Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter

Wednesday June 27th, 2018


The 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 sexual violence, 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.  

Every other Wednesday, our bi-weekly newsletter aggregates seven articles central to Woodhull’s mission and work. This week, the newsletter covers the following topics:

  • Seeking justice for sexual violence;
  • Centering contraception in the family planning movement;
  • A lawyer’s explanation of Trump’s executive order to end his family separation policy;
  • Police presence at Pride events;
  • Sexual violence perpetrated in prisons;
  • A brief history of America’s policies that ostensibly “protect” families;
  • ​The removal of trans/gender nonconformity as a pathology by the World Health Organization.

(Elinor Carucci/The New York Times)

Should Statutes of Limitations for Rape Be Abolished? (The New York Times Magazine)

Ruth Padawar writes, “Limiting how much time can elapse between a crime and its prosecution has been standard practice in America since its founding. Until the last few decades, state legislatures set the limitation period for most felonies at five years or less, though murder, considered the most heinous crime, usually had no deadline. The F.B.I. lists felony sexual assault as the second-most-serious offense, but for decades, little changed in statutes of limitations for those crimes.” Read more.


(Lauryn Gutierrez/Rewire)

Should Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy Be Family Planning’s Holy Grail? (ReWire)

Christine Dehlendorf writes, “While it was a turning point for contraceptive access, the Griswold decision was clearly a product of its time, failing to address the existence of sex outside of marriage (it would be another seven years before the court struck down contraceptive bans altogether in Eisenstadt v. Baird). Anniversaries like Griswold‘s remind us what underlying values—like, that only married people should have sex—have shaped the history of contraception in the United States.” Read more.


(Associated Press)

Ask an Immigration Lawyer: Migrant Parents Face a Long, Complicated Road Ahead to Get Their Children Back (Jezebel)

In an interview with author Ellie Shechet, lawyer Albinak-Kribs tells Jezebel, “Once a parent can locate a child, they come to a crossroads [...] There’s a crucial decision they have to make: Whether they want to stay and fight their legal case, fight for the right to stay here in the United States with their child, or whether they would just prefer to return home with their child. Depending on what the parent chooses, depending on their own personal circumstances, the process for reunification looks very different.” Read more.


(Wikimedia Commons)

Targeting the Opposition: The Long, Troubling History of Cops at Pride Parades (Bitch Media)

Kitty Stryker writes, “On June 13, a trans woman was arrested for attempting to burn a “Blue Lives Matter” flag at Philadelphia Pride. Eighteen-year-old ReeAnna Segin was thrown in jail for “trying to set a blaze among a crowd,” though burning a flag is a legal form of expression in the United States. The “Blue Lives Matter” flag has been used as a rallying symbol for those wishing to visibly support cops as they face a lot of necessary criticism—including whether or not their presence is needed at Pride.” Read more. (Additional resource from Trans Student found here.)


(Elijah Baylis/The Clarion-Ledger/Associated Press)

Standing By as Prisoners Are Raped (The New York Times)

Lovisa Stannow writes, “It is well known among prison reformers that the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, a private prison, is a cesspool of violence and sexual abuse. The horrific conditions there have long been out in the open, thanks in large part to a class-action lawsuit brought in 2013 on behalf of the prisoners, on which a judge will rule any day now.” Read more. (Additional resource, Just Detention International, found here.)


(Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Americans Love Families. American Policies Don’t. (The New York Times)

Emily Badger and Claire Cain Miller write, “Democrats and Republicans have platforms for middle-class families, working families, military families. And candidates in need of character witnesses or podium backdrops routinely turn to their own. But this past week was a reminder of a deep contradiction about the family in American politics: Families make powerful symbols, valuable to politicians and revered by voters. But American policies are inconsistent and weak, relative to many countries, in supporting them.” Read more.


(Image from article)

ICD 11: Classifying disease to map the way we live and die (World Health Organization)

The World Health Organization reports, “Revisions in inclusions of sexual health conditions are sometimes made when medical evidence does not back up cultural assumptions. For instance, ICD-6 published in 1948 classified homosexuality as a mental disorder, under the assumption that this supposed deviation from the norm reflected a personality disorder; homosexuality was later removed from the ICD and other disease classification systems in the 1970s. Gender incongruence, meanwhile, has also been moved out of mental disorders in the ICD, into sexual health conditions. The rationale being that while evidence is now clear that it is not a mental disorder, and indeed classifying it in this can cause enormous stigma for people who are transgender, there remain significant health care needs that can best be met if the condition is coded under the ICD.” Read more.

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Woodhull Freedom Foundation envisions a world that recognizes sexual freedom as the fundamental human right of all individuals to develop and express their unique sexuality; to be personally autonomous with regard to bodily integrity and expression; and to enjoy sexual dignity, privacy and consensual sexual expression without societal or governmental interference, coercion or stigmatization.

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