“Prosecutors dismissed a manslaughter charge against an Alabama woman who was indicted for “intentionally” causing the death of her fetus after someone else shot her in the abdomen. The decision follows the arrest of Marshae Jones, 28, who was charged on the allegation that she started a scuffle that led to her being shot by another woman. The fight took place in a parking lot in Pleasant Grove, just outside Birmingham.” -NPR reports

As you may have seen on the news state by state controversies about abortion clinics have been on the rise. But what is abortion, how is it legal, why is it important, and which states have these controversies?

According to Merriam Webster the definition of abortion is the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.

So what is the most recent case of abortion being legal? That would be the 1973 Roe V Wade case. According to the ACLU or the American Civil Liberties Union, “The Court ruled that the states were forbidden from outlawing or regulating any aspect of abortion performed during the first trimester of pregnancy, could only enact abortion regulations reasonably related to maternal health in the second and third trimesters, and could enact abortion laws protecting the life of the fetus only in the third trimester. Even then, an exception had to be made to protect the life of the mother.”

However, this was not the first time abortion had been legal within the United States. Abortion was practiced throughout the United States until the early 1800’s. Abortion is also not a modern practice. According to Dr. Kenneth R. Niswander, article “Medical Abortion Practices”, “Abortion is undoubtedly an ancient practice. The records of almost every civilization indicate knowledge of abortifacient agents and abortive techniques. Among primitive people, these were gruesome when practiced in the extreme, and remain so among certain tribes today. One tribe encouraged large ants to bite the woman’s body, and on occasion the insects were taken internally.'” Gross traumatization of the pregnant abdomen was a popular method of attempting to induce abortion and is still used by some primitive groups. The early Hebrews knew abortive techniques although they strongly disapproved of the practice. The Greeks, on the other hand advocated abortion in order to control population size and insure good social and economic conditions among the people.” Dr. Kenneth R. Niswander continues to write that “Plato and Aristotle dearly encouraged abortion on social or economic grounds. Hippocrates practiced abortion but wanted only physicians to abort patients.”

However, this legal abortion practiced in the ancient world came to an end during the early 1800’s. The United States in particular, has continued the recent trend of outlawing abortion. According to Dr. Acevedo, the United States followed this trend of anti-abortion primarily because the attitude of abortion was reflected from the colonies original controlled country. The British colonies abortions were legal if they were performed prior to quickening. In the French colonies abortions were frequently performed despite the fact that they were considered to be illegal. In the Spanish and Portuguese colonies abortion was illegal. From 1776 until the mid-1800s abortion was viewed as socially unacceptable; however, abortions were not illegal in most states. Most of these laws were ambiguous and difficult to enforce. To enforce these laws abortion was criminalized by the late 1880’s.

In fact, between 1880 and 1965 criminalization of abortion did not reduce the numbers of women who sought abortions. It only increased the maternal death rates of the illegal abortions received. According to Guttmacher institute of policy review “Special Analysis on Abortion” In 1930, abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 women—nearly one-fifth (18%) of maternal deaths recorded in that year. The death toll had declined to just under 1,700 by 1940, and to just over 300 by 1950 (most likely because of the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, which permitted more effective treatment of the infections that frequently developed after illegal abortion). By 1965, the number of deaths due to illegal abortion had fallen to just under 200, but illegal abortion still accounted for 17% of all deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year. And these are just the number that were officially reported; the actual number was likely much higher.

As I write this article there are 9 states that have passed bills to limit the ability for women to access abortion services. The states are as follows:










Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio stopped short of outright bans, instead passing bills banning abortion from six to eight weeks of pregnancy. This is effectively outright banning abortion since most women discover they are pregnant between four to seven weeks.

These are not the only states to enact bans however these are just the most stringent bans. According to the ACLU there are thirty-one states that have some sort of restriction which are as follows:


While these historical statistics are favored by the pro-choice movement, the anti-choice movement has created its own narrative. Instead of rephrasing statistics, the antichoice movement has dedicated themselves to making the movement to challenge an individual’s moral compass. While the pro-choice movement has relied on statistics and historical data —the antichoice movement has relied on a combination of religious texts, romantic language, and few of any statistics.

We can see the use of religious texts to support antichoice decisions through the language of law makers:


“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.” Tweet from Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey

“Jeremiah 1:5 says, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you,’” Inhofe continued. “To everyone who comes to the March for Life, know that we hear you and we are standing with you, just as we have in the past.” JIM INHOFE using bible verses for his speech at March for life.

To further energize the antichoice movement, journalists and activists will use emotional rhetoric as persuasive tools. Famous examples of this emotional rhetoric used: Rush Limbaugh, Tammy Lauren, and Bill O’riley.

Each uses strong romantic-emotional language when persuading viewers. An example from Rush Limbaugh:

“RUSH: Yes, I do. I think we are facing a World War II-like circumstance in the sense that, as then, it is today: Western Civilization is at stake. I made the statement a couple days ago talking about the race that we are in, the race being led by the attorney general, William Barr, and his prosecutor, John Durham from Connecticut. We’re in a race with the people that ran this silent coup to get rid of Donald Trump. We’re in a race to get to the finish line first. Who will expose this or who will get away with this?”

Each description of the situation is in active voice and each adjective used is over exaggerated. There is no “invasion” at the southern border nor is there an actual “race” or “coup” in our politics. But these words catch the attention of listeners and are routinely used as key phrases and repeated when provided with conflicting information.

While the news may cover the various states that have the most stringent laws the proliferation of emotional rhetoric instead of statistics is becoming more popularized. I hope with these statistics and evidence the reader will be able to discover and reanalyze the data that has been given to you. Below are the list of websites and articles that I have pulled from:


(Definition of abortion)


(Roe v Wade)


(History of Abortion)


(Death rates)


(Current stringent bans)


(Any bans)


(Knowledge of pregnancy)


(1800s and the colonies)


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An Independence Day Best-Seller

91HDSbQeLxLWith the Fourth of July just around the corner, there could not have been a better time for Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Jon Meacham, and celebrated country music star Tim McGraw to release their book, Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation. Originally published on June 11, 2019 the novel reached the New York Times Best Seller list last week– just in time for Independence Day. Though a seemingly unlikely pair, real life Nashville neighbors Meacham and McGraw worked together to unpack both well-known and abstract music that has shaped the United States. Meacham speaks of the historical significance behind certain songs from the American Revolution to modern day, and McGraw focuses on the singers and composers themselves. By touching on the lives of figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Aretha Franklin, and Bob Dylan, while including songs such as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” and “Born in the U.S.A,” both authors shed light on the cultural and political impact music has had on the United States over time. In a note to the reader at the start of the book, the authors state how they

“hope that The Songs of America is the opening, not the closing, act in a conversation about the nation’s diversity and complexity. For that’s among the reasons we undertook the project: to inspire Americans to think more widely and more deeply about the country Abraham Lincoln called ‘the last best hope of earth.”

 Hopefully, this book will not only spark your Fourth of July reading, but push you to consider the history of our nation, how our story has evolved, and the ways in which we want to compose our future.

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Feeling Uninspired? Here are Some Books That Can Help

Inspiration can come in a variety of different forms regardless of what genre you write in. With Nature Photography Day being on June 15th, I wanted to create a short list of some of the most beautiful books featuring nature photography. Viewing these splendid images could spark something inside you and help give you a new view on the world as well as create an engaging talking point in your everyday life.

9781604694925_p0_v1_s550x406Seeing Seeds by Teri Dunn Chace & Robert Llewellyn

Sometimes taking a closer look at things can help to change your option of them. In this dazzling book, there is more than just close up pictures of seeds, because every seed comes with a fascinating story. As the saying goes, “Great oaks from little acorns grow”, but this book shows there is much more to a seed then the plant it will someday become. With Llewellyn’s unique method of focus stacking, a technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances, every part of the picture is in sharp focus creating a depth of detail that rivals the best botanical illustrators. Within these stunning pages, you’ll gain an understanding of how seeds are formed and dispersed, why they look the way they do, and how they fit into the environment. Seeing Seedsis sure to take you to strange and wonderful places and when you return, it’s safe to say you will never look at a seed the same way again.

81bbF+rQklLOverview by Benjamin Grant

Going from extreme close up to extreme overview can give you a greater understanding of the world as a whole. Have you ever looked out of your airplane window and marveled at the site of the land below you, viewing the grid of housing developments, roads, farms, and shipyards? With this stunning and unique collection of satellite images of Earth, this book offers an unexpected look at humanity. It showcases a marvelous view of the world by stitching together numerous high-resolution satellite photographs. The effect is a sensation that echoes the experiences that astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down on Earth. These breathtaking, high definition satellite photographs offer a new way to look at the landscape that we have shaped, with a mixture of more than 200 images of industry, agriculture, and nature. These photographs highlight the incredible natural patterns that the land creates as well as revealing a deeper story about the human impact on the world. This extraordinary photographic journey around our planet captures the sense of wonder gained from a new, aerial vantage point and creates a perspective of Earth as it has never been seen before.

UnknownBeaches by Stefano Passaquindici

As it is still summer you might not be able to head to the beach yourself, but that does not mean that you need to deprive yourself of the beautiful images and inspiration that beaches can bring you. With this beautifully illustrated volume, you have access to 100 of the most breathtaking beaches in the world all from your home. These beaches can be found on coastlines from around the world, from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the quaintness of Love Beach in the Bahamas. This book offers an exclusive tour of 100 of the most beautiful beaches in the world chosen by some of the world’s most qualified and sophisticated travel journalist and photographers and offers a unique perspective for travelers everywhere. This book could also be used as a wonderful piece of research should your work require useful maps and website references

rarely seen.jpgRarely Seen by National Geographic

Humans have always been fascinated by the awe-inspiring and in this book you can feast your eyes on the visual wonders that few will have the chance to see in person. This book features striking images of places, events, natural phenomena, and manmade heirlooms all shot by some of the world’s finest photographers. Everything is here in this masterpiece, a 30,000-year-old cave art sealed from the public; animals that are among the last of their species; volcanic lightning; giant crystals that have grown to more than 50 tons; the engraving inside Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch. “In the presence of so many breathtaking images, you’re sure to find something inspiring to write about.” So sit down in a comfortable chair and let your mind wander to all to the possibilities.

dawn to duskDawn to Dark by National Geographic

Everyone knows that light makes photography possible and that by simply changing the lighting of an environment it can change the feelings that a photograph brings. In this remarkable book, the world’s best landscape photography and photojournalism depicts the stunningly beautiful passage of a single day, from dawn’s first light to the closing moments of sunset. Full of one-of-a-kind photographs, this collection gives readers a front-row seat to the wonders of the world as seen through the passing of a day.

We hope this little list helps you find that spark of inspiration you look for when the creative well feels empty. The photographs in these books can help give you a new perspective on the world through their expert use of lighting, angles, and distances. With this change of perspective, we hope that you find the ability to engage with the creative inspiration that is all around you and know that inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places.

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Sink Your Eyes Into These Books!

As we enjoy the summer I wanted to take a moment to create a short list of summer reading material. For those that don’t usually read this could be a terrific goal to have this list completed by the end of July. For those that do read this could be seen as a list to broaden your horizons into a genre you don’t usually read. How many can you read? Which is your favorite?



Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Celebrated for its inspiring tale and emotional prose Where the Crawdads Sing will bring tears to your eyes and a smile on your face.

Historic Fiction

Lost Roses

By Martha Hall Kelly

It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.

But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend.

A story of friendship and hardship this tale will have you questioning the limits your own relationships have and if you are willing to break them.

Romantic Fiction

Normal People

By Sally Rooney

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

The classic tale of girl meets boy but with a societal class twist. A love story that is not quite a romance from two different perspectives. Will they be together? Will they drift apart? 

LGBTQ Fiction

Real Queer America:LGBT Stories From Red States

By Samantha Allen

Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she’s a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman. A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn’t changed is her deep love of Red State America, and of queer people who stay in so-called “flyover country” rather than moving to the liberal coasts.

In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: “Something gay every day.” Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to scores of extraordinary LGBT people working for change, from the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history to the manager of the only queer night club in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more.

Conservative communities and queer spaces? Samantha Allen challenges the vision that readers have for the Mid United States and their inner communities and completely changes the narrative and has readers begging for more. 

Science Fiction


By Cory Doctorw

Told through one of the most on-pulse genre voices of our generation, Radicalized is a timely collection consisting of four SF novellas connected by social, technological, and economic visions of today and what America could be in the near, near future.

Unauthorized Bread is a tale of immigration, the toxicity of economic and technological stratification, and the young and downtrodden fighting against all odds to survive and prosper.

In Model Minority, a Superman-like figure attempts to rectifiy the corruption of the police forces he long erroneously thought protected the defenseless…only to find his efforts adversely affecting their victims.

Radicalized is a story of a dark-web-enforced violent uprising against insurance companies told from the perspective of a man desperate to secure funding for an experimental drug that could cure his wife’s terminal cancer.

The fourth story, Masque of the Red Death, harkens back to Doctorow’s Walkaway, taking on issues of survival-ism versus community.

An anthology that likens to Black Mirror, these authors push the societal norms and forces us to question our morality and political views.


Black Leopard Red Wolf

By Marlon James

Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard.

As Tracker follows the boy’s scent–from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers–he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying?

Armed with literary devices and African mythology Marlon James takes us on an adventure through new worlds and prose. A sharp contrast from the Greek Myths we have become used to Black Leopard Red Wolf is a refreshing tale you won’t want to put down.

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Mood Boosters

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month (and Happy Cinco de Mayo!) In celebration of Mental Health Awareness and the less than sunny weather here in Boston, I have gathered some writing exercises to hopefully improve your mood!


(Note: As you write each of the prompts listen to either your favorite playlist or podcast.)


1.Look around you and pick an everyday object. Take 15 minutes and create a rant about that object.


(Optional) have a friend read your rant aloud and have that same friend write a rant about a different object.


  1. Take a moment to draw a chart of this week. Then take 20 minutes to write about all of your accomplishments throughout this week in cursive.


(Note: The accomplishments can be as simple as taking a shower. We want to write as many accomplishments as possible.)


  1. Take 30 minutes to write about how you are a child playing hide and seek and you stumble upon a bright new world.


(Optional) draw your new world


  1. Take 5 minutes and write down as many random words as possible. After this, take 10 minutes to create a poem using only the random words.


  1. Take 10 minutes to write about your daily activities. Next, take only 20 minutes to grab a dictionary and edit/play with your sentence.


For example:


-I walked through Newbury street and stopped to grab a coffee before work.


-I descended through  Newbury street and halted to conquer a coffee before work.


I hope these fun prompts boost your mood and help you to forget your worries (and the weather) if even for a moment. Remember, these prompts are meant to be silly and fun so allow yourself to make mistakes and let those words flow! Comment below on your favorite writing prompts!

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CambridgeEditors’ Client Runs the London Marathon on Behalf of the Blind

Congratulations to Renata Beman, long-time CambridgeEditors client and advocate for the blind and other disabled people!

Renata successfully completed the London Marathon this past Sunday. Here is her account:

I made it !!! the marathon was last Sunday  the 28th of April, it was so so hard 47 KM,  26.5 miles took 6 plus hours…I never run in my life and there were only 10 people running for the blind.

I knew that when I reached the turn of mile 17 the veterans would be there waiting, as soon as the people from the office spotted me I could see in their faces, a mixture of happiness and disbelieve, they started shouting “Renata is coming” some blind veterans, especially the old ones were very emotional, crying, I had hugs, guide dogs jumping, kisses and a massive power up for the next very long 9.5 long miles.

When I crossed the final line at that point my legs were almost petrified as I have bad knees due to years of ballet, but what an epic feeling YES I did for the blind, it was unbelievable and epic!

I am super tired.


Get some rest, Renata. You’ve earned it.

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Spotlight: The Hoochie Media Project

The Hoochie Media Project is an intersectional feminist media platform of which I am the Head and Editor-in-Chief. Hoochie is run entirely by Boston University students and seeks to empower student feminists across the globe through our blog, ‘zine, and Reader. Before I go on, let me give you a little background on who we are.

Merriam-Webster defines “hoochie” as slang that means, “a sexually promiscuous woman.” You might be wondering, how does this word have anything to do with feminism? Well, let me tell you: by reclaiming a word that was once derogatory, we change the meaning behind it. We take back the hate that was once used against us to fuel our power. This is what Hoochie is. It’s about being unapologetically bold and taking action to fuel positive changes.

Since 2007, Hoochie has grown into a collegiate collective for intersectional feminist students. Today, we curate a blog, with posts ranging from photography interviews, to R&B slam poetry, to inquiries into modern day love. Hoochie is an open book when it comes to writing and expression. As long as your topic relates to intersectional feminism, we’re happy to post it! We work with Boston University students primarily, but we also feature alumni writers and artists from other institutions.

We also publish the Hoochie Reader every spring. The Hoochie Reader is an anthology for student feminists around the world to submit critical essays, creative writing, and artwork for publication. The Hoochie Reader is recognized by the Library of Congress as a legitimate publication, which means that all of the students who contribute to the Reader become published writers and artists. The Reader is edited, designed, and assembled entirely by students. The Reader has published pieces from students across the nation and even the globe.

2018 hoochie reader cover

We are fast approaching the launch of the third issue of the Hoochie Reader in May. If you are a writer, editor, or someone in between, keep an eye out for our next issue, and follow us on social media. For more information, visit the Hoochie website.

Facebook: @hoochiefeminist
Twitter: @hoochiefeminist
Instagram: @hoochiefeminist

-Anne Jonas

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