This Week in Women: Survivors Campaigning For Change
From Gabby Gifford’s demands for gun control action to Indya Moore’s candid interview addressing gender identities and protecting the marginalized, This Week in Women is about survivors using their platforms to call citizens and leadership to positive change and action. It’s time for This Week in Women!
Gabby Giffords’ Calls Legislators to Action after STEM School Shooting
In the wake of Tuesday’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, former Arizona Congresswoman and gun control advocate, Gabby Giffords, spoke out about the need for more comprehensive background checks and legislative leadership after failing to “prevent the threat of gun violence from becoming a numbing reality for our children.”
The STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting, with one person dead and eight others wounded, is the most recent example of a pervasive violence that has reached with horrifying regularity into schools across America. Congress passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019in March and sent it to the Senate where it is awaiting further action. The bill requires “new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties’” and prohibits firearm transfers between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer has first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.
“How many more kids will have to run from a shooter? How many more will have to message their family from a hiding place? How many more families will have their lives forever altered by tragedy? Our children deserve better,” said Giffords. “Children deserve to feel safe at school, at home, and in their neighborhoods. They deserve a childhood where their biggest worry is completing their homework, not listening for the sound of gunfire outside their classroom. They deserve elected leaders who will do everything in their power to fight the gun violence crisis that’s impacting every family, causing heartbreak in every community, and devastating this country. It’s been 69 days since the House of Representatives passed their background checks bill. When will we see that kind of leadership from the Senate and White House?”
Vermont Passes Constitutional Change in Effort to Protect Reproductive Healthcare
Empowered by Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court some states – recently Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi – are attempting to pass severely restrictive abortion laws. With the 1973 victory of Roe v. Wade on the line, several states have made moves to constitutionally protect their constituent’s, such as the New York’s Reproductive Health Act that was passed earlier this year.
This week, Vermont passed Prop 5. — a piece of legislation that would amend their state constitution and protect individuals’ “right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.”
“Vermont lawmakers made history today by declaring that reproductive rights are human rights. We applaud Vermont’s legislature for making its position clear on reproductive freedom, that protecting the health, dignity, and civil rights of Vermonters is urgently important,” said Meagan Gallagher, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. “Vermont has established itself as the shining example for all other states by acknowledging that every person is capable of – and must be trusted to – make their own health care decisions without government interference.”
Indya Moore Gets Candid About Gender Identities, Sex Trafficking, and More
Break out model, actor, and activist, Indya Moore, has wracked up fame, success and critical acclaim with a role on FX television’s series “Pose” and featured campaigns with Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein. The Bronx-native (preferring singular pronouns they/them) reveals in an in-depth interview with Elle Magazine that was released this week, that they were the victim of sex trafficking, experiencing abuse and exploitation as a trans gender youth.
Their story shines a light on survival — leaving home at 13 and entering the foster care system at 14-years old. Her foster mom shared her hormone replacement therapy prescriptions and after withdrawing them, Moore tried finding other ways to procure the hormone therapy and was ultimately lured into underage sex trafficking. The teenager endured abuse, dead ends, run-ins with the law, a suicide attempt, and other seemingly insurmountable hurdles before finding their true path. Today Moore is reconciled with their mom.
Now, Moore is fiercely committed to protecting and advocating for trans youth and breaking down conventions.
“When I’m around people having conversations about their day, I’m looking at them, like, ‘What could they possibly be talking about? How are we not talking about deconstructing white supremacy right now? How are we not trying to save trans people?’” Moore said in the Elle interview. “I don’t know who I am outside of someone who’s just trying to be free and find safety for myself and for others.”
Featured image via Elle
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.