Things That Matter

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

@BeautifulToriee / Twitter

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

Protests Arise As El Salvador Prosecutors Seek A Third Trial For Evelyn Hernandez

Things That Matter

Protests Arise As El Salvador Prosecutors Seek A Third Trial For Evelyn Hernandez

@bbcstories / Twitter

There are rising tensions in El Salvador as activists are protesting the attorney general’s decision to seek a third trial for a woman accused of killing her stillborn son. The woman, Evelyn Hernandez, was exonerated in an August retrial after an earlier judgment found her guilty of killing her stillborn son and sentenced her to 30 years behind bars. Hernandez, 21, was found innocent after the judge said there was not enough evidence to convict her of the crime. 

The issue of abortion has always been a widely-debated and divisive topic in conservative El Salvador where abortion is illegal. Many women in the country have been prosecuted for attempting abortions even in dire medical situations. Activists look at Hernandez’s case as an example of an unjust system targeting her due to her limited financial status. 

 “We do not want Evelyn to be viewed as a criminal and persecuted,” Claribel Ayala, a protester outside the attorney general’s office in El Salvador told Reuters. “We’re going to stand with her until justice is done.”

While activists see Hernandez’s case as a trial against women rights, prosecutors are looking at her as a criminal.

Credit: @NARAL / Twitter 

Activists dressed in clown attire took to the streets of El Salvador this week to voice their disapproval of the news that attorney general Raul Melara would be seeking a third trial in Hernandez’s case. Many of them threw confetti-filled eggs at his office and even painted his door red with paint. Melara acknowledges their anger but sees the case with a different lens.  

“There are groups that have a big interest in seeing this as persecution against poverty, that this woman is being targeted because she had an emergency outside the hospital, but the proof is overwhelming and shows this isn’t the case,” Melara told reporters.

Hernandez’s release from prison was viewed as a victory for women rights. 

Credit: @karlazabs / Twitter

Hernandez said she was raped by a gang member and was unaware of her pregnancy until just before delivering a stillborn son back in 2016. She was found on her bathroom floor covered with blood and would be taken to an emergency room by her mother and a neighbor. When doctors examined her they noted that there were visible signs of delivery but found no baby. They reported Hernandez to local authorities and would later find her newborn dead inside of a septic tank.

She’s been convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for the alleged killing of her child. Prosecutors said that she had purposely induced abortion only to leave the newborn to die. Hernandez wound up only serving 33 months out of her original 30-year sentence before being released in February. 

This was due to an appeal before the Supreme Court who said that Hernandez should be released due the original conviction being based on prejudice and insufficient evidence. The acquittal was looked at as a huge victory for women’s rights not only in El Salvador but globally. 

“It was tough to be locked up, especially when I was innocent,” Hernandez said the day she was released. “There are others who are still locked up and I hope they are freed soon.”

Hernandez has maintained her innocence from the start that she had no knowledge of being pregnant. Now prosecutors are looking at a third trial to convict her of killing her newborn child. 

Credit: @marlasirens / Twitter

The attorney general is seeking to convict Hernandez of murder even after being released from prison. While many see Hernandez as the true victim in this ordeal, prosecutors see things differently.  

“As Attorney General of the Republic, we are responsible for the support and accompaniment of women victims in any crime and in any of its modalities, but, in the case of Evelyn Hernández, there are no elements to consider her a victim of any fact, on the contrary, the only victim is her son,” prosecutors said in a statement . “This appeal is the manifestation of the legal protection of … the life of a helpless being who depended absolutely on the care of his mother, who caused his death.”

Hernandez’s legal team is fighting back against these claims saying that the attempt at a retrial is a waste of resources that could be used to serve more important issues. 

“We expected this persecution against Evelyn to stop,” one of her lawyers, Elizabeth Deras, told BuzzFeed News. “Instead, they are spending the state’s resources unnecessarily. Resources that could be used to fight corruption.”

As of now, the request for a new trial must be assessed by a different court before it can proceed legally. The prosecution is looking to sentence Hernandez to 40 years in prison.  

READ: These Are Our Favorite Fast Foods You Can Get In Latin America But Not In The US, Dos Por Favor!

Study Finds That Four Girls Under 13 Are Raped Every Hour In Brazil

Things That Matter

Study Finds That Four Girls Under 13 Are Raped Every Hour In Brazil

jairmessiasbolsonaro / fepaesleme / Instagram

A troubling study is highlighting the horrible state of women’s safety in Brazil. This time, a non-governmental organization found that girls under the age of 13 are facing a horrific trend of rapes within the South American country. Here is what the study by the Brazilian Forum of Public Security found.

A new study shows that four girls under 13 are raped every hour in Brazil.

Credit: Saulo Cruz / Flickr

The study also found that police receive a call every two minutes to report a violent attack against a woman. The study shows a very troubling side of one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women.

“Brazil is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for women,” Valeria Scarance, a public prosecutor, told Brazilian newspaper Globo’s Jornal Nacional. “And the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home.”

To make matters worse, the Brazilian government has been stripping away crucial places of safety for women. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in 2017, the Brazilian government closed 23 shelters for victims fo domestic violence citing budget cuts as the reason. The following year, Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president and it sparked fear and outrage throughout the country. At the start of 2018, the HRC also found that 1.2 million domestic violence cases were pending before courts throughout the country.

The violence against women in Brazil has been at the forefront of Brazilian protests for years, even before the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Credit: @StylistMagazine / Twitter

In the lead up to one of the largest sporting event in the world, Brazilians protested to warn potential tourists of the crimes being committed. The famous Copacabana Beach was filled with panties and images of women who have been sexually assaulted in Brazil.

Brazilians highlighted the death of a 17-year-old girl at the hands of a group of men to warn tourists of the dangers of being in the country.

The election of Jair Bolsonaro reignited the efforts of protesters across the country to bring attention to the violence women face every day in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, like President Trump, energized the far-right of Brazil. Minority groups, women, and the indigenous defenders tried to warn the nation against electing Bolsonaro are the president of Brazil to no avail. Since taking office, Bolsonaro has attacked women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, environmental rights, and anything you can really think of.

In one display of troubling rhetoric, Bolsonaro told a congresswoman that she was not worthy of being raped. He made the statement on Brazil’s TV Globo and stated he wasn’t worth rape because she was too ugly, sparking outrage.

As the world deals with injustices at the hands of apathetic governments, Brazilians are trying to fight to save women.

Credit: @Prynces11 / Twitter

The violence against women is startling in Brazil. Only time will tell if Brazilians will be able to put enough pressure on the nation’s leaders to exact the change they want to see for women’s rights.

READ: Indigenous Women Of Brazil Are Refusing To Keep Quiet Over The Country’s President’s Policies