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

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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.

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
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.

August 25th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Day 1 of the Week of Defiance in Austin, TX. We came together in front of Rick Perry’s mansion at 4pm and assembled our installation of the images of women who died from illegal abortions, along with coat hangers with messages from people all over the country who do not want to see women slammed back. 

This installation needs to grow daily, because it is the case that most people in this country do not want to see women forced to bear children against their will, and so we need these stories to pour forward, so others know they are not alone, so we can break the silence, shatter the stigma, and so that we can build up the strength to stop these attacks and defeat this war on women. 

August 25th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Tweet Your Abortion Rights Message to Rick Perry – Use @GovernorPerry and #StopForcedMotherhood

Tweet Your Abortion Rights Message to Rick Perry – Use @GovernorPerry and #StopForcedMotherhood
We will write it on a coat-hanger and display it outside Rick Perry’s mansion.


On September 1st, Texas is on track to close all but six abortion clinics – part of the most dramatic clinic closures to hit a single state since Roe v. Wade. Many women will be forced to have children against their will or to risk their lives to terminate a pregnancy on their own. This will also be a major leap backwards in the nation-wide emergency facing abortion rights. This MUST be resisted!


Every day thru Sept 1st, the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will protest at Rick Perry’s mansion from 4 – 6pm Central Standard Time.


Tweet your message about abortion rights to Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) using the hashtag #StopForcedMotherhood and we will write your message on a coathanger and display it in front of his mansion. Be part of making sure that every day the pile of coat-hangers grows, representing the outrage and opposition of people throughout the country and around the world.


Also: follow and retweet @StopPatriarchy throughout the week to spread this campaign.

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 17th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

We were acting for millions…

-from Riley Ruiz, an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

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On August 13th, 2014, I along with ten other Abortion Rights Freedom Riders, got arrested for engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience, blocking traffic, in front of Rick Perry’s mansion.

As we walked across the street and took our positions, I thought about all the women who have died, all the women forced into motherhood, all the women shamed for having abortions, all the women kept silent. I remembered the story of a woman from San Antonio, who was raped, and forced to bear a child against her will, then forced into prostitution to survive, suffering for 35 years. I remembered the story of a woman who traveled to Europe alone, and was raped, became pregnant, and considered suicide as a reasonable way out. These stories were just some of the many that were told at our People’s Hearings; they represent the huge stakes in this fight over whether half of humanity will be free to determine their own futures, and they will stay with me forever.

As cars began to pile up, and people on the sidewalk gathered and filmed, I felt more and more emboldened. The cars began honking, and we chanted louder. People came out of their cars shouting at us, one car nearly hit one of us, but we were not deterred. We stood strong for nearly 10 minutes. Many people watching from the sidelines were in awe, and some were moved to tears. People participated in all kinds of ways, giving us water as we sizzled on the hot pavement, talking to and filming the police to make sure they didn’t get totally out of line, and doing interviews responding to the action. It was so compelling, what we did, that people stayed and watched the entire thing unfold, until every single one of us was put into the police trucks.

When the cops gave us a countdown before they began their arrests, not one of us flinched. It took them quite a while to cuff all of us, and all the while we did mic checks, talking about the dark ages agenda that Rick Perry is fighting for, the fact that if HB2 holds it will result in the foreclosure of women’s lives as well as women dying from self induced abortions, and chanted things like “1, 2, 3, 4 Abortion is worth fighting for! 5, 6, 7, 8 Women’s lives are what’s at stake!” and, “Come on, come on and join the fight! Abortion is a basic right!” Our voices were giving out, the pavement was searing hot, and the police dragged us away one by one, but there was NEVER a moment where we lost our energy and determination. We were charged the entire time, knowing we were acting for millions.

Read More

August 16th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Scientific Sex Ed

While talking to people in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas a man started yelling at us from across the street, “Close your legs! Close your legs! Close your legs!” …..this is not the first time we have heard this sentiment, and these kind of comments. Across the country, from NYC, to Wichita, and now in Texas, we’ve heard this kind of argument against abortion. Things like “Women gotta be ready to have the baby every time they have sex” or “If you make a mistake, if you have sex, you have to suffer the consequences!”

FUCK all that. What kind of logic denies women their full humanity through shaming their sexuality? What kind of morality is it that wants women to not have sex, unless procreation is involved? This idea that women should not have the right to any kind of sexuality or sexual pleasure outside of their usefulness to breeding children is an outdated and backwards notion.  This outlook rests on thousands of years of patriarchy, and the continuation of that- right down to today.

First off, look at the world we live in, and let’s get real about how sex happens! We are immersed in a culture that is deeply influenced by mainstream and degrading pornography, a culture where even if women are not outright raped, they are often persuaded, coerced, or peer pressured into having sex before they feel ready. And it’s not only abortion rights that have been under attack, it’s also scientific sex education, so young people that are curious about sex are turning to Internet porn to learn about sex…which has very very little to do with women freely exploring their sexuality, and much to do with how women are humiliated, degraded, and subordinated by the men in porn. So women get extremely contradictory messages about how to behave. You either are the virgin, or a whore, and many times women are expected to be both.

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?

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@StopPatriarchy

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