Today marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the watershed Supreme Court decision that told a nation obsessed with peering into women’s vaginas and telling them exactly what to do with said genitalia that, in fact, they cannot do that. However, 43 years later, we are not living in the utopia of reproductive freedom that some hoped for in the wake of that decision.
Planned Parenthood is now involved in a lawsuit against The Center for Medical Slander (also known as “Progress”) after the CMP released a series of highly edited, smear videos that accused Planned Parenthood of selling baby body parts. As a result, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, had to testify for several hours in front of a mostly-male congressional panel that was deeply misinformed about both science and how the government works.
The Hyde Amendment, which stipulates that federal funds may not go toward abortion services (with exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother) means that many women living in poverty and who receive Medicaid coverage are unable to get abortions. As we all know, restricting women’s access to legal abortion means restricting their access to safe abortion, which increases the number of unsafe and illegal abortions performed, duly punishing women who dare to control their reproductive systems.
Women are angry, and they should be. They are speaking out, and they should be. Yet according to the Women’s Media Center, male coverage still dominates female coverage of female reproductive rights. Which seems somehow wrong. So today, in honor of the Roe v. Wade decision and in protest of all that is still wrong with our national reproductive ethos, all around the country people are gathering; speaking about their personal abortion stories, protesting unconstitutional and immoral anti-abortion laws, and partying it up to fundraise for various pro-abortion causes and organizations (because Ted Cruz’s fugly face and heinous political views should not stop us from having a grand and deeply sinful good time). To celebrate and raise awareness for this day, we’ve put together a list of events happening around the country today, as well as videos that need to be watched. Take part in this important and glorious day!
1. #TogetherForAbortion Part of the #ShoutYourAbortion movement, this is a national happening. Both public and private events are happening in 21 states and the full list can be found here. We reached out to Amelia Bonow, #ShoutYourAbortion founder, to ask what she hopes #TogetherForAbortion and the Roe v. Wade anniversary will accomplish:
“#ShoutYourAbortion has catalyzed and connected with over one hundred pro-choice events happening on 1/22 in all fifty states. We'll be using the #TogetherForAbortion hashtag all day on social media to engage with groups, highlighting the range of voices in this movement and the broader impact of this type of collective action. Events range from private dinner parties, to public abortion speakouts hosted by Planned Parenthood and NARAL affiliates, to crafting parties, rock and roll shows and theatrical performances. By using the #TogetherForAbortion hashtag at any point during the day, individuals all over the country can join the roar of pro-choice voices becoming decidedly louder and more visible as a response to what may be the most toxic cultural and political atmosphere that the abortion rights movement has ever seen.”
2. One such event is the #TogetherForAbortion comedy show, happening in New York City. Hosted by Katie Hartman and featuring six brilliant ladies, including BUST contributor Sara Benincasa, this is a comedy show all about abortion. Because abortion is an incredibly common and legal medical procedure, not an all-access pass to Satan’s bedchamber, and we are therefore allowed to talk about it and laugh about it. On the importance of talking about abortion, Hartman told BUST:
“Too many Americans think abortion is still illegal. That is a real thing. To celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade reminds us of the FACT that it is not illegal and should not be treated as such.”
We so agree.
Abortion Care Network is also sponsoring events in various states, including several Minnesota, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and New Mexico (states that do not currently have public #TogetherForAbortion events).
In a series of video monologues, seven actresses tell the stories of women’s experiences with abortion and the effects of limiting their access to reproductive care. One of them is Amy Brenneman, who has already been outspoken about the abortion that did not traumatize or haunt her but was, in fact, nothing but a positive in her life. You can find the rest of the videos, as well as past stories from Draw the Line, here. Watch Brenneman’s narration of another woman’s story, a woman named Whitney, below.
This grassroots group is doing work similar to #ShoutYourAbortion and Draw the Line: they’re working to change the way we talk and think about abortion by giving space to women to share their abortion stories. Share this video and the videos from Draw the Line on your Facebook, Twitter, email your boss, text your ex, text your mother, text that cousin you see once a year, share these stories with everyone who will sit still long enough.
6. Check out these hashtags
7. Finally, watch this adorable love story by Alala News, in collaboration with Postcards
Images viaFlickr, videos via YouTube
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