Join Eve Ensler, Mark Ruffalo, Cindy Sheehan, Gloria Steinem, Cynthia Nixon & Dr. Cornel West in signing:
Emergency in Texas
Stop Forced Motherhood
Abortion on Demand and Without Apology
Scroll down to add your name
View the statement as it appeared on page 3 of The Austin Statesman on August 4.
Who are the women featured in the ad?
Click the images below to read their stories.
Clara Bell Duvall died in Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh at the age of 34 in 1929, leaving five children, ages 6 months to 12 years, and a bewildered husband. The Clara Bell Duvall Reproductive Freedom Project is named after her.
Geraldine "Gerri" Santoro was an American woman who died because of an illegal abortion in 1964. A photograph of her after death, published in 1973, became a symbol of the pro-choice movement.
Pauline Roberson Shirley and her six children were living with her mother in Arizona while her husband sought work in California. After an illegal abortion in 1940, she began to hemorrhage and was hospitalized. She needed massive transfusions. While Pauline’s mother searched the community for donors, Pauline bled to death.
On October 3, 1977, Rosaura Jiménez died in Texas of an illegal abortion, becoming the first known woman to die because of the Hyde Amendment, which eliminated federal Medicaid funding for abortion. Congress first adopted the Hyde Amendment on September 30, 1976, but it did not go into effect until August 4, 1977. Within just two months, it had driven a woman to take desperate steps that resulted in her death.
Rebecca "Becky" Suzanne Bell was a teenage girl who died of complications from an unsafe abortion in 1988. Indiana state parental-consent laws prevented Bell from obtaining a legal abortion without her parents' consent. Afraid to ask her parents' permission, Bell either obtained an illegal abortion or induced one herself and died of complications from the procedure. Following Bell's death, her parents became advocates for the repeal of parental-consent laws.
|Rocky Anderson, former Mayor of Salt Lake City, High Road for Human Rights*
"This is the next great fight for human rights. I'm so grateful for this forum and voice created by stop patriarchy."
Ti-Grace Atkinson, feminist author
Bill Ayers, A Movement Reimagining Change*
Rosalyn Baxandall, SUNY* & CUNY*
Medea Benjamin, CodePink*
Elaine Brower, Advisory Board of World Can’t Wait
Susan Brownmiller, author of Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape
Judith Butler, UC Berkeley*
Billy Joe Cain
"Please leave women and their doctors to the decisions they come to themselves."
Kathleen Chalfant, actress
Claudia Chaufan, UCSF*
Sandra Cisneros, author
Diane Derzis, director of the last abortion clinic in MS-Jackson Women's Health Organization, Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Advisory Board member
Carol Downer, co-founder of Feminist Women’s Health Center which began doing abortions in 1971, Abortion Rights Freedom Ride Advisory Board member
Read NOW IS THE TIME: A Statement of Support for the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero Texas
Ramona Dvorak, MD
“I support standing up for the sovereignty of women! The right to abortion means the right for women to have control over their bodies and over their lives! This must be upheld. The current attacks on the right to abortion and on the courageous people fighting for these rights represent a backward, patriarchal and anti-communist view that must be confronted by all who care about women and emancipation of humanity!!”
April Emmert, Dallas NOW*
Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, creator of V-Day*
Jodie Evans, CodePink*
Dorothy Fadiman, documentary filmmaker, director, and producer
"I am deeply committed to this project. As a woman who almost died in a back alley abortion, I understand how important it is to have clean, safe, affordable abortion options."
Ruth Fallenbaum, Ph.D.
Lynn Feinerman, Women Rising Radio*
"WOMEN'S BODIES ARE OUR OWN, OUR LIVES ARE OUR OWN. Anyone with a shred of manhood or womanhood knows this."
Marilyn Fitterman, NOW NE Regional Director & Past President NOW-NYS*
Collette Flanagan, Mothers Against Policy Brutality, Dallas*
Miller Francis, writer
"Women hold up half the sky. Abortion on demand and without apology."
Jill Godmilow, Professor, Notre Dame*
"had an illegal abortion and almost died. had 2 legal ones… no problem"
"All women must have the right to choose if and when to have a child ~ forced motherhood is truly female enslavement!"
|Mary Lou Greenberg, revolutionary communist
Read The Battle for Abortion at the Clinic Doors
Michelle Gross, Communities United
"As former national chairwoman of the Reproductive Freedom Counteroffensive, I have traveled the country to stand up for the rights of all women to control their own reproduction, thus their own lives and destinies. I have seen the agenda of the oppressors of women in action. I have stood with the families of abortion providers who have been terrorized or even killed by hate-filled antichoice thugs. We can never allow the misogynistic agenda of these thugs to dictate the boundaries of the rights of women. For this reason, I stand with the women of Texas and demand reproductive freedom for all women, no matter where they live."
Corky Hale, musician
Harold Haynes, Founding Artistic Director of Encore Theatre, Houston Community College*
Shauna Heckert, Director of Feminist Women's Health Centers of California*
Lyn Hejinian, poet and writer
Ray Hill, founder and former host of "The Prison Show", on KPFT-FM, Pacifica Houston; gay rights activist
Merle Hoffman, CEO & Founder of Choices Women's Medical Center which started providing abortions in New York City in 1971, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief for On the Issues Magazine, and Advisory Board Member for the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride
Sikivu Hutchinson, author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars
Read Thank God for Abortion: What's At Stake For Black Women
Fran Moreland Johns, author
Read On Making Abortion Go Away
"I wrote Perilous Times: An inside look at abortion before - and after - Roe v Wade because I ache for women today denied abortion rights, suffering the same dangers I faced with a back-alley abortion in 1956. We cannot go back to those grim days."
Chuck Kaufman, Alliance for Global Justice*
Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, Buddhist Peace Fellowship*
"Women should not be forced to relinquish control of their own bodies and forced to have unwanted children."
Dennis Loo, World Can’t Wait, CSU Pomona*
"It is an outrage what has been and is being done to half of humanity, women, and being done correspondingly to humanity."
Liana Lopez, KPFT Pacifica Houston*
Fran Luck, Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio*
"The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride is a model for what people all over the country must be doing at this time, as our hard fought-for right to safe and legal abortion is being stripped away from us in front of our eyes. Joy of Resistance is proud to support this effort and broadcast news of it on our feminist radio show (1st and 3rd Wednesday, 9-10 PM, WBAI, 99.5 FM, stream at wbai.org)"
Patricia T. Maginnis, NOW*
"Right On Carol! Abortion Rights Freedom Ride YES!"
"I support the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, the right for women to have access to healthcare, the right for women not to be oppressed, the right for women to determine what happens to their own bodies. Taking away womens rights to abortion oppresses women, their families & communities which in turn creates class segregation. We must resist and standup for womens rights to abortion."
Maggie Martin, Co-Director and Director of Organizing with Iraq Veterans Against the War, Texas*
Travis Morales, Moody Park 3 defendant, Houston; Stop Mass Incarceration Network*
Robin Morgan, feminist poet and writer
Jocelyn Morris, Feminist since 1976, National Organization for Women Board of Directors, chair Combating Racism Committee*
“I did the ERA walk in Phila, PA, in the1970's, walked 12 miles and lost both big toe nails. I thought this was finished. NOW 45 years later we are having to do this all again. I have a 3 year old granddaughter who I don't want to have this issue in her future. We need a National plan, not a state by state assault to fix this issue.”
Rael Nidess, MD
"Using the law to control the personal actions of an individual that do not affect another person is enslavement."
|Cynthia Nixon, actress
Kiiu Nyasha, BAVC*
“Women have the exclusive right to control their own bodies - period.”
Deloyd Parker, S.H.A.P.E. (Self-Help for African People through Education) Community Center of Houston*
Linda Pershing, California State University, San Marcos*
Shawna Potter, War on Women band*
"Two members of War On Women were born and raised in Texas. Reproductive freedom for all Texans is very important to us, and we hope the Lone Star State takes a stand on this vital issue."
Sandy Rapp, songwriter, activist, and author of God's Country: A Case Against Theocracy
Dr. Ruth Robertson, Lincoln University of Missouri*
“Let us not force women to give birth to babies they cannot nurture: These include victims of rape, women whose spouses, boyfriends, teachers, or bosses who leverage access to their bodies in exchange for other things the women needs (like food, a car, money, promotion, a good grade). Other women who should have access to abortion include a loving mother whose birth control efforts failed her and will force her to lose her job which she needs to keep in order to feed the child or children she already has. In short, let us not force ANY woman to bring a pregnancy to term if she decides that she does not want to do so.”
Sarah Roche-Mahdi, CodePink*
"As an AB counselor at PP Brookline Clinic during the time of the shootings, I well know what is at stake. Down with Patriarchy!"
David Rovics, musician
Listen to In the Name of God
Mark Ruffalo, actor
Read A Message from Mark Ruffalo to the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride
Rev. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church, New York City*
Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land
Cindy Sheehan, anti-war leader, founder of Camp Casey, Crawford, TX
Alix Kates Shulman
Mary Lou Singleton, licensed midwife and nurse practitioner, founder of Personhood for Women, Advisory Board Member for the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride
Read "Not the Time to be Ladylike and Follow Rules Doled Out by the Establishment"
"Sisters unite in control of our own bodies, making our own decisions, having the right to bear children as we morally see fit, not forced 2 do so!"
Gloria Steinem, author and activist
Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait
Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution, Stop Patriarchy; fighter for abortion rights since 1995
Read Come One, Come All to the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride 2014: Ground Zero Texas!
Dennis Trainor, Jr., Creator of Acronym TV/ Director- American Autumn: an Occudoc
Watch Abortion Providers Are Heroes: In Defense of Abortion on Demand and Without Apology
Jim Vrettos, John Jay College (CUNY)*
Dr. Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary*
Diane Wilson, activist
"Now is the time and Texas is the place for ground zero"
Juanita Young, Parents Against Police Brutality/Mothers Against Police Brutality*
*Organizations for identification purposes only.
View the statement as it appeared on page 3 of The Austin Statesman on August 4, 2014:
Find out more about the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero Texas.
The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: GROUND ZERO TEXAS will consist of three major components, which synergize with and strengthen each other:
- This Statement signed by people from many walks of life, including major luminaries, artists, public figures, religious leaders, etc. which recasts the moral and political terms and the thinking of millions.
- Nationally Web-Cast "People's Hearings" - public speak outs in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley which draw out the true dimensions of the emergency. People do not know of clinic closures, scope, or stakes. Combine mass testimony from before Roe and from today, the breadth of a wide-range of community leaders and health care providers, and the prominence of well-known individuals.
- Confrontational, dramatic, non-violent political protest that delivers the verdict of these hearings to appropriate individuals/institutions. Protesters will brandish bloody coat-hangers, images of the women who died from illegal abortions, and shackles representing female enslavement.
While people are encouraged to take part in all three components, individuals can meaningfully take part in one of them without being ready to take part in all of them.