Wednesday, January 10, 2007

For Immediate Release: January 10, 2007

For Information Contact:Sharon Lamp - (847) 894-4907
Stephen Drake - (708) 209-1500; (708) 420-0539
Amber Smock -

Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA)To Lead “Ashley Treatment Action”at the American Medical Association Headquarters

At 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA), with the support of other disability groups, will stage an “Ashley Treatment” demonstration at the national headquarters of the American Medical Association (AMA) in Chicago at 515 N. State Street.FRIDA will demand that the AMA start practicing real ethical accountability and dialogue with the disability community.

The action is in response to the AMA’s sanction of the “Ashley Treatment” through its publication of the original case article in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine case. This AMA owned-journal went so far as to call for further “study” of the issue by subjecting more children to the same drastic surgeries and follow them over time.

People with disabilities and families nationwide have reacted with outrage to the drastic medical “solution” to what is actually a complex social problem of finding real supports for people with disabilities and their families. FRIDA is also not surprised that the initial recipient of the “Ashley Treatment” was a little girl, given that girls, and girls with disabilities in particular, are perceived as easier subjects for mutilation and desexualization.

Ana Mercado of FRIDA notes, “Our bodies really are the battlegrounds on which ethics debates are fought.” FRIDA seeks to protect our bodies from having to become battlegrounds in the first place. The issue at hand is not our bodies, but the choices that other people make for our bodies.

FRIDA is a group of radicalized women with disabilities representing ourselves and fighting for freedom for our bodies. FRIDA is supported in this action by Chicago ADAPT, the national ADAPT community, Not Dead Yet and Advance Youth Leadership Power (AYLP).


Feminist Response in Disability Activism
614 W. Roosevelt RoadChicago, IL 60607
Contact: Monica Heffner, (312) 253-7000