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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. What’s happening at Woodhull;
2. An Alabama abortion clinic the day Roe was overturned;
3. Sex-offense registrant sweeps;
4. Being pregnant in prison;
5. Supporting criminalized survivors of violence;
6. Queerness and polyamory; and
7. Tess’ take on abortion and Section 230.

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Our next Human Rights Commission has been scheduled. We’ll be talking about The Censorship of Sexual Freedom on Thursday, August 4th. We have a fabulous lineup of speakers scheduled. We will hear from a librarian, an author, a student, free speech experts, and more. Read more and RSVP here.


Ben Benavides, Woodhull Board Member, and Mandy Salley, COO, traveled to New Orleans to attend Naughty N’Awlins. On Friday, August 8th, attendees at Naughty marched through the streets of New Orleans to celebrate sexual freedom! Ben & Mandy tabled all week at the event and learned about what sexual freedom means to the swinger & lifestyle communities. We look forward to continuing to work with this community!


(Austen Risolvato:Rewire News Group)

What It Was Like at an Alabama Abortion Clinic the Day ‘Roe’ Died (Rewire News Group) 

Robin Marty shares what it was like at an Alabama aboriton clinic the day Roe was overturned: “This very public, very emotional, very ‘defining’ moment looks like a flipped switch to someone on the outside. They can point to the exact moment that Roe v. Wade was overturned and abortion ended in Alabama. It is a stark division—legal abortion at 9:10 a.m. CT, legal abortion gone at 9:11. It’s burned into my brain just as clearly as it is etched into the video clip of the live interview I was giving at the time, memorializing the very second I learned about the decision, when I told the anchor Roe was gone, when I announced I had to go immediately to tell my staff.”
Read more.


(U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs via Flickr)


Why the U.S. Marshals Spend Millions on Sex-Offense Registrant Sweeps (The Appeal) 

Steven Yoder explores why the U.S. Marshals spend millions on sex-offense reigstrant sweeps: “Since 2006, the federal government has funneled millions into sometimes-massive operations to verify the addresses of those on sex-offender registries. It’s hard to tell how often these happen–the Marshals Service didn’t respond to multiple requests from The Appeal about how many operations they ran in the latest fiscal year. But a look at how authorities talk about the operations–and the flattering press coverage they generate–indicates their importance in selling the public on more police. Worse, studies show they likely do nothing to improve public safety or make incidents of sexual violence less likely.” Read more.


(Mother Jones illustration; Getty)


The Hell of Being Pregnant in Prison Is About to Get So Much Worse (Mother Jones) 

Samantha Michaels writes about being pregnant in prison post-Roe: “Even before the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, it was tough to get the procedure in jails and prisons. Access to abortion during incarceration varies widely by geography, and even by facility. Some jails have long prohibited the procedure. And even in places where it’s allowed, there are hurdles: Under the Hyde Amendment, federal lockups can’t pay for abortions in most circumstances, leaving incarcerated pregnant people to foot the bill themselves. A lot of local jails and state prisons require them to pay out of pocket too, not just for the procedure, which averages hundreds of dollars, but also for the transportation to and from a clinic.”
Read more.


(Nik Shuliahin, Humberto Portillo via Unsplash)

Grassroots Defense Committees Support Criminalized Survivors of Violence (Truthout) 

Meghan Krausch focuses on the criminalization of survivors of violence: “Many survivors of domestic and sexual violence argue that the criminal legal system in the United States forces them to choose between their freedom and their lives, often criminalizing women, trans and gender non-conforming people for acts of self-defense and limiting their rights to bodily autonomy. This pattern most heavily impacts survivors of color. It is part of the larger constellation of patriarchy, white supremacy and settler colonialism in which the prison system is rooted.”
Read more.


(Madeline Montoya)

A Love Note to People in This Moment Who Are Having and Had Abortions (Rewire News Group) 

We Testify shares a love note to people who are having and had abortions: “We deserve a moment to cry, scream, yell, and catch our breath. We deserve a moment to be furious with a nation that prides itself on freedom, yet took ours in an instant. We deserve a moment to be angry with people who built careers off depicting our abortion decisions with disgust and frivolity. We deserve a moment to wail in agony because this is one more attack on our decisions alongside the ongoing genocides of our communities by white supremacists, politicians, and police officers. This nightmare is too much for any of us to hold. We deserve a moment to process this pain.” Read more.


(Andrew Lichenstein)

Tess’ Take: Abortion and Section 230 (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph writes about Section 230 in the wake of Dobbs: “People are debating whether or not to delete period-tracking apps. States could use online records to criminally prosecute people, and those prosecutions could involve those platforms and activists who ‘enable’ abortions. Currently, Internet platforms have a clear defense to those prosecutions: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which ‘shields apps and websites from being considered the ‘publisher or speaker’ of user-generated content.’ Though there’s an exception to Section 230 protections for conduct that violates federal criminal law, there isn’t an exception for violations of state laws, like abortion bans. Section 230 protections are far from guaranteed: they’ve been under attack through laws like SESTA-FOSTA.” Read more.


Donate to an Abortion Fund 

Find your local abortion fund.

Split a donation between 90 funds across the country. 

Donate to keep independent abortion clinics open. 

Support undocumented folks seeking abortions. 

Finance a helpline and legal defense fund to cover bail and attorney fees for people criminalized for their miscarriages or abortions.


 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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