She Violated One, Simple Rule

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The bloody scenes of women are always suspect. Our insides, the things our bodies expel – the mucous, the shedding, the clots and clumps of uterine lining and pre-formed babies. We must keep it neat. We must follow the rules. ………………………. “I can’t find you. For three days you’re consumed…. I don’t know where you […]

Member Interview – Lori B.

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When the very welcoming of a new life starts as a medical-model-managed event in which women are 'allowed' or 'disallowed' to make choices we have lost a connection with our intuition that is hard to reclaim - physically from the hormone-balance side of things, emotionally from the getting-permission-to-perform-bodily-functions paradigm, and culturally it perpetuates the disconnect […]

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A Crazy Kind of Compassion: Giving Space to One Another

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Instead of weighing her voice against my own, her experience against my own, or her choice against my own, I had to ditch the scale. There was room for the value of both of our voices, experience, and choices. In order for both of our voices to be valued in our relationship I had to […]

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“Trial of Labor” Screening for Birth Anarchy Members

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Being neck-deep in reproductive and birth justice work, I don't often allow myself to venture outside of the feelings of rage that fuels the immediacy of the work at hand. If I tapped into sadness every time, I'd be crying all day every day. This film, though, gave me pause to sit in the deep […]

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Activism in the Birth Room – Part 1: With Guest Aimee Brill

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I’m excited to offer this introductory conversation into “Activism in the Birth Room” with Aimee Brill of Doula Trainings International. As Aimee and I started brainstorming about how to be sure to package this content in just the right way, we found that there are really several parts to this discussion, all of which deserve their […]

When the Pro-Choice Movement Deployed Paternalism in the Vaccine War

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I’ve never understood why being Pro-Woman is a leftist value and being Pro-Parent is a rightist value. Why, in the pro-choice conversation are women abandoned by the feminist movement once they become parents? Why are women the most invested people in their own bodies and in their fetuses, but not trusted as invested caretakers once […]

Infighting: An Oppressed Person’s Narrative

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A strange thing happened the other day. I was scrolling along, minding my own Facebook business, when I came across an image shared on a public page. The image was of a VBAC "consent form," which basically read like a militant "Thou Shalt Obey My Orders, Woman." It truly was one of the most despicable, […]

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Hear Our Prayer: A Clergy Member’s Plea for Women’s Autonomy

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Last week, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I held a rally / memorial in my community in support of women’s rights to full bodily autonomy and choice. A friend and clergy member, Jill Terwilliger, wrote a truly beautiful prayer for the event. Jill feels especially called in her work to support feminist and […]

Dear Men, Abortion isn’t Your Platform; Get off Our Backs

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Men don’t get to be vocal about their disappointment about abortion, while women are still expected to sit in silence and in shame. Men don’t get to stake a claim in the abortion conversation, when the bodily burden of pregnancy or abortion will always be carried by those with a uterus.

When a Uterus Determines Your Humanity

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The statistical disparity is telling. Birthing folks are not offered support for their choices. Forced cesareans are the extreme examples of the brutal birth culture of slapping women around until they mouse-up or shut up or say, “yes, sir.” But there are countless other ways birthing people endure harsh treatment, from forced vaginal exams to forced separation from their babies to everything in between. One woman’s gruesome, filmed, forced episiotomy from last year highlights this rampant culture of mental abuse and hospital-sanctioned rape. She’s having trouble finding a lawyer to take her case – even with the damning footage. Because the baby is okay. And apparently slicing a woman’s vagina twelve times like she’s a swath of fabric on the counter at JoAnn’s isn’t a mutilating enough injury. What does this say about the established value of women in the judicial system? Did we ever actually come off the shelf as baby-making containers?

It’s About Community: Reflections on 2014

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2014 was a full year. For my family, it held extremes of financial terror and relational bliss. As an individual, this year led me into a deep, internal, and very personal exploration of my femininity and relationships with other womyn. As a parent, I continued to struggle with being present enough, loving enough, and forgiving enough – […]

How the Diane Rehm Show Perpetuates the Silencing of Women

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Women have held their place as an inhuman conceptual idea – one that is clothed in the dirty rags of one’s imagination so as to maintain a believable discourse. Society, at large, feels the need to leave it that way because as soon as we begin to actually listen to women’s stories and experiences it becomes complicated. We can no longer maintain our pretend image of what kinds of women make certain choices. We have to begin to acknowledge that choices are personal, that women are best positioned to know what is best for themselves and their families, and that women, alone, should be held with the responsibility and right of making their own healthcare decisions.