Sarah Erdreich Interviews Generation Roe

Feminist Conversations is a regular feature at Feminists for Choice, where we talk to different activists to find out what feminism means to them. This month we’re spotlighting the Feminists for Choice writing team as a way of showing our gratitude for such amazing team members.

Sarah Erdreich joined the Feminists for Choice writing team in the Fall of 2010. (That’s her adorable pooch Hugo in the photo.) Sarah reached out to us after she read an article in the New York Times that examined the perceived generational gap in the feminist movement. When she’s not busy blogging, Sarah is putting the finishing touches on her book Generation Roe.

1.  When did you first call yourself a feminist?  What influenced your decision?
Pretty much from the time that I knew what a feminist was, I called myself one. My family definitely influenced my decision –my parents were, and still are, socially and politically progressive, and they weren’t shy about sharing their beliefs with my sister and me. I remember a button that my mom had when I was a kid, that said “Pro-Family, Pro-Child, Pro-Choice,” and just thinking yeah, that makes sense. I guess to me, being a feminist was just so natural, I never gave it a second thought. [Read more...]

Friday News Roundup

Recognizing Fundamental Human Rights for Abortion Clients and Providers. RH Reality Check.

Why These Are Times of Crisis for Global LGBT Equality – And How Activists are Fighting the Hate. AlterNet.

Birther Queen Gets Shot Down…Again. Huffington Post.

Ultrasound before Medical Abortion Might be Unnecessary, Study Finds. Medical News Today.

Wednesday News Roundup

Lots of news about those anti-choice wingnuts getting their comeuppance.

N. Carolina Anti-choicer on Trial for Making Those Wanted Posters – NPR
Abortion Bomb Plotter Pleads Guilty – Feminist Daily News
Dr. Warren Hern Speaks Ups about How Common Threats Against Abortion Providers Are – Time

On the other hand, the asshats are gloating about the election results. Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman has gone so far as to say “it’s like Christmas morning.” (Read it in the New York Times.)

Anti-Choice Extremists Circulate “Wanted” Posters in North Carolina

Late last week, anti-abortion extremists distributed “Wanted” posters for three abortion providers in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. As Rachel Maddow noted on her show, the information on the posters is “very specific,” and includes pictures, office addresses, and the home address of one doctor.

[Read more...]

Sending a Little Gratitude to Abortion Providers Everywhere

Feminist Conversations is a weekly column at Feminists For Choice. We spotlight pro-choice activists from across the interwebs to find out what feminism means to them. Today we’re talking to Sobdee X, the founder of Born and raised in Bronx, New York, Sobdee, is a recent graduate of Tufts University and an active volunteer with Planned Parenthood New York City.

1. When did you start the Pro-Choice Thank You Notes website, and what was your inspiration?
I started after reading a New York Times Article titled, “The New Abortion Providers.” The article profiled several abortion providers that are actively working to encourage medical schools to offer abortion training and large hospitals to provide abortions. Right now, small private clinics provide a majority of abortion services—making them an easy target for anti-choice protestors.

I was reading the article and just felt so overwhelmed and so thankful for their efforts. I realized, without these doctors, none of my activism matters. It doesn’t matter whether it’s legal or accessible or affordable if there are no doctors willing to literally risk their lives to help women that need it. I cried after reading it and I just keep thinking to myself, How can I support these doctors’ efforts?

And then one day it came to me, I’ll just write them a nice note like I do to my grandmother after she sends me a birthday gift or an employer after an interview. And then I decided to turn it into a movement, to encourage pro-choice women and men to show their gratitude and support of abortion providers, activists and supporters, to combat the endless negativity anti-choice activists spew.

And was born.

2. What has the response been like so far?
The response has been absolutely astounding. Right after starting the blog, I created a corresponding twitter ( and tumblr (, and I immediately gained a number of followers. This is thanks in no small part to some more-established pro-choice groups out there on the internet that have embraced my blog and been so helpful in publicizing my work and helping my site grow.

I receive at least one thank you note per week, addressed to me, from supporters and readers thanking me for my site and for spreading positivity instead of more negativity. At first, I had to ask my friends to submit just so that I had content, but I have been receiving a steady stream of unsolicited thank you notes and it’s very exciting, watching this little thing I created get bigger and more successful. My site has gotten several thousand hits since its founding ten weeks ago thanks to the powers of the internet and I’m very optimistic for the future. [Read more...]

National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers

Abortion providers – and clinic directors, and nurses, and medical students, and clinic escorts, and volunteers* – dedicate their lives to ensuring women have access to safe abortion care. March 10th is the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers – show your support for these amazing health care professionals!

*And probably more people I’m forgetting – please help complete the list!

Wednesday News Roundup

mouse2Smart Girls’ Guide to Good Sex – Huff Po
Washington Abortion Clinic Celebrates 30th Anniversary – Seattle Times
Abortion Pill Hasn’t Broadened Access – Reuters
The Choices Abortion Providers Face – Washington Post
Family Planning Facts – National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association

Thursday News Roundup

mouse2Yesterday the headlines and the Twittersphere were dominated with health care reform news. Here’s a change of pace for you.

What is the Role of Men in the Feminist Movement? – NOMAS
Abortion Providers are Human Rights Defenders – Center for Reproductive Rights
Susan B. Anthony: The Good Fanatic – The Nation
Center for Reproductive Rights Asks Justice Dept. to Increase Protection of Abortion Providers – Miami Herald

New York Bill Would Increase Penalty For Anti-Abortion Crimes

dbb0fcb29f1c980009a779f3b9406f8fThe New York legislature is considering a bill that would raise the penalty for people who commit acts of violence against abortion providers, clinic staff or volunteers. Instead of being a misdemeanor, these violence crimes would be classified as felonies. The bill got a big endorsement last week from Lynne Slepian. Her husband was a Buffalo abortion doctor who was shot and killed sniper-style in his Amherst home in October of 1998. According to RH Reality Check, “anti-choice advocates like Operation Rescue oppose the bill and called it ‘unconstitutional in America’ to afford special privileges to certain groups of people.”

This bill seems unnecessary to me. Violence is violence. If someone like Scott Roeder shoots an abortion provider, the act is murder, pure and simple, and they should be tried for murder. The question, however, is what should the justice system do about stalking behavior and other “less violent” crimes? For example, Dr. Warren Hern of Colorado says that he has lived every day of his life expecting to get capped. He told the LA Times:

Full-length blinds shroud the bulletproof entryway; in his office, vinyl shades block a small window. This is one of the facts of Hern’s life — no windows, ever. That was how Dr. Barnett Slepian’s killer shot him in upstate New York, through a kitchen window. Slepian, like Hern, performed abortions.

“I can’t sit in front of an open window. The shades have to be drawn,” Hern said. . . [Read more...]

Senators Block Bill to Protect Abortion Providers From Violence

ConfusedI’m confused. The recent murder of Dr. George Tiller and the release of a new study that shows that violence against abortion providers is increasing makes this story all the more shocking. Republican senators are blocking a bill that would protect abortion providers from violence. This is from NARAL Pro-Choice America:

The resolution faced objection by some members of the Republican caucus, and the resolution’s chief sponsors said they were urged to eliminate references to women’s reproductive health care in order to unanimously pass the resolution.

“I am at a loss as to how any member of the Senate could oppose an anti-violence resolution,” [NARAL President Nancy] Keenan said. “It doesn’t ask any member of the Senate to change his or her position on abortion. It just reiterates a core American value that, even on issues where there is intense debate, violence is never an option. I commend Sens. Shaheen, Boxer, and Klobuchar, as well as the other 40 senators who cosponsored this resolution, for their leadership, and urge the senators who refused to support it to come out of the shadows and explain why.”

[Read more...]