PEARL JAM's STONE GOSSARD And ANI DIFRANCO Collaborate On 'Disorders' Song In Support Of Abortion Rights
June 23, 2022
A stroke of destiny, or the right place at the right time. This is how PEARL JAM guitarist Stone Gossard and Ani DiFranco connected to support women and their rights to reproductive health care. The track is "Disorders", created by Gossard along with Josh Evans, Skerik and Stanton Moore, with lyrics and melody by DiFranco.
All proceeds from "Disorders" go to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which aims to remove the financial and logistical barriers to abortion access. "Disorders" is a production of Loosegroove and Righteous Babe Records.
About "Disorders", Gossard says: "What keeps me coming back to playing my guitar is the magic of how musical bits and pieces can transform into a complete song with a life of its own. The major ingredients are usually an inspired collaboration and some ephemeral fairy dust. What was recorded six years ago as a demo in New Orleans sat for a while until Skerik had the epiphany to ask his friend, the singer, musician, artist and activist Ani DiFranco to add her voice and words. Ani's fierce melodic independence and her visceral in-the-moment vocal performance took this track to a much higher plane. I'm thrilled to have been part of this song and to have had the chance to collaborate with this incredible group of artists."
DiFranco shares that longtime friend Skerik mentioned a track he was working on that needed vocals and lyrics and she offered to listen. "What showed up was a killer track with an evocative guitar hook, a shape, a vibe, a bombastic balls-to-the-wall outro," she says. "I marveled that anyone could record a song that sounded so cohesive and fully realized with no melody or lyric to guide it. I felt instantly inspired and honored. I was invited to sing about whatever I wanted."
DiFranco continues: "With the imminent overturning of Roe v. Wade, women in every Republican stronghold in this country are left treading in a sea of unnecessary suffering, just trying to keep their heads above water. Poor women will be drowned by the score. That is why this track is a fundraiser for abortion access — to help women who don't have resources but who desperately need abortions. I am so grateful for men like Stone, Skerik, Stanton — not just for the blessing of this track and the honor of being invited into it, but for actually seeing women in their full humanity and being willing to stand with them."
Last month, PEARL JAM guitarist Mike McCready joined pro-choice protesters at a Women's March rally in San Francisco, California. He and thousands of other of abortion rights supporters took to the streets across the United States, angered by the prospect that the Supreme Court may soon overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide a half century ago.
The members of PEARL JAM are longtime supporters of the pro-choice cause, having performed back in 1998 at Washington, D.C.'s Constitution Hall at a benefit for the abortion-rights group Voters For Choice. Three years earlier, PEARL JAM played a Voters For Choice benefit at the same venue with Neil Young, L7 and Lisa Germano to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. That concert raised $180,000 for Voters For Choice.
At the time, PEARL JAM singer Eddie Vedder issued a statement expressing his feelings that birth control should be available to people who want it, regardless of age. "The escalation of violence at clinics is astounding," Vedder said, according to MTV News, referring to a rash of fire-bombing at clinics across the U.S. over the previous two years. "We hope funds from this concert will help elect lawmakers who will fight for clinic protections and support."
In a separate statement issued in 1998, PEARL JAM bassist Jeff Ament lamented the devastation caused by right-wing anti-abortion extremists, saying that he witnessed a fire-bombing at a Montana clinic several years earlier.
"It took tremendous resources to rebuild the facility," Ament said, "which now includes prison-type security around its perimeter. A family-planning clinic shouldn't look or feel like a high-security prison. Nor should anyone ever have to fear exercising their right to choose."
A leaked draft opinion penned by Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito argued that the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling was "egregiously wrong from the start."'
According to the Politico report, the draft was circulated in February. Alito was reportedly joined by justices Clarence Thomas and all three of former President Donald Trump's nominees — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — while justices Stephen Breyer, Elana Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor were working on dissents. It was unclear how Chief Justice John Roberts voted.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision affirmed the right to receive an abortion under the 14th Amendment, ruling that abortions were constitutionally protected up until about 23 weeks when a fetus can typically live outside the womb.
In the 98-page draft, Alito said Roe was wrongly decided, saying the issue should be decided by politicians, not courts. If Roe is reversed, it would not federally outlaw abortion. However, it would shift the power to states to decide on the procedure's legality.
According to CNN, nearly half of the states have or will pass laws that ban abortion, while others have enacted strict measures regulating the procedure.
Thirteen states have so-called "trigger laws" in place, which would effectively ban abortions almost immediately upon Roe v. Wade being overturned. According to Axios, the restrictions that would follow Roe being struck down by the Supreme Court would mean almost 30% of people would be more than 200 miles away from an abortion provider.
According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, almost twice as many Americans (50 percent) say they want the court to reaffirm Roe v. Wade as say they want it overturned (28 percent). 22 percent are undecided, according to the poll. Majorities of Democrats (68 percent) and Independents (52 percent) say Roe should not be overturned, while a narrow majority of Republicans (51 percent) say it should.
Critics have said that tossing out the landmark rulings establishing abortion rights would tarnish the court's reputation and open the floodgates to other challenges to well-settled law.
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