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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Thursday, August 18, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. What’s happening at Woodhull;
2. How to get an abortion by mail in your state;
3. A study debunking the myth that kids become trans through “social contagion”;
4. The importance of universal healthcare;
5. Sterilization laws;
6. A strip club strike in North Hollywood; and
7. Tess’ take on censoring nudity.

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A weekend in Washington (Dallas Voice)
Hardy Haberman shares his experience of one weekend at Woodhull’s Sexual Freedom Summit: “Over the past weekend, I discussed the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade with two lawyers who regularly argue cases before that very court. I had lunch with the author of a book about Anthony Comstock, the man who pushed through the most oppressive censorship laws the U.S. has ever known. I discussed the problems of censorship of speech on the internet and its devastating effect on sex workers with two prominent sex worker advocates.” Read more.


(Anna Shvets)

How to Get an Abortion by Mail in Your State (The Appeal) 

Meg O’Connor shares information on getting an abortion by mail: “For details on what is legal in your state, check state guides from news sources or organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute, the Center for Reproductive Rights, or the Kaiser Family Foundation. If you have questions, you can always call the Repro Legal Helpline to speak to an attorney for free. In over 20 states, you can obtain abortion pills legally through telemedicine or an in-clinic visit.” Read more.


(Electronic Frontier Foundation)


A New Study Debunks the Myth that Kids Become Trans Through “Social Contagion” (them.) 

Samantha Riedel covers a new study that debunks the myth that kids become trans from “social contagion”: “Over the past four years, opponents of transgender rights and protections have pushed a theory called ‘rapid onset gender dysphoria,’ or ROGD, asserting that more young people are publicly identifiying as trans due to ‘social contagion.’ [...] A study published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics is the latest to demonstrate how the numbers just don’t line up in ROGD’s favor.” Read more.


(Sopa Images:Getty Images)


Why Insurance Plans Must Cover Abortion (Teen Vogue) 

Cat Duffy argues why insurance plans must cover abortion: “Where a person lives and how much money they make fundamentally shape their ability to use insurance to cover an abortion. A federal budget bill rider called the Hyde Amendment only allows Medicaid abortion coverage in the narrow cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. While states can use their own funding to provide abortion coverage for Medicaid enrollees, only 16 states do. Additionally, 11 states restrict abortion in private plans, while 25 states prohibit abortion coverage in the ACA marketplaces.” Read more.


(In These Times)

Black Women Will Face the Brunt of Abortion Bans. The Solution Is Universal Healthcare. (In These Times) 

Princella Talley writes about abortion bans and universal healthcare: “Contrary to popular anti-abortion beliefs, equality does not begin in the womb. The United States is one of the worst developed countries for children living in poverty in the world, and systematic inequality creates a layer of multigenerational poverty uniquely experienced by Black families well before children are born. Experts agree that funding mechanisms set in place by a universal healthcare system would make higher-quality care possible. In the United States, universal healthcare could begin to dismantle health-based racism by encouraging the funding of anti-racist initiatives that allow Black women to receive the same higher-quality care and equal access to reproductive education as white women.” Read more.


 (Tom Brenner for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Sterilization Laws Are Still on the Books — and Pose New Dangers Post-Roe (Truthout) 

Joaquín M. Lara Midkiff explains sterilization laws’ dangers post-Roe: “With Roe v. Wade being nullified on the basis of a narrowed Fourteenth Amendment, it is imperative to remember the ways in which, when it is not providing equal protection under the law, the Fourteenth Amendment has been weaponized as a tool of oppression and state control. More than 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized in the wake of the Buck ruling. This century, under the Trump administration, immigrant women were detained and carved out through medically unnecessary hysterectomies. As of June 2022, a new generation has fewer constitutional rights than the one who preceded it.” Read more.


(Teen Vogue)

The Star Garden Strip Club Strike Is Part of the History of Sex Worker Organizing (Teen Vogue) 

Kim Kelly highlights sex workers’ organizing of a strip club strike in North Hollywood: “When dancers at the Star Garden strip club in the North Hollywood section of Los Angeles first went on strike over three months ago, they weren’t planning to form a union. Initially, they say, they were just trying to call attention to what they maintain are pervasive safety issues in their workplace, and to get the club’s owners to make a few changes to protect them on the job. Prompted by what they claim are threats to their security from patrons, several of the dancers spoke up — and said they were fired shortly thereafter. On March 18, a group of workers delivered a petition to management demanding that the fired workers, Reagan and Selena, be reinstated, and calling for increased safety measures to be implemented. But instead of meeting with them to address the dancers’ concerns, they say, their bosses locked the doors.” Read more.




Tess’ Take: Censoring Nudity (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph shares her take on censoring nudity: “The majority of sexually explicit or pornographic content is legal. Thanks to the First Amendment, our right to communicate that legal content is protected, with the notable exceptions of ‘obscene’ content and child pornography. But though the content itself might be legal—and its distribution constitutionally-protected—things look quite different in the realm of private companies. Under U.S. law, internet platforms can censor content. Social media apps like Facebook and Instagram might ban nudity altogether.” 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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