In the midst of this Texas situation, here are ways to help fight for reproductive justice. One major way: Urge our Reps to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) and donate to those fighting for it

Here is a LINK to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America.

A major part of fighting against these forced-birther bills like those in Texas and Alabama is to not just fight against something, but to fight for something: Fighting for the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is a great offensive move to try to enact legislation that actively prohibits such restrictive legislation against abortion, and would work to protect Roe v Wade, the constitutional right which makes abortion legal. As CBS points out, the WHPA, “…would guarantee the right of all Americans to access abortion care regardless of where they live.” CBS Denver

Let’s face it: The issue here isn’t just this insane bill in Texas that just passed. It is the floodgates of absurd legislative acts that potentially await us, in which states try to control a women’s right to her own body. In-fact, anti-choice legislation is already in the works across the country. That is why it is so vital to pass legislation that prohibits bills which restrict abortion. So who is working to pass this legislation?

Texans protest the 6 week abortion ban in their state.

Source: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Members of Congress, (such as Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette) are fighting for our basic and vital rights. Find out where your representatives stand. Urge them to pass the WHPA. Also, let’s not just urge our reps or reprimand the bad politicians, (though let’s definitely do that too) but let’s tell the good ones we support them and appreciate them. Lets let them know we need and thank them.

And who can you donate to? One organization is NARAL Pro-Choice America. (NARAL, in case your curious, stands for National Abortion Rights Action League. Yes, odd name, but GREAT organization.) NARAL Pro-Choice America has been a trustworthy and reliable pro-choice organization for over 50 years. They work to elect candidates who are dedicated to reproductive rights.

I have frequently donated and volunteered for NARAL because they get to the heart of issues and fight fiercely for pro-choice rights. At one point, I volunteered for NARAL when they were exposing harmful practices of anti-choice, fake clinics. I went undercover for NARAL to expose what these anti-choice people were doing to women at these fake clinics. But that is a different story, one which I will perhaps tell at a later date. (If you’d like more info on the fake clinic issue which is still plaguing our country still, check out this article by the AMA Journal of Ethics, titled “Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers are Legal but Unethical.) The point is, I support NARAL Pro-Choice America and I believe in the incredible and important work they do. And I encourage you to research them as well and donate to them if you so choose. They are fighting for the Women’s Health Protection Act to get passed and are fighting for women to have access to reproductive healthcare.

Here is a link to donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Donate what you can. My pocket book is a bit slim these days, so I made mine a monthly contribution of 5 dollars, which adds up to 60 bucks over the year. You can do that if you’d like, or, frankly, a one time big contribution may be even better, since there is little time to waste.

No matter how you do it, make some sort of difference in whatever way you can:

-Talk to your friends and family about abortion issues.

-Tell your own story about your abortion if you feel comfortable.

-Talk to your brothers, male-friends, fathers, uncles etc.. Dudes need to know about these issues too! And they need to hear it from the women and trans men they care about.

-Approximately 1-4 women get abortions, (according to the Guttmacher Institute.) Abortions happen and they are necessary for many women, people and families.

-Donate.

-Turn out for protests. Protests across the country are taking place October 2nd, organized by the Women’s March organization.

-Speak up on social media. Follow Instagram accounts like ShoutYourAbortion AbortionisNormal and one of my faves, SisterSong, the National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. (Follow them for updates on events & news at http://www.sistersong.net.)

Together, we can fight for our basic rights! Let’s do this!

The Magnitude of the Death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: What Will Happen to Women’s Bodily Autonomy/the Ability to get an Abortion?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s contribution to Americans, particularly American women, is absolutely incredible: If you are a woman, and you have a credit card in your own name (and not your husbands name) you owe RBG thanks. If you have leased an apartment or bought property in your name, you owe RBG a thanks. If you have consented to your own medical treatment, you owe RBG thanks. If you played a sport in school, you owe RBG thanks.

One of the biggest contributions she has made to our country, is being a voice for choice: The right for women to control their own bodies and not be forced into motherhood. The right to an abortion.

I have had difficulty expressing the magnitude of the passing of Ms. Ginsberg and the immensity for what it means for women (and men’s girlsfriends/partners) to potentially lose access to the safety net of abortion.

Therefore, I would like to leave you with my friend Lynsey Bourke’s words of wisdom. She gets right to the heart of the issue and the problems we face as a nation. Bourke works to make abortion accessible in West Africa and she is someone I knew from when I lived in Montana. She is a regional operations director for DKT International, the world’s largest providers of family planning and safe abortion services. She is an incredible authority on the topic. In a post on September 19th, she states:

New Anti-Choice/Forced Birther Bills Being Passed

In the wake of the anti-choice news coming from the south, particularly Alabama, and even other states across the country, it has been tough for me to express just how horrible this outlawing and criminalization of abortion will be for women and men and the hypocrisy of the people who are anti-choice/forced birthers. So, instead of words, I wanted to share some visuals, news clips and words from other individuals:

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Where my pro-choice men at?

I’m always astounded when guys, particularly liberal/progressive guys, are not outspokenly pro-choice. If they got a woman pregnant, and abortion were illegal, they would be forced to become a father, whether they liked it or not. This issue deeply affects them.

This issue has come up several times lately in conversations with my guy friends:

Whether or not the child were to be given up for adoption, or if he decided to abandon the kid, he would still have to live with knowing that he has a child out there.

According to the Guttmacher institute, 1 out of every 4 women will get an abortion.  (And by some estimates 1-3.) This means that 1 in 4 men came very close to becoming a father, whether they wanted to be or not. In other words, 25% of men out there would be fathers right now if abortion were illegal. 

How many guys out there have gotten their girlfriend pregnant and just weren’t ready to be a parent? How many guys out there had a one night stand who would dread it if they had gotten the woman pregnant? How many guys out there got a woman pregnant and have no idea because the gal got an abortion without telling him? If that woman weren’t allowed access to abortion, BAM: That man’s life would be changed forever. He would be a father to a child with a woman he potentially never intended on seeing again. He would be forced into procreation. He would be forced into fatherhood for life and everything that comes along with that.

Why is it that so many men, good men, are so quiet on this issue? 

(Shout out to my guy friends who ARE outspokenly pro-choice! Love ya.)

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A Video Summary of Proposed 8 Trump Administration Bills That Will Do Damage

While Trump and his administration have been busy distracting us away from important issues, here is what has been happening behind the scenes. Over 2,000 new bills have been introduced. Here’s a video summary of just 8 of them. Not mentioned in the video is Trump’s intention to gut meals on wheels, a service that provides meals to the elderly who may not get another meal that day. Meanwhile, the proposed budget for the military is going up.

Click the video below.

 

Also, of interesting note: (Look at the picture below from the video.) I’ve known anti-choice individuals are confused about how reproduction works, but…. really? Setting aside that people who are anti-choice seem to think abortion means killing a full grown baby, instead of what it is which is preventing the further growth of cells, does this person think babies grow in a woman’s behind? Or was this person, who made this sign so squeamish about women’s bodies they decided to provide an angle less uncomfortable for them? Looks like being squeamish, (or just plain wrong about how reproduction works) hasn’t stopped this person from loudly voicing their opinion about other peoples bodies. Wow, really? But… well… just butt.

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Screen shot from Al Jazeera (2017) “What Trump is Distracting You From”

Planned Parenthood Vigil

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Photo credit: Julia View

To commemorate the people who died in the shooting that took place at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, (PPRM) the Planned Parenthood of Montana hosted a vigil. As one man who attended mentioned, we need to not only grieve for the victims of the violence, but also, we need to take action in the political process, to ensure human rights for bodily autonomy are not threatened. Only some twenty people turned out on the blistering-cold Montana night, but I know so many more who were there in spirit. I was glad to be a part of this vigil.

Why I Stand with Planned Parenthood

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(Photo credit: thepartyfowler/Imgur)

When I heard the news about the Planned Parenthood shooting, my heart plummeted. My heart goes out to all the victims in this horrific act of violence. A pro-lifer killing people. I can’t believe we are fighting this battle still and that a man took it this far as to commit a shooting. I saw an article about anti-abortion people actually praising the shooter who committed this act of violence, where it had a picture of a man’s Twitter account that read, “No sympathy for any pregnant female who was injured in the Planned Parenthood shooting that was there to get an abortion. She deserved it.” It is this blind hatred that astounds me: The idea that people who are so-called “pro-life” don’t value the life of the currently living, breathing woman at all, only the potential fetus inside her. So the pregnant, currently living human being doesn’t matter, just the potential fetus inside her. Got it. 

I cannot believe it has come to this: A shooting at Planned Parenthood. Although it is rare to have a shooting at an abortion clinic, attacks on clinics are not: Since 1997, there have been 73 devastating attacks on clinics. But let’s think about all of this for a second: This was an act of domestic terrorism, geared towards women. And as Unitewomen.org pointed out, “[The shooter] told police ‘no more baby parts’ and distributed anti-‪‎Obama‬ pamphlets to neighbors. Will the makers of the fake videos, and the politicians and media who publicized the fake videos be tried as an accomplice for the murder of a cop and 2 civilians?”

Plus, as countless people have pointed out, including myself, only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion. The other 97% of what they do is cancer screenings for women and men, testing for STDs, women’s health services including pap smears and annual exams, and access to contraception for women and men to prevent unwanted pregnancies that could result in abortion.  

The thing about abortion is that it could become pretty much obsolete if we had comprehensive sex education and family planning in place for people who want it, something anti-abortion people are famously and ironically against. The data clearly shows sex ed reduces unintended pregnancy. That’s the crazy part about all this: If youngsters and adult sexual partners had the information to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy through comprehensive sex education and family planning strategies, then abortion would be nearly non-existent. Abortion needs to remain a safety net for those times of rape, incest, protecting the life of the girl/woman and for times when accidents happen, but abortion doesn’t need to be so prominent. If we had measures in place that secured a sexually-educated society that was able to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place, people on both sides, pro-choice and ‘pro-life’ would be a lot happier. We need to start talking about this and making it happen because,

“Each one of us has indispensable human rights—rights that underpin our ability to live with dignity, to enjoy full and equal citizenship, to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. Simply put, reproductive freedom lies at the heart of the promise of human dignity, self-determination, and equality.” (CRR)

That’s why, i-stand-with-pp-2011-03-29-20-53.jpg