Actor Naya Rivera is getting very real and personal in her upcoming memoir, “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes and Growing Up.” The former “Glee” star opens up about her personal struggles and triumphs in the tell-all book, including her abortion in 2010 and her battle with anorexia after her parents’ divorce. For Latinos, the topic of abortion is something that can be very divisive, which is why people on social media are praising the Puerto Rican star for being so candid and open about her personal life.
Rivera took to Twitter to explain why she was releasing the memoir.
I set out to write a book that was true to myself and would hopefully help others along the way. Media will always distort anything
“By the time I was a sophomore, I started feeling that what had begun as a game had maybe gone too far. I just avoided food at all costs,” Rivera writes about her eating disorder, according to PEOPLE. “If my mom had packed a lunch for me, I’d either trash it or find some excuse to give it away.”
Rivera reveals that her eating disorder stemmed from the pain of watching her parents’ relationship deteriorate.
Rivera’s frustration with her stalled acting career compounded her problems, but she wasn’t quite sure how bad her disorder had gotten. “I was so young and it just seemed to be the norm. Everyone was going through similar stuff. I had no way of knowing if I was going through it worse,” Rivera told PEOPLE. “I was juggling my feelings and it makes me sad that there are girls still going through that 15 years after I went through it.”
She also admits to having an abortion in late 2010 after breaking up with her then boyfriend and now husband Ryan Dorsey.
Rivera took her one day off from shooting “Glee” to secretly get her abortion with Dorsey’s knowledge.
“It was very scary to open up about everything,” Rivera told PEOPLE. “It’s not something a lot of people talk about, but I think they should. I know some people might read it and say, ‘What the Hell?’ But I hope someone out there gets something out of it.”
And people are offering Rivera all kinds of praise and support, from the president of Planned Parenthood…
While the 2020 election is still more than a year away, this summer is giving us plenty of political action. As the Democratic hopefuls vie to make a name for themselves in an over-crowded race, we can already see which topics are heavily resonating with voters. Education and Universal Health Care are popular topics but the subject of abortion rights is setting the tone of this election.
Currently, inhabitants of the United States are in the middle of a sweeping attack on our reproductive rights. States like Alabama and Georgia have recently passed “Heartbeat Bills” — legislation that prohibits abortion after a fetus’ heartbeat can be heard (usually at six weeks gestation.) Meanwhile, reproductive rights advocates are attempting to fight back against these laws. As they protest, these supporters share stories of times when abortion wasn’t safe and legal. They know better than anyone that an abortion ban won’t end abortions; it will only end safe abortion.
With this new focus on safe and affordable access to abortion, the forty-year-old Hyde Amendment is getting new attention.
Passed in 1976, the Hyde Amendment’s goal was to further prevent abortions from being covered under Medicaid.
Unlike today’s “Heartbeat Bills,” the amendment does make an exception in the cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is threatened by a pregnancy. Still, it is a law that unfairly targets people in low-income communities as well as Black and brown women. Without the expense being paid by Medicare or other government assistance, abortion is often another fee that can’t be paid but is no less needed.
At the time, this abortion legislation was supported by both Democrats and Republicans. While abortion still carries some stigma, the 1970s were a much less tolerant place for women seeking to no longer be pregnant. While some people have changed their stance on the Hype Amendment and abortion in general, not everyone has adjusted with the times.
Biden was one of the original legislators who voted for the amendment in 1976. Recently, the presidential contender’s team was forced to restate his position on the Hyde Amendment after Biden erroneously came out against it. A representative for the former-Vice President reiterated that Biden did, in fact, support the amendment just as much as he did when he first voted for it.
This new attention has resulted in other presidential contenders sharing their thoughts on the Hyde Amendment. Former-Representative Beto O’Rourke, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Corey Booker have all called for its appeal. Other progressive legislators have turned towards attempting to remove the amendment in the near future.
Additionally, during the June 11th, 2019 session of the House Rules Committee, Representative Ayanna Pressley sponsored one such bill. The legislation would remove the Hyde Amendment. Doing so would ensure that government aid could be used to cover abortion costs. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that any bill overturning the Hyde Amendment would have survived a Republican-led Senate. This attempt was killed before it came to a vote but hopefully, it’s just the start.
The decision to appeal the Hyde Amendment must come down to the harm it has done and the harm it can further do.
Despite being common for centuries, abortion was finally legalized in the United States in 1973. For the first time, women were able to see a trained professional. Before, women relied on midwives or anyone willing to take the risk to see them. They ran the risk of dying from the procedure or of being arrested. They had difficult decisions to make when facing abortion. Now, they had somewhere safe to go.
However, just three years later, that would be taken from them. The Hyde Amendment would force women to obtain abortions through riskier means.
Rosie Jimenez was one such woman. A single mother from McAllen, Texas, Jimenez worked towards a better life for her and her daughter. She was attending college classes when, in September of 1977, she discovered that she was pregnant.
For her, the choice to get an abortion was obvious. Another baby would derail her education and put even more strain on her limited income. However, with the Hyde Amendment’s enactment, Jimenez couldn’t afford the cost of an abortion from an actual OBGYN.
This was Representative Henry Hyde’s goal when he sponsored the bill that would become the Hyde Amendment.
A pro-life politician, Hyde said of abortion, “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the…Medicaid bill.”
Before the Hyde Amendment was passed, Medicare would have covered the $230 abortion fee. Instead, Jimenez had to find a cheaper option. Her search for an abortion brought her to the home of midwife Maria Pineda. While Pineda was licensed to deliver babies, she wasn’t authorized to perform abortions. Still, at $150 her price was $80 cheaper than a professional.
On September 25th, Jimenez visited Pineda and received an abortion within her home.
The young mother spiked a fever by the next morning. Jimenez began hemorrhaging and vomiting as a side effect of an infection she developed. During an abortion, dirt and germs can be introduced via unsanitary instruments or improper hygiene. This a major concern that arises when proper reproductive health is withheld from women as it was with Jimenez.
The young mother was rushed to McAllen General Hospital where she would spend seven days fighting for her life. She could no longer breath on her own so Jimenez was given an emergency tracheotomy. Also, the infection ravaged her uterus severely. She was given a hysterectomy in an attempt to stop the spread of bacteria.
Sadly, the damaged had been done. The infection had spread to her heart and other organs. Rosie Jimenez was only 27 when she died of organ failure. It was caused by the infection contracted from her abortion.
Jimenez’s death greatly affected her friends and family, but it also had a national impact.
Once her story spread, candlelit vigils were held all over the country for Jimenez. Rallies were organized in New York and Washington DC denouncing Congress and the federal government for limiting access to safe and legal abortion. Though there were other instances like this one, none had resulted in death. As such, Jimenez was known as the “first victim” of the Hyde Amendment.
As pro-choice advocates shared Jimenez’s story, conservatives used it to condemn abortion in general. A 1977 investigation by the CDC mistakenly claimed that Jimenez got an illegal abortion in Mexico. The media circulated rumors that she had attempted to hide her pregnancy from family members. They claimed that this botched “Mexican” abortion was a result of her concealment.
In fact, Jimenez was receiving more bad press than the woman who performed her abortion.
The woman, Pineda, didn’t even face charges for what she had done. She was free to continue selling hope to desperate women at a discount. She was free to infect and kill others who came to her for help.
It wasn’t until Jimenez’s best friend, Diane Rivera, got involved that anything was done. New York writer, Ellen Frankfort, and National Abortion Federation director, Frances Kissling, worked with Rivera to stop Pineda. The three performed an undercover sting operation that caught the illegal abortionist red-handed.
However, even with evidence of her crimes, Pineda was only charged with a Class A misdemeanor. She served a mere three days in jail and paid a $100 fine. That’s the only penalty she paid for killing Rosie Jimenez. Additionally, there was no follow-up to ensure Pineda didn’t operate again.
Rosie Jimenez’s story is one that reproductive rights champions have been echoing for over forty years. We must acknowledge that the Hyde Amendment was specifically designed to discourage safe abortions. It was outlined to hurt women like Jimenez — women who are poor and brown and who deserve better.
For every woman who is able to end her pregnancy without fear and suffering, there are more who will face the same fate as Jimenez. Until there is a guarantee of safe, legal and affordable abortion, our work is not done.
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The last week has been earth-shattering for women, non-binary, and trans-masculine people across the United States, with eight states at the time of publication having passed near-total bans on abortion. It has been 42 years since the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade gave child-bearing people across America the right to safe access to legal abortion. Every single one of these bills challenges Roe v. Wade for a reason.
Since the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, the Court has been tipped toward a conservative majority for the first time in decades. While the bans don’t go into effect for another six months, we expect to find out whether the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade or maintain its precedence during that time.
For now, Latinas are pissed.
There are a variety of different laws that we’ve seen come out of these red states, ranging from a zero exception policy that would force victims of rape to carry to term, to requiring a notarized consent form for abortion from the fetus’ father. Latinas have taken to Twitter to break it down.
These bans are going into affect in states with the most rapidly growing Latinx populations.
Deputy Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) told POPSUGAR, “It is worrisome and in particular because Alabama and Georgia are among the states with the most rapidly growing Latinx populations, so we know our communities will be directly impacted by these laws.”
Nearly one in every four women has an abortion by age 45, according to the American Journal of Health in 2017.
This isn’t a post about why women have abortions. Its nobodies business why someone chooses the procedure. Latinxs are no exception to the majority opinion that the state shouldn’t be passing laws to restrict the rights of child-bearing people.
According to NLIRH, 67% of Latinx voters do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
Meanwhile, 82% believe that the government shouldn’t interfere with a women’s decision about abortion. “We also know that when it comes to contraception, data shows that many religious Latinx support it even if their church leaders take a different position,” associate director of Latino media and communications at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Johanny Adames, told POPSUGAR. “The majority of Latinas, including Catholic Latinas, not only support the use of contraception and affordable access to it, they also use it themselves.”
For Latinx immigrants, the barriers are even higher.
Many Latinx understand that these bans only serve to hurt our community. What we know to be true about these restrictions is that they disproportionately affect low-income people of color who are forced to travel long distances and pay high costs to obtain abortion care. People with means will always seek abortion care somewhere else. And undocumented Latinx immigrants, many of whom cannot travel for fear of detention and deportation, have even fewer options.
Maria Elena Perez, Deputy Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), POPSUGAR
So Latinas are fighting back.
This Tuesday, protestors nation wide are taking to the streets to fight against the bans. Some are pointing out the holes in the pro-life argument…
Like, if a fetus is a person, shouldn’t the father begin paying child support once the heartbeat is heard?
And why are women being forced to raise a child when a man can just walk away? Probably because men are creating these laws in the first place.
In a climate inundated with lies, reporting has failed to stay vigilant in keeping both sides honest.
Refinery29 correspondent Andrea González-Ramírez has reported on Trump’s false claims–like at a Michigan rally in March when he falsely claimed, “In recent months the Democratic party has also been aggressively pushing extreme late-term abortion, allowing children to be ripped from their mother’s womb right up until the moment of birth.” She believes this extreme rhetoric is part of his campaign strategy to win the White House again in 2020.
Ultimately, this isn’t about fetuses. It’s about controlling women.
There’s no question that this issue is highly controversial. Latinos are pointing out the flaws in the argument for state-mandated restrictions around reproductive rights.
Because abortions aren’t going to stop once they are banned.
They are going to become more dangerous to receive, and poorer communities of color are going to pay the price. The majority of people who have abortions are people of color.
In 1976, the Hyde Amendment was passed, which prevents public health insurance coverage of abortion.
The first woman to die from an unsafe illegal abortion after Hyde was Latina. Her name was Rosie Jimenez, and like many Latinas and POC, she couldn’t afford private insurance or pay out of pocket for a legal procedure.
The same states with restrictive abortion laws also limit consent.
North Carolina has not passed a restrictive abortion law yet, but the House is holding a vote this week to override Gov. Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 359, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. If that happens, it would encroach on a doctor’s scope to provide care to their patient and would affirm POTUS’ unbacked belief that fetuses are surviving abortions and doctors are murdering them in hospitals.
Alabama has passed the most restrictive abortion law, called the “heartbeat” bill, and Ohio has followed suit.
That means that abortion becomes illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around six to seven weeks into the pregnancy. That’s just two weeks after a woman might have missed her period. That means if an Alabaman woman missed her period and notices, she has just two weeks to decide whether to abort the fetus, take time off work, gather the funds, schedule the appointment and pray they don’t hear a beat.
Doctors in Alabama could go to prison for life for performing abortions after the fetal heartbeat has been detected.
The minimum sentence would be ten years. Typically, when something is criminalized in the U.S., the participants are punished–with probation, prison sentences, or other court orders.
While many pro-life advocates don’t want to see women go to prison for abortions, Indiana doctors are already at risk for losing their licenses.
In Indiana, doctors are required to fill out an extensive form once a pregnancy is terminated. They must list the number of previous abortion procedures performed as well as the father’s name. In 2014, Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a complaint against Dr. Klopfer for failing to name the father and last recorded period.
Plus, some states in the U.S. are already criminalizing women for having abortions.
Indiana woman, Purvi Patel, took an abortion pill, rather than having a procedure. In Indiana, while self-managing your abortion with a pill is perfectly safe to do so without a provider present, it is not legally safe. Patel was prosecuted and jailed after she went to the hospital thinking she needed medical attention after taking the pill.
Meanwhile, #Latinos4GunReform are shook to see how quickly the U.S. could ban abortion before guns.
How is this pro-life? And why are gun advocates so hell-bent on proving that bans don’t work, and then turn around and ban abortions? While a ban on guns would actually limit companies from producing certain weapons, abortion bans don’t limit sex. They limit abortions.
In the meantime, here’s a friendly reminder:
It’s a scary world, and these jokes just aren’t going to land when half the population’s body is frozen in fear. ????
You can do something about it.
If you live in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio or Utah, call your representatives. Express your outrage. Leave a voicemail. Tomorrow, leave another one.
If we do nothing, we become Gilead.
One anti-abortion organization already tweeted out, “There are 2,000,000+ infertile couples hoping to adopt newborns, but a severe lack of children because they are being killed before birth. We must reject the violence of abortion & embrace the life-affirming gift of adoption.”
Close to 300 people liked the idea of forcing fertile women to give birth for infertile couples. It’s painstakingly hard, in the midst of so many issues under attack, but we must stay vigilant.