Uncategorized

Find Out If Your State Has Abortion Trigger Laws and Make Sure They’re Pro-Choice

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

 

Does your state have abortion trigger laws–laws that instantly go into effect if Roe vs Wade is overturned? Find out, and urge your state legislators to pass pro-choice laws if need be. 

 

Trump and the Republicans are hell-bent on overturning Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision that ensured that women will have safe, reliable access to abortion on demand. Trump announced his intention to appoint anti-choice SCOTUS judges and, well, just look at the nonsense that so many Republicans have pursued lately on this front.

 

If Roe vs Wade is overturned, the power to regulate abortion access goes back to the states. It makes eminent sense, then, to see what laws your state has on its books. Many have put so-called ‘trigger laws’ in place–laws that will ban legal abortion instantly should Roe vs Wade disappear.

 

Is your state one of them?

 

First, you should learn how accessible abortion services are in your state right now. NARAL Pro-choice America has created an interactive map that will show you (scroll down a bit to find the map).

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/laws-policy/state-government/

 

Mouse over your state to see if it offers strongly restricted access (red); restricted access (pinkish); some access (purple-pink); protected access (purple); or strongly protected access (blue).

 

Once you have learned how things are now, go to the link below, find your local chapter of NARAL, ask whether your state has anti-choice trigger laws on the books, and ask what you can do to get them overturned.

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/about/state-affiliates/

 

You can also use a nifty tool created by the Our States web site that shows you at a glance whether your state is considering anti-choice legislation right now. Click the link below and click on ‘Reproductive Justice’:

https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

 

Like NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/naralprochoiceamerica

 

Follow NARAL Pro-Choice on Twitter:

@NARAL

 

Donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/homepage_maindonate/?refcode=mainbutton

 

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Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism

Support Sandy Hook Promise, an Organization Created by Newtown Families

Support Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a nonprofit created in part by those who lost family members in the December 14, 2012 attack on the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.

 

SHP is actually two organizations.

 

The SHP Foundation‘s stated mission is “to prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.” The foundation achieves these goals “by educating and empowering parents, schools and communities on mental health & wellness programs that identify, intervene and help at-risk individuals and gun safety practices that ensure that firearms are kept safe and secure.”

 

Its educational programs include its Know the Signs guide, which teaches how to spot when someone might be at risk of harming themselves or others.

 

The SHP Action Fund is devoted to enacting “sensible gun violence prevention laws, policy and regulations at a state and federal level, in the areas of mental health & wellness and gun safety that result in the reduction of gun-related death and injury.” It does this by “engaging, organizing and mobilizing our national base of Promise Makers and Leaders at a state and federal level.”

 

Among the bills the SHP Action Fund supports is H.R. 4909, the STOP School Violence Act, which would provide grants to implement programs that draw on, and act on, the knowledge reflected in the Know the Signs guide.

 

 

Visit the Sandy Hook Promise homepage:

https://www.sandyhookpromise.org

 

 

See its ‘Get the Facts’ page:

https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/get_educated

 

 

Become a Promise Leader, a committed supporter who upholds and pursues SHP’s goals in your home community:

https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/promise_leaders

 

 

Donate to Sandy Hook Promise:

https://action.sandyhookpromise.org/donate_page/foundation

 

 

Like Sandy Hook Promise on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SandyHookPromise

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@sandyhook

 

 

Buy Sandy Hook Promise merchandise:

https://store.sandyhookpromise.org

 

 

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Uncategorized

Learn About Abortion Laws In Your State, Your Country, and The World, Thanks to the Center for Reproductive Rights

Learn about abortion laws in your state, your country, and the world at large, thanks to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

 

We at OTYCD don’t need to tell you that access to abortion is under attack across America. It’s still legal, but anti-abortion lawmakers are, and have been, doing their level best to make it as inconvenient and expensive as possible, both for health care providers and for their patients.

 

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a 26-year-old global advocacy nonprofit based in New York City, has compiled a State of the States 2017 report that surveys abortion laws across the country.

 

Download the report through the link below, and also see which states attempted to pass bans on abortions at and after 20 weeks’ gestation, and which states tried to ban the dilation and evacuation (D&E) surgical procedure:

https://www.reproductiverights.org/state-of-the-states-2017

 

 

The CPR also produces and updates a map of abortion laws across the world. See the 2018 world map here (it relies on Adobe Flash):

http://worldabortionlaws.com

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

See the website for the Center for Reproductive Rights:

https://www.reproductiverights.org

 

 

Learn about its Pro Bono program:

https://www.reproductiverights.org/pro-bono-program

 

 

Donate to the center:

https://www.reproductiverights.org/about-us/donate

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/reproductiverights

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@ReproRights

 

 

Check out its Merch:

https://www.reproductiverights.org/shop

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Elections · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn to Evangelize (In a Good Way)

Learn, and practice, how to tell the story of the candidates you support, and become an evangelist for them.

 

One of the most important things you can do to push back against Trump is convince people to come out and vote against his democracy-destroying agenda. But if you really want to be effective, you want to immerse yourself in the merits and the story of a non-Trumpish candidate, fully master it, and be ready to make a powerful, personal, eloquent case for voting for them.

 

Now, a personal confession. Sarah Jane here. I’m the founder of the OTYCD blog and the lead wrangler of research and of its anonymous writers. This is my 2016 story.

 

So it’s late 2015 or so and the election is starting to gear up. I resign myself to voting for Clinton. I’m meh on her but I don’t think Bernie can do the job, the Republicans are all thoroughly horrible, and the third party options look miserable, too.

 

But at some point I see clips from that eleven-hour Congressional Benghazi hearing.

 

And I see Clinton own those Republican twerps like the boss she is. Own. Them. Completely and thoroughly. She cleans the floor with them till she can see her face in it, and she doesn’t even break a sweat. She slays. She dominates. She destroys. Through her actions and her attitude, she reveals the hearings for what they are–a formal, coordinated attempt to kneecap her 2016 presidential campaign–and she ain’t havin’ it. At all.

 

And I realized: She can do this, and she wants to do this. She is crazy-smart and ludicrously skilled, and she has a skin as thick as a rhino’s, and she actually wants to be president. She’s been through hell and back so many times, from so many different directions, she could write a guidebook on it for Lonely Planet. She has taken far more than her allotted ration of shit in this life. She has long since earned the right to walk in the woods and play with her grandkids. But she wants to do this. Damn. Whoa.

 

In that moment I became a Clinton convert. The scales fell from my eyes. I went from ‘meh’ to ‘yeah!’ I was *excited* to vote for her. Not as much as I was for Obama, but I was excited.

 

Now, here’s my sin: I didn’t tell anyone about my change of heart. At no point before the 2016 election did I speak up to anyone else and say why I was excited to vote for her.

 

I donated to her campaign. I voted for her in the primary. I stayed on top of the issues. I watched all three debates. I voted for her for president. But never did I ever sit with friends and family and spontaneously say why I was so jazzed to vote for Hillary Clinton.

 

I live in a state that went overwhelmingly for Clinton. I can tell myself that not speaking well of her once I started thinking well of her made no difference.

 

But c’mon. What if more of us had shown genuine enthusiasm for voting for her? What if more of us had evangelized for her?

 

What if our friends and family made note of that, and passed the word to others–that there are people out there, sane and fine people, who actually like Clinton and want to vote for her?

 

Don’t get me wrong–I realize she had a fine contingent of folks who did speak well of her, early and often, and I realize a goodly number of them read this blog. I’m wondering how things might be different if that contingent were bigger, and if folks who share my Clinton journey had stepped up and joined it.

 

The overriding perception was that those who cast votes for either major presidential candidate in 2016 did so while holding their noses.

 

Remember the ‘Giant Meteor 2016’ bumper stickers? Judging by the way the election was covered, no one would blame you for thinking it was a giant nationwide game of ‘Would You Rather?’

 

It wasn’t, or at least it wasn’t for me. I liked Clinton, and I still like her, and what she stands for. And I’ve gone from being irked to pissed to stabby about how the right wing noise machine has done its level best to smear her for 30 goddamn years.

 

It’s too late to do right by Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate. But you can devote yourself to becoming a better evangelist for non-Trumpish candidates running in special elections and in 2018 who will restore and defend our democracy. (“Non-Trumpish” candidates include Republicans and conservatives who have spines, btw.)

 

You don’t have to formally join their campaigns to be effective. Heck, you might be more effective if you don’t. Just do your damnedest to learn about them, and what they stand for, and figure out what it is about them that you connect with most, and tell others why.

 

You have power. You have friends and family who listen to you and value what you have to say. Hearing people you trust speak happily, and authentically, about a candidate for office helps that candidate’s chances of winning that office.

 

Speaking up is scary. Some people will challenge you, talk over you, even yell at you and try to shout you down. But you need to speak up anyway. It’s too important. Do not succumb to silence. Do what you have to do to learn how to speak up, and get good at it, and start working on it now, in summer 2017, well before the primaries.

 

We need you. We need every voice. Our democracy depends on it.

 

Update: Since I wrote this I realized (headsmack) that many of those who stuck up for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign got shouted down, and they’re still getting shouted down months later. I can only point back to my own experience.

 

I know most of my crowd was pro-Clinton, but no one expressed spontaneous enthusiasm for her. I don’t think I would have felt any pushback if I had voiced my enthusiasm in real life (online is of course another matter) but I can’t know because I did not think to try.

 

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Escape Your Bubble · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Check Out Republicans for the Rule of Law

Check out Republicans for the Rule of Law, an organization of Republicans who believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be allowed to run its course, without interference.

 

We at OTYCD imagine you’re kind of fed up with Republicans at this point, given how cravenly they’ve enabled Trump and shirked their duty to check his excesses since the 2016 election.

 

Well, at least some of them are sane and concerned enough to call out their colleagues, at least on the subject of the Mueller probe.

 

Formed in 2018, it released an ad in April 2018 supporting and defending the Mueller investigation:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/editorial/republicans-for-the-rule-of-law-reagan-for-the-rule-of-law–campaign-2018/2018/04/11/644a3c84-3d96-11e8-955b-7d2e19b79966_video.html?utm_term=.aa815c735ce3

 

Its directors include Bill Kristol, founder and editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard, and Mona Charen, who took serious flak at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference when she tried to discuss Trump’s obvious flaws.

 

The rule of law is not a partisan issue, and has never been. We at OTYCD wish a group like Republicans for the Rule of Law wasn’t necessary, but under the circumstances, which grow more dire and ridiculous by equal measures by the day, we are grateful for its existence. We encourage you to check it out.

 

Obligatory warning, with apologies for bonking you all on the head about this fact: Republicans for the Rule of Law is made up of… Republicans. Their members hold  different political beliefs than you do. The leaders of this group will sometimes say things and do things that don’t match your beliefs, and which might piss you off well and thoroughly. That’s ok. Really, it’s OK. You’re being asked to look at what RRL is doing and support what you like, not endorse every last little everything every one of its members do. They understand the danger of Trump, at least as far as the Mueller probe goes–that’s the key thing. One of the reasons this country is so borked right now is we’re fiercely polarized and, in avoiding jerks who disagree with us, we end up avoiding decent people who happen to disagree with us. That’s got to stop if we want to make things better.

 

 

Follow Republicans for the Rule of Law on Twitter:

@ForTheRuleOfLaw

 

 

Like its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/RepublicansRuleofLaw/

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Make an Appointment to Donate Blood Every Time You Hear About a New Mass Shooting

When news breaks of a new mass shooting in America, make an appointment to donate blood (if you’re eligible to do so). 

 

Because the majority of Americans are in fact sane, we are sickened when we learn of a new mass shooting. It makes us feel powerless as well (and don’t even ask about the decades, yes, decades of effort many of us have devoted, and will continue to devote, to trying to get our gun laws changed).

 

After the June 2017 shooting at the Congressional Republican baseball practice, we at OYTCD suggested that readers donate to the three charities that benefit from the game and also consider donating blood, even if they didn’t live in or around Washington, D.C. Blood donations drop in summer, what with vacations and the other schedule disruptions that come with the season. And Steve Scalise, the Congressman who suffered the worst injuries, definitely needed blood transfusions and continued to need them.

 

So here’s something to consider. Every time you hear about a mass shooting, consider making an appointment to donate blood at a facility near you.

 

Ok, we can almost read your mind–“But I won’t have any blood left if I do that!” If it’s too early for you to donate blood, offer to escort a friend. Or offer to volunteer at a blood donation facility. Or if you’re due to renew your driver’s license and you haven’t indicated you’re an organ donor, do that.

 

Or substitute some other bit of routine community activism that fits. Spend an hour at the library tutoring someone whose first language isn’t English. Donate peanut butter and tuna fish to a food bank. Do something to make your community better that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

 

Answer an act of random violence by making the world better. Every bit helps, however small it might seem.

 

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Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Embrace the Awkward: Learn to Handle All Sorts of Unreasonable People

Want to get better at handling uncomfortable conversations with racists, sexists, bigots, and people who don’t share your beliefs and won’t let it go? Read these Captain Awkward blog posts.

 

If you haven’t heard of this blog, you have a treat ahead of you. Plan on losing an afternoon, because you will be diving deep in the rabbit hole.

 

Captain Awkward might be–no, is–the best personal advice column out there. Better than Miss Manners. Better than Dear Abby. Better than Dear Prudence. And yes, better than Carolyn Hax (sorry, Hax).

 

Blog author Jennifer P. has written several entries and presented guest posts on how to handle encounters with sexists, racists, xenophobes, homophobic and transphobic folks, as well as people who make it their mission to stomp on your boundaries.

 

Here are some good ones to start with:

 

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage (a woman dating a man who got a Neo-Nazi tattoo way back when and hasn’t yet had it removed; a woman’s older brother is a jerk who says pro-Nazi things and her family is being dense about it):

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage.

 

 

#915: ‘All in the Family Politics’ (She is pro-choice and works for an abortion provider; her future mother-in-law is anti-choice):

#915: All In The Family Politics

 

 

#871: ‘Love and Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia’:

#871: Love & Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia

 

 

#819: ‘Ware the ‘Frozen Chosen’ (dealing with less-than-Christian-acting congregants):

#819: ‘Ware The “Frozen Chosen”

 

 

#710: ‘I Love My Volunteers (But Not the Racist Ones)’:

#710: I love my volunteers (but not the racist ones).

 

 

…and read these guest posts:

 

‘A Post-election Guide to Changing Hearts and Minds’:

Guest Post: A post-election guide to changing hearts and minds

 

‘If I Come Out to My Family, Will They Stop Making Offensive Jokes Already?’:

Guest Post! “If I come out to my family, will they stop making offensive jokes already?”

 

Also, on November 16, the Captain Awkward blog posted a link to a great Southern Poverty Law Center guide on responding to everyday bigotry:

https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate