Upcoming documentary “Vessel” follows the experiences of Rebecca Gomperts, a Dutch physician who founded Women on Waves, which brings contraception and safe abortion services to women in countries with few reproductive rights. Gomberts felt the need to take action for women whose control of their own bodies are prohibited by their nation’s government, often at the expense of their own health. She’d heard of one too many illegal abortion leading to a woman’s death, so she set sail with a mobile health clinic to help as many as she could. Since Gomberts’ organization travels by boat, she is governed by the laws that oversee international waters instead, making abortion and other reproductive health procedures legal on board. The documentary is available on video January 13th, and it looks nothing short of powerful.
Wendy Davis, kickass American hero, has lost the Texas gubernatorial election. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. For starters, she’s a Democrat, and Texas hasn’t had a Democratic governor in almost twenty years. To top it off, she’s a female, and a mother, and one of the thousands of women in this country who’ve had an abortion. It’s pretty devastating that basic facts of the female experience are political liabilities, but the fact is that while women can and have been elected to the gubernatorial office many times, it’s tough to do so without being characterized as a workaholic mommy, or a man-hater, or being bombarded with that bullshit question about “having it all.” As if a person’s entire life experience could be reduced to such benign stereotypes. That’s not to say that being a woman is the reason she wasn’t elected. People may simply not agree with her plans for the state. Maybe they did agree with her, but they were afraid of what change would bring. That’s what free elections are all about, so I can’t really speak for Texas voters, but the reality is that her loss means that thousands of women have lost their shot at having a say in what happens to their own bodies. Keep reading »
Today is Election Day, and this year’s vote is a very big deal. The US Senate stands to see a major power shift, and this election’s results will set the stage for the 2016 presidential race. Women’s rights also hang in the balance, because we unfortunately live in a world that puts our bodies up for a public vote, and the rights we have regarding our own reproductive health depend on tomorrow’s results. Despite how important this decision is, very few millennials are eager to vote. In a poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics earlier this year, only 23 percent of young Americans said they’d definitely be voting this November. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the first set of data showing to indicate that twenty-somethings aren’t so into exercising their rights. To make matters worse, the average voter turnout for modern presidential elections bleakly hovers somewhere around half of all eligible voters. Here are some of the biggest reasons millennials don’t do their civic duty, and a few reasons you should vote despite those obstacles… Keep reading »
Lena Dunham teamed up with Planned Parenthood on her book tour, and now they’ve created a special-edition shirt with Lena’s name on it to raise money for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. All proceeds of the shirt will go towards the organization, and it’s release serves as great encouragement to show up at the polls for next week’s midterm elections to choose leaders who stand up for women’s rights. The shirt was premiered today, and celebrities like Leslie Mann, America Ferrera, Amy Poehler, Jenna Lyons, and Ellen Page came out of the woodwork to support reproductive rights (and Lena!) by sharing selfies in the t-shirt. You can check out her Instagram for more photos from supporters, and you can get yourself a shirt here. [Time] [Image via Instagram]
This is Leyla Josephine, a spoken word and performance artist based in Glasgow, Scotland, and the video above is her incredible spoken word poem about her abortion. Or rather, the guilt she does not feel for having an abortion when she was too young to be the kind of mother she wants to be. When the narrative is dominated by conservative Christians who claim all women regret their abortions, we need more women like Leyla (and Amanda, and Julia) speaking up to say that terminating an unwanted pregnancy was the best choice for everyone.
You can check out more videos about a woman’s right to choose at Upworthy’s new section, Feminent Domain. [Upworthy]