April 20th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

"I know that I can’t take it for granted anymore" - A reflection by a participant in the April 11th & 12th Abortion Rights Emergency Actions

-from a young person, new to Stop Patriarchy

A few years ago I worked as a canvasser on behalf of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. I knew that providing women access to reproductive care and abortions was not only just, but also life-saving. Although I had these beliefs I was unaware of the severity of the restrictions and repression of access to birth control and to abortions. I was not fully aware of the insidious agenda being put forth by conservatives and the religious right. As I attend events and speak with people at Stop Patriarchy I am becoming more conscious of the lies and misinformation that galvanizes people to take action against abortion providers and pro-choice people. I have come to understand that this fight is not about children or babies, but rather an agenda that is focused on returning to a society before Roe V. Wade, and on solidifying archaic and detrimental gender roles.

Before the protest at St. Pat’s Cathedral, I went to the speak out at Advent Lutheran Church. I think that this is where my confidence was bolstered. It was amazing to be in the presence of a body of people who support access to abortion and to be involved in rhetoric of support and scientific truth. I met Bill Baird who is a fellow Long Islander and pro-choice activist whose efforts made birth control legal for single women. His dedication, along with hearing the stories of other’s dedication, reminded me that as a pro-choice feminist, I am not alone and that this work is incredibly important. As stories unfold in the media and unfolded during the speak out it became more and more evident that abortion rights are in a state of emergency. As a young person, I see that many of my peers take for granted these essential services, as I once have. I know that I can’t take it for granted anymore and that I must stand up for what’s right.

Protesting at St. Pat’s was an incredible experience for me. It was powerful to stand in silence with the photographs of the women, and men, who have been killed because of an anti-abortion agenda. Most antis speak about babies and children, and it was so poignant to see the truth staring people right in the face—when abortion is illegal, women die. This is the reality and this is what people NEED to see and know. In this age of technology we need outlets to disseminate truth, and it was a privilege to stand on behalf of those voices that have been silenced by violence, and bear truth, especially in front of an institution whose beliefs have encouraged a culture of hatred, lies, and violence. One woman who was shouting at us said, “I’m pro-choice, but this is an inappropriate place to do this.” And, I remember thinking about how I am so sick of people’s political correctness and their wanting to be polite—it is such a waste of time and it prevents access to truth, knowledge and genuine connection. I thought and still think that St. Pat’s is a perfectly good location because it is an institution that perpetuates a conservative backwards agenda. The atrocities that occur to women because they have not had and do not have access to this safe procedure needs to be known and seen! Her comment solidified my confidence in the protest and in our message.

It was getting hot and I was getting hungry and wanted to shout back at antis and this minimal discomfort reminded me of the struggle of women who live in states where only one clinic is left or where access to abortion and reproductive health is severely restricted. Where do they go? Who will support them (financially and emotionally)? I do not want to live in a country where women are dying because they do not want a child or a family, this is just ridiculous to me. The anti-abortion agenda is steeped in archaic views about family, religion and their role in society and to impose this on every person is also absolutely ridiculous. Women are full human beings, abortion is not murder, and fetuses are not babies! I think those words are so powerful and can be used to help shift our culture so that women are not stigmatized, so that abortion is not stigmatized and can be accessed, and so that women are seen as more than just breeders or property.

April 13th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Bearing witness and standing up for all the women who have died from illegal abortions, opposing the institutions that are spearheading the attacks on abortion rights, and pledging to resist these attacks until we win abortion on demand and without apology.  

Join the resistance at: www.StopPatriarchy.org

April 13th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

April 11: Abortion Rights Emergency Speakouts/WEBCAST April 12: Protests!

On April 11: Speakouts on the Abortion Rights Emergency were held in New York, L.A., Seattle & San Francisco. Women’s stories—before Roe v. Wade and today—were brought to life.  We honored those who risk their lives to provide abortions and we confronted the full anti-woman program driving this war on women. You can watch the entire webcast of the New York City event at www.StopPatriarchy.org including:

  • Dr. Willie Parker, award-winning doctor at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi
  • Sunsara Taylor, writer for revcom.us/Revolution newspaper, leader of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, and initiator of StopPatriarchy.org
  • Merle Hoffman, CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, which has provided abortions and other health services to women since 1971
  • Donna Schaper, Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church
  • Marge Piercy, poet, novelist, memoirist, via video
  • Louise Bernikow, author, historian, long time activist
  • Bill Baird, reproductive rights pioneer, jailed 8 times in the 1960s for lecturing on abortion and birth control
  • David Gunn, Jr., son of first abortion doctor to be assassinated, via video message
  • And testimony from:
  • Susan Cahill, owner of the Montana abortion clinic that was destroyed and closed on March 3, 2013 about how this is an attack on all women
  • Dr. Susan Robinson, one of only four doctors in the U.S. who openly provide late-term abortions; featured in the acclaimed documentary After Tiller
  • Dr. Susan Wicklund, author of This Common Secret; My Journey As an Abortion Doctor
  • Plus:True stories of illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade

Then, on April 12, people took to the streets:

We raised bloody coat-hangers* (representing the fate of women when abortion is illegal) and shackles (representing female enslavement). We held photos of women who died from illegal abortions and doctors who were killed for providing abortions.  After an hour of silent protest, we broke the shackles and pledged to resist until we defeat and reverse these attacks and win Abortion On Demand & Without Apology and the full liberation of women.

This war on women will not go away on its own and will not be stopped by politicians or the courts. We must take responsibility for resisting and defeating these attacks – the lives of women depend on what we do.

Wire coat-hangers were used by many women as an instrument to self-abort when abortion was illegal. 5,000 women in the U.S. are estimated to have died every year from illegal, unsafe abortions before Roe v. Wade legalized abortions.

Seattle:

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New York City:

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image at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

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San Francisco:

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(All San Francisco photos by Drake Newkirk)

This war on women will not go away on its own and will not be stopped by politicians or the courts.  We must take responsibility for resisting and defeating these attacks – the lives of women depend on what we do.

GET INVOLVED: StopPatriarchy.org

Contact: StopPatriarchy@gmail.com

@stoppatriarchy

April 9th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

From Jefferson City, Missouri - Stop Patriarchy supporters attend a rally called for by NOW. Check out the newspaper rack at the public library,  with a stealth “special edition” of The News Tribune!

March 19th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

We ARE building a movement to end this vicious war on women! The only thing missing is YOU!

Urgently Needed: A force of people across the nation who are outraged at the all-out assault against abortion rights, uniting to change the terms of this debate, and standing in uncompromising resistance to expose and oppose the anti-woman agenda of the anti-abortion movement. Read below, Sunsara Taylor on Taking Patriarchy by Storm in 2012, then get involved at StopPatriarchy.org!

"One of the things we all learned very deeply through this experience is that after having spent a life-time of trying to avoid situations in which women are degraded and demeaned, after seeking to avoid sexual assault and rape, street harassment or stigma cast at us for getting abortions or using birth control or daring to have sex and actually enjoy it, after doing all this and failing anyhow (as all women fail to do because these things cannot be avoided in a world based on male-domination), we discovered that the most liberated spaces are those that we create by going right in the face of the greatest concentrations of patriarchy and oppressive power. Standing up and fighting – right inside the Hooters, inside the porn stores, inside St. Patrick’s and many other places – was more liberating, and contributes more to the liberation of women, than trying to avoid these places and hope they will go away."

http://www.stoppatriarchy.org/

March 19th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

A Call for YOU to Get Involved in Organizing Emergency Actions to Stop the War on Women! April 11 & 12, 2014

The Blood Of Women Is On Their Hands!
Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!

April 11: Public Programs
April 12: Bloody Coat-Hangers Street Actions

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April 11th – Public Programs: Hold programs on/in campuses, communities, religious congregations, and theaters bringing alive: women’s abortion stories – before Roe and today, the struggles of those who risk their lives to provide abortions, and the full anti-woman program driving this war.

April 12th – Bloody Coat-Hanger Street Actions: Assemble at institutions behind this war (GOP or Dem. offices, anti-abortion churches, Pregnancy Crisis Centers, etc.).  People wearing all white will raise coat-hangers dripping in blood, representing the women who die when abortion is unavailable.  Others in all black will hold pictures, names and statistics of the women who have died already.  Everyone will wear shackles.  After one hour of silent protest, people will break the shackles and recite a pledge to resist and call on others to join in mass resistance to defeat this war.

When abortion is illegal or unavailable, women die.  An estimated 5,000+ women died each year in the U.S. before abortion was legal and 47,000 die world wide each year currently from unsafe and illegal abortions.  Further, when abortion is not available, millions more women have their lives foreclosed as they are forced to bear children against their will and all women are devalued and subjugated.

Yet today in the U.S., abortion rights in the U.S. hang by a thread.

In the last three years, 203 restrictions on abortion rights have been passed.  Last year Texas had over forty clinics that provided abortions, by September there will be only six left.  Five states have only one abortion clinic.  On March 3rd, an abortion clinic in Montana was closed indefinitely after severe vandalism.  Everywhere, a tremendous stigma hangs over women who get abortions.

This must be stopped!  And WE must take the responsibility to stop it.

The fight over abortion has never been about babies.  It has always been about control over women.  Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement.

Join in organizing serious manifestations of determined resistance to defeat this war on women.

Our aims: 1. To change the terms so that millions come to see that this fight is over women’s liberation or women’s enslavement.  2. To seize back the moral high ground.  3. To make a major leap in building a movement that relies on ourselves and provide a launching pad and call for thousands and ultimately millions to join in this resistance to REVERSE THESE ATTACKS and DEFEAT THIS WAR ON WOMEN.

Contact us today: StopPatriarchy.org

StopPatriarchy@gmail.com

March 17th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

An inspiring day of action in NYC for International Women’s Day!
Check out the video of footage from the march and rally, speak out, and powerful testimonials from all kinds of people, including a group of male youth who encountered us on the street.

March 17th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

They Are Coming For Our Birth Control!

-from R.G. a member of Stop Patriarchy

We are engaged in a war here in this very country. Women’s rights are undergoing a multipronged attack every day. Much of this war is right out in the open as our politicians publicly dehumanize women, call them nothing but “hosts” to fetuses, claim that some rape may be illegitimate, and that pregnancy from rape is a “gift from god.”

None of this is getting the attention – or the widespread opposition – it deserves. Most people have no idea how extreme the attacks on women’s right to abortion are, how many clinics are actually closing, how many new restrictions and hurdles are being slammed into place. At the same time, most people do not understand that this fight is not only about abortion; it is about all access to reproductive freedom for women.

To date, there have been 92 cases filed challenging the federal government’s rule that requires health plans to cover contraception without a co-pay. These cases claim that providing contraceptives at all is an infringement on religious liberty. 80 of these cases are still pending. 33 cases were brought by non-profit organizations and 44 of the cases were brought by for-profit organizations.

The Obama administration has already accommodated non-profits with religious objections to covering contraceptives. They made a rule designed to ensure employees will receive contraception coverage but that the employer with religious objections will not bear the cost or otherwise have any connection with the coverage. Several non-profit organizations are challenging even this accommodation. There are 36 non-profit cases currently pending.

In addition, about 42 of the total cases while pending have an injunction which allows the organization not to comply with the rule to cover contraception for its employees. The cases can be pending indefinitely.

The fight over contraception coverage is just one example of how women are being attacked on all fronts. Not only do these enemies of women want to obliterate a woman’s right to choose, they want to strip away their right to obtain safe and reliable contraception.

Read More

March 12th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

Speech for International Women’s Day on the role of the military in the war on women

There were 3,553 sexual assault complaints reported to the Defense Department from October 2012-June 2012. During that same period, there were 219 casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers were 15 times more likely to be raped by a comrade than to be killed by an enemy.

About 26,000 women and men in the military were sexually assaulted in 2012. About 75% of women her were assaulted did not report the attacks; about 76% of the men who were assaulted didn’t report their attacks either.

The Pentagon estimates that 85% of sexual assault crimes go unreported.

About 40% of victims in one study indicated that the perpetrator was their ranking officer.

During the reported period, only 302 service members faced punishment or dismissal as a result of being charged, which is less than 2.5% of the total suspected number of sexual assaults and rape, yet 62% of victims who reported sexual assault experienced retaliation.

48,100 women and 43,700 men who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, responding to a survey, acknowledged suffering from military sexual trauma.

According to the Department of Labor, between 20-48% of female veterans were sexually assaulted in the military. More women leave the military with post-traumatic stress disorder from rape than from combat.

In the past 25 years, more than 500,000 people have been sexually assaulted in the military.

90% of survivors of sexual assault in the military are involuntarily discharged.

80% of perpetrators and those accused are discharged with honor.

I could rattle off statistics all day about the abuses of the military, but I’d rather talk about fear. There is rampant fear within the military, to report abuses, to fight back, to speak out against this toxic atmosphere. There is fear outside of the military as well.

Read More

March 9th, 2014
stoppatriarchy
Reblogged from NYC Revolution Club
March 8th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

It was a righteous and spirited day of resistance against the war on women in NYC for International Women’s Day! Times Square did not know what what they were in for when we marched through. We left a major impact on many people, struggled with many people, and inspired many people. Thank you to all who spread the word and participated in this day of action. We need to continue to build off of this day; bring masses of people who have hungered for this into the movement, into the struggle, and into the understanding we have on what needs to be done to put an end to this war on women. 

Full report and more photos to come! 

March 8th, 2014
stoppatriarchy

come out TODAY! for International Women’s Day and show your support for abortion providers who risk their lives every day to provide one of the most basic and common of medical services for women! 1/3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime! Abortion providers truly are heroes!

http://www.stoppatriarchy.org/current-mobilizations.html

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@StopPatriarchy

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