There are some very cool events going down in Aotearoa NZ on Saturday 28 September, which is Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion.
A joint media release issued by ALRANZ, Auckland Pro-Choice People and Dunedin Reproductive Justice — click here to read that — lists three that we know of. But even if you’re not in Tāmakimakaurau/Auckland, Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington or Ōtepoti/Dunedin, the organisers of the global event would love you to take part in their Tweet-a-thon; to do a blog post; to take a pro-choice selfie; whatever! Check them out on Twitter @WGNRR and be sure to do some prochoice tweeting, blogging, posting, writing, FBing. After all, Sept. 28 reaches us before it reaches most everyone else on the planet.
In case you missed it, AUT journalism student, Beatrice Randell, wrote a fine piece on both the Sept. 28 event planned for Albert Park in Tāmakimakaurau/Auckland and the issue of abortion rights in general. It’s great to see this issue finally being talked about! And good to see Voice for Life stating clearly they want abortion banned. Chops to Beatrice for asking the questions that made that position clear.
The Highway is closing in on lift-off date: 15 September 2013. We have a van, lots of great stuff for the stall (posters, Tees, stickers, books, badges, factsheets) and including material donated by wonderful people at rape crisis. We have a new poster, too (the thumbnail view is at left, but if you want a close-up, click here for pdf.). We hope you like: Its focus is broader, toward the reproductive justice side of the Highway and hopefully it complements some of the abortion rights (decriminalise!) focused posters. It will be in A3 size.
What the Highway really needs now is some networking power. Do you have contacts, or could you be a contact? We’ll be in Northland from 15 – 27 September; in October, it’s the central North Island/Te Ika-a-Maui across to the east (Napier-Hastings) down through the Wairarapa to Wellington with a possible segue to Palmy. We’ll be in Wellington for the Family Planning conference 31 October-2 November, then across to Te Waipounamu/South Island, starting with Marlborough, Golden Bay and then to Christchurch. We’d really welcome contacts with supportive peeps, near and far – looking for places to set up the stall, people interested in organising events (from a coffee to a potluck to a public meeting, whatever you’re comfy with), local intel, etc.
Do you know of good links to helping/info sites around reproductive justice issues in Aotearoa New Zealand for the info page in our 2014 Body Politics Calendar? If so, there’s a form here. If you want a bit more background on this, it’s below the form:
A Bit More Background
The push is on to get all the Highway stuff together in the next month ready for lift-off in September. We’re working on a poster with some positive messaging to accompany the needle/potion/hanger series discussed in the post before this one. Also, the Body Politics Calendar is coming together nicely but we need your help.
The calendar will include an info page, with some basic information about patients’ rights, the law around repro rights issues and links to useful info or helping agencies. There are the kind of obvious and necessary ones like Family Planning, Refuges, Rape Crisis, and helplines, but because the calendar — and the Highway — aren’t just about abortion, but trying to broaden out and encompass reproductive justice issues, we’d like to include some links or info (within space constraints) about issues that intersect: race, sexuality, gender identity, disability rights, parenting — and more.
This is a Prochoice(!) project, so we’re not going to include stuff that’s anti-choice or shaming/stigmatising around these issues; and the links/info/sites would need to be robust and reliable with solid moderation and ideally in for the long haul. For example, some blogs might be iffy just in case nasty comments ended up on some thread on some site we linked to farther down the track. (This being on old-fashioned paper means we wouldn’t be able to change it or provide trigger warnings.)
So if you have any ideas, please fill in the form and let us know. Ngā mihi maioha.
And, that support thing we add on all the posts now: Here’s how you can Support the Highway.
The calendar will be available at the Highway stall, or you can order copies at the order page for delivery in September.
Crow After Roe: How ‘Separate But Equal’ Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That
By Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo. (IG Publishing, 2013)
Available for purchase from the Prochoice Highway for NZ$25 including shipping. (Donations welcome!) You can also visit IG Publishing’s site for an excerpt. This is cross-posted at the ALRANZ blog.
Reviewed by Alison McCulloch
(See below for Q&A with one of the authors)
If you follow the reproductive rights debate in the United States even a little bit, you’ll be familiar with the relentless tide of legislation aimed at cracking down not just on access to abortion, but contraception, sex education and the rights of those who are pregnant.
The authors, left, Jessica Mason Pieklo and Robin Marty. (Source: Crow After Roe Facebook page)
The website RH Reality Check is one of the best sites around for keeping up to date with the bad news, and it can get a bit depressing. Two names you’ll see frequently there are those of Robin Marty, the site’s senior political reporter, and Jessica Mason Pieklo, RHRC’s senior legal analyst, writer and adjunct law professor in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Marty and Pieklo are also the authors of a new book that collects and analyses all that bad news titled Crow After Roe: How ‘Separate but Equal’ Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That.
What is Reproductive Justice?
Everyone involved in the struggle for choice, for reproductive rights, for reproductive justice probably has their own idea of what these terms mean, and indeed whether or not the shift away from “choice” and “rights” talk to “justice” talk is a good idea. This post doesn’t pretend to be any kind of knock-down drag-out final word, it’s just a start.