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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Thursday, February 3, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. Forced sterilization of people with disabilities;
2. A Florida bill against critical race theory;
3. A California bill that would eliminate Section 230 protections;
4. The secret pre-Roe abortion movement;
5. Trans peoples’ paperwork hurdle with COVID-19 vaccination cards;
6. Abortion funds’ urgent need; and
7. Tess’ take on censorship of porn.


(Olivier Douliery:AFP via Getty Images)

Disabled People Can Still Be Forcibly Sterilized in Over Half of the US (Rewire News Group) 

Rewire News Group Staff write about the forced sterilization of people with disabilities: “A National Women’s Law Center report released [on January 25] shines a light on the dark reality of modern-day eugenics. More than 30 states explicitly allow the forced sterilization of disabled people, and more than a dozen states allow it on disabled children, according to the report.” Read more.


(AP News)

Florida could shield whites from ‘discomfort’ of racist past (AP News) 

Brendan Farrington covers a Florida bill that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination: “The Senate Education Committee approved the bill that takes aim at critical race theory — though it doesn’t mention it explicitly — on party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. Democrats argued the bill isn’t needed, would lead to frivolous lawsuits and said it would amount to censorship in schools. They asked, without success, for real-life examples of teachers or businesses telling students or employees that they are racist because of their race.”
Read more.


(Sen. Dave Cortese, Official Senate Portrait)


FSC Sounds Alarm About Revived Anti-Section-230 California Bill (XBIZ) 

Gustavo writes: “A controversial California bill that would eliminate Section 230 protections in the name of fighting ‘online trafficking’ and ‘revenge porn,’ along the lines established at the federal level by FOSTA-SESTA, has moved forward in the state senate, spurring the Free Speech Coalition to renew its campaign against the proposed legislation. The bill, SB435, was originally introduced by Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) back in February 2021. Cortese claimed the bill had as its goal ‘to end human trafficking in the digital age.’” Read more.


(Illustration by Klawe Rzeczy)

The Secret Abortion Movement That Revolutionized Feminist Health Before “Roe v. Wade” (Bitch Media) 

Faustina Johnson highlights the secret pre-Roe abortion movement: “The Del-Em is an unassuming gadget. Its most standard version is made of a mason jar with diploid, flexible straw-size tubes snaking out of it. One tube ends in a fat syringe, while the other one remains open-ended, to be inserted into the vagina of someone seeking an abortion. Like the speculum, the much-reviled gynecological instrument that nevertheless became a duck-billed mascot of the 1970s feminist health movement, the Del-Em is functional and easy to use, its radical potential seemingly underplayed by the simplicity of its design. [...] The Del-Em originated at Harvey Karman’s secret abortion clinic on L.A.’s Santa Monica Boulevard. Karman, who became interested in abortion while studying psychology at UCLA, rented a room behind a dental clinic where he performed safe, inexpensive abortions for 15 years. The clinic was a meeting point for abortion activists, such as Carol Downer and Mary Petrinovich, founders of what became known as the Self-Help Clinic movement.” Read more.


(Getty Images)

“It Shouldn’t Be This Hard”: Trans People Face New Paperwork Hurdle in COVID-19 Vaccination Cards (them.) 

Orion Rummler calls our attention to trans peoples’ paperwork hurdle with COVID-19 vaccination cards: “Orly Mahoney changed their name in January 2021. In the weeks and months after, they took stock of the documents they would need to update, a “domino effect” of paperwork: Social Security, driver’s license, insurance card, passport. Also on that list? Their COVID-19 vaccination card. Mahoney, a 26-year-old nonbinary medicine student, had received their first COVID-19 shot just one week before their legal name change went into effect. When they received their second dose a month later, they used the same card, but soon decided they wanted to change their name on it. Nobody at the clinic or their primary care office was able to help. ‘It was really a Herculean amount of work to change my name in all the ways that I needed to change my name. And this is one of only a couple things that remains a sticking point,’ Mahoney said.” Read more.


(Kent Nishimura:Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Abortion Funds Are Meeting an Urgent Need as “Roe” Faces Dire Threat (Truthout) 

Anoa Changa emphasizes abortion funds’ urgent need: “When the Texas abortion ban was allowed to go into effect last September, many pregnant people in the surrounding region immediately felt the impact. And with people who need abortions now generally having to travel outside of the state for services, the role of abortion funds has become ever clearer. Forty-nine years after the landmark decision Roe v. Wade, grassroots abortion funds are helping to fill a gap in providing necessary financial support and resources to those considering abortions.”
Read more.


(Ashley Vargas for Mashable)

Tess’ Take: Tech’s Censorship of Porn & the Difficulty of Getting Paid (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph writes about tech’s censorship of porn: “Valerie Webber is a public health and porn researcher. She has also been a porn and cam performer, on-and-off for twenty years. Now back online, Webber has found herself ‘in what is probably the most inhospitable porn landscape we’ve seen in decades.’ Her webcam account was suspended for violating the code of conduct; she had ‘engaged in a fetish category that is cause for immediate account closure.’ A cursory review of the past few months confirms that the circumstances for porn and cam performers like Webber are quite dire when met with the threat of tech censorship...” Read more.


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