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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, August 7, 2019


Top Stories This Week

1. We need to stop criminalizing self-abortions; 
2. Woodhull’s petition to halt HHS rollbacks to gender and sex non-discrimination protections;
3. The anniversary of the FOSTA-SESTA package bill;
4. Doctors that are revolutionizing healthcare for trans teens;
5. Doing nothing as a radical idea for marginalized people;
6. The potential for the state of Ohio to insert anti-abortion propaganda into its public schools;
7. Sex work decriminalization and the reduction of sex trafficking. 

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art by Cathryn Virginia

Buying Abortion Pills Online Is Overwhelmingly Safe, But Maybe Illegal (Vice)

Buying the abortion pill online can increase access for many people. Despite being a safe and effective, self-managed abortions are criminalized in five states—Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. And 38 more have laws against harming fetuses, which can be used to prosecute self-managed abortions.  “If/When/How and other reproductive rights advocacy groups are putting pressure on states to lift any pre-Roe v Wade statutes criminalizing abortion, and escalating a campaign to get the FDA to lift the remaining restrictions on mifepristone and misopristol.”
Read more.

Jeryl Hayes, Yveka Pierre Esq., and Kebé from If/When/How are presenting at our Sexual Freedom Summit with alicia sanchez gill on “Know Your Rights: Practical Knowledge for Criminalized Communities and Allies.” Register for #SFS19 to talk more about reproductive and sexual freedom. 


Tell HHS to Halt Rollbacks to Gender & Sex Non-Discrimination Protections (Woodhull Freedom Foundation)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is accepting public comments through August 13, 2019 on proposed rollbacks to gender and sexual non-discrimination provisions in the Affordable Care Act. We at Woodhull are outraged—we believe that our government has no business undermining the sexual and reproductive freedom of our communities. Agree with us? Read and sign our petition here to oppose the rollbacks and affirm that HHS should focus on their mission to advance the health and wellbeing of all Americans.



A Year After FOSTA: The Tragic Consequences of Deeply Misguided Legislation (XBIZ) 

One year ago, Congress passed the FOSTA-SESTA package bill, a law that has “endangered sex workers and forced massive online censorship by private companies fearing enhanced civil and criminal liability,” according to Larry Walters, who writes that, “Over the last year, FOSTA has proved to be unnecessary, dangerous to sex workers, a hindrance to law enforcement and an impediment to free speech. Ultimately, FOSTA’s constitutionality will be tested in the courts—whether in the current legal challenge or some future case. For now, we must endure an internet burdened by FOSTA while remaining hopeful that the law does not live to see its second birthday.” Read more.



Art by Kelsey Wroten

Meet the Doctors Revolutionizing Healthcare for Trans Teens (them.) 

In a time when the current political administration is attacking LGBTQ+ medical access, the necessity for medical providers, educators, and activists to address the healthcare needs of trans youth is as urgent as ever. Matt Baume interviews Dr. Ethan Brackett, site medical director of Fenway Medical South End. As Brackett says of his team-based approach to transitioning, “The faster you can address dysphoria or stressors that kids and families are dealing with, the better the outcomes. [...] Many of the kids we see are coming in with comorbid behavioral and mental health concerns, and we want to have a multidisciplinary team surrounding them as they go through an affirmation and transition process.” Read more.



Author Jenny Odell, photo by Ryan Meyer

Doing Nothing Is a Radical Idea for Marginalized People (Bitch Media) 

Like so many other brown women in her life, Izzie Ramirez “suffered from the constant need to work.” To contextualize her experience, she picked up How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell. Ramirez’s book review offers a unique perspective on free time: “We can try to force ourselves to be what a capitalist economy desires—complacent, free-idea generators that others capitalize on—or we can burst out of that mold. That’s what’s radical about How To Do Nothing [...] once we start paying attention to our communities and environments, we can find more energy to focus on fighting the injustices we are currently too busy or stressed to address.” Read more.



Don Mason, Getty Images

Another State Could Soon Insert Anti-Abortion Propaganda Into Public Schools (Truthout) 

Ohio Republicans are advocating for House Bill 90, a measure that would create a public school curriculum that integrates anti-abortion language into health and science eduction standards. Erin Heger interviews a variety of activists on the danger the legislation poses, including Cameron Brewer, an educator with Planned Parenthood. Brewer says, “[Not] informing young people of all their options does little to prevent abortion and instead leaves people not knowing what to do or where to turn when they do face an unintended pregnancy [...] If we are restricting the information students have access, to then we are doing them a disservice as educators.” Read more.



Emily Kask, AFP, Getty Images

Want to Reduce Sex Trafficking? Decriminalize Sex Work. (Rewire.News) 

Many people that are against sex work decriminalization believe that a decriminalization of the sex trade will increase sex trafficking. But as Katie Tastrom declares: “traffickers target the most marginalized kids and adults, including people who are homeless, undocumented, disabled, transgender, queer, or in the foster care system. These same demographics are also overrepresented in sex work because we have less access to legal work.” In other words, far from causing sex trafficking, decriminalization is necessary to fight it. Read more.



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