texas state senator breaks glass table with gavel cutting off pro-choice testimony

On Wednesday, a trio of anti-abortion measures continued to wend their way through the Texas State Legislature, buoyed by Republicans’ expectations for a more conservative Supreme Court. A Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing included testimony from NARAL Texas legislative intern Maggie Hennessy, whose speech decrying SB 415 ended abruptly when Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) smashed his gavel quite hard on the glass table, which was later shown to have cracked. Seems like ridiculously bad optics for a guy trying to crack down on women’s reproductive rights, but what do I know?

Find the rest of the article here on Jezebel.

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Women’s March on Washington

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Official Facebook page

OFFICIAL STATEMENT, National Organizers

On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us–women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE.

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This is an INCLUSIVE march, and EVERYONE who supports women’s rights are welcome.

PLEASE SHARE, we need to spread the word everywhere! And there are groups forming for EVERY STATE, so search for your local group as well!

We especially need HOSTS and ORGANIZERS from marginalized communities for this to be truly inclusive, please DM your state administrator to get involved!

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A Plumber or a President?

I don’t remember what segment of NPR it was, or who was being featured, but I remember one thing he said. It’s given me a lot to think about over the past few weeks. This particular guest was asked if he thought Trump’s overtly discriminatory attitudes disqualified him from being presidential material and his response was, “Look, I view the president, and really every member of the government, as someone who’s there to do a job. Like a plumber or a builder. They’re there to fix something. I don’t care what they’re doing or saying when they’re not on the clock. They’re there to do a job and that’s it.”

At first, I thought this was a unique way to look at it. Down to a point – yes, no bullshit, they’re there to fix something. But then I started really thinking about that sentiment, and I began to wonder if that was perhaps a too-narrow way to look at the most powerful offices in the land. They are indeed there to fix stuff, don’t get me wrong. But aren’t there moral responsibilities that also go with the job? Can you really look at the office of the president through the lens of a plumber or builder?

the science behind abortion

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It’s not very often that we find anything dealing with abortion that isn’t emotionally, politically or religiously charged, which to some degree is understandable. It’s a touchy subject, with as many voices as there are mouths (even those mouths that really don’t have a clue what they’re saying.) This comic from Oh Joy Sex Toy takes a medical approach to what is in reality one of the safest medical produces we have today, giving an outline of what women who are considering an abortion are looking at going through with actual resources for further research.

an answer to those who use the bible to justify being anti-marriage equality

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This article is rather campy, but the original quotes are brilliant.

Mike Huckabee posted on his Facebook page:

“I may be lonely, I may be the only one, but I’m going to stand absolutely faithful to the issue of marriage not because it’s a politically expedient thing to do because it isn’t. I’m going to do it because I believe it’s the right position, it’s the biblical position, it’s the historical position.”

And here was the answer:

“There is no one biblical position on marriage, there are many and they include situations in which a soldier could take a POW as a wife, where a rapist was forced to marry his victim after paying her father 50 shekels (but only if he was caught) and polygamy. Does your support for biblical marriage mean you do not recognize interfaith marriages? Do you think marriages should be arranged and that women should be subservient to their husbands? Is there an upper limit on the number of wives and concubines or are you in the “As many as you can afford” camp? Do you think brides who cannot prove their virginity should be stoned to death?

I’m guessing it’s a big “Yes sir!” on the subservient thing because treating women as equals, doing right by them and working towards consensus is harder than reminding your partner that the Bible says she is a sandwich maker.

Historically speaking marriages could be dissolved if there were no offspring produced. Are you in favor of this pre-Christian convention? I’m not. I believe in love and I think the Christians got it right on that one. Speaking of Christians and the historical position: You people don’t always get it right. Same sex marriages were performed in ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Africa, Asia and across the western hemisphere in the pre-Columbian era and, as John Boswell noted in his ‘Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe’ same-sex marriages were pretty normal up until the Christians took over in Europe.

So you can drop the “not because it’s a politically expedient thing to do” crap.”

woman sentenced to 30 years in prison for having miscarriage

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This is one of the likely outcomes of personhood bills that keep cropping up across the US. Even from a conservative perspective, vilifying and imprisoning a woman for a miscarriage – or, by extension, a stillbirth, baby born who shortly thereafter dies – is (or at least should be) cruel beyond reason and carries no justice. Not to mention the fact that there’s a difference between an abortion and a miscarriage, a line that personhood bills would go a long way towards blurring. Regardless of where you stand on abortion and reproductive rights and justice, miscarriage is a loss, something that should never be a political statement.

But since the world at large doesn’t seem to understand that distinction, I have three simply question: a) Especially in terms of El Salvador, which is where this particular woman is, what is the justification for jailing a woman for something she had no control over, and actually is fairly common b) Here in the US, how can we as a nation (or individual states) guard against this happening with the passing of a personhood bill c) In the case of women jailed for miscarriage, how will this action help anyone or anything.