April 29, 2009 Higher Ground, Not Common Ground: Our Lines in the Sand

April 29, 2009 Higher Ground, Not Common Ground: Our Lines in the Sand

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Lines in the sand… What are yours?

Our lines are the values and principles that motivate and inform our lives, inspire action and require resistance and sacrifice.

The theme of the new edition was provoked by today’s too-prevalent sentiment to compromise principles in the interests of seeking “common ground” and reconciliation with opposing views. In these articles we explore the feminist and progressive values that must be held tightly, the “lines in the sand” that we refuse to erase.

– Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Merle Hoffman says reproductive freedom is “the front line, the bottom line and the everlasting line in the sand,” in her editorial “Higher Ground, Not Common Ground.

“Our bodies are lines in the sand. Each one of us proclaims that the power of the state stops at our skin when we lay our bodies down for an abortion, saying, with that action, that it is we who will decide when and whether to bear children,” she says.

 Gloria Feldt in “To Run the World, Power Up Feminism,” argues that constant action is what’s needed to achieve gender parity. Feldt says now is not the time for complacency. Her specific goals include:

1. Elect feminists
2. Promote feminists to appointive office
3. Mobilize grassroots support for women’s rights

– Pam Chamberlain reminds us that compromise brings consequence. In her piece “Common Enemies: LGBT, Abortion Share Foes,” Chamberlain discusses The Third Way, a new group that attempts to merge evangelical Christians with progressives. Chamberlain argues that compromising from the progressive standpoint is dangerous as it only allows the right to chip away slowly at abortion rights and reproductive freedom.

“They [the right] appear to be conciliatory, while negotiating to get federal funds to block abortion access,” she says.

– Irasema Garza revisits the Equal Pay Act in “Second Bill of Rights: Economic Security.” Garza points out that even now, years after the bill became law, women are still working for less than men. Garza says the time is now for a “second bill of rights” to focus on achieving economic equality for women.

– “Those who violate women should not get away with it,” says Charlotte Bunch in “Listen Up: UN Must Hear Women on Violence.” Bunch discusses UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s new campaign to end violence against women all over the world and argues that feminist voices must be central to any UN involvement.

– On The Issues Magazine focuses on women-produced art as well as political and activist issues. Our new book editor, Christine Hutchins, reviews Ending Slavery: How We Free Today’s Slaves, by Kevin Bales and The Reproductive Rights Reader: Law, Medicine, and the Construction of Motherhood, ed. Nancy Ehrenreich.

– In this edition, art editor Linda Stein features the prints of East Coast artist
Judith K. Brodsky. Her piece, One Hundred Million Women Are Missing, offers a global and feminist reflection on Lines in the Sand.


Merle Hoffman's Choices: A Post-Roe Abortion Rights Manifesto

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“Merle Hoffman has always known that in a democracy, we each have decision-making power over the fate of our own bodies. She is a national hero for us all.” —Gloria Steinem

In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade and a country divided, Merle Hoffman, a pioneer in the pro-choice movement and women’s healthcare, offers an unapologetic and authoritative take on abortion calling it “the front line and the bottom line of women’s freedom and liberty.” 

Merle Hoffman has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom movement since the 1970s. Three years before the Supreme Court legalized abortion through Roe v. Wade, she helped to establish one of the United States’ first abortion centers in Flushing, Queens, and later went on to found Choices, one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive women’s medical facilities. For the last five decades, Hoffman has been a steadfast warrior and fierce advocate for every woman’s right to choose when and whether or not to be a mother.