September 14th, 2014
September 14th, 2014

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


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 and we will send them to her husband, Keith Whalen, to send to Jennifer.

September 5th, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 - Standing up for Abortion on Demand & Without Apology at Seattle Center, Seattle, WA. Next up: Protests in Seattle and across the country on September 12 to protest the appeal of the recent favorable ruling in Texas. All but 6 clinics in the entire state of Texas hang in the balance. It’s time to redouble our efforts for abortion rights and women everywhere!

August 27th, 2014

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 protested on Guadalupe Street off of West Campus at the University of Texas.

August 27th, 2014

TODAY at UT Austin, 5 Abortion Rights Freedom Riders, including intiator of Stop Patriarchy, Sunsara Taylor, were singled out and arrested when they joined with dozens of others in protesting the impending closure of abortion clinics in Texas, on the first official day of classes outside of UT Austin. 

Thousands of students gathered as the freedom riders blocked traffic for over half an hour. About a dozen people joined in the action on the spot, incredibly inspired by what was happening. Hundreds took videos and photos, and watched on in awe. 

There were many different reactions, both positive and negative. A few cars nearly hit some of the protesters, frustrated by not being able to get to lunch, or to work on time, etc. Yes, some people were inconvenienced today, but this is so much bigger than the day to day grind.

As we await the result of HB2 in Texas, it is still the case that most people do not even know that this law is scheduled to shut down all but 6 abortion clinics in the state. It is still the case that people think this is just a question of opinion, meanwhile this right is being stripped away, and affecting real women every single day. 

It is long past time that students, not only understand what’s going on nationally with this abortion rights emergency, but actually understand the implications of this, to half of humanity, and fight back. It is long past time that this complacency be challenged, that these lowered sights be raised, and that students throw in on this fight. 

Today, students were confronted with the reality of what it means when abortion is illegal or inaccessible. The question that poses itself in a moment like this: What will your life be about? What will your college career be about? Throughout history, students have always played a major role in movements against injustice. That needs to be the case today, in this abortion rights emergency.

Every single student, who does not want to see women forced to bear children against their will, who does not want to see women dying from self-inducing abortions due to inaccessibility, who does not want to see women’s rights be slammed back, and this backwards view of women be codified into law, needs to act NOW. It is not too late, we have not lost this battle. This is one of those moments in history where what we do really matters, and could have society wide impact. 


August 26th, 2014

Add your pro-woman message to Rick Perry

Reproductive freedom is a basic human right, like freedom of speech. It affects everything in a woman’s life, whether she is healthy or not, in school or not, in the labor force or not, and how long she lives. In opposing reproductive freedom, Rick Perry has become a dictator endangering women’s lives. He should be impeached.
-Gloria Steinem

Check out the messages being sent in from across the country and read out loud at Rick Perry’s mansion during the Week of Defiance, and add your own!

You must feel very powerless and small if you are willing to take such a stand against women. It’s really stupid and cruel, and only makes you smaller.
-Alice from Oakland, CA

Pro choice is still Pro life.
Women need access to SAFE abortions.

-Hailey from Austin, TX

August 18th, 2014

Brownsville, Day One

From an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider

First day in Brownsville we headed over to a local flea market. The response was very mixed, some people were really into what we were doing and others of course were not so pleased. Right off the bat, we had a group of 4 girls that loved what stop patriarchy was about.


They did not realize the state of emergency that abortion rights are in at this moment and how we are moving back in time. They decided to take this into their own hands and took a ton of flyers to hand out throughout the flea market. They were able to understand first hand what we are facing in this country surrounding abortion. The huge stigma and shame that follows it. There were plenty of pro-life religious folk there that could not grasp the fact that when abortion is illegal women die. What was the most interesting was that these pro-lifers were not really into talking about it at all. Versus other anti’s we have faced in the past. The only argument they really were giving was well it’s my opinion I have the right to my opinion. This is something that you can’t have an opinion on, women are already self inducing, around the world women are still dying from illegal abortions, and women are still shamed and forced into mother hood. So many people are blinded by their religions and what society has put out around abortion rights. We are changing that, we need to turn the tide, change the terms rise up thousands and soon millions.

August 17th, 2014

We were acting for millions…

-from Riley Ruiz, an Abortion Rights Freedom Rider


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

Urgently Needed: A Week of Defiance to Stop the Attacks on Abortion Rights

A call to action from the 11 Freedom Riders arrested outside Rick Perry’s mansion on August 13, 2014

The attacks on abortion rights have been relentless in recent years: dozens of forced clinic closures, hundreds of restrictions on abortion, flagrantly misogynist court rulings, acts of terrorism and intimidation against doctors, and all in the name of “life” and “religious freedom.”  This has meant thousands of women turned out and put down, dreams extinguished, futures foreclosed, and lives lost.  Millions have been lied to about abortion, and millions more trained and taught to apologize for abortion as a “necessary evil.”

It is time to put an end to the madness.  This is a question of whether women will be free, or whether they will be enslaved to a vicious patriarchal system that is hell bent on reproductive control, and sees women as nothing but sperm receptacles and baby-making machines.  This is a question of whether or not young girls will dare to dream of themselves as leaders, thinkers, fighters, and frankly, full human beings.  It is time to tell the truth about abortion, and to defy the powers that seek to enslave women: forced motherhood is female enslavement.

Read the whole letter here

Join in a Week of Defiance August 25 - September 1.  Join us in Austin (location TBA August 18), or claim your own space wherever you live:

  • Send a message or a story to Rick Perry and others like him - to be put on coat hangers and strung up in parks nationwide, and read aloud at protests
  • Bring your art, poems, and songs of resistance against the oppression of women
  • Lead or attend workshops on science, sex ed, history, abortion, and women’s liberation
  • Stage or attend speak-outs where abortion stories are told unapologetically
  • Invite everyone you know
  • Bring or send money, food and water, to Austin (location TBA 8/18), or anywhere that people are standing up in this way, to keep this going all week
  • Listen to the “People’s Hearings” with others who are determined to understand better what it means for real women when abortion is illegal, and why abortion rights are worth fighting for
  • March daily at 6pm wherever you are, with pictures of women’s faces, and strings of women’s stories on coat hangers, to the Governor’s mansion, or any institution that is spearheading the attacks on abortion
  • On September 1st, when all but 6 abortion clinics in Texas are set to close, join in civil disobedience wherever you are to send a clear message that you refuse to accept the future that patriarchy has in store for women

Contact today with your ideas and your intentions.  We will have your back no matter where you are.  If you have already reached out, expect a call from us this week.  We know this system has never gifted oppressed people with liberation, and you are urgently needed to be part of the kind of mass movement that is the only way that the course of history has ever changed.

Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement.
Abortion on Demand & Without Apology!

August 7th, 2014

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

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 3rd, 2014

TOMORROW! PROTEST HB2 at The Federal Courthouse in Austin, TX!

JOIN US at the Federal Courthouse in Austin, W 5th at Nueces St from 9am-12pm as we protest and stand with the providers who won’t back down against the outrageous restrictions of HB2.

HB2 as a whole, is a set of restrictions, only being implemented to shut down clinics, and force more women to have children against their will. What comes along with this is a 20 week ban on abortion, a 24 hour waiting period, 3 separate visits to a doctor if using the abortion pill (which is nearly impossible for women traveling hundreds of miles in the first place), clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards, and hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.

The last 2 sections stated here, both of which are entirely medically unnecessary along with every other restriction, are being challenged by a courageous group of abortion providers, as two clinics in particular will shut down and create a situation where women in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley, will face an ‘undue burden’ being forced to travel hundreds of miles to obtain an abortion. 

There are only 6 clinics in the state that can surely comply with these types of regulations. This means if nothing changes, only 6 clinics will remain open, for nearly 13 million women in the state of Texas, and will set precedent for the rest of the country. 

We stand with the providers who refuse to allow this to stand, and with ALL those who do not want to see women forced to have children against their will.


photo by Aaron Reiss

July 28th, 2014

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

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 27th, 2014

"We have to fight. We have to protest."

Meet Jay at his church in Houston, TX.  He tells of his great aunt’s death from a coat hanger abortion, and why he believe we have to fight back against the attacks on abortion now.  Jay donated $10 to the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride today.  Will you match his donation today, to fund mass resistance from “Ground Zero” of the battle for women’s freedom?

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End Pornography & Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women