Repro Rights Roundup: December 4, 2017

Welcome back to the Repro Rights Roundup!

It’s been an active few days on the abortion front. Let’s dive right in.

1. In an utterly horrifying, yet unsurprising turn of events, Senate Republicans attempted to sneak personhood legislation into their tax bill. (We mentioned a couple of Roundups ago that this might happen.) There were some slight changes - where the version that passed out of the Senate Finance Committee contained personhood legislation in the form of a tax break, this bill includes “unborn children” as eligible beneficiaries of 529 college savings plans - but the sneaky, malicious attempt at sticking anti-abortion legislation into an unrelated bill remains the same. Thankfully, the provision was quickly removed after it was found to violate the Byrd rule. Knowing this government, though, we are by no means in the clear. The bill will now go back to the House, where the differences between the House and Senate bills will be reconciled. It is highly likely that the House will sneak personhood or other anti-choice language into the reconciled bill. The breakneck pace at which this bill is being moved through Congress means it is that much more important for you to call your representatives in both houses to let them know in no uncertain terms that personhood language is unacceptable, and they will not have your support if they vote for any legislation containing it. While you’re there, we highly encourage you to voice your opinions on any other provisions of the bill you might find awful. There’s certainly a lot to choose from.

2. The Justice Department is relitigating the Jane Doe abortion case, “effectively declaring war on attorneys who challenge the administration”. Keep an eye on this case; these people are on a mission to violate abortion rights however they can, and we have to stay vigilant. The Roundup will bring you updates as they become available.

3. This landmark report focuses on the criminalization of abortions performed outside of the formal healthcare system. It’s an important read. Protecting reproductive rights means protecting those who seek it in nontraditional ways, and we can’t beat them if we don’t know what we’re up against. There are also charts and maps, if that’s something you’re into.

4. Rather than giving it to families in need, Texas is funneling $3 million in TANF funds to their anti-choice Alternatives to Abortion program.

5. And since it can’t all be bad news: December is Human Rights Month! Reproductive rights are human rights, and A Is For is proud to stand up and fight for them.

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.

Natalie Tyson