Things That Matter

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

@VotoLatino / Twitter

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

Rosie Jimenez Was The Hyde Amendment’s First Victim, Today Joe Biden Continues To Support The Anti-Abortion Bill

Things That Matter

Rosie Jimenez Was The Hyde Amendment’s First Victim, Today Joe Biden Continues To Support The Anti-Abortion Bill

Neta / Monique Jimenez

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.

AP News

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.

The Hyde Amendment has faced renewed attention since former-Vice President Joe Biden announced his stance on the law.

Instagram / @RaquelReichard

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.

Northwestern University

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.

Instagram / @ballyhootoronto

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.

Instagram / @latina

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.

Women Across Argentina Are Taking To The Streets Demanding More Freedoms With The #NiUnaMenos Feminist Revolution

Things That Matter

Women Across Argentina Are Taking To The Streets Demanding More Freedoms With The #NiUnaMenos Feminist Revolution

Cecilia Palmeiro is the fierce mujer behind Argentina’s “Ni Una Menos” (not one less) campaign against femicide. Their first national protest was in October 2016, and since then, the movement has touched different corners of a larger issue of systematic female oppression. Abortion is illegal in Argentina, recently ratified after a failed attempt to legalize abortion last year. Ni Una Menos sees abortion rights and economic security as two sides to the same coin.

On Monday, Palmeiro organized another major national strike, drawing in thousands of Argentine poderosas to call on the country to take emergency action for women.

In recent years, Argentina’s economy has plummeted into crisis, causing the government to cut social services.

@RaffaghelliMae / Twitter

The families that once relied on these services are forced into private debt. Palmeiro also sees a rising pattern of women being forced to stay in abusive relationships because it is financially unfeasible to leave.

This year’s protest may have had an undercurrent of economic goals, but the message is the same.

@theGirlMob / Twitter

Protesters held signs showing the faces of women who have been murdered by their abusive partners. The message is simple: we can’t afford to lose one more woman to unfettered sexism.

With another election coming up in October, protesters regrouped the next day to advocate for abortion rights.

@helloallohola / Twitter

Abortion is only legal in Argentina if the woman was raped or the pregnancy is a risk to her health. Congress rejected the National Campaign for Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion’s bill last year. They’re submitting another bill this year to legalize abortion.

These three touchstones–ending domestic violence, ending the economic crisis, and legalizing abortion–are the key to gender equality for Palmeiro.

@AmyBwrites / Twitter

Like most social issues, there isn’t one easy fix. It’s an issue that we, as a society, have created over generations and that take sweeping efforts to untangle and undo.

And, like always, women in poverty feel the effects of patriarchal laws the most severely.

@GabyNaso / Twitter

Yamila Picasso of the National Campaign for Legal, Safe and Free abortion told Al Jazeera, “We see that there is a clear relationship between these factors because abortion is a matter of social justice. Those who have the economic means can have an abortion, and those who do not must have unsafe or clandestine abortions.”

Around Buenos Aires, you’ll find political art wherever you look.

@LasNegrasArre / Twitter

#NiUnaMenos is calling for stricter punishment laws against men who commit violent acts against women, in the hope of deterring and changing the culture. Women feel a danger walking the street that most men don’t, and this bench exemplifies this implicit policing of women’s bodies.

Here, you’ll see the shoes of murdered Argentine women.

@raquelvivanco / Twitter

The National Register of Femicides reported 1193 femicides between March 6, 2015 and May 20, 2019. Leaving the shoes of these women at the steps of Congress was an effort to make their absence more visible.

A walk around Buenos Aires shows abundant examples of protest.

@mariekeriethof / Twitter

This wall effectively reads “Death to machísmo!” #NiUnaMenos’ message is everywhere–from random walls to not so random walls.

#NiUnaMenos is also targeting churches at the heart of abuse scandals.

@mariekeriethof / Twitter

Twitter user @mariekeriethof posted this photo of graffiti on a church that reads “Trash Church.” She writes, “Anti-Church graffiti on the side of Salta’s main church, focusing on abuse. I’ve seen a lot of very angry graffiti on this topic around Chile and Argentina. Also churches with buckets of paint thrown at them by protesters. #niunamenos”

Even the cast of Orange is the New Black is speaking out.

If you care about this issue, tweet out about it using the hashtags #NiUnaMenos or #VivasNosQueremos. Argentina, estamos contigo.

Paid Promoted Stories