For those of you who have tuned into our podcast ‘Hysterical HerStories’ you might have heard some new and interesting information, which is great! But it’s nearly impossible for us to cover every detail of history in just one podcast episode, so welcome to our blog!! This is where we’ll be posting additional information, fun facts, suggested readings, and linking relevant information discussed in every episode of ‘Hysterical HerStories.’ Happy reading!
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Happy anniversary to the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade!! We hope you were able to check out our first episode of ‘Hysterical HerStories’ in celebration of the legalization of abortion in the U.S. just 48 years ago. But we all know that legal doesn’t mean accessible, and this is true for so many. Roe is the floor, not the ceiling. We are working toward a world where abortion is not just legal, but truly accessible to all people of all incomes, identities, and within all zip codes. During this episode, we discuss how the conservative right uses religious moral opposition to abortion care to galvanize their base and gain support so they can push their true agenda: white supremacy. However, these individuals and groups don’t have the religious authority on abortion, and, in fact, there are many faith-based groups today who are working to advance abortion rights work and access such as Catholics for Choice, Thank God for Abortion, Interfaith Alliance, National Council of Jewish Women, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, to name a few. We know that people of all faiths have abortions and that access to reproductive health care, including abortion, is a value many people of different faiths hold.
This religious, moral opposition to abortion was essentially created by Paul Weyrich, often referred to as the “father of the conservative, religious right.” He worked with conservative leaders to build up the voter base of the Republican party by using the issue of abortion. And while abortion wasn’t really much of an issue on the radar of people of faith, Weyrich knew that Republicans couldn’t win elections running on supporting segregation, alone. They needed to find an issue that would turn voters out at the polls, so they spent time spreading misinformation and anti-abortion propoganda to Evangeical leaders all over the country. Even creating an anti-abortion film called “Whatever Happend to the Human Race.” They packaged abortion as an issue of morality that was an attack on “traditional family values.”
Around this same time, Phyllis Schlafly was working to organize white, Evangelical women to rally against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). She radicalized them to believe that the ERA would hurt them and their privilege/status in society, and they didn’t care that it was at the expense of women of lower socioeconomic status and women of color. Schlafly really laid the foundations for the conservative, religious right during this time that lead Weyrich and other Evangelical leaders to consider abortion as the issue they would run with to mobilize voters to turnout for Republicans at the polls. To learn more about the details of abortion becoming a political, conservative talking point, we recommend NARAL Pro-Choice President Ilyse Hogue’s new book The Lie That Binds. She and author Ellie Langford offer a deep dive into the history of the anti-abortion political movement and the impacts it had on the Trump presidency. Below we’ve provided some links to additional information regarding topics discussed in this episode. Additional Information & Sources The Long History of the Anti-Abortion Movement’s Links to White Supremacists The Real Origins of the Religious Right The surprising history of abortion in the United States The right-wing Christian movement shouldn’t control the abortion narrative Paul Weyrich: The Man Who Mobilized The Evangelical Vote
Mentions Purvi Patel Bei Bei Shuai Daisy Patton– Would you Be Lonely Without Me The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service– Laura Kaplan
Music Hysterical HerStories Theme and SFX made by Juice Lee (AKA Bruce Leanin’) Lesley Gore. 1963. You Don’t Own Me. Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts. Mariah Carey. 2009. Obsessed. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Marvin Berry & The Starlighters. 1985. Earth Angel. Back To The Future Soundtrack.