Amelia Long lives in Austin, Texas. She is a volunteer coordinator by day and a volunteer with her local abortion fund by night.

We’re 30 days into the nationwide 40 Days for Life protest, which means abortion clinic workers still have 10 more days of protesters praying on their sidewalks and offering clients “sidewalk counseling” as they approach clinic buildings.

Meanwhile, the awesome CLPP (Civil Liberties and Public Policy) conference is going on this weekend at Hampshire College – and being liveblogged at Feministing and Amplify.  CLPP is a national organization for repro rights and repro justice movement-building.

Abortion rights, at the state level, continue to face legislative death-by-a-thousand-cuts:

  • In Iowa, Ohio, AlabamaIdahoOklahoma, Missouri and probably even more states, lawmakers moved forward with bills banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on claims that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development. Nebraska and North Carolina already ban abortions after 20 weeks, while 36 other states ban abortions after 24 weeks.
  • Idaho, Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Louisiana are trying to ban insurance plans covering abortion from inclusion in the state’s health exchange. End result: people in those states whose insurance is not covered by an employer would continue to pay for abortions out of their own pockets.  (For more on the issue, see Katherine Greenier’s article “Why Insurance Coverage for Abortion Matters” from RH Reality Check this week.)
  • But… Montana’s Democratic governor vetoed such a proposition, saying it violated the state’s constitution.
  • Last week, Arizona passed a law that not only made race- and sex-selective abortion a felony but also “allows the father of an aborted fetus – or, if the mother is a minor, the mother’s parents – to take legal action against the doctor or other health-care provider who performed the abortion.”
  • Arizona also now requires doctors to perform all abortions (surgical and medical) by defining the administration of abortion pills as “surgery.”  The bill also outlaws telemedicine in the case of abortion.

On the bright side of things, the racist anti-abortion billboard I petitioned against in Austin got taken down (coverage via How to Have Sex in Texas).  In its place is the “Pregnant? Scared?” campaign that was up there before.  I’m not really counting this as a victory, especially since the replacement billboard, as an advertisement for a crisis pregnancy center (a.k.a. fake abortion clinic) is still racist.  (See Akiba Solomon’s “Crisis Pregnancy Centers: One More Weapon Against Women of Color” last week on Colorlines.)

A new racist anti-African-American-abortion billboard in Chicago featured President Obama’s image and drew a rapid activist response.

I’ll leave you with some good listening for your weekend:  audio from a reproductive justice bloggers panel in New York (via Feministing).

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