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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 30, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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05/30/22 05/30/22 [captioning made possible amy: from new york this is democracy now! >> so what we have to understand is just whate'veeen at the supreme court level, this attk that's finally reached its pinnacle up to the supreme court to dismantle roe v. wade, this work has had tentacles. and it'been working to criminalize women and also to imse civil punishmes associated with pregnancy. amy: today, a democracy now! special. as the supreme court appears set to overturn roe v. wade, we will speak to law professor michele goodwin,
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author of "policing the womb: invisible women and e criminalization of motherhood." we'll also talk about inclusive language around pregnancy with chase strangio, the aclu's deputy director for trans justice, and look at escalating attacks on lgbtq+ community. >> this is all happening in the same con that we're seeing the criminalization of abortion care, that we're continuing to see the massive suppression of votes across the country. and all of these things are interconnected and creating chaos and fear. amy: all that and more, coming up. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. toy a democracy now! special. the supreme court appears poised to overturn abortion rights. earlier this month, politico published a leaked supreme court draft opinion which showed the court is set to overturn roe v.
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wade, the landmark decision that's guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights for half a century. if roe is overturned, 13 states have so-called trigger laws that would make abortion illegal as soon as the court rules. another 13 are expected to enact abortion bans soon after the court issues its ruling in the case known as dobbs v. jackson women's health. it was on the eve of the court's oral arguments in the dobbs case in november that law professor michele goodwin wrote a guest essay in "the new york times." it was headlined "i was raped by my father. an abortion saved my life." i recently interviewed michelle goodwin. i began by quoting from her article. a warning to our viewers and listeners, this segment includes descriptions of sexual violence. "on wednesday, the supreme court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of a 15-week abortion ban in mississippi
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that provides no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. what's at stake in this case matters to the countless girls and women who have been raped -- including those who, like me, were raped by a father, an uncle or another family member. it was the early morning of my 10th birthday the first time that i was raped by my father. it would not be the last. the shock was so severe that i temporarily went blind before i began the fifth grade a few weeks later. by the time the school year began, my father had taken me to see a battery of doctors -- a medical explanation would paper over the fact that the trauma caused by his sexual violence had caused my body to shut down. the physiological suffering that i endured included severe migraines, hair loss and even gray hair -- at 10 years old. while other girls may have longed for puberty, i loathed the idea of it. my body became a vessel that was not mine. it had been taken from me. i lived in fear of the night, and the footsteps outside my bedroom door."
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those are the opening words of michele goodwin's "new york times" guest essay last november headlined "i was raped by my father. an abortion saved my life," again, written on the eve of the court's decision that could overturn the constitutional right to abortion. michele goodwin joins us now. she's chancellor's professor at university of california, irvine school of law, founding director of the center for biotechnology and global health policy, and has written the book "policing the womb: invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood." professor goodwin, welcome back to democracnow! we appreciate you joining us again this week. can you start off by talking about why you chose to write that essay? >> amy, it's important that we all understand that the new aect of anti-abortion provisions includes an aspect
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that we would not have seen even five years ago. and that is that they make no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. now,hese laws on their own are really quite chilling and horrific when we understand, ju as a baseline, the importance of reproductive liberty and freedom and when we understand that a woman or girl is 14 times more likely to die by carrying a pregnancy to term than by an abortio in the united states. so that's just a baseline anyway. but then when we add onto it that these laws have this kind of punitive aspect as well, such that if you have been raped or that you have somehow survived incest, that you, too, may no longer have an exception that would provide for the ability to terminate a pregnancy, then we really understand that these laws have nothing to do, and they never have had anything to do, with protecting, respecting the autonomy,
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the dignity, the privacy of women or girls. in fact, they're just simply cruel types of laws that are power plays that fit into a history of controlling women's bodies and a history, quite specifically, of controlling the bodies of black and brown women. i mean, it's been all women who have been subjected to the cruelties of such laws, but they have a particularly pernicious effect when we actually understand the historical implications, too. as to rape and incest, i thought it was really important to legitimize that conversation and move us away from the taboo where we're not supposed to talk about those things and where, clearly, the supreme court is not talking about that at all, as it was not raised in oral arguments. and in the leaked draft opinion that was circulated this week, justice alito does not even bother to actually mention rape
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or incest in any part of the nearly 100-page draft opinion. amy: when you talk about the health of african american women, also the mortality rate, maternal mortality rate of african american women, talk more -- go more deeply into how these laws so deeply affect pregnant people all over the country, but particularly, afcan americ women and low-income women. >> that's right. i mean, as a general matter, we should all be horrified cause as general matter, black won are the canaries in the coal mine. what happens to them eventually reaches everybody else, though not always to the same degree. and that's also bn historically true as well. as you look at states like mississippi, alabama, texas. you know, as a national matter, black women are nearly four times more likely to die than white women by carrying pregnancies to term,
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three-and-a-halfimes more likely. but when you drill that numbedown and you actually peer under thhood and you look in states such as i've mentioned and you look even deeper within certain counties that have high populatio of bck women, and you see then, well, in those places, black women are five, 10, 15, 17 times more likely to die by carrying pregnancieto term than their white counterpart. and if you look at that national statistic that i gave u, that women generally are 14 times more likely to die by carrying a pregnancy to term than an abortion, well, inississip, it's over 100 times more likely to die -- in fact, nearly 180 mes more likely to die -- if you're a black woman in mississpi and you're coerced into carrying a pregnancy to term. you're that mu me likely to die than by having an abortion. and so, these alarmi, really alarming statistics, that in any other cagory of health,
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if we heard that, the alarm bellwould beinging and the government would be saying, y know, "don't choose the alternative at all. we want to keep you alive." but wh's very interting, when it comes to pregnancy and pronatalism in this country, it's not about actually caring about the health of women, girls, people who can become pregnant. not at all. those alarm bells do not ring, even though the data that i've just shared with you comes from the cdc. it comes from the departments of health in these individual states. this is not data that's being made up by people who are pro-choice. this is data that we're getting from the governments in florida, in texas. this is governor abbott's data that helps us to know that texas is one of the most dangerous places in the entire developed world for a person to be pregnant. amy: i wanted to ask you about the louisiana law -- well, it's not a law yet, it's been proposed -- that makes the destruction of a fertilized human egg
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at any stage of its development an act of murder, punishable presumably by louisiana's death penalty. i mean, this is astounding. you're talking about -- what about a person who works in a fertility clinic, who is holding a test tube -- >> sure. amy: with a fertilized egg and drops that test tube? could they be charged with murder? >> well, this is where we're in a space that i call the new jane crow, the laws that are not rational. they are quite illogical, and even more, they're punitive, they're cruel, they're absolutely excesve. you kn, if you think about the work of pauli murray, she was in many ways the godmother of the civil rights movement. thurgood marshall said that the book that she wrote on race laws was the bible of the civil rights movement. and it's about 800 pages, single-spaced, all of these crazy -- really crazy jim crow laws, such as, you kw, black people can't play checkers in the park --
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that ridiculous, that you think, "who in the world thought of that?" -- and would connect a fine and also criminal punishment if black people are caught playing checkers in the park. well, in the new jane crow, we see laws such as and opositions such as what you've just describe they make absolutely no sense, but they're absolutely cruel. and they're meant to cause fear and to chill behavior. and their reach is beyond what we could grasp or even imagine. and that's also really what "policing the womb" is about. it is a warning call, because we've already seen, again, as black women in the canaries -- canaries in the coal mine, we've seen that kind of punitive punishment, with black women being dragged out of hospitals in shackles and chains in the late 1980's and 1990's because they were imperfect in how they carried their pregnancies -- no exact law saying that they could or should be dragged out of hospitals in such punitive ways or giving birth in prison and on toilets and concrete floors.
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but the specter of policing their pregnancies, thisind of specter that the state owns everything with regard to your reproductive capacities leads us into a space where there's dramatic surveillance. and it's frhtening for people. and that's what these laws are meant to do. yes, they'll criminally punish, and possly even ath sentce, but they're meant to instill fear in people. amy: i mn, you look at a most recent case that got a good amount of attention. it was thease of lizelle herrera. she is the latinx woman in texas who was charged with murder for, quote-unquote, a "self-induced" abortion. now, because of groups like the frontera fund and women of color massively protesting, very much now that's the exception to the rule. she was released and the charges were dropped. but if the supreme court rules as we think it will,
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based on this leak, this will become the rule, the rule of law. >> yes. well, what we'll see is just like jim crow times or antebellum times. therare places where women can beree and girls can be free and may not have tworry. and even there, i would put some caution around it, because in california just a couple years ago in the valley, there was a prosecutor who attempd to prosecute - in fact, was prosecuting -- a woman for murder in the case of her stillbirth. but, yes, what we will begin to see is that there will be states where people will not be free, where they will in fact be policed. and that kind of policing will also be connected to sex profiling, just like racial profiling, right? this hyper-intensive look what are girls and women doing with their bodies. there will be a turn to and pressure on nurses,
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on doctors, on medical staff to breach millennia-old practices of confidentiality between themselves and their patients. and they will breach that and will share that information, just as we saw ithat case, with law enforcement. d then the next step will be arrest. and this is not just simply anecdotal. as i record in my book, in the state of alabama, already there have been hundreds of women who have come under the inspection of the state, charged and arrested under fetal endangerment -- or child endangerment, in that case -- laws, laws that would extend child, the definition of a child, to a fetus. and in alabama, as 've menoned, black women, the canaries in the coal mine the, e majority of those won happen to be white. but they all are poor, or the vast jority of them are poor or working-class women,
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who have already come under the attention of the sta in this prurient kind of way. so what we have to understand is just what we'veeen at the supreme court level, this attk that's finally reached its pinnacle up to e supreme court to dismantle roe v. wade, this work has had tentacles. anit's been working to criminalize women and also to impose civil puniments associated with pregnancy. amy: i wanted to ask y, professor goodwin, about the medication abortion, the pill. "the l.a. times" lead story, "abortion pills: a post-roe game changer -- and the next battleground." the opening line, "the future of abortion in the.s. is moving to the mailbox." it's also the front-page story today of "the new york times," "in abortion fight, pills could be the next focus." and it might surprise some people to know that more than half of abortions in the united states are result of taking these pills. you just did a podcast on this. can you talk about this issue?
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>> that's right. that's right. so in europe, this has been liberalized for decades. and e to political machinations and with the food and drug administration, which at times can be captured by outside sources, it wastalled in the united states. but now for more than a decade, just about a decade in the united states, we have a signifant number of pregnancy terminations, abortions, being done through medication. they're incredibly safe. the world health organization has compared an abortion to the safety of a penicillin shot. so these pills are very, very safe. it's worth noting that during the trump administration, of over 22,000 drugs that one could receive in the mail during t height of covid, medication abortion, these pills, were the only ones where a person had to go to a clinic, to a hospital, in order to receive them.
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so there is a way in which they've been selected out for a different kind of treatment than any other kind of prescription. that said, they are accessible. and for people who are wondering now, women who are wondering now what comes next, well, these pills are accessible and find a source where you are able to get them. and there are underground sources as well that are online, where folks are told this is how you order them, and they can be sent a friend, and they can get them to you. the are a myriad way of getng that done. but the attack will be exactly that. the attack will come to the mailbox in order to try to shut down access tabortion in every means possible, including not just shutting down the clinics where surgical abortions can take place, bualso searching the mailbox in some form of a way. so we'll begin to see myriad laws being shaped that try to get at that, that makes it illegal to reive pills in the mail,
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that make it illegal to send pills in the mail, and any other -- i mean, it's amazing the kinds of innovations that these legislators can come up with to try to rb rights and dismantle rights. and they're not very good and not committed to actually saving the lives of people who actually end up pregnant, want to stay pregnant or don't nt to stayregnant. amy: professor goodw, your book "policing the womb," you write -- "arguably, abortion has become so fundamentally intertwined linguistically and conceptually with the terminology of 'reproductive privacy' and 'reproductive rights' that little else fits within the taxonomy. this is a mistake," you write. why? >> well, it's been a mistake, when you think about the following. if you think about civil rights, that's a plural. it has an "s" on it. and as having an "s" on it, it meanshat we're not just talking about brown v. board of education, right? we're talking about education, employment, housing, the ability to swim in theool in your neighborhood
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anwalk through the park. we're talking abouaccommodations inll of those areas. and when we nter just one aspect within abortion rights or within reoductive rights, then we're talking just about abortion. then we're missing sex education, access to contraception. we're misng conversations about stilization. we're missing all of everything else. and that kind of blind spot then means a failure toay attenon to many of the other areas where there have alrea been encachments on reproductive health rights and justice. and so this is why we've missed largely what's been happening to black and bro women, the kind of most hoific treatment by governmt during their pregnancies. th is how the agenda of personhood was missed in the 1980's and 1990's when it was being inflicted on black women. you know, when prosecutors are claiming
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at your embryo or your fetus is a ling born child- and it is not, by any constitutional defition -- then everybody should be alarmed. but in the 1980's and 1990's, it completely missed those in the reproducti rights movement who were only focusing on abortion. but here'the other thing, amy. given the histories of crcion and coercive reproduction in the united states that dates back to t forced kidnap and traffickin of black women, then we should all be concerned about the fact that black women for centuries and it is country have not been accorded dignity en they are carrying pregncies to term, and when they're caring pregnancies to term that they want. and we should want iall. we should wa that women should be le to surve and have dignity when ty are prnant anwant to be pregnant. and we should also care abou vernment coercively forcing women to carry pregncies
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that they don't want, for the benefit of random state legislators that these women do not even know. amy: michele gdwin chancell's professor at university of california, irvine school of law. when we come back, i'll ask her about her book "policing the womb: invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood." stay with us. ■■ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as i continue my conversation with michele goodwin, chancellor's professor of law at university of california, irvine, i asked her about the leaked draft opinion to overturn roe v. wade wtten b justice samuel alito. in part of his ruling alito provides a list of anti-abortion laws from various u.s. states enacted between 1850 and 1919. when these laws were passed, men had no right to vote. most african amerins were either legally enslaved
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or after emancipation, subjected to racial rrorism and lynching at the hands of law enforcement and thku klux klan. in his rewriting of history, justice alito saysraditions from these eras should dictate current law. i asked professor goodwin to talk about justice alito's argument and the history she tells in her book "policing the womb: invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood." >> that's right. it's a very interesting cherry picking, the kind of selectivity that justice alito brings to this, which in so many ways is also completely alarming, alarming for the facthat it is not an accurate account. this draft opinion is stunning and alarming for what it omits. it is stunning for the citations that are chosen in it, anits also historical erasures.
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and that's just to start, to just level start. so this period of time that he chooses to select ignores the period before wheabortions were not criminalized. the pilgrims perrmed abortis. indigeus people, on whose lands we are doing thiprogram, rformed abortions and all myri form of healthcare. there were at that point not men running around with stethoscopes and lacoats. obstetrics and gynecology was not even a field at the founding of the united stes. this period that htalks about is a period that leads up to the civil war. it is a period of me in which abortion, curiously, becomes criminalized because 100% -- nearly 100% of reproductive healthcare was being done by women. about half of those were black women, and then there were indigenous women and white women. and these were the midwives. d the miives -- and if anyone thinks about it, we, that make sense th 2000 years ago
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there weren't guys with stethoscopes and l coats saying, "i'm your gynecolist." it just simply did not exist, right? these were women doing theare and work for women. but in a piod of tim leading up to the civil war, obstetrics and gynecology slowly becomes a field. and there armen like horatio storer and joseph delee, anthen there had beenarion sims a notoriously terroristic gynecologist who experimented on black women anfailed to even provide them -- denied them pain relief. right? no anesthesia for them. he wrote ihis autoography, in fact, amy, how he would have epiphanies in the middle of the night and then take his knives and other tools and literay cut to the bodies of black women for his middle-of-the-night experimentations and epianies. he is considered the goather of gynecology. a atue was ected inis honor in central park. but i digress. but it's those guys who helped to lead a movement against midwives.
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and the way in which this movement tes shape is to say, "well, they're doing something immoral, and that is aboion." was not about abortions. it was about monolizing a field. and they were successful at leveraging themselves to be able to push midwives out of reproductive healthcare, take over this field for themselves. i mean, between that period of time thate quotes, that justice alito quotes, and thbeginning of the 20th century, we go from 100% of reproductive healthcare being doney midwives to 1% at t beginning of the 20th century. and what was used too that was to criminalize abortion. and these were very strategic doctors. and i'll just add one more point to it. this was also so deeply racialized because they wrote about -- their words, not mine -- about how white women needed to use their ins and go north, south, east, and west. it's this collection of doctors who pushed for anti-immigration campaigns
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against people who were coming from asian countries. it's a period of our history that's worth unpacking, not just foreproductive rights but for the racism and its intimacy with white supremacy. y: professor goodwin, you write about policing and criminalization around abortion, but also arounwomen who want to have children. can you tell us the story, the highly disturbing story u describe in your book of marlise muñoz in texas? >> yes. i mean, when we think about this as, again, the plural of reproductive rights and begin look beyond abortion, then we see the tactics that have been invested in by this anti-woman, anti-trans -- and it's all together and with a very specific focus on black and brown women, but a reach th goes everywre. marlise muñoz was a healthcare woer.
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she was an emt. and she had a brain aneurysm and she was pregnant. she experienced brain ath. brn death is well defined, and has been well defined and accepted for half a century in the uted states. at the period of brain death, a person who has a "do not resuscitate" order would then not be ruscitated, allowed for thbody to physically die, and cremated or buried or whaver that person has decided or the family members. but in texas and in nearly three dozen states, there's what are called medical exclusion laws. the name doe't necessarily tell us what substtively it does substantely, what it does is it takes away that kind of decisn-making for a woman who is pregnant. so in marlise's case, when she was rushed to the hospit, the hospital officials decided that she should be on a life-sustaining treatment.
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only she was brain dead. marlise's husband erick muñoz and her parents said, "we do not want her on life support. she is brain dead. we want to be able to, with dignity, have her life come to a close." twice she was medically sustained. there was a tracheotomy that was performed. the hospital ultimately taped her eyes shut because it put her on a bed that violently rocks back and forth. there were pro-life presters that came to the hospita and protested outside, saying that medical science did't matter, that in a week marlise uld be alive. for 62 days, marlise's body was forced to be an incubator foa fetus that was nodeveloping well at all and against the will of her husnd and her parents. they actually had to sue the state of texas
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in order for marlise to be released from thhospital and takeoff of le support. she was dead. it is incontrovertible thatrain death death inhe uted states -- except nowf you happen to be pregnant person, a pregnant woman. en brain death somow, in these ai-abortion state means something different. and it is a tragic case in mlise's case. her father talked about how her skin had bece so hard, her bo had become so hard, it was like a mannequin, touching her. the stench was so severe that iwas hard for people to cominto the room. but this is what the state of texas is seeking to normalize. amy: we're talking with professor michele goodwin. the stories you tell in this book, like of bei bei shuai in indiana, an immigrant woman from china who attempted suicide. if you can tell us her story? she was pregnant, and the fact that she was charged with murder.
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>> days before christmas a few years ago, bei bei shuai was in a parking lot and her boyfriend threw money at her and ld her that he was going away and never wanted to see her again. distraught, bei bei shuai sought to killerself. she got rat poison. and it's interesting note that foromen in ina who are attempting to commit suicide, it's not unusual to use -- turn to pesticides and ings like rat poison. ll, she atfive, x packets rat poison in order to kill herself. she survived becse her frids und her, rushed h to the hospital wherdoctors engaged in very aggressive treatments to tryo save bei bei shuai's life and to also try to preserve and save the fetus as well. angel waher child thatas born and survived f four days and then died. doctors were not clear exactly why and how angel died.
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angel could have died beuse of the very agessive life-sustaining treaents that ty tried to provide. they didn't know in any case, bei bei shuai was charged with first-degree murder. the prosutors in the state of indiana sought over 40 years of incarceration for bei beshuai. they charged her with first-degree murder and also aempted feticide. athe te in whi the laws fofeticide were enacted in the state, legislators said this would never be used against women and that the purpose for them was actually to go after people, me who be up their girlfriends and wives during pregnancy. but that was not the case in bei bei shuai's scenario. and what's intereing to note ther amy, is that in the state of indiana, it's not a crime to attempt to commit suicide. it is not a crime. and yet prosecutors went after be bei shuai a preant person because she attempted to commit suicide wle pregnan
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and i nt to just add one other piece to that, too, that really lps us to see just w cruel the punishment is. in years prioro that, in using this feticide law, prosecutors soht three years connection with a woman being stabbed to death while pregnant by her boyfriend - three yearin his cas for wh happened the fetus. in a case involving a bank robber who robbed aank and shot a tler in the belly twice, killing tws, it was five years. in bei bei shuai's case, 40 years. and i think that really helps to establish just what this policing means and how it is a very cruel and punitive turn tards contr of women. amy: youlso no, ofessor goodwin, that hospitals and hospital staff serve as surrogates of the state. i mean, i go back to the lizelle herrera case, the latina woman in texas who was charged with murder who apparently went to the hospital
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and they said had -- was dealing with a self-induced abortion. we don't know the details exactly. but it was clearly people in the hospital who is believed were involved with talking to the state that got her charged. the charges were dropped, because the public was so outraged by what happened to her. and this was very recent. >> that's right. it's another example. d it's an important example as to how doctors and nurses have essentially become snitches for the state -- not all doctors, but a significant enough number of the that in the state of alama, they kind of have a hotline relationship wi prosetors in that state. and i know this because i spent time in alabama inteiewing prosecutors in person and then also by phone interviewing them as to, how are you coming tprosecute these women in your state
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connected with their pregnancies? and i was directlyold it's because of the relationships that have been formed and ilt with nurses and ctors. and, of course, this is the backdrop of the case involving the dozens of black women in south carolina where the medical university of south carolina purposefully engaged in creating a dragnet th police and precutors so that ey could explicitl and specifically target black women who us crystallized cocainduring pregnancy. now, for your audience to be ear, there is no statistical difference in terms of the rate of use of crystallized coine between black women and white women at all. but the medical universi of south carolina wanted to focus only on black women. and, in fact, in their dragnet, whh included dozens of women literally being dragged out ofheir hospitals or ackled and ained duri delivery, there was only one white woman
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who was implicated in their large and official dragnet. and that was a white wan on whoseedical chart one of the head nurses wrote "lives with negro boyfriend." and that was enough to get her mped in with the black women who were singled out for this kind of chilling and horrific treatment. and all of this is important to know and all of this weould have seen, if in fa there were broader attention paid to reproductive rights as a plural, rather than as a singular item. amy: professor goodwin, at the end of your book, you write about a reproductive justice new deal. can you explain what your recommendationsre? >> yes. we have to understand that in these times, nobody is really safe. this is really a backsliding of demracy. this is really a trampling of the rule of law in ma ways. and if we had more time on it, we could talk about just how justice roberts fits into that
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bui write abou-- amy: please do. >>k. i write about a reproductive new deal as the urgency of these times in recognizing that we're all vulnerable. people who are lgbtq, as we se in texas havbecome vulnerable. in florida, the "don't say gay" legislation, which is now sweeping across the country. the attacks on parents and trans ildren in texas. in this reproductive new deal, i outline that there should be constitutional protections associated with the reproductivephere and, in fact, with just simply the human sphere. and i delineate what all of that means step by step, much in relation to just the kind of arc that we've talked about on your show this morning. across all of these areas, we need to think about protecting people who can become pregnant and seeing those as fundamental constitutional rights all along.
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and we don't have an equal rights amendment. and this is a means of explicitly getting at these various areas in which legislators have sought to basically strip away any form of human dignity, privacy, autonomy, and equality from anybody who has the potential to become pregnant. and we are largely talking about women and girls. amy: that's michele goodwin, chancellor's professor of law at university of california, irvine, author of the book "policing the womb: invisible women and the criminalization of motherhood." we turn now to democratic congressmember lucy mcbath of georgia. during a recent meeting of the house judiciary committee, she shared her personal story about accessing reproductive care. >> like so many women in america, for years, i struggled to get pregnant. my husband and i, we tried everything that we could do
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to start a family of our own. and finally, we were successful. i had never been so happy. and i prayed for this moment for so many years. i wanted to tell everyone. i just wanted to shout it from all of the mountaintops. for weeks i began to dream about our life and our future together. and then one day, i woke up covered in blood. and it's hard to describe the agony of a miscarriage. it's heartbreak, it's helplessness, it's pain, and it's profound sadness. millions of women suffer from them. and i've heard from many who felt guilty like i did, who felt as though that we weren't worthy of having a child. those are the same feelings that crept through my mind.
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and every time i've had these difficult discussions with other women, i remind them that they are strong and that they are powerful beyond measure and that their worth is far more than their ability to procreate. however, it seems those in support of this ruling disagree. after my second miscarriage, i wondered, in my grief again, if god had decided i was never meant to be a mother. so when i finally got pregnant again, i was overjoyed. it was as if i believed that god was giving me and my husband -- finally, he had a plan for us to be parents. but after four months, while feeling terror and trauma in my heart, i was rushed to the emergency room.
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there, with my doctor and my husband, i learned that i had suffered a fetal demise, or a stillbirth. there again, i was filled with anguish and sorrow and guilt. and i tried so hard and still i felt like i failed trying to be a mother. my doctor thought it would be better to -- and safer to end the pregnancy naturally without the medicines so cmonly used. so for two weeks, i carried my dead fetus and waited for me to go into labor. for two weeks, people passed me on the street telling me how beautiful i looked, asking how far along i was, and saying that they were so excited for me and my future with my child.
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for two weeks, i carried a lost pregnancy and the torment that comes with it. i never went into labor on my own. when my doctor finally induced me, i faced the pain of labor without hope for a living child. this is my story. it's uniqly my story -- and yeit's not so unique. millions of women in america -- women in this room, women at your homes, and women yolove and cherish -- have suffered a miscarriage. and so i ask on behalf of these women, after which failed pregnancy should i have been imprisoned? would it have been after the first miscarriage after doctors
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used what would be an illegal drug to abort the lost fetus? would u have put me in jail after the second miscarriage? perhaps that would have been the time, forced to reflect in confinement at the guilt i felt, thguilt that so many women feel after losing their pregnancies. or would you have put me behind bars after my stillbirth, after i was forced to carry a dead fetus for weeks, after asking god if i was ever going to be able to raise a child? and i ask because the same medicine used to treat my failepregnancies is t same medicine states like texas would make illegal. i ask because if alabama makes abortion murder, does it make miscarriage manslaughter? i ask because i want to know if the next woman
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who has a miscarriage at three months if she will be forced to carry her dead fetus to term. so for the women in your life whose stories you do not know, for the women acss the cntry whose lives you may not understand, and for the women in america who have gone through things you simply cannot comprehe, i say to you this -- women's rights areuman rights, reproductive healthcare is healthcare, and medical decisions should be made by women and those that they trust, not politicians and officials. we have a choice. we can be the nation that rolls back the clock, that rolls back the rights of women and that strips them of their very liberty, or we can be the nation of chce, the nation where every woman can make her own choice. freedom is our right to choose.
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amy: that was georgia congressmember lucy mcbath. a year after her stillrth, she gave birth to her son jordan davis. in 2012, jordan was shot dead by a white man over a dispute about loud music at a gas station in jacksonville, florida. jordan was just 17 years old. before joining congress, lucy mcbath became a leading advocate for gun control. when wcome back, we'll also talk to chase strangio about inclusive language around pregnancy. he is the aclu's deputy director for trans justice. and we will look at the escalating attacks on the lgbtq community. stay with us. ■■ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in a major development in the ongoing attacks on the lives of transgender people in the united states, alabama has become the first state in the nation to pass a law to make it a felony to provide gender-affirming medical care to trans youth. the law went into effect may 8 but it's been partially blocked by a federal judge. the law aims to ban the use of puberty blockers and hormones, which can be lifesaving for trans children and teens. doctors and others who are found in violation of the law could face up to 10 years in prison in alabama. just after alabama enacted the law. i spoke to chase strangio, deputy director for trans justice with the aclu lgbtq & hiv project.
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>> i mean, this is just a really devastating and terrifying time on so many levels. and with alabama's law, this is a law that's been introduced in alabama since 2020. we've been able to block it in 2020 and 2021, and they continued to move it forward. unfortunately, on the last day of the legislative session, it was pushed through. it was immediately signed by the governor. it had an emergency effective date, which meant there was only 30 days from the time it was signed by governor ivey in alabama to when it went into effect, creating an absolute terrifying sea change in the reality on the ground for trans people, their families, and their doctors in alabama -- and not just alabama but across the southeast. the university of alabama has a gender clinic that is serving trans adolescents and their families, not just in alabama but in georgia, in florida, in tennessee, in mississippi. and now, in a matter of hours, all of that care is becoming a felony, which means families are uprooting their lives. they are trying to figure out when and whether they can get lifesaving care
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for their adolescent children. and i think it's important to note that this is all happening in the same context that we're seeing the criminalizatn of abortion care, that we're continuing to see the massive suppression of votes across the country. all of these things are interconnected and creating chaos and fear among indiduals, families, and communities across 50% of the country at least, because we are looking at a situation where, come june, we're goingo have an absolute sea change in the realities of our federal constitutional rights, which is going to lead to actions by the states that are going to continue this type of escalation that we're seeing in alabama and elsewhere. amy: chase, let's talk more about the content of this alabama law and other similar laws, such as the executive directive that was issued by the republican texas governor greg abbott which orders the department of family and protective services in that state to conduct child abuse investigations into parents who give gender-affirming care to their trans children.
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the texas directive is now on hold. a major new report published last week by the yale law school, the yale school of medicine, and the university of texas southwestern notes -- "texas and alabama officials have falsely claimed that doctors are routinely sterilizing children and teenagers with surgical procedures." it also says both states "consistently ignore the mainstream scientific evidence that documents the substantial benefits of gender-affirming care, greatly exaggerate the risks of gender-affirming drug therapy, and rely on poor-quality evidence." one of the co-authors of the report meredithe mcnamara of the yale school of medicine and child study center said -- "we need to call for fact-based checks on legal opinions and legislation. scientists need to have a seat at the table. and perhaps most importantly, there must be a penalty for writing fake science into law. trans and nonbinary youth
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are facing the fight of their lives to simply exist and we can't let them stand alone. this is a matter of life and death," she said. chase, your response? and talk about the significance of this yale medical school report. >> yeah, i mean, absolutely, this is so important that we have accountability, that we have fact-check. and it is true that these laws are codifying complete misinformation and outright lies about this care. young ople are not being forcibly sterilized when it comes to gender-affirming care. they are being forcibly sterilized in many circumstances when it comes to the nonconsensual surgeries on intersex infants that a explicitly allowed under these ws. but we have to be clear about what's happening. and it's nojust republican lawmakers that are codifying this misinformation. the public discose, the media, is all complicit in this, because we have spent the last five years and more having a debate, a so-called debate over the legitimacy of trans life, that has alled these types of laws to flourish. and the reality is is that this care is safe,
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this care is effective. you have 21 medical groups weighing in in court in texas, in alabama, saying these laws must be enjoined. this is safe medical care that we have used for decades. this is effective medical care that we know to save the lives of adolescents. and by the way, this care is only provided to adolescents. they talk about children, but this is treatment that is provided to people once they have reached puberty. it is already incredibly difficult to access. there are long waiting lines. there are long wait lists. it can be cost prohibitive already for many families. and the reality is that there are conservative protocols in place that govern the provision of this care through very strictly regulated medical protocols. we're talking about a situation where parents are consenting, adolescents are consenting, and the doctors are recommending this treatment. and it is treatment that is well studied, it is well provided, and it has documend benefits for these young people. but instead of recognizing that, we're in a situation with the escalated criminalization of this care. in the case of tas, we have the governor directing
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the department of protective service to investigate families. thankfully, at is on hold. and then we have alabama that is now crimalizing this care in the context of the provision of the care by parents and doctors up to the age of 19. and as we're talking about the ages here, i think it's really important to note that republican legislatures across the country continue to creep the age later and later. so we hear the discourse of children, but missouri, for example, has proposed legislation that would block this care up to age 25. the reality is that it's not about protecting children. it's not about protecting anyone. it's about surveilling and criminalizing trans bodies and making this medical care increasingly out of reach cause we'reontinuing to see the propagation of this misinformation aut what this care actlly is. amy: finally, chase, i wanted to talk to you about this historic week around abortion, the leaked draft opinion that the supreme court is going to overturn roe v. we. and i want to talk about both abortion and gender-affirming care.
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we reported earlier that florida's republican senator marco rubio introduced a bill friday that would prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to their employees' travel costs when seeking gender-affirming care for their children out of state, as well as for those seeking an abortion. so if you can talk about what often in this last week hasn't been talked about as much, because, well, the abortion issue has been preeminent, why it's important to talk about trans care at the same time? and if you can also talk about inclusive language around pregnancy? >> yeah. i mean, i think that if you look at the reality of how specifically the right has systematically over the last 50 years used state legislatures and the federal judiciary to slowly expand the power of the state to control people's reproductive choices and erode the federal constitutional right to access abortion, that that very playbook is being utilized to constrain
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much more than access to abortion. it's being used to constrain access to contraception. it's being used to constrain access to the restroom if you're a trans person. it's being used to constrain access to healthcare for transgender adolescents. and the reality is that the animating goal behind all of these pieces of legislation is to control people's bodies, to enforce codes and norms of gender and sexuality that entrench power in the hands of the state, that enforce a heterosexual christian nuclear mily as the only model, that is part of a state-building project, by the way. and so if we don't connect these things, we are ultimately going to see the erosion of all of our rights. if you look at something like s.b. 8 in texas, which went into effect months ago, that type of legislation, that creates a bounty provision where private citizens are deputized by the government to surveil and criminalize and enforce criminal penalties against their neighbors, that is exactly what's happening to trans young people
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and their families in texas and elsewhere. and then you look at the expansion of these criminal penalties in proposed legislations where we're starting to see efforts to criminalize people for going out of state to access the healthcare that they need in the abortion context, in the trans context, these are part and parcel of the very same playbook. the same lawmakers that are introducing the anti-abortion legislation are introducing the anti-trans bills in the same committees in the same states. it is all part of the same strategy to enforce norms ogender, enforce norms of sexuality that limit people's reproductive autonomy and ability to self-determine their identities. and the reality is is that we have failed to mobilize collectively, and we have let the right divide u which has been very effective for them and very unfortunate for us because we're looking at a situation now where we are going to see a supreme court that is ready and willing to erode not just the constitutional right to access abortion, but the right to access contraception, the right to access marriage equality, the right to determine whether and how we can access healthcare generally when that healthcare is about affirming who we are.
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so we should have a lot of questions for ourselves in these movements about how we're going to fight back collectively and not rely on the discourse that t state is setting forth that is set up to divide us. and when it comes to language and sort of the distraction of inclusive language in the public conversation, you can see -- you have this opinion leaked early in the week last week where -- and this is devastating for the future of so many people's ability to survive and access safe medical care. and then you have some people focusing on the fact that on occasion we recognize that some people who are not women become pregnant. we may use the language of pregnant people. we may use the language of biring people that is just a fact. and the reality is, is women are people, by the way. and people may become pregnant who are not women. that we acknowledge reality on occasion to, you know, hold space for peoe like me who are not women, who may become pregnant -- that's just a factual truth -- it allows people to have more access to care. it allows a more robust movement that lets more people in,
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which is always to the benefit of everyone. but we're not out here saying that we shouldn't talk about women. people can still talk about women. these laws target women. there is an important conversation to be had about the systematic attack on women's opportunities, on the regulation of women's bodies. the reality is sh, though, that it's not just women who are affected. and by the way, the more we have this non-inclusive discourse -- it's not just trans men and nonbinary people who are excluded, it's the entire system of gender-based policing that is then invisibilized because this harms all of us. and we all have a role to play in fighting back. amy: that's chase strangio, deputy director for trans justice with the aclu lgbtq & hiv project. and that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to
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or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013.
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♪ hello and thanks for joining us on nhk world japan. this is nhk "newsline." we start with breaking news. european leaders have started with a partial oil embargo on russia. it is not a total ban. they have allowed a temporary exemption for imports by pipeline. the


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