American prisons have a dark history of forced sterilization: Louisville residents protested forced sterilizations in 1971. Photo from the Southern Conference Educational Fund via the History News Network.
When I first caught sight of a Madeline Burrows, the writer and performer at the center of new play Mom Baby God, I wanted to head straight for the bathroom and hide. She was sporting a side ponytail and pink hoodie, chatting up theatergoers with a chirpy valley girl lilt about some sort of “Students for Life Conference.” Just as I was about to make a beeline for the can, she caught me in her weird immersive-theater snare.
I remember a simpler time when shopping at a craft store was not a political act. In those hazy golden days of about three years ago, I could simply waltz into a Hobby Lobby, purchase some fabric glue and sequins and not feel like I’d just turned my dollars over to a right-wing cause.
This week, the executives of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are at the Supreme Court backing a lawsuit that could gut the new federal requirement that companies’ provide insurance coverage for birth control.
Why does rape happen? Because a rapist chooses to rape someone. Because someone felt so entitled to sex, they didn’t care whether their selected partner was able or willing to consent. No one is disagreeing there. But why does that choice happen? Where does that sense of entitlement come from?
If you ask RAINN or TIME magazine, they wouldn’t be able to give you an answer.
Thousands of people attended weekly “Moral Monday” protests at the North Carolina state capital this year, speaking up against voter ID laws, for protecting abortion access, and for decreasing income inequality. Now they have a soundtrack: a group of North Carolina artists have put together an album inspired by the protests called We Are Not For Sale.
• On Wednesday, the Michigan legislature passed a bill that bans private insurance plans from covering abortions. Women can buy extra coverage for unplanned pregnancies that many are calling "rape insurance", but Jessica Valenti argues that this phrase creates a hierarchy of good and bad abortions that limits reproductive justice for all women. [The Nation]
• Queers for Economic Justice, a progressive non-profit organization that has been dedicated to addressing poverty and inequality through a lens of sexual and gender liberation, has announced that they will be closing due to lack of funds, and they urge their supporters to continue the fight for justice. [Queers for Economic Justice]
At times, it can seem like the best way to get good treatment from the government is to be a corporation. Since corporations are people and have free speech thanks to the Citizens United decision, do they have any other rights normally afforded to human citizens? Depending on what the Supreme Court decides in coming months, corporations may have the right to decide their employees’ birth control choices.
Despite the fact that 99 percent of U.S. women will use birth control in their lifetime, contraception is still somehow controversial to many politicians. Just look at the Republicans throwing a fit to defend the right to deny women access to getting birth control through their employer’s health insurance.
Photo of a Texas pro-choice protester by Mirsasha (Creative Commons)
After a three-day trial, a Texas judge ruled today that a key section of the state’s controversial slate of abortion-rights restriction laws is unconstitutional. The laws, which thousands of Texans filled the state Capitol to protest or support last summer, were set to go into effect at midnight tonight.