Unprecedented media coverage of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) demonstrates that our advocacy is making a difference: a front page story in The New York Times, appearances on PBS's Moyers & Company and NBC's Today Show, and a conversation about so-called "personhood" measures on NPR's Fresh Air.
Thank you. With your support, NAPW is exposing and dismantling the myth that anti-abortion activism only threatens the right to abortion.
Through the publication of NAPW's groundbreaking study, we are making clear that anti-abortion and pro-life measures -- often combined with drug war propaganda and junk science -- are being used to justify punitive interventions against all pregnant women, including those who don't use any drugs and those who have no intention of ending their pregnancies. NAPW is proud that our peer-reviewed study and commentary are changing the framework, helping to broaden the base of opposition to anti-abortion measures, and exposing what is really at stake for pregnant and parenting women throughout the country.
With your help, NAPW has succeeded in getting media and commentators, including guests on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show, to recognize that anti-abortion efforts threaten to create a separate and unequal system of law that deprives all women of their civil and human rights.
For more than 40 years, anti-abortion activists have been building grassroots strength and an arsenal of legal and legislative strategies to recriminalize abortion. Fueled by the deep pockets of the Koch brothers, and supported by fundamentalist religious leaders and a growing number of elected officials, numerous new laws are making abortion services less accessible than ever. NAPW, however, is unmasking the fact that the same laws and legal principles established by these efforts have also:
Convinced a doctor in Florida that he could threaten a pregnant patient with arrest if she didn't immediately submit to a forced cesarean surgery.
Led a lower court judge in a custody case to conclude that the mother, by virtue of relocating from California to New York while pregnant, committed an "appropriation of the child [sic] while in uteri [that] was irresponsible, reprehensible."
Provided the basis for a Wisconsin law that permitted the arrest of Alicia Beltran (and the appointment of a lawyer for her 12 week fetus) because she had been honest with her prenatal care provider about a past drug problem that she had taken successful steps to overcome.
Created the legal theory underlying New Jersey's claim that a pregnant woman who obtains medically recommended methadone treatment is abusing her child.
Justified an interpretation of Alabama's chemical endangerment of a child law to apply to pregnant women who use any controlled substance (prescribed or unprescribed), leading to the arrest of more than 100 low-income women.Your support
helped NAPW successfully stop the threatened arrest in Florida, and reverse the New York custody decision. Your support is enabling us to challenge the Wisconsin law, appeal the New Jersey decision, and advocate on behalf of hundreds of women across the country who have been arrested for suffering a pregnancy loss, for giving birth, or for having an abortion.
NAPW knows that connecting the dots -- making clear that anti-abortion and pro-life measures hurt all pregnant women -- is what can win legal cases and persuade people to take action. This is what motivated more than 100,000 people to oppose the arrest and prosecution of Bei Bei Shuai in Indiana on murder and feticide charges because she attempted suicide while pregnant. In the end, NAPW's collaborative legal and organizing efforts helped to persuade the state to drop those charges. And because we don't litigate and leave, a core group of Indiana leaders and activists are in an even stronger position to continue monitoring and opposing new punitive measures against pregnant women.
With your help
, NAPW joins forces with reproductive justice organizations led by women of color, birthing rights organizations, and a wide range of human rights and drug policy reform groups. NAPW regularly represents leading medical and public health organizations and experts as friends of the court and organizes conferences that bring diverse movements together. NAPW has played a key role in the Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice Conference
in Oklahoma (now in its fourth year), building a home for red state reproductive rights activists who will create and carry out locally informed and effective political strategies for their families and communities.
But there is so much work still to be done, and we need your
help to continue the fight:
For the women in Texas and across the country who are being deprived of access to abortion and who are likely to face arrest if they do what women throughout history have always done: find a way to control their reproductive lives.
For Rennie Gibbs, the Mississippi teenager who faces a murder trial for suffering a stillbirth.
For the pregnant women of Wisconsin who can be locked up based on nothing more than the word of a social worker or law enforcement official who claims she is a danger to her "unborn child."
For the women throughout the country who face child welfare interventions and the loss of their children for refusing cesarean surgery, having a home birth, using any amount of a controlled substance, or obtaining methadone treatment.
For the women and families in Colorado who will once again be facing a "personhood" ballot measure that, in the guise of valuing the unborn, would turn every pregnant woman into a criminal perpetrator.We need your help
to continue building on the tremendous year we had in 2013.
We need your financial support
to continue combining legal advocacy, public education, and organizing to secure women's equality and to ensure commitment to one fundamental principle: That upon becoming pregnant and through all stages of labor and delivery women retain their civil and human rights.
Please give generously this year to NAPW. We make every dollar work for justice. Thank you!