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#407 Immigrant Pregnant Women, Paradox of Repression - April 20, 2018

Dangers to Immigrant Pregnant Women

pregnant woman

The medical term for miscarriages is spontaneous abortion –meaning that the pregnancy ended without anyone intending it to. But if pregnant women in custody are treated badly, resulting in miscarriages that might not have happened otherwise, the unborn child is just as dead, and the hardness of heart is just as real. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) announced a new policy on March 29, 2018 expanding the circumstances under which pregnant women can be held in detention. As 70 members of the US Congress put it in an official letter on November 1, 2017: “The detention of pregnant women is cruel, high-risk, and almost never appropriate given the danger it poses to the life of both the mother and her unborn child.” We add that fear of detention may lead undocumented pregnant women to avoid seeking needed medical care or police protection from violence, which might also lead to preventable miscarriages.


Grassroots PP Alternatives: FAQ Now that several of us have talked face-to-face with hundreds of people interested in our campaign, Grassroots Defunding: Finding Alternatives to Planned Parenthood, we know some of the questions people most commonly have. We’ve added a Frequently Asked Questions page. As always, we’re eager for feedback. Because this campaign relies on grassroots activists who are sending in information, ideas, and reports of actual actions, the website is generally revised a little every few days. Send feedback to


Paradox of Repression

Book cover: The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements

Due out in May, the book The Paradox of Repression and Nonviolent Movements is now available for pre-order. It explores the unintended effects of repression when employed to demobilize social movements – such repression often boomerangs and makes the movements stronger. Several different authors look at how such boomerangs can be encouraged – including our own Rachel MacNair, CLN vice president, who covers psychology in Chapter 4. In addition to interested individuals, libraries might be interested and can be encouraged to pre-order. It’s edited by Lester R. Kurtz and Lee A. Smithey and published by Syracuse University Press.


Latest CLN Blog Post One of our common sayings back in the 1980s was “the dove needs both wings to fly” – our nonviolent goals aren’t best filled by sticking with either left-wing or right-wing. In current controversies, both “wings” have insights, both have problems, and both are sabotaging their ability to achieve by remaining attached only to their own ingroups. In “Tribalism: A Major Obstacle for Building Bridges,” Rachel MacNair reflects on how two recent events in the media illustrate this problem. On the right, Kevin Williamson lost a gig writing for The Atlantic because of sentiment about punishing mothers for abortion. On the left, John Oliver delivered a comedy routine savaging crisis pregnancy centers.


Quotation of the Week The Editors, America: The Jesuit Review Miscarriages are happening in I.C.E. custody Will the pro-life movement respond? April 13, 2018 Last month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a new policy expanding the agency’s power to detain pregnant women . . . Fears that pregnant women would not return for deportation hearings is the stated reason for the change. Fear that these unborn children would become U.S. citizens is perhaps the unstated reason. . . . reports reveal that these pregnant women are not receiving adequate medical care. Katie Shepherd of the American Immigration Council told the Daily Beast that the rate of miscarriages in detention is on the rise. The new policy is jeopardizing the lives of innocent unborn children.


Responses/News tips/Questions to share are all welcome.

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