The abortion rights movement can learn from the Aids activism of the 80s and 90s

Moira Donegan
Mon 5 Sep 2022

It was already chaos, and now, it was going to get worse. The US supreme court’s decision wasn’t exactly a surprise – everyone knew it was coming – but the rage in the room felt palpable. The language of the opinion had been taunting and cruel; the punishment from the court felt vindictive, personal. People were already dying for lack of access to healthcare; the ruling would push people in need even further to the margins. Now, the most vulnerable faced criminalization, harassment and even death, and for what? For the conservative Christian values that none of them had voted for? For a regressive, punitive, and cruel vision of gender and sexuality that most of the world had long since left behind?

The ruling was Bowers v Hardwick, and the year was 1987. The
supreme court, in a virulently homophobic opinion, had upheld a Georgia law
criminalizing gay sex between consenting adults. At the time, the Aids crisis
was gripping gay America. Out of bigotry and indifference, both the federal
government and the pharmaceutical sector were dragging their feet. Meanwhile,
thousands of people, mostly gay men and IV drug users, were dying slow,
painful, premature deaths, at the margins of a society that hated them and
feared their disease.


Biden’s chance to go bolder on abortion rights

“This is not a time for speeches and hoping people will vote in November.”

By Li Zhouli
Jun 27, 2022

This past weekend, more than 30 Democratic senators had a message for President Joe Biden: They want him to do more to protect abortion rights, and they want him to do it now.

“There is no time to waste,” they said in the letter, which was led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and sent one day after the Supreme Court announced its decision to officially roll back Roe v. Wade. “You have the power to fight back and lead a national response to this devastating decision.”

USA – Should you keep abortion pills at home, just in case?

With Roe on the brink, more experts are talking about advance provision of mifepristone and misoprostol.

By Rachel M. Cohen
Jun 22, 2022

Medication abortion, or taking a combination of the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, is an increasingly common method for ending pregnancies in the United States. Reasons vary and overlap: Some women lack access to in-person abortion clinics; others prefer to end pregnancies in the comfort of their own home. Others seek out the pills because they cost far less than surgical abortion.

With more in-person clinics shuttering and a Supreme Court that’s threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade, a small but growing number of reproductive experts have been encouraging discussion of an idea called “advance provision” — or, more colloquially, stocking up on abortion pills in case one needs them later.

Activists Tell Biden to ‘Do Your F*cking Job’ and Protect Abortion Rights

“You promised that you would rule as a pro-choice president, and you need to do it,” said Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of We Testify.

Scott Bixby, White House Reporter
Jun. 12, 2022

President Joe Biden has repeatedly declared his support for a woman’s right to have an abortion, albeit without any concrete plans to protect that right. But as the Supreme Court’s near-certain overturning of Roe v. Wade draws closer, abortion-rights advocates want him to put up or shut up.

“Joe Biden is missing in action right now. This is a crisis, and he’s nowhere to be found, he’s not giving us a plan,” said Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of We Testify, an organization that represents those who have had abortions. “We showed up in November 2020 and handed you the White House, the House, and the Senate. Do your fucking job that you were elected to do.”


USA – I’m Black. I Thought White Feminism Would Keep Abortion Safe.

White women who once saw Roe as core to second-wave feminism seem not to be putting up much of a fight. Is it time for Black women to pick up the mantle?

Erin Aubry Kaplan

When I was in my 20s, I had an abortion. Actually, I had more than one. It’s taken me more than a month even to write those sentences — a single, simple truth I had to break into two parts to make palatable. The impending official demise of Roe v. Wade has forced me to look at the depth of my reticence about this. People have lauded me over the years for allegedly brave things I’ve said in columns, for putting myself “out there,” but I’d never shared this. I always told myself it was because abortion wasn’t relevant to racial justice, which is the bulk of what I write about. Yet I’ve written about plenty of personal matters that are ostensibly nonracial — depression, money, crises with my dogs, my unfolding struggle with alopecia. All these things at some point have racial implications, as most things in America do. Those things certainly include abortion rights. But I left it alone.


With Roe endangered, Democrats divide on saying the word ‘abortion’

By Caroline Kitchener
April 2, 2022

After Texas passed its restrictive abortion law last fall, Democrats started talking more about abortion than they had in decades.

House Democrats coalesced around a bill to turn into law the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing most abortions, Roe v. Wade, voicing their support for the landmark precedent in tweets and public statements. A few days later, three congresswomen shared their abortion stories on the House floor. And when he delivered his State of the Union address in March, President Biden became the first Democratic president since Roe to use that platform to call for action on abortion rights.


The FDA made mail-order abortion pills legal. Access is still a nightmare.

Restrictive states have already set their sights on a new wave of telehealth companies that were supposed to be a panacea for a post-Roe world.

By Julia Craven 
Mar 29, 2022

When Emma found out she was pregnant in February, it was too late for an in-clinic abortion.

She estimated that she was at six weeks, but Texas, a bastion of retrograde abortion policy, bans the procedure at roughly that mark, so any local options were out of the question. Her local Planned Parenthood told her to prepare to travel out of state and offered to connect her with a clinic. Emma, who takes medication that makes her cycle irregular, wanted an ultrasound to confirm her recollection of the gestation age. But the clinic didn’t have an appointment for the next two weeks.


Hundreds Of People Who’ve Had Abortions Tell Biden: ‘We Need To Hear From You’

As a historic Supreme Court decision approaches that could have a devastating impact on reproductive access, activists want more from the president.

By Alanna Vagianos

In just a few months, the constitutional right to get an abortion in the United States could disappear or be severely limited. Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that afforded that right, is facing a serious challenge in the high court. Meanwhile, conservative state legislatures are on a rampage: 2021 saw the most abortion restrictions ever enacted in a single year.

But President Joe Biden has said very little on the topic. His administration has made some limited moves to protect abortion care in the wake of these historic attacks, but abortion rights activists are worried that the president’s hesitance will have major consequences.


What President Biden’s State of the Union Says About the Politics of Abortion

MARCH 2, 2022

Following abortion rights groups’ efforts to pressure President Joe Biden into speaking out in favor of reproductive rights in America, the President mentioned the topic just briefly on Tuesday during his first State of the Union address.

“The constitutional right affirmed by Roe v. Wade—standing precedent for half a century—is under attack as never before,” Biden said during the speech. “If we want to go forward, not backward, we must protect access to health care. Preserve a woman’s right to choose.”


In her ‘SNL’ skit, Cecily Strong opened a dialogue on abortion. Here is what experts say

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Tue November 9, 2021

(CNN)"Saturday Night Live"'s Cecily Strong dressed as a clown this weekend to talk about abortion.

In the show's Weekend Update segment, the actress explained the clown costume was to make the topic a little more palatable for the audience. She was introduced in light of a controversial Texas law currently being argued in the US Supreme Court.