April 20th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

"I know that I can’t take it for granted anymore" - A reflection by a participant in the April 11th & 12th Abortion Rights Emergency Actions

-from a young person, new to Stop Patriarchy

A few years ago I worked as a canvasser on behalf of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. I knew that providing women access to reproductive care and abortions was not only just, but also life-saving. Although I had these beliefs I was unaware of the severity of the restrictions and repression of access to birth control and to abortions. I was not fully aware of the insidious agenda being put forth by conservatives and the religious right. As I attend events and speak with people at Stop Patriarchy I am becoming more conscious of the lies and misinformation that galvanizes people to take action against abortion providers and pro-choice people. I have come to understand that this fight is not about children or babies, but rather an agenda that is focused on returning to a society before Roe V. Wade, and on solidifying archaic and detrimental gender roles.

Before the protest at St. Pat’s Cathedral, I went to the speak out at Advent Lutheran Church. I think that this is where my confidence was bolstered. It was amazing to be in the presence of a body of people who support access to abortion and to be involved in rhetoric of support and scientific truth. I met Bill Baird who is a fellow Long Islander and pro-choice activist whose efforts made birth control legal for single women. His dedication, along with hearing the stories of other’s dedication, reminded me that as a pro-choice feminist, I am not alone and that this work is incredibly important. As stories unfold in the media and unfolded during the speak out it became more and more evident that abortion rights are in a state of emergency. As a young person, I see that many of my peers take for granted these essential services, as I once have. I know that I can’t take it for granted anymore and that I must stand up for what’s right.

Protesting at St. Pat’s was an incredible experience for me. It was powerful to stand in silence with the photographs of the women, and men, who have been killed because of an anti-abortion agenda. Most antis speak about babies and children, and it was so poignant to see the truth staring people right in the face—when abortion is illegal, women die. This is the reality and this is what people NEED to see and know. In this age of technology we need outlets to disseminate truth, and it was a privilege to stand on behalf of those voices that have been silenced by violence, and bear truth, especially in front of an institution whose beliefs have encouraged a culture of hatred, lies, and violence. One woman who was shouting at us said, “I’m pro-choice, but this is an inappropriate place to do this.” And, I remember thinking about how I am so sick of people’s political correctness and their wanting to be polite—it is such a waste of time and it prevents access to truth, knowledge and genuine connection. I thought and still think that St. Pat’s is a perfectly good location because it is an institution that perpetuates a conservative backwards agenda. The atrocities that occur to women because they have not had and do not have access to this safe procedure needs to be known and seen! Her comment solidified my confidence in the protest and in our message.

It was getting hot and I was getting hungry and wanted to shout back at antis and this minimal discomfort reminded me of the struggle of women who live in states where only one clinic is left or where access to abortion and reproductive health is severely restricted. Where do they go? Who will support them (financially and emotionally)? I do not want to live in a country where women are dying because they do not want a child or a family, this is just ridiculous to me. The anti-abortion agenda is steeped in archaic views about family, religion and their role in society and to impose this on every person is also absolutely ridiculous. Women are full human beings, abortion is not murder, and fetuses are not babies! I think those words are so powerful and can be used to help shift our culture so that women are not stigmatized, so that abortion is not stigmatized and can be accessed, and so that women are seen as more than just breeders or property.

April 13th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion rights are in a state of emergency and headed for disaster.  Urgently needed: uncompromising resistance.  We WON’T go back to the days of back-alley and coat hanger abortions, and women condemned to domestic servitude against their wills.  Abortion on demand and without apology!

Join the resistance: www.StopPatriarchy.org

April 13th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion rights are in a state of emergency.  When abortion is illegal, women die, and many more are forced into motherhood.  Forced motherhood is female enslavement.  Women are not incubators!   Join the resistance: www.StopPatriarchy.org

April 13th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Bearing witness and standing up for all the women who have died from illegal abortions, opposing the institutions that are spearheading the attacks on abortion rights, and pledging to resist these attacks until we win abortion on demand and without apology.  

Join the resistance at: www.StopPatriarchy.org

April 13th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

April 11: Abortion Rights Emergency Speakouts/WEBCAST April 12: Protests!

On April 11: Speakouts on the Abortion Rights Emergency were held in New York, L.A., Seattle & San Francisco. Women’s stories—before Roe v. Wade and today—were brought to life.  We honored those who risk their lives to provide abortions and we confronted the full anti-woman program driving this war on women. You can watch the entire webcast of the New York City event at www.StopPatriarchy.org including:

  • Dr. Willie Parker, award-winning doctor at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi
  • Sunsara Taylor, writer for revcom.us/Revolution newspaper, leader of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, and initiator of StopPatriarchy.org
  • Merle Hoffman, CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, which has provided abortions and other health services to women since 1971
  • Donna Schaper, Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church
  • Marge Piercy, poet, novelist, memoirist, via video
  • Louise Bernikow, author, historian, long time activist
  • Bill Baird, reproductive rights pioneer, jailed 8 times in the 1960s for lecturing on abortion and birth control
  • David Gunn, Jr., son of first abortion doctor to be assassinated, via video message
  • And testimony from:
  • Susan Cahill, owner of the Montana abortion clinic that was destroyed and closed on March 3, 2013 about how this is an attack on all women
  • Dr. Susan Robinson, one of only four doctors in the U.S. who openly provide late-term abortions; featured in the acclaimed documentary After Tiller
  • Dr. Susan Wicklund, author of This Common Secret; My Journey As an Abortion Doctor
  • Plus:True stories of illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade

Then, on April 12, people took to the streets:

We raised bloody coat-hangers* (representing the fate of women when abortion is illegal) and shackles (representing female enslavement). We held photos of women who died from illegal abortions and doctors who were killed for providing abortions.  After an hour of silent protest, we broke the shackles and pledged to resist until we defeat and reverse these attacks and win Abortion On Demand & Without Apology and the full liberation of women.

This war on women will not go away on its own and will not be stopped by politicians or the courts. We must take responsibility for resisting and defeating these attacks – the lives of women depend on what we do.

Wire coat-hangers were used by many women as an instrument to self-abort when abortion was illegal. 5,000 women in the U.S. are estimated to have died every year from illegal, unsafe abortions before Roe v. Wade legalized abortions.

Seattle:

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New York City:

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image at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

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San Francisco:

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(All San Francisco photos by Drake Newkirk)

This war on women will not go away on its own and will not be stopped by politicians or the courts.  We must take responsibility for resisting and defeating these attacks – the lives of women depend on what we do.

GET INVOLVED: StopPatriarchy.org

Contact: StopPatriarchy@gmail.com

@stoppatriarchy

April 10th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

"If they make it about babies, then women can remain conflicted…"

From a member of Stop Patriarchy in the Bay Area, in response to the abortion rights emergency, the need for Emergency Actions this weekend, and the need to change the terms of the debate about abortion:

"It really is about the oppression of women and not about babies at all. It’s difficult to fully grasp that - I think because in order to maintain control over us it needs to be about babies. If it’s really about women’s autonomy, if the Right just came out and said, “we want women to stay at home and have babies while men take over the world because women aren’t fit to do it,” it would be crystal clear. But if they make it about babies then women can continue to remain conflicted and not realize the larger establishment that is in place that seeps into every facet of our lives.”

April 10th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Rachel Barrett Martin, on why she is speaking out this weekend at Emergency Actions

Rachel Barrett Martin is a feminist historian of counterculture; she teaches at San Francisco State University, and lectures at CSU East Bay and UC Berkeley.  She will speak tomorrow night in San Francisco as part of national Emergency Actions this weekend.  She says:

"I am honored to be among the speakers at this Emergency Action. And I do it not just for myself and my students, or as a member of Catholics for Choice, but for many in my life who have struggled for reproductive justice: For the dearest OBGYN friend from college who ponders wearing a bulletproof vest to teach the D&C procedure to medical school students. For another dearest friend from college who worked at the Boston Planned Parenthood that was attacked. For all the women of Minneapolis Women’s Collective who shared their abortion activism stories with me, historicizing pre Roe v Wade reality for my M.A. work. For the women who face gauntlets of “anti-abortion” protesters at the health clinics. For the women who cannot access safe medical terminations, let alone early termination options. For the far too many women injured or dead from unsafe, illegalized abortions. Reproductive Rights Now!”

April 10th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Give the people you know a chance to act to stop the war on women

Social Media Kit for Emergency Actions & webcast April 11 & 12

In the weeks leading up to now, people across the country have been sounding the alarm on the abortion rights emergency, as women in increasing numbers are left in desperate situations, and an archaic and oppressive patriarchy is working overtime to see to it that women are slammed backwards into the role of incubators.  

If you haven’t yet, please take a look at the Fact Sheet, and dare to confront the stark reality facing millions of women in this, the so-called “land of the free.”

In light of this, a nationwide counter-offensive against the attacks on women’s lives — a movement that is entirely unapologetic about abortion, and is waging uncompromising resistance against the enslavement and degradation of women — has begun.

It has begun, but it will take nothing short of thousands breaking the silence and taking to the streets, changing minds and inspiring millions more… not to mitigate, not to defend against, not to pontificate about, or just raise awareness about… but to WIN what is actually a fundamental right: abortion on demand (unrestricted, sans any explanation) and without apology (guilt-free, shame-free, stigma-free).

Read More

April 9th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

From Jefferson City, Missouri - Stop Patriarchy supporters attend a rally called for by NOW. Check out the newspaper rack at the public library,  with a stealth “special edition” of The News Tribune!

April 6th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Marge Piercy speaks frankly about nearly dying from an illegal abortion at age 18 and why this right is so essential. Recorded as part of testimony to be shared at the Emergency Abortion Rights Speak Out on April 11, 2014 at Advent Lutheran Church in NYC and webcast nationally. Protests to be held Saturday, April 12, nation-wide.

Learn more at StopPatriarchy.org

April 6th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion Rights Emergency Webcast - Tune in wherever you are!

Friday April 11, 7-9:30pm EDT
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Speakers include:
Dr. Willie Parker, award-winning doctor at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi
Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution Newspaper (revcom.us), leader of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, and initiator of StopPatriarchy.org
Merle Hoffman, CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center which has provided abortions and other health services to women since 1971
Donna Schaper, Reverend of Judson Memorial Church, on her abortion and women’s moral agency
Marge Piercy, poet, novelist, memoirist, via video message on her near-lethal illegal abortion
Bill Baird, reproductive rights pioneer who was jailed 8 times in the 60s for lecturing on abortion & birth control
David Gunn, Jr.son of first abortion doctor to be assassinated via video message


Testimony from:
Susan Cahill, owner of the abortion clinic that was destroyed and closed on March 3rd, 2013 about how this is an attack on all women.
Dr. Susan Robinson, one of the only 4 doctors in the U.S. who openly provide late-term abortions – featured in the acclaimed new documentary “After Tiller”
True stories of illegal abortions before Roe v Wade

More to be announced…
March 29th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
I think that ‘abortion on demand and without apology’ is a two-part sentence that encapsulates where we ultimately should be on abortion and when we get to where we should be on abortion. When it is a non-issue, when it is considered health care and it’s as valid a decision for a woman as a decision to continue a pregnancy and parent or to continue a pregnancy and opt for not parenting then there will be no need for demand. But there should never be a need for an apology. Apologize to who?
March 29th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
You know, oppressors don’t respond to polite requests. Frederick Douglass said power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will. That demand for abortion without apology means if you are active in your right as a human being, in the framework of your moral agency, and you are making the decision that should be between you and your provider who is going to provide that service for you, if you have the confidentiality and the privacy to make that decision, to whom should you have to apologize?
March 21st, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Call for Abortion Stories, Call for April 11 Public Testimony

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"On Friday, the 11th, we will bring alive in public testimony the truth of what happens to women when abortion is not available—the women who will die, the lives that will be foreclosed—and expose the full agenda of female subjugation that drives the anti-abortion movement. This should happen on campuses and in theaters, in religious institutions and on street corners, among gatherings large and small. People should tell their own abortion stories—both from before Roe and more recently—or go to the StopPatriarchy.org website to find the stories of others to read out loud. Students and others should transcribe interviews they do with people about their abortions and send them in to be posted, or send in their own. Together, we will bring alive the lives of, and repercussions to, women which all too often are left out of this fight.”

-Sunsara Taylor on Clinic Closures, Terror, and the True Emergency Facing Abortion Rights: It’s WORSE Than You Think - We Must Act to Stop It NOW, Revolution revcom.us

Submit your stories, in print or video, to stoppatriarchy@gmail.com

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