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Filtering by Tag: abortion

Action Alert: Woman-Hating Anti-Abortion Rights Vote This Week


NOW Action Alert
Woman-Hating Anti-Abortion Rights Vote This Week
After taking action, please support our work!
TAKE ACTION: Urge your representative vote against H.R.3!
H.R.3, the deceptively named No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, is up for a vote in the House of Representatives this week. One of several dangerous pieces of legislation in this 112th Congress, H.R.3 would permanently reinforce a ban on federal funding for abortion care and levy ideological tax penalties on millions of families and businesses -- effectively parceling out women's constitutional rights on the basis of ability to pay, with racist as well as sexist outcomes.
Please call and email right away to demand your representative vote against this extremist, woman-hating bill.
Sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), H.R.3 would:
Codify the Hyde Amendment
H.R.3 would codify a collection of federal abortion funding restrictions referred to as the Hyde Amendment. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funding of abortion care is segregated from all other forms of health care and severely restricted. This grave injustice puts women's health and lives at risk, disproportionately affecting women of color. For more than 30 years, extremists have bullied Congress into re-approving these federal funding restrictions annually through the appropriations process. Rep. Smith, Speaker Boehner and other ideologues in the House leadership now hope to make this harmful process permanent.
Critically, this legislation, a core part of the right-wing "War on Women," would limit the health exception for women seeking abortions. The radical conservatives within the House of Representatives are determined to expand and make permanent law this racist, sexist and compassionless strategy to use economic coercion to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade.
Restrict Private Spending and Increase Taxes
The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is deceptively named because it doesn't stop with federal funding. It also would levy tax penalties on millions of families and businesses using private insurance plans that happen to cover abortion care, and it would restrict the use of individuals' private health savings accounts to cover abortion care -- thus encouraging the Internal Revenue Service to conduct "abortion audits" on women's tax returns. Rightly dubbed "Stupak on Steroids," H.R.3 goes much farther than the "compromise" inserted into the Affordable Care Act restricting private insurance coverage of abortion care in the new health exchanges.
Additional brutal provisions of H.R.3 would narrow the definition of incest and make permanent restrictions on the use of local funds for abortion care in the District of Columbia.
Demand your representative vote against this extremist, woman-hating bill.

take action and then donate
© 2011 National Organization for Women | visit NOW.org | Donate to NOW | Join NOW

A Deal is Made. On the Backs of Women.


From one of the National NOW Board members, Kristin Teigen


A last-minute budget deal was made tonight in Washington, DC, averting a catastrophic shut-down of the federal government. As a fierce proponent of the concept of government, as well as the wonderful reality of this President, you'd think I'd be gleeful. Yeah. Great. Go, government. Cough.

Well, I can't remember when I've been as outraged. The budget deal included a provision to ban all federal funding for abortions for women in Washington, DC. This is, granted, a small proportion of our over-all population. I should shrug it off. But I can't.

This is one of those moves that symbolizes who we are as a nation. Think about it. The majority of Washington, DC residents are African Americans who have, to quote their license plates, taxation without representation. They don't have a say in what happens in Congress, despite the empassioned eloquence of Eleanor Holmes Norton. And they have a shocking 18.9% poverty rate, which will no doubt be higher in the next tally.

So, you take a voiceless, poverty-stricken population and you tell the women (again, the women), that they are not to have access to their constitutionally-protected right simply because they CANNOT pay for it.

Rights for some, not for others, depending on where you live and what you can pay for. Is this now who we are?

What Most Media is getting WRONG about the budget deal


By Jodi Jacobson, RH Reality Check
Posted on April 8, 2011, Printed on April 9, 2011
As the uncertainty of the very real-life drama about the budget stalemate and threatened shutdown of the federal government drags on, there is one thing you can count on.  Every single major media outlet has gotten the story about riders wrong.

Here is a fact: The GOP and Tea Party want to defund Planned Parenthood. It's one of the primary targets and sticking points remaining in the ongoing budget talks.

Another fact: Despite GOP talking points, this is not about abortion. The GOP/Tea Party proposal would bar Planned Parenthood from being reimbursed by any federal health program like Medicaid for providing primary and preventive health services including birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment, including HIV testing.

This is not a hard concept and, again, it is verifiable fact.

But you might not know this because virtually every single major media outlet continues like synchronized broken records that this is about abortion and funding for abortion.

Today, for example, the widely admired Ezra Klein wrote the following about the "three elements" of the budget debate:
Here are the three elements:
1) the quantity of cuts, which most observers expect to fall between $33 billion and $40 billion when added to the $10 billion in cuts that have already passed;
2) the location of the cuts, which Republicans hope to concentrate in the 12 percent of the budget known as non-discretionary defense spending, and which Democrats want to spread more widely across the federal budget;
3) the policy riders House Republicans attached to H.R.1, and in particular, the riders relating to abortion and the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to regulate carbon.
He then went on to say:
From talking to people involved in the negotiations, I'd say it's a safe bet that the final deal will include about $35 billion in total cuts, a lot of which will come from non-defense discretionary spending but a fair amount of which won't, and some sort of policy rider wherein Planned Parenthood can't use the federal money it gets for abortions, but it can still receive federal money. This would be similar to the deal we saw on abortion funding in the health-care law.
If such a policy rider is written, it is a testament to the level of absurdity at which our political system has arrived.  Because Planned Parenthood does not get federal funding for abortion care, and therefore does not curently use federal funding for abortion care. None. It can\'t use federal funding for abortions now, so writing a policy to that effect would be mere theater.  Comparing this to the "deal we saw" in the health care law also misrepresents what happened under health reform regarding reproductive health care and abortion, but that is another article altogether.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funding of abortion care, except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother, conditions to which of course a large number of Tea Party, GOP and far right anti-choicers also object, but that also is a different article.

Similarly, three male authors of a Post Politics article in  the Washington Post also conflated federal funding for Planned Parenthood\'s primary preventive care with federal funding for abortion, which again, it does not recieve, and mixed this issue in with the rider now contained in the "stopgap bill" passed by Republicans that includes a prohibition on the use by the District of Columbia of its own funds to provide abortions for poor women. 

The New York Times and NPR did no better.  Today, the NYT\'s Michael Shear wrote that the budget stalemate continued over "ideological disputes over abortion financing..." and several NPR reporters used virtually the same phrasing throughout the day.  Some reporters did their homework and wrote accurate pieces.  Among them were Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly and Kevin Drum of Mother Jones.

Why is getting this right so important?  By parroting the talking points of the extreme right wing, major media outlets are reinforcing a series of lies about care provided to poor and low-income women in this country and in doing so, escalating the war on women\'s health.  Not only is this morally and ethically wrong, it is also costly, economically and in terms of the lives and health of real people who struggle every day for economic security and good health.  You only need to read Andrea Grimes recent story about seeking alternatives to Planned Parenthood in Texas to know what the landscape would look like should Planned Parenthood be defunded over the right-wing\'s budget tantrum.

So for my esteemed colleagues in the media and for all of us, here are the facts about this extreme proposal:  

The Pence amendment, from which the rider originated, would cut off preventive health care for millions of women who need it the most by preventing Planned Parenthood health centers from providing birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams, and other preventive care to millions of women whose health care is covered by Medicaid and other public health coverage programs. Planned Parenthood serves three million people served in their health centers each year, and two million of those participate in some federal health program.

More than 90 percent of the health care provided by Planned Parenthood is preventive. Every year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses carry out nearly one million screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams. Planned Parenthood health centers also provide affordable birth control to nearly 2.5 million patients, and nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV testing for women and men.  The funding that PPFA receives from the federal government goes toward this basic care, and accounts for roughly one-third of Planned Parenthood's $1 billion annual budget. These funds come from local, state and federal sources, but 90 percent come from Medicaid and other federal sources. Federal funds pay only for cancer screenings, birth control, family planning visits, annual exams, testing for HIV and other STIs, and other basic care.

Moreover, 73 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood provides primary and preventive health care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn. According to the Guttmacher Institute, six in ten patients who receive care at a family planning health center like Planned Parenthood consider it their main source of health care.
For the sake of these women and their families, the truth deserves to be told by every responsible journalist.

© 2011 All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews//

Take Action NOW and Save Family Planning Funding by Friday


Call Your Representatives NOW to Save Family Planning Funding
House & Senate will vote on budget this Friday, April 8th
If we do not act now, we could lose access to vital healthcare like screenings for cancer, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted infections, and diabetes, and contraception access for millions of women.

The House is proposing to slash all family planning dollars that flow to the thousands of women's health clinics across the country, many of which are the ONLY health care option for women.  These clinics collectively serve an estimated 5 million women.   

What other vital services are on the chopping block? 
  • $750 Million in nutrition programs for pregnant women and children - ELIMINATED
  • Access to breast and cervical cancer screenings for 5 million women - ELIMINATED
  • Slashing early childhood education funding, including eliminating $1 billion for Head Start and $40 million in child care
  • Teen pregnancy prevention grants - ELIMINATED
  • $50 million to Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that supports state-based prenatal care and services for special needs children - ELIMINATED

What you can do NOW: 
1. Reach out to your Senators today. If you're a New Yorker, thank Senator Gillibrand (212.688.6262) for forcefully speaking out against these cuts. [Watch video]  Call (212.486.4430) or email Senator Schumer's office and thank him for promising that these cuts will be "dead on arrival" in the Senate. Then ask friends and family in other states to reach their Senators. They can send a simple message asking their Senator to please Vote NO on any budget bill that eliminates family planning funding.

2. Contact your Representative today and tell them to protect critical funding for women's healthcare. Preventive services such as contraception and family planning education actually REDUCE the number of unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion. Tell them to reject budget cuts to Planned Parenthood and vital family planning and to reject H.R. 217, or theTitle X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (learn more here) which would cause the same devastation to women's health as the proposed budget cuts.

3. Forward this message to your friends across New York and the country, and post on facebook and twitter.  

Action Alert: Subjecting rape and incest survivors to IRS investigations


    Republicans are waging an all-out war on women. The latest assault—a bill that would subject certain rape and incest survivors to IRS investigations—is simply inhumane. *Sign the petition from EMILY's List and MoveOn.org today to tell Congress: Stop the War on Women! * Sign the petition
    Should rape and incest survivors be forced to prove to the IRS that they were assaulted?   What kind of question is that? 
    But a bill proposed by anti-choice lawmakers in Congress could force many sexual assault survivors to do just that.1   The bill would impose tax penalties on small businesses and individuals who buy abortion coverage with their own money—with exceptions only for cases of rape, incest, or when a woman's life is in danger.2   *The result? Survivors of rape and incest who seek abortion care could be forced to detail their assaults and provide proof to IRS investigators.*3   Reliving a horrific sexual assault to the police and in court is awful enough. Forcing women to prove that they were assaulted to IRS investigators is simply inhumane. And sadly, this bill is just the latest in a long list of Republican attacks on women this year, from anti-choice legislation to a budget that guts critical programs for women and their families. 
    *So with our friends at EMILY's List, a progressive group dedicated to electing Democratic pro-choice women, we've launched a "Stop the War on Women" campaign. Can you sign the petition today? * *Click here to sign the "Stop the War on Women" petition. * http://stopthewaronwomen.com/moveon/   
    Despite campaigning on job creation, Republicans have focused their agenda this year on attacking the rights and well-being of women. From pushing several anti-choice bills to cutting billions from health care, food aid, child care, and education, their attacks constitute nothing less than a full-scale war on women.   That's why MoveOn.org and EMILY's List launched the "Stop the War on Women" campaign—to tell Republicans "no" to taking away the rights and freedoms of American women, "no" to threatening the health of millions of women and their families, and "no" to sneak attacks on women's right to choose. 
    Republicans clearly have no boundaries when it comes to attacking women's rights. But just like when they attempted to redefine rape, we can stop them from passing this anti-choice bill and subjecting rape survivors to inhumane interrogations—if we all speak out.   *Can you sign the "Stop the War on Women" petition today? Just click below—and share this email with your friends, family, and social networks today. *http://www.moveon.org/r?r=207138&id=26646-18372901-XGBesbx&t=3   
    Thanks for all you do.   
    –Kat, Wes, Joan, Peter, and the rest of the team   

Happy 38th Anniversary, Roe v. Wade!


Guest post by Rachelle J. Suissa, Vice-President of the Brooklyn-Queens Chapter of NOW
On Saturday January 22, women and men around the country gathered to celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that gave a woman the right to choose in 1972 based on the trimester framework in conjunction with the doctor and the state.  I attended a Speakout at Emily’s Clinic in the South Bronx, and was joined by a number of other men and women who protested in support of Roe v. Wade and maintaining the decision for generations to come.  
(The author, Rachelle Suissa, in the middle)

Among the many groups present were the National Women’s Liberation Committee, the Brooklyn-Queens Chapter of the National Organization for Women, the Young Feminist Task Force of NOW New York State, Trabajadoras por la Paz de Nueva York, Socialist Core, and the World Can’t Wait.  A speaker from each group took the stage to discuss the importance of reproductive rights for women in the 21st century, and why it is so essential to keep these rights intact for future generations of women.  Each speaker mentioned important points, including the fact that we already have a well-known piece of legislation that prevents federal funding for abortions, and that is the Hyde Amendment, which has been intact and the law of the land for the past 30 years.  Why House Speaker John Boehner feels the need to press for another piece of legislation prohibiting funding for abortion is unclear—the law clearly states that no federal taxpayer dollars will be spent for this.  Boehner’s brazen attempts to punish low-income women further under the new health care law are unfair, inhumane and unnecessary, and a major part of the reason why now more than ever need to continue supporting reproductive rights for women.  

The battle over women’s health has raged for decades, since Roe was decided.  There has been enormous backlash in the years that followed, starting with the Hyde Amendment in 1978 and culminating in recent years with many states attempting to railroad through their state legislatures anti-choice legislation that would restrict women’s ability to obtain abortions with a number of restrictions, including mandatory waiting periods, the requirement to have an ultrasound before a decision is made on whether to have an abortion, judicial consent/bypass, parental consent/notification, and more recently, spousal consent and notification.  These restrictions not only make it harder for women to obtain abortions, but in many cases are violations of their right to privacy based on precedent cases that have already been decided in this area, namely Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  The constant challenges and threats to reproductive rights have escalated, with the clinic violence reaching its peak last year when Dr. Tiller was murdered at a Church in Nebraska.  Clinic violence has been an issue for years, and has progressively gotten worse.  There are few abortion providers left in the country, and fewer and fewer doctors being trained to perform abortions every year.  Over 85% of counties in the United States do not have clinics that perform abortions, which make travel and time a big issue for women who live in most regions of the country and decide to have an abortion.  If we as a society do not learn to respect women’s individual rights and enable them to make important decisions concerning their reproductive health and well-being, we will be putting their lives at major risk and will be continuing the practice of ridiculous double standards that will have a negative impact on everyone for generations to come. 
Women are already the majority of single parents, the majority of low-income workers and those who are unemployed, and the majority of people who suffer because of inadequate health coverage and an inability to pay when they become sick.  Punishing them further by restricting their access to abortion will not ameliorate living conditions, it will only make them harder, and should not be tolerated in this day in age.  We all have a right to our own religious views, whatever they may be.  We do not have a right to impose them on others by forcing women to make decisions that are detrimental to their lives and their futures.  We would never force a man to make a decision concerning his health because of religious views—why should we do that to women?  That is a violation of the 14th Amendment and of a person’s fundamental right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We must first take care of the people who exist—and then worry about those to come.  Those people include women, and we have a lot to make up for when it comes to them.  Here is to the reaffirmation and continuation of Roe v. Wade for the next forty years, and the reinstatement of women’s rights domestically and around the world.  A big thank you to all the women who work on reproductive rights issues—your work is duly noted and appreciated in more ways than you can imagine.  
(The author, Rachelle Suissa, to the right)

NY1 shows us on TV during pro-choice rally


Please watch the following news coverage from New York 1 of our pro-choice speakout and clinic defense in NYC.  Thanks to NOW-NYC member Judy Stivelband for holding the NOW-reproductive-rights round high, which could be seen throughout the short clip.  From 00:11 to 00:16, you can see me and NOW-NYC deputy director Jean Bucaria proudly holding NOW signs.  Oh, how I love the iconic NOW rounds  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=35846565&l=2dcb312711&id=26303954 

N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Sat, 1/22: Rock Out for Roe!


Saturday, January 22 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

LocationBiddy Earlys
43 Murray St
New York, NY

More Info
Celebrate the anniversary of the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade with the most badass feminists of NYC. It’s pay what you can at the door starting at $10, although no one will be turned away for inability to pay. Who'll be there?

Shelby Knox & Steph Herold / Jessica Valenti / Lynn Harris / Sady Doyle / Bloggers from Feministing & Jezebel / The Women's Media Center / Paradigm Shift /NARAL Pro-Choice New York / Planned Pa...renthood of New York City / National Organization for Women (NOW) - New York State Young Feminist Task Force / Women's eNews/ & MORE!

Door prizes include fabulous books from the authors above, NOW membership, a Words of Choice DVD, sweet t-shirts & more!

All the proceeds benefit the New York Abortion Access Fund, a volunteer-run, 501c3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to low-income women in New York State who cannot afford to pay for an abortion. For more info about NYAAF: http://www.nyaaf.org/

Sat, 1/22, 12pm-2pm: Community Speak-Out for Reproductive Freedom for Roe vs. Wade Anniversary


Hope you can attend the following, which both National Organization for Women (NOW) - New York State and the NOW New York State -- Young Feminist Task Force are endorsing.  I will attend, along with other NOW New York State Young Feminist Task Force members. 
Community Speak Out for Reproductive Freedom
Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
Celebrating 38 years since Roe v. Wade

11am - Gather
We need people to help establish a Pro-Choice zone.  We have a permit and need people to help occupy as much space as possible so that the Anti-choice forces can't.

12noon - Speakout
Come share your story of how choice and reproductive freedom have helped change your life, commemorate Roe v. Wade and the bravery of abortion providers in the face of increased terrorism against abortion clinics, and support a local clinic under attack.

Dr. Emily's Women's Health Center
560 Southern Boulevard, South Bronx
#6 Train to E. 149th St.
BX19 Bus to Southern & 149th

How you can participate:
1) Endorse! Email nycradicalwomen@nyct.net with your org name
2) Forward! Send this to your e-lists
3) Speak out! On 1/22 - we're asking that all speakers (even org. representatives) share their stories of how reproductive freedom and specifically abortion have positively impacted their lives.
Individuals -
1) Forward! Send this to your friends, make announcements at meetings, and help get the word out.  Flyers are also available for leafletting!
2) Join! "Like" the New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense here.
3) Attend! Come early on 1/22 to help us establish our protest area
4) Early birds, if you can't attend (or even if you can!) we need help calling the media at 6am the morning of the event.
5) Speak out! Come to speak your mind about the abortion you aren't sorry you had, the reproductive freedom you want to maintain, or the abortion provider who made the difference in your life.  Even if you wish to remain anonymous, you can give us a written statement to read on stage so that we can share your support for reproductive freedom.
Interested in helping? Email nycradicalwomen@nyct.net or call 212-222-0633

Sponsored by: New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense and Radical Women
Endorsed by: Freedom Socialist Party, National Organization for Women (NOW): NY State, BKLN/QNS, Young Feminist Task Force; Socialist Core, World Can't Wait, National Women's Liberation

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Political Action Committee
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

16 and Loved: Supporting Women Who've Had Abortions

Steph Herold

Posted by: Steph Herold
Attention pro-choice feminists! Exhale, an after-abortion counseling hotline, is partnering with MTV to support the young women who courageously shared their abortion stories on MTV's 16 and Pregnant special airing tomorrow titled No Easy Decision.

From the campaign website:

16 & Loved is a campaign brought to you by Exhale to give our public support to the three young women who told their abortion story on the MTV special – “No Easy Decision” - created for the popular series “16 & Pregnant.” Markai and several other young women did their part to let others know: “you are not alone. I’ve been there too.” Now, it’s time to do our part. We need to make sure these brave young women feel our unconditional love and our support. 16 & Loved sends love and support to Markai and the others on the show, and, in the process, lets every young woman who has had an abortion know that she is not alone. She is loved.
There are a few things you can do to support the campaign:
You can also join the Women's Media Center Watch-In to send a message to MTV that we expect fair and balanced coverage of all pregnancy options and decisions on this show and all others.