Social Justice

Abortion advocates react to bill to defund Planned Parenthood, express concerns for future

By Enrica Nicoli Aldini

Advocates for women’s reproductive freedom welcomed President Barack Obama’s veto last week on a House of Representatives bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and suspend federal funding to Planned Parenthood. But the veto is hardly enough to provide a respite in the fight for women’s reproductive rights, according to some abortion activists in Illinois.

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Demonstrators take over Loop to march for women’s reproductive rights

By Enrica Nicoli Aldini

Frigid temperatures Sunday caused an expanding crowd of pro-choice marchers to bundle up more than usual on an otherwise clear afternoon at Federal Plaza. Abortion activists with Feminist Uprising to Resist Inequality and Exploitation, a local group also called FURIE, braved below-zero wind chills to march through the Loop, and protest the Chicago chapter of pro-life advocates, who gathered just on the opposite side of the street for the March for Life.

“The majority of Americans are pro-choice,” Mallory Harwardt, FURIE organizer, told the crowd as it assembled in front of the Federal Courthouse before the march. “It’s time we stopped acting like we are the silent majority.”

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Immigrants express a different reality on abortion rights

By Vishakha Darbha

Standing amid a sea of posters that proclaimed “My body, My Choice,” Loreen Targos recalled a story her mother had narrated to her about abortion in Taiwan.

Her mother’s friend did not want to have a sixth child, and lost her life in a desperate attempt to get an illegal abortion.
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Mayor Emanuel joins Jewish, African American communities for MLK celebration

Text by Jay Bouchard
Video by Brendan Hickey

The Star of David, featured prominently in the windows and architecture of Stone Temple Baptist Church, illuminates a rich history between Jews and African Americans in Chicago.

A former synagogue in North Lawndale, Stone Temple Baptist Church was host to a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on Monday that brought together the city’s Jewish and African American communities and drew an unexpected guest—Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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Lincoln Park shelter treats homelessness holistically (VIDEO)

By Benji Cohen

The Lincoln Park Community Shelter has a different approach for helping the homeless.

When a homeless “visitor,” as they are called, enters its doors, case managers at Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) immediately devise a plan for the person to help them get a job and find more permanent housing.

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Uptown homeless endure cold in tent city

By Rebekah Frumkin

Chicago’s homeless struggle to survive the bitter cold in tents. Medill reporter Rebekah Frumkin spent time talking with residents of the Uptown Tent City, an encampment under Lake Shore Drive where 20 of Chicago’s roughly 125,000 homeless live.

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PETA distributes fur coats to Bronzeville homeless

By Harry Huggins

The animal rights group, PETA, helped distribute fur coats to homeless women at a Chicago nonprofit women Thursday morning. The coats came from a series of fur donation drives across America and were distributed to the clients of Matthew House in Bronzeville.

“The cold hurts in Chicago, you know,” Robin Powell said, twirling in her new brown, striped mink. “I just feel so special and loved right now.”

Matthew House helped Powell and her husband find an apartment on the South Side, but it burned down, leaving them homeless again.

“This is gonna keep me warm and protected until Matthew House helps us find a new place,” Powell said.
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