Alabama Abortion Law Highlights Poor Maternity, Childcare Stats

Reproductive Health is Abortion Rights

From the article:

In Alabama, a state that just passed a total ban on abortion, more than a quarter of children live in poverty; 30 percent of those children are under the age of five.

Only half of Alabama’s 67 counties have an obstetrician.

Infant care for a single child in Alabama takes up an average of 11 percentof a family’s income. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, child care costs are unaffordable when they exceed 7 percent of a family’s income.

Single mothers in Alabama spend 29 percent of their income on childcare costs.

Child care costs for families with two children—an infant and a four year old—cost 28 percent more than the average rent in the state.

About 88 percent of Alabama’s rural hospitals are operating “in the red.”

Alabama has the second highest infant mortality rate in the country.

Source: Alabama Abortion Law Highlights Poor Maternity, Childcare Stats

Yeah, abortion was really the biggest issue in Alabama. . . I say sarcastically.

It’s almost like these politicians don’t actually care about the people that make up their constituents.

U.S. Denying Citizenship to Kids of Same-Sex Couples Born Elsewhere | The Mary Sue

From the article:

Last summer, without fanfare, the State Department changed the rules of the Immigration and Nationality Act so that a child born outside the country to American parents has to be biologically related to one of the parents to receive birthright U.S. citizenship. The State Department website itself reads: “Even if local law recognizes a surrogacy agreement and finds that U.S. parents are the legal parents of a child conceived and born abroad through ART, if the child does not have a biological connection to a U.S. citizen parent, the child will not be a U.S. citizen at birth.”

Worse, even if there is a biological connection, same-sex couples are still being denied U.S. citizenship for their children born out of the country because the State Department has decided their children were born “out of wedlock,” which means they have to go through even more legal and logistical problems to ensure citizenship for their children. The Daily Beast, who broke this story, writes that when the INA was first conceived, there was no reference to biological connection to the children. It was only last year that suddenly the idea of “out of wedlock” children became centered on same-sex parents, even if they are married.

Source: U.S. Denying Citizenship to Kids of Same-Sex Couples Born Elsewhere | The Mary Sue

The news on what is happening to LGBTQ people in the US is just exhausting in how horrible it is.

Intuit CEO in Internal Video: Hiding Free TurboTax Was In “Best Interest of Taxpayers” — ProPublica

From the article:

Sasan Goodarzi, the CEO of Intuit, says the company’s efforts to make its free tax-filing software harder to find on Google were part of the software giant’s commitment to educating taxpayers.

In an 11-minute video sent to Intuit employees, Goodarzi said the company was trying to help consumers by steering them to “educational content” instead of TurboTax’s free filing website.

The company promised the IRS it would offer a free option to tens of millions of taxpayers earning less than $34,000.

Responding to our reporting, which shows that Intuit, H&R Block and other for-profit tax software companies were steering low-income customers to their paid products, Goodarzi said the company’s marketing practices “had been misinterpreted to signal that we were trying to hide the product we offer in the IRS program. That is inaccurate.”

Source: Intuit CEO in Internal Video: Hiding Free TurboTax Was In “Best Interest of Taxpayers” — ProPublica

I hate the tax lobby with a particular passion. The reason the IRS and the US government doesn’t just automatically give you a bill, or a tax return is that the tax lobby has put an enormous effort into keeping themselves relevant. Our government officials are easily bought by lobby dollars.

You can file for free, but these companies hid this option and made poor Americans pay anyways. They re the worse.

Why Alabama’s Abortion Ban Goes Beyond Alabama | The Mary Sue

Reproductive Health is Abortion Rights

From the article:

The ban on abortion in Alabama has been signed into law but is unlikely to go into effect for a long time, if ever, being purposefully designed to attract court challenges in order to take the case to the Supreme Court. Still, the law includes no exceptions for rape and incest and would be devastating and life-endangering for Alabama women—but at the same time, it’s about more, even, than Alabama. It’s about Roe v. Wade, and the health, human rights, and futures of all women and pregnant people in this country.

That said, it didn’t take Trump becoming president to render abortion virtually inaccessible for many women, and especially lower-income women of color, in several states, with myriad socioeconomic and geographic barriers already in place on the state and federal level. Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was first decided, close to 1,200 state and federal laws restricting abortion access have passed, and as of 2014, around 90 percent of all U.S. counties lack an abortion provider.

Barriers to reproductive rights in this country have been taking us in this dreaded direction for years, but Donald Trump and his power to craft a judicial system and Supreme Court in the spitting image of his misogyny, has finally made the anti-abortion movement’s endgame a real possibility in America. After all, just this week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Wendy Vitter, Trump’s nominee for a federal judgeship in Louisiana, and a new, inexperienced, and radical opponent of abortion rights who has spread lies that abortion leads to cancer and suicide.

Source: Why Alabama’s Abortion Ban Goes Beyond Alabama | The Mary Sue

This is the culmination of decades of chipping away at abortion rights. The problem with the more progressive liberal side of things, is that it is by nature reactive. It takes a while to react, and when small slow changes accumulate, it’s hard to see what’s been going on.

Then, we have a sudden surge of bullshit, and the Supreme Court is already stacked with anti-abortion judges.

This article is a good read, if you are just becoming aware that this is a problem.

41% of trans people in US south face police violence, report says · PinkNews

From the article:

Almost half of transgender, gender non-binary and gender non-conforming people in America’s southern states experience “high levels of violence by law enforcement,” a report has found.

This number jumps to 52 percent when looking only at respondents of colour.

The Grapevine: A Southern Trans Report was carried out by the Transgender Law Center at Southerners on New Ground (TLC@SONG), a collaboration between two LGBT+ advocacy groups based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Source: 41% of trans people in US south face police violence, report says · PinkNews

There are large parts of my own country I feel like I can’t go to. The South, for transgender people, and LGB in general, is not safe. Not when 41% of all transgender people face police violence, and 52% for transgender people of color.

The horror stories I have seen play out over the years is enough that I will never ever go there. I have to protect myself and my wife. The chances of a bad outcome for us if we go to the South for any reason, is just too high.

Too Fast, Too Black, Too African: On Caster Semenya | Autostraddle

From the article:

When, and more importantly, how, does it become permissible to forcibly strip an 18 year old girl in front of “experts” who will determine, for her, her own gender? Though Semenya has never confirmed nor denied this, it is widely rumoured that the gender testing she underwent in the months and years following the initial questioning of her gender revealed an unknown fact to her: that she is intersex. Many intersex people are not aware they are intersex until a medical or reproductive issue arises; however it is estimated that roughly 1.7% of the world population is intersex. Pause to think about the weight of making this discovery in the most public, unnecessary and invasive of ways. To better understand the number of intersex persons globally, 1.7% is also the approximate occurrence of red hair in the human population. Which is to say, it is not a small number. Is discrimination against this robust a population of people justifiable? If so, why? Whose advancement does it serve? What agenda does it push forward?

The science of testosterone and its influence on performance or as indicator of masculinity has likewise been successfully questioned and discredited within academic and scientific circles. I don’t purport to know nor want to debate Semenya’s biological composition; she is deserving of more privacy than we have ever afforded her. However, it is notable that the World Medical Association has not only questioned the study upon which the IAAF’s regulations are based but also the ethics of imposing medical treatment on athletes like Semenya. The IAAF’s regulations show a complete disregard for the wellbeing of Semenya when put up against the standards of a white, European, athletic body vested in the advancement of a heritage of white European athletic excellence.

Source: Too Fast, Too Black, Too African: On Caster Semenya | Autostraddle

I just can’t stop being thoroughly outraged by the treatment of Caster Semenya. Can you imagine an 18 year old being literally stripped naked while “experts” with no definable background in the expertise they tout, poke and inspect you to look for any reason to deny your womanhood?

There is a layer of racism to this that is jaw dropping, as Semenya was compared to the physiques of white women.

Then, to add insult to injury they pull up a discredited study about testosterone levels that is so far form reality that it was completely debunked. Every athlete has increased testosterone. There are no hard lines for what testosterone levels should be. We have a generalized masculine and feminine level.

I know this because I depend on testosterone for my masculine presentation, and my wife is repressing hers for her feminine presentation. I guess with both of us being transgender, we have a better understanding of the situation than the IAAF.

I will never stop being outraged that this woman’s success was not celebrated but undermined.

I can never support these sports knowing that this has happened.

Missouri State Senate Passes a Near-Total Abortion Ban

Reproductive Health is Abortion Rights

From the article:

Now that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a near-total ban on abortion into law, Missouri is the latest state to follow suit.

Source: Missouri State Senate Passes a Near-Total Abortion Ban

This is a no-exception ban on abortion after 8 weeks.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s with the knowledge I could access abortion, was a comfort to a guy that was born into a woman’s body. While I was fairly comfortable with how I looked, the idea of pregnancy haunted me so much I got a tubal ligation at the age of 20. The mere idea of being pregnant was a total no go.

Planned Parenthood saved my life because I had a pregnancy scare at 16, and I had no way to express the horror I felt at the idea of being pregnant. They tested me, got me on birth control, and I felt safe again. I’m not sure I’d still be here if I had been forced to be pregnant. I had already planned that at the age of 16.

My fear of pregnancy was enough that I took birth control pills in secret, and made the men I slept with use condoms as if that was the only birth control to avoid the inevitable straight boy arguments.

When I was older I took some of my friends, and eventually my sister for an abortion. Each instance was a case of extremes. Homelessness, drug abuse, or in my sisters case, spousal violence. None of those women could have carried a baby to term.

This concerted effort to outlaw one of the safest procedures you can medically get, is a violence against anyone that can get pregnant.