August 20th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

On September 1st, the state of Texas is on track to close all but six abortion clinics (there were 46 in 2011). Women will be forced to have children against their will. Others will be driven to risk – or lose – their lives through dangerous illegal abortions.This is a critical turning point in a nation-wide emergency.

Now is the time for resistance, for refusing to back down in the face of injustice. Now is the time to defend women’s lives and women’s rights. Abortion on Demand and Without Apology.

Come to Texas. Take a stand.

If not now, when?

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

August 20th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

"Anybody on the side of women’s lives has to put everything on the line"

from Nova Tiller, an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

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I am a Freedom Rider for women’s lives and have been a part of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas since the beginning of August. We came to Texas from all over the country because it really does concentrate a lot in the battle over abortion rights. Governor Perry himself once said it was his mission to, “make abortion a thing of the past.” Think about what that means.

When abortion is illegal, thousands of women die. Millions of women will be forced to give birth against their will. They will be property of the state for the period of their pregnancy. At any point, her biology could foreclose her humanity. Her very dreams will be shaped by that looming status, from the moment she is born female.

I was born in 1995, so I don’t have personal memories of a pre-Roe society, but I know enough after living through the murder of eight abortion providers, after witnessing the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar as she was persistently denied an abortion in Ireland, to know that anybody on the side of women’s lives has to put everything on the line to ensure we don’t “go back.”

I was arrested at Texas Governor Rick Perry’s mansion on Wednesday. We took over the busy intersection, blocking traffic, disrupting business as usual. I was arrested with 10 other Abortion Rights Freedom Riders.
Eight of us were wearing all black, holding the faces of women who died from illegal abortion with bloody coat hangers, the weapons that killed them. Three of us, dressed in white, held a message of the future we’re fighting for: “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!” a future where no woman is forced to hurdle barriers to access, confront dangerous alternatives, or be forced to give birth against her will; a future where no woman is made to feel guilty for getting an abortion.

“We stand for millions” has a whole different meaning for me now.
When I encounter those words, I am reminded of the courage shining in the eyes of the brave bystanders who shared their water; I am caught fixated on the memory of the young woman who thanked me through her tears; I am inspired by the thought of others like them—-folks who have been waiting. We all put our bodies on the front lines that day. We all put our lives on the line. I put my life on the line because when it comes to the fight over abortion rights, women’s lives are on the line. If we lie down and lose, we’re conceding the future of every child born female to a world where she has no rights to her body, life, or dreams.

August 20th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Report from Brownsville: “The more people I spoke to the more confident I became”

It was incredible to see that with a little bit of elbow grease, courage, like that young women we had met earlier that day, and some fucking truth people became emboldened and wanted to act.

Notes from an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider, Rio Grande

Monday, August 18, Rio Grande. Before heading to Brownsville I confided in a fellow freedom rider that I was nervous about going down with such a small crew and my lack of experience. I told her I was nervous about speaking to people about abortion and really taking initiative down in Brownsville. Her response is something that I think speaks volumes about the richness of today’s outreach; she said to me that one, everything was going to work out and not to worry, and two, and more importantly, that talking about abortion is easy or at least gets easier in time. Another freedom rider echoed this sentiment by emphasizing the strength in our varying degrees of experience and knowledge and that bolstered my confidence.

Under some awesome leadership, our crew set up camp in a stall at a weekly flea market in Brownsville. After setting up our table with flyers, pins, and stickers, and quite ironically hung up the “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology” sign with coat hangers, we got to talking with the folks passing by. At first I was shaky and watched as other freedom riders spoke to people, attentive to their confidence and the language they used to illustrate how serious this abortion rights emergency is. We would stop to chat and ask each other about how people were responding and what we could say to strengthen our responses.   

Read More

August 16th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
August 16th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride at the Austin Federal Courthouse on the last day of the HB2 trial. If this law stands, thousands more women will be forced into motherhood against their will. We held the signs of women who died as a result of illegal abortion on the court steps because many more women will begin to self-induce abortions, and will die as a result, if the courts rule on the wrong side of this. This is entirely unacceptable! We refuse to sit back as this fundamental right is stripped away from women. Where do you stand?

August 12th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
August 7th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

First photo-set of today’s protest at Rick Perry’s mansion. We stood outside the governor’s mansion, with locals who we had met while doing outreach in different neighborhoods, and some who were compelled to take part on the spot, to oppose this governor’s woman-hating agenda, which will drive women back to the dark ages. We shared stories of women who died from illegal abortion; stories of women who today, face the shame and stigma that is heaped on women for obtaining this most fundamental right; and stories of women who were forced to have children against their will.There is nothing legitimate about his position on abortion, and unless the people rise up, he will get away with driving women backwards, to the days of illegal abortion, where an estimated 5,000 women died every year from botched illegal abortions. 

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

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 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.

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