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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, October 12, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. What’s happening at Woodhull;
2. Post-Roe abortion bans and separating Black and brown families;
3. The problem with “queerbaiting”;
4. Youth-led advocacy against crisis pregnancy centers;
5. Automated license plate readers and abortion access;
6. Ron DeSantis’ war on trans kids; and
7. Tess’ take on criminalizing HIV.

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Join COO Mandy Salley on Instagram next Tuesday, October 18th!

Mandy will be talking with Kiley & Lacey from The Swing Nation Podcast about all things sexual freedom. Feel free to DM @sexyswingerchic with any questions ahead of the live. We can’t wait for this conversation!

Have you told Congress “No” on the EARN IT Act yet? EARN IT is a sex censorship bill for the internet. In its effort to stop CSAM, it creates huge liabilities for platforms that allow sex-related content, which means most platforms will simply ban it altogther. Sign our petition today! The petition closes on 10/31. Don’t miss out!


Woodhull was so thrilled to be invited to exhibit at The Sex Expo this year.

We met lots of folks who were interested in sexual freedom and got to reconnect with friends we haven’t seen in awhile. Check out a full write-up of the event here.


(Cage Rivera:Rewire News Group illustration)

Post-‘Roe,’ Abortion Bans Will Increase the Separation of Black and Brown Families (Rewire News Group) 

Thalia Charles explores the connection between abortion bans and family separation: “The family policing system is rife with racial bias and is used as a tool of abuse to target families who, if they were a racial, gender, class, or ability minority, would not be on their radar. [...] Not only does a lack of access to abortion care and entanglement in the family policing system stem from the same risk factors, banning and restricting abortion has a causal link with the poverty that yields the state-sanctioned separation of Black and Indigenous families.” Read more.


(Getty Images)

The Problem With the Internet’s Obsession With Queerbaiting (them.) 

James Factora explains the problem with “queerbaiting”: “As with terms like ‘gaslighting,’ ‘love bombing,’ and ‘gatekeeping,’ ‘queerbaiting’ was a once-useful phrase that has become so overused that it’s nearly lost any kind of coherent meaning. Queerbaiting was once chiefly used to refer to fictional characters, and applied to films, TV shows, and other media that led audiences on to believe someone was queer. Today, it’s increasingly being used to refer to real people, mostly celebrities, who look or act queer without explicitly saying or coming out as queer.” Read more.


(Boston Globe:Getty Images)


Gen Z for Change’s Latest Action Sparked a Shift in How Yelp Handles Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers (Teen Vogue)

Fortesa Latifi highlights a youth-led nonprofit’s advocacy against crisis pregnancy centers: “Gen Z for Change [...] is aiming to change the experience pregnant people have of looking for reproductive healthcare and ending up in a crisis pregnancy center. The group led an action against the clinics that contributed to Yelp adding a warning to reviews for the centers that reads ‘This is a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Crisis Pregnancy Centers typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.’” Read more.


(Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Automated License Plate Readers Threaten Abortion Access. Here's How Policymakers Can Mitigate the Risk (Electronic Frontier Foundation) 

Dave Maass writes about automated license plate readers (ALPRs)and abortion access: “Most ALPR products used by law enforcement allow officers to create a ‘hot list,’ essentially a list of license plates that are under suspicion. Whenever a hot-listed plate is spotted by an ALPR, officers are alerted in real-time of its location. These hot lists are frequently shared across jurisdictions, so that police in one jurisdiction can intercept cars that have been flagged by another jurisdiction. If a state were to create a registry of pregnant people, they could build a hot list of their license plates to track their movements.” Read more.


(Mother Jones illustration; Paul Hennessy:NurPhoto:ZUMA)

Ron DeSantis’ Relentless War on Trans Kids Hits a New Low (Mother Jones) 

Madison Pauly writes about Ron DeSantis’ war on trans kids: “The text of Florida’s forthcoming rules has yet been made public, but LGBTQ advocates are bracing for the board to pass a proposal in the coming weeks. If they ban gender-affirming care for youth outright, as the state surgeon general has asked them to do, it would be the first trans health care ban in the country to come from a state medical board.” Read more.


(Mark Ralston:AFP)


Tess’ Take: Criminalizing HIV (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph shares her take on the criminalization of HIV: “We know that criminalization doesn’t serve public health. Experts warn that HIV criminalization statutes discourage testing—the logic goes, if you don’t know your HIV status, you can’t ‘knowingly’ expose others, which is a mens rea requirement in certain statutes. Disincentivizing testing is contrary to public health by also hampering efforts to understand the HIV epidemic’s true scope.” Read more.


 Woodhull Freedom Foundation is the only national human rights organization working full time to protect the fundamental human right to sexual freedom. Our work includes fighting censorship, eliminating discrimination based on gender or sexual identity, or family form, and protecting the right to engage in consensual sexual activity and expression. We do this through advocacy, education, and coalition building.   

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