September 14th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
September 14th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Member of Stop Patriarchy and Pink House Defenders standing together in front of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where HB2, the law that threatens to close all but 6 abortion clinics in the state of Texas, is being reviewed.

There is nothing legitimate or necessary about any section of this set of laws, which have already closed HALF of the abortion clinics in the state of Texas. The section of the law being reviewed, is on the ambulatory surgical center standards, which basically state that an abortion clinic needs to be set up like a mini emergency room. This law has absolutely no basis in medical necessity. It has nothing to do with the health and safety of women. It has everything to do with shutting down clinics. Complications during abortion are EXTREMELY rare. And for those times where complications do occur, emergency rooms are required to admit patients. 

In August, Judge Lee Yeakel in Texas, struck down this section of the law, after a compelling case was made by abortion providers, detailing the ways that this requirement is entirely unsubstantiated and illegitimate. We stand with these courageous abortion providers. We stand with the women in Texas whose lives will be foreclosed if this law is upheld. And we stand for the millions of women, all over this planet, who need ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY!

Read the NPR article, covering this trial here:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/09/12/348001989/opponents-spar-in-court-about-clinics-performing-abortions-in-texas

September 14th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

On the conviction of Jennifer Whalen: This is not the first time women have been condemned to prison for protecting themselves or their loved ones. THIS MUST STOP NOW!

from Adrienne, member of Stop Patriarchy

image

A Stop Patriarchy comrade and I arrived at Columbia County Prison in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania by 9am. We stepped out of the car into the gray, coldness with signs that read “We Support Jennifer Whalen! Assisting someone with an abortion is not a crime!”, “Free Jennifer Whalen”, and, of course, “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!” Jennifer Whalen is a Pennsylvania resident and mother who sought to help her daughter have an abortion. Now, she is serving a 9-18 month sentence.

Her daughter was sixteen and pregnant, and as Whalen’s husband Keith told us outside of the jail, “unable to raise and care for this child.” Jennifer was looking out for the well-being of her daughter. The closest abortion clinic to Whalen is 75 miles away, and abortion is not covered under her insurance. With restrictions on medical abortions, it’s become more and more expensive and difficult to access. Jennifer was only doing what she needed to do, in a society that is making it more and more difficult for abortion to access. Jennifer obtained the medicine necessary, the same medicine provided by clinics for medical abortions, legally, and gave them to her daughter. (It’s important to note that most clinics aid a woman in deciding between the two types of abortion, medical or surgical, she could have. There are examinations provided to see which abortion would be best for the woman’s body. Once it’s determined that a medical abortion is safe, a provider will allow the patient to take one pill in office and another pill the following day at home. This is perfectly safe.) Her daughter did have some complications, so Jennifer took her daughter to the emergency room. For this Jennifer was charged and sentenced for violating a state law that requires abortions to be done by physicians and for distributing medicine without a prescription.

A journalist at the jail told us that the judge was contemplating charging her for manslaughter (for termination a 3 week fetus!!). This law does not exist in a vacuum and must be examined alongside the circumstances created by when access to abortion is restricted! With abortion becoming more and more difficult to access, how can we expect that women will not do whatever it takes to terminate their unwanted pregnancies?

It is totally illegitimate when laws are blindly used to make an example of someone; this case truly highlights how stigmatized abortions have become. Criminalizing abortions will NOT stop women from trying to obtain them. The horrific thing is that this is not the first time women have been condemned to prison for protecting themselves or their loved ones. This must stop now!

We waited for about a half an hour, before a car arrived in front of the jail. Jennifer was set to report to the jail to begin serving her sentence that day. My stomach turned itself into knots as I watched and waited for Jennifer to step out of the car. I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like to know you were going to be away from your children, your family, your friends, your life, and that all of these people knew why. I can’t imagine all of the anger, sadness, and shame she experienced. It’s devastating to know that in order to receive a lesser sentence a person has to internalize the horrors and inconsistencies of the system.

When Jennifer stepped out of the car she walked briskly with her head down. My comrade called out to her and she walked back, standing in the arms of her husband, with her head down and hair in front of her face. My comrade looked at her and told her that what she did was not wrong, and that many, many people support her. “Did you know this?” Jennifer shook her head. Women, especially moms, face a different set of standards; they are blamed and shamed for their children’s behaviors—their daughter’s sexuality, their daughter’s choice in clothing, and the list goes on—but while it’s true that a child’s behavior is not always a reflection of their parent, what’s more important is that ALL of these expectations and complaints are blatant attacks on WOMEN!

Should she have to apologize for being a woman. Hell no! Should she feel sorry for protecting the welfare of her daughter? Hell no! To see her stand in shame was an awful reflection of why criminalizing and stigmatizing abortion does nothing but perpetuate violence against women.

It was gratifying to be out there in support of Jennifer Whalen and to speak to her. Seeing us could have made a slight dent in chipping away the guilt and shame she’s felt. However, this slight dent needs to be strengthened and transformed into a major crack in this whole illegitimate system. We must continue to fight against a patriarchal society that is condemning women for thinking on their own. 

We must fight illegitimate laws, change the way people think about abortion and act on what they know to be true. Standing in support of prisoners is important. Standing in opposition to a law is important. Protesting is important! Making your voice heard is important. I encourage people out there who see this as an injustice to flood the court and/or jail with letters of support of Jennifer Whalen. Write to her yourself* and tell her of your support. There is a need for an outpouring of support. We need all kinds of people to get involved on this front. Now is the time.

* Send your message of support for Jennifer Whalen to stoppatriarchy@gmail.com and we will send them to her husband, Keith Whalen, to send to Jennifer.

September 11th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Friday Sept. 12: Free Jennifer Whalen! Abortion is NOT a crime!

Fresh off the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero Texas, Stop Patriarchy is mobilizing to rally support for a woman in Pennsylvania who is due to report to prison tomorrowSept. 12, to begin serving a 9-18 month sentence for assisting her then 16-yr-old daughter in terminating an unwanted pregnancy through a medication abortion.

Join us Friday, Sept. 12 - 9 a.m.  in front of

Montour County Prison
117 Church Street, Danville, PA 17821

to say: 

Abortion is not a crime!
Free Jennifer Whalen!
Abortion on Demand & Without Apology!

Whalen was convicted of violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by a physician and for dispensing medication without a prescription. Aside from the prison sentence, she was also fined $1,000.

BUT who is responsible for creating a situation where:
  • The nearest abortion clinic was 75 miles away.
  • Whalen had no insurance coverage for abortion services.
  • Abortion services are more difficult to access and more stigmatized than ever.
  • More and more women are driven to desperate measures to exercise their basic right and moral choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

The anti-abortion forces don’t give a damn about “child welfare” or the health and safety of women.

Whalen’s sentence is an outrage that must be opposed.

Abortion is not a crime. Free Jennifer Whalen. 

SEND YOUR MESSAGE OF SUPPORT for Whalen
and we will deliver them
READ
September 9th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Four Points About Jennifer Ann Whalen: Single Mother Sentenced to Prison for Helping her Daughter Abort Unwanted Pregnancy

Several years ago, Jennifer Ann Whalen, of Pennsylvania, a 39 year old single mother, helped her pregnant 16 year old daughter, who did not want to be pregnant, get abortion drugs from an internet site. They used these to induce an abortion, and they did this because of the lack of safe, legal, affordable abortion care in the area they lived. The nearest abortion clinic was 75 miles away, and her daughter didn’t have health insurance.

For this she was convicted of violating a state law that requires abortions to be performed by a physician, and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Four points are extremely relevant to highlight and are related to where things are headed with the attacks on abortion and birth control rights:

ABORTION RIGHTS ARE IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY: Throughout the US there is an abortion rights emergency, headed quickly towards disaster for women. In 2014 Texas saw the biggest round of clinic closures ever to hit a single state since abortion was legalized in 1973, and it’s not over yet. Texas, a state of roughly 13 million women, went from having 44 abortion clinics to just 19 in one year, and depending on a 5th circuit court ruling, could be left with only 7.  Six states have only one abortion clinic. These restrictive laws, attacks on abortion doctors, harassment and stigma heaped on women that seek abortion, and mass closures of clinics, have driven women to take matters into their own hands, risking their lives in order to not be forced to bear children they do not want. 


ABORTION IS BEING CRIMINALIZED: The doctor at the hospital that Whalen took her daughter to (after her daughter began having severe cramping and bleeding 2 weeks after taking the abortion drugs) turned her into the police and set in motion a criminal investigation. This is outrageous, and sets dangerous precedent for other women; who may decide after they risk self-abortion, that they cannot risk seeking professional medical help if they need it. 5,000 women a year died before Roe made abortion legal, and emergency rooms were filled with women that had uterine infections. If we continue on the current course, abortion will become an outright crime, and then not only will graveyards and emergency rooms fill with women, the jails will also fill with women. Women whose only crime was to want a life other than becoming a mother. 


(Even women that want to become mothers, but who have miscarriages, health crises, or addiction issues are increasingly facing jail time. Indeed- some already are. From 1973 to 2005 the National Advocates for Pregnant Women study identifies 413 cases where pregnant women were arrested, incarcerated, detained in in hospitals or mental institutions, and forced to undergo medical treatments- including surgery. This number is currently on the rise due to “fetal homicide” and “child endangerment” laws. A fetus is NOT a child, abortion is NOT Homicide, and women are NOT state-mandated incubators.
)

ABORTION IS NOT A CRIME! WOMEN THAT DON’T WANT TO BECOME MOTHERS ARE NOT CRIMINALS! NO JAIL TIME for Jennifer Ann Whalen, and NO SHAME for her daughter, or any woman that seeks abortion. Whalen has been sentenced to more time than the likes of Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, and the other ruling class functionaries that are responsible for instituting vicious, woman-hating, anti-abortion laws. They are the real criminals, with the blood of women on their hands. Whalen has been fined $1,000 and sentenced to 12-18 months in prison, and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. If she had been convicted on all counts, she could have been sentenced to 7 years, and up to $15,000 in fines. She was charged with medical consultation, unlawfully dispensing medicine, endangering the life of a child, and simple assault. Medical consultation is a 3rd degree felony. This is OUTRAGEOUS, and UNACCEPTABLE! All charges and fines should be dropped immediately!


THERE IS A MOVEMENT THAT YOU SHOULD JOIN: to fight against the attacks on women and abortion rights, and for the liberation of women! Everyone has an interest in fighting for women’s liberation. Women are half of humanity, and if women cannot even make the essential decision about when and whether to become mothers, if women are forced into motherhood against their will, then they are enslaved. If women are not free, then no one is free. This sentence against Jennifer Ann Whalen should be reversed! Also, the movement to reverse this overall war on women must grow! 

September 6th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Rally Against Patriarchy in ABQ on 9/5/2014.

About twenty people gathered outside of the Embassy Suites where Archbishop Sheehan was honored guest at a fundraising dinner for the anti-abortion Project Gabriel. Troy Newman, fascist of the violent and misogynist organization “Operation Rescue” was keynote speaker.

As the dinner began, a handful of us entered and disrupted this patriarchy party, calling out these patriarchs for what they are (“Troy Newman is a fascist! Archbishop Sheehan hates women!”), and vowing to see them buried in the dusty pages of history.  They blocked the doors as fast as they could, surrounded us, bullied us, tried to take the bullhorn, and called us baby-killers.  We did not back down, and continued to chant: “Forced motherhood is female enslavement! and Without this basic rights, women can’t be free: abortion on demand and without apology!”

Local ABQ groups and national groups did the right thing this day, to have visible presence outside of this event, to openly oppose it and to refuse to compromise away women’s lives. This refusal for these types of events to go on without open opposition is EXACTLY what is needed now. Abortion rights are in a state of emergency, and the likes of Troy Newman should not be able to sit at a table in celebration and fundraising for the enslavement of women, in peace, while women’s body are legislated into incubating machines.

Glad to stand with you, Freedom From Religion, WORD, Personhood for Women, and members of ABQ NOW. Let’s keep it up, here and everywhere.

Abortion On Demand & Without Apology!

www.StopPatriarchy.org

September 5th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Aug 30, 2014 - Standing up for Abortion on Demand & Without Apology at Seattle Center, Seattle, WA. Next up: Protests in Seattle and across the country on September 12 to protest the appeal of the recent favorable ruling in Texas. All but 6 clinics in the entire state of Texas hang in the balance. It’s time to redouble our efforts for abortion rights and women everywhere!

August 30th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Week of Defiance for Abortion on Demand & Without Apology, from Seattle to Texas!

On Wednesday, August 27th, in front of a busy market during evening rush hour, we let hundreds of people in Seattle know that there is an abortion rights EMERGENCY across the U.S., but most concentrated right now in Texas. We held the portraits of women who died when abortion was illegal or inaccessible. We read their stories out loud. Almost no one we met had any idea that all but 6 clinics were set to close by Sept 1st if not for the favorable ruling on HB2 that just came down the day after this action. A minority of people took a flyer with the statement to Stop Forced Motherhood, but that minority was about 350 people - and that matters. The most outraged and concerned stopped and wrote a message on a bloody coat hanger to send to Texas Governor Rick Perry, told us their stories, signed up with StopPatriarchy.org, got stickers to wear, and donated. Next up, we’ll be going out to reach thousands of people on Monday Sept 1st outside of Bumbershoot (popular Seattle music festival).

Today, on Saturday Aug 30, our outdoor plans got rained out, so we got together at Revolution Books and filmed a video of pre and post Roe v Wade abortion stories - the personal stories of women who came to the event who ranged in age from their early 20s to their 80s. Some new volunteers are editing the video as a powerful contribution to the Week of Defiance. We’ll be sure to post it here when it’s done!

August 29th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Judge Rules Against Further Abortion Clinic Closures in Texas - A statement from StopPatriarchy.org and the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride - August 29, 2014

It is very important that Judge Yeakel has blocked – at least for now – the closure of abortion clinics that was scheduled to take place on September 1st, 2014 and laid the basis for the possible reopening of clinics in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley.**

However, this is only a temporary reprieve. It is far from a complete or final victory.

Already this correct ruling is being appealed by the Attorney General to the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans. Further, even with this positive ruling, Texas has only about half the number of abortion clinics it had just three years ago and this is indicative of a nationwide pattern of clinic closures and mounting restrictions, stigma and obstacles placed on women.

As Merle Hoffman, Advisory Board member of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, put it, “While we celebrate this victory, it is critical to remember that this is one battle in an ongoing war and we must remain vigilant.”

Sunsara Taylor, initiator of StopPatriarchy.org and Abortion Rights Freedom Rider among those arrested this month protesting HB2, added, “The anti-abortion movement will not stop until they have criminalized all abortions for all women in all circumstances. The emergency facing women is not over. Now is the time to redouble our efforts.”

Abortion must be available on demand and without apology! Forced motherhood is female enslavement. Without the ability to decide for themselves when and whether to have a child, women cannot be free. If women are not free then no one is free.

**This means that abortion will not become any more inaccessible to women throughout the state of Texas in the very short term. It may even mean that abortion becomes more available in the Rio Grande Valley and in Western Texas than it has been in a year, depending on whether those clinics have the ability to reopen.

August 29th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

No One Has to Ask Permission to Fight For Women’s Liberation - A response to Katie Klabusich’s attack on Stop Patriarchy in Bitch Magazine

by Carol Downer 

The headline, “In Texas, Activist Group ‘Stop Patriarchy” Draws Criticism’ and the first two paragraphs might first appear like an objective report; however, your blog, reprinted in Bitch is not a report, but a trash job. Come clean, Katie Klabusich, Texans for Reproductive Justice is you and your buddies in an ad hoc group formed for the sole purpose of opposing Stop Patriarchy and their mission to come to Texas, protest the TRAP laws that are closing down Texas clinics and their goal of linking this to the nationwide emergency facing abortion rights.

I’m on the advisory board of Stop Patriarchy and I went on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride for one week.

So, you have not given me or anyone else one good reason not to support Stop Patriarchy. Your criticisms are baseless; if anything, they are reasons to support Stop Patriarchy. 

Read More

August 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Powerful video coverage from the Austin Statesman at today’s protest outside UT Austin.

On August 27, 2014, proceeding the shut-down of abortion clinics throughout the state of Texas as required by HB2, members of StopPatriarchy.org protested on Guadalupe Street off of West Campus at the University of Texas.

August 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

TODAY at UT Austin, 5 Abortion Rights Freedom Riders, including intiator of Stop Patriarchy, Sunsara Taylor, were singled out and arrested when they joined with dozens of others in protesting the impending closure of abortion clinics in Texas, on the first official day of classes outside of UT Austin. 

Thousands of students gathered as the freedom riders blocked traffic for over half an hour. About a dozen people joined in the action on the spot, incredibly inspired by what was happening. Hundreds took videos and photos, and watched on in awe. 

There were many different reactions, both positive and negative. A few cars nearly hit some of the protesters, frustrated by not being able to get to lunch, or to work on time, etc. Yes, some people were inconvenienced today, but this is so much bigger than the day to day grind.

As we await the result of HB2 in Texas, it is still the case that most people do not even know that this law is scheduled to shut down all but 6 abortion clinics in the state. It is still the case that people think this is just a question of opinion, meanwhile this right is being stripped away, and affecting real women every single day. 

It is long past time that students, not only understand what’s going on nationally with this abortion rights emergency, but actually understand the implications of this, to half of humanity, and fight back. It is long past time that this complacency be challenged, that these lowered sights be raised, and that students throw in on this fight. 

Today, students were confronted with the reality of what it means when abortion is illegal or inaccessible. The question that poses itself in a moment like this: What will your life be about? What will your college career be about? Throughout history, students have always played a major role in movements against injustice. That needs to be the case today, in this abortion rights emergency.

Every single student, who does not want to see women forced to bear children against their will, who does not want to see women dying from self-inducing abortions due to inaccessibility, who does not want to see women’s rights be slammed back, and this backwards view of women be codified into law, needs to act NOW. It is not too late, we have not lost this battle. This is one of those moments in history where what we do really matters, and could have society wide impact. 

JOIN US!

http://www.stoppatriarchy.org/week-of-defiance.html

August 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
I stand with the brave 11 Freedom Fighters for women’s reproductive rights who were arrested outside of Governor Rick Perry’s mansion on August 13th for protesting the closure of all but six abortion clinics in the state of Texas. Legislation that limits access to sensitive healthcare, specifically safe and legal abortion, is a form of serious violence against women. We must raise our voices, fill the streets, make art, to defend doctors and assist women, to change hearts, enlighten minds and resist this oppression throughout this Week of Defiance.
–Eve Ensler
August 27th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Day 2 of the Week of Defiance, reaching out the students at UT Austin and then back in front of Rick Perry’s mansion. We held a speak-out where we read aloud the messages sent in from people from all over the country. Dozens of stories have been gathered so far, both on the ground here in Austin, and sent in from New Mexico, New York, Oakland, Canada, and beyond.  

We ended the rally, going around the group, speaking bitterness. A few women who were new to come forward in this fight, each spoke to their experiences of walking through this world, being treated as less than human, in all shorts of ways. An older black woman spoke about being the scapegoat of her family, discriminated against and abused for her disability, brutally beaten by police for no reason, and her experience having a coat-hanger abortion. Another woman, a young student, spoke about her frustrations with the complicity of her friends, coworkers, and her generation as a whole; not taking these attacks on abortion rights, seriously. Another woman, spoke about her children; her daughter who at age 9 is already being objectified by older students in her school, and her 8 year old son who is learning how to respect women as human beings, and is already being bullied for this. 

The people who have come forward for this week of defiance, represent masses of people who have these stories, who are sick and tired of this society which takes the oppression of women as a given, and whose anger needs to be unleashed to stop this war on women.

Loading tweets...

@StopPatriarchy

End Pornography & Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women www.StopPatriarchy.org