If you think politicians would put trying to take reproductive rights away from people on hold during a global health crisis…think again, bitch! Several states are trying to ban abortions, deeming them as “non-essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one has done so successfully. Because a time-sensitive procedure that will affect the rest of a person’s life and is not essential. Sure, Jan.
On Tuesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a lower court ruling that would block the temporary abortion ban in Texas, following a long legal battle between the state and reproductive rights groups. The judges noted that the state has the power to restrict resident’s rights, such as peaceful assembly, during an emergency, and that “abortion is no exception.” As a result, nearly all abortions are banned in Texas.
This fight did not begin on Tuesday for Texas. This all began on March 22, when Texas Governor. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning abortions during the coronavirus outbreak, deeming them medically unnecessary and claiming they use up valuable medical supplies. After reproductive rights group sued the state and secured a temporary pause on the ban, the circuit court this week ruled against them to allow it.
Republican-appointed judges in Texas wrote that the state is allowed to “to restrict, for example, one’s right to assemble peacefully, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home” in a public health emergency and that therefore: “The right to abortion is no exception.”
So they agree it is abortion is a right, and one they are choosing to allow the governor to curtail. Excellent. We’ll remember that.
Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive rights said they’re reviewing their legal options and may attempt to take the case up to the United States Supreme Court. The ban is set to expire on April 21, and states that a medical professional who provided an abortion before then could be fined $1,000 or face jail time of up to 180 days. For sure what we should be focusing our energy on rn, great job everyone.
To anyone seeking abortion care right now, we see you, we trust you, and we support you.
Abortion is 𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙡. It is not something that can be delayed or forgone without serious impacts on the pregnant person’s health and life. #MyRightMyDecision #SustainingCommunity pic.twitter.com/V181IhRGke
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) April 8, 2020
The problem here is that abortion is incredibly time-sensitive, so, uh, maybe it should be an exception? Just a thought. It’s also worth noting that this decision claims to be based on the fact that abortion is “medically unnecessary” and would use up supplies needed to treat COVID-19 patients, but the reality is that the most common method early in pregnancy is administering medication abortion. This requires no medical gear. In fact, the ban on abortion would simply delay this process, which would then force people to seek a surgical abortion or give birth. And what do you know, both of those procedures require more medical resources
Other states that are trying to impose similar bans are Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Oklahoma. Did you really think Alabama would miss a chance to fuck shit up for womxn’s right? Abortion rights groups have acted immediately to get some of these bans lifted, and so far judges have sided with them in Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio.
Banning abortion is taking away fundamental human rights, period. But to use a pandemic as an excuse to do it is especially heinous. This is a time when people are losing their jobs, and consequently, their health insurance. Denying them access to abortions at a time like this is asking them to completely throw away their livelihoods.
Plus, we all know banning abortions does not stop abortions. It simply creates more harm.
First of all, people who can’t get their abortions in the states banning them will likely travel to other states to get what they need. Crossing state lines is not ideal during a time when we are asking people to stay at home, and could lead to further spreading of COVID-19.
People seeking abortion care in West Virginia would need to drive much further to reach a clinic due to the state's #COVID19 abortion ban. This is shameful & puts the health & well-being of patients at risk in the middle of a pandemic. #AbortionIsEssential pic.twitter.com/qpfO3FYveL
— Guttmacher Institute (@Guttmacher) April 8, 2020
Or, people will be forced to try to conduct abortions illegally and unsafely. Research shows that after Roe V. Wade was passed in 1973, the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion decreased dramatically. Banning abortion doesn’t stop abortions from happening, it simply makes them more dangerous and leads to more deaths. So, if you’re pro-life, lives might be something you want to consider.
It’s scary how quickly lawmakers jumped at the chance of using a pandemic as an excuse to take our rights away. It reminds us that we can’t stop paying attention to this shit, even in a time like this, when everything feels overwhelming. Of course, give yourself breaks and practice self-care, but stay vigilant.
Anyway, I’m sure Republicans will agree to give all the womxn who can’t get abortions because of these bans a $500 check as part of the coronavirus stimulus because their fetus is actually a child.
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It wouldn’t be an American holiday weekend without a mass shooting. Sadly, this is the truth. Over the long weekend, a gunman killed seven people and wounded 23 after he opened fire in a seemingly random rampage in Texas. Police are still investigating the shooting and looking for a motive, but details about the gunman have been released, and a lot of them point to the fact that enforcing stricter gun laws could have helped prevent this tragedy from occurring, if you can believe. Here’s what we know.
He had failed a background check
Texas Govener Greg Abbott tweeted that the gunman had previously failed a background check, and didn’t go through a background check for the gun he used in the mass shooting. John Wester, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, confirmed the gunman had previously failed a federal background check for a firearm. Details about when this background check was and how exactly the gunman obtained his weapon for the shooting have not been revealed.
The House of Representatives has already passed a bill to expand background checks — something that 93 percent of Americans favor (including 89 percent of Republicans). But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate.
He had a record
The gunman was arrested for a misdemeanor in 2001, according to online records. It is important to note that a misdemeanor would not prevent him from being able to purchase a gun.
People were afraid of him
In an interview with the Associated Press, the gunman’s neighbor, Rocio Gutierrez said that he was a “violent and aggressive person” who would shoot at rabbits at all hours of the night. Cute. Gutierrez added, “We were afraid of him because you could tell what kind of person he was just by looking at him. He was not nice, he was not friendly, he was not polite.” A family friend of his, who asked to remain unnamed, told the New York Times that he had a history of mental issues, trouble with the law, and making racist comments. They said, “The man should have never had a gun near his hand ever.” AGREED.
He made troubling calls to the police and FBI
The morning of the shooting, the gunman was fired from his trucking job. He and his boss both made calls to the police, apparently making complaints about the other over the firing. The police showed up to the gunman’s place of work, but he had taken off by the time they got there. The gunman also made a call to the FBI tip line to make “rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through,” according to FBI special agent Christopher Combs. Apparently, no violent threats were made.
He used and “AR style” weapon
The exact model of the firearm has not been given, but has been described as an “AR style” weapon. Surprise, surprise…
The gunman has been named as Seth A. Ator. He opened fire on troopers after being pulled over for failing to use a turn signal in Midland, Texas. He then proceeded to go on a shooting spree, hijack a postal service van, and carry out his massacre. This sh*t needs to stop. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Doing nothing about gun laws in this country is literally crazy.
Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome. Here’s our Betches Bachelorette Guide to Austin.
Yeeeeeeehaw. When you think of Austin, you may think more tacos, barbecue, and cowboy boots and not think bachelorette party extravaganza, but you would be misguided in your thinking. This Texas capital is a true hipster’s (or foodie’s) paradise, with tons of eateries, late night spots, tattoo parlors, mechanical bulls, and wine. Plus, it isn’t already drowning in bachelorette parties, making it a great spot for you and your posse to stand out. Here’s our official Betches bachelorette guide to Austin! C’mon y’all!
How To Get There
There are several ways to get to Austin, the first being by plane, duh. From the NYC area (so, LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark) airports, nonstop flights range from $300-500, which isn’t, like, amazing, but is pretty decent for roundtrip and no stops. From Atlanta, you’re looking at anywhere from $85 on Spirit (v questionable) to about $300 on Delta—all nonstop. Midwest betches can snag a flight for about $200 on average out of Chicago, and West coast biddies are about the same. Unless you live in like, a close southern state, flying is going to be your best option since Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a big hub and has tons of flight options every day. Plus, the airport is SUPER close to downtown, making coming and going truly painless. Just a note: When booking your stay, try to avoid the weekend of SXSW or Austin City Limits unless you want an extra thousand people at your bachelorette party. Just saying.
Where To Stay
Obviously, you’re going to want to be in the middle (or within walking distance of) all the action, so either a hotel in downtown or an Airbnb is your best option, That said, I’d always advise an Airbnb since a) they’re usually a little cheaper and b) you can all hang out in one big space and not have to deal with the whole adjoining door situation. Airbnbs in Austin are an especially good option since whether you have four or fourteen betches, you’ll be able to find a spot to stay.
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Ready to (pool) party. ? our daily pool passes are now available for the 2019 season — complete with access to the pool, pool bar + sweeping views of South Congress and the Austin skyline. Full details on reservations and pricing can be found in our bio. #seeyouatSCH Photo: @livelikearedhead
For the hotel route, we recommend Hotel San Jose for a local feel; South Congress Hotel for a boutique feel (and they have a bunk room that can sleep eight); or East Austin Hotel for a hipster feel. All these options are within the downtown area and are reasonably priced. They also all hav their own bars or lounges, with East Austin Hotel hosting a super chill rooftop bar. Plus, you have the in-room breakfast option if you just can’t quite manage to get out of bed one day, which is reasonable considering the amount of drinking you’re about to do.
How To Get Around
If you’re downtown, walking is a breeze. However, Austin is huge and there are a lot of little niche neighborhoods, so have Uber or Lyft at the ready. You can also brave the bus if you want to annoy the locals and deal with grifters, but, overall, count on breaking out your phone to order a car or wear comfy shoes. Remember: If you (stupidly) decided to book a bachelorette in Austin, TX, during the heat of summer, a car with AC is going to be your best bet. It gets hot af down there.
Where To Eat
Tacos and barbecue are abundant in Austin, so you need to make sure you work both of those foods into your eating schedule. For brunch, you best start your day at Irene’s, which has some delicious options like Brioche French Toast or Migas (eggs, peppers, onions, cheddar, fried tortilla strips, salsa verde, black beans and potatoes), PLUS frosé, which we all know is the lifeblood of betches that brunch. Hot L Coffee/Carpenter’s Hall and Le Politique are also solid options if you aren’t into hotel breakfast or sh*tty coffee at your Airbnb.
If you (stupidly) decide to skip breakfast, there are tons of light and heavy options all over the city. Pool Burger is right by Deep Eddy swimmin’ hole, so you can scarf down lunch and then go swimming and ignore everything your mom ever told you. They also have cute tiki drinks, so there’s that. You could also head to El Arroyo, where they’re serving up classic (and delicious) Tex-Mex. Yes, they’re the home of a very famous internet marquee that you need to Insta so everyone knows how hilarious you are. El Alma is a great option, too
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Lastly, June’s All Day is a solid lunch choice thanks to its slightly elevated offerings like Grilled Lamb Merquez and Poached Eggs or Buckwheat Crepes. Nom nom nom.
And if you want to pay true tribute to Texas and go the barbecue route, you can wait for two hours in line at Franklin Barbecue or skip that sh*t and head over to Terry Blacks (where, honestly, I think the sides are better, anyway). Emily Ratajkowski was there literally 30 minutes after my posse and I were, and if that isn’t a hardcore recommendation, idk what is. Just prepare yourself for the meat sweats after you eat.
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Finally, for dinner you’ve got a buncha great choices, but we love Launderette for its fun desserts; Mattie’s for its Southern classics; and Kemuri Tatsu-Ya for its fun drinks and amazing barbecue-meets-sushi menu. Other great standbys include Polvo’s downtown for incredibly delicious enchiladas and “interior” Mexican food; Loro since it has a giant f*cking patio and some amazing meats (Char Siew Pork Belly, I see you); and Uchi for its plethora of highly Instagrammable Japanese fare. Sidebar: a frenemy of mine sat next to Matthew McConaughey at Uchi, and I’m not saying that’ll def happen, but it’d be a lot cooler if it did.
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The Uchi experience goes beyond food. At the end of the day, our true passion is hospitality, to give. We want to make people happy and create memorable moments. If you leave saying, “OMG that was the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth,” then we’d call that a success. #uchiaustin
Where To Relax
Wine and spas are within and right outside Austin, so you can get your drank on and get a professional massage to help alleviate the toxin buildup during this bachelorette trip.
For wineries, you’ll want to focus on the Driftwood, Dripping Springs, and Fredericksburg areas, all of which can be gotten to from downtown Austin in about an hour. There are actually wine tour companies, like Discover Texas Wine Tours, that have several options for getting you to and from the wineries, three on a half day and four on a full day tour. Plus, they’ll pick you up right in downtown Austin, so 10/10 would recommend. Of course, if you’d rather do your own thing, you can easily get to Duchman Family Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards, and/or go the liquor route and head to Deep Eddy Vodka’s Tasting Room about 30 minutes outside downtown.
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In terms of spas, you won’t need to venture outside downtown. Milk & Honey is right downtown and offers everything from massages to facials to pedicures, so you and your posse can get pampered in style. Viva Day Spa is in the South Lamar area and has a spa package and hangout space perfect for several betches at a time.
Where To Party & Drink
If you’re on the hunt for booze and dance parties, Austin is in no short supply. Based on what neighborhood you’re in, you can find many, many different options. For instance, the West 6th neighborhood features watering holes for the upwardly mobile, to borrow a quote from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. East 6th is a hipster’s paradise; Rainey Street is home to many, many frat bois; and Dirty 6th is where you go to lose personal space and dignity! A few honorable bar mentions include Bar Peached; P6, which has a rooftop bar and amazing views; Kitty Cohen’s; and Sour Duck Market.
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Looking for clerbs? Barbarella has a killer 80s dance party every Friday night, plus there are usually food trucks parked directly across the street, so you can get your drunk eating on. Elysium is a more alternative spot, but the drinks and bartenders are super great and the music is a mix of goth, industrial, and general fun weirdness. The Continental Club is more of your classic rock & roll-meets-country spot, also right in downtown. Barcelona is a classic basement dance club with a lineup of great DJs, and Speakeasy is a multi-floor, classier club with what feels like several different spots all under one roof. For a classic Austin standby, Broken Spoke should be on your list, too, cause, in the words of my Austin bestie, Beth, “it’s a boot-scootin’ boogie.” Honestly, there are tons of options, so just go where the night takes you *forehead kisses*.
Friday Day 1
Pro tip: Arrive as early as possible to get yourself situated. Then attack Austin with everything you have.
- Arrive in Austin at like, 9am (don’t @ me, just trust me)
- Explore South Congress’ weird and amazing shops with or without a light lunch stop at June’s All Day
- Head to Barton Springs for a dip in the natural pool, then get cramps cause you didn’t wait an hour after eating before you swam
- Get ready at your place for dinner
- Book a boat tour, which is v fun if you’re already drunk AND most of them are BYOB (!!)
- Late-ish dinner at Loro
- Head to Broken Spoke for cowboy sh*t and more booze (on the same street at Loro)
Saturday Day 2
Pro tip: Hope you popped those Tylenol before bedtime and chugged water. You’ve got a big day ahead of you.
- Heavy brunch at Irene’s, complete with a lot of frosé
- Wine and booze tastings at Duchman Family Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards, and/or Deep Eddy Tasting Room
- “Home” for naps and Instagram scrolling
- Dinner at Terry Black’s BBQ
- Hit the bars on Rainey Street
Sunday Day 3
Pro tip: Today is all about relaxing before gorging yourself on more food and drinks, so set yourself up for success and be prepared.
- Time for a classy brunch at Le Politique
- Spa day at Milk + Honey
- Head back for showers, naps, and pre-gaming dinner
- Dinner and drinks at Mattie’s
- Uber to more drinks at P6 / rooftop shenanigans
Monday Day 4
Pro tip: Try to book a later flight so you can have one last breakfast.
- Have a plate of biscuits at Hot L Coffee so you can stand up / check in at the airport… You could also just eat at the airport, since it’s a food and bev hotspot in and of itself (and all the sh*t is local to Austin)
- Travel home and try not to fall asleep with your mouth open mid-flight
Austin has so much to offer, there’s no way you’ll be bored. So get your bride on board with this cowboy town turned hipster foodie Mecca and book your trip to Texas.
Images: Instagram (7)
Like Taylor Swift, the college acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in years, and your mom’s best friend, filmmaker Richard Linklater is getting in on the get out the vote action. Civic engagement, so hot right now! Linklater’s contribution is a new anti-Ted Cruz ad ahead of his race against Beto O’ Rourke, noted hot progressive skateboarder. He also has like, good policies and sh*t.
This moment of pettiness, meanness, partisanship, and division will be met by the kindness, courage, strength, leadership, and big heart of Texas. pic.twitter.com/6kAXZSRosS
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 11, 2018
RealClearPolitics’ running poll has Cruz ahead by 6 points, which is disappointing since he is not only a misogynistic anti-abortion crusader but also probably the Zodiac killer. (But the polls also said Hillary would win so like, whatever.) Cruz continued to support Trump despite the fact that he insulted his wife and said his dad killed JFK (maybe?), which, according to this as, is not what a true Texan man would do. The ad aggressively relies on tropes of toxic masculinity to convince toxically masculine Texas men that Ted Cruz isn’t toxically masculine enough to truly represent them, which is an argument that feels a little more 1990 than 2018. Linklater is most famous for Dazed and Confused, so ok.
The ad mocks Cruz’s “Tough as Texas” slogan by calling out Cruz’s deeply weak response to Trump’s straight up savage takedowns of Cruz during the 2016 election. Which, again, were calling Cruz’s wife ugly and inexplicably insinuating that Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. (But again…maybe?)
Actor Sonny Carl Davis reprises his role from the film Bernie as an archetypal Texan man laying out the rules of Texas, but this time he’s talking about how Ted Cruz is not man enough to represent Texas, because he hasn’t tried to physically fight Trump. He says:
“If somebody called my wife a dog and said my daddy was in on the Kennedy assassination, I wouldn’t be kissing their ass,” Davis’s character says. “You stick a finger in their chest and give ’em a few choice words. Or you drag their ass out by the woodshed and kick their ass, Ted.”
To be honest, the sight of an elderly white man with a southern accent telling me to do anything is pretty triggering after the Kavanaugh hearings. In a state where the Latinx population increased by over 200,000 last year and the state population is expected to not be majority white by 2022, it’s unclear whether this is the best strategy. However, I’m always here for incitements to violence against Trump, so I’ll let it slide.
Watch the ad for yourself below:
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In case you haven’t been paying attention, things in Texas aren’t so good right now. There’s terrible flooding in Houston and elsewhere, and many people have lost everything. If you’re feeling fortunate that you’re living on dry land right now and want to do something to help, here are some good resources that aren’t scams.
1. The American Red Cross
The Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that’s dedicated to disaster relief, and donating couldn’t be easier. You can go to their website, or if you text HARVEY to 90999, you can donate $10. That’s like, one drink. Better idea: When a creepy guy asks for your number this weekend, put in that number.
2. Blood Donations
Whenever a disaster like this happens, hospitals are always in desperate need of blood donations. Donating blood is no fun, but if you can make yourself do it you could really be helping someone. AABB is a service that coordinates where you can donate blood.
3. Texas Diaper Bank
Diapers might not seem like a big deal, but most emergency relief organizations don’t provide diapers to young children. They still need them. If you donate to Texas Diaper Bank (like Kim Kardashian did the other day), your money will go to getting moms the supplies they need.
4. Food Banks
Many people are stranded without enough food, and donating to local food banks can help fix that. Both the Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are seeking donations.
5. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army doesn’t just do thrift stores, they’re also on the ground helping people out. They also let you do text donations by texting STORM to 51555 (another number you can sneak into guys’ phones), or of course you can go to their website.