Persist to Resist – 29Apr24

Trump’s Pecker takes the stand, making him gag more. EMTALA and immunity arguments put SCOTUS back in the spotlight. SCOTUS will decide if emergency rooms should treat pregnant women if their life is not in danger. SCOTUS made it clear Trump’s shills on the court are poised to hand him the gift of delay, leaving it up to us, the voters to stop this march to fascism. They seem to care more about a hypothetical “witch hunt” than the actual crimes in the immunity case.

Meanwhile, the Arizona house finally approves repeal of 1864 law and a Grand Jury indicts Guiliani and Meadows with TFG as a co-conspirator. The clock starts ticking for TikTok while college campuses struggle to find the balance between free speech and lawlessness.

Margaret Atwood’s chilling novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) was a prophetic portrayal of the post-Roe world we are now in.

The book depicts a terrifying “future” militaristic theocracy called “the Republic of Gilead”. The society is mostly infertile by environmental catastrophes. Women are treated as property of the state and have lost their rights. Thus, fertile women are forced to bear children for the ruling elite.

While her novel is more extreme, Atwood has acknowledged that experiences of violence and sexual coercion in the novel are based on American slavery.  In the past, American female slaves were often tragically raped and forced to give up their babies to white “owners”.

While the Republic of Gilead may seem like an exaggeration, women are currently under threat in a post-Roe America. Dobbs was just the beginning of an authoritarian backslide into a Gilead-like reality in the decades to come.

Abortion protections were first, but now we are under threat of losing other rights, like birth control, same-sex marriage, etc. The true genius of Atwood’s story was just how relevantly it predicted our current dystopian nightmare as women under misogyny.

Women in many states no longer have fundamental rights over their own bodies, often with few exceptions. We are watching Atwood’s bleak vision play out in real life across America. Our patriarchal system and religious fundamentalist minority seem to be controlling the shots now. The fight to restore reproductive freedom is similar to the novel’s Resistance movement against Gilead’s oppressive theocratic regime.

We should view The Handmaid’s Tale not only as a fictional warning from the past. It could represent a very frightening future if we don’t remain vigilant in the fight to protect women’s rights.

When one thinks of the resilience of the human spirit, the name Helen Keller undoubtedly comes to mind. Keller was rendered blind, deaf and mute at just 19 months old from severe illness at a time when there was very little support for disabilities. Thus, Keller faced a disadvantage that would have defeated anyone without her inner fire.

Yet, through sheer determination and the dedication of her teacher Anne Sullivan, she defied her disabilities. Keller mastered skills like reading, writing, and speaking. She also became a pioneering advocate, author, lecturer and the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor’s degree.

Keller’s incredible life journey serves as an enduring inspiration for women everywhere. She shattered expectations through her voracious quest to learn and achieve the impossible.

At the core of Keller’s story is one of fierce self-empowerment in the face of adversity and societal limitations. Using the power of her own mind, she overcame barriers designed by society to hold her back at every turn. In doing so, Keller was an example for women everywhere to reach their full potential despite systemic oppression and discrimination.

The systems of patriarchy, sexism, and dehumanization are still faced by women today. Thus, Keller’s unbridled passion for self-actualization and her unwavering spirit to uplift humanity through activism continue to have modern resonance.

Nearly a century after her death, we can still look to Helen Keller as a timeless inspiration. She embodies female self-empowerment, courage, intellectual fortitude, and using one’s voice and actions for fighting injustice.

At a time when the rights and autonomy of women around the world are under renewed attack, Keller’s boundless inner strength can serve as an inspiration. Her unbreakable spirit reminds us that we have innate power to overcome any obstacle and redefine our own destinies.

Vote Pro-Choice (VPC) empowers voters to vote for candidates who will work to protect abortion access.

Vote Pro-Choice works to build governing power for reproductive freedom. They aim to ensure that our leaders support policies for abortion access, birth control availability, and science-based sex-education.

VPC candidates champion abortion access and comprehensive reproductive healthcare in city halls, state houses, and everywhere in between. Every elected office—from school board to county commissioner to the state legislature—has a role in protecting reproductive freedom. This is why Vote Pro-Choice specifically supports candidates at the state and local levels.

Our communities are our first line of defense and our first opportunity to build a world with comprehensive reproductive freedom. As a full-cycle organization, VPC empowers voters from registration, to engagement, education, and turn-out.

Reproductive freedom can serve as a catalyst to bring younger, first-time or infrequent voters to the polls. That’s why VPC educates voters on which candidates are pro-choice so that every voter can make a difference at the ballot box.

Vote Pro-Choice backs candidates who advocate not just for abortion rights but also for gender equality and comprehensive reproductive freedom. Vote Pro-Choice has endorsed more than 2,500 candidates, 89% at the state and local levels. 73% of Vote Pro-Choice endorsed candidates are women. 43% of Vote Pro-Choice endorsed candidates are women of color. Nearly 50% of endorsed candidates receive personal campaign coaching from the Vote Pro-Choice team.

Jahana Hayes is the U.S. Rep. for the Fifth Congressional District of Connecticut. Hayes is the first African-American Congresswoman from Connecticut. In 2016, President Barack Obama named Hayes National Teacher of the Year. In this capacity, Hayes traveled the country and the world engaging public education stakeholders in policy discussions meant to improve outcomes for students.

Hayes overcame obstacles that so many people face. Growing up in the cycle of poverty and addiction, she found herself pregnant at 17. She had her daughter, went back to school, received multiple degrees, reached the pinnacle of teaching, and now, sits in Congress. She credits education for saving her life. Jahana is a fierce advocate for ensuring that equitable access to educational opportunities exists for all students and families.

She is often heard saying: “ask yourself: is this what you would want for your child?” Hayes decided to run for office when she looked at her students and said: “Who will speak for them, if not me?” She fiercely believes all people have value and all people deserve to have a voice in Washington. She is living proof that good government works.

Congresswoman Hayes currently sits on the full House committees of Education and Labor, and Agriculture. Her areas of legislative focus are equitable access to quality education, affordable health care for everyone, food security, labor, agriculture, and the environment. She has been a fierce advocate of immigration reform, gun violence prevention, veteran issues, social justice, transportation, and working in a bipartisan way to bring positive change to the lives of every person in our community.

South Dakota’s Republican-controlled Legislature is responding to the confusion over their abortion law. They want to “fix” the issues the ban has caused. In order to do this, they have proposed a new bill that will create a video to clarify when health care providers can legally intervene.

The bill stipulates that the video would explain how South Dakota law defines abortion. Republican Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt introduced the bill so that treatments for miscarriages or an ectopic pregnancy will be allowed.

The video would also discuss conditions that can threaten the life or health of a pregnant woman and the criteria that providers might use to decide the best course of treatment. Rehfeldt says the video will address when various medical conditions can be treated with an abortion.

South Dakota has one of the nation’s strictest laws, prohibiting abortion unless needed to save the life of a woman. There are no exceptions for preventing serious injury to the mother or in cases of fatal fetal anomalies, rape or incest. Providing an illegal abortion is a felony punishable with two years in prison.

The state also has high rates of infant and maternal mortality, especially among Native Americans. Some South Dakotans have already been denied or received delayed abortions, according to Amy Kelley, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Sioux Falls.

Meanwhile, Governor Kristi Noem doubles down on killing her dog – “I decided what I did..” So freedom of choice only when it comes to your pets, I guess?

In 1990, music executives founded Rock the Vote in response to the censorship of hip-hop and rap artists. Their first partnership with MTV, promoted the message that “Censorship is Un-American” and activated millions of young people across the country to exercise their rights and represent their interests. For over thirty years, Rock the Vote has continuously adapted to the changing landscapes of media, technology and culture to breakthrough and empower each new generation.

Today, they draw on their decades of experience to deploy the most effective and impactful messages, tactics, and technology to uplift and empower the largest, most diverse generation in U.S. history.

Young voters are new voters and thus face unique obstacles to voting that result in historically lower turnout than older voters. As a result, our democracy continuously fails to represent youth, generation after generation.

However, as young voters overcome these challenges and break turnout records, they’ve become the target of voter suppression efforts. From the rise of voter ID laws to intensified efforts to remove polling sites from college campuses, young people must navigate obstacles designed to keep them from making their voices heard.

This is why Rock the Vote’s goal is to ensure representation of each youth generation in our democracy.

Join young people across the country and in your own community! Help register and engage young voters, create and share important information, defend our voting rights, and take action on the issues that impact our lives.

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