Stop Patriarchy Is Crashing Texas with Its Abortion Freedom Ride, and Local Feminists Are Pissed

Wendy Davis' 11th-hour filibuster in June 2013 didn't ultimately stop the Texas Legislature from passing some of the country's most sweeping abortion restrictions, nor did it stop abortion clinics across the state from shutting their doors when they couldn't meet the stringent new standards or obtain the newly required admitting privileges at local hospitals. It almost certainly didn't change anyone's mind on the issue itself.

What the filibuster did do, aside from laying the foundation for Davis' gubernatorial campaign, is breathe a new sense of possibility into Texas' grassroots reproductive-rights movement, which has been busy planting new seeds and attempting to keep the momentum alive.

It should probably go without saying that, on general principal, grassroots types would prefer that any Revolutionary Communist Party-linked, East Coast feminist groups refrain from cloaking themselves in the rhetoric of the Civil Rights movement and taking a road trip through Texas calling for "abortions on demand." More specifically, they want the group Stop Patriarchy to call off the Abortion Freedom Ride it has planned for Texas next month and stay in New York.

Stop Patriarchy's itinerary:

For the month of August through September 1: The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride will caravan through Texas, stopping in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and then down to the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border. People from around the country and around Texas will politically confront and protest those behind the anti-abortion attacks and laws, rally support for those on the front lines providing abortions, fight to change the way people think about abortion by raising the slogans: Abortion On Demand and Without Apology and Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement, and wake people up nation-wide to this emergency.

Hence the #FuckStopPatriarchy hashtag, which writer/activist/clinic escort Katie Klabusich coined in a Twitter rant/blog post over the weekend.

The basic complaint of Klabusich and those who have joined the #FuckStopPatriarchy chorus on Twitter is that Stop Patriarchy is carpetbagging, helicoptering into Texas to raise funds and gain attention from a battle they have played no role in fighting. There are other complaints, too, most tied up with the internal politics of the feminist movement, e.g. an outcry over the group's vilification of pornography and the sex industry.

So far, the two sides are mostly tweeting past each other:

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson