January 17, 2015

Six months ago, New Brunswick’s only abortion clinic was forced to close due to a lack of financial support. On Friday, it was announced that clinical abortion services will return to Fredericton in coming weeks. Clinic 544 will be a general health clinic with a concentration in sexual health care and specialized care for the LGBTTQ community. The clinic will provide a range of services that include contraception, cancer screenings, prenatal care, treatment of STIs, and abortions. This incredible success is possible partly due to the ongoing organizing and fundraising done by feminist activist groups like Reproductive Justice New Brunswick and Fredericton Youth Feminists, who raised $125,000 in their kickstarter campaign to purchase the clinic. We are in awe of the incredible work these feminist activists have been able to do!

But the crisis is still not resolved

New Brunswick continues to violate the Canada Health Act. Although the clinic aims to provide care to under-treated communities, the province’s refusal to fund abortions done outside of the hospital makes this goal more difficult—until change is instituted, people will still have to pay between $700-850 for an abortion at the clinic. Stay tuned this week for our long-form GUTS article that contextualizes this unfolding story in the struggles for reproductive rights in Canada.

  • Take the time this morning to read Mariya Karimjee’s “Damage,” a powerful and upsetting personal essay:
Faced with an impossible dichotomy, my mother chose to raise me. She chose to give me every dream that was never possible for her. She gave me ambition and an identity that was separate from my family. She encouraged me to think critically and question authority. After I accused her in the bathroom of ruining my life, I lived with two diametrically opposed sides of my mother: the champion and the betrayer. She was only ever one of those things. My grandfather’s threat was powerful: either way I’d have ended up a victim of genital mutilation. This way, she was able to hold my hand after I was cut.
  •  “Lifetime calls itself the women’s network, and its aggressive pursuit of that image has been a big part of its success.” Read Emily Yahr’s absorbing history of the development of the “Lifetime Movie” brand.
  • “Islamic extremism is a modern construct springing from a history of brutal colonialism and military adventurism. Speech that ignores this history may be free, but it isn’t responsible.” Read Fariha Roísin’s important piece:  Free speech has not been kind to Muslims.
  • Jenny Diski remembers being a teenager and living with Doris Lessing.
  • “There’s just one problem. Nothing catches me off guard quite like suddenly—sometimes madly—seeking the company of someone else.” Durga Chew-Bose on living alone.
  • Janet Mock talks about self-care in this awesome Hairpin interview:

    “I think self-care is something deliberate, something that I do to take care of myself in a world that tells me I shouldn’t necessarily exist. That my body and my identity don’t necessarily matter—especially in systems that weren’t built for me to really thrive. We can say that the ways in which we survive are ways in which we take care of ourselves—but I don’t really think that’s care—that’s us trying to survive in systems that weren’t built for us.”

  • Sleater Kinney’s new album No Cities to Love is coming out Tuesday, so we will be playing it on repeat all week. Here’s a great piece explaining why this isn’t a victory lap, but a “re-declaration of all they were, all they built. It is a claim of glory after all that toil.”
  • And finally, in celebration of our Sex Issue, we’re having a party this weekend! Be sure to check out some of the original material we’re publishing and come out for sexy feminist door prizes, dancing, and more!



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