This is a light edition of the newsletter: activism for abortion rights last week was time-consuming, and I have many things to catch up on. But there are a lot of excellent links below and a report on our very successful fundraising drive to support abortion access in Texas.
Thank you to everyone who took out a subscription, or made an individual donation, to support reproductive freedom in Texas. Together, we raised $1500: a third of that was gifted directly, and a whopping $850.00 through new annual subscription fees: my partner and I topped it up to make a nice round number and pay the processing fee.
What I have been doing:
Please take a look at this week’s special issue of Public Seminar, which I co-edit, exploring the issues that Texas’s Fetal Heartbeat Act raises for all of us. There are terrific articles by Laura Briggs, Jill Filipovic, Lauren Gutterman, Heather Cox Richardson, John A. Stoehr, Maria Bucur, and Kristen Ghodsee. One essay I particularly want to highlight is by Jessica Bush and Samantha Klein, who argue that the Texas law ignores Jewish moral values since the Torah privileges the life and autonomy of the pregnant person.
A group of Republican governors plans on suing the Biden administration over the new vaccine mandate. These death merchants argue that “the vaccine requirements violate personal freedoms and that businesses should be allowed to set their own workplace standards.” Because these guys have just done a terrific job so far? (Morgan Chalfant and Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, September 12, 2021)
Every time one of us is lifted out of the Substack chorus line, it is a victory. Former `Stacker Tressie MacMillan Cottom’s newsletter for The New York Times debuted over the weekend, and it is a meditation on the limits of empathy. “I rely on empathy not to make me morally superior but to keep me tethered to what matters,” she writes. “Empathetic impulses give me the humility to keep asking questions, even when I do not like the answers. Because I value being a thinking person, I honor emotions like empathy, fear, joy, and trust to guide me around the pitfalls of my ego.” (September 11, 2021)
In his Friday newsletter at The American Prospect, Eric Alterman asks: where was George Bush--really--on 9/11, and what was his state of mind? People who know Alterman as a journalist might be reminded that he is trained as a professional historian. He doesn’t answer the question--but assembles contradictory accounts of the President’s actions that suggest a story we have not yet been told. (September 10, 2021)