FLASH: This campaign just reached its goal of $25,000. A generous donor will now match every dollar up to $5,000. Your donations will help us reach the "stretch" goal of $35,000 to bring more people on the Ride. Please share the news with your friends that their donations count DOUBLE today.
Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas
A fight to turn the tide in the all-out assault on women's right to abortion and birth control.
We draw inspiration from the original Freedom Riders because of their willingness to put everything on the line to stop a horrible injustice that millions had grown to accept as “just the way things are.” At stake today is whether women - one half of humanity - will be legally treated as less than full human beings.
Texas: GROUND ZERO
“If nothing changes, on September 1st all but six abortion clinics in Texas will be closed (there were 46 in 2011).
“Women will begin dying from dangerous illegal abortions. Others will be imprisoned for self-inducing abortions. Thousands more will have their lives foreclosed by being forced to bear children they do not want – shattering their dreams, trapping them in abusive relationships, and/or driving them into humiliating and dangerous poverty. Rural, poor, immigrant, and women of color will be hardest hit.
“Worse, this emergency in Texas is not an isolated problem.
“Hundreds of abortion restrictions have been enacted in recent years. Six states have only one abortion clinic left. Eight abortion doctors and staff have been murdered. Countless women have been shamed and humiliated.
“Those driving this attack on women's most fundamental rights are deadly serious. They will not stop until all abortions have been criminalized for all women in all circumstances.
“THIS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED! Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement.”
from statement initiated by Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Advisory Board Members: Diane Derzis, Carol Downer, Merle Hoffman, Sunsara Taylor, along with Sikivu Hutchinson and Rev. Donna Schaper
A Time for Courage and Daring
Courageous people are doing important work to keep abortion available. At the same time, it must be confronted soberly:much more is needed.
What happens this summer in Texas will affect women everywhere. It is the responsibility of everyone who does not want to see women forced to have children against their will to stand up and fight. Not some time in the future, but now.
Volunteers will travel through Texas, joining with people in Texas and around the country to stand up in mass, independent political resistance.
People's Hearings – Modeled after the Emergency Speak Outs which involved testimony of abortions before legalization, courageous abortion doctors, and others, we will hold People's Hearings which will be live-webcast around the country every week to wake people up to the true emergency and stakes of this fight.
Honor Abortion Providers – With banners for people to sign, we’ll spread the message: "Abortion Providers Are Heroes."
Dramatic Protests – Politically confront forces and institutions behind the anti-abortion attacks with images and stories of women who died when abortion was illegal, bloody coat-hangers, and shackles representing female enslavement.
WEEK OF DEFIANCE – Final week of August, a national WEEK OF DEFIANCE. Into the streets with the pictures and stories of women, bloody coat-hangers, and shackles across the country.
After that – If the clinic closures go forward on September 1st, Abortion Rights Freedom Riders pledge to stick around to be part of mobilizing people's outrage and refusing to accept this assault on women's lives.
The Funds We Need
$25,000 is needed to get the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride on the road. It will help make it possible for inspiring young activists and others to be on the road for a full month having a major political impact as well as involving hundreds throughout Texas and thousands around the country. Think: airfare, van rentals, gas, housing and living expenses. Think: thousands of leaflets, palm-cards, stickers, banners, etc. It will help with the cost of national webcasts to project the message of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride throughout society in real time.
Then, there will be additional fundraising during the month-long ride to cover the rest of the costs, including to help produce a high quality film so that the impact of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride can be felt far beyond the summer.
as much as you can, whether that be $2,500 or $25 or $5. It really
Other Ways You Can TAKE PART
Join the Freedom Ride in Texas - sign up online for part of the time or the whole ride.
Tune in every Wednesday night throughout August for the live webcast People's Hearings. Spread the word about this and bring friends together to watch, thereby building communities of resistance.
Take to the streets wherever you are for the end of August WEEK OF DEFIANCE.
Reach out to people you know in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley and ask them to join in with the Freedom Ride and speak-outs, provide housing, organize welcome parties and protests, and offer support in any way.
Send in testimony for the People's Hearings with your own pre-Roe abortion story or statement or story from today about what women are being forced to go through.
Email text or video to be posted on to StopPatriarchy(at)gmail.com
Who We Are
The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas was initiated by the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women (StopPatriarchy.org). You can read our Call to Action here.
The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Advisory Board consists of:
Diane Derzis, owner, Jackson Women's Health Organization (last abortion clinic in Mississippi)
Carol Downer, co-founder of Feminist Women's Health Center which began doing abortions in 1971
Merle Hoffman, CEO Choices Women's Medical Center which began doing abortions in 1971
Wendy Robinson, Director, Voice of Choice
Mary Lou Singleton, licensed midwife and family nurse practitioner, founder of Personhood for Women
Sunsara Taylor, writer, Revolution, initiator, End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women
You can read the Report from last summer's Abortion Rights Freedom Ride in 2013 here.
Watch the webcast of our April 11, 2014 Speakout at Advent Lutheran Church in NYC, and see photos from the April 12 actions across the country here.
We value and seek to work with everyone who is working to defend women's right to abortion and to end all forms of violence and oppression against women. Contact us at StopPatriarchy(at)gmail.com.
We have a powerful track record of going right up against the most entrenched institutions and forces of patriarchy, and bringing forward powerful, transformative and contagious resistance.
Whatever you do, THANK YOU for being part of a movement that can really make a huge difference for the future of women everywhere!