Summer 2022

Our bodies under attack

My abortion is none of your business • Re-doing sex ed • Bodies in the Bible • Intersectional feminism fights back!

In This Issue

Lilith Feature

The Choices They Made…The Ones They Couldn’t Make

  “We deserve to make the decision to end a pregnancy without the interference of the state.”   ART: RACHEL LEVIT

Lilith Feature

Abortion at the Intersections: Politics, race, religion and identity

Sarah Seltzer

The tragedy of the Supreme Court overturning Roe and sending abortion rights scattering is merely one dramatic moment of an extraordinary year of backlash...

Lilith Feature

Bodies, Hormones and Doctors

From IVF to transitioning, hormones and the medical community can give us ownership over our bodies… or take it away.   ART: RACHEL LEVIT

Lilith Feature

Who Owns Our Bodies?

From the Bible to sex-ed to a Jewish rally for abortion…     art by Rachel Levit

More Articles

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Poetry: We Are The Peace


The faint outline of a page of my memory rises from its home, hidden deep within a chapter, in a book, in a box, in the basement, in a closet behind closed doors...

“Pretty Privilege”


I began to wonder: what is beauty? In ten years, will the image of female perfection change completely, continuing its constant unattainability?

Fiction: Take Flight


Lily’s wings were small—handfuls of feathers protruding from stubborn shoulders. Using an eyebrow tweezing kit, her mother would gently pluck those early feathers and smooth them down with a saliva-moistened finger. Eventually, she had clipped the wings into submission. But, she rationalized, it wasn’t until the praying that they had stopped growing entirely.

Fiction: An Article About a Cinnamon Cake


Placenta is not a matter for women only. Men, too, are nourished from placentas. Menstruation is not a women-only issue, either. Men know what life and death are.

The Abortion I Had That’s None of Your Business


My personal story should not matter. The fact of my decision is all that should matter.

When Women Were Sent Away


The Crit girls were useful for me, and I’m glad we could show them kindness, but I’m glad they’re not around anymore.

“He Is Not Guilty”: My Mother’s Abortion


I kept watching through the crack of the door. I never saw you trying not to scream before. I never saw Daddy crying before.

My Abortion Story That Wasn’t


I trusted only myself— and I made certain I would never be pregnant again.

Letter from a Namesake to My Ancestor


I see the future of many women heading back into the past, with you, because your life and the lives of women need constant illumination.

“The Following Patient…”


They don’t peddle me the puritanical shaming bullshit that they’re required to torture women with elsewhere.

The Biblical Jephthah’s Daughter: Who Owns Your Daughter’s Body?


Who owns women’s bodies? The ancient answer is that women are the property of fathers, brothers, husbands, who are entitled to buy and sell them, or even, as in “honor killings,” to kill them.

Re-Doing Sex Ed


The first time I was penetrated I was 13. The rushed hand of an emergency room nurse—-forceful, gloved, lube-less—-reached inside of me to quickly check any cysts on my ovaries. The search proved unnecessary-—I had appendicitis—-and possibly caused my appendix to rupture. I healed from the appendectomy but the trauma of the nurse’s hand, feeling... Read more »

Roe, Reproductive Justice and Judaism


  Six months after the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, I immigrated to the United States from Korea. Despite the momentousness of the ruling, I had no idea then that much of my professional experience would be in community health, reproductive health, reproductive justice, and adolescent sexual health. My traditional Korean family never spoke about anything... Read more »

What the “Pro-Life” Side Says Behind Closed Doors


I infiltrated a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) in 2010 when I was in college. At the time, I was working for a national feminist organization in the D.C. area and coming into my awakening as a Black feminist. I went undercover out of curiosity, to find out what I would experience as a Black woman... Read more »

Lessons for Moving Forward


Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned while working in the field. Sadly, since we seem to be losing ground in the reproductive battlefield, a return to some of the basics can’t hurt. NORMALIZE sexual and reproductive health at every age and stage of our lives. ELEVATE the voices and stories of those most... Read more »

When They Act Like Their God Is Bigger


The day after the leaked Roe Supreme Court memo, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted this inane claim: “Our God is bigger.” Strangely, I had actually been thinking over the previous few days just how tiny the God of her warped orthodoxy is. Over and over we see those who seek to rob people of our... Read more »

Rallying for Abortion, Jewishly


In May 2022, Jews and allies from around the country traveled to D.C. to join NCJW and others for The Jewish Rally for Abortion Justice.

Elisa Albert Takes on the Mess and Anger of our Reproductive Lives


The messiness of motherhood, indeed of a woman’s whole life, is something novelist Elisa Albert has been thinking and writing about for years. Her much anticipated new novel joins a conversation that Albert herself has had a hand in shaping. After Birth hit bookshelves in 2015 and made waves by delving into the loneliness of... Read more »

Hormones in Motion: How Estrogen Set Me Free


Hormone, n. (Greek) “setting in motion.” “It is known that the angels are deemed ‘those who are standing [still]’ as are souls before they arrive in this world… Only after the souls descend to this world and are enclothed in bodies are they known as ‘those who walk.” atorah Vol. II, Bamidbar, Beha’alotcha) As I... Read more »

The Current Mysteries of Testosterone


Many of us learned about the details of medical transition through online forums and anecdotal experience, rarely with the help of medical practitioners and hardly ever with the guidance of well-funded, long-term research.

Changing the “We” of the Jewish Community


Celebrating Rabbi Sally Priesand’s 50th anniversary as the first female rabbi ordained in North America, a renowned scholar challenges us all. Here’s some of what she said.

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