Celebration and Resistance
To say that 2017 has been off to an intense start is a gross understatement. We are very proud though of the activism and commitment we are seeing everywhere.
Thank you to everyone who participated in a Women's March - and a special thanks to those of you who carried NAPW "Knocked Up - Fight Back" signs. NAPW filled our bus to Washington, DC with more than 50 people. NAPW supporters also marched in New York City; Buffalo, NY; Indianapolis, IN; and Lexington, KY.
In 2017 NAPW is continuing to define and connect issues. Our commentary about the Purvi Patel victory: We Lose When We Divide Arrests of Pregnant Women Into Good and Bad Ones explains why people concerned primarily with protecting the right to choose to have an abortion must also be committed to defending the civil and human rights of all pregnant women including drug-using women.
In addition, NAPW was the organization that defined the issues and framed the outcome of the Anna Yocca case in Tennessee involving the arrest of a woman who allegedly used a coat hanger to attempt to have an abortion. While the plea in the case did not set a precedent, it did expose how easily the existing criminal justice system can be manipulated and misused by prosecutors intent on undermining women's human rights.
Moreover, as a result of our efforts, journalists are reporting the serious criminal justice implications of outlawing abortion (The dangerous fallout of making abortion illegal is already happening) and challenging the claim that arresting pregnant women will somehow help them access needed medical care (In an Alabama jail, pregnant addicts find little sympathy, and less treatment).
We can also celebrate the dismissal of all criminal charges in Georgia against Kenlissia Jones. Ms. Jones had been arrested in 2015 for allegedly taking the drug misoprostol to end her pregnancy outside of a medical setting. NAPW has been advocating for Ms. Jones from the beginning. She was originally arrested for "malice murder." When that charge was dropped, a criminal charge of possession of a dangerous drug (misoprostol) remained. Ms. Jones is now cleared of all charges. In deciding not to proceed with the possession charge, the county prosecutor explained that "to go forward would require extensive litigation and almost certain appellate action for a relatively minor misdemeanor."
Most recently, NAPW is back from the 7th Annual Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice Conference. Held each year in Norman, Oklahoma, this conference proves that there are reproductive and social justice activists everywhere in this nation. This year, NAPW made sure that each of the hundreds of participants had a copy of INDIVISIBLE: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda with this list of suggestions for what activists can do. We hope that you will read both of these documents and be inspired to take action.
NAPW believes that the fight for justice includes preserving what we have - while we also fight for more. Resistance, wherever you are, matters.
To continue our ongoing resistance, the NAPW office will be closed on Wednesday, March 8th in solidarity with the International Women's Strike also known as a Day Without Women. We hope you will join us in whatever way you can - by staying home from work, reducing or eliminating your economic involvement or wearing red. Learn more about this important day including what events are being held in your city
at https://www.womenstrikeus.org/ or https://www.womensmarch.com/.