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February 2, 2016

FEATURED BLOG

"Someone You Love Has Had an Abortion: It's Time To End the Silence,"Debra Hauser, Salon: Commemorating the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Hauser, who is the executive director of Advocates for Youth, writes, "[I]n a nation in which one in three women will get an abortion in her lifetime -- including me -- chances are that you love someone who has had an abortion, but you might not know about it." She states, "With a statistic like that, there's no shortage of stories about the need for safe, affordable abortion access. We just need to tell them." Citing the rapid increase in state-level abortion restrictions over the past decade, Hauser writes, "If you listen to the antiabortion right, they will claim that abortion is still 'legal,' even as they create an atmosphere to make it nearly impossible for women to obtain medical care." She points to anupcoming Supreme Court ruling over provisions in Texas' omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2), writing that individuals' personal abortion stories make this case particularly significant because their experiences call into question antiabortion-rights lawmakers' claims about protecting women's health. Hauser praises the recent increase in shared abortion storytelling, such as the Twitter hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion and Advocate for Youth's 1 in 3 Campaign, writing, "Telling our stories isn't just an effective response to those who aim to limit access to women's health services; it's also a way to connect with and motivate each other." Noting that the "Supreme Court justices need to hear the real effects of restrictive abortion laws on women," Hauser concludes, "It is essential to center stories of real abortion experiences like mine or those of Texas women in the debate about our country's abortion policies and keep Americans aware of the mounting attempts to place 'undue burdens' on access to abortion care" (Hauser, Salon, 1/29).

What others are saying about the abortion-rights movement and access to care:

~ "Zika Virus and the Hypocrisy of Telling Women To Delay Pregnancy," Emma Saloranta, Huffington Post blogs.

~ "Siri, Find Me an Abortion Provider: Apple's Weird Anti-Choice Glitch Is Finally on Its Way Out," Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon.

FEATURED BLOG

"The Flint Water Emergency Is a Reproductive Health Crisis," Kanya D'Almeida, RH Reality Check: D'Almeida writes about the reproductive health implications of the Flint water crisis, a state and federal emergency which has resulted in lead poisoning among Flint, Mich., residents and which "has particularly serious consequences for maternal and child health." According to D'Almeida, "Reproductive justice advocates say the situation in Flint not only represents a local public health emergency but also mirrors a larger crisis of reproductive justice for low-income women of color around the country." D'Almeida writes, "For reproductive health-care providers, the decision to respond to calls from the community was an obvious one." According to D'Almeida, Planned Parenthood's Flint clinic, "which sees about 3,200 patients annually, amounting to close to 7,000 visits each year, initially distributed water filters in partnership with the Flint Health Department, and later began to hand out free bottled water." D'Almeida points to Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan outreach manager, Tunde Olaniran, who raised concerns about the crisis to Planned Parenthood after "'listening to the voices of women of color and [local] organizations like the Genesee County Healthy Sexuality Coalition and the Coalition for Clean Water, who were talking about the toxicity of water long before any reports were released.'" According to D'Almeida, the Planned Parenthood clinic in Flint continues to care for people affected by the water crisis, such as by "urging women to 'pump and dump' their breast milk, especially if they haven't been tested; advising men on the possibility of lead contamination reducing their sperm count; and handing out resources, including lists of where testing is being done" (D'Almeida, RH Reality Check, 1/26).

What others are saying about reproductive justice:

~ "Why Planned Parenthood Was One of the First To Combat the Flint Water Crisis," Bryce Covert, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."