The latest available figures show that only 48 percent of voting-age women with ready access to their U.S. birth certificates have a birth certificate with their current legal name. The same survey showed that only 66 percent of voting-age women with ready access to any proof of citizenship have a document with their current legal name.
Ultimately, these measures make the voting process more confusing and place additional burdens on groups who each had to struggle to obtain the right to vote and the right to access quality & affordable reproductive health care.
What are leaders in the movement saying?
“If you can’t access the ballot box, how do you ensure access to reproductive health care?” — Aimee Thorne-Thompson, Advocates for Youth
For reproductive justice advocates, voter suppression is a reproductive justice issue. Many groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights (RCRC) and NYC Reproductive Justice Coalition (NYC RJC, formerly SisterSong NYC) and Advocates for Youth work year-around to educate communities on the issues and mobilize them to vote for progressive candidates and ballot measures.
Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Justice Director at RCRC, Angela Ferrell-Zabala says voter suppression has the potential to affect down ballot measures and local races in states like Florida.
“Down ballot issues like Amendment 6 will open the state’s constitutional privacy laws and make it very difficult for women to seek abortion care’’ Ferrell-Zabala states.
If Amendment 6 is passed, politicians will be allowed to intrude on personal medical decisions and take away access to healthcare that many women who are Florida public employees currently have.
There is much at stake and “we have to look at the repercussions, it all leads back to reproductive justice. Accessing healthcare and education — making informed decisions about your sexual health and family planning.” Ferrell-Zabala explains.
This is about agency and the power to transform communities.
“To limit the agency of women and youth who are disenfranchised by the social conditions of our race, gender, age and socio-economic status is unacceptable at best, and a direct violation of our human rights at its worst.” says Jasmine Burnett, NYC RJC lead organizer.
Gloria Feldt, author and past president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America argues that “the young, the poor, the women struggling to make ends meet for their families are most vulnerable to disenfranchisement yet have the most to lose if right-wing perpetrators of voter suppression succeed.”
The power of the women’s vote can only be effectively leveraged if every woman who is eligible to vote is able to enter the voting booth and have her vote counted. If they are not counted in 2012 then, “reproductive rights, health, and justice would be among the first freedoms to go, and economic justice not far behind.” said Feldt.
|—||Charlene Carruthers, “The Right To Vote Affects the Power To Choose: How Voter Suppression In 2012 Will Erode Reproductive Rights,” RH Reality Check 7/13/12 (via racialicious)|
DISCRIMINATION: Wells Fargo to pay $175 million over lending practices against Latinos and African Americans.
The Native Americans, not the bear hunt folks.
Remember, kids, religious freedom in America is only for Christians. Not for Muslims. Not for atheists. And especially not for actual Americans, or actual American religions.
RENO — Following their appearance at the March Wildlife Commission meeting, where they stated their opposition to the bear hunt on religious grounds, Native Americans from various Paiute Tribes the Pyramid Lake Paiute Band were recently questioned by FBI and U.S. Marshalls.
FBI Agent, George Chillito (cell 775-741-9429), an FBI agent with the Task Force on Counter-Terrorism in Reno, reportedly stated that he was investigating the Native Americans at the request of Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens because the “game wardens” and the “audience felt threatened” by the presence of the Native Americans at the March Wildlife Commission meeting.
Several Native Americans appeared at the Wildlife Commission meeting held on March 23 and March 24 (“meetings”), and at the Washoe County Advisory Board Meeting held on March 15, to oppose the bear hunt, adopted in December 2010. Shortly after the Commission meeting, FBI agents and U.S. Federal Marshals began appearing at the homes and places of work of the Native Americans, and questioning them about why they opposed the bear hunt, and what were they going to do if the bear hunt continued, etc.
At the meetings, several Native Americans from various Paiute Tribes were present and spoke on the record in opposition to the Bear Hunt for religious reasons, stating that the black bear was a sacred animal to them, and that to kill one for sport was the same as burning a Bible would be to a Christian.
Shortly thereafter, during the period April 2-4, FBI agents visited and questioned two of the Native Americans who spoke at the open public meetings, by arriving at their homes and places of work. On April 2, up to six (6) FBI agents and Federal Marshals came to Lisa Bonta’s home in Sparks, NV, stating that the Nevada Department of Wildlife “game wardens felt threatened” by her presence at the meetings, and specifically questioned why she was opposed to the Bear hunt, and what was she going to do if the bear hunt continued.
Another Native American, Daniel Thayer, was visited by federal agents at his place of work on April 3, and was told that the Nevada Department of Wildlife had requested an investigation because the “audience felt threatened” by his presence, and was similarly questioned. On April 4, another Native American, Raquela Arthur, saw federal agents watching and carrying out surveillance on her private residence.
When independently contacted, one Nevada Department of Wildlife staff member stated that he had no knowledge of any request by the Nevada Department of Wildlife for the FBI to investigate Native American opponents of the Bear hunt.
Mr. Chilito is reported to have said that he was also investigating members of www.NoBearHuntNV.org who were present at the meetings, and who have been peacefully and professionally opposing the bear hunt since December 2010 by working within the NDOW public process without incident. Many members of the press from TV and newspapers were also present at the meetings, and were interviewing both Native Americans and members of NoBearHuntNV.org throughout the day. A video of the Commission meeting, and the testimony of the Native Americans, is posted on the Nevada Departmen of Wildlife website.
This FBI intimidation comes on the heels of alleged racial slurs directed at the Native Americans when they spoke at the Washoe County Advisory Board held on March 15th.
All of the Native Americans questioned are members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Northern Nevada, a recently registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. AIM members call for NDOW to conduct an internal investigation and to make public who made the request to the FBI, on what grounds it was made, and why the Director of Nevada Department of Wildlife supported such a request.