August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Changing the Terms and De-Mystifying the Abortion Conversation

from Riley, an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

I have some experience talking about abortion, and I have to say, it’s not that crazy. In fact, it gets a lot easier the more you do it, the more you run up against the same types of arguments, and the more you can recognize that these same ways of thinking, are exactly why we need to get out there with the uncompromising truth.

Yesterday, a group of volunteers went out to do outreach throughout different parts of Austin. I went over to North Congress, near the Governor’s mansion, where there is a mix of young professionals, students, and homeless people.

We went out to build for the People’s Hearing, and to sound the alarm on the abortion rights emergency, and challenge people to confront the reality that women are facing today, to understand the fact that this is about women’s liberation or women’s enslavement, and to get involved with a movement out to stop these attacks and defeat this war on women.

People have not heard anyone use the word abortion, in this light, in a really long time. And so we get all kinds of reactions when we go out like this.

One common thing I hear, and heard a lot yesterday, is people wanting to immediately talk about late term abortion; they ask us at what point we think there should be a cut off to abortion access. My response: At what point does a woman become an incubator? At what point does her life not matter? This whole focus on late term abortion is dishonest – not only do most abortions happen in the first trimester, but later abortions mainly happen because of lack of access or health problems that develop later. This whole framework eliminates the woman, the living, breathing, and conscious person with dreams, desires, and a social existence, from the equation entirely.

Another common response, ‘well there are consequences to everything, if a woman isn’t using protection, or if a woman has sex in general, she has to deal with the consequences’, she has to be ready to have a baby. My response: a baby should never be a consequence. Being ready to have sex is just not the same thing as being ready for a child. A woman should never be morally ‘obligated’ to carry a pregnancy to term. Forcing a woman to have a child against her will is a form of enslavement, it is forcible control over a women’s body, over her whole life, and there is nothing MORAL about that.

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August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Back at the Federal Courthouse in Austin, supporting the heroic doctors who are standing up for women’s lives! Abortion Providers are Heroes! The banner we brought out today traveled throughout the country last year on the first Abortion Rights Freedom ride and was signed by hundreds of people who support this right.

August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

An Abortion Rights Battle Bigger Than Texas | Sunsara Taylor Interview [ATV 013] with Dennis Trainor Jr. 

Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy sat down with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV just days before leading a month long Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in Texas. The freedom ride is currently underway and will run through September 1, by which time Texas is expected to close all but six abortion clinics statewide.

August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Some photos from our second People’s hearing, this time in Austin. It was an incredibly powerful and emotional evening, full of horrific stories which concentrated so much of what it means to be a woman in this society, from forced motherhood and being forced to prostitute oneself to survive and provide for a child, to the danger of being a woman travelling the world alone, and the reality that rape is a constant threat. All of this and more is why we need to step out fearlessly today, and wage a fierce fight, for abortion on demand and without apology, and for the full liberation of women!

August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

A Morality Based on Reality: I’m Counting on YOU to End the Attacks on Abortion Rights

from Alexandria Petersburg, on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride

A heroic doctor, who has been providing abortions for 40 years in Texas in the face of death threats and legal attacks, recently welcomed the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride into his clinic.  I want to share some of his stories with you, along with some reflections on morality.

This doctor told us his youngest patient was 9 years old and did not have any idea of what sex is, or what had happened to her.  She was molested by her father, and she was pregnant, and needed an abortion.  He said many more of his patients have been 11, 12, and 13 years old, and their pregnancies are - not always, but often - a result of abuse.  He also told us that in the group of protestors that regularly harass women outside his clinic, there is a woman who, whenever she gets a chance, runs inside the clinic, up the stairs, and through the waiting room, screaming, “DON’T KILL YOUR BABY!” and then runs out again and brags to her anti-abortion friends.  

Now put these things together with me.  

How is it that that side of this debate, the same side pushing through law after law restricting abortion, has gotten away with the claim that they are doing it “for the children?” How is the 9-year-old girl in the clinic in Texas supposed to feel?  These are real people.  These are not potential people, like fetuses are.  These are female children, who are being terrorized while their lives are being determined for them, on top of the mountain of abuses, such as rape and incest, being inflicted on them just for being born female.  Let me be clear: I do not hold the view that abortion should only be available in certain circumstances such as rape and incest, but I feel strongly that everyone should know, the movement to abolish abortion - with the government backing them up with court rulings and legislation like HB2 in Texas - that movement is out to abolish all abortion. So I ask you, with all the future generations of women and girls in mind: which side is the moral side? Which side should be brimming over with righteous outrage?

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August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: HB2 Hearing - Austin, TX Media Compilation

One of our main goals of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is to change the terms of the fight around abortion. It has NEVER been about babies, it has always been about women’s enslavement or women’s liberation. The media in Austin and beyond could not ignore this, which came through to hundreds of thousands. 

August 5th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Dennis Trainor, radical journalist, taking a stand for Abortion On Demand and Without Apology. Check out this teaser of an interview with Sunsara Taylor on the abortion rights emergency. Full interview will be released tonight!

August 5th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

8am today at the Austin Federal Courthouse welcoming the courageous abortion providers who are standing up for women as they entered the courthouse for their second day of the trial, and talking to folks in the neighborhood throughout the day. 

July 31st, 2014
stoppatriarchy

First photo-set from the official launch of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, and the very first People’s Hearing in Houston, TX.

Volunteers read incredibly moving testimony from abortion providers on the front lines, from a young woman who experienced brutal violence for daring to walk down the street alone, from a women who watched a loved one die before her eyes from a botched illegal abortion, from a courageous clinic escort who volunteers at the last clinic in MS, from a young woman from Houston who fears becoming pregnant due to the inaccessibility of abortion in her state, from women who experienced having an abortion after it was legalized, and felt nothing but relief. We also heard from two women, who had just recently heard about the ride, who were inspired to share their stories of abortion and the overall experience of being a woman in society, on the spot, one told through a powerful performance piece. 

This is a model, which people all over the country can and must take up, as a part of building up a movement which is breaking the silence, shattering the stigma, changing the terms, bringing out the fact that women’s lives are at stake, and that without a fierce struggle to change the trajectory of this assault on abortion rights, women’s lives and futures will be foreclosed. 

This first People’s Testimony was live broadcasted on StopPatriarchy.org and is posted on the front of our website for others to watch who were unable to tune in live. They will be broadcast LIVE every Wednesday at 7pm CST, in Austin, San Antonio, and Brownsville. Come in person if you can, and if not be sure to bring people together and tune in!

July 28th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas
People Hearing (Houston) 7:00 pm CST
Wednesday July 30. Encore Theater 4715 Main Street
Streaming live at www.StopPatriarchy.org

Did you know that a new abortion rights court trial is about to begin in Texas? Do you know what will happen if the state wins this case and even more restrictive measures become state law? JOIN US live in Houston, Texas to talk about this war on women. Why should women’s lives and women’s choices EVER be up for a vote?

July 26th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

For Women’s Lives and Against McCarthyism: A Response to “United Statement in Opposition to Stop Patriarchy”

As members of the Advisory Board of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas, we strongly reject the recent ad-hominem and McCarthyite attacks and accusations leveled at the Ride and at Stop Patriarchy as unfounded and untrue. We appreciate the comments of clinic owner Diane Derzis, owner of Jackson Women’s Health in Mississippi, as quoted in the Dallas Observer:

“‘We became far too reliant upon courts to maintain the status quo, while our enemy is in the trenches with these churches raising money, raising time, electing people. Am I a communist? Absolutely not. Do I care whether someone else is? No.’ She adds: ‘I think it’s time starting thinking outside the box, because what we’ve been doing has not been working.’”

The reasons and goals for the Ride are clearly spelled out on StopPatriarchy.org and we stand by them. Reproductive rights in this country are under increasing attack and fast disappearing, leaving thousands of women and girls without access to reproductive care.

With so much on the line and the responsibility of ensuring reproductive justice for women in this country, we believe diverse ways of fighting back are necessary. Many people and groups are doing important work to address the current emergency and we applaud them. We invite anyone to join the Ride in person, or to support it in the various ways described on the website. All points of view and affiliations are welcome, no loyalty oaths are required, the only requirement is a commitment to reproductive justice!

Signed by members of the Advisory Board, Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas:

Diane Derzis, Owner of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi

Carol Downer, Co-Founder of the Feminist Women’s Health Center which began doing abortions in 1971

Merle Hoffman, CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center which began doing abortions in 1971

Wendy Robinson, Director, Voice of Choice

Mary Lou Singleton, licensed midwife and nurse practitioner, Founder, Personhood for Women

Sunsara Taylor, Revolution newspaper, Stop Patriarchy, fighter for abortion rights since 1995

Note: To learn about the actual track record and achievements of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in the past, click here. To read “A Response to Recent Attacks and Invitation to All from the Advisory Board of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas,” click here.

July 25th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

"Nobody should be forced to have a child they don’t want."

On the university campus, in Austin, TX, we asked students whether they knew there will be only six abortion clinics in the entire state after September. Many didn’t. A lot of people knew about the Wendy Davis filibuster, but they had not heard that abortion clinics continue to and will be closing.

A middle aged woman who had five children with her, stated abortions were illegal throughout Mexico, and only legal in Mexico City. She said they shouldn’t take this right away from women. We read from the flyer, “When abortion is illegal, women die…” She nodded in agreement.

A young woman took a flyer and continued walking until we said “Let’s protest.” She stopped, turned, took off her earphones, walked back up to us and asked “Where?”

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July 23rd, 2014
stoppatriarchy

With just 1 week left until the official launch of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero TX…

Today, be someone who dares to take a stand for women’s lives.

Join the resistance.

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@StopPatriarchy

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