Washington

Slog PM: Abortion Clinics Shutter, Big Protests Downtown, Seattle Pride Kicks Off

Hannah is following the protests this evening: If you’re not out in the streets for some reason, follow along. At 5 pm today, the Women’s March is rallying at the Federal Building downtown, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights is hitting Westlake, and the Shout Your Abortion organizers will gather at Yesler Terrace Park. The downtown demonstrations will draw the most people. 

Nine abortion bans now in full effect: The New York Times’ tracker shows that “7.2 million women of reproductive age” in the midwest and in the south now have no access to abortion. Twelve more states will either ban or severely restrict the treatment soon, which will impact an estimated 20.1 million women. At the end of all this, only 21 states (including D.C.) will provide abortion care for the nation. 

Clinics are closing across the country: Tears outside an abortion clinic in Arkansas. Anger outside a clinic in New Orleans. The BBC has the details. 

DOJ says states can’t ban the abortion pill: Attorney General Merrick Garland said the FDA approved mifepristone, and so states can’t take it off the shelves, even though many already have tried, according to Axios. Need a pill? Find it here

Bartenders, unite! 

Washington’s response to the end of federal abortion protections: State and local leaders pledged to fund abortions on the city and county level. Washington, Oregon, and California formed a little club to protect abortion access. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant proposed legislation to make Seattle a “sanctuary city” for abortion doctors and people seeking their services. Hannah’s got the full run-down here

Just a reminder to donate to Northwest Abortion Access Fund: If you can swing it, here’s the link

Local newspapers have silenced reporters from speaking out on legal decisions that directly impact their lives and livelihoods. Today, The Seattle Times, Gannett, and other media companies distributed emails to staff reminding them not to appear to take a position on the “political” issue of robed freaks granting governors the right to force people to give birth. These emails tend not to roll out whenever journalists speak openly about Trump’s election lies, the deaths of politicians such as John McCain or Bob Dole, the war in Ukraine, or on any matter of US foreign policy in general. Nor do they roll out when those same journalists post thinly sourced articles that assume public safety only comes from cops — the only government agency that’s never told a lie, except of course for the military. The selective enforcement of these rules belies the emptiness of the “objectivity” standard these papers seek to apply, and feels particularly galling on today of all days. 

In case you’re working for one of these “objective” outlets, know your rights: 

Democrats had at least one month, and arguably years to prepare for the end of Roe, and they’re out here reading poems: 

And singing “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps while protesters express their righteous rage: 

And telling people to vote harder: While it’s true that the only way to fix this mess is to create large pro-choice majorities in the U.S. House and in the Senate—majorities that do not currently exist—those same Democrats watched democracy erode in their hands for the last decade and didn’t do shit to stop it. 

It’s gotta be this every day: 

ANYWAY, Happy Pride: If you want to have fun this weekend, do what Jas and Matt tell you to do

Happy Pride to Gay City, which has a new home on Capitol Hill, according to the neighborhood’s blawg. 

Happy heat advisory: As Charles mentioned in AM, the National Weather Service warns of high temps from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. “The sustained warm temperatures will pose ‘a moderate risk of heat-related illness,” KING 5 reports. A gallon of water and plenty of shade in the afternoon should put that risk to bed, neither of which should be in short supply this weekend.

If it gets hotter than that, the County will have a plan… eventually: The County’s public health department is still working on a plan to prevent death from extreme heat of the kind we experienced last summer. According to KIRO’s brief rundown, so far the agency has updated some protocols and translated helpful info into a bunch of different languages. 

Might be worth a walk to the water at some point this weekend: People in West Seattle can expect to see a whole bunch of schooners sailing by Alki late Saturday morning. Those boats will sail as part of the Captain Reynaud International Schooner Race, which will take place over the course of the next three days, according to the West Seattle Blog

Pee Poems at Elliott Bay Book Company this evening at 7 pm: Fortunately (or unfortunately), Lao Yang’s Pee Poems (Circumference Books) has less to do with golden showers and more to do with the existential predicament writers face in countries that deny freedom to vast swaths of their populations. “Until we have secured our rights, we cannot practice art, cannot live with art, cannot think artistically or observe this world with an artistic eye,” the contemporary Chinese poet said during an interview after protesting the demise of a music shop he ran in Beijing for many years. His terse, meditative, funny, often profound “pee poems” emerge from this degraded state. “When even the right to cry is denied / Incontinence is one of the few remaining liberties // Seeing rulers raise walls in the eyes of the people / I reinvent the act of pissing,” he writes in the collection’s opener, “Pissing Poems: 36 Verses.”

The poets who carried Yang into the English-speaking world, Joshua Edwards and Lynn Xu, will read his poems at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight at 7 pm. A nice way to re-channel your demonstrative energies, in my view. Xu will read from her new book from Seattle/New York’s Wave Books: And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight. Edwards will also read from his new book, The Double Lamp of Solitude, out now from Rising Tide Projects. Xu is a visionary, and a first read of her book feels like watching a mother-daughter super-being deliver a dream baby at the center of several universes at once. Edwards is a pilgrim through and through, and his meditative works include “Five Plans for Walking Around a Mountain,” a series of prose poems and photos from that time he walked Mt. Rainier’s Wonderland Trail in the autumn of 2018. The best poem in the book for my money is “The Lamp of Belief.” 

Let’s end PM on a rowdier note:  

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