Erin Matson is co-founder and co-director of Reproaction, a new direct action group forming to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. She has appeared in a variety of publications and frequently on television, including ABC World News, BBC World News and MSNBC. An organizer and strategist, Erin has led local, state and national advocacy campaigns on areas including abortion rights, contraceptive access and cultural representations of women. Erin has served as an editor at large for Rewire, and a vice president at the National Organization for Women. She is the proud mother of a daughter.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ ongoing drive to own what the progressive brand within the Democratic Party should look like—a quest currently taking place in Virginia with gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello—coupled with his willingness to make abortion rights an optional part of that brand, is dangerous at a critical moment for reproductive health care.
This is no time to abandon the current Democratic Party platform in order to welcome with open arms those who vote to restrict reproductive rights, including votes against proactive advancements in access to care.
The threat to contraception access is real, and it makes sense for people to fill prescriptions before the transfer of power takes place. It's also why people wanting an intrauterine device (IUD) should consider getting one before inauguration, while the Affordable Care Act still stands and IUDs are still covered without co-pay.
On June 14, the White House will host the United State of Women Summit to "celebrate the progress we've made on behalf of women and girls and to talk about how we're taking action moving forward." Yet abortion is nowhere on the agenda.
Though Paul Ryan has an undoubtedly abysmal history where gender and economic equity are concerned, the uncomfortable fact remains that his actions with regard to his personal life may have progressive effects.
Perhaps the same thing can take place with abortion rights as has happened with the Vagina Monologues: that, at the least, Out of Silence can act as a jumping-off point for activism that may push even further than abortion storytelling itself in the future.
Contrary to a narrative that young people are apathetic or lazy or too busy texting to care about human rights, in fact young people are at the helm of the movement for justice for all people. I, for one, can't wait to see what they pull off in 2015.
On September 22, Georgetown University campus police removed from outside the school's front gates a small group of students who had been peacefully advocating for reproductive rights, women's rights, and equal rights regardless of sexual orientation.
Until reproductive rights and justice leaders make disability rights an integral issue for the movement, anti-choice advocates will continue to dictate—and skew—the conversation in order to restrict abortion.
At a time when the federal program that supports the hotline is providing a "modest increase" in funding after a reduction in funds three years ago, the NFL will provide what the hotline describes as "significant resources" for domestic violence programs.
I know all too well the shame and sense of shared understanding that Janay Rice has spoken of in recent days. It is why I stayed in an abusive marriage for two years, and why I am speaking up ten years later.
In what universe is any private institution providing services in a competitive marketplace entitled to public funding? Apparently a universe where children without stable homes are denied the opportunity to join a loving family because of someone else’s bigotry.
The law provides an expansive host of benefits, including requirements that employers provide basic accommodations for pregnant workers. To get a better sense of this law and the strategy that made it win, Rewire spoke with Debra Fitzpatrick of the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
What does it mean to be pro-choice? For an increasing number of activists, advocates, and advocacy organizations, it includes wanting to be identified with an agenda more comprehensive than supporting a woman's right to choose abortion—as in, dropping the "choice" label entirely.
A recent petition by William Peter Blatty—a Georgetown graduate who's best known for writing The Exorcist—is aimed at forcing the university to conform to a strict and exclusionary vision of Catholic identity, and it's been yellow-lighted by a Vatican representative.
Vatican officials appeared Monday before the United Nations Committee on Torture to discuss the sexual abuse of children by priests, claiming the Holy See lacks juridical power to combat the problem on an international basis.
Last week, Rewire published a piece in response to an earlier commentary I wrote about what was being billed as a feminist effort to criminalize surrogacy in Kansas. Much as I respect them, it appears the co-authors of that article responded to a straw man.
The latest cover of Bloomberg Businessweek features a well-dressed white woman standing with her hand on her hip, underneath the words "FREEZE YOUR EGGS, FREE YOUR CAREER." But it's plain fallacy to believe that an individual woman can outsmart a racist, sexist job market by freezing her eggs.
The bishops urge repealing a section in the Code of Virginia that provides state funding for abortions in the Medicaid program in the event of a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency in a fetus.
The Kansas legislature is considering a bill that would make surrogate parents, gestational carriers, and anyone who assists them liable to up to a $10,000 fine or imprisonment of one year. But despite what some supporters of the legislation may say, criminalizing freely chosen reproductive actions is not part of the feminist project.
President Obama wasted an opportunity this week, and I'm willing to be the feminist advocate to say it. When he signed two executive orders extending critical provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, he addressed only some employment discrimination, and equality for some is not equality for women.
A new report from the National Women's Law Center argues, among other things, that Congress should pass the Fair Employment Protection Act to correct the narrow definition of a supervisor created by last summer's Supreme Court decision in Vance v. Ball State University.
Genetic counselors in Virginia who object to abortion may now prevent women from learning the results of their genetic tests before their pregnancies progress to a point when legal abortion is impossible to obtain—and the practice could become legal in other states as well.
A recently signed law to license genetic counselors in Virginia includes a sweeping "conscience" provision that is the direct result of a partnership between an anti-choice group and a prominent Democrat who just two years ago was held up nationally as a hero and champion for reproductive rights.
After a year of focused debate, advocates for changing a culture of rampant sexual assault within the military were rebuked by a 55-45 procedural vote that did not allow the measure to advance to a full vote.
In a move that has left some marriage equality advocates expressing dismay, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is reported to be considering appointing Mayor Dwight Jones, who has stated his opposition to marriage equality, to lead the Democratic Party of Virginia.
If CVS wishes to keep moving in the direction of providing health care, the women who patronize it need to know they can come in to the store for contraceptives and leave that same store with contraceptives in hand.
By March 8, we should know the outcome of the budget reconciliation process between Virginia's Democrat-controlled senate and Republican-controlled house, which will determine whether access to health-care coverage will be expanded for 400,000 uninsured, lower-income Virginians.
The decision to show Tebow in a maternity ward, wearing a white coat, and coaching a pregnant woman in labor was a bad one. Depicting famously anti-choice spokespeople as experts, or even ordinary Joes, in the arena of reproductive health is not funny. It's disrespectful.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has made it a top priority to remove the commonwealth from the list of 25 states that have declined to expand the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare. On Monday, House Speaker William Howell (R-Stafford) said his majority caucus is not going to play along.
Based on Thursday's UN panel, we were given additional reasons to believe that the all-male hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church must not be entrusted to come up with a program that will resolve and redress sexual crimes within its flock.
For one thing, health care doesn't live up to its own name if it segregates and excludes the medical needs—including abortion, contraception, and family planning—of some because of the discriminatory belief systems of others.
Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has announced his selection of Dr. Bill Hazel as secretary of health and human resources, calling him an "invaluable asset." Hazel was selected for that cabinet post in 2010 by Gov. Bob McDonnell, and has supported the outgoing governor in the implementation of several anti-choice policies.
Dr. Bill Hazel, secretary of health and human resources under Gov. Bob McDonnell, represents the insidious face of an apparatchik advancing, supporting, and rubber stamping a war on women that Terry McAuliffe promised to end.
Dr. Bill Hazel was involved in an effort to salvage McDonnell's reputation after the governor became the focus of national attention for pushing a bill that, as originally written, would have subjected women to forced vaginal probes prior to receiving an abortion in the state.
When you're pregnant, the last two things you want to have to worry about when you're expecting a baby are your health and your income. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would help ensure that pregnant women are able to follow their doctor's recommendations without worrying their bosses are going to squeeze them out of a job.
While respectful and serious in the treatment of its subjects, Follow the Leaderis a rollicking romp through patriarchy. It is entertaining, illuminating, and a springboard for conversations beneficial to those of us who would prefer to see more than only conservative white boys angling for the oval office.
The religious exemptions currently folded into the Employment Non-Discrimination Act are broad enough to allow Catholic schools to continue firing teachers for being gay. But these base religious exemptions were not broad enough to satisfy some key Republican senators.
ENDA would protect many LGBTQ individuals from workplace discrimination, something a strong majority of Americans support. However, the proposed version of the law would not protect LGBTQ employees at Catholic schools and some other religiously affiliated institutions.
Wednesday morning, an Arlington Circuit Court judge ruled against a motion filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to dismiss an appeal by the Falls Church Healthcare Center concerning a TRAP law in the state.
While Pope Francis' comments last week on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are an important (and long overdue) first step for the Vatican, it's hardly time for advocates of gender, reproductive, and sexual justice to rest on their laurels.
"Don't be scared. Just go for it," said new mother Raquel Batista, who is running to represent the Bronx in the New York City Council. "There is nothing to lose. There is nothing to lose in running for office and starting your family."
At Wednesday's debate Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez gave some indication of how he would vote on reproductive health policy, a topic that he has been reluctant to discuss in detail on the campaign trail.
Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel announced that she is running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, while Virginia Republicans selected Bishop E.W. Jackson as their nominee for lieutenant governor in this year's election.
In response to the recent discussion about a "bro-choice" movement, I'd like to offer a defense of continuing to talk about abortion as a women's issue, and pointers for how men can be supportive as allies within that frame.
How can you afford to have children and access to decent medical care with a full range of birthing options when you are paid according to your race and gender rather than your contributions to society?
Choi was convicted and fined $100 for "failure to obey" in conjunction with a November 2010 protest of the since-repealed DADT policy outside the White House. "I believe the White House sidewalk is a free-speech zone," he said.
The case concerns whether Lt. Choi should serve up to six months of jail time or pay a fine of up to $5,000 for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of the DADT policy in November 2010. Choi argues that since DADT has since been repealed, his charges should be dropped.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) today, the final day of Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. So what's at stake for youth?
Don’t expect legislators opposed to reproductive rights to tread lightly in 2013 just because voters made it clear extreme approaches to health care aren't popular, warned the American Civil Liberties Union in a media conference call Tuesday.
With the greatest number of women ever in Congress, there is still mathematical reason to debate 2012 as a “Year of the Woman.” The elections have come and gone and men still hold 80 out of 100 (80 percent) seats in the Senate, and 355 of 433 (82 percent) filled seats in the House.
On the past couple of weeks the major cable networks invited nearly twice as many men as women to discuss the fight for contraceptive coverage. So here are five big facts on birth control not nearly enough discussed by men in the mainstream media.
As a graduate of Georgetown University and advocate for women, I write to express my horror with the actions of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the matter of contraceptive coverage and to ask you directly to initiate a conversation within the Georgetown community, as well as with the bishops who claim to speak on the behalf of women students, employees and our dependents.
Operation Rescue prompted pro-choice advocates from around the country to get together and realize how strong we actually are, an invaluable realization at a time of unprecedented legislative attacks on a woman's fundamental right to control whether, when and how she might have children. What we need is to stand together more often, and in the streets.
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