Star Wars, abortion wars, what’s the difference?
My parents put me in the care of my colossal nerd of a brother for a lot of my childhood, which resulted in my being more or less raised on Star Wars. Not to blow up his spot, but his Bar Mitzvah party involved about a dozen prepubescent boys watching the Definitive Collection VHS tapes in our den.
At Grist HQ, we spent much of yesterday rewatching those films (and, I mean, working). Endor-induced nostalgia at work is a bizarre sensation, but even stranger was falling in love with Princess Leia all over again. And I really loved her as a child — I even dressed up as her for Halloween in elementary school, complete with honest-to-god hair extensions twisted into cinnamon buns and clipped to the side of my head. (Nerdiness, it seems, is hereditary.)
And 20 years later, she’s still a role model: Even throughout being taken hostage, orphaned (!), and saddled with a pouty narcissist of a boyfriend, she is incapable of giving up on fighting for things to simply be better. We’re in pretty dark times ourselves, so that’s at least a little inspiring. And her hair wasn’t dumb! It was hot!
We’ve got even more bad reproductive health news, and this week, you have to read it all at once to fully appreciate how dark these times are. But at the end, you’ll find that YouTube has blessed us — as it is wont to do — with exactly what I was looking for: A collection of all of Leia’s finest moments. If you, like me, were raised on Ewoks, I promise you’ll enjoy it.
SHOT: Anna Yocca, a 31-year-old Tennessee woman, has been charged and jailed for attempted murder — for trying (and failing) to give herself an abortion. When women are still doing coat-hanger abortions in the U.S. in 2015 and being imprisoned for it, we have a very, very real problem.
SHOT: So, about that problem: A delegation from the U.N. recently completed a trip to the U.S. that confirmed that we have not, by any means, achieved gender equality. In fact, we’re one of only seven countries in the world that have not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All of Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
SHOT: Attacks on Planned Parenthood continue with another incident in St. Louis. A clinic was vandalized, but thankfully no one was hurt.
SHOT: A new bill in Ohio would require that fetal remains from abortions undergo burial and/or cremation procedures — at the cost, of course, of the clinic that performs the abortion.
SHOT: An Arizona law forbids abortions on the basis of race or sex — which sounds like something that would prevent discrimination, but actually perpetuates it in practice by limiting reproductive options and abortion access, Dorothy Roberts, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School who researches issues of bioethics and race, told The Christian Science Monitor.
SHOT: Despite widespread condemnation, House Republicans are moving forward with a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) rightly called the investigation a “witch hunt.”
SHOT: There’s a long, ugly history of institutions forcing forms of contraception (or sterilization) on women of color. Accordingly, a new study suggests how people of color might react negatively to the recent push around LARCs (long-acting reversible contraceptives, like IUDs and hormonal implants) in the public health community — providing a valuable reason for medical professionals to listen to reproductive justice activists.
Woof! That was dark, but as promised: