Repro Rights Roundup: January 15, 2018

Hello and welcome to the Repro Rights Roundup!

1. In “here they go again” news, a fourth undocumented teenager, Jane Moe, has been blocked from receiving an abortion. At this rate, we’re going to run out of fake last names by spring. While this article was written prior to the court filing on Jane Moe’s behalf, this is a good and chilling read on the “reproductive coersion” techniques the administration is using on undocumented women.

2. The Senate has a new champion for women’s rights: new Minnesota senator and former Planned Parenthood official Tina Smith.

3. Abortion doesn’t have to be a surgical procedure. In fact, medication abortions may help women with little to no access to reproductive healthcare obtain an abortion. The study mentioned here looks at Peru, which has highly restrictive abortion laws, but it’s easy to apply these findings to restrictive American states like, oh, we don’t know, Texas.

4. We get great news out of the states more frequently than it probably seems, but the federal government can usually be counted on to be an endless carousel of nightmares, so this is...okay, we guess? Nemesis of choice Teresa Manning has left her role as head of the Title X family planning program, taking her aggressively backwards ideas about birth control and abortion with her. She has been replaced with Valerie Huber, an abstinence-only education advocate who is cut from the same regressive, anti-choice cloth as every other recent appointee to Health and Human Services. Not ideal, obviously, but not Teresa Manning.

5. This is not explicitly about reproductive rights, but we liked it, and we think you will too. As we mentioned back in November, Virginia elected a record number of women to the state legislature. These women were sworn in last week. For an injection of hope, read this feature on their first day in office. Our favorite parts? Delegate Kelly Fowler’s plan to turn the anti-abortion “Day of Tears” into a day to celebrate women in leadership, and the wonderful photos of Delegate Kathy Tran, who came to this country as a boat refugee from Vietnam at only seven months old, taking the oath of office while holding her baby daughter. If the tsunami of ladies in the Old Dominion is a sign of things to come in this year’s midterms, let us just say that we’re really looking forward to the coming matriarchy.

Thanks for joining us at the Roundup! We’ll see you back here 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.

Natalie Tyson