USA – Not Your Grandmother’s Illegal Abortion

Not Your Grandmother’s Illegal Abortion

By Jennifer Block
Book excerpt
July 1, 2019

The sola variety of papaya resembles a pregnant uterus, so much so that around the world, humans use the fruit to learn one method of modern reproductive health care: manual vacuum aspiration, or MVA, a low-risk, low-tech method of first-trimester abortion that requires little or no anesthesia. As one doctor remarked at a conference in 1973, where the technology was introduced to physicians from around the world, “it’s something we will be able to bring practically into the rice paddy.”

This, too, is the fruit I have been given to practice on. I’ve placed it on a table across from me, and I’m focused on the neck, where its stem grew, which evokes the cervical os. The tool I’m using is a large plastic syringe with a bendable plastic strawlike thing, called a cannula, where the needle would be. At the top of the syringe is a bivalve to create one-way suction.

Continued: https://www.thecut.com/2019/07/excerpt-from-everything-below-the-waist.html

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Canada/USA – The female game designers fighting back on abortion rights

The female game designers fighting back on abortion rights
Through video games, live-action role-playing games and interactive documentaries, developers are challenging the conversation around reproductive rights

Laura Hudson
Fri 28 Jun 2019

The year is 1972. You’re part of an underground network of feminists in Chicago that provide illegal (at the time) abortion services to vulnerable, pregnant people with few options. Despite the risk of imprisonment, and the ways that your personal experiences may not always perfectly align with your activism, you persist.

It’s emotionally complicated. It’s politically fraught. It’s a live-action roleplaying game by Jon Cole and Kelley Vanda called The Abortionists, which requires three players, one facilitator, six hours and a willingness to dig deep into the painful history of reproductive rights in the United States. That history has terrifying relevance in 2019, as numerous states pass laws that put their residents in a reality where abortion is functionally illegal. Based on the real-life work of a 1970s activist group called Jane, it challenges its participants to think about the “internal landscapes” of its players, and how they deal with the larger political and personal landscape of their world.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/jun/28/the-women-game-designers-fighting-back-on-abortion-rights

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USA – Abortion bans have some women preparing for the worst. It involves ‘auntie networks.’

Abortion bans have some women preparing for the worst. It involves ‘auntie networks.’

By Monica Hesse, Columnist
May 26, 2019

The first breadcrumb leading me to an Auntie Network landed in my path last week, in the form of a Facebook post written by a friend of a friend:

“Hey! People with uteri in other states! If you need to visit your friend Cindy in Chicago, you just PM me and ask for my phone number. I will be so excited to TALK and HANG OUT with you. No judgment. No questions.”

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/abortion-bans-have-some-women-preparing-for-the-worst-it-involves-auntie-networks/2019/05/24/4af2dcce-7d77-11e9-a5b3-34f3edf1351e_story.html

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USA – The Abortion Rights Movement Can’t Afford Amnesia—or Nonprofits Leading Our Activism

The Abortion Rights Movement Can’t Afford Amnesia—or Nonprofits Leading Our Activism
We need an energetic movement that will fight for abortion without reservation. And that means reclaiming its radical roots—and reclaiming it from big national organizations, including the Democratic Party.

Mar 11, 2019
Michelle Farber & Dayna Long

Given the dire state of abortion access, it’s hard to believe that a radical women’s movement in this country once helped win transformative reforms, including decriminalizing abortion, in spite of a Republican president and a U.S. Supreme Court packed with GOP appointees. If you don’t know the history of that movement—or what followed for feminists after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973—it can be even harder to imagine a way forward for abortion rights supporters now. A movement that doesn’t reflect on its own history, including its failures, has an uncertain and rocky future.

We were recently reminded of that when reading Robin Marty’s Handbook for a Post-Roe America, billed as the definitive guide for activists to navigate the current crisis, in which abortions are already inaccessible for many and the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to make things worse.

Continued: https://rewire.news/article/2019/03/11/abortion-cant-afford-amnesia-or-nonprofit-activism/

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USA – The New Abortion Underground Starts With Information

The New Abortion Underground Starts With Information
The threats against safe abortions are changing—where women once feared the coat hanger, the symbol of the handcuff is now more ominous. Is arming activists with information the first step in keeping abortion accessible?

By Meghan Racklin
January 22, 2019

A papaya, it turns out, is a good model of a uterus in the early stages of pregnancy. Well—the papaya is a bit bigger, actually. And the average uterus has more of a tilt. But overall, the fruit is a close replica.

That’s what I’m told during a training session hosted by the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP). Under the guidance of our instructor, a doctor and RHAP fellow, I insert a thin metal instrument into the top of my papaya to create an opening before inserting a small suction device called an aspirator. There’s a slight slurping sound as the papaya seeds are sucked into the aspirator’s main chamber. Slurp. Slurp. Slurp. And then it’s done.

Continued: https://www.glamour.com/story/the-new-abortion-underground-starts-with-information

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USA – What Back Alley? These Women Say DIY Abortion Can Be Empowering

What Back Alley? These Women Say DIY Abortion Can Be Empowering
The pro-choice movement has portrayed non-clinic abortion as a last resort. But some women are trying to change that image.

Emily Shugerman
01.04.19

The image provokes both fear and fury: a wire coat hanger, spattered with blood, symbolizing the drastic measures women may take when abortion access is limited.

Whoopi Goldberg brandished one on stage at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, urging the younger generation to remember what their forebears used. Protesters at the 1989 March for Women's Equality carried a giant replica, stained red, through the streets of Washington D.C. like a macabre parade float. And the symbol has been ubiquitous since Donald Trump’s election, popping up at marches, in the pages of glossy magazines, and on this site.

The imagery makes Jill Adams, founder of the Self-Induced Abortion Legal Team, shake her head.

Continued: https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-back-alley-these-women-say-diy-abortion-can-be-empowering?ref=scroll

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USA – They Called Her “the Che Guevara of Abortion Reformers”

They Called Her “the Che Guevara of Abortion Reformers”
A decade before Roe, Pat Maginnis’ radical activism—and righteous rage—changed the abortion debate forever.

By Lili Loofbourow
Dec 04, 2018

There was nothing remarkable about the small woman carrying a box of leaflets—certainly nothing to justify the clutch of reporters waiting for her across from San Francisco’s Federal Building on a July morning in 1966. Still, there they were. She arrived at exactly 9 a.m., greeted them, and began distributing fliers to anyone who passed. There were two of them: One was a yellow slip of paper titled “Classes in Abortion,” listing topics like female anatomy, foreign abortion specialists, and police questioning. The other—which she gave only to the assembled journalists and the five women who signed up for her class that Wednesday evening—described two techniques for DIY abortions. “I am attempting to show women an alternative to knitting needles, coat hangers, and household cleaning agents,” she told the reporters, adding that she had notified San Francisco police of her whereabouts and plans.

Continued: https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/12/pat-maginnis-abortion-rights-pro-choice-activist.html?fbclid=IwAR3BPV4zD2olxZfKz946KlEQNmkUyN1x5kbV8IV_os8B-CScIShArXir_ag

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USA – How to Prepare for a World Where Abortion Is Illegal

How to Prepare for a World Where Abortion Is Illegal

By Sady Doyle
Oct 18, 2018

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court seems to have ushered in a kind of nuclear winter for the reproductive rights movement. Kavanaugh was selected from a list of “pro-life” justices committed to overturning Roe; thanks to him, abortion access will likely be curtailed even further in all 50 states.

We don’t yet know when or how Roe will fall. Women and trans people have been losing the right to abortion for decades — through the defunding and closure of abortion clinics, through restrictions imposed by the states, or through the Hyde Amendment, a federal ban on abortion funding which effectively prevents low-income women from getting care. Some advocates expect the loss to continue this way, with states being allowed to pass increasingly draconian bans. Others see a grimmer endgame in sight.

Continued: https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a23889097/how-to-prepare-for-a-world-where-abortion-is-illegal/

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USA – Code Name Jane: The Women Behind a Covert Abortion Network

Code Name Jane: The Women Behind a Covert Abortion Network
In the years before abortion became legal, a clandestine group helped women with unwanted pregnancies get around the law.

Video: 7:57 minutes. Abortion Was Illegal. This Secret Group Defied the Law. By Retro Report

By Clyde Haberman
Oct. 14, 2018

The no-frills advertisement, printed at times in student and alternative newspapers, went straight to the point: “Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.” A telephone number followed.

This was nearly half a century ago, when abortion was illegal almost everywhere in the country and alternative newspapers were in their heyday. There was no Jane, though, not literally anyway. Yet at the same time, Jane was anybody.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/illegal-abortion-janes.html

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The Jewish Women Leading the Resistance in the U.S. Battle Over Abortion

The Jewish Women Leading the Resistance in the U.S. Battle Over Abortion
As the focus on Roe v. Wade increases with the looming addition of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, many volunteers say they are motivated by Jewish values and attitudes toward abortion, which differ from those of conservative Christianity

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen (New York)
Oct 10, 2018

NEW YORK – Access to abortion in the United States has become more limited in recent years, increasingly restricted by state laws even though it became a constitutionally protected right in the landmark decision Roe v. Wade 45 years ago.

At the forefront of countering that trend is a little-known network of volunteers, many of them Jewish women, who are motivated by their faith and commitment to the idea that women need to be able to control their own reproductive choices.

Continued: https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-jewish-women-leading-the-resistance-in-the-u-s-battle-over-abortion-1.6545400

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