Things That Matter

Abortion Rights Are Shrinking In America And Latinas Are Not Keeping Quiet

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.

@AOC / Twitter

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.

@xCobbx / Twitter

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.

@amrezy / Twitter

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.

@ryaddabbo / Twitter

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.

@JamilSmith / Twitter

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.

@CanelaRoey / Twitter

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?

@AlfredoFlores / Twitter

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.

@andreagonram / Twitter

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.

@bobcesca_go / Twitter

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.

@kissyhx / Twitter

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.

@Rewire_News / Twitter

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.

@anxietywashere / Twitter

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.

@AOC / Twitter

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.

@AOC / Twitter

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.

@AOC / Twitter

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.

@g0ddamnitmama / Twitter

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.

@inmybadblood / Twitter

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:

@naylia3 / Twitter

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.

@RachelRGonzalez / Twitter

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.

@BeautifulToriee / Twitter

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.

READ: Latinas Raged Outside Of The Supreme Court To Fight Back At Recent Abortion Bans That Are Unconstitutional

Puerto Rico Is Planning To Vote On U.S. Statehood Once Again And Here’s Why So Many Are Against The Idea

Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Is Planning To Vote On U.S. Statehood Once Again And Here’s Why So Many Are Against The Idea

VisitPR / Instagram

Puerto Rican’s are no stranger to referendums. Since 1967, they’ve had five chances to make their opinions known on U.S. statehood and each and every time, their voice hasn’t been listened to. Congress has failed to take up the issue after each referendum and local leaders are often guilty of using the referendum simply to drudge up support for their candidates.

But this upcoming referendum is different in that it comes at a crossroads for Puerto Rican politics. The island has been plagued by natural disasters, political scandals, and unprecedented hate crimes. Even Bad Bunny is letting his thoughts out on the referendum and many others have lots to say on the issue.

For the first time in the island’s history, the referendum will ask a single question: Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted as a U.S. state?

On Saturday, Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood Republican governor, Wanda Vázquez, announced yet another vote on the question (the sixth since 1967 and the third since 2012). It’s a move that comes amid growing frustration with the island’s territorial government and its relationship with the mainland.

However, it’s a question that also outraged the island’s independence supporters and members of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party – which supports the status quo.

But it’s a gamble that members of the governor’s pro-statehood party are confident will pay off given that Puerto Rico has struggled to obtain federal funds for hurricanes Irma and Maria, a string of recent strong earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic amid growing complaints that the island does not receive fair and equal treatment.

“Our people will have the opportunity once and for all to define our future,” Vázquez said. “It’s never too late to be treated as equals.”

The upcoming referendum is just the recent in a long line of previously failed ones.

In the past, voters have been asked more than one question and presented with various options, including independence or continuing with the current territorial status – but none of them have ever been as direct as the upcoming one scheduled for the November 3 general election.

However, many on the island see the referendum as little more than a political move by the governor’s New Progressive Party to get voters out on Nov 3 – to boost her party’s candidates.

The New Progressive Party has been rattled with scandal after scandal and many are ready for change.

The past few years have not been good for the party – or the island for that matter. A string of devastating hurricanes, a severe debt crisis, ongoing corruption scandals that even forced a pro-statehood governor to resign, earthquakes, and now a global pandemic – have all led to challenging times in Puerto Rico. To some observers, the idea seems to be: Let’s dangle the illusion of a yes or no statehood referendum (nonbinding) that is already dead on arrival?

Many also feel that Gov. Vasquez is not truly authorized to make such a decision since she was never actually elected to the office. Instead, she became governor after Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign following massive protests.

Meanwhile, the Republican government on the island doesn’t even have the support of the Republican-led federal government. The Trump administration’s blunt response was basically, “The first priority for all Puerto Rico leaders should be getting their financial house in order.”

This coming November, there will be plenty of incentive to vote “no” and punish the Vázquez administration. Even prominent figures such as Bad Bunny are jumping into the fray against her leadership.

What would statehood mean for Puerto Rico?

Statehood would award Puerto Rico two senators and five representatives, but it’s unlikely a Republican-controlled Congress would acknowledge the referendum because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections. And while the island is exempt from the U.S. federal income tax, it still pays Social Security and Medicare and local taxes and receives less federal funding than U.S. states. Many believe the island’s territorial status has contributed to its struggle to recover from the hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as worsened its economic crisis, largely caused by decades of heavy borrowing and the elimination of federal tax incentives.

Jane Roe’s Anti-Abortion “Conversion” Truth Is The Most Disappointing Revelation Of All Time

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Jane Roe’s Anti-Abortion “Conversion” Truth Is The Most Disappointing Revelation Of All Time

AKA Jane / Hulu

You might not know Norma Leah Nelson McCovey but there’s no doubt that you know her story. Or at least, you thought you did.

Norma McCorvey AKA Jane Roe was a woman who had one of the greatest impacts on U.S. history. Her role as a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Roe v. Wade of 1973 saw a ruling that determined that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws banning abortions in individual states was unconstitutional. The decision was monumental and yet, as great of a part in the historical decision she played, McCorvey quickly and publicly went onto reject her decision to have an abortion and became a mascot of sorts for the anti-abortion movement.

Recently, a documentary exploring the case “AKA Jane” uncovers the truth about McCorvey’s actual beliefs.

In a deathbed confession captured in the documentary, McCorvey admitted that her conversion to the anti-choice movement was “all an act.”

In the years after her abortion and landmark case, McCorvey became a Roman Catholic activist in the anti-abortion movement. In the documentary, McCorvey delivers the ultimate punch in the gut to women around the country when she admits that the only reason that she later became the face of the anti-choice movement was that she had been paid by the Christian Right Movement to do so.

According to the Daily Beast, AKA Jane Roe “finds documents disclosing at least $456,911 in “benevolent gifts” from the anti-abortion movement to McCorvey.”

In the film, McCorvey made the death bed confession.

“This is my deathbed confession,” McCorvey explained in response to a question about whether or not evangelical groups used her. “Of course,” she replies in the documentary. “I was the Big Fish… I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. That’s what I’d say.”

The documentary reveals that McCorvey was a poor, queer, and a sexual abuse survivor.

While rallying for anti-abortion agendas, she was manipulated into becoming a figurehead and made to break up with her long time partner. But her 40-year long role in the anti-abortion movement, touting messages she didn’t actually believe is such a betrayal. Of course, it’s sad that McCorvey felt she needed to choose between a life of comfort and the values she believed in, but the idea that she went back on them at the expense of millions of women in this country for monetary reasons… ay ay ay.

No doubt, women on Twitter have been quick to express their frustration over the deathbed confession.