THE STATE OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN

Welcome to the post-complacency world! The bad news is that it’s totally fucked up. The good news is that we can change that. We have to. We don’t have the luxury of not giving a shit.

There’s no place better to totally give a shit than Detroit, Michigan. It’s the first stop in the Vagical Mystery Tour’s post-Kavanaugh nomination-this-will-NOT-happen incarnation. And the State of Reproductive Rights in the State of Michigan has a lot to tell us about why we NEED to stop this Supreme Court appointment.

For starters, Michigan has the whole ugly slate of laws and rules designed to harass and torment clinics and patients alike. There’s a 24 hour waiting period that forces patients to make two trips to the provider. They have TRAP laws with unnecessary standards for facilities, and requirements for transfer agreements with hospitals. Telemedicine is prohibited ONLY for abortion services.

And the state of Michigan each year diverts some $400,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money toward FAKE “crisis pregnancy centers”—the LAST thing needy families need! Ugliest of all, Michigan requires you to buy a special “rape insurance” rider if you want necessary abortion services covered by insurance. Have fun talking to your broker about that!

Oh, and the Michigan anti-choice nuts are joining with anti-vaxxer bigger nuts! Republicans in the legislature are pushing a bill to try and use “informed consent” to scare people away from vaccinating their kids with vaccines made from what they call “aborted fetal tissue.” Some vaccines may contain what vaccine experts say is “perhaps billionths of a gram” of DNA fragments descended from cultures culled from legally aborted fetuses over 50 years ago! As much occurs in the fruits and veggies we eat! Really.

Already, 86% of counties in Michigan, accounting for 40% of the population, have no provider. And Michigan is one of the few states where abortion numbers are going up. That’s partly because neighboring Ohio is even crazier in its attacks on abortion rights. From 2010 to 2015, the number of abortions performed on out-of-staters in Michigan more than doubled. That’s just a taste of the panicked abortion travelers you’d see if a Kavanaugh court ever overturned Roe v. Wade.

And what you’d see in Michigan if Roe v. Wade gets tossed is a virtually TOTAL AND COMPLETE BAN ON ABORTION. IMMEDIATELY! That’s because Michigan’s anti-abortion law is still on the books, despite being made unconstitutional by Roe v. Wade. If Roe v. Wade goes, that law, dating back to 1931, rises from the dead like a zombie that feasts on human rights.

THAT is what is at stake in this confirmation fight! THANKS for making that clear, MICHIGAN! We’re here for you, we’re here for us, and we’re here for good!

Kavanaugh? How about Kava-not-so-fast, motherfucker!

What’s At Stake, From Activist and Abortion Doula, Molly Gaebe

My name is Molly Gaebe and I am with Lady Parts Justice League. As I write, our team is on tour for the second year, criss crossing the US, visiting these threatened clinics, helping them in any way we can. We call it, the Vagical Mystery Tour. We see how these independent clinics and providers save lives, how they uplift the community, how they are there to give healthcare to the people who need it the most. We also see that these clinics have been in danger for a long time now. These clinics whose doors are shuttered all the time, whose very existence is constantly threatened because vaginal crossing guards have been chipping away at Roe for years now. So far, they have made the most headway by asserting control over the most vulnerable people.

People like Jane Doe, an undocumented teen and a victim of rape, who knew she wanted an abortion, so much so that she took the US to court to prove it. But this wasn’t good enough for Brett Kavanaugh, who said that government should be allowed to “help minors navigate” these “major life decisions” by sending them to crisis pregnancy centers and delaying their procedures until it’s too late to legally obtain them.

I made one of these “major life decisions” two years ago, and was able to get the abortion I needed because I can afford it, and I am lucky enough to live in a state with access to abortion. This can all change on the drop of a dime, and that dime is perilously spinning on its head right now. States who have been passing the most restrictive and unconstitutional abortion laws will shutter more clinics, if not outlawing abortion completely. And when their doors close, people suffer, entire communities suffer. The most vulnerable populations suffer. As we all know, when abortion is outlawed or becomes inaccessible, abortions do not stop. Women start to die.

For seven years now, I have the honor of being an abortion doula, what that means is that I support people through abortion procedures. I have held the hands of hundreds of people with wildly different stories, backgrounds, families, incomes, experiences, fears and joys. But one thing thing that they have in common is that they need an abortion, and they do not need the opinion of the government to help them make this decision.

I am here to announce that today, I have made another “major life decision.” I have decided that healthcare is non negotiable, that healthcare is not just for the wealthy, that abortion isn’t a luxury for those that can travel to states that provide it.

Abortion is humanity. Abortion is dignity.  Abortion is healthcare and abortion must be protected.  Tell your senators to question Kavanaugh on abortion, and tell them that a non answer on Roe is a threat to Roe.

There are superheroes on the ground in independent clinics that have to spend half their time, energy and money fighting with the government to provide their own communities with healthcare. Join us at Lady Parts Justice League to to stand up for these independent abortion providers and read the daily takedown every day to keep up with the latest abortion laws and to stand and fight with us. Thank you!

Stop Brett Kavanaugh! The SCOTUS Nominee is Bad For Reproductive Rights

The reality TV president had his big bachelor/rose moment. The nominee got his Norman Rockwell family tableau rollout.

The BIG ANNOUNCEMENT has been made.

But the BIG QUESTION still hasn’t been answered—WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Because there’s plenty you can do. And must do. And we’re gonna lay it all out for you.  

But first of all, who is this guy (and of course it’s a guy—DUH!) who is going to be making such big decisions about what goes on in your uterus?

The most important thing you need to know about Judge Brett Kavanaugh is that his name was on a list that was diligently compiled by far-right entities like the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation—a list of potential justices who would definitely do the bidding of the far right. And the most important thing they want done is the dismantling of Roe v Wade.

A Justice Brett Kavanaugh would do that. That’s the reason he was on the list. That’s the reason the president who PROMISED to ONLY appoint justices who will vote to overturn Roe v Wade picked him.

And his record says he will: last year while serving on the D.C. Circuit court, Kavanaugh wrote a dissent to a decision allowing an immigrant teen in U.S. custody to exercise her abortion rights… something Kavanaugh said was based “on a new constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong.” For the record, it’s based—like Roe v Wade—on the Fourth Amendment.  

So it’s clear what’ll happen if Kavanaugh is put on the Court. But what happens now? The nominee will have the opportunity to meet off the record with every Senator 1-on-1. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings and vote on the nominee. If they vote to confirm, his name goes to full Senate for a vote.

We have a few weeks to stop this—here’s what you can do:

  • REACH OUT TO YOUR SENATORS!
  • Let them know that a non-answer on Roe is a threat to Roe!
  • Some of the most important Senators to contact are possible Republican defections Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
  • Also critical are Democrats who voted for Gorsuch from red states like Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.
  • California! It’s important to send letters to Senator Feinstein, who will report the number of letters during hearings on the nomination.
  • Write op-eds, organize, and PROTEST!
  • Share your abortion stories on social media.
  • More details and information is available from the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The most important thing is to contact your Senators. We CAN do this! With Senator McCain probably sidelined, just one vote can make the difference!

This is not something we’re doing to make ourselves feel better. This is something we’re doing to change history. And that’ll make us all feel a LOT better.

Daily Takedown: July 9th, 2018

Back from a lovely weekend of eating hot dogs and also BBQ-ing, we’re once again reminded of how precarious abortion rights are in the United States and how they’re already so under attack that many people who want abortions CAN’T GET THEM or try to PERFORM THEM AT HOME and that is VERY DANGEROUS BUT ALSO A REALITY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. And oh boy, we’re mad again, sorry relaxing weekend, you’re long gone now, it’s time to get to some yelling. Which REMINDS US, if you could call your senators today (and every day, really, for the foreseeable future) and remind them that a nonanswer on Roe from whoever the SCOTUS pick may be, is in fact a DANGER to Roe, that’d be great!

On to the news:

If I Wanted to Read a Script That Doesn’t Understand That People With Uteruses Are Three-Dimensional Human Beings I’d Just Read… Every OTHER SCRIPT IN HOLLYWOOD

We Don’t Need to Imagine What a World Without Roe Would Be Like, We Can SEE WHAT IT IS LIKE By Looking at People’s Google Searches

Also Those Dumbass Laws You Just Never Bothered to Take Off Your Books? Turns Out They Could Be Frightfully Relevant in This Worse Possible Timeline We Find Ourselves In

God Bless Abortion, and God Bless Michelle Wolf

Daily Takedown: July 3rd, 2018

It’s the day before Independence Day and we’re not feeling particularly patriotic. Sure we’re travelling around the country, visiting independent abortion providers, and being reminded of how incredible these people are. But we also have to see all the shit they put up with on a daily basis, all the abuse and harassment, all the contractors who won’t help them out, all the TRAP laws that make them waste thousands of dollars on unnecessary upgrades to their AC, or some bullshit like that. AND THEN we have to read a new headline every day about ONE OF FIFTY FUCKING SCENARIOS IN WHICH ROE GOES AWAY AND HOW WE CAN STILL GAME THE SYSTEM BUT ALSO HOW WE’RE ALL KINDA FUCKED ESPECIALLY THE MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY, OR PEOPLE THIS COUNTRY HAS ALREADY FAILED SO COMPLETELY.

So yes, it’s hard to be patriotic. We think, mostly, that’s OK. We’ll retire our American flag string bikini this year. It’s fine if it’s a hard holiday for you, one so full of hope and hot dogs, now just a crushing reminder of how bad things are. We’d recommend whenever you’re feeling down tomorrow, taking a moment to send some love to people who work every day to make ‘Merica a better place for people. Send a postcard to an abortion provider, donate to Abortion Funds, (we know this isn’t in the spirit of giving back, but heck, tweet an obscenity at some fucker trying to take away our rights, never let them rest), or sign up to volunteer with us!

And then also allow yourself a brief moment to relax by the pool, or eat a popsicle… it’s been a rough year, you deserve it. Especially if you’re an abortion provider, meeting abortion providers helps remind us why we fight, so have two popsicles if you work for a clinic!

THE NEWS:

Let’s Start With Good News Out Of Arkansas: People Can Still Take the Abortion Pill There (Oh God, Oh God, It’s Come to Us Being Excited About This)

A Bunch of Haters Haven’t Been This Excited About a Retirement Since (Insert Football Reference Here… IDK, About Some Quarterback)

Poll Shows Most Americans Chill With Abortion, Much to the Non-Chillers Chagrin

Some People Are Sending Coat Hangers to Senator Collins As a Reminder That We Will Not Go Back, Oh God, Oh God, It’s Come to This

Quick Reminder: New York Still Needs to Pass the Reproductive Health Act… Looking at You… Basically Everyone in New York Government Who Is to Blame For This Not Passing Yet

Usually, the Anti-Abortion Are A True Bummer of Extremism, But If You’d Like a Good Chuckle Read This Rust in the Faucet of an Article About How Hobbes (Yes, the Philosopher) Was Pro-Abortion

Daily Takedown: July 2nd, 2018

On the Vagical Mystery Tour we encounter a lot of haters. We counter-protest their terrible sidewalk screaming; we give them a taste of their own medicine outside of their fake clinics; we, in general, get all up in their face (peacefully, but also, hilariously). And since one of the biggest stories of the day is children being separated from their families AND SINCE these zygote huggers say they care SOOO much about children, we have to ask them, “Why are you not protesting family separation?” One fetalist told us it’s because they’re not actually killing those children. Well, neither are we, but whatever, keep reading us the company line. But another sidewalk screamer told us something we can’t shake. He said, “Because it’s not our issue.”

This weekend we joined the wonderful people of Nashville and marched to #KeepFamiliesTogether. We watched the amazing speeches from powerful, mad-as-hell, determined women and it reminded us why we fight so hard, every day, to combat the evils of this world. Because the truth is, as human beings in the world, who care about the reproductive freedom and body autonomy, of COURSE it’s our issue.

And that, we know, is the fundamental difference between us and THE PEOPLE SO DESPERATELY TRYING TO SHAME UTERUS-HAVERS. We talk about abortion a lot here, obvs, thank god for abortion. But we understand that why and how people get, need, want, have abortions exists in a broader context. We understand that the world is big. We understand that a main reason people can have or not have children is financial circumstances. So equal pay is also our issue. We understand that a lot of people worry about maintaining their careers after they have a kid (and that it determines when they want to have a child), so paid family leave is also our issue. And we understand that 59% percent of people who have abortions are mothers. So our issue NEVER stops. Reproductive rights and body autonomy are all-encompassing. We don’t stop caring once someone has an abortion. We don’t stop caring once someone doesn’t have an abortion. We admire the work of incredible reproductive justice orgs like Sister Song and COLOR and NLIRH who work tirelessly to fight for the all-encompassing body autonomy.

But we do look at the world from a reproductive rights standpoint, and that’s why we can see so clearly that the people so desperate to control a person’s body because they “care so much about the babies, THINK OF THE BABIES” are almost always proven hypocrites when it comes to real (post-born) babies. See Scott Lloyd, head of the office of refugee resettlement. He is responsible for the horrible living conditions of the children taken from their families in the United States. He ALSO was on the board of a fake clinic (the things we HATE SO MUCH) and tried to keep Jane Doe from having an abortion AND sent her to a fake clinic.

Anti-abortion hypocrites will always show you their true colors, most of the time hideously and obviously so. Take the protesters who thought this weekend’s march would be a good time to make it all about them and call abortion “true family separation.” Who can imagine being that gross and callous???

They pretend to care, we actually do. They are so single-minded that they can’t even take a break from shaming people outside of clinics to help actual kids.

So to the man who said “it’s not my issue” we’d just like to say, basic human decency is everyone’s issue. Put down your gross poster, stop yelling at women, and read a fucking newspaper.

A Reproductive Rights Recap of The Week There Were a Bunch of Headlines About Roe v Wade Ending

Done crying? Tired of yelling? Starting to sober up? Good. Whatever you had to do to get through last week, you did it, because you’re here. When shit hits the fan, the first thing you have to do is turn off the fan. Now we have time to collect ourselves and focus on dealing with the splatter.

The ugly individual moments that make up this last week are frozen in time like frames from some horrific repro rights version of the Zapruder film. The BIG difference is that now we have the time and the opportunity to prevent this tragedy from actually happening.

When the Becerra decision hit like a ton of stoopid, we broke it down for you—exposing the lies and hypocrisy of the arguments that were used to support, well, lies and hypocrisy. If the First Amendment does NOT give you the right to yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater, it certainly shouldn’t allow you to make people seeking medical care think that you’re a doctor when you’re not.

We explained what a pile of shit it is to discuss abortion as though it was any different than any other medical procedure. And we reassured you that—despite the setback—abortion is STILL SAFE AND LEGAL. And despite the further setbacks, IT STILL IS!

The very day of the Becerra decision, we put our own First Amendment rights to far better use than misinforming people who need medical care. We informed the world about the bullshit of the FAKE clinics by putting on our Washington Square Fake Clinic Protest. If the frauds at the phony clinics can’t be made to tell the truth about what they’re doing, we’ll tell it for them. And you can too! Go to www.exposefakeclinics.com to find out how.

And really, it was “poetic Lady Parts Justice” that the news of the Kennedy retirement hit during a week that we were on the road. As we told you in our tour-spiels on the “State of Repro Rights” in OHIO and TENNESSEE, the fights that are going on at the state level are a grim reminder of what we could face on a nation-wide scale if we don’t get together and get busy.

The fetal freaks in the states have been VERY busy planning for this day.  Ohio’s HB 565 would ban ALL abortions, even for rape and incest. It’s flagrantly unconstitutional in a way that deliberately invites a reconstituted Supreme Court to smack down Roe v. Wade. And the haters in Tennessee actually changed their state’s constitution to explicitly say that “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to an abortion.” West Virginia, where we were last week, has a measure on the ballot in November that would do the same thing.

Our unworthy adversaries are nothing if not industrious when it comes to undermining other people’s rights. The events of this last week have shown us that we need fight even harder to keep those rights.

LPJL wasn’t founded to congratulate ourselves for 40-plus years of Roe v. Wade. It was meant to strengthen reproductive rights and to defend them when they’re threatened. Well, we just got the Bat Signal, bitches!

This has been the kind of week we hope would never happen. But this kind of week is the reason we’re here. So let’s be here for each other!

THE STATE OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS IN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE

Well, then. Shit just got very real, didn’t it?

As in—wow, this is really real. And it’s really shit. But dealing with reality is what we do… along with changing it. And right now, it needs changing as bad as ever.

This week, LPJL’s Vagical Mystery Tour touches down in boot-stompin’ Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, 6/28. Before the show, we wanted to tell you all about the State of Reproductive Rights in the State of Tennessee, and we’re gonna do that right now, goddammit! Because the situation in Tennessee might be an indication of where the whole country will soon be if we don’t crank up the resistance meter a few notches.

Tennessee is instructive because it has the whole shitty smorg-ass-board of laws, rules, regulations, and general mind-fuckery that the fetal fun bunch like to use to maintain control. Oh, and one very prescient booby trap that will get sprung if and when Roe v. Wade is overturned.

That little nugget of nasty is Tennessee’s Amendment 1, which stripped the right to an abortion right out of Tennessee’s state constitution by dictating “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to an abortion.” That reduces the chances that restrictive laws can be challenged under state law.  But more to the evil heart of the matter, it means that if Roe v Wade is successfully shredded by some as-yet-unknown new ogre on the Supreme Court, Tennessee is poised to make abortion a felony for providers and/or patients any time the politicians decide they want to.

Gee, you ask, is voting important? Here’s your answer—Amendment 1 passed with only 53% of the vote (and with enough sleazy voting methodology that it was hung up in the courts for over three years.) So by all means, VOTE!

But while they bide their time before any Roe v Wade reversal of fortune, anti-choice Tennessee pols are busy messing with the unfortunate people of Tennessee with the usual list of repro rights torture techniques: over-the-top TRAP laws, mandatory and wildly fictional anti-abortion lectures, a 48-hour waiting period that means patients have to make two trips, and an ultrasound bill that’s a pared down version of a “heartbeat” bill that will undoubtedly be back again under Amendment 1. In Tennessee 96 percent of the counties do not have a clinic that provides abortion care.

Oh, and they went out of their way to address the drug problem—by criminalizing new mothers who use drugs while pregnant. Thanks for having your baby—you are under arrest!

This week was a get-woke call for us all. The good people of Tennessee have been woke to all of this for some time. LPJL is here to help them resist and to enlist them in the fight that we all have coming. Somebody set the alarm!