WITA and the Feminist Majority Foundation

7 Oct

Hi WITA friends,

Kris here. I’ve been hired onto a team of student organizers with the Feminist Majority Foundation, as part of an effort to push back against a 20-week abortion ban that’s on the ballot for the upcoming (November 19) special election in Albuquerque. Over the next six weeks you’ll see us in the SUB, and maybe in your classroom (with instructor permission), if you haven’t already.

The bullet points of FMF’s opposition to this ban:

  • Decisions about whether to continue or end a pregnancy should be kept between that woman and her doctor, and (if she wishes to include them) her family and faith. Government shouldn’t intervene here, as a general matter of right to privacy.
  • The ballot measure makes no exceptions for rape, or incest, or minors. It also privileges the survival of the fetus over the life and health of the pregnant woman, and would severely curtail doctors’ legal freedom to exercise their trained judgment about when and how to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons.
  • The proposed legislation would give personhood to eggs at the moment of fertilization, potentially laying the groundwork to outlaw all abortions, as well as birth control and in vitro fertilization.
  • The people spearheading the ban campaign — Operation Rescue and the self-proclaimed “Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust” — aren’t from New Mexico. They’ve come from elsewhere with a history of harassing clinics and — at their homes — individual doctors and their families. Local Jewish leaders were also offended and troubled by Rescue’s demonstration outside the [actual] Holocaust and Intolerance Museum downtown. (You may have read about this in the New York Times.)

So we’ll be around campus informing students about the ban, and encouraging folks to get out and vote when the time comes. We’ve started chartering a Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance campus affiliate, but since I’ve gotten the informal blessing of the WITA co-founders about this work (“Ahhhh!!”, to quote Ambar), I’m comfortable also attaching the Women in the Academy name and logo to some of it when necessary.

More after the jump:  

Most of us in the organizer team have been trained to register voters, so if you need to register to vote in Albuquerque, or to update your registration with a change of address (which might put you in a different City Council precinct) or party affiliation or whatever else, let me know at unmwita@gmail.com, and I can let you know when and where to find us to walk you through registration. It honestly takes five minutes, maybe less.

For now, I know for sure that we’ll be tabling in the SUB at these times and places, with voter registrations and pledge cards:

12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Tuesday 10/8 (tomorrow) — ground (“plaza”) floor, by the Casas Del Rio office

2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Wednesday 10/9 — ground floor, by the Casas Del Rio office

12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Monday 10/14 — ground floor, by the Casas Del Rio office

12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Tuesday 10/15 — mall floor, by Sahara

We could really use volunteers, for phone banking, tabling, and data entry, possibly among other things. We’d also like to speak really briefly in as many classes as possible.

If you’d like to help, or if you’d like us to speak in your class, or if you’d just like to know more, please email me at unmwita@gmail.com.

I guess that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with the words of The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates:

My embrace of a pro-choice stance is not built on analogizing Rick Santorum with Hitler. It is not built on what the pro-life movement is “like.” It’s built on [a] set of disturbing and ineluctable truths: My son is the joy of my life. But the work of ushering him into this world nearly killed his mother. The literalism of that last point can not be escaped.

Every day women choose to do the hard labor of a difficult pregnancy. It’s courageous work, which inspires in me a degree of admiration exceeded only by my horror at the notion of the state turning that courage, that hard labor, into a mandate. Women die performing that labor in smaller numbers as we advance, but they die all the same. Men do not. That is a privilege.

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