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

After a wave of near-total abortion bans from a staggering eight states in the last few weeks, more than 400 events were planned for a national day of action on Tuesday, and Latinas showed out. A 2018 National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) survey showed that more than half of Latinas can imagine a situation in which abortion could be the right choice for them or their partner. That’s probably because healthcare access is consistently more difficult for women of color, including much-needed birth control to prevent abortions. According to NLIRH, four in ten Latino voters under age 45 have gone without birth control they wanted in the last two years because of access issues.

The research is there. The bans will most significantly impact impoverished communities and women of color. Here’s how Latinas showed up to protest the wave of abortion restrictions that are setting women’s health rights back.

More than 400 protesters appeared outside the Supreme Court on a Tuesday in anger.

@ACLU / Twitter

Since President Trump appointed two conservative justices to SCOTUS, anti-abortion activists are seeing a clearer path to overturning Roe v. Wade. Alabama is the most extreme with a total ban on abortion after six weeks before most women know they are pregnant, with no exception for rape and incest.

Abortion rights activists are once again sharing their personal stories to the public, in hopes to rally allies.

The threat to abortion access is causing women across the country to share their own abortion stories. For years, women were dying in the U.S. as they sought out dangerous abortions because of restrictions on the medical procedure. Now, women are fearful that we are going back to a time where women will die again trying to access abortions.

Four states passed laws that ban abortion after a detected heartbeat–something that happens before most women even know they’re pregnant.

@ACLU / Twitter

For marginalized women and non-binary folks, the ability to detect a missed period, take off work, for both the abortion and transportation to a clinic are nearly insurmountable in such a short amount of time. Many argue that these laws are effectively total abortion bans, which Roe V Wade deemed unconstitutional. This is disproportionately going to impact poor women and women of color in greater numbers.

Alabama’s law does not even include exceptions for rape or incest and women are ready to fight back.

@AlinaTelesur / Twitter

“Una de las más de 400 protestas contra la prohibición al aborto se desarrolla en la Corte Suprema de Justicia en Washington DC” @AlinaTelesur tweeted. “‘Mi cuerpo, mis decisiones,’ ‘el aborto es un derecho,’ ‘dejen de prohibir el aborto’ son algunas de las consignas que se corean aquí. #StopTheBans – at Supreme Court of the United States.”

Missouri’s Legislature passed a bill banning abortions at eight weeks, not yet signed by the governor.

@katto_4 / Twitter

“Tell the anti-rights extremists to stop,” @katto_4 tweeted. “For Argentina, Brazil, and the U.S., abortion is a human right. #StopThebans #AbortoLegal @IntlWomen.”

Many of the bans won’t go into effect until January 2020 but the fight has already started.

@NLIRH / Twitter

Organizations like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) are fighting to ensure it never goes into effect. It will all come down to a conservative-leaning Supreme Court decision and abortion advocates are nervous at the prospect of the Supreme Court hearing the case.

Abortion access is an immigration issue as well.

@votolatino / Twitter

We’ve seen teenagers and women migrants in detention centers being denied abortions. The migrants, who are fleeing sexual violence and are often carrying the product of rape, have been barred, and in some cases, almost forced to carry the fetus to term.

Abortion is gearing up to become a key issue for 2020 elections.

@gescol / Twitter

Georgia is adding punishment for women who miscarry or leave the state for an abortion. We have seen real-world examples of the damage these Draconian penalties have on women. Women in El Salvador could faces decades in jail for a miscarriage, which is an unfortunate and traumatic side effect of some abortions.

The women who showed up yesterday are fighting to ensure it stays that way.

@NLIRH / Twitter

Abortion rights activists want to ensure that they see and hear from their representatives on where they stand. This divisive issue, which has left many Republicans in a moderate to conservative stance, may change as voters continue to place pressure. We saw what pressure on healthcare did to protect Americans’ right access to affordable healthcare.

For now, the poderosas fighting for abortion rights are making their voices heard.

@gmg_az / Twitter

Holding your government accountable and fighting for what you think is right and what the government should do is what being patriotic is all about.

Regardless where you stand, they’re sharing their intimate stories on a stigmatized issue.

@VotoLatino / Twitter

These gente are laying it all out on the line to ensure the media and the public speak up on this issue, and to ensure democracy reigns. Gracias.

READ: #YouKnowMe Is The Viral Hashtag Latinas Are Using To Tell Their Freeing Abortion Stories After Alabama Lawmakers Passed One Of The Most Extreme Abortion Bans In The Country

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

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This Month, Isabel Allende Is Releasing a Memoir and HBO Is Releasing a Mini-Series Based on Her Life

Photo via Getty Images

March is a busy month for Isabel Allende. The most successful Spanish-language author of all time released a new memoir, “The Soul of a Woman”, on March 2nd. On March 12th, HBO released a mini-series based on her life entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”.

Both of these projects focus on the unifying themes of Isabel Allende’s life. How she has defied the patriarchy, bucked expectations, and pursued her dreams while the odds were against her.

The HBO mini-series, entitled “ISABEL: The Intimate Story of Isabel Allende”, covers a lot of ground. From Allende’s childhood in Chile, to the chaotic years of her uncle’s assassination (who happened to be Chile’s president), and her subsequent flight to Venezuela.

The series will also touch on different phases of her life. Her career as a journalist for a progressive feminist magazine. Dealing with her all-consuming grief when her daughter died in 1992. Publishing her first novel–“House of Spirits”–in 1982.

A scene from the trailer of “ISABEL” sums up the hurtles that Allende had to overcome to create a career for herself in the male-dominated world of publishing. “They are going to raise the bar because you’re a woman,” her agent tells her bluntly. “You’ll have to work twice as hard as a man in order to obtain half the prestige.”

Allende’s memoir, “The Soul of a Woman“, on the other hand, reflects on her life through a distinctly feminist lens.

Her publisher describes it as “a passionate and inspiring mediation on what it means to be a woman.” And it doesn’t appear that Allende is shying away from the label of “feminist”. One of the first sentences of her book states: “When I say that I was a feminist in kindergarten, even before the concept was known in my family, I am not exaggerating.”

Despite being 78-years-young, Allende’s beliefs–about feminism, freedom and intersectionality–are incredibly modern. Throughout her lengthy press tour, Allende has been candid about the life experiences that have shaped her beliefs–mainly how witnessing her mother’s suffering at the hands of her father contributed to her “rage against chauvinism.”

Today, Allende remains incredibly in touch with the progressive issues of the moment, like the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.

“In patriarchy, we are all left out: women, poor people, Black people, people with disabilities, people with different sexual orientations,” she recently told PopSugar. “We are all left out! Because it divides us into small groups to control us.”

Above all, Allende believes that we all–especially women–should recognize that we have many of the same goals and dreams. And we’re stronger when we’re united. “Talk to each other — women alone are vulnerable, women together are invincible,” she says.

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Honduras Moves To Enshrine Bans On Abortion And Marriage Equality In The Constitution

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Honduras Moves To Enshrine Bans On Abortion And Marriage Equality In The Constitution

Honduras already has one of the world’s strictest bans on abortion. It’s completely banned in all circumstances, including even in cases of rape and incest, and when the person’s life and the health are in danger. The country also has a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, including recognizing those that were performed abroad.

So, why is the country moving to further limit access to abortion and marriage equality?

The Honduran Congress has voted to make it impossible to legalize abortion and same-sex marriage.

In the first round of voting, the country’s congress had voted to move forward on complete and total constitutional bans against abortion and marriage equality. But lawmakers are taking it a step further, by increasing the votes needed to undo their constitutional amendments in the future.

One lawmaker referred to the legislation as a “constitutional lock” to prevent any future moderations of the abortion law.

However, the amendments require a second reading/vote and activists across the country (and world) are mobilizing to help stop these amendments from being voted in. But they face an uphill battle, as the legislation has overwhelming support within Congress and from the country’s staunchly conservative president.

Honduras already has among the world’s strictest bans on abortion.

Abortion in Honduras is already illegal in all circumstances. The country’s criminal code imposes prison sentences of up to six years on people who undergo abortions and medical professionals who provide them. The government also bans emergency contraception, or “the morning after pill,” which can prevent pregnancy after rape, unprotected sex, or contraceptive failure.

“Honduras’ draconian legislation already bans abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, when the person’s life and the health are in danger, and when the fetus will not survive outside the womb,” said Ximena Casas, Americas women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “This decree will make it virtually impossible to carry out the recommendations from multiple international human rights bodies to end this violation of reproductive rights.”

Honduras also already has a strict ban on same-sex marriage.

The 2005 constitutional amendment prohibits recognizing marriage between people of the same sex, including same-sex marriages contracted in other countries. Honduras also bans adoption by same-sex couples.

“By seeking to permanently and comprehensively block any possibility of accessing marriage for same-sex couples, the Honduran Congress is entrenching state-sponsored homophobia,” said Cristian González Cabrera, Americas lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“In a country where LGBT people already experience high levels of violence and discrimination, this effort to amend the constitution is sending the message that these people may be further stigmatized.”

Congress is also making it harder for future lawmakers to undo their constitutional amendments.

Not only was it not enough to double down on these draconian bans on abortion and marriage equality, lawmakers are moving to increase the threshold of votes to undo their bans.

Constitutional changes have until now been permitted with a two-thirds majority, but the new legislation raises that bar to three-quarters within the 128-member body. The measure still needs to be ratified by a second vote. However, support was clear on Thursday: with 88 legislators voting in favor, 28 opposed and seven abstentions.

Mario Pérez, a lawmaker with the ruling party of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, formally proposed the change last week, calling it a “constitutional lock” to prevent any future moderations of the abortion law.

Many see the constitutional amendment as a response to Argentina’s move to legalize abortion last month.

It was just last month that Argentina voted in favor of legalizing access to abortion. The South American nation became the largest Latin American country to allow abortion after its senate approved the historic law change by 38 votes in favor to 29 against, with one abstention.

For years, abortion has also been illegal in Argentina. The procedure was illegal except in cases where the mother or baby’s lives were in danger. In 2019, the country passed a law that also included rape victims as exceptions. 

The push towards various kinds of gender rights–including abortion rights–has been central to President Alberto Fernández’s administration. The center-left politician campaigned on a platform that emphasized the rights of women, gay, and trans communities since he was elected in 2019. Even throughout the devastation of the pandemic, Fernández has insisted on keeping his promises towards marginalized communities.

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