In brief: My regular spot with Hal Sparks on WCPT Radio, Chicago!
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Enhanced audio: HSRP 11/01/14 — #VoteProChoice, Vote Pro-Social Justice
The most important message from today’s podcast: VOTING MATTERS, so FindYourFuckingPollingPlace and share with your networks so they know where to vote as well. If you’re disillusioned with national politics, I get it. That just makes your local school board, state representatives, etc. MORE important.
Hal opened the show by talking about the long game the GOP plays to suppress the vote. The most famous and worth replaying and sharing clip is from Paul Weyrich (via Media Matters For America:
I referenced Imani Gandy’s work drawing people’s attention to what the media means when they say “woman vote” and who it is saving America from anti-choice, anti-equality GOP candidates. Hint: it’s not white women.
Then I did my rant on local elections. I get that national politics can turn people off. It’s not just ugly, it’s got a surreal, disillusionment quality to it. I won’t try talking you out of the haze you find yourself in. BUT BUT BUT. You have SO much power in local elections. There are judges, school board officials and state reps on the ballot Tuesday. Our national politics is affected by what happens locally — from “trial” laws that restrict rights to packing courts with judges who will end up on circuit/appeals courts decades from now. SO NO EXCUSES: VOTE ON TUESDAY.
Speaking on voting on local issues….
OH HEY, ILLINOIS! There are five referenda on the ballot and they’re super important. On Tuesday, November 4th you can vote to:
- Raise the minimum wage
- Impose a “millionaire tax”
- Protect workers from Hobby Lobby-style employer restrictions on earned benefits to purchase birth control
- Increase crime victims’ rights
- Enact voter protections from future GOP majorities seeking to impose VoterID and other suppression laws
You’ll be shocked to hear personhood is still a thing around the country. This is the declaration that life begins at conception — so before a person is actually pregnant (implantation). Codifying personhood into law is not only a violation of religious freedom, but it would outlaw most forms of birth control. It also allows a host of paternalistic regulations on pregnant people and opens the door to the “report your miscarriage” laws cropping up in some states.
The majority of American women engaged in sex that could result in pregnancy use birth control — including 98% of Catholic women. Personhood bills are beyond out of step — they’re positively draconian. They would also outlaw most fertility treatments including popular in vitro procedures.
Colorado is trying AGAIN along with North Dakota and Tennessee. Make sure your friends/relatives in those states understand this threatens their birth control. Yes, I am (as you probably are) all about abortion care access; but the key to defeating these ballot initiatives in conservative states is to remind the typical apathetic, unengaged, centrist, or even outright conservative electorate that personhood means no birth control. So, get on it!
My closing rant was on the duality of apathy. We tend to think of apathetic citizens as those too disillusioned or too “lazy” to vote. There is another, more harmful kid of voter apathy: “I know we’re going to win; my vote doesn’t matter” apathy.
I recently moved to California — one of the only states in the country passing serious proactive legislation to expand access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion. These laws typically require supermajorities and wide margins of victory to convince electeds to push and enact them.
THIS from Tara Culp-Ressler’s piece on the California law — the only one like it in the country and something we need more of please:
Assembly Bill 154 expanded the pool of abortion providers to allow nurse practitioners, midwives, and trained physician’s assistants to perform the procedure during the first trimester. It was intended to address the abortion doctor shortage in California — a trend that’s also evident across the country — after a multi-year study confirmed that additional health workers can safely provide abortions.
The researchers who worked on that study argued that it was counter-intuitive to block nurses and midwives from performing abortions because they’re the health workers who are “provide most, if not all, reproductive health services” at many clinics in California. That means they were able to care for every aspect of their patients’ reproductive lives except for when it came to helping them end a pregnancy. But now that Assembly Bill 154 has been the law of the land for a year, that’s changing.
If you live in a “safe blue” area, it is your responsibility to the rest of the country to provide a political climate where proactive legislation like Assembly Bill 154 can be implemented, tested and revised. When the hard working activists turn red areas purple and purple areas blue, they’ll need model legislation ready to go, so VOTE and make that possible.
Links to on-air references:
“Black Women Are an Electoral Voting Force. Recognize.” by Imani Gandy, RH Reality Check
“What’s Up With All These Voting Restrictions?: A GIF-splanation” by Imani Gandy, RH Reality Check
Find out about the FIVE BALLOT initiatives in ILLINOIS
Antichoice bills are on the ballot in three states (VOTE NO on all):
COLORADO: “Colorado’s ‘Personhood’ Amendment Is an Attack on Women of Color” by Cristina Aguilar at RH Reality Check
NORTH DAKOTA: “North Dakota Ballot Measure Would Declare Life Begins At Conception” via Talking Points Memo
TENNESSEE: “The Nation’s Biggest Abortion Battle Is Playing Out in Tennessee” by Molly Redden at Mother Jones
“California’s Innovative Experiment To Tackle Abortion Stigma” by Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress
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You can hear The Hal Sparks Radio Program live Saturdays from 12-2pm EST on WCPT.