FEMINIST FRIDAY: Lady Parts Justice League Fights Fiction With Facts In New Video About Abortion

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, our weekly column where we share videos and online content that we are loving right now. This week we’re taking time to address the latest onslaught of anti-women (there’s really no other way to describe them) bills that have been passed by Republicans in US Congress and the Trump administration. We’re doing this by promoting some awesome videos from one of our favorite organizations – the Lady Parts Justice League. They are a group of badass feminists who use humor and pop culture to “expose the haters fighting against reproductive justice”.

Literally a day after the country woke up to the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history out of Las Vegas, Congress passed a 20 week abortion ban bill which will now go to the Senate for a potential vote, despite numerous medical associations and doctors opposing it (a mere 1% of abortions in the US each year are performed after 20 weeks and done for severe medical or health reasons). A couple of days later, the Trump admin announced it would be rescinding the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act because of religious and moral objections from employers who don’t want to provide it.

The anti-choice, anti-women onslaught needs to end, but so does the anti-choice narrative around these issues, which have annoyingly been very loud and dominant. Thankfully, in this #resistance era, we are seeing numerous organizations taking back the narrative in a bid to empower people with facts and knowledge. Lady Parts Justice League, founded by ‘The Daily Show’ creator Lizz Winstead use humor and facts to educate the masses about abortion specifically, and related topics.

The latest issue they are looking to share important information about is the abortion pill. Currently, the pill (otherwise known as a “medication abortion”) is only available by going to see a doctor, but because there is so much stigma around it and legislative loopholes that allow doctors and pharmacists not to prescribe or sell it, it is still hard to access for some. The LPJL believes it should be available over the counter, and a recent case involving the ACLU suing the FDA outlines how the restrictions on this safe medication are not necessarily based on fact.

“The FDA’s unique restrictions on medication abortion are not grounded in science — this is just abortion stigma made law,” said Julia Kaye, an attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

To understand how ridiculous the restrictions are in comparison to other types of reproductive healthcare, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, 19 deaths have been reported to the FDA among the more than 3 million women who have used Mifeprex in the U.S. since 2000, a mortality rate lower than for pregnancy-related deaths among women. Yet there is no where near the amount of bills being proposed to curb the US’ exponentially high maternal mortality rate as there are laws trying to block access to safe and legal abortion.

When we spoke with Lizz about the video which they made in partnership with Everyday Feminism, she explained her organization’s mission is to flood this issue with facts and data. They want to take back the narrative, and also break down stigma around even mentioning the word “abortion”.

“Why are people so afraid to talk about it when 1 in 3 women in this country have had an abortion?” she said.

She also said this is not just a “women’s issue”, it affects many people, and we must all speak up to demand the autonomy of all people. The way to truly make this happen, is by voting.

“We can’t always change the laws, so we must change the lawmakers. There are major elections every 2 years – the mid-terms and presidential elections. Everyone must vote and ensure our rights are protected,” she said.

Another mission of theirs is to expose fake clinics called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” which manipulate and coerce women into not choosing abortion. These clinics are not fully licensed to perform ultrasounds, they have no professionally-trained medical staff on premises, and are usually run by religious groups.

Lizz told us there are more than 4000 CPCs across the country, and just over 700 abortion providers. The website they created allows people to learn more about the CPCs (which also don’t offer birth control) and write reviews for the clinics to that people will know beforehand what kind of organization they are stepping into.

The third video wanted to share from the LPJL vault is their “MythCrashers: The Abortion Episode” which is a play on the popular “Mythbusters” format, and breaks down why medically and statistically, an abortion procedure is actually safer than numerous other medical procedures, including getting a wisdom teeth pulled out. Yet we continually see a slew of anti-abortion bills being pushed in the name of “safety” for women, but no bills relating to other highly dangerous medical procedures being introduced at nearly the same rate.

Considering the US has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, meaning childbirth is far more dangerous in this country than an abortion, more people should be educated about this instead of mythical narratives from the political and religious Right. For a more informed medical perspective on issues, we recommend following Dr. Daniel Grossman on Twitter, who is a clinical and public health researcher on abortion & contraception.

In the meantime, we need organizations like the Lady Parts Justice League to fight back against the fiction, and ensure people are aware of the nuance, details and reality of abortion care. Be sure to subscribe to their Youtube Channel for more informative videos, listen to their awesome podcast series “Repro Madness” and visit their website to learn more about how you can support their work and meet the team as they travel around the country.




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