Roe anniversary and new multimedia resources
As much as we celebrate the 1973 decision recognizing a woman's right to have an abortion, that right has been under attack since the minute the court made its ruling. In fact, Roe v. Wade started in Texas, and in March, another Texas abortion case will make it to nation's highest court. Whole Woman's Health v. Cole will determine whether a Texas law will stand -- and ultimately close about 75 percent of the state's abortion clinics.
This is the first time NAPW has authored and submitted an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in a case directly involving abortion. And while our amicus brief is one of 45 briefs filed, ours is the only one focusing on the link between reproductive injustice and criminal injustice. Deprive women of access to abortion services and when they find a way to have one anyway, many states allow them to be charged with a crime and catapulted into the criminal-justice system. That was what happened to Jennie McCormack, whose story is featured in this brief we filed with New York University Law School's Reproductive Justice Clinic and on behalf of 14 organizations.
New NAPW resources: Two short films for advocacy
Tennessee's fetal assault law, which authorizes the arrest of pregnant women who use any amount of a controlled substance, is set to "sunset" or expire in July. But just days into the legislative session, Sen. Reginald Tate and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver introduced twin bills (SB 1629 and HB 1660) that would reauthorize the law and make it a permanent feature of the state's criminal code.
Need a refresher on the law? Check out this new resource from Brave New Films, and share it with your networks. Featuring advocates from Tennessee and NAPW, "To Prison for Pregnancy" exposes the real agenda behind Tennessee's measure and other states' related feticide laws: empowering government authorities to control and punish pregnant women.
NAPW has also commissioned this animated short film about Alicia Beltran, a pregnant woman who was subjected to Wisconsin's Unborn Child Protection law and is also featured in the video above. Using the actual transcript of her detention hearing (where her 14-week fetus was represented by a court-appointed attorney and she had no counsel), this short film shows with devastating clarity the chain of events that robbed Beltran of her liberty and human rights. NAPW and allies are continuing the challenge to this Wisconsin law in a sister case of Loertscher v. Schimel.
Register for Take Root
Take Root, the country's only red-state reproductive justice conference, is coming up on Feb. 26-27 at the University of Oklahoma. NAPW is a proud supporter of this event and will join extraordinatry presenters and activists who are fighting for justice in some of the nation's toughest political environments. We'll be sponsoring a panel where you can hear state-based advocates discuss advancing the human and civil rights of pregnant women. Registration ends Feb. 5.