A Lost Great Yiddish Abortion Play

After sitting in a drawer for a century, a newly unearthed piece of theater is finally having its moment

BY ALYSSA QUINT
OCTOBER 13, 2022

Around 2010, Jeffrey Michael Brown was cleaning out the Long Island home of his late father, David, when he came across a school notebook with bands of inky Yiddish script. As he could not read Yiddish, he sought out a translator. He could already assume, however, that the notebook belonged not to either of his parents, but to his grandmother Lena Brown who had arrived in the United States in the late 19th century and had lived in an apartment on President Street in Brooklyn until she died sometime in the 1940s. Jeffrey’s father, David, had brought Lena’s things with him to Hempstead when he moved into his home there in 1951. David had placed the notebook in a desk drawer and there it lay until Jeffrey dusted it off 60 years later. What has turned out to be one of the most powerful Yiddish plays of the 20th century—one of only a small number of Yiddish plays written by women, and one that expresses honest and difficult sentiments about marriage, motherhood, and reproductive rights—sat silently in a drawer for about a century only to have its moment now as we contemplate American women’s newly curtailed reproductive freedoms.

Continued: https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/history/articles/lost-great-yiddish-abortion-play


Histories That Both Diverge and Converge: Birth Control in India and Canada

The sexual health markets emerged in response to the demand for birth control, however, they did not deliver in terms of quality or efficacy of product, even less so, towards women’s wellbeing.

Urvi Desai
April 1, 2022

On a sticky February afternoon in 1936,
Margaret Sanger, an American birth control advocate, attended the first
All-India Population Conference held at the famous Cowasjee Jehangir Hall in
Bombay (present-day Mumbai). The conference was attended by the wealthy of
Bombay society, the who’s who in the field, as well as doctors, advocates,
government officials, and more. At around the same time, family planning
societies began to emerge in India. These societies promoted birth control and
advised women who visited their centres about possible birth control
techniques. Varied as the organisations were, they shared the common goal of
insisting that poor women use birth control products to control reproduction.

Continued: https://thewire.in/history/histories-that-both-diverge-and-converge-birth-control-in-india-and-canada


USA – Abortion opponents are gunning for contraception, too

Efforts to roll back abortion and contraception access aim to control women’s sexuality

By Anya Jabour, Washington Post
March 25, 2022

Last weekend, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) released a video criticizing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, and denouncing what Blackburn called the “constitutionally unsound” ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut. In that 1965 case, the Supreme Court struck down a state law restricting married couples’ access to birth control on the basis that such laws infringed upon Americans’ right to privacy. The right to privacy established in this case subsequently informed the 1972 decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird, which extended privacy rights and contraceptive access to single women, and the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which declared access to safe and legal abortions a fundamental right protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Now, these landmark cases face political opposition and legal challenges.

Continued: (unblocked link) https://wapo.st/3IHR7EA


USA – Minority women most affected if abortion is banned, limited

Feb. 1, 2022
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and LEAH WILLINGHAM
The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — If you are Black or Hispanic in a conservative state that already limits access to abortions, you are far more likely than a white woman to have one.

And if the U.S. Supreme Court allows states to further restrict or even ban abortions, minority women will bear the brunt of it, according to statistics analyzed by The Associated Press.

Continued: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/minority-women-most-affected-if-abortion-is-banned-limited/


Anticipated abolition of Roe v. Wade after 49 years takes away freedom and health for many American women

Boulder Daily Camera
January 22, 2022
By Warren M. Hern

One of the great legal landmarks in American history, and one of the most important landmarks in the history of women, is one year short of its 50th anniversary.  The Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision on Jan. 22, 1973, and it is very doubtful that it will reach that 50th anniversary.  With its anticipated abolition by the Court goes freedom and health for many American women.

The Supreme Court is now a partisan tool of the Republican Party and its partner in gaining overwhelming, unassailable political power.  We are headed for permanent minority rule by a white supremacist, misogynistic, theocratic minority that opposes basic personal freedom, secular society, freedom of the press, scientific knowledge, social justice, civil rights, voting rights, democracy itself, and thought.

Continued: https://www.dailycamera.com/2022/01/22/warren-m-hern/


What Would a Post-Roe America Look Like?

Dec. 10, 2021
By Spencer Bokat-Lindell

In 1973, Americans gained a constitutional right to abortion. In 2022, they may lose it.

Those are the stakes of a case that the Supreme Court heard last week, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involving a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/10/opinion/supreme-court-abortion-roe.html


It’s the 100th anniversary of the first conference on birth control. Here’s a look at contraception’s lesser-known legacy.

Hannah Good, The Lily
November 6, 2021

One hundred years ago, a group of prominent doctors, social workers, economists and advocates convened at what was then called the Hotel Plaza in New York City for a first of its kind conference. Their aim was to explore the benefits and legality of a technology that was simultaneously novel and impossibly ancient: birth control.

“Our definite aim is to repeal the laws so that the medical profession may give women at their request knowledge to prevent conception,” organizer Margaret Sanger said in her opening speech at the conference. “We believe that with the assistance of the intelligent members of the community we can bring this about in a very short time, but we need your help.”

Continued: https://www.thelily.com/its-the-100th-anniversary-of-the-first-conference-on-birth-control-heres-a-look-at-contraceptions-lesser-known-legacy/


USA – A new, racialized assault on abortion rights is headed to the Supreme Court

Opinion by Melissa Murray
April 18, 2021

A federal appeals court last week allowed an Ohio law to take effect that bars doctors from performing abortions on women who choose to end their pregnancies because the fetus has Down syndrome. The law presents a head-on challenge to the right to abortion that could soon land at the Supreme Court — this time interlaced with sensitive questions of race and eugenics.

Such intrusive “reason bans,” which have been enacted around the country, are controversial — and almost immediately challenged — because they prohibit abortion before fetal viability. Most courts have applied the Supreme Court’s long-standing precedents to strike down such bans.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/18/new-racialized-assault-abortion-rights-is-headed-supreme-court/


USA – How Anti-Abortion Advocates Are Co-opting and Twisting Calls for Racial Justice

“It’s like the anti-abortion movement
out-pivoted the reproductive rights movement on race.”

Aug 14, 2020
Becca Andrews

The argument seemed reasonable in theory: “We are pleased that our state values
life no matter an individual’s potential disability, gender, or race.”

In reality, it wasn’t.

Back in March 2016, Mike Fichter, the president and chief executive of Indiana
Right to Life, was talking about the law then-Gov. Mike Pence just signed that
would bar “the knowing provision of sex-, race-, or disability-selective
abortions by abortion providers.” The bill was not nearly as innocuous as
Fichter and his ideological peers in state government made it seem. In fact,
the legislation, colloquially known as a “reasons ban,” operates very much on
racist and ableist assumptions—and has the power to inflict acute harm on
pregnant individuals.

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/08/abortion-reasons-ban-race-justice-language/


USA – I Volunteered For Abortion Rights In Missouri & It Made Me Rethink My Entire Life

I Volunteered For Abortion Rights In Missouri & It Made Me Rethink My Entire Life

By Kara Lewis
August 22, 2019

In this op-ed, writer Kara Lewis explains how volunteering at a Planned Parenthood clinic changed what feminism meant to her.

Imagine living in a place where legislators banned abortion after eight weeks, with no exceptions for rape, human trafficking, incest, or fatal abnormalities. Then, if someone manages to confirm a pregnancy within this period — often, it takes people up to 12 weeks to verify that they are pregnant — they might have to travel more than 200 miles to the state’s lone, persecuted abortion clinic. Along the way, they can expect to see car license plates emblazoned with “Choose Life,” a campaign that funnels money from these plate sales into anti-abortion organizations. They might also stumble upon one of the state’s estimated 69 tax-funded crisis pregnancy centers, which masquerade as real health clinics but peddle religious sentiments and misinformation.

Continued: https://www.bustle.com/p/i-volunteered-for-abortion-rights-in-missouri-it-made-me-rethink-my-entire-life-18687253