“Offensive” says NYU’s newspaper about anti-Tebow OpEd

Sunsara Taylor tour

Read the OpEd piece by Sunsara Taylor and alum Janai Garfinkel that Washington Square News editor called "offensive" and overturned the decision to publish last week. 

OpEd is below.
ALSO: Sunsara Taylor will be speaking on Tuesday, February. 23 on 
"From the Burkha to the Thong: Everything Must, and Can, Change! WE NEED TOTAL REVOLUTION!" at the Cantor Film Center – NYU
36 East 8th Street, Manhattan, 7-9:30 pm  tkts: $10-20, free for students w/I.D.
here’s the OpEd:

Anti-Abortion Ad has No Place in College Sports or National Television

This weekend, CBS will air an anti-abortion ad from Focus on the Family featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam Tebow, during the Superbowl.

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This is in spite of CBS’s long-standing policy to reject “advocacy.”  Last year they rejected an ad welcoming gays and lesbians into the United Church of Christ.

Tim and Pam Tebow’s story is that during her pregnancy with him, her doctor suggested she consider abortion due to possible health risks.  Her claim to fame is that she refused to even consider abortion and ended up with a healthy baby who grew up to be a huge college football star.

But, as Joy Behar pointed out on The View, Tim Tebow could just as easily could have grown up to be a rapist pedophile.

On a deeper level, there’s no inherent value in risking one’s life for a pregnancy. Fetuses are not people.  They have the potential to become people, but until they are born, they are a subordinate part of a woman’s body.  If she decides to terminate that pregnancy, for whatever reason, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  If a woman does have a child and it grows up to do great things, that doesn’t validate her any more than if it does terrible things that means she has failed.

The only framework in which it makes sense to celebrate a woman for risking her life to have a child is if you are stuck in the Dark Ages.  You know, back in the day when a woman’s worth was reducible to the “quality” of children she bore to her husband and master.

Not surprisingly, that is exactly the framework that Tim and Pam Tebow and Focus on the Family are in.  They are Biblical literalists.  That means they believe it is a woman’s job to make babies and obey men.  If you don’t believe us, read it in the Bible.  In 1 Timothy 2:13-16 that “god” explains the curse put on women for “deceiving” Adam in the “Garden of Eden” and how we can only be saved if we bear children.

This is why Focus on the Family is not only against abortion, they are against birth control!  Further, they think being gay is an abomination and they believe the earth is only 6000 years old.

The problem is not just that CBS decided to take this ad and are denying other ads, although that is hypocritical.  The problem is that this particular view of women has no place in any decent society.  It doesn’t belong in college football, it doesn’t belong on the SuperBowl, it doesn’t belong in politics, it doesn’t belong in this millennium.

Women are not breeders.  We are not lesser beings.  We are not objects created for the sexual pleasure of men.  We are human beings, capable of participating fully and equally in every realm of human endeavor.  It is time that we be portrayed as such.

signed,

Janai Garfinkel, NYU Graduate 2000

and

Sunsara Taylor

News Abortion

Reproductive Justice Groups Hit Back at RNC’s Anti-Choice Platform

Michelle D. Anderson

Reproductive rights and justice groups are greeting the Republican National Convention with billboards and media campaigns that challenge anti-choice policies.

Reproductive advocacy groups have moved to counter negative images that will be displayed this week during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, while educating the public about anti-choice legislation that has eroded abortion care access nationwide.

Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, along with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), Trump’s choice for vice president, have supported a slew of anti-choice policies.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health is among the many groups bringing attention to the Republican Party’s anti-abortion platform. The New York City-based nonprofit organization this month erected six billboards near RNC headquarters and around downtown Cleveland hotels with the message, “If abortion is made illegal, how much time will a person serve?”

The institute’s campaign comes as Created Equal, an anti-abortion organization based in Columbus, Ohio, released its plans to use aerial advertising. The group’s plan was first reported by The Stream, a conservative Christian website.

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The site reported that the anti-choice banners would span 50 feet by 100 feet and seek to “pressure congressional Republicans into defunding Planned Parenthood.” Those plans were scrapped after the Federal Aviation Administration created a no-fly zone around both parties’ conventions.

Created Equal, which was banned from using similar messages on a large public monitor near the popular Alamo historic site in San Antonio, Texas, in 2014, did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, said in an interview with Rewire that Created Equal’s stance and tactics on abortion show how “dramatically out of touch” its leaders compared to where most of the public stands on reproductive rights. Last year, a Gallup poll suggested half of Americans supported a person’s right to have an abortion, while 44 percent considered themselves “pro-life.”

About 56 percent of U.S. adults believe abortion care should be legal all or most of the time, according to the Pew Research Center’s FactTank.

“It’s important to raise awareness about what the RNC platform has historically endorsed and what they have continued to endorse,” Miller told Rewire.

Miller noted that more than a dozen women, like Purvi Patel of Indiana, have been arrested or convicted of alleged self-induced abortion since 2004. The billboards, she said, help convey what might happen if the Republican Party platform becomes law across the country.

Miller said the National Institute for Reproductive Health’s campaign had been in the works for several months before Created Equal announced its now-cancelled aerial advertising plans. Although the group was not aware of Created Equal’s plans, staff anticipated that intimidating messages seeking to shame and stigmatize people would be used during the GOP convention, Miller said.

The institute, in a statement about its billboard campaign, noted that many are unaware of “both the number of anti-choice laws that have passed and their real-life consequences.” The group unveiled an in-depth analysis looking at how the RNC platform “has consistently sought to make abortion both illegal and inaccessible” over the last 30 years.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio last week began an online newspaper campaign that placed messages in the Cleveland Plain Dealer via Cleveland.com, the Columbus Dispatch, and the Dayton Daily News, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio spokesman Gabriel Mann told Rewire.

The ads address actions carried out by Created Equal by asking, “When Did The Right To Life Become The Right To Terrorize Ohio Abortion Providers?”

“We’re looking to expose how bad [Created Equal has] been in these specific media markets in Ohio. Created Equal has targeted doctors outside their homes,” Mann said. “It’s been a very aggressive campaign.”

The NARAL ads direct readers to OhioAbortionFacts.org, an educational website created by NARAL; Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio; the human rights and reproductive justice group, New Voices Cleveland; and Preterm, the only abortion provider located within Cleveland city limits.

The website provides visitors with a chronological look at anti-abortion restrictions that have been passed in Ohio since the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

In 2015, for example, Ohio’s Republican-held legislature passed a law requiring all abortion facilities to have a transfer agreement with a non-public hospital within 30 miles of their location. 

Like NARAL and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Preterm has erected a communications campaign against the RNC platform. In Cleveland, that includes a billboard bearing the message, “End The Silence. End the Shame,” along a major highway near the airport, Miller said.

New Voices has focused its advocacy on combatting anti-choice policies and violence against Black women, especially on social media sites like Twitter.

After the police killing of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy, New Voices collaborated with the Repeal Hyde Art Project to erect billboard signage showing that reproductive justice includes the right to raise children who are protected from police brutality.

Abortion is not the only issue that has become the subject of billboard advertising at the GOP convention.

Kansas-based environmental and LGBTQ rights group Planting Peace erected a billboard depicting Donald Trump kissing his former challenger Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) just minutes from the RNC site, according to the Plain Dealer.

The billboard, which features the message, “Love Trumps Hate. End Homophobia,” calls for an “immediate change in the Republican Party platform with regard to our LGBT family and LGBT rights,” according to news reports.

CORRECTION: A version of this article incorrectly stated the percentage of Americans in favor of abortion rights. 

News Law and Policy

North Carolina Governor Fights to Uphold GOP’s Anti-Transgender Law (Updated)

Teddy Wilson

At stake is $861 million in federal funding for public education, which the state would be in danger of losing if it implements the bathroom discrimination measure.

UPDATE, May 9, 4:32 p.m.: The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday afternoon filed a counter lawsuit against North Carolina, Politico reports. The lawsuit reportedly seeks a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the state’s anti-transgender bathroom discrimination law.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) administration filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government in defense of the state’s anti-transgender bathroom discrimination law, after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged that North Carolina violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The DOJ sent a letter last week to the McCrory administration informing state officials that they had until Monday to confirm whether the state will comply with the Civil Rights Act or implement HB 2.

At stake is $861 million in federal funding for public education, which the state would be in danger of losing if it implements the bathroom discrimination measure, according to the Charlotte Observer.

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McCrory said in a statement that his administration filed a “declaratory judgment action asking the federal courts to clarify federal law.”

“The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level,” McCrory said.

North Carolina Republican lawmakers convened a special legislative session in March and passed HB 2, which overrode the nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council.

HB 2 prohibits local governments from implementing nondiscrimination ordinances. The measure requires that people use the restrooms in public schools or government buildings designated for the gender listed on their birth certificate, among other provisions.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal issued a joint statement last week in light of the DOJ’s response to the Republican-backed HB2, and called for state legislators to repeal the law.

“The only way to reverse the ongoing damage HB 2 is causing to North Carolina’s people, economy, and reputation is a full repeal,” the statement said.