The Freedom Rides are a powerful symbol, but we—and Stop Patriarchy, which began an “Abortion Rights Freedom Ride” on July 30—should think deeply about what they mean in conversation with the history of abortion rights.
Currently, Pennsylvania has two enacted buffer zones, in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, and a proposed bill to establish buffer zones across the state. But like the legal fate of buffer zones in the country following the McCullen decision, the bill remains “in limbo.”
I have seen countless women reduced to tears and shaking, just for trying to access the health care to which they are constitutionally entitled. That isn’t peaceful assembly. That is harassment, hiding behind the First Amendment.
Reproductive rights advocates around the country are calling for additional safety measures, such as buffer zone laws, to protect staff and patients at reproductive health-care clinics.
The anti-choice movement is up in arms over my play, MOM BABY GOD, and I have a simple message for them: Bring it on. We’re not backing down.
What relatively peaceful anti-choice protesters may not understand is that their behavior is relative: They’re a physical representation of threats that have already been made, and in some cases executed, in the past and online.
I decided to track down some cisgender men to find out what escorting has meant to them, and to better understand why they volunteer to wake up early and stand outside an abortion clinic for hours.
New York City is helping train volunteers for a clinic escort program that will help patients seeking abortion get past anti-choice militants who crowd around clinics slinging invective. Anti-choice whining about this is unintentionally revealing.
Apparently government is only allowed to get involved in clinic operations if it is in order to pass restrictions for women seeking pregnancy terminations.
I really feel that we’re continually fighting a rearguard here. Obama has maintained the status quo (probably) on the Supreme Court. I don’t see a Freedom of Choice Act passing anytime soon. The anti-choicers are out to stop contraception generally, not just abortion, because pregnancy is supposed to be God’s punishment for “easy women.” Combined with Dr. Tiller’s murder and the generally lukewarm response, along with the lack of training for new doctors in abortion care, I worry that we’re going to be seeing a further decline in availability for quite some time.