Netroots Nation 2011: The War on Contraception

Netroots Nation Minneapolis: June 2011This panel focused on the reality that attacks on reproductive and sexual health care aren’t limited to abortion, specifically talking about attacks on contraception. Antis want to make sure folks can’t control any part of their reproductive process – can’t prevent pregnancy, can’t terminate a pregnancy, and even can’t care for a child when it’s born, since they’re also trying to cut funding to support parents.

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon pointed out that, while the war on contraception is gaining attention lately, it’s been going on for a long time. There were attacks on family planning during the Bush administration. Amanda also highlighted the abstinence-only movement as a major arm of the anti-contraception movement. They’re not just about being anti-sex – they lie about contraception to discourage its use.

Kaili Joy Gray of Daily Kos called out the Democrats for not really being there for us on these issues. And she’s scared – abortion’s effectively illegal for many folks, the war on contraception’s running wild, so what’s next?
Amanda and Kaili did mention the silver lining is the fact they’re so obviously going after not just abortion but contraception, even WIC, could potentially be a way to bring more people who are iffy about abortion into our tent.

Sarah Audelo from Advocates for Youth talked about some important polling – the majority of folks support contraception access and would be willing to vote on this issue. There was also a lot of critique of the notion that young people don’t care – Sarah mentioned the recent polling and Amanda spoke to the massive amount of young people turning out at protests lately, as the attack on contraception has become more visible.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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