by Megan Burbank
At midnight on the first day of September, after the Supreme Court failed to respond to an appeal from abortion providers, a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect in Texas. SB 8 has ended access to an estimated 85% of procedures, empowered ordinary people to sue fellow citizens for seeking out or facilitating abortion care, and pushed patients to seek care across state lines, some as far as the Pacific Northwest. Less than a month after SB 8’s implementation, Planned Parenthood disclosed to the Emerald that its Central District Health Center had seen its first patient from Texas.
This disruption in care, and rise in anti-abortion vigilanteism, has already been challenged by the Justice Department and drawn widespread criticism. Reproductive health care providers question its use of the term “fetal heartbeat,” a descriptor that’s more emotional than clinical (the sound heard on ultrasounds is caused by electrical activity; heart valves aren’t actually present). Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor offered a blistering, Ruth Bader Ginsburg-esque dissent calling the law “clearly unconstitutional.” The law has even been condemned by private companies like Lyft, which established a defense fund to cover legal fees for drivers sued under the law. In the words of one Slate headline: “The Supreme Court Overturned Roe v. Wade in the Most Cowardly Manner Imaginable.”
But none of these objections lessen the impact the law has already had. SB 8 has had “a chilling effect” on abortion providers in Texas, said Lisa Humes-Schulz, vice president of policy and regulatory affairs at Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “No one wants to get sued,” she added, and the fallout has been swift.
Continue reading Patients Are Traveling From Texas for Abortion Care. This May Be the New Normal.
by Mercer Middle School
(This article was previously published by International Examiner and has been reprinted with permission)
It is a pleasure to present essays from Mercer Middle School. These students took a journalism class and want to learn more about social justice causes and ways they can make a difference, which comes through in their writing. When they wrote these articles, they were learning about why journalism matters and why it’s important.
Continue reading Social Justice Journalism From Mercer Middle School Students
by Alexis Mburu
Whenever we speak of women in history or of the present and their impact, it is impossible to provide an exhaustive list. However, something that we always sense, whatever the list, is the power that women carry and embody. That power includes the energy and life that women can bring to a room, a movement, or enterprise. Women are the backbone of society and shape us all in ways we’re aware of and otherwise. Today, I bring you five women who inspire me, as a young woman, for a multitude of reasons. Hopefully, these stories can help you reflect on the power that women bring to your life, not just for Women’s History Month, but for every day of every month.
Continue reading Five Powerful Women Who Inspire Me as a Young Woman
by Larissa McCartney
In 2020, I attempted to participate in the Instagram #100Days challenge where artists and creatives pick one theme and medium to practice for 100 days. My goal was to digitally illustrate 100 badass women and femmes of the Pacific Northwest, from all walks of life and different professions, who inspired me for a number of different reasons. I didn’t quite make it to 100, but in the end that didn’t matter! Nominations from friends, coworkers, and people on Instagram helped curate a long list of incredible individuals who contribute to and represent the PNW, influencing this great place we call home. Below are a selection of a few of these phenomenal local people along with my illustrations.
Continue reading Rad Pacific Northwest Women and Femmes, Part 2
by Larissa McCartney
In 2020, I attempted to participate in the Instagram #100Days challenge where artists and creatives pick one theme and medium to practice for 100 days. My goal was to digitally illustrate 100 badass women and femmes of the Pacific Northwest, from all walks of life and different professions, who inspired me for a number of different reasons. I didn’t quite make it to 100, but in the end that didn’t matter! Nominations from friends, co-workers, and people on Instagram helped curate a long list of incredible individuals who contribute to and represent the PNW, influencing this great place we call home. Below are a selection of a few of these phenomenal local people along with my illustrations.
Continue reading Rad Pacific Northwest Women and Femmes, Part 1
by Marilyn Watkins
COVID-19 has hit the hardest smack at the intersection of racial, gender, and economic disparities, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable amongst us. Black and Brown communities have been much more likely than whites to suffer illness and financial hardship due to COVID-19. The closure of schools and childcare facilities has put a whole generation of kids at risk while throwing a double whammy at women of all races, who provided the bulk of unpaid family care pre-COVID-19, and are now struggling to juggle work with full-time childcare plus supervision of schooling.
We need both our state and federal governments to commit to investments and policies that build health, economic security, and educational opportunity for women and children, with special emphasis on families of Color.
Continue reading OPINION: ‘Building Back Better’ Requires Big New Investments in Women and Caregiving
by Jasmine M. Pulido
I’m not sure if I’m a feminist.
I like to think I am. But what I am finding is that there are too many words in the social justice lexicon where the definition is different depending on who you are talking to. “Feminism” is a word that continues to change as our culture becomes more aware of its own social constructs. Its meaning bends as more diverse voices are allowed to weigh in on the subject.
Continue reading Washington’s Undiscovered Feminists
by Natalie Barry
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning author and media critic whose writing appears regularly in national and international media. She speaks frequently on topics related to inclusivity, free speech, sexualized violence, data and technology. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and organizer of the Safety and Free Speech Coalition, an international civil society network dedicated to expanding women’s civic and political participation. She will speak on her new book, Rage Becomes Her, at Benaroya Hall’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. through Seattle Arts & Lectures. Soraya spoke with the South Seattle Emerald about her book, gender, body politics, street harassment, toxic masculinity, and feminism.
Continue reading Soraya Chemaly Discusses Sexism, Violence, and Gender in Seattle