This is the newsletter of OptOut, a free news aggregation app for exclusively independent media that's available for iPhone and iPad. Find out more about the app at optout.news.
🗞️ Big News! 🎉
Last week OptOut welcomed States Newsroom, a nonprofit charity that employs more than 130 full-time editors, reporters, and support staff in 26 states across the country, to our independent media network!
“Publications such as Arizona Mirror, Michigan Advance, and Virginia Mercury produce important state policy news without the corporate bias or conflicts of interest that plague much of our media," said Alex Kotch, co-founder and executive director of the OptOut Media Foundation. "These newsrooms are just what we need to expand the OptOut network and accurately inform news consumers around the U.S.”
Read our announcement:
ICYMI: We now have an events calendar for virtual and in-person events put on by the news outlets in our network! Many are livestreams, and some are one-off events.
And we have a press list. Please sign up if you are a journalist and want to get emails announcing newsworthy OptOut developments!
What a week: Tallahassee Starbucks workers voted to unionize, and the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19’s true death toll is around 15 million—nearly three times more than has been officially reported. But the big news is the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion signaling the court’s intent to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), two landmark cases guaranteeing the right to abortion.
While the court typically writes many draft opinions, and the leaked one may not be where the court ultimately lands when it issues its final decision this summer, it seems clear the justices are gearing up to deliver a fatal blow to abortion rights. It is an outcome that anti-abortion groups have been working towards for decades. Today, with a Supreme Court loaded with rightwing ideologues groomed by the Federalist Society, that goal is within reach. Based on Alito’s draft, legal experts say the language puts other rights, including gay marriage, at risk.
In the aftermath of the release, Republicans sought to focus on whether or not the leak undermined the credibility of the court, deflecting attention away from the opinion itself, which would strike down a right supported by an overwhelming majority of the U.S. population. Red states flexed their muscles in preparation for the new post-Roe America with “trigger laws” to ban abortion once the decision comes down.
Democrats responded to the leak with fundraising texts and calls for voters to get mobilized ahead of what promises to be a difficult midterm election given the party’s failure to pass Biden’s agenda, including his signature Build Back Better infrastructure bill and the For The People Act to protect voting rights from the right’s incessant attacks.
“There is one and only one way to preserve #RoeVWade and protect a women's right to choose and that's to #VoteBlueIn2022,” tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.).
President Biden, similarly, released a statement appealing to voters to elect more pro-choice Democrats in November, even as his party’s leadership in the House rallied behind an embattled anti-abortion Democrat in Texas who is facing a pro-choice challenger. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) have sought to rescue Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose home was raided by the FBI in January in a corruption investigation, in his primary against progressive attorney Jessica Cisneros. (Read The American Prospect’s coverage.)
On Twitter, the response to Democrats’ calls to turn out in the midterms to protect abortion rights has been mixed, with some pointing out that the party currently controls the House, Senate, and White House.
A CNN poll released this week shows signs of trouble ahead for the party as people who would be “excited” for the court to strike down Roe are more enthusiastic about voting in November than people who would be “angry” at such a ruling.
Now, let’s see how some of the independent news outlets in the OptOut network covered the harrowing prospect of a Roe-free America.
Your Independent News Roundup
States Newsroom outlets including Source New Mexico published reporting on how Republican state legislatures are preparing restrictions on abortion in advance of a potential Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe this summer.
In Sick Note, Libby Watson shares her take on the end of the right to abortion, examining how the country has never established health care as a right and our system dehumanizes the most vulnerable.
Defector published a useful list of abortion funds that you can donate to. These funds provide critical support to individuals who lack the resources to access safe abortions.
And Prism offers more ways to support abortion rights.
On Your Call, Rose Aguilar speaks with two reporters about the corporate and legacy media's false equivalence regarding abortion.
Luke O'Neil has this to say about the Beltway's response to recent protests (in Welcome to Hell World).
Skipped History has a quick video about the opinion's roots in 18th-century Christianity.
At OptOut, we are committed to bringing you independent news coverage of today's most important issues, including abortion rights. The uncompromising news outlets in our network give you honest reporting and analysis and diverse perspectives while critiquing the dominant narratives that the corporate and legacy media produce.
OptOut is a nonprofit charity, and we are raising funds that will allow us to make full-time hires, speed up our backend redesign, create essential app features like push notifications, and expand our local news reach to all U.S. states and around Canada and other countries. Please considering donating $5/month or $55/year, or making a one-time donation to the OptOut Media Foundation, to help us succeed. Join us in our mission to elevate independent media and accurately inform the public!
In Other News
The City has a new report about fossil fuel workers in New York who fear the state’s transition to green energy. Politicians need to secure a way to transition oil and gas workers into the renewable sector.
The American Prospect has a crucial new article from The Revolving Door Project that challenges media narratives that Republican candidates like J.D. Vance are genuine populists.
Jacobin has an important story about the rise of Denmark’s far right and how its major political parties have emboldened it.
Africa Is A Country reports on the serious shortcomings of a new refugee resettlement deal to send refugees who arrived “illegally” in Britain to Rwanda for settlement, or deportation, there.
WhoWhatWhy has some good news: President Biden pardoned Abraham Bolden, the nation’s first Black Secret Service agent assigned to a presidential detail, who spent 39 months incarcerated on a false charge that he was trying to sell a government file. The 87-year-old Bolden says he had knowledge of a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy and that this fueled his incarceration.
To this day, Bolden believes that it was his warnings about problems with the Secret Service prior to Kennedy’s death, his knowledge of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy in an early November trip to Chicago, and his efforts to share what he knew with the Warren Commission that led to his being targeted with false charges.
This crucial context was not included in the White House press release, nor in most of the press coverage.
Struggle Session has an interesting episode about the new film The Northman from innovative director Robert Eggars.
Thanks as always for keeping up with the OptOut news network! See you soon.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.