At an open-air flea market outside McAllen, Texas, near the Mexican border, shoppers can buy a goat and get their car windows tinted. Tables with handwritten signs touting Viagra are stocked with herbal remedies promising to burn fat and boost breast size. You can also find pills to end a pregnancy. Bazaars like this have become home to a thriving black market, where women too poor to afford an abortion at a clinic or deterred by state mandates such as a 24-hour waiting period can buy drugs to induce a miscarriage on their own, a dozen area residents and doctors said in interviews.
Texas lawmakers plan to pass drastic restrictions on abortion—but that’s if they can drown out the very vocal opposition of Texas woman.
… WENDY DAVIS’ defiant filibuster last month was a refreshing exception to the general behavior of Democratic politicians at both the national and state levels, who defend a women’s right to abortion in rhetoric, but routinely compromise and concede in practice. Davis rightly stated that the struggle won’t end if the Republicans, as expected, ram through anti-abortion legislation. “I don’t think it’s the end,” she said. “It’s the beginning of a battle line.”
But supporters of abortion rights need to draw the lessons from this battle for the fights ahead.
For example, Davis’ fellow Democrats in the Texas House, Senfronia Thompson and others, brought coat hangers and turpentine to the floor debate to appeal for an amendment that would grant exceptions to the 20-week ban for survivors of rape and incest. They used the props to dramatize the potentially deadly lengths victims of these circumstances might go to without access to safe, legal abortions.
The gesture was quickly torpedoed by Republicans who refused to consider any amendments. But the argument also falls back on a favored Democratic strategy of reducing the debate bout abortion to the most extreme circumstances. This narrowing of the defense of abortion rights has allowed the right wing to increasingly dominate the debate, while chipping away at access and legal protections of abortion as every woman’s right.
By contrast, the outpouring of unapologetic pro-choice activism in Texas provided fresh energy for our side. In a very real way, it provided Davis with the support necessary to carry out her filibuster—and then finished the job when Republicans used underhanded maneuvers to shut her down.
Moreover, the huge presence of pro-choice women has shown how critical reproductive freedom is to people’s practical lives. Thousands of Texans have shown in practice that they don’t want to wait for this assault to be signed into law before going to polls next year and voting out the Republicans—if that’s even possible in a state where the GOP is using every means available to them to ensure their majority.
NOTE: Google search query suggestions are based on top or trending search terms.
Fun science fact: Google searches are actually based on what you say, what you frequently type, where you go, or what cookies you have on the internet. Everyone gets different searches and search selections. When I searched the same statement, 6 out of 10 suggestions were positive/not negative statements. Learn your internet facts people. Basic mass communication information. This is why people need to take a intro to mass communications course!
WRONG. I wanted to test this so I just did a google search on an internet explorer browser that I had never used before, on a computer I had never used before (and no I was not logged in to my google account or anything like that), and here is what popped up (see below). (As a control, I then did a google search using a Firefox browser which I use all the time, on a computer I use all the time and the EXACT SAME search suggestions popped up on my screen!)
As a friend writes, “These proceedings were hurting for a bit of snarky truth dropping.”
You’ve got to listen to the courage of this young woman in confronting the Senate Committee in Texas “hearing” testimony against the anti-abortion bills they are trying to ram through another …
July 8, 2013 | The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is now facing a third federal investigation into its sexual assault policies. This time, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating allegations that UNC inappropriately retaliated against Landen Gambill, a sophomore at the university, after she publicly came forward about her rape.
Gambill was one of several students who filed a federal complaint against the university at the beginning of the year, alleging UNC has created a “hostile environment” for rape victims attempting to report sexual crimes. In February, the sophomore faced an honor code violation that claimed she “intimidated” her alleged rapist by publicly sharing the story of her sexual assault — even though she never named him, simply referring to him as an “ex-boyfriend.” Later that year, even after the male student in question had been found guilty of sexually harassing Gambill, he was reassigned to a dorm building “ in close proximity” to hers.
Over the past month, conservatives and libertarians have criticized efforts to curb sexual harassment on college campuses as “de-eroticizing universities” and claimed they violate free speech. Now, Sen. John McCain has jumped on the bandwagon in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. McCain’s letter, sent to Holder last Wednesday, accuses Assistant Attorney General Tom […]
James Taranto, resident troll of the Wall Street Journal's opinion page, is at it again with a piece denouncing efforts to take sexual assault more seriously as a crime in the military—or, as he describes it, “a political campaign against sexual assault in the military that shows signs of becoming an effort to criminalize male sexuality.”
A San Diego teacher was fired following a domestic violence incident involving her ex-husband. Second-grade teacher Carie Charlesworth is out of a job, but not for anything she did in the classroom.
Abused by her spouse, and then further abused by her employer BECAUSE she had been abused by her spouse.
Stuff like this is precisely what makes the SCUM Manifesto seem so appealing.
"IT IS a wound that doesn’t ever heal. You can make it feel better, but it doesn’t take much to rip the top off it, and there it is again."
That’s how Lisa Wilken describes the damage inflicted from being raped by a fellow Air Force enlistee 20 years ago. Wilken reported being raped, but military investigators failed to collect evidence, instead focusing on questioning Wilken about her sexual history, forcing her to move out of her basic training dorm, ignoring threats made against her by peers, and ultimately dissuading her from going to trial because her rape wasn’t “violent enough” to lead to jail time for the rapist.
As she explained to reporters for the Indianapolis Star, “The damage that has been done to me hasn’t been by the act of the assault, it has been the treatment that I have received through the process. It basically re-victimizes you.”
Recently, Wilken began organizing and speaking out because she’s seen little change in the two decades since she was doubly victimized. Her story is one among a number of cases of sexual assault within the U.S. military to make headlines over the last month.
A Pentagon report released in May cited a stunning 26,000 incidents of sexual assault among service members in 2012 alone. Mainstream media outlets and politicians suddenly had a lot to say about the problem that Wilken says has “been the military’s dirty little secret for way too long.”
… Meanwhile, the Obama White House joined the chorus opposing the involvement of military prosecutors in determining when and how to take sexual assault claims to trial. President Obama repeated Chuck Hagel’s opposition verbatim, telling reporters assembled at the Pentagon, “The ultimate authority has to remain within the command structure. Taking the ultimate responsibility away from the military would weaken the system.”
And on both sides of the congressional aisle, Democratic and Republican legislators seem to agree that treating sexual assault as a crime with serious legal consequences “weakens” the military’s integrity. Democrat Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also opposes Gillibrand’s bill.
… Perhaps the epidemic reflects the priorities of the U.S. government as a whole. After all, Congress spends billions annually on military forces to inflict carnage across the globe, but constantly curtails women’s rights to control our own bodies, and struggles to pass basic measures like the Violence Against Women Act to fund services for sexual and domestic violence survivors.
If convicted of hacking-related charges, Deric Lostutter could get more jail time than the rapists he went after.
In April, the FBI quietly raided the home of the hacker known as KYAnonymous in connection with his role in the Steubenville rape case. Today he spoke out for the first time about the raid, his true identity, and his motivations for pursuing the Steubenville rapists, in an extensive interview with Mother Jones.