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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, November 13, 2019


Top Stories This Week

1. Top surgery;
2. Liberal feminism’s sex work problem;
3. A day as an abortion provider;
4. Anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers;
5. The harrowing stories of six asylum seekers;
6. 9 young people on how they found out they are intersex; 
7. Indigenous abortion access. 

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(Lucy Sherston)

Between the Binary: A Farewell to Boobs (them.) 

On their uncertainty and fear about getting top surgery, Sandy Allen writes, “I felt afraid of what I couldn’t control —for example, what would some relatives say when they learned? Or what if something went wrong? I felt afraid of death. I also worried that there was something wrong about wanting surgery in the first place. Wasn’t I fine as I was? In asking to have my boobs removed, wasn’t I just giving into some fictitious binary? Couldn’t I just live like this forever and not bother with this whole stressful, painful surgery nonsense?” Read more.


(AP Photo:Kathy Willens)

Liberal Feminism Has a Sex Work Problem (The New Republic) 

As Melissa Gira Grant contends, by conflating sex work with human trafficking, liberal feminism echoes rhetoric from anti-choice groups and the religious right: “[such] professions of concern for victims of sexual abuse [...] succeed in distracting from the actual effect: maintaining police control over sex workers. In this, anti-sex workers’ rights groups are not so different from anti-reproductive rights groups, and in fact, when it came to opposing the D.C. bill, groups like the anti-choice Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Women sit on the same side.” Read more.


(Lilli Carré)

My Day as an Abortion Care Provider (The New York Times) 

Dr. Lisa H. Harris, an obstetrician-gynecologist, details her work as an abortion care provider: “Abortion can evoke difficult and conflicting feelings and can, at the same time, be important and necessary. Doctors and patients manage these tensions every day in abortion care. It is why someone might cross herself, then take mifepristone; end a pregnancy, and preserve a picture of the ultrasound in a memory box; shed tears as she declares she is certain about her decision; and provide or have an abortion, then go home to take care of her children that night.” Read more.



Adolescent Health Groups Warn of Risks Anti-Choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers Pose to Young People (Rewire.News) 

Jo Yurcaba cites crucial points made by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology’s position paper on how crisis pregnancy centers harm young people: “SAHM and NASPAG oppose the faith-based, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs CPCs employ because they don’t provide accurate information about contraceptives and condoms, often focusing exclusively on failure rates and side effects. [...] Evidence suggests “young people who take virginity pledges are less likely to use condoms and contraceptives at first intercourse and have higher rates of human papillomavirus and nonmarital pregnancies,” according to the paper.” Read more.


(Danbee Kim:Oori Studio)

Asylum City (Borderless Magazine) 

Six individuals spoke to Borderless Magazine’s Sarah Conway, Michelle Kanaar, Apoorva Mittal, and Kash about what it means to seek asylum in Chicago today. As Victor, an asylee from Nigeria, reflects on his time incarcerated in a detention center, “I forced myself to read books to pass the time. I read about the history of Native Americans. The Americans we see today are actually immigrants; the real Americans, which are the Native Americans, you barely see. So I felt empowered when I read books like that. It gave me the courage to say, Yes, I have a place here too. I ended up staying close to four months in detention before I was released. It’s not been easy staying here in Chicago without family. [...] Everyone says America is a haven and they see America as a paradise where everything works smoothly. But it’s a different story.” Read more.



9 Young People on How They Found Out They Are Intersex (Teen Vogue) 

Hans Lindahl shares the stories of nine young intersex people, including Johnny, a Black, indigenous, plus-size intersex trans femme. As Johnny says of the intersex community: “We are here. Our bodies are not wrong. Our bodies break the binary. Our bodies are whole. Our stories may seem to always live in the world of sadness, but we are thriving and fighting in a society that constantly erases us. I have to remember to tell myself that my body is powerful, and it is full of the groundbreaking fight for liberation. I am proud to be intersex and live my truth authentically and fully.” Read more.


(Rena Schild:Shutterstock)

Indigenous Abortion Access Shouldn’t Be Tied to Western Religious Values (Truthout) 

Kandace Littlefoot argues that Indigenous people’s health care decisions “should not be in the hands of the U.S. government,” including decisions relating to abortion: “I know and love people who were forced and coerced into sterilization, and now I know and love people who have been restricted from receiving abortion services. By prohibiting access to abortion through IHS, the United States is imposing a Western religious system over the bodies and lives of Indigenous women. A person’s dignity, health and safety should never be compromised by the religious views of someone else, and especially not by the U.S. Congress.” Read more.


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