Repro Rights Roundup: January 23, 2018

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Hello and welcome to the Repro Rights Roundup! It’s been quite a week, so let’s dive in.

1. The Roundup has covered no shortage of infuriating bullshit in its short existence, but this is really something. You have probably heard by now that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights has created what they’re calling the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division. While the division will also protect healthcare professionals who want to discriminate against LGBT patients, its main purpose is to demonize abortion and those who seek it. This administration’s HHS is full of religious extremists, nearly all of whom have devoted significant parts of their life to attacking the right to choose. Yet again, the right to religious freedom upon which our country is founded gets bastardized by those who use it as a vehicle for bigotry. We here at the Roundup don’t like to overstate the awfulness of something when the facts are bad enough on their own, but it is not hyperbolic to say this is downright Orwellian.

And unfortunately, that’s not all that the folks at HHS have up their sleeves.

2. The House passed a stunningly awful anti-choice bill last week. Called the “Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”, this piece of work is based on nothing we could reasonably call science and is intended to scare doctors away from performing abortions. For those who feel like heightening their blood pressure, Rewire has a good explainer.

3. This past Saturday, Women’s Marches were held all across the country. It’s heartening to see how many feminists took to the streets this year. The Resistance is alive, well, and stronger than our adversaries could ever be. Also alive, well, and strong? The Resistance’s sign game.

4. Get yourself some inspiration! If you didn’t have the chance to read this wonderful interview with women’s health champion Dr. Willie Parker when it was published earlier last year, do yourself a favor and check it out now. His powerful thoughts on the work he does are a light in what so frequently seems like endless darkness. We are grateful for Dr. Parker and immensely proud to work alongside him.

5. Yesterday, January 22, was the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It’s more urgent now than nearly any time in the last forty-five years to stand up in defense of safe, legal abortion. Read A Is For’s thoughts on Roe’s birthday. We know we can count on you to join us in the fight to protect it.

Thanks for joining us at the Roundup! We’ll see you next week.

Natalie Tyson is a contributor to A Is For. Natalie lives in Virginia, where she writes stuff, bakes stuff, and drinks a truly remarkable amount of seltzer water. You can't find her on any social media - it terrifies her - but she's glad you asked. She accepts tips.