This Week In Women: A Call For Support
We are sending all of our love and support to members of the LGBTQ+ community against the backdrop of the vile, racist attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett. After the shocking hate crime, many are speaking out against the current political climate that has seemingly enabled division and hatred. On Thursday night, actress and advocate Ellen Page called out the Trump administration and Vice President Pence on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“If you are in a position of power and you hate people, and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering. What do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused and they’re going to kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street,” said Page. “I have traveled the world and I have met the most marginalized people you could meet. I am lucky to have this time and the privilege to say this: This needs to fucking stop.”
Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL) and Queerocracy, along with over 25 co-sponsoring organizations, are hosting a #JussieSmollett rally of solidarity that will be held tonight in Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. “Black LGBTQ communities, particularly black trans women, have been assaulted, murdered, and face violence every day. With the normalization of violence against queer people, fueled by a toxic racist and anti-LGBTQ political agenda, we must address the ongoing violence against our communities,” organizers said in an official statement. More information can be found on the Facebook event.
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Virginia Bill Is The Latest in Fight For Abortion Access Expansion
Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran found herself in the middle of a far-right firestorm after introducing a bill to the house (HB 2491) that would remove several of the state’s restrictions around abortion. The proposed bill eliminated requirements, such as a 24-hour waiting period following an ultrasound before an abortion was performed; that second trimester abortions can only be performed in a hospital; and third trimester abortions needed to have three physicians’ consent and agreement to proceed.
The bill sparked immediate controversy after Delegate Tran’s committee hearing, in which she expressed that by removing the restrictions, abortions could be performed at any time in the pregnancy, if the physician agreed it was necessary to protect the woman’s life or prevent irreparable mental or physical harm.
Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat and physician, supported the bill on Virginia radio station WTOP, saying “This is why decisions such as this should be made by providers, physicians, and the mothers and fathers that are involved. When we talk about third-trimester abortions […] It’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s non-viable.”
He continued on to say, “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Many anti-abortion activists and politicians lashed out saying that the Governor’s comments and the bill was in support of “infanticide.” Both Delegate Tran and Gov. Northam have defended their positions that this is in support of decisions being between the woman and her medical care provider, taking into account the “tragic and extremely rare case in which a woman with a nonviable pregnancy or severe fetal abnormalities went into labor.”
The Republican-controlled House of Delegates moved to table the measure. HB 2491 is another example of the battles that are continuing to mount at the state level as more and more pro-choice groups worry about the future of Roe v. Wade with the recent appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Navy Plans Honor For The Late Capt. Rosemary Mariner
Last Thursday, Captain Rosemary Mariner, the first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet, lost a five-year battle with ovarian cancer. According to her obituary, she was the first woman to fly the A-4C and the A-7E Corsair II after flight training in 1974. She continued to break down barriers, achieve remarkable milestones, and was “instrumental in the repeal of restrictions on women serving in combat.”
A huge loss for our nation. Rosemary was a remarkable person, an incomparable aviator and a badass. RIP, Captain. We stand on the shoulders of giants like Rosemary Mariner. https://t.co/yYERT5w3sh
— flynavy (@flynavy) January 26, 2019
To honor her, the Navy is planning its first ever all-female flyover at her funeral this Saturday.
Featured image via ABC News, of the late Captain Rosemary Mariner
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