This was a week of exhaustion, of tenuousness, and of sleep. Both life and work have been incredibly demanding lately, and while I find both exhilarating at times, I could use some respite. I hope that you all are finding moments of peace, finding time to recoup after feeling on shaking ground, and feeling like there is a recovery on the horizon for yourself and those for whom you care.
Hollie McNish, Poet, Delivers An Incredible Defense Of Breastfeeding In Public (VIDEO) (UPDATE) – Emma Mustlich at The Huffington Post
“…British poet Holly McNish’s incredible spoken word poem, “Embarrassed,” attacks everything from aggressive formula marketing to the double standard of anti-breastfeeding discrimination in a world of “billboards covered in tits.” Unsurprisingly, it has gone viral.
“I wrote this poem in a public toilet after my 6 month old baby fell asleep,” McNish says in the video’s description on YouTube, explaining that she was told to stay home the first time she ever tried to breastfeed in public. Since she was “embarrassed,” McNish writes, she continued to feed her daughter in bathrooms for six months. “I hate that I did that but I was nervous, tired and felt awkward.”
Now, she’s shared the frustrated thoughts she held in for so long. Her conclusion, after more than three minutes of impassioned rhetoric:
So no more will I sit on these cold toilet lids
No matter how embarrassed I feel as she sips
Cos in this country of billboards covered in tits
I think we should try to get used to this…”
State by State Map – Pregnancy Discrimination Laws, Breastfeeding and Leave Rights – Legal Momentum: The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
“…Laws related to pregnancy, leave and breastfeeding rights in the workplace exist at the federal and state level.
- For federal laws, click here.
- For state laws, see the interactive map below, and click on a state.
For more detailed information regarding federal and state laws, including statutory text, click here.
For further information on your pregnancy rights or assistance with a current pregnancy-related workplace issue, contact Legal Momentum…”
For the interactive map, visit the above website.
Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval – Corey G. Johnson at The Sacramento Bee
“…One former Valley State inmate who gave birth to a son in October 2006 said the institution’s OB-GYN, Dr. James Heinrich, repeatedly pressured her to agree to a tubal ligation.
“As soon as he found out that I had five kids, he suggested that I look into getting it done. The closer I got to my due date, the more he talked about it,” said Christina Cordero, 34, who spent two years in prison for auto theft. “He made me feel like a bad mother if I didn’t do it.”
Cordero, released in 2008 and now living in Upland, agreed to the procedure. “Today,” she said, “I wish I would have never had it done.”
The allegations echo those made nearly a half-century ago, when forced sterilizations of prisoners, the mentally ill and the poor were commonplace in California. State lawmakers officially banned such practices in 1979.
In an interview with CIR, Heinrich said he provided an important service to poor women who faced health risks in future pregnancies because of past Caesarean sections. The 69-year-old Bay Area physician denied pressuring anyone and expressed surprise that local contract doctors had charged for the surgeries. He described the $147,460 total as minimal.
“Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money,” Heinrich said, “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.”…”
Coercive sterilization is not a thing of the past – Radical Doula
“…One interesting thread throughout the article, which is distinct from the historical incidences of coercive sterilization, is the use of repeat c-sections as a medical rationale by the doctors quoted for these procedures. With repeat c-sections, they say, there is a risk of uterine rupture upon subsequent pregnancies.
The question there, of course, is why so many c-sections to begin with? I don’t buy it, and assume it’s just a medical attempt to cover up what is really a procedure pushed because of judgement about who should parent, and how many children someone should have, particularly someone who is incarcerated.
I increasingly get more and more infuriated about how little attention in the reproductive rights arena goes to the struggles of low-income, people of color trying to maintain their right to pregnancy, parenting and bodily autonomy. If you are truly doing reproductive justice work, than this issue should get as much attention as any abortion rights fight…”
My Mother’s Abortion – Beth Matusoff Merfish at The New York Times
“…I was shocked: at 18, I naïvely believed that only other women — not my family and certainly not my mother — needed this right that our family had long supported. We had volunteered at Planned Parenthood and canvassed for candidates who supported abortion rights. My mother said she wanted to reassure me that I had no reason to doubt her support in any situation I might face in my own life. Although it took a few years for the shock to wear off, knowing made me even more proud of her and more determined to defend reproductive rights.
Recently, I heard my mother reveal her experience to four friends who are devoted to protecting women’s right to choose. Strikingly, two of them revealed that they had had an abortion, and the other two had close friends who’d had an abortion. None had told my mother before.
What the movement for reproductive rights needs is for the faces of freedom to emerge from the captivity of shame. To my mother’s generation, I ask: Speak openly about the choices you have made. To all women: ask your mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and partners about their reproductive histories. Show that abortion has myriad faces: those of women we love, respect and cherish. You have the power to cement in the minds of your communities and families the importance of reproductive freedom. You have made decisions that are private, even anguishing, but the weight of this political moment demands that you shed light on those decisions.
The opposition is frightening, as more states try to restrict abortion, but there is tremendous power and safety in numbers. You are part of a society of women who have been incredibly courageous; I ask humbly for yet another show of that bravery…”