July 21st, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Report from Austin: You are Not Alone, and You are Needed Now More Than Ever

The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride has hit the streets of Austin, in preparation for a raucous and revealing month of resistance against the attacks on abortion. We have been talking to many people - on street corners, in theater lines, at student unions, and outdoor markets - about women, abortion, society, and the role we all can play in making history right now.

Of those who know that dozens of abortion clinics are being shut down in Texas, many are surprised to hear that this is happening all across the country: 6 states have only one abortion clinic left, and hundreds of restrictions have come down on abortion in the last three years!

To talk about abortion on a street corner or public place has been a startling thing for many people on both sides of the issue! Some people, when we ask their opinion, say, “Isn’t that a personal question?” or “Isn’t that a very touchy subject?” Some, when we ask as they pass if they know there will be only 6 abortion clinics left in all of Texas by September, stop in their tracks and come back, saying, “Really? Only six?” Part of the effects of seeing abortion as a personal or private topic, is that many people just don’t know that right now, women in southern Texas are living in conditions like the 1950s - they are attempting to self-induce through dangerous methods, or being forced to bear unwanted children. Consider this story:

One pair of women approach. One of them stops and angrily argues with one of our volunteers about how “irresponsible” and “slutty” these young girls are who just have sex, and don’t want to deal with “the consequences.” The other stands quietly and listens. The volunteer explains that there isn’t anything wrong with women having sex, and nobody should be forced into motherhood as some kind of punishment. I wonder what the silent woman is thinking, so I quietly ask her, and she says, “Women have absolutely got to have the right to decide if they’re ready to be mothers or not.” I tell her, “If they don’t, it’s like society telling them they’re just breeders, not even human.” She nods. We talk for a little while about recent Supreme Court rulings, and all the clinic closures, and where that leaves women, and then I say, “It’s really important that people like you, who have a sense of what this is going to mean for women, be part of fighting it for real. You won’t be alone.” She smiles and signs a contact list, digs around for some money and makes a donation. I tell her I am looking forward to seeing her again, and fighting by her side for what is right. Soon her friend, still shouting and gesticulating up till that point, stops frozen and stares, her jaw literally drops, at her friend signing up to be a Freedom Rider for women’s lives, and donating her money. They leave together, in intense discussion with each other: “I never knew you thought that way… But what about…”

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It is striking that the anti-abortion friend was loudly throwing her opinion around, and speaking with such certitude and conviction, while the pro-choice friend who had a strong conviction as well, didn’t voice it at first, and not without prompting. Then they left together engaging each other in a level of conversation about this most crucial question - about the direction of society for half of humanity - that it was clear they had never had before. What’s more, this was not an isolated incident. This same phenomenon between friends and family has happened several times already through our conversations in the few days we have been in Austin.

Imagine this on a mass scale! Imagine all this opening up, where friends and family members laid their arguments out, deeply explored their differences and where their opinions come from and lead to, and more and more people confronted what the criminalizing of pregnancy and the robbing of abortion access actually meant for women.

Imagine if the women who had abortions felt like they could tell their daughters or their parents, emboldening them to speak out too. Imagine if the mostly silent majority of pro-choice people talked to their friends, shattered the stigma, and fought the vicious attacks that right now are taking women back in time to desperate days of stifling subordination.


A few more voices from Austin for now, and many more to come:

A teenage woman in line at a theater: “My mom got an abortion when she was seventeen. She wasn’t ready to have a child. She was not financially stable, she had no support system… I am personally so grateful she had the right to get an abortion. Right now she is a helpful, caring mother of three children, and she loves us so much! Access to abortion gives us power, gives us career options, gives us options.”

A young man on Congress and 6th: “I support women getting abortions if they want to because it’s 20 fucking 14, and quite frankly, a woman is a human being. Every bit as important, every bit as legitimate, and every bit as powerful and respectable as a man.” When asked about the anti-abortion movement, he said, “Whenever your entire point is to take the class divisions, this sex- gender orientation or racial divisions, and broaden the gaps as far as you can in hopes that it will never be closed again, it’s a disaster. It’s just pathetic.”

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The father of a young woman who made a sign for the filibuster against the anti-abortion HB2 legislation in Texas in 2013 that went viral, and his family experienced a misogynist backlash, but also inspired many others to stand up for this basic right. Hear him tell his story and speak to the importance of abortion rights to women’s freedom and humanity. 

Abortion rights are in a state of emergency, and it’s time to get loud about it! If you are in Texas, in the south, or anywhere else, and you are pro-choice, or you have had an abortion, you may feel isolated. You may feel alone. You may feel like the confidence and certitude of the anti-abortion voice pushes you to the margins. You have to know: you are NOT alone. And what’s more than that, you are needed now, more than ever! You are urgently needed to stand up and speak out for the sake of future generations of women who do not deserve to live in a society where these formative truths are stifled and only told in whispers, where their lives are determined for them, and where being born a woman is a condemnation to sex-shaming and state-mandated child-bearing.

It is liberating and it is also urgently needed - if you do not want abortion to be illegal or impossible - that you refuse to be drowned out or silenced. JOIN these voices from Austin and the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: GROUND ZERO TEXAS today and through the month of August, and for as long as it takes, in whatever capacity you can.

July 11th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
July 9th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
June 1st, 2014
stoppatriarchy
May 29th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

In response to the mass murder in Santa Barbara by a man who openly proclaimed his hatred for women, individuals and some chapters of Stop Patriarchy have called actions to stand up to STOP violence against women in every form.

Protest, Rally, Speak Out.

#YesAllWomen goes from tweets into the streets!
#YesAllWomenLIVE ACTIONS in:

Seattle:

FRIDAY, 5:30pm, Westlake Center
FRIDAY, 6pm, 24th St / Mission

NYC:

SATURDAY, 3pm, Union Square Park
SATURDAY, 3pm, Rittenhouse Square
TBD

Where you live: Call it! CLICK HERE for more information, and simple suggestions!

May 25th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
Reblogged from Stop Patriarchy
May 25th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Announcing… Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: GROUND ZERO TEXAS

Abortion rights – and the lives and future of women – are in a state of emergency. Nowhere is this more concentrated than in Texas.
 
In 2011 there were 46 abortion clinics in Texas; if all the current restrictions go into effect as scheduled, by September 1st of 2014 there will be only 6 clinics remaining. Texas is over 800 miles wide and has over 26 million residents. Women who cannot access safe, legal abortions have their lives foreclosed when they are forced to have children against their will. Or, they risk their lives, die, or go to prison for attempting to self-induce abortions.
 
Women who live in poverty, especially immigrant women and others in the Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border, have been hit the hardest. Unable to come up with the money to travel hours to the nearest clinic and/or unable to travel through the immigration checkpoints for lack of “legal” documents, these women are trapped. On September 1st, if a medically unnecessary law designed to close abortion clinics goes into effect, the nearest clinic will be closed and these women will have to travel approximately 300 miles to the next nearest clinic.
 
It is immoral to abandon the women of Texas. It is also delusional to think that these attacks will not spread to the rest of the country if they are not stopped there. In reality, Texas is a concentration of the nation-wide war on women. 6 states have only one abortion clinic. 203 laws restricting abortion have been passed nation-wide since 2011. 8 doctors and clinic workers have been murdered by anti-abortion violence, and in March 2014 a clinic was so severely vandalized in Montana that it was forced to close. Everywhere, women who seek abortions are harassed, shamed, humiliated and terrorized.
 
Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement!
Abortion Providers Are Heroes!
Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!
 
**************
 
Join and support the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: GROUND ZERO TEXAS
 
For the month of August through September 1: The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will caravan through Texas, stopping in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and then down to the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border. People from around the country and around Texas will politically confront and protest those behind the anti-abortion attacks and laws, rally support for those on the front lines providing abortions, fight to change the way people think about abortion by raising the slogans: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology and Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement, and wake people up nation-wide to this emergency.
 
What you can do now: Sign up to take part in the Ride, volunteer to house people down in Texas, donate to this effort, volunteer to spread and support this nation-wide.
 
Contact StopPatriarchy@gmail.com or go to StopPatriarchy.org

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

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@StopPatriarchy

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