Made From Scratch…
The H.O.T.D.IS.H. (Hand Over The Decision It Should be Hers) Militia was born on the day Paul Wellstone died, October 25, 2002. A mighty powerful group of individuals had gathered together in Superior, WI as part of a two day feminist conference. At the close of the event, both devastated by the loss of the Senator and inspired by what had transpired, several attendees discussed ways to harness the energy in the room. During the conversation, we agreed that one of the things lacking in the Twin Ports area was visibility around reproductive health and reproductive justice. That January we held a march to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It was the first event in 14 years that invited the Northland community to celebrate access to reproductive health care, women’s bodies, and well-being. With temperatures of -25 F outside, around 80 community members walked 6 blocks from the courthouse to the Building for Women (BFW). With the ever reliable protesters there to greet us, we found our way inside the BFW and stayed for hours connecting about politics, community and food (always coffee and bars on hand in MN yah!).
In 2003, with Pawlenty newly elected, the Militia decided to create a day long protest and performance art piece to honor the individuals and organizations affected by his severe and sweeping budget cuts. With almost 100 hand-carved gravestones representing those hit hardest by the conservative, anti-choice governor, the civic center front steps and fountain area became a powerful stage. The Militia was then asked to bring the piece to the Capitol lawn for a Fair Trade rally. The gravestones traveled well and the H.O.T.D.IS.H. Militia was now recognized beyond Duluth.
In 2004, the Militia went national AND held it’s first H.O.T.D.I.S.H. Bake-off. The fundraiser was designed to engage people in reproductive justice and regional food culture, raise money for women who needed financial support with reproductive health procedures, and assist a group of 100+ people who wanted to go to Washington DC for the March for Women’s Lives. Hello triumph. Broadcast live on the radio and with delicious financial success, we filled buses, planes, cars and marched alongside the 1.1 million to make the event the largest in our nation’s his/hir/herstory. Now 15 years and 9 bake-offs later, the Militia is an established Abortion Fund (member of NNAF- National Network of Abortion Funds) and works to creatively interweave into our reproductive justice advocacy things like Bowl-a-thons and bike rides.
In honor of the folks who have come before us seeking justice, access and well-being for all, the amazing multitude of absolutely radical individuals laying it down everyday for the reproductive justice movement, and the late Paul Wellstone, we do this work.
For the past few years the Militia has been simmering over a tiny flame, but now we are turning the burners on high! As of December 2016, HOTDISH Militia has been meeting regularly to plan events and organize. If you can take the heat and want to step into this kitchen, check out the facebook members page!
In 2019, H.O.T.D.I.S.H. Militia changed our name from Hand Over The Decision It Should be Hers to Hand Over The Decision It'S Healthcare to be more inclusive and representative of our mission.