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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, August 3, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. What’s happening at Woodhull;
2. When “pro-life” becomes “pro-censorship”;
3. Censoring nude content;
4. Abortion and insurance coverage;
5. Sexual assault in ICE jail;
6. A domestic violence hotline for abusers; and
7. Tess’ take on abortion access in jails and prisons.

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Don’t miss out on our August Human Rights Commission - The Censorship of Sexual Freedom! We will be joined by leading censorship experts and people who have been directly impacted by censorship. Join us in person or virtually on Facebook. Register here!

The Sexual Freedom Summit kicks off tomorrow, Thursday, August 4 in Alexandria, VA! We cannot wait to be with you this week. Online registration has closed, but you can register onsite if you would like to attend. You can also catch some of our programming on the Woodhull Facebook page.


Woodhull Freedom Foundation joined Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) in filing an Amicus Brief on July 26, 2022 in Virginia. "Book bans seek to enlist the power of the state to dictate what each of us and our families may or may not read — and thus are sharply at odds with the First Amendment and our pluralist democracy. That’s the message delivered by FIRE and the Woodhull Freedom Foundation in an amici curiae brief filed today with a Virginia state court tasked with determining whether two award-winning books, Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer” and Sarah J. Maas’ “A Court of Mist and Fury,” are legally obscene…” Read the rest of the statement here.



When ‘Pro-Life’ Becomes ‘Pro-Censorship’ (Reason) 

Robert Corn-Revere explores how anti-abortion activists are advocating for censorship: “The demise of Roe v. Wade has unleashed a flurry of activity by antiabortion activists looking for ways to finish the job. They are now exploring ways to stop people not just from performing abortions but from sharing information about abortion services. The National Right to Life Committee (NLRC) has drafted model legislation to provide what it calls ‘an effective enforcement regime’ to stamp out abortion. A centerpiece of the proposal would make it a felony to ‘aid and abet’  abortions by ‘giving instructions over the telephone, the internet, or any other medium of communication regarding self-administered abortions or means to obtain an illegal abortion’ or ‘hosting or maintaining a website, or providing internet service, that encourages or facilitates efforts to obtain an illegal abortion.’” Read more.


(Electronic Frontier Foundation)


Self-Proclaimed Free Speech Platforms Are Censoring Nude Content. Here’s Why You Should Care (Electronic Frontier Foundation) 

Paige Ccollins writes about online censorship of nude content: “Most sexually explicit and pornographic content is legal, and engaging with such content on social media platforms allows individuals to build communities and explore their identities. However, the moderation of sexual content has enabled social networks to become the arbiters of how people create and engage with nude content both offline and in the digital space. As a result of this flawed system, a crucial form of engagement for all kinds of users has been removed and the voices of people with less power have regularly been shut down. These companies position themselves as free speech extremists, often for the purpose of rushing to the defense of hateful speech, but even for them, speech around sexuality is beyond the pale.” 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.


(David Goldman:AP)

Fifth Migrant Woman Alleges Sexual Assault Against Nurse at ICE Jail (The Intercept) 

José Olivares and John Washington cover the fifth sexual assault allegation against a nurse at an ICE jail: “ICE’s national detention standards, which apply to private contractors, say that when a staff member is suspected of sexual assault, they ‘shall be removed from all duties requiring detainee contact pending the outcome of the investigation.’ The nurse has continued to give medical attention to women at Stewart as recently as July 2, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which reviewed medical records for that date.” Read more.


(The Cut)

A Domestic-Violence Helpline for Abusers (The Cut) 

Andrea González-Ramírez writes about a domestic violence hotline for abusers: “On a recent spring afternoon, Michelle Harris was sitting in her home office in Western Massachusetts when the phone rang. She took a deep breath and looked at the Post-it notes stuck to her work computer, little reminders to stay calm during difficult conversations. The anonymous man on the other side of the line said he was struggling in his marriage.It’s an euphemism that Harris has come to know well over the past year as a responder for the 10 to 10 Helpline, the nation’s first helpline for people who harm their intimate partners. Like other callers before him, the man proceeded to describe a struggle that sounded a lot like abuse.”
Read more.


(The Appeal)

Tess’ Take: Abortion While Incarcerated (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph writes about abortion access in jails and prisons: “People who are pregnant and incarcerated deserve options. No one should be forced to endure the trauma and violence that incarcerated people endure. Forcing an incarcerated person to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term magnifies that trauma and violence. We at Woodhull Freedom Foundation believe that everyone should have access to their fundamental human rights to sexual freedom and bodily autonomy. That includes the right to accessible, quality healthcare, like abortion.”
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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The Woodhull Freedom Foundation is a non-profit organization recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. 
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