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Prolonged Eye Contact

The Oyez Project

This is a fantastic Supreme Court resource that I just found. It has archive recordings of almost all the oral arguments brought forth during cases to the Supreme Court. It also has mp3s, transcripts, and case info available. 

Most applicable to this blog is the section on cases in regards to abortion and contraceptives. Also applicable, but for some reason not showing up in that filter, are Eisenstadt v. Baird and Griswold v. Connecticut.

They also have a page dedicated to the Court’s upcoming review of the Affordable Care Act.

Another great resource is this page of reproductive rights cases from FindLaw.


This is a picture of the first birth control pills. Find out more about the history of your pill - yep, the one that they’re trying to take away - on the Feronia Project.

Also from the article:

If you want, you can see more cool images of old-school pill packaging here at PBS. And just for kicks, check out this timeline of contraceptive history at PBS.

Cis-centric but interesting.


This is a picture of the first birth control pills. Find out more about the history of your pill - yep, the one that they’re trying to take away - on the Feronia Project.

Also from the article:

If you want, you can see more cool images of old-school pill packaging here at PBS. And just for kicks, check out this timeline of contraceptive history at PBS.

Cis-centric but interesting.


In order to understand why transphobia and cissexism persist and are continually perpetuated throughout feminist communities, particularly the vegetarian-ecofeminist community, it is important to consider the origins of anti-trans advocacy as a conscious project of prominent, elite White feminists in the 1970s. In the late sixties and early seventies, trans people were very active in the women’s and queer liberation movements. The Compton’s Cafeteria and Stonewall rebellions of the sixties are evidence of that, as are women like Beth Elliot of the Daughters of Bilitis, Sandy Stone of Olivia Records, and Stonewall veteran Silvia Rivera who was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance.

So it’s important to keep in mind that trans women, and trans people more generally, were an integral part of the early women’s liberation movement. But in the mid- to late-seventies, there was a transphobic backlash within feminism to systematically remove and exclude trans people, explicitly transsexual women, from the women’s and queer movements. For example, Rivera was targeted and physically attacked by cissexist women separatists at a gay rights rally. Elliot was targeted by Robin Morgan and separatists at a lesbian women’s conference. Stone was targeted by Janice Raymond and forced out of Olivia Records with threats of a boycott. And Gloria Steinem of Ms. magazine openly attacked trans women.

Over the last couple decades, there has been an increase in organizing and activism by trans people, yet we continue to be the targets of a systematic backlash from elite feminists. So-called ‘women-born women’ policies are still used to exclude transsexual women from participating in our own movement. And while trans women are disproportionately targeted by homelessness, prisons, and sexual and physical violence, an alliance between anti-trans feminists and the state has been used to circumvent human rights laws in order to bar us from many vital women’s facilities and services. Trans women have even been forced out of women’s services organizations they helped create.

Ida Hammer, in an interview with Bitch Magazine (via mikroblogolas)

(Source: kiriamaya, via tal9000)


late 18th century “national midwife of France” made these soft models to educate women/midwives in training about childbirth

*people capable of getting pregnant.

(via doulaness)

A man who assisted in autopsies in a big urban hospital, starting in the mid-1950s, describes the many deaths from botched abortions that he saw. ‘The deaths stopped overnight in 1973.’ He never saw another in the 18 years before he retired. ‘That,’ he says, ‘ought to tell people something about keeping abortion legal.’

Sunday was the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (via motherjones)




From, one of the more disturbing historical artifacts of the late 20th Century: “An audio recording made on November 18, 1978, at the Peoples Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana immediately preceding and during the mass suicide or murder of over 900 members of the cult.”

A good deal more on Jonestown, including transcripts of various tapes such as this one, can be found here:

I remember when this happened. I was 11—too young to wrap my head around the insanity of a mass suicide of 900 people.

Actually, I’m still too young. 

Listening to this… chills the blood.

And you wonder what courage it must have taken for Christine Miller — whose rebellious voice you hear on the first half of the recording — to take the microphone and speak against Jim Jones.

I can’t believe there’s a tape of this. I kind of can’t believe I listened to it all. I read through some of the source material and noticed that Jackie Speier, the congresswoman who spoke about her experience with abortion this past year, was one of the wounded in the attack on the airstrip.

From her Wikipedia page:

Speier served as a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan. Speier was part of the November 1978 fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the Reverend Jim Jones and hisPeoples Temple followers, almost all of whom were American citizens who had moved to Jonestown with Jones in 1977 and 1978.[5] Speier was one of only two members of the mission who were concerned enough about potential violence to make out a will before traveling to Jonestown.[10] Several Peoples Temple members ambushed the investigative team and others boarding the plane to leave Jonestown on November 18. Five people died, including Congressman Ryan. While attempting to shield herself from rifle and shotgun fire behind small airplane wheels with the other members of the team, Speier was shot five times and waited 22 hours before help arrived.[11] The murder of Congressman Ryan was the only assassination of a Congressman in the line of duty in the history of the United States.[12] That same day, over 900 of the remaining members of the Peoples Temple died in Jonestown and Georgetown.

Jackie Speier was shot 5 times and waited almost 24 hours for help. And we thought she was a BAMF for talking about abortion. What an amazing life she’s had.

I wasn’t going to reblog this until I saw Foul Mouthed Liberty’s commentary on Jackie Speier. WOW. I wrote about her experience with abortion back when H.R. 358 was being debated on c-span. I had no idea this had happened to her as well. BAMF is right!

Some nineteenth century feminists opposed abortion because it threatened the social status of women. The mostly middle-class, white leadership of the women’s movement thought abortion represented the misfortune and inferior morality of working class women and prostitutes. Thus, feminists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were unable and unwilling to advocate for legalized abortion. Perhaps the complexity of the issues overwhelmed their good intentions and caused them to do unintentional harm.

Linda Weber’s Life Choices: The Teachings of Abortion

You have to consider the historical context in which feminist opposed abortion. Ciswomen’s roles were almost completely different a century ago. Abortion procedures weren’t nearly as safe. Classism and racism absolutely influenced the feminists’ stance on abortion, as seen above, which fed into concerns about the shrinking population of “desirable” people (white, able-bodied, Christian, upper-class).

If anyone has more information on the history of anti-abortion feminism, I’d love to see it.

(via bebinn)

Favorite Documentary?

I’m working on a documentary super-post. Not just about docs, but actually embedded videos that you can watch. I have about 15 of my favorites, but I’m wondering if people have any suggestions I might want to look into? I’ll probably delete this post in about a week, but I’d love to hear from you! Any interesting topic is welcome, my taste is very eclectic. <3

Howard Zinn, "A People's History of the United States" (full book)


My viewpoint, in telling the history of the United States, is different: that we must not accept the memory of states as our own. Nations are not communities and never have been, The history of any country, presented as the history of a family, conceals fierce conflicts of interest (sometimes exploding, most often repressed) between conquerors and conquered, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, dominators and dominated in race and sex. And in such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, as Albert Camus suggested, not to be on the side of the executioners.

Thus, in that inevitable taking of sides which comes from selection and emphasis in history, I prefer to try to tell the story of the discovery of America from the viewpoint of the Arawaks, of the Constitution from the standpoint of the slaves, of Andrew Jackson as seen by the Cherokees, of the Civil War as seen by the New York Irish, of the Mexican war as seen by the deserting soldiers of Scott’s army, of the rise of industrialism as seen by the young women in the Lowell textile mills, of the Spanish-American war as seen by the Cubans, the conquest of the Philippines as seen by black soldiers on Luzon, the Gilded Age as seen by southern farmers, the First World War as seen by socialists, the Second World War as seen by pacifists, the New Deal as seen by blacks in Harlem, the postwar American empire as seen by peons in Latin America. And so on, to the limited extent that any one person, however he or she strains, can “see” history from the standpoint of others.

My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present. And the lines are not always clear. In the long run, the oppressor is also a victim. In the short run (and so far, human history has consisted only of short runs), the victims, themselves desperate and tainted with the culture that oppresses them, turn on other victims.

Still, understanding the complexities, this book will be skeptical of governments and their attempts, through politics and culture, to ensnare ordinary people in a giant web of nationhood pretending to a common interest. I will try not to overlook the cruelties that victims inflict on one another as they are jammed together in the boxcars of the system. I don’t want to romanticize them. But I do remember (in rough paraphrase) a statement I once read: “The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don’t listen to it, you will never know what justice is.”

Howard Zinn, “Chapter 1: Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress,” A People’s History of the United States

another non-downloadable link to the book can be found here.

(via theowlintheolivetree-deactivate)

“Motherhood By Choice, Not Chance”

Based on the trilogy, From the Back-Alleys to the Supreme Court & Beyond, this riveting film brings alive the history of the struggle for women’s reproductive rights in the U.S. and the chilling facts about the current threat to those rights. Intimate interviews reveal the passion of people who moved abortion from the danger of the back alleys to a safe, legal choice. 

Spanish subtitles


Dr. King Supported Margaret Sanger & Planned Parenthood, Why Won't You?


Let’s be clear: There is flagrant hypocrisy tainting the GOP’s assault on Planned Parenthood. They accuse Planned Parenthood of eugenics, while simultaneously flooding their proposed policies with the same. The dysgenic nature of our healthcare, welfare, and tax system—which prolongs the lives of those marginalized groups in society who would otherwise fall victim to natural selection—leads Conservatives to attempt to implement eugenics into a capitalist system. There have been studies proving that an improvement in the quality of healthcare, nutrition, and public social services, directly increases population growth; yet these are the very programs that conservatives would like to see stripped from the budget. By removing them, they successfully blur the lines between church and state, strip women of their reproductive rights based on nothing more than religious conjecture, and deceptively facilitate the genocide they attempt to blame on Planned Parenthood.

I just want to add that I find it incredibly hypocritical and disturbing that antichoicers cling to Sanger’s eugenicist past (which has nothing to do with the Planned Parenthood of today) while they propose policies of eugenics right now.

And of course all of this is merely a continuation of the “welfare queen” stereotype created and perpetuated by Republicans; a party whose platform is built on racism, classism, and sexism.

(Source: brettakins, via fuckyeahchoice)

Opening up my blog for submissions!

Submit stuff here!

1) Stories: Do you have experiences with abortion, adoption, or a relevant story about parenting? Do you have a story about Planned Parenthood or a health clinic that helped you? Did you have a negative experience with a crisis pregnancy center? Is there a relevant story available online that you want me to post or look at? Are you a fellow trans* person who has an experience to share in regards to abortion or feeling erased in the repro rights/feminism community [I’d love some of these, I haven’t really had much luck finding any!] Do you have a story about an illegal abortion? Or a story about reproductive coercion and birth control sabotage? Are you a doctor, nurse, or med student with a story about reproductive health? Are you an abortion provider, or training to be one? I think personal accounts help counter the fetus focus fallacy so many antis concentrate on, and give a voice to the abstract notion of reproductive rights.

2) Cartoons, prochoice memes, sarcastic stuff

3) New studies, reports, research, statistics, etc. Can be news articles talking about them or abstracts/pdfs of the study itself.

4) Political news or updates, new legislation being proposed, new abortion/reproductive health restrictions. Charts, graphs, maps, etc.

5) Also resources like abortion funds, helpful information, free coupons for Plan B or other products, petitions, charities, etc.

6) This is unequivocally a prochoice blog, so if you submit antichoice propaganda I will either delete it or debunk it if I have time. If you are prochoice and want me to debunk antichoice propaganda for you, make sure to leave a note with the submission.

7) My view of prochoice is holistic in the sense that it should encompass more than abortion. Abortion is the right under constant attack so I understand why that tends to be the focus, but all of the following topics are welcome here (not exhaustive):

  • abortion, adoption (choosing adoption or being adopted), adoption reform, parenting, childbirth choices (home birth, VBACs, choosing c-section, forced c-section, midwives, etc), family planning, comprehensive sex education, reproductive rights globally, forced sterilization, the right for young child free people to be sterilized, historical documents relating to reproductive rights, the history of abortion/pregnancy/medicine, feminism, consent/rape/rape culture, trans* issues, GSM issues, race/class/gender issues, making the prochoice movement more inclusive, exposing CPCs, antichoice violence and propaganda, reproductive coercion and birth control sabotage, conscience clauses, reproductive rights being muddled with religion, and doulas (for pregnancy or abortion).

Inter-country Adoption: Steep Declines in International Adoptions by U.S Parents Reflect Mixed Record

"Since World War Two, approximately one million children have been internationally adopted; leaving their country of origin and placed with adoptive families in other nations. Because US families have received at least 50 percent of these children we have been called an “Adoption Nation.” Children have arrived from a variety of countries, including Korea, Vietnam, China, Russia, Cambodia, and Guatemala. Recently, Ethiopia, with at least 5 million orphaned and vulnerable children, has become a popular source for adoptive children.

For many committed to inter-country adoption, it is unfortunate that since the year 2004 the practice has declined more than 50 percent. In sheer numbers, this means that we reached an all-time high of receiving 22,991 children that year and six years later, in 2010, we only had 11,058 children arrive in the US as international adoptees. The 2011 data indicates another decline to 9320 children sent to the US as adoptees.


Even with so much good, there has been a dark side to adoption. It is a practice which has more than its fair share of scandals.

The 2010 case of the young boy sent back to Russia unaccompanied with nothing more than a note requesting adoption “annulment” is a good example.

Then, there was the Russian girl named Masha Allen who was adopted by a pedophile and he proceeded to sell her sexual abuse photo images into Internet pornography. Her case was eventually heard before US Congress when Masha testified about the abuse and asked “why didn’t anyone come to check on me?” 


It is hard to forget that during the 2010 aftermath of the Haitian earthquake that a faith or mission group from Idaho attempted to illegally remove or traffic children into the Dominican Republic for the purpose of inter-country adoption. International press eventually identified that most of the children were not ‘orphans’ and their families believed that the children would be cared for and that their families would be able to visit with them and retain relations. When you think about it, families living in extreme poverty could so easily be led to believe such a thing and in a moment of desperation and hope. Allowing your child to leave with a stranger from the U.S. who promises of food and an education may be the only sense of salvation in the moment of disaster chaos. The desperate act eventually plays out as a decision made in haste and with a misrepresentation of intent. Legally such a scenario it fits international child abduction definitions when poor families are unable to retrieve children and then the children enter into adoption schemes.

There have been cases like Cambodia where an American adoption ‘facilitator’ orchestrated child ‘adoptions.’ Rural and mainly illiterate Cambodian families were often given a small sum of money and a bag of rice in exchange for their signature on critical legal documents. Again, these children were not orphans but they were desirable children—relatively young and healthy children who were easily matched with eager US families willing to pay $20,000 or more for the adoption. Investigators found that some of these Cambodian families were led to believe that their children were going to boarding schools overseas.


More recently, the most notorious adoption nation with profound problems has been Guatemala. Approximately 30,000 children departed as inter-country adoptees from 1999-2007. […] Problems ranged from birth mother payments to induce adoption arrangements to actual child abduction for adoption. Recently, UN investigators found patterns of organized crime and the highest profile adoption attorney in Guatemala is now serving a 26-year prison sentence. She is linked to a range of problematic cases, including high profile child abduction cases.

Sadly there are three mothers in Guatemala who have taken to hunger protests for their individual daughters return from the U.S. One of those three women now has a Guatemalan court order for her daughter’s repatriation as a victim of abduction. The U.S. family in question, living in Missouri, has thus far ignored the court order with the exception of making a nationally-televised statement that they do not believe such a return to be in the best interests of their daughter.”

[All are excerpt quotes from article but I took some liberties with formatting to make the separate cases easier to distinguish.]