortion rights opponents around the country, orders by cities and counties to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic have become a point of contention.
In recent weeks, police in several cities have arrested people who continued to engage in anti-abortion rights demonstrations or other advocacy efforts outside reproductive health clinics, despite stay-at-home orders and similar restrictions.
Anti-Choice Activists Say Abortion Isn’t ‘Essential,’ but Clinic Protests Are
While the rest of us stay at home, anti-choice protesters will keep performing their "vital service" outside abortion clinics during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mar 31, 2020
Jessica Mason Pieklo
More than 200 million people in the United States have been ordered to stay at home by state and local officials desperate to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
Governors and public health officials have asked businesses not deemed “essential” to temporarily close for the same reason.
As Coronavirus Rages On, So Does Anti-Abortion Harassment and Extremism
by Micaela Brinsley, Ms. Magazine
In clinics in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Kentucky, anti-choice protesters have continued to show up at clinics that provide abortion services, refusing to comply with the pressure for people to practice social distancing and shelter-in-place.
Witnesses have reported protesters gathering in front of clinic doors, walking up to patients, and even “shoving unwanted pamphlets and gift sacks into confused patients’ hands” and through car windows—blatantly ignoring public health recommendations for people to stand six feet apart from one other.