Vox Magazine's Comprehensive Piece on Abortion, Including Our Story

Out story has been include in Vox Magazine's Labor intensive fight: The state of abortion and reproductive health in Missouri

This piece shares multiple stories that represent the many different stances on reproductive rights and what fuels them. While the piece is focused on stories that represent Missouri's 3 million impacted women, it's easy to extrapolate the experiences, hurdles and opinions to just about any conservative state. As the piece's introduction states: "There are 3 million women in Missouri whose well-being hinges on our ability to understand why disagreeing neighbors shout alongside a road named for God himself [Providence Road]. We challenged 12 reporters to examine the state of women's reproductive health in Missouri. What follows is their experience — in church pews, along the highway, in the homes and businesses of the people affected most — and hopefully, a mutual understanding".

Labor intensive fight: The state of abortion and reproductive health in Missouri

Abortion is an unending national debate, and women's reproductive rights are intrinsically connected to it. These 14 stories chronicle the lives of Missourians engrained in the issue

You can find Jim's and my story under "The Choice". The piece is comprehensive; it features stories for people both on and off the campus at University of Missouri - Columbia, who/what is behind the anti-abortion billboards on Highway 70 running through the state, an article debunking Planned Parenthood myths and another discussing prayer and action.

I think Vox Magazine did a great job capturing many of the elements that make abortion such a difficult issue, and highly recommend everyone take the time to read ALL of the pieces, not just those that support your point of view. It's a very nuanced issue, Vox Magazine did a great job covering it as such, and it deserves to be read and considered. 

Our Story in Al Jazeera, and Watch "Abortion: Stories Women Tell" Documentary on HBO

We have two big updates today! 

Al Jazeera Article

Our story and experience, including the trip to Washington D.C. to attend Judge Gorsuch's confirmation hearing and meet Senator Feinstein, as well as some ideas around what we want to do next are included in this in depth article by Al Jazeera English (written by Massoud Hayoun). 

American women share the stories of their abortions

Last week, Robin Utz went to Washington. Utz, an American woman from the Midwestern state of Missouri, arrived there during the confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's choice for the nation's highest court, which Trump has indicated he would like to ban abortion in the United States.

Abortion: Stories Women Tell

Additionally, I am eager to see Abortion: Stories Women Tell on HBO tonight at 7 pm CT. It looks incredibly relevant especially since it features individuals on both sides of the debate (which I am always interested in) in Missouri. You can see a preview and read more about it here:

'Abortion: Stories Women Tell' is the documentary America needs

The opening scene of Tracy Droz Tragos's stirring documentary Abortion: Stories Women Tell, shows the Missouri state capitol fill with the chant: "All in Christ, for pro-life." Back in 2014, supporters of a proposed extension of the state-mandated waiting period for an abortion-as well as those protesting against it-crowded into the capitol building in Jefferson City.

Senator Dianne Feinstein's Remarks, The New York Times, and What's Next

I was happily stunned this morning when Senator Dianne Feinstein referenced our Op Ed in the Washington Post during her opening remarks of Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing. You can watch her remarks in the video below:

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee delivers her opening statement during the confirmation hearing of Judge Neil Gorsuch, the president's Supreme Court nominee, on March 20, 2017.

They are transcribed here:

Two weeks ago, the Washington Post ran an Op-ed written by a woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. She described how she and her husband went to great lengths for four years trying to get pregnant and were thrilled when they finally succeeded. Tragically, after her 21-week check-up, they discovered her daughter had multi-cystic dysplastic kidney disease. They were told by three separate doctors that her condition was 100% fatal. And that the risk to the mother was seven-fold if she carried her pregnancy to term. The mother described their excruciating decision and the unforgiving process the couple endured to get the medical care they needed. The debate over Roe v. Wade and the right to privacy, ladies and gentlemen, is not theoretical. In 1973, the court recognized a woman's fundamental and constitutional right to privacy. That right guarantees her access to reproductive health care. In fact, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld Roe's core finding, making it settled law for the last 44 years. I ask unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman, to enter into the record the 14 key cases where the Supreme Court upheld Roe’s core holding and the total 39 decisions where it has been reaffirmed by the Court. If these judgements when combined do not constitute super precedent, I don’t know what does…Roe ensured that women and their doctors will decide what is best for their care not politicians.

I hope I can fully articulate my gratitude to Senator Feinstein for sharing our story during such a critical time. Not only does it expose more people to stories like Grace's, but it also reminds the world that we have to be very careful to create, craft, and enforce laws around women's reproductive rights very carefully to truly bring all of the necessary components into account.

I was likewise very glad to see Judge Gorsuch literally take note of our experience. I hope so much that this indicates he is curious about our story and circumstances, and that he is open-minded about preserving women's reproductive rights and privacy, and supporting laws and legal decisions that acknowledge and include the gray areas around abortion. Historically, his recorded statements towards women's reproductive rights don't indicate that he feels this way, and there are very valid concerns around how he will approach reproductive rights and upholding Roe v. Wade if he is confirmed, especially since Donald Trump said he would nominate a justice that would overturn Roe v. Wade

Senator Feinstein's remarks resulted in this article from the New York Times, which provides an excellent summary of Senator Feinstein's remarks as well as our Op Ed

This all feels like so much happening, in the best way possible, as I prepare to head to Washington D.C. to advocate for the first time in my life. I'm not going to lie; I'm a little nervous. This is so new for me, and it requires more courage than I'm used to having to supply.

But today's events have made me feel all the more proud, and bolstered me to go to Capitol Hill and tell our story. I have never felt prouder of the difference that Grace is hopefully making. I so desperately want the utterly heartbreaking choice we made for her, out of pure love, to stay legal, and have great hope it will become something people treat with more compassion.