What is the path forward in a post-Roe world?

By Katie Harbinson

With the fall of Roe v Wade upon us, we must begin to envision a world without equitable abortion access. In Oklahoma, we have a terrifying view of what is to come; just last month, the state enacted a total abortion ban with very few exceptions. This ban is the strictest in the country and claims that life begins at the moment of conception. While there are exceptions for incest or sexual assault, the survivor must have a police report on file to obtain an abortion. Given how underreported sexual violence is, this requirement effectively nullifies these exceptions. 

Oklahoma has also copied the bounty hunting clause of Texas’ SB-8, allowing citizens to file suit against those believed to be assisting with abortions in any capacity. If a vigilante lawsuit is successful, the plaintiffs are awarded $10,000 and legal fees. Meanwhile, if the defendant wins the lawsuit, they are unable to recoup any fees associated with the suit. The impact of this vigilante clause is heartbreaking—patients are afraid to seek miscarriage management and providers are turning away patients experiencing complications after miscarriages or abortions out of fear. In addition to the lives lost by lack of access to abortion care, these vigilante clauses will only increase the already too stark death toll.  

Across the country, anti-abortion extremists stand poised to enact similar abortion bans in light of the repeal of Roe. These pieces of legislation are known as “trigger bans,” meaning the ban can be triggered into action after the repeal of abortion protections in Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey. While the legislation and process of enacting these laws vary on a state-by-state basis, they will not go into effect immediately after Roe is repealed. While many states have already enacted their trigger bans, abortion access still varies greatly by state

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Women to Watch—A New World: 2024, KC’s newest art exhibit

By Nicole Mitchell

Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is opening its newest art exhibit this month: the Women to Watch exhibition (Women to Watch—A New World: 2024). The series has been held every few years and invites women artists from across the country to respond to a theme picked by Washington, D.C.-based organization National Museum of Women Artists (NMWA) curators. Kemper participated most recently in the series in 2019 with Paper Routes—Women to Watch 2020. This exhibition will be the seventh total installment of the Women to Watch series.

The theme for this year’s exhibition was inspired by the events of 2020, including a global health pandemic, intense calls for social reform, and political division. Artists across the U.S. used this as inspiration to express visions of a new world.

This year, Kemper’s presentation of Women to Watch—A New World: 2024 features five local artists Mona Cliff/HanukGahNé (Spotted Cloud) (Aaniiih, born 1977), Bianca Fields (American, born 1995), Bev Gegen (American, born 1937), Melanie Johnson (American, born 1978), and Sun Young Park (South Korean, born 1990). The presentation was juried by Kemper Museum Director of Curatorial Affairs Erin Dziedzic and presented in cooperation with the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the NMWA.

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To be a woman takes guts

By Kelcie McKenney

This poem was first published in Tessellation, a poetry and photography zine with all proceeds benefiting Barrier Babes—a Kansas City nonprofit that strives to promote inclusive and unapologetic sexual health education. Read more about the project.

To be a woman takes guts
Guts that leave blood stains on silk dresses and middle school seats
Guts that spill when you share the name of your crush at a slumber party after too much mountain dew and nail polish remover
Guts that leave a cold stain down your thigh after one missed period

To be a woman takes guts
It’s standing up for yourself after the room has spent the whole meeting talking over you
It’s learning to walk back to your car with keys between your knuckles every night
Its wiping the mascara from under your eyes and telling the reflection you can be both soft and strong

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The new, sexy FDA-approved way of protecting against STIs

By Nicole Mitchell

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved latex undies brand Lorals’ Lorals for Protection underwear as STI protection devices. Lorals for Protection protects its users from STIs during oral sex while being worn similarly to underwear.

The team of designers at Loral spent three years creating the latex undies for safe (and pleasurable) sex, and spent the last two years adapting the product to make sure that it met FDA and ISO standards, according to its website.

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Here’s the Deal with Mansplaining and Why it Needs to Stop

By Sophie Oswald
Illustrations by Matthew Vargas

“Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don’t,” Rebecca Solnit remarked in her essay Men Explain Things to Me. While Solnit didn’t specifically use the word “mansplain” in her popular essay, she was one of the first to discuss this phenomenon. Conversations surrounding her essay shortly resulted in the term appearing in a comment section online.

Most women, maybe even all women, have been there. Men have been explaining things in patronizing ways for centuries. 

Generally, mansplaining involves a conversation between a man and a woman, but sometimes it can happen between two men or with a man and a non-binary person.

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