Raging Grannies and Radical Women on Protecting Reproductive Rights, and More

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You are long past the days of finding yourself at 2:00 a.m. saying or yelling at a computer screen, “Wait, what?!

Your boss told you she deeply admires your hunting and investigative dog instincts, but says – with COVID cases declining and company back-in-office (BIO) policies reinstated – this is not It’s more fashionable when the staff meeting starts at 9 a.m. to be home, still in your pajamas, buried under a laptop, stoning up every article, post, rant, rave and dribble you can find on the recent SCOTUS Roe vs. Wade opinion draft leak.

The National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice at the recent SF event. Photo by Steve Rhodes.

For these conditions and if your “must do something” appetite has finally reached feverish levels… you have options. So many options that for brevity and to eclipse a torrent of recommendations for action, we highlight two organizations that represent a tiny fraction of the opportunities for civic participation in the Bay Area.

This is not to suggest the Raging Grannies Action League or National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice movement, initiated by the international and national socialist feminist organization Radical Women, are tiny operations, or, that their visionary work is far from vital.

Instead, both organizations welcome multigenerational participants from around the world with established backgrounds in the ongoing pursuit and protection of reproductive justice. As such, they provide local chapters and the opportunity to participate in marches, rallies, legislative advocacy, information workshops and summits, as well as organizational tools to organize grassroots rallies on reproductive justice. and resources such as links to information on recent related legal and government actions. for Roe v. Wade, privacy and the 14th Amendment, cases pending before the Supreme Court, states with “trigger” laws ready to restrict or eliminate reproductive choice (if the Supreme Court overturns deer), and more.

Norma Gallegos is the National Reproductive Justice Mobilization Coordinator in San Francisco. In an interview, she said, “The biggest thing we’re doing now is giving angry people who are upset about the things that are happening on the pike the space to say there are other issues that need to be addressed. resolved in addition to protecting women’s choice.

Gallegos says the group also works to end medical racism, stand up for gay and trans families, eliminate the Hyde Amendments that require an abortion seeker to fund a procedure and treatment and not the state, and protect the determination sexuality of people with disabilities. “There is a claim that people with disabilities are not sexual beings and may not need to procreate. No one ever thinks about their reproductive autonomy,” she says.

In the streets. Photo by Steve Rhodes.

The organization also takes a stand on guarantees of medically valid sex education, affordable childcare, no caged children or forced assimilation of immigrants and most prescients, protection and even expansion. Roe vs. Wade to support safe and legal abortions on demand.

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In the coming weeks, she says, everyone will have the opportunity to join in the large-scale efforts. “Wonderfully there will be Pride in June, events like the day they opened the Civic Center and we will be setting up a booth. There is also Supreme Court Ruling Day which we are preparing for a protest or celebration at 450 Golden Gate Avenue,” she said. “There will be a larger plan, but from now on we intend to go out at 5 p.m. that day, if the decision is announced before 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Or the next day, if it’s later. People were angry after the leak and we want to channel that energy. Will our voices be heard? Or are we going to revolt at that time?

Gallegos, 39, says she has been involved in political activism since high school. “The line of work I’m in is to be involved. If people aren’t interested in joining a group, liberal feminists will tell you to sign petitions, send letters to legislatures, and do these things on your own. It has been touted by the media that it is good for people who want to participate in events that support inclusion to use the internet. That’s fine, but I think collective, active, in-person participation is the best way to strengthen the movement.

For National Mobilization and its partners and collaborators, substance, not volume, matters most in presenting their positions. “We’re making these demands (about protection more than abortion) because other larger groups haven’t made them. When this draft notice sparked our first protest, at least 2,000 people walked out. But the quality of what we had to say remains strong: we present these other issues that need to be addressed, that require us to keep fighting beyond defense. deer. Other things must be preserved when calling save deer.”

Very helpful, she says, are concrete examples, facts and scientific data demonstrating how restrictions on abortion endanger the maternal health of black, brown, indigenous women, trans and queer families, low-income women and other marginalized people. people.

“Because we’re mad as hell.” Photo by Steve Rhodes

“Specifically, there have already been impacts on women of color in Texas. There is a young woman, Lizelle Herrera, who was put in prison for self-abortion. There will be deaths, people thrown in jail, white working women will be impacted, but women of color will be impacted even more.

“It will depend on the medical history of the person, but infant and maternal mortality rates are huge and will increase in black families. There are a host of things associated with impoverishment that mean health care, education and access to contraceptives are impossible. Being objective about it being a basic right means adding a medical basis to the conversation and that’s 100% important.

Emphasizing that the elimination of laws protecting abortion-related privacy can flourish to affect same-sex marriage, interracial marriage and “other things in the way of a right-wing, bigoted government that is determined to remove these rights”, Gallegos cannot overestimate the dangerous slope announced by the SCOTUS leak. “It’s going to impact everyone, this clear white supremacist capitalist agenda. He will get rid of those people who are not needed by their society.

Granny Ruth, 69, quickly establishes in an interview that she and local members of the Raging Grannies group that was founded in British Columbia in 1987 (the SF chapter launched in Palo Alto in 2001) is nonetheless energized and angry. Their website claims that they strive “to be non-violent in all their activities”, “to shock with unfeminine antics” and to work independently of other organisations, “to use street theatre, humor, satire and props to get our message across: world peace, feminist values, social justice and equal rights for all received national media attention, including mentions in the New York Times, Forbes, Rolling Stones and others.

“The leak happened and the same day we were in Oakland because there was a rally in front of the federal building. That night, we stayed up all night to host an event at the 450 Golden Gate Federal Court Building in San Francisco. There were thousands of people there on very short notice. We worked with the SF chapter of the Nation Mobilization for Reproductive Justice, the main organizers,” she says. “We did what we always do: attend in costume, hold Raging Grannies banners.”

Ruth says most grannies were alive and sexually active beforeRoe V.Wade. “That means we didn’t have the right to abortion. I was in high school and knew people who wanted to terminate their pregnancies and had to travel to Japan, Mexico and Puerto Rico for clandestine abortions. Or they had to leave school and later come back and see those young boys who had impregnated them with new girlfriends. Many of these young women were forced to abandon their babies immediately after delivery. Their lives have been changed in a gigantic way.

In the coming days, the Grannies, she promises, will rise “organically, on the streets of the Peninsula and across the Bay Area.” Having marched in the streets since 2005, she says young people who have never spoken to what she calls “the old left” find her approachable. Don’t get me wrong: accessible does not mean passive. “We have a lot of anger about this issue because we are mad,” Ruth says. “Many of us have fought to have Roe vs. Wade past.”

The Grannies will not debate the scientific aspects of abortion with pro-lifers. “We will tell them that if abortion is not legal, abortions will not disappear, they will simply be dangerous. Women in their thirties are just beginning to realize that fertility treatments are risky, not just abortions. In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves the production of several embryos in the woman; many are created but only a few are implanted. If the moment embryos are created is considered the conception of life, then embryos created in a Petri dish and not implanted are tantamount to destroying life. Yes deer falls, immediate laws will attempt to ban fertility treatments.

Asked about the protests and the effectiveness of their “feet in the street” approach, Ruth is firm. “We think everyone should take to the streets. We do not accept that accepting a no-deer world is the only choice. The vast majority of Americans support abortion rights. People say they vote, but it’s too late. We need feet in the street. The protest works. Supreme Court justices may say they won’t be intimidated, but these protests happening everywhere are not bullying. Expressing public opinion is in no way intimidation.

For more information, visit www.raginggrannies.tumblr.com and www.reprojusticenow.org

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