April is Abortion Bowl-A-Thon Month

By Peg Strobel

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Socialist feminists know that women deserve free abortion on demand, a full range of reproductive health care and family services and an economic system allowing for full employment and compensation for caring for the elderly and young. "Reproductive justice" is a concept that moves beyond the notions of "choice" and "rights." It links the calls for reproductive choice (a woman's right to control her own body) to the broader issues of economic justice and human rights (creating conditions that enable people to have children, not only to not have them). Access to abortion is one small, but critical, part of reproductive justice.

Although many of the legal barriers that anti-abortion legislators have enacted can only be addressed by long-term political organizing, supporters of reproductive justice can help women in need who lack the money to get an abortion.  Realizing that we lack the political power to ensure the provision of abortion and other reproductive and family support services as a universal public good, DSA is supporting the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), a coalition of groups that raise money to provide abortions for low-income women, by encouraging DSA and YDS members to bowl, or sponsor other bowlers, in April.

NNAF annually sponsors Bowl-A-Thons in the month of April. These events are open to sisters and brothers alike; they're a great way to engage in solidarity work.

The NNAF makes it easy to participate in a Bowl-A-Thon. Their Bowl-A-Thon website (http://bowlathon.nnaf.org/nnafbowl/findevent.asp) lists cities where NNAF events are happening in April. If no Bowl-A-Thon is scheduled for your city, just organize a team to go to your local bowling alley and participate virtually in April. You might be able to get an ally feminist organization to field their own team, so you can make it even more fun AND build a relationship with a feminist group in your community. You can sign up the “virtual” team with the NNAF (at the bottom of the list of cities).

Anti-abortion activists have succeeded in drastically limiting access to abortion, particularly for poor and low-income women, young women and women in rural areas. For example, the Hyde Amendment, a rider attached to Congressional budget bills annually since 1976, limits the use of federal funds for abortions. The U.S. foreign aid policies are affected by such legislation as well, much to the detriment of women's health initiatives world-wide.

Although abortion has been legal in the U.S., under some conditions, in the 40 years since the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, conservative forces have chipped away at access to abortion by passing laws at the federal, state and local levels. In 2013, The Daily Beast created an interactive map that in chilling detail tracks the locations of the 724 sites that currently offer abortions. It also notes the restrictions placed on abortions at those clinics.

State and local governments now severely limit access to abortion and women's health care. Legislation that makes getting an abortion a lengthier and more complicated process especially harms women with limited financial resources. For example, a woman who must travel hundreds of miles to a clinic and then wait 24 or more hours between receiving counseling and receiving her abortion incurs expenses in travel, motel and, often, child care for children back home. And she must take additional time off work.

Since 2011, when Republicans took over many state legislatures and governorships, restrictions have grown. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which addresses sexual and reproductive health research, policy and advocacy, more anti-abortion legislation was passed in the 2011-12 period than in any previous two-year period (19 states, 43 restrictions). Guttmacher Institute also has produced an overview of state abortion laws as of February 1, 2014. Some state and local governments have limited access by requiring that clinics that offer abortions comply with the more stringent hospital building regulations instead of the regulations that affect all other medical clinics. Failure to comply will lead to clinic closure. Other legislation requires that doctors who do abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Doctors who provide services from out of town find it difficult to get privileges. Also, in areas where there are substantial protests, hospitals do not want to make themselves a target and will not give privileges to abortion providers. Forty years after Roe v. Wade, 87% of U.S. counties do not have someone who provides abortion. Many states have only one clinic, and the abortion provider is an out-of-state doctor who flies in one or two days per week.  And, at the outer reaches are the terrorists who assassinate providers and bomb clinics.

In light of this situation, we have much work to do.  But it can begin with a small step: bowling.

Register, RSVP,  and join us on the DSA website.  http://www.dsausa.org/bowl2014

 

Peg4.jpgPeg Strobel is a member of DSA's National Political Committee and co-chairs DSA's Feminist Team.

 

 

 

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership.

 

Introduction to Socialist Feminism Call

June 27, 2017
· 77 rsvps

Join DSA activist Judith Gardiner to explore “socialist feminism.” How does it differ from other forms of feminism? How and when did it develop? What does it mean for our activism? 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT, 7 pm MT, 6 pm PT.

Data Security for DSA Members

June 27, 2017

Ack! I googled myself and didn't like what I found!

WHAT: A DSA Webinar about "Doxing"
WHEN: 9PM EST, 6PM PST

We're proud of our organizing, and chapter work is transparent for both political and practical reasons. However, there are basic precautions you can take in this time of rapid DSA growth to protect your privacy.

Key Wiki is a website that meticulously documents DSA activity and posts it for the world to see. If you're an active DSA member, likely your name is on their website. This is an example of "doxing".

As DSA becomes larger, more visible, and more powerful, we might expect that more websites like this will pop up, and more of our members' information might be posted publicly on the web.

Join a live webinar on Tuesday, June 27 with data security expert Alison Macrina, to learn:

  1. what is doxing? with examples and ways to prevent it
  2. how to keep your passwords strong and your data secure
  3. where to find your personal info on the internet and how to get it removed
  4. social media best practices for DSA organizers
  5. what to do if you've already been doxed

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/9173276528

Call-in Info: +1 408 638 0968
Meeting ID: 917 327 6528

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July 06, 2017
· 22 rsvps

Join Rahel Biru, NYC DSA co-chair, and Joseph Schwartz, DSA Vice-Chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 6 PM MT; 5 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Joseph Schwartz, schwartzjoem@gmail.com.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

DSA New Member Orientation Call

July 09, 2017
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You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  9 PM ET; 8 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 6 PM PT.

Running for the National Political Committee

July 11, 2017
· 4 rsvps

Join this call to hear a presentation and ask questions about the role, duties and time commitment of a member of DSA's National Political Committee. In the meantime, check out the information already on our website about the NPC.

Feminist Working Group

July 12, 2017

People of all genders are welcome to join this call to discuss DSA's work on women's issues, especially in light of the new political reality that we face after the elections.  9 pm ET; 8 pm CT; 7 pm MT; 6 pm PT.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
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Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
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Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.