Jessica Valenti interviewed Merritt about the fallout from abortion clinic closures as a result of Texas' recently passed House Bill 2. Excerpt:
What can people expect to see in terms of the law’s impact over the next few months?
More women will try to have an abortion outside of the healthcare system. The use of Cytotec (misoprostol) will increase, especially in south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, where it is more easily available (and where there is now no access to abortion). Inevitably some women will harm themselves as a direct result of the clinic closures. Many women will continue unwanted pregnancies because they have no other options. Because of the shame and stigma that surround abortion, we may not hear these stories in detail; however we know that, historically, this is what happens when abortion access is restricted.
We can also expect to see the fight continue and intensify, as a result of the severe body blow this law has dealt. We were angry; now we are nuclear.
The National Network of Abortion Funds has just released this great video to promote the work of abortion funds during National Abortion Access Month. Watch these inspiring activists, including Merritt, talk about how vital abortion access is.
National Book Award Finalist Ben Fountain has selected Merritt Tierce as a 2013 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Author.
Claire Vaye Watkins, a 2012 5 Under 35 honoree, interviewed Merritt about Love Me Back and being a so-called emerging writer.
FrontBurner's Bradford Pearson quoted Merritt at length in a post about one of the Texas legislature's many proposed bills that would restrict abortion access in Texas:
My local opinion is that this bill constitutes a heinous form of structural violence against women. Proposing legislation that masquerades as intended to “protect the health and safety” (language from SB 537) of women is, in my opinion, worse than open hostility. By restricting access to sexual health education, family planning services, and abortion, Texas is severely damaging the futures of thousands of women and girls, not to mention the children they already have—two thirds of women who have an abortion already have children.
And the reality is that no matter what restrictions on abortion are put in place, women with even modest financial resources or socioeconomic support networks will still be able to access abortion. The women these bills actually harm are the women who are already struggling the most, because they have the least ability to surmount obstacles between their rights and their choices. The 24-hr waiting law has already outright targeted low-income women in Texas, because it means the necessity of another day off work and another day of childcare and travel expenses.
Forcing women who know they cannot care for another child, or have chosen abortion for any other reason, to carry that unwanted pregnancy to term is the most bald and disastrously effective way to strip women and girls of power, health, humanity, and dignity.
The Dallas Observer profiles 30 of 2012's "most interesting characters" in its People Issue.
Photograph by Mark Graham.
Review of Anne Enright’s Making Babies and The Forgotten Waltz, published in the Dallas Morning News.
Anyone familiar with Enright’s fiction will find in these pages her trademark exploration of the intricate — if not easily extracted — truths found within the smallest moments. But her observations on the strangeness of birth, children, parenthood and mortality range large as well, extrapolating from one individual’s intensely personal experience to reflect on the political, philosophical and scientific aspects of making babies.