After backing down from a controversial bill that would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks, the Republican controlled House passed another anti-abortion bill today, called “The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion” Act. Coincidentally, today is also the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that deemed abortion a decision to be made privately between a woman and her doctor.
This bill will prevent women from having their abortions covered by Medicaid, restrict her ability to buy insurance that covers abortions, block federal funds for abortion for women serving in the military, and prevent Washington, D.C. from using local funds to help women pay for abortions. It would also get rid of a tax break given to small businesses who provide their female employees with insurance that covers abortion. Keep reading »
Dr. Rebecca Gomperts is a physician, artist, human rights activist, and founder of organizations Women on Waves and Women on Web, which are featured in the documentary “Vessel.” The organizations provide safe abortion options to women living in countries with restrictive abortion laws. Gomperts launched the Women on Waves, which sails a mobile abortion clinic to international waters to provide legal procedures, after witnessing too many patients suffering from the often fatal effects of botched illegal abortions.
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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. Gomperts 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]