Fighting for Abortion Access in the South
A fund in Georgia is responding to restrictive legislation with a familial kind of care.
By Alexis Okeowo
Oct 14th issue, the New Yorker
In June, 1994, at a pro-choice conference in Chicago, twelve black women gathered together to talk. One, Loretta Ross, was the executive director of the first rape crisis center in this country. Another, Toni Bond, was the executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund. A third, Cynthia Newbille, was the leader of the National Black Women’s Health Project, which was among the first national organizations to be devoted to the wellness of black women and girls. After the first day of the event, which was hosted by the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance and the Ms. Foundation, the group met in a hotel room. “We did what black women do when we’re in spaces where there are just a handful of us,” Bond, who is now a religious scholar, recalled. “We pulled the sistas together and talked about what was missing.”
Art exhibition highlights abortion stigma
27th September 2019
The Voices and Choices exhibition will put a spotlight on issues of abortion and reproductive justice in the country, as part of the #MybodyMychoice coalition campaign.
South Africans from different organisations and communities are expected to have a unique experience surrounding conversations about the stigma associated with abortion. The multimedia Voices and Choices exhibition is a collaboration of South African female artists under the curatorship of Mmabatho Montsho.
Abortion Is Our Right To Strike
Abortion isn’t a “cultural” issue. The production of children, and who will pay for it, is a key economic battlefront.
By Jenny Brown
For decades, we’ve been told that abortion is merely a wedge issue used by Republicans to split working-class Catholics from the Democratic Party and excite a Protestant evangelical base. “Starting in the 1970s,” feminist law professor Joan C. Williams writes, “Republicans have offered support for working-class anti-abortion views in exchange for working-class support for pro-business positions.”
According to this view, politicians and the one percent really don’t care one way or the other about abortion — they’re just using the issue to get votes. This reading of US politics is so common that if you ask a group of feminists today why abortion is under attack, someone will explain that it is a political ploy to capture the support of conservative “values” voters. Thomas Frank even argues that banning abortion would be against the interests of these political forces because they would lose an issue to mobilize around.
Pro-Choice Groups Are Changing Their Strategy for a New Era of Attacks on Abortion
NARAL is shifting its strategy to embrace the term "reproductive freedom," which polls well with moderates and independents.
by Marie Solis
Aug 8 2019
NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the largest pro-choice organizations in the country, is changing its communications strategy amid mounting attacks on abortion rights. In an exclusive interview, the group said it will place a greater emphasis on “reproductive freedom,” a framework its leadership believes will bring together a wider swath of the population in support of safe and legal abortion. Though NARAL has used the term in its messaging before, the group has relied more heavily on terms like “reproductive rights,” and "abortion access” to talk about their cause.
The Biggest, Most Disruptive Strike for Abortion Rights Is Coming to the US
It's the first-ever national strike for reproductive justice.
by Marie Solis
Aug 2 2019
In May, attacks on abortion rights reached a peak. Over the course of a little more than a week, four states passed laws banning abortion in rapid succession, each seemingly more extreme than the last. In response, pro-choice supporters flooded local abortion funds with donations, reproductive rights groups organized demonstrations across the country, and Planned Parenthood launched a new “bans off my body” campaign. But when socialist organizers Jennifer James and Ximena B. took stock of the efforts to preserve abortion rights, they worried the pro-choice movement would still be trounced by its opponents.
No, it’s not time to march, or donate, or canvass, they thought: It’s time to strike.
Democrats need to win women in 2020. The debate showed the candidates know that.
Abortion, maternal mortality, and other issues that disproportionately affect women were front and center at the debate.
By Anna North Jun 27, 2019
“Democrats have been talking about the pay gap for decades,” moderator Savannah Guthrie asked at the first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday. “What would do you to ensure that women are paid fairly in this country?”
The question, and its answers, set a tone. Issues affecting women — as well as people of all genders who become pregnant — were front and center at the debate.
Opinion: I Have A New Challenge As A CEO: Protecting My Staff In Anti-Abortion States
Anti-abortion laws are forcing businesses to consider how we would operate in places where women’s health services are made illegal.
Amy Nelson, BuzzFeed Contributor
Posted on June 14, 2019
I have a newborn in my lap as I write this. I’m on parental leave from the company I founded, having welcomed my fourth daughter to the world just last week. But I don’t consider writing this to be “working” — this is something larger. It’s my obligation to my future, my business and colleagues, my daughters, and my country.
I recently signed my company onto a campaign for reproductive justice, along with leaders from more than 180 other companies. I want to talk more about why I did that, and how the rising tide of anti-abortion politics is forcing CEOs like me to think long and hard about how our businesses can operate in places where essential women’s health services are being made illegal.
Reproductive Justice: The missing issue in party manifestos for 2019 Election
Women outnumber men in South Africa, yet most political parties only pay lip service to issues of reproductive health and justice in their election manifestos. Control over their own bodies and health is the first step towards gender equality and development for South African women and girls.
By Louise Carmody and Marion Stevens
5 May 2019
In every election period, political parties commit to improving service delivery, the economy, and tackling the enormous wealth, race and gender inequalities within South Africa. At 51% of the population, and 55% of the electorate, women outnumber men, yet politicians rarely address policies towards increasing their access to sexual and reproductive health services, especially in poor communities.
This gap highlights the lack of reproductive justice in South Africa, which requires the right to bodily autonomy, the right to decide whether or not to have a child, and the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. Having the ability to exercise and control reproductive decisions and to access necessary sexual and reproductive healthcare is critical for women and girls to achieve gender equality and development.
#Elections2019 cheat sheet: Your guide to a feminist vote
3 May 2019
Like many South African women and queer people, you may find yourself in a conundrum about which political party to give your “X” to on May 8. Here is Health-e’s quick cheat sheet to help you make a pro-women, pro-queer choice — developed in partnership with the #Yvote4U campaign.
Women make up most of those registered to vote in the elections, according to the Independent Electoral Commission. This should mean gender issues are front and centre of the political parties’ campaigning, but this hasn’t been the case because young women feel excluded from these parties’ agendas.
Challenges for achieving sexual and reproductive justice in South Africa
2 May, 2019
Written by Marion Stevens, Director, Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition
Reproductive Justice is defined by three principles: The right to have child; the right not to have a child; and the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments.
Twenty years after the evolution of the concept in the United States, the government of South Africa incorporated the concept of reproductive justice into its thinking. In 2014 the concept was introduced and spoken about locally and globally by the Department of Social Development (DSD)1,which houses the National Population Unit. DSD has incorporated the principles of reproductive justice, and taken the concept of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) further.