Celebrating The 41st Year of Roe v. Wade


 

By Jueseppi B.

roe_vs__wade_logo_

 

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Decided simultaneously with a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the Court ruled 7–2 that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting women’s health. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the trimester of pregnancy.

 

The Court later rejected Roe‘s trimester framework, while affirming Roe‘s central holding that a person has a right to abortion until viability. The Roe decision defined “viable” as being “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid”, adding that viability “is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.”

 

In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United StatesRoe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today, about issues including whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role should be ofreligious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-choice and pro-life camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides.

 

 

Roe v. Wade
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Argued December 13, 1971
Reargued October 11, 1972
Decided January 22, 1973
Full case name Jane Roe, et al. v. Henry Wade,

District Attorney of Dallas County

Citations 410 U.S. 113 (more)

93 S. Ct. 705; 35 L. Ed. 2d 147;
Prior history Judgment for plaintiffs, injunction

denied, 314 F.

Supp. 1217 (N.D. Tex. 1970);

probable jurisdiction noted,

402 U.S. 941

(1971); set for reargument,

408 U.S. 919 (1972)

Subsequent history Rehearing denied, 410

U.S. 959 (1973)

Argument Oral argument
Reargument Reargument
Holding
Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to

get an abortion violated her due process rights.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

affirmed in part, reversed in part.

Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Case opinions
Majority Blackmun, joined by Burger,

Douglas,

Brennan, Stewart,

Marshall, Powell

Concurrence Burger
Concurrence Douglas
Concurrence Stewart
Dissent White, joined by Rehnquist
Dissent Rehnquist
Laws applied
U.S. Const. Amend. XIV;

Tex. Code Crim. Proc. arts. 1191–94, 1196

 

Roe-v-Wade-protest

 

Background

 

History of abortion laws in the United States

According to the Court, “the restrictive criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today are of relatively recent vintage.” In 1821, Connecticut passed the first state statute criminalizing abortion. Every state had abortion legislation by 1900. In the United States, abortion was sometimes considered a common law crime, though Justice Blackmun would conclude that the criminalization of abortion did not have “roots in the English common-law tradition.”

 

Prior history of the case

In June 1969, Norma L. McCorvey discovered she was pregnant with her third child. She returned to Dallas, Texas, where friends advised her to assert falsely that she had been raped in order to obtain a legal abortion (with the understanding that Texas law allowed abortion in cases of rape and incest). However, this scheme failed because there was no police report documenting the alleged rape. She attempted to obtain an illegal abortion, but found the unauthorized site had been closed down by the police. Eventually, she was referred to attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington. (McCorvey would give birth before the case was decided.)

 

In 1970, Coffee and Weddington filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas on behalf of McCorvey (under the alias Jane Roe). The defendant in the case was Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade, representing the State of Texas. McCorvey was no longer claiming her pregnancy was the result of rape, and later acknowledged that she had lied about having been raped. “Rape” is not mentioned in the judicial opinions in this case.

 

The district court ruled in McCorvey’s favor on the legal merits of her case, but declined to grant an injunction against the enforcement of the laws barring abortion. The district court’s decision was based upon the 9th Amendment, and the court relied upon a concurring opinion by Justice Arthur Goldberg in the 1965 Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut, finding in the decision for a right to privacy.

 

roe-v-wade

 

Before the Supreme Court

Roe v. Wade reached the Supreme Court on appeal in 1970. The Justices delayed taking action on Roe and a closely related case, Doe v. Bolton, until they decided Younger v. Harris, as they felt that the appeals raised difficult questions on judicial jurisdiction, and United States v. Vuitch, where they considered the constitutionality of a District of Columbia statute that criminalized abortion except where the mother’s life or health was endangered. In Vuitch, the Court narrowly upheld the statute, though in doing so, it treated abortion as a medical procedure and stated that the physician must be given room to determine what suffices as a danger to (physical or mental) health. The day after they announced their decision in Vuitch, they voted to hear both Roe and Doe.

 

Arguments were scheduled by the full Court for December 13, 1971. Before the Court could hear the oral arguments, Justices Black and Harlan retired. Chief Justice Burger asked Justices Stewart and Blackmun to determine whether Roe and Doe, among others, should be heard as scheduled. According to Blackmun, Stewart felt that the cases were a straightforward application of Younger v. Harris and recommended that the Court move forward as scheduled.

 

In his opening argument in defense of the abortion restrictions, Jay Floyd made a joke that was later described as the “Worst Joke in Legal History”. Appearing against two female lawyers, Floyd began, “Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court. It’s an old joke, but when a man argues against two beautiful ladies like this, they are going to have the last word.” His remark was met with cold silence; one observer thought that Chief Justice Burger “was going to come right off the bench at him. He glared him down”.

 

Following a first round of arguments, all seven Justices tentatively agreed that the law should be struck down, but for varying reasons. Burger assigned the role of writing the Court’s opinion in Roe (as well as Doe) to Blackmun, who began drafting a preliminary opinion that emphasized what he saw as the Texas law’s vagueness.

 

Justices Rehnquist and Powell joined the Supreme Court too late to hear the first round of arguments. Additionally, Blackmun felt that his opinion was an inadequate reflection of his liberal colleagues’ opinions. In May 1972, Blackmun proposed that the case be reargued. Justice Douglas threatened to write a dissent from the reargument order (he and the other liberal Justices were suspicious that Rehnquist and Powell would vote to uphold the statute), but was coaxed out of the action by his colleagues, and his dissent was merely mentioned in the reargument order without further statement or opinion. The case was reargued on October 11, 1972. Weddington continued to represent Roe, and Texas Assistant Attorney General Robert C. Flowers stepped in to replace Jay Floyd for Texas.

 

Blackmun continued work on his opinions in both cases over the summer recess, despite the fact that there was no guarantee that he would be assigned to write the opinions again. Over the recess, Blackmun spent a week researching the history of abortion at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he had worked in the 1950s. After the Court heard the second round of arguments, Powell stated that he would agree with Blackmun’s conclusion but pushed for Roe to be the lead of the two abortion cases being considered. Powell also suggested that the Court strike down the Texas law on privacy grounds. White was unwilling to sign on to Blackmun’s opinion, and Rehnquist had already decided to dissent.

 

Supreme Court decision

The Court issued its decision on January 22, 1973, with a 7-to-2 majority vote in favor of Roe. Burger and Douglas’ concurring opinions and White’s dissenting opinion were issued along with the Court’s opinion in Doe v. Bolton(announced on the same day as Roe v. Wade). The Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny.

 

Womans-Rights

 

Right to privacy

The Court declined to adopt the district court’s Ninth Amendment rationale, and instead asserted that the “right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the district court determined, in the Ninth Amendment’s reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” Douglas, in his concurring opinion in the companion case Doe v. Bolton, stated more emphatically that, “The Ninth Amendment obviously does not create federally enforceable rights.”

 

The Court asserted that the government had two competing interests – protecting the mother’s health and protecting the “potentiality of human life”. Following its earlier logic, the Court stated that during the first trimester, when the procedure is more safe than childbirth, the decision to abort must be left to the mother and her physician. The State has the right to intervene prior to fetal viability only to protect the health of the mother, and may regulate the procedure after viability so long as there is always an exception for preserving maternal health. The Court additionally added that the primary right being preserved in the Roe decision was that of the physician’s right to practice medicine freely absent a compelling state interest – not women’s rights in general. The Court explicitly rejected a fetal “right to life” argument.

 

The Justices had discussed the trimester framework extensively. Powell had suggested that the point where the State could intervene be placed at viability, which Marshall supported as well. Blackmun wrote of the majority decision he authored: “You will observe that I have concluded that the end of the first trimester is critical. This is arbitrary, but perhaps any other selected point, such as quickening or viability, is equally arbitrary.” Douglas preferred the first trimester line, while Stewart said the lines were “legislative” and wanted more flexibility and consideration paid to the state legislatures, though he joined Blackmun’s decision. Brennan proposed abandoning frameworks based on the age of the fetus and instead allowing states to regulate the procedure based on its safety for the mother.

 

 

Justiciability

An aspect of the decision that attracted comparatively little attention was the Court’s disposition of the issues of standing and mootness. Under the traditional interpretation of these rules, Jane Roe’s appeal was “moot” because she had already given birth to her child and thus would not be affected by the ruling; she also lacked “standing” to assert the rights of other pregnant women. As she did not present an “actual case or controversy” (a grievance and a demand for relief), any opinion issued by the Supreme Court would constitute an advisory opinion, a practice forbidden by Article III of the United States Constitution.

 

The Court concluded that the case came within an established exception to the rule; one that allowed consideration of an issue that was “capable of repetition, yet evading review”. This phrase had been coined in 1911 by Justice Joseph McKenna. Blackmun’s opinion quoted McKenna, and noted that pregnancy would normally conclude more quickly than an appellate process: “If that termination makes a case moot, pregnancy litigation seldom will survive much beyond the trial stage, and appellate review will be effectively denied.”

 

roe-v-wade-630x332

 

Dissents

Justices Byron R. White and William H. Rehnquist wrote emphatic dissenting opinions in this case. White wrote:

I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant women and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the woman, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.

 

White asserted that the Court “values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries.” Despite White suggesting he “might agree” with the Court’s values and priorities, he wrote that he saw “no constitutional warrant for imposing such an order of priorities on the people and legislatures of the States.” White criticized the Court for involving itself in this issue by creating “a constitutional barrier to state efforts to protect human life and by investing mothers and doctors with the constitutionally protected right to exterminate it.” He would have left this issue, for the most part, “with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.”

 

Rehnquist elaborated upon several of White’s points, by asserting that the Court’s historical analysis was flawed:

To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment. As early as 1821, the first state law dealing directly with abortion was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature. By the time of the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, there were at least 36 laws enacted by state or territorial legislatures limiting abortion. While many States have amended or updated their laws, 21 of the laws on the books in 1868 remain in effect today.

 

From this historical record, Rehnquist concluded that, “There apparently was no question concerning the validity of this provision or of any of the other state statutes when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted.” Therefore, in his view, “the drafters did not intend to have the Fourteenth Amendment withdraw from the States the power to legislate with respect to this matter.”

 

Supreme_Court_protect

 

Reception

Political

Advocates of Roe describe it as vital to the preservation of women’s rights, personal freedom, and privacy. Denying the abortion right has been equated to compulsory motherhood, and some scholars (not including any member of the Supreme Court) have argued that abortion bans therefore violate the Thirteenth Amendment:

When women are compelled to carry and bear children, they are subjected to ‘involuntary servitude’ in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment….[E]ven if the woman has stipulated to have consented to the risk of pregnancy, that does not permit the state to force her to remain pregnant.

 

Some opponents of abortion maintain that personhood begins at fertilization (also referred to as conception), and should therefore be protected by the Constitution; the dissenting justices in Roe instead wrote that decisions about abortion “should be left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.”

 

The majority opinion allowed states to protect “fetal life after viability” even though a fetus is not “a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment”. Supporters of Roe contend that the decision has a valid constitutional foundation, or contend that justification for the result in Roe could be found in the Constitution but not in the articles referenced in the decision.

 

eeb9a0223b5d063918df35e02d81fa2f

 

Opposition

The most prominent organized groups that mobilized in response to Roe are the National Abortion Rights Action League and the National Right to Life Committee.

 

Every year, on the anniversary of the decision, opponents of abortion march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., in the March for Life. Around 250,000 people have attended the march until 2010. Estimates put both the 2011 and 2012 attendances at 400,000 each, and the 2013 March for Life drew an estimated 650,000 people.

 

Opponents of Roe have asserted that the decision lacks a valid constitutional foundation. Like the dissenters in Roe, they have maintained that the Constitution is silent on the issue, and that proper solutions to the question would best be found via state legislatures and the legislative process, rather than through an all-encompassing ruling from the Supreme Court.

 

A prominent argument against the Roe decision is that, in the absence of consensus about when meaningful life begins, it is best to avoid the risk of doing harm.

 

In response to Roe v. Wade, most states enacted or attempted to enact laws limiting or regulating abortion, such as laws requiring parental consent for minors to obtain abortions, parental notification laws, spousal mutual consent laws, spousal notification laws, laws requiring abortions to be performed in hospitals but not clinics, laws barring state funding for abortions, laws banning intact dilation and extraction (also known as partial-birth abortion), laws requiring waiting periods before abortion, and laws mandating women read certain types of literature and watch a fetal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. Congress in 1976 passed the Hyde Amendment, barring federal funding of abortions (except in the cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother) for poor women through the Medicaid program. The Supreme Court struck down several state restrictions on abortions in a long series of cases stretching from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s, but upheld restrictions on funding, including the Hyde Amendment, in the case of Harris v. McRae (1980).

 

Perhaps the most notable opposition to Roe comes from Roe herself; in 1995, Norma L. McCorvey revealed that she became pro-life and is now a vocal opponent of abortion.

 

Legal

Harry Blackmun, who authored the decision, became inexorably attached to the decision. Despite his initial reluctance, he eventually became the decision’s chief champion and protector during his later years on the Court. Others have joined him in support of Roe, including Judith Jarvis Thomson, who before the decision had offered an influential defense of abortion.

 

Liberal and feminist legal scholars have had various reactions to Roe, not always giving the decision unqualified support. One reaction has been to argue that Justice Blackmun reached the correct result but went about it the wrong way. Another reaction has been to argue that the end achieved by Roe does not justify the means.

 

Justice John Paul Stevens, while agreeing with the decision, has suggested that it should have been more narrowly focused on the issue of privacy. According to Stevens, if the decision had avoided the trimester framework and simply stated that the right to privacy included a right to choose abortion, “it might have been much more acceptable” from a legal standpoint. His colleague Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had, before joining the Court, criticized the decision for terminating a nascent movement to liberalize abortion law through legislation. Ginsburg has also faulted the approach taken by the Court in the decision for being “about a doctor’s freedom to practice his profession as he thinks best…. It wasn’t woman-centered. It was physician-centered.”  Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox wrote: “[Roe’s] failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations…. Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.”

 

In a highly cited 1973 article in the Yale Law Journal, Professor John Hart Ely criticized Roe as a decision which “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Ely added: “What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.” Professor Laurence Tribe had similar thoughts: “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.” Liberal law professors Alan DershowitzCass Sunstein, and Kermit Roosevelt have also expressed disappointment with Roe.

 

Jeffrey Rosen and Michael Kinsley echo Ginsburg, arguing that a legislative approach movement would have been the correct way to build a more durable consensus in support of abortion rights. William Saletan wrote that “Blackmun’s [Supreme Court] papers vindicate every indictment of Roe: invention, overreach, arbitrariness, textual indifference.” Benjamin Wittes has written that Roe “disenfranchised millions of conservatives on an issue about which they care deeply”. And Edward Lazarus, a former Blackmun clerk who “loved Roe’s author like a grandfather” wrote: “As a matter of constitutional interpretation and judicial method, Roe borders on the indefensible….Justice Blackmun’s opinion provides essentially no reasoning in support of its holding. And in the almost 30 years since Roe’s announcement, no one has produced a convincing defense of Roe on its own terms.”

 

The assertion that the Supreme Court was making a legislative decision is often repeated by opponents of the Court’s decision. The “viability” criterion, which Blackmun acknowledged was arbitrary, is still in effect, although the point of viability has changed as medical science has found ways to help premature babies survive

 

012513-national-abortion-womens-rights-roe-vs-wade-pro-choice

 

Support

Advocates of Roe describe it as vital to the preservation of women’s rights, personal freedom, and privacy. Denying the abortion right has been equated to compulsory motherhood, and some scholars (not including any member of the Supreme Court) have argued that abortion bans therefore violate the Thirteenth Amendment:

When women are compelled to carry and bear children, they are subjected to ‘involuntary servitude’ in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment….[E]ven if the woman has stipulated to have consented to the risk of pregnancy, that does not permit the state to force her to remain pregnant.

 

Some opponents of abortion maintain that personhood begins at fertilization (also referred to as conception), and should therefore be protected by the Constitution; the dissenting justices in Roe instead wrote that decisions about abortion “should be left with the people and to the political processes the people have devised to govern their affairs.”

 

The majority opinion allowed states to protect “fetal life after viability” even though a fetus is not “a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment”. Supporters of Roe contend that the decision has a valid constitutional foundation, or contend that justification for the result in Roe could be found in the Constitution but not in the articles referenced in the decision.

pro_choice cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader

The Obama Administration’s Record On Human Trafficking Issues


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

images (4)

 

 

 

The Obama Administration’s Record on Human Trafficking Issues

Today, the White House will hold a Forum to Combat Human Trafficking to highlight the significant progress this Administration has made to combat human trafficking, including developments since President Obama delivered his seminal speech on the fight to end trafficking in persons at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in September 2012.  During that speech, President Obama announced a number of new Administration commitments to combat trafficking at home and abroad. The four elements of this strategy include:

 

1) Preventing trafficking by raising awareness among vulnerable populations, leading by example, and educating the public and first responders;
2) Prosecuting traffickers through strengthened investigations and enforcement tools;
3) Protecting survivors through comprehensive social services, family reintegration, and immigration services; and
4) Partnering with civil society, state and local government, the private sector, and faith-based organizations to maximize resources and outcomes.

 

This White House Forum to Combat Human Trafficking brings together advocates, service providers, researchers and academics, business leaders, faith leaders, leaders in the technology community, law enforcement, and local, state and federal government leaders to discuss strategies for countering trafficking in persons.

 

 

This Forum will highlight key efforts since the President’s September speech.

 

• Using Technology to Fight Trafficking.  Today, the Administration will present new public-private partnerships that will provide cutting edge technology tools to aid law enforcement’s efforts to bring traffickers to justice, as well as new online applications to help link victims with much needed services.  Stemming from a convening held by the White House Office of Science and Technology and the Council on Women and Girls, leading technology companies have partnered with advocates and survivors to develop new online applications to reach trafficking victims online and on their phones and link them with services in their community.  The Administration will also present new private sector partnerships in support of law enforcement efforts to combat child sex trafficking in three major jurisdictions, as well research and tools to help law enforcement better identify children sold online.

 

• Strategic Action Plan for Victims Services.  Today, the Administration will release for public comment the first-ever federal strategic action plan to coordinate and strengthen services for trafficking victims in the United States.  This comprehensive, 5-year plan is action-oriented and time-specific and embraces a collaborative approach that promises to improve services for victims of trafficking throughout the federal government.

 

• Presidential Award.  Today, the Department of State will award the inaugural “Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons.”

 

• Partnering with Faith-based and Neighborhood Organizations.  The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships is working on recommendations in which the federal government can best partner with faith-based and secular organizations to combat human trafficking.

 

• Pro Bono Legal Services Network for Trafficking Victims.  Today, the Department of State will announce a public-private partnership with New Perimeter, LLC, a non-profit organization established by the law firm DLA Piper designed to increase the availability of pro bono legal services to combat human trafficking.  The partnership will use the “3P” framework of prosecuting traffickers, protecting survivors, and preventing victimization, which is reflected in the UN’s Palermo Protocol and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

 

• Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking Activities in the Federal Supply Chain.  In September 2012, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13627, which strengthens protections against federal contractors and subcontractors engaging in human trafficking-related activities.  The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council), which is developing implementing regulations, held a public meeting on March 5, 2012.  The FAR Council also has received written comments from the public on the implementation of EO 13627, as well as on the End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act, which was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

 

• Better Data and Better Allocation of Resources with Domestic Human Trafficking Assessment.  The Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center, an interagency clearinghouse for information related to human smuggling and trafficking, continues to collect data from more than a dozen federal agencies to develop a domestic human trafficking assessment.  This first-ever, interagency human trafficking assessment will help the Federal Government allocate law enforcement and other resources by identifying existing and emerging hotspots for trafficking activity across the United States and revealing trends and patterns in victim recruitment and exploitation.

 

• Reauthorizing the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  In February, the President signed into law the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2013 (TVPRA), which was passed by Congress as part of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  Thanks to the leadership of key Members of Congress, the TVPRA will offer increased support to the State Department’s diplomatic engagement, bolster protections for vulnerable children and domestic workers, and enable effective partnerships to bring services to survivors and prosecute traffickers.

 

•  “T” Visa Regulations.  The Department of Homeland Security announced that it will publish an interim final rule to amend the “T” nonimmigrant visa regulations, which allow victims to remain in the United States and aid the prosecution of their traffickers.  The amendments will streamline the application process and reflect statutory amendments made by the reauthorizations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

 

• Counter-Trafficking in Persons Field Guide for Strengthened Programming.   USAID released a Counter-Trafficking in Persons Field Guide to provide practical guidance to develop, administer and evaluate investments that implement the Agency’s 2012 C-TIP Policy.  The Guide will also help educate USAID Mission personnel and partners about trafficking more broadly and includes recommendations for integrating counter-trafficking activities into larger development programs, tools for designing stand-alone counter-trafficking activities, and evaluation techniques.  It also provides USAID personnel with instruction on how to report suspected trafficking violations committed by employees, contractors, and grant recipients to the Agency’s Office of the Inspector General for investigation and action.

 

 

 

Human Trafficking Awareness / Video PSA by Emma Thompson

 

Uploaded on Jun 16, 2009

Public domain video. Emma Thompson voices for the victims in this moving emotional piece for Human Trafficking Awareness.

 

 

 

 

 

Not For Sale: End Human Trafficking and Slavery

 

Uploaded on Oct 13, 2008

Not for Sale is a campaign of students, entrepreneurs, artists, people of faith, athletes, law enforcement officers, politicians, social workers, skilled professionals, and all justice seekers, united to fight the global slave trade.

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit & support The Survivors Network.

 

Welcome to Survivors Connect Network!

Welcome to Survivors Connect Network, a private online meeting place for survivors of sex trafficking/prostitution.   This is a space where survivors can come together to communicate, share, network and get the resources we need to help ourselves and each other, like the band of sisters we are.  We are a completely autonomous network.

 

When we act together it is much easier for us to speak the truth about the sex industry.    We no longer have to do it alone.  If we join voices, we’re stronger and harder to ignore.  It’s time for us to lead the anti-CSE movement and speak for ourselves. Here’s what fellow survivors have to say:

I think we will push an open door if we speak the reality of prostitution, especially if we focus on it being a human rights issue first and foremost.  It is so important that we start striking out on our own, not always waiting for the movement to catch up with our passion and the urgent need for survivors to have some leadership.   Rebecca Mott

 

Together we are stronger. It is so easy to feel hopeless and overwhelmed with it all on your own.   – Angel K

 

We are leaders in our own right.  Our voices have power.  We’re strong and smart and we’re here for each other. We won’t let anything break the ties that bind us. We protect each other.

 

Our network is the opposite of exploitation.  There’s no leader and everyone has equal rank.  We vote to decide what we do as a group.  Everything we contribute to this network belongs to us alone.  We are in control at last.

 

We’d love it if you’d join us.  If you’re interested please email Stella Marr and tell us a bit about yourself and provide a phone number (if possible).  We screen so no pimps or johns can get into our network.  We can’t wait to meet you.

 

In sisterhood and love,

Stella Marr

This network was inspired by all the survivors we’ve known and the courageous Aboriginal Women’s Action Network.

 

 

stop_rape_280_362433a

 

 

0f1059db

 

 

mencanstoprape

 

 

stop-bullying-sign-k-7052

 

thetimeisnow

 

 

ofa12

 

 

527538_3297557136274_530686939_n

 

 

blogger4peacelogo

 

DAP-EMAIL-HEADER-4

 

obama-logo-head (3)

 

New Poll: POTUS Obama Opens Big Lead Over Romney On Women’s Issues


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poll: Obama Opens Big Lead Over Romney OnWomen’s Issues

 

 

By 10:15 AM EDT, SUNDAY AUGUST 26 TPMLIVEWIRE

 

Voters see President Obama as far more in touch with the problems women face, a new poll from CNN finds. On who is more in touch with women voters, Obama leads Romney 60 percent to 31 percent among likely voters. Among registered voters, Obama leads 62 percent to 27 percent.

 

As Romney heads to the Republican National Convention, the poll shows Obama leading when it comes to personal characteristics and relating to voters. On who is more “in touch with the problems facing middle class Americans,” Obama leads 53 percent to 39 percent among likely voters and 58 percent to 33 percent among registered voters. Obama also leads on the question of who cares about “the needs of people like you” by 13 points among likely voters and 20 points among registered voters.

 

Romney’s strengths come on questions of competence and leads Obama slightly on who would run government more effectively.

 

The survey of 1,055 adults was conducted from August 22-23 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

 

 

Could this be why:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Just Got One Thing Left To Say:

 

 

 

If we ever needed to vote & vote DEMOCRATIC, we sure do need to vote DEMOCRATIC now. For us (Black America) the right to vote is not just a Constitutional matter but a right borne out of struggle, out of sacrifice and in some cases out of death. Think for a moment where we are in time and you will understand why: ”If we never ever needed to vote DEMOCRATIC, we sure do need to vote DEMOCRATIC NOW!!”

 

 

 
GottaVote.org

 

Register To Vote 

 

Declare Yourself & Vote 

 

I Want To Vote

 

Voter Participation Center

 

Can I Vote?

 

LongDistanceVoter.org 

 

GottaRegister.com 

 

 

Lyin Paul Ryan & Lyin UnFitt Mitt

Just Say NO To Lies In “NO”vember!

 

 

Just “BARACK” The Vote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Videos Of The Day….Get Your Popcorn & Peanuts!


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Same” – Obama for America TV Ad

 

“He’s made his choice. But what choices will women be left with?”

“Just like Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan would get rid of Planned Parenthood funding.”

“In Congress, Ryan voted to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood…”

“…and allow employers to deny women access to cancer screenings and birth control.”

“And both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion … even in cases of rape and incest.”

“For women…for president…the choice is ours.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Romney-Ryan Economic Plan

 

Mr Robert B. Reich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Personhood’ Paul: A Look Paul Ryan’s Extreme ‘Social Engineering’ on Women’s Rights

 

Hardball with Chris Matthews

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVEALED: THE GOP STRATEGY

 

Is the GOP employing a racist strategy to get Mitt Romney into the White House? Watch this video to find out.

 
An ART NOT WAR Production
Produced by Daron Murphy & David Ambrose
Directed by Laura Dawn
Written by Eddie Geller & Laura Dawn
DP & Editor: David Ambrose
Assistant Editor: Adrian Alexis
Music & Sound Design: Daron Murphy
Line Producer: Aaron Kinsley-Brooks
Associate Producers: Angela Linneman, Eddie Geller
PA: Sarah Kinsley-Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Saving Private Ryan! Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and the Betrayal of Ayn Rand

 

Eek a Veep! Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio breaks down the cynical lure for desperate libertarians. Freedomain Radio is the largest and most popular philosophy show on the web -http://www.freedomainradio.com

Paul Ryan…

Voted YES corporate welfare for big agriculture
Voted YES pm TARP
Voted YES for a bloated defense bill
Voted NO to repeal NDAA indefinite detention
Voted YES to prohibit reductions in nuclear weapons as required by START Treaty
Voted NO to limit military spending on the Afghanistan War
Voted YES to override military sequestration (spending cuts) negotiated in last year’s ‘let raise the debt limit bill’.
Voted YES on CISPA, the bill that attacks Internet liberty and the 1st amendment.
Voted YES on corporate welfare for the Keystone Pipeline which also authorized the use of Eminent Domain to seize private property for a private use.
Voted NO to extend payroll tax cuts which is effectively a tax increase on the poor and middle class.
Voted YES to increase the debt ceiling
Voted YES on war in Libya
Voted NO to limit funding of NATO for use in Libya
Voted NO on removing armed forces from Libya
Vote YES to extend the Patriot Act

Paul Ryan’s Budget:
Ryan’s “roadmap to prosperity” lays out $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years—not, sadly, cuts from what government spends today, but from what President Obama wanted to spend. Spending would actually increase by about a trillion dollars over the decade.
Ryan’s “radical” budget would only reduce government spending to 20% of GDP by 2015. Obama wants to cut it to 23%. It is currently at 25%. when Bill Clinton left office, it was 18 percent.
“The president’s plan will add about $11 trillion to the debt over 10 years,” Paul told me. “Congressman Ryan … is trying to do the right thing, but his plan will add $8 trillion to the debt over 10 years. We need to do something much more dramatic, or I think we’re in for a world of hurt.”
The inconvenient truth for conservatives is you cannot balance the budget if you eliminate (only) nonmilitary spending.
It would also reduce the federal workforce by 15 percent. Ryan’s figure is 10 percent. That’s a start. But they would do it by “attrition.” That’s cowardly. It’s not management. They should fire the worst 10 or 15 percent. That’s what private-sector managers do.
it grows revenues miraculously from $2.4 trillion to $4.6 trillion in 10 years by cutting taxes
– It led to 10 more years of deficit spending
– It added between $5-11 TRILLION dollars to the national debt
– It spent a total of $40 TRILLION over the next 10 years
– His plan REQUIRED the debt ceiling to be raised
– It was an obviously unbalanced budget (in fact it doesn’t fully balance until the year 2040)
– It increased spending over the next few years (it merely slows the rate of spending, not actually cutting spending anytime soon)
– It was was bigger than what we had under Bill Clinton
“I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on,” says Dick Cheney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GottaVote.org

 

Register To Vote 

 

Declare Yourself & Vote 

 

I Want To Vote

 

Voter Participation Center

 

Can I Vote?

 

LongDistanceVoter.org 

 

GottaRegister.com 

 

 

Lyin Paul Ryan & Lyin UnFitt Mitt

 

Just Say NO To Lies In “NO”vember!

 

Just “BARACK” The Vote

 

 

The War On Women: From Within


By Jueseppi B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I understand that some wealthy caucasian woman not being allowed to be a member of some old all caucasian males golf club means absolutely nothing to the average everyday woman. I comprehend since it does not concern the run of the mill woman and her everyday issues of being a woman, that it is not important. I get that if the issue does not hit close to home, then you don’t have the time or effort to be involved.

 

Actually, NO I don’t understand, comprehend or get it.

 

What some women are telling me about the Augusta National Golf Club not allowing women members in 2012:

 

1). From a women:

 

“I guess I’m failing to see how wealthy women are an oppressed group in this country. When Black applicants wanted to gain membership, that to me was different, because there’s a history of oppression against people of color (and not just a history, but a current atmosphere of racial oppression in some places). Rich female Americans don’t have much in the way of exclusions or limitations to deal with in any regard, other than maybe joining this particular golf club, and this is not an obstacle they have been fighting to overcome in the way that Black applicants would have done.

As far as discrimination, yes, the Augusta policy is sexual discrimination and it is wrong. I wouldn’t ever say it’s right (I did say it was repulsive, and that is how I feel). But I believe it’s comparing apples and oranges to say that the women who are being denied membership there are in some way in the same boat as others who are excluded from housing, or jobs, or equal pay, or an education based on their race or gender. There are degrees of injustice, and this doesn’t rank all that high on my personal scale of wrongdoing, simply because I can’t see it affecting the upward mobility, financial stability, or future opportunities of anyone who is being left out of that particular golf club.

My feeling is not so much dismissal of the issue, as it is a lack of real outrage about it compared to things that I think are more important. My level of reaction is similar to the president’s: I personally believe it’s wrong, I would personally say it should be changed, but that’s about it. If the wealthy women of America got up in arms about it, and started a MoveOn.org petition because they were really, really feeling underserved by the policies of the Augusta National, then I’d sign it. But am I gonna get overly worked up about the injustice of it? Not really, to be honest.”

 

 

2). From a woman:

 

“But a filthy-rich female teeing it up as a member at one of the world’s most exclusive clubs? Sorry, I won’t ever be able to look at her as Susan B. Anthony holding a TaylorMade.”

“That’s pretty much the main point, I think. If Augusta were to suddenly decide that admitting female members was OK, what damn difference would it make? The only people who might be affected, as far as I can see, are some very wealthy women who really aren’t being denied a great deal in their lives, aside from membership in a club full of old men. I think IBM should tell Augusta’s board where to get off, since they want to hold out one hand for money and hold up the other hand to stop the CEO from joining their club. Other than that, as repulsive as their mindset is, it isn’t something that really matters one way or the other in the real world.”

 

 

3). From a woman:

 

“You know, I’m going to be honest…. I think it should be left as it is – and you know me. Very pro-women’s rights. Just as women need their female-only activities and social groups, same with children, so do men. Personally, I have no interest in going in and shaking this tree. I wouldn’t be welcome, especially because I would have used the law in order to be present, etc. I saw let the boys have their time together. And as far as women in the Masters… there is a physical difference between the two. It is a rare woman who can drive a ball like a man on the course. It just wouldn’t be properly competitive. And on the flip side, what if a man wanted to enter into women’s golf – fair is fair, right? The men would have a greater advantage to win because they can drive the ball further.’

“Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with men and women being separated. I say leave it as it is.”

 

 

4). From a woman:

 

“Plus, a bit of thinking ahead here and tactical maneuvering…. there are many other more important women’s issues we need to focus on. Attacking this bee hive is only going to enrage a lot of men who I would rather have on our side for other issues of a greater priority.”

 

 

5). From a woman:

 

“I don’t see the big deal. I’m pretty sure if they ever got the opportunity to play, some other sexist lawsuit would follow. Guys want to be guys and they can’t altogether do that with women hanging around snooping in everything.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am just not understanding this attitude coming from women. This War On Women can not and should not be divided into separate issues based on what we think or assume is important and what we think or assume is not important. Discrimination and oppression against women, in ALL respects, is the issue.

 

Just a few short years ago, after Tiger Woods won his first Masters Green Jacket at Augusta National Golf Club, Black men were not allowed a membership in this then all caucasian male country club. When the public was made aware of this tradition, to exclude anyone not white/caucasian and male, and the irony that Tiger Woods, a non white/caucasian male, had won the trophy (The Green Jacket) as the very first Black male…Augusta National officials ran out like fools running from South African killer bees, to locate an 80 plus year old Black man to induct as the first black man to have a coveted Augusta National Golf Club membership.

 

It has been tradition for the CEO of all major sponsors to automatically be granted a membership into the Augusta National Golf Club as a “perk” of sponsorship. Now comes the new  IBM CEO, Virginia Rometty, a woman.

 

Augusta National Golf Club has decided to change this tradition of offering a membership to it’s corporate sponsor of IBM because she has a vagina.

 

Now I ask you this, why was it a priority to scrounge around to locate a Black man to become it’s first Black member immediately after Tiger won his first Masters, but it ain’t important to repeat that first, now that a Woman has smashed the glass ceiling of corporate executive-hood?

 

The argument that Blacks have been oppressed far longer than Women is a lie, incorrect and an error in knowledge. Women have been oppressed and discriminated against since before the days of cavemen discovering fire.  Oppression and discrimination are oppressive and discriminatory no matter how big or small. It is wrong.

 

To assume Women are not intelligent or talented enough human beings to handle all the cases of oppression and discrimination based on gender, is asinine. Women are capable of dealing with everything that is a War On Women, including a group of caucasian men telling them that they are “NOT ALLOWED”.

 

I wonder, if a Woman was told she could not become President of anything, based on her NOT having a penis, or if a Woman was told she could not become an astronaut based on her gender, would other Women argue that it was not important because the average everyday female can’t become President or become an astronaut anyway?

 

It never was about the effect of the discrimination or oppression on the sheer number of Women. It has always been about the disrespect, the second class citizenship status and the absolutely clear ignorance toward Women as equal human being. Not many Women in America will ever become CEO of IBM, but telling just one Woman she can not become a CEO of IBM because she has a vagina is not acceptable.

 

Not being concerned that just one Woman is not allowed to become a member of Augusta National Golf Club, wealthy or not, because she does not have a penis is as unacceptable to me as telling a Black man he can not ride in the front of the bus. Based on his skin color. If you don’t ride a bus, should you still have been out on the front lines protesting that discrimination?

 

Wake Up American Women. Oppression & Discrimination to any woman on any level should be unacceptable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 172,880 other followers

%d bloggers like this: