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#reproductive rights
action · a month ago
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Supreme Court overturns Roe V. Wade, ending federal abortion rights.
Abortions will be banned immediately in:
Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wyoming
These states have laws to protect the right to an abortion:
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Washington DC, Vermont
Click here for details on where abortion stands in your state.
Here is what you can do:
Donate to an abortion fund to provide help for those whose rights have been stripped or jeopardized.
Find a local protest or call your representative to make your voice heard.
Consider purchasing abortion pills or emergency contraception. For information on your rights to self-managed abortion, visit reprolegalhelpline.org
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antiplondon · 10 hours ago
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Publicly, Clive Jones claims to be the “world’s most prolific sperm donor”, the father of 112 children, all under the age of nine, and 14 more “on the way”. He advertises his virility on Facebook groups, liaises with a “recipient”, arranges a meeting, drives to the destination in his van and hands over a pot of his sperm to a woman who will go on to have his child.
What he does not promote to the women or in media interviews is his membership of a group that has promoted “total Aryanism”. He is listed as a “national officer” of the New British Union, which posts swastikas on social media and features Nazi insignia on its website. Members are encouraged to wear black shirts and red armbands as a show of fascism, saluting at meetings and marches.
He also runs a Facebook group called “England Fight Back”. “Soon, the English won’t exist,” reads one post. Another: “Whites will be a total minority by 2066 and it will be all too late for us to do anything. We will be outnumbered and have lost. Countdown has begun . . . Action is needed but are there enough of the brave?” Jones is one of a number of men who see themselves as the UK’s “super donors” and use the internet to find women desperate to be mothers.
Fertility clinics are tightly regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Donors are limited to ten families and undergo medical and psychological checks to qualify. However, private transactions between men and women exist outside the HFEA’s jurisdiction. There are no limits on the number of children they can have — one claims to have fathered more than 800 — parental rights are uncertain, and there is no safeguarding during the “insemination” process.
This is the Wild West of fertility, enabled by the internet and mostly controlled by men, who have dodged the law and swerved regulation. A place where women, desperate for a baby, are frequently fed misinformation about their fertility and some are put at risk of life-threatening diseases and attacks.
“These men are not ‘donors’ at all,” said Erika Tranfield, founder of Pride Angels, a website that connects donors with gay and lesbian couples and single people. “They are predators.”
Women silenced
Search Facebook for a UK-based sperm donor and hundreds of private groups will appear. Click “join”, wait to be approved and you can browse for a biological father for your future child quickly and freely.
We posed on Facebook as a single woman in search of a prospective sperm donor. We approached three “super donors” to find out whether they asked for payment for sperm, and whether they stored and posted it, for which they would need a licence to comply with the law. We also joined a number of their Facebook groups, which encouraged a large number of male donors to get in touch directly, asking if we wanted help getting pregnant.
A large number of these groups are controlled by the same men. Simon Watson and Robert “Joe Donor” Albon are the administrators of at least ten UK groups, with a total of more than 26,000 members. These three have the power to admit members, monitor messages and exclude people.
“These spaces are policed by the male donors,” said Dr Tamara Turner-Moore of Leeds Beckett University. “Women are very fearful of being excluded – they risk not having a baby if they speak up about donor abuse or harassment. So they are silenced.”
The groups have established their own terms. “Artificial insemination” (AI) means that a syringe is used; “artificial insemination plus” (AI+) is a syringe, with further sexual acts between the man and woman to “help” with the “sample”; “natural insemination” (NI) is sex; “partial intercourse” (PI) is also sex, though apparently only penetrative at the final moment.
Every fertility clinic in the UK must have a licence from the HFEA. According to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, a clinic is defined as a third party who procures sperm from one person and provides it to another. Private donors do not qualify as a “clinic” in this context, because they give their own sperm directly to a woman.
We approached three “super donors” under the guise of a prospective “recipient”. “My AI donations are supplied in a sterile sealed 120ml polypropylene container with a 10ml sterile sealed insemination syringe,” said Simon Watson, who claims to have fathered more than 800 children and drives around the country in a campervan.
“I have helped women worldwide, many people from far away prefer to stay at a local hotel and I can then drop one load of magic potion off after check-in and another the following morning.”
Albon offers “partial insemination in person . . . if you are OK with intercourse”. Jones said he got into the “donor business” in 2013 after reading about sperm donation: “Knowing how important children are to some like me, who has three children, I wondered if I could help.”
Costly official route
At a licensed clinic, a single cycle of intrauterine insemination (IUI) costs between £800 and £1,600, plus the donor sperm (about £1,000 for each vial). Qualifying for fertility treatment on the NHS is unpredictable. In England it is available to mixed-sex couples who have failed to conceive after regular unprotected intercourse for two years. Until last month, it was available only to same-sex couples and single women who had paid for six unsuccessful cycles with donor sperm.
“The official route is quite clinical and that suits some people very well. It puts a very clear boundary between you and the donor,” said Nina Barnsley, director of the Donor Conception Network, “but that doesn’t appeal to everyone. Some people want a real person they can meet and talk to.” Through a clinic, women are given basic information, such as height, eye colour, profession and ethnicity.
Donor-conceived children have the right to contact their biological parent when they turn 18. However, some women and couples want to be able to control their child’s access to a donor: either they want absolute anonymity or, from the beginning, a deeper relationship than the law permits.
Megan, 20, has a child with a previous partner and is looking for a donor on Facebook so her child can have a sibling. She does not want to start a relationship and cannot afford to go to a clinic. “I would rather not bring a child into the world with me already struggling financially,” she said.
She also likes the idea of meeting the donor. “You are ‘friends’ and it gives your child full rights to know where they came from.” Finding someone right for the job, however, is overwhelming. “It’s exhausting,” Megan said. “A lot will put pressure on you to use different methods [like sex] or won’t be honest about how many donor children they have.” One donor said he had 50 children. He turned out to have 200.
There is a long selection process to be a registered sperm donor at a clinic in the UK. First there are medical checks, then checks on your family medical history, potential genetic diseases and then on the quality of sperm. Men should be aged between 18 and 41, though Albon believes this limit is arbitrary.
Prospective donors also undergo two types of counselling sessions: information-giving, when they are told about the laws and regulations on donation; and implications counselling, which explains the long-term impact, on them and the children, of being a biological father. Just 10 per cent of men who apply to clinics qualify.
One “red flag” clinics look out for, said Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, specialist in human fertility science at Birmingham University, was someone trying to “propagate their genes”. “We want donors doing this altruistically,” he said, “rather than someone trying to populate the world.”
BNP candidate
Jones’s affiliation with a fascist group would probably be picked up and he would be banned from donating.
In 2006, he ran as a BNP candidate for East Staffordshire borough in a local election. At the time he was a teacher at a pupil referral unit in Derby and, according to reports, was banned from working with children from ethnic minority backgrounds because of his political views, which Jones denies.
On Facebook, he has two donor profiles: Clive Jones and a pseudonym, Carl Anderson. On the group he runs, England Fight Back, he posted: “This doctor, an expect [sic] and lecturer on migration, says Scotland will in time be essentially Asian. The White breeding rate is now down to 1.2 — needs to be 2.4 to sustain a population.” He posted about the erasure of white men in Britain and the “invasion” of Europe by women in burqas.
He is also associated with the New British Union, a revival of Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Its website reads: “The native population of Britain will become a minority in its own land by the end of this century. This is a matter of certainty, not speculation.” The women who are the mothers of his children seemingly have little knowledge of his extreme political views.
When approached by our undercover reporter, he emphasised his lineage. “[I am] White, Caucasian, Ethnic group,” he wrote in a message. “Anglo-Saxon English, full-pedigree, goes back 1,500 years to when the English formed . . . I knew my grandparents who were born pre-1910 and they told me about their parents. Before this time, there had been very little interchange between nations, its people. I would be English heritage.”
As well as his affiliation with what has been called a neo-Nazi group, his age — 65 — would prevent Jones from being a donor.
“I’m in no far-right political group, though liberals and our present government would call us such names,” said Jones when approached by The Sunday Times. “The German government used the swastika as a good luck symbol as the Romans did 2,000 years ago. It has been used by other cultures. If the New British Union has used it, it was not to be used as an alliance with Nazism.” He emphasises the group stands for fascism rather than Nazism.
There is “no link” between his politics and sperm donation, Jones said. He only donates via AI for safety reasons. “I don’t do it for sex or money.”
Donor’s false claims
Robert Albon is from Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he trained and worked as a translator. Today, however, he lives in the UK and uses the name “Joe Donor”.
At 51, Albon is also too old to give sperm at a regulated clinic, but this has not stopped him fathering, according to his count, more than 160 children, 50 per cent of whom were via “natural insemination” — sex. He has been on “tours” of Australia, Argentina and the UK, impregnating women, and claims to be the “only donor with simultaneous pregnancies on three continents”. He wants 2,500 offspring before he dies.
There is an arrest warrant issued for Albon in Wisconsin, for six counts of not paying child support so he would be arrested if he returns to the US. “I plan to appeal the case. I am innocent,” Albon said. He was recently in a relationship with Ellie Ellison, 29, from Norwich, who was one of his “recipients”.
Albon has a persuasive sales technique. Online, he is fearful of regulated clinics and encourages others to be, too. “Sperm bank just takes your money,” he said in one video on Facebook. “Their [donor] profiles are all made up, baby. Don’t piss off a sperm bank doctor. You will get wrong [sic] sperm. Or he’ll impregnate you himself, baby.”
In his books and online, he suggests that “men with high fertility rates are often more interested in sex”; that “fresh semen” is more effective than when professionally frozen; and that certain sexual positions increase the chance of pregnancy. Allan Pacey, professor of andrology at the University of Sheffield, who specialises in fertility treatment , said all the claims were untrue.
Pinned down and raped
Albon is a vocal proponent of “natural insemination”, and “partial insemination” or “partial intercourse”, when there is penetration at the final moment. His self-published book, True Stories of Pregnancy by PI can be bought on Amazon.
The book describes PI as “shortened or rapid intercourse” and claims that it is more effective than “artificial insemination”. “AI is by definition unnatural,” he wrote, “and not the way humans were designed to procreate.”
Pacey said this was unproven: “That is used as a ruse to have sex.” Albon denies this.
Though there have been no known formal reports of these three donors assaulting women, the lines are blurred between sex and “insemination”. One woman who spoke on the condition of anonymity said she met a sperm donor on a Facebook group who persuaded her “partial insemination” was the most effective method and said it was “well-suited” to lesbians, who did not want to have “full sex” with a man. They met in a hotel room and her partner waited outside.
“He pinned me on the bed and raped me,” she said. “I couldn’t push him off. He went on for 30 minutes and I couldn’t shout for help, I was frozen in fear. When he finished he kissed me on the head and left.” She felt too scared to go to police. Instead, the couple are focusing on saving for fertility treatment at a registered clinic.
“This form of predatory behaviour towards vulnerable women is concerning,” said a representative from the National Police Chiefs’ Council. “If you ever feel pressured into sex or you have not consented to sex this should be reported to the police as this is rape.”
SJ, 34, and her girlfriend do not have enough money for fertility treatment at a licensed clinic. “The process of finding a donor on Facebook has not been the best,” she said. “We have had a lot of men try to scam us out of money, most donors are not genuine. One had the snip and led me on for nearly a year [giving his sperm] and making out that I was the problem.”
A number of women have posted on Facebook groups about catching diseases. “A donor dishonestly told me he didn’t have anything and tricked me into believing him at the time by providing negative STI results that weren’t his,” wrote one woman.
“Looking back I should have been way more vigilant and I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, but I’m sure you all understand that feeling of desperation because you want a child so badly. So an update, I have tested positive for HIV.”
Fertility boasts
Simon Watson, 47, like Robert Albon and Clive Jones, would be too old to donate sperm at a licensed bank. He would also be limited to ten families.
He started his one-man sperm business in 1999. Today, he claims to have fathered 800 children, including 18 sets of twins. Watson told our undercover reporter that about one Watson baby each week “pops out”.
“The latest medical tests for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, hepatitis B and hepatitis C were taken in November 2021. I have new ones every three months,” he said. “There is no history of any hereditary diseases in my family.”
He requests a picture of a positive pregnancy test to post on Facebook and of the “resulting baby as those pics do make others even broodier”.
Watson says his “aim” is to have barbecues for all his children in the future, so half-siblings can meet. “I can do regional ones where there are clusters or a demand for such a gathering to save people travelling cross-country.”
Those who openly boast about how many offspring they have “implies that there is an egotistical link”, said Kirkman-Brown. “The implication is that he feels there will be some sort of army of children that wish to have a relationship with each other and come together.”
Albon said: “Everyone wants to do better and achieve more in their chosen field of expertise. There is nothing wrong with what I’m doing.” He denies he is acting from ego or that he is a predator, claiming that sex is more effective for pregnancy.
He said he had regular testing and the number of his children was within the limits set by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (25 births per population of 800,000). “We do not silence women,” he said, referring to other Facebook groups beyond the ones he owns, and emphasised it was a small minority of donors who act illegally. “We encourage anyone who feels they have been abused or harassed to go to police, as all that we can do is remove a perpetrator.”
Finding large numbers of siblings — as had happened in the US, where the number of donor children has been historically less regulated — is “very harmful” to children, said Kirkman-Brown. “They are not happy with each other and they are not happy with the donor. Relationships break down, become fractious and psychologically harmful.”
There is also a danger of incest, or a donor children’s fear of incest, which can be psychologically damaging. “While there are many cases of accidental incest in divorce and adoption, none so far in private sperm donation,” said Albon. “This is just a media attempt to create moral horror.”
Crossing the line
One condition of an HFEA licence is that no money or other benefit can be given or received in return for sperm. Male donors at clinics can be paid up to £35 for travel costs but no more. This law maintains the principle of altruistic donation.
Albon said he charged £100 a donation, plus travel and accommodation costs. Watson charges £50. There is no law preventing them from doing so, because they are acting outside the jurisdiction of the HFEA, but it raises questions about their motivations.
Albon also said he could package, “cool” and ship his sperm for £100. In his second book, How to Ship Sperm on the Internet, he recommends buying a sealed specimen pot for the sperm, or a resealable sandwich bag, which should be placed in a thermos with ice or frozen vegetables and then put in the post, next-day delivery. He also recommends adding an egg yolk buffer to preserve the sperm. Watson said he had posted sperm six times in the past.
“This is, and always will be, an incredibly difficult area to police,” said James Lawford Davies, a fertility lawyer. What the law is clear on, he said, was that the storage of sperm — defined by the Act as to “preserve, whether by cryopreservation or in any other way” — requires a licence from the HFEA. The unlicensed storage of sperm would be a criminal offence.
It is also prohibited to send biological substances in the post, unless they are being sent by, or at the specific request of, a qualified medical practitioner or a recognised laboratory or institution. Sending human sperm between two members of the public is prohibited.
Watson and Albon are likely to qualify as “clinics”, due to the storage and preservation of gametes, for which they need a licence. Without one, they appear to be operating illegally. Albon denies he qualifies as a “clinic, saying he does not trade other people’s gametes. Watson could not be reached for comment.
Peter Thompson, the HFEA chief executive, said: “Where there is evidence of a UK-based donor offering treatment that requires a licence, the HFEA should be informed. The HFEA will not hesitate in referring cases to the police for further investigation.”
There has only been one prosecution for an unlicensed clinic — when two men were procuring sperm from donors and providing it to women without a licence.
This is a new world in which vulnerable women, many of whom cannot afford to use regulated clinics, are becoming victims of unscrupulous men keen to father as many children as they can — and who would be barred from doing so under proper supervision.
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havekat · 17 hours ago
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You know what blows my mind the Supreme Court can cite a 12th century English law to justify negating 21st century American women's rights to bodily autonomy and medical privacy but Amber Heard couldn't be benefited from the findings of a 2020 case finding it a matter of fact that Depp abused Heard on eleven or twelve separate occasions.
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kaijutegu · 3 months ago
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Given that states may in fact prosecute people who want to leave to get an abortion, it’s vital that you start preparing to protect yourself and your data. The Digital Defense Fund has a really useful guide to the steps you can take.
And if you’re using an app to track your period, stop it immediately. Go back to the paper wall calendar.
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itssomethinglikethis · a day ago
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"Offerings"
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written by me
can also be found on tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@_somethinglikethis?lang=en
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infinitemonkeytheory · a day ago
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A new report from If/When/How, a reproductive justice advocacy organization, found that from 2000 to 2020, there were at least 61 cases of people criminally investigated or arrested for allegedly terminating their pregnancies or helping someone to end their pregnancies.
Unsurprisingly, law enforcement disproportionately targeted people of color for arrest or investigation, according to the report, which found that 17 percent of the cases involved Black Americans.
According to the report, as abortion bans triggered by the end of Roe v. Wade continue to emerge, more Americans, and especially more Black and Brown Americans, will get caught-up in the criminal justice system.
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Week Five Total!
Excited to share that we raised 640.80 dollars in Week 5 bringing us to an amazing running total of 2,144.78!!
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liberaljane · 2 months ago
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There's power in sharing your abortion story.
Join storytellers from all over country and Advocates for Youth and We Testify as we show up on social media to share #OurAbortionStories
As Renee Bracey Sherman said, "Everyone loves someone who has an abortion!"
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genderqueerpositivity · 3 days ago
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Do NOT use Facebook or Messenger to discuss self managing abortion or to communicate your intentions to have an abortion in any way. Especially do not do this if you live in a state that bans self managed abortion, abortion via telehealth, or accessing abortion pills by mail.
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hadeantaiga · 3 days ago
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I've seen a bit of discourse so I'm throwing in my two cents:
"No uterus, no opinion" is a phrase used by people to discuss abortion and birth control rights for afab people.
I have seen a few trans people try to claim this phrase is transphobic because it excludes trans women.
And you know what, yeah, it does exclude trans women... because they don't have a fucking uterus. This is not a health concern for them. While I appreciate every trans woman who supports abortion rights, being a trans woman doesn't inherently give you the right to legislate afab bodies.
There is, of course, no talk about how the phrase is inherently trans inclusive because it includes trans men...
The phrase is not transphobic, it's just not about trans women.
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So yeah...
No Uterus, No Opinion.
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profeminist · a month ago
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Nationwide protest map: https://map.wewontgoback.com/?source=aiusa
Please share!!!!
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itgetsbetterproject · 3 months ago
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🏳️‍⚧️ What happens if your state won't allow you to access gender-affirming care, like HRT?
Some states are stepping up where others are stepping back. Connecticut is the first state to pass a "safe state" law that will protect people who are seeking gender-affirming care or abortion care if it becomes illegal in their home state. Connecticut's law also means criminalizing states can't use out-of-state warrants to arrest parents or guardians for helping their child get care there, and would restrict other states from subpoenaing the medical records of families who sought gender-affirming care outside of their home states.
Some other states are on track to pass laws like this, too. While not everyone has the resources to be able to pack up and move, states passing "sanctuary" laws like this want to make it clear that we are welcome. 🏳️‍⚧️
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