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5.17.2019

This Week In Women: "Men Shouldn't Be Making Laws About Women's Bodies"

There was no greater cry of alarm in the abortion-access fight this week than the news out of Alabama. As we continue to cover conservative’s attacks on Constitutional rights, This Week in Women is also including ways that you can get involved and help preserve our healthcare freedoms.

Alabama’s Abortion Law Travesty

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White handmaids bonnets crowded the steps of the statehouse steps, bumping up against signs of “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries” and “Every life is sacred… Unless You’re Black, LGBTQ, POC, Immigrant, Poor, Imprisoned, Disabled, Female, Muslim, Elderly, Veteran. Ban the Ban.” Abortion rights activists had their hands full this week as the Alabama legislature signed into law H.B. 314, a measure that effectively bans abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Missouri shortly followed suit with their own 8-week abortion ban that was pushed through by a GOP-majority legislature and governor.

In the race to be the state that pushes the case up to the supreme court, conservative lawmakers across the U.S. are making a bid to have a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in the hopes that Justice Kavanaugh can be their ringer for overturning the three decade-old ruling. Many also see this as a red meat issue for lawmakers who are hoping to rally their religious conservative base in time for the 2020 elections.

“Politicians in Alabama just passed the most extreme and dangerous policy since Roe v. Wade, banning abortion at any point in pregnancy — going so far as to threaten doctors with life in-prison. Doctors and public health leaders agree: the cost will be women’s lives,” said Planned Parenthood President and CEO, Dr. Leana Wen. “In a state that has some of the worst health outcomes for women in the nation, such as the highest rate of cervical cancer, Alabama is putting women’s lives at an even greater risk. Politicians who say the value life should advocate for policies to solve the public health crises that are killing women, not dismantle what little access to health care Alabamians have left. With a record number of extreme bans on abortion and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, our fundamental right to health care is under assault like never before. We will do whatever it takes to stop this dangerous bill so that patients can continue to access the care they need. We are in for the fight of our lives, for our patients’ lives.”

If you would like to help fight extreme abortion bans, there are larger organizations like NARAL, Planned Parenthood and ACLU that are actively fundraising, organizing and preparing for ongoing legal action; and there are smaller state-focused funds that are on the ground helping make resources and information available to residents. In Alabama, the Yellowhammer Fund, and in Alabama and the Southeast, Access Reproductive Healthcare – Southeast and the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund.

Speak out, volunteer, fundraise. Join the conversation or share your story with hashtags like #AbortionIsAWomansRight #WomensReproductiveRights #YouKnowMe

Rashida Tlaib Makes History as First Muslim Woman to Preside Over House Floor

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D – Michigan) oversaw proceedings in the House of Representatives this past Wednesday, becoming the first Muslim woman to preside. Tlaib has been a fierce advocate for diversity and fighting for underserved Americans, and along with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D – Minnesota) was one of the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

Fellow freshmen Congresswomen Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D – Iowa) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D – New York) have also presided over the floor in the past week. Certainly setting a tone for continued inclusive female leadership since November’s historic election.

Photo courtesy of ABC News

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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