This article studies the triad of 2016 social media campaigns known as “#AskDr.Kasich,” “#askbevinaboutmyvag,” and “#PeriodsforPence” to garner insights to inform the vital work of regional law reform in a post-Dobbs America. While these campaigns, each located in the regional mid-South, were motivated by restrictive state abortion bills, they uniquely positioned menstruation and women’s bodies at the center of their activism—not abortion alone. They leveraged, as a political fault line, the contradiction of these states’ governors’ perceived disgust relating to basic women’s reproductive health, relative to their patriarchal assuredness in regulating and controlling women’s bodies. In so doing, they tapped into meaningful disruptions in the geographies, religiosities, and masculinities of abortion politics. These campaigns achieved regional collective solidarity and a frame transformation in the rhetoric of abortion access. They catalyzed the lens of “disgust,” used manipulatively in anti-abortion rhetoric, into a source of poignant activism. Masculine discomfort with menstruation and women’s health paradoxically became a tool to protect abortion access.
Jamie R. Abrams, Reevaluating Regional Law Reform Strategies After Dobbs, 14 ConLawNOW 131 (2023)