Reproductive Freedom News Round Up

Courtesy of SQUAT Birth Journal, here is a round up of recent news around birth, reproductive rights, and mothers fighting for their dignity.

Midwives and supporters gather outside the Arizona state capital
on theInternational Day of the Midwife
Source: Desert Free Press
Last week people around the world celebrated the International Day of the Midwife, organizing walks and talks to celebrate the role of midwives in serving women and babies, particularly in developing countries. The Virtual International Day of the Midwife hosted a 24-hour online conference, and the proceedings are now available online.
Afghanistan is the worst place to be a mother, according to Save the Children’s Annual Global Mother’s Index. One of every 11 women die in childbirth in Afghanistan, and only one of every five children in the country will live to age 5. In contrast, Norway was deemed the best place to be a mother, with the US at spot 31. Continue reading

Urgent Need for Legal Funds for Sarah- Pittsburgh Pro-Choice Activist

Sarah – a pro-choice activist and feminist is in urgent need of legal funds surrounding politically charged criminal proceedings she’ll be facing in the coming months.

Police arrested Sarah in December 2010 during a regularly occurring pro-choice demo where she and other activists hold welcoming signs for patients entering reproductive health clinics to combat the harassment anti-choicers inflict on patients. The courts pinned Sarah with outlandish felony and misdemeanor charges. On arrest, the arresting officer purposefully misgendered Sarah as male (despite previously referring to Sarah as “she”) before his colleagues subjected her to abuses within the jail due to her sexual orientation and gender expression.

Sarah is currently on her way to trial. The first preliminary hearing ended in a continuance as neither the anti-choicers nor the police showed up. During the second preliminary hearing date, all legally involved were in attendance. During the hearing the antis were relentless, stating blatant lies on the stand. The judge recommended a plea deal to drop Sarah’s charges to a summary offense of which the antis turned down. The judge attempted to convince them that the Christian thing to do would be to have some mercy – advising them to think very hard about choosing to disrupt Sarah’s life in such a way.  Ignoring the judge’s advice, the antis insisted on pressing charges. Sarah is a queer, single mother of a three year old child. As apparently these “pro-family” Christians have little room for consideration of the welfare of children beginning life outside the womb, Sarah is being forced into a long criminal court process during which she will have to spend time away from her child and afford childcare costs.

Anti-choice Christians claim that they care about women and children. They allege to come from a place of gentle love and compassion. These are the same people who have told pro-choice counter protesters (trigger warning!) that women’s clothes invite rape, that they themselves would rape women if it weren’t for Jesus, and that child victims of molestation and sexual assault who undergo abortions should face jail time, among other misogynistic, infectious, and anti-family sentiments. These people clearly demonstrate the anti-choice movement’s true purpose: controlling women. It is not about caring for the life and health of children or their parents. Countering anti-choice harassment and supporting patients is very important for these reasons and a thousand others. We cannot let these people and their lies stop patient support, nor can we allow the legal system to harm mothers and children in our communities.

Through organizing and attending clinic protests over the past months, Sarah has shown endless commitment to supporting women and countering the damaging effects of the anti-choice movement in Pittsburgh. Please show her your support in return.

Sarah is in urgent need of monetary support so that she can be properly represented in court to allow her to get back to her normal life with her family. We need to raise $5,000 to cover expenses including those for legal counsel, court fees, and childcare costs.

(Note: Danielle Iorio will be handling the majority of donations made to Sarah’s legal fund in order to maintain Sarah’s privacy.)

To donate securely electronically using paypal, click here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=TYWJ59WCM65EL

Please submit cash and checks to Danielle Iorio.

PLEASE DO NOT MAKE CHECKS OUT IN SARAH’S NAME.

Checks can be made out to Danielle Iorio and can be sent to the Pittsburgh ABC PO BOx:

Sarah’s Legal Fund

c/o ABC Pgh

PO Box 9272

Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Please direct any further questions to pittsburghpcwc@gmail.com

Thank you very much for your support!

 

SQUAT Anarchist Birth Journal now available online

SQUAT: An Anarchist Birth Journal is finally up online so people can read it for free if they like. We’re sorry that it has taken us so long to get it hosted, but we’re super happy to announce that it can now be found here.

Print it out, share it with friends, do what you like with it.

And submit stuff to us for the next issue at submissionstosquat@gmail.com!

Announcing the release of a new anarchist birth journal: SQUAT

A note from one DABC member: This article has nothing to do with prisoners or state repression, the two main themes we’ve come to expect from the work that an Anarchist Black Cross chapter contributes to. However, we at DABC have made it a priority to identify other ways that we can contribute to other forms of movement defense, including providing internal support for families, children, and babies. This means that we take birth, the politics of birth, supporting families and kids, and youth liberation just as seriously as we take supporting our imprisoned comrades and those that face the wrath of the state. To get involved with a project that focuses on these topics, email us at denverabc@rocketmail.com and ask us about out “Nurturing Liberation” project. ❤

We’re super excited to announce that the 1st issue of SQUAT, a radical birth journal, has just been published!

SQUAT Birth Journal is a publication that brings forth the latest talk from radical midwifery. It provides a forum for midwives, doulas and friends of radical midwifery to share opinions, information, and show support. This issue features articles on: Unassisted Homebirth, Breech Homebirth, Childbirth and Social War, Radical Doulas, Due Dates, Artwork by Kate Hansen, and more!

Also, we will be hosting the first annual SQUAT Camp in August, an alternative conference for midwives, doulas, parents, and allies. Registration is filling up fast, so if you’d like to join us, e-mail us for a registration form asap. We’ve organized some great workshops (topics including abortion, the licensure movement, unassisted birth, gender, EFT, race within the midwifery movement, & more!), and will have the pleasure of being joined by special guests like Christa Bell, Whapio of The Matrona, and others.
Continue reading