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Filtering by Tag: anti-choice

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

Jerin


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.
BACKGROUND:
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.

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An Anti-Choice Attorney General: It Could Happen Here

Jerin


From NARAL:
In states across the country, attorneys general have attacked a women's right to choose.
Dan Donovan wants to be New York's next attorney general. He says he wants to represent New Yorkers. But New Yorkers are pro-choice and, according to the New York Times, Dan Donovan is "against abortion, except in cases of rape or incest."
A good attorney general can play a critical role in advancing our reproductive rights. A bad one can take them away.
That's why last Friday NARAL Pro-Choice New York stood with allies on the steps of New York City Hall to launch a campaign highlighting the alarming anti-choice position of New York state attorney general candidate Dan Donovan.
Go to www.CouldHappenHere.org to watch our web video "Donovan: It Could Happen Here" and sign the online petition to let Dan Donovan know we want an attorney general who will stand up for women's health and rights.
For choice,
Sabrina Shulman
Political Director

Louisiana women under siege starting Monday

Meghan

Did y'all realize just how disturbing the new anti-abortion legislation coming out of LA is? As detailed in today's National Partnership for Women & Families Daily Report, the laws that go into effect on August 15, unless blocked by a judge before then, will directly threaten a women's ability to receive unbiased information to help her make her decision about her pregnancy, as well as the abortion provider's ability to deliver care in a confident and secure manner (as if that were possible for any of the brave providers in this country).
While the new provisions requiring ultrasounds for all women before they receive abortion care is disturbing, it is nothing new for anti-choice legislators. However, blocking providers from accessing medical malpractice insurance because of a service they provide is downright unconstitutional. How on earth do they justify not providing insurance to providers of one of the most common medical procedures received? And how is this not very clear to everyone to be a blatantly unconstitutional attack on these doctors, as well as all women. If there were (hypothetically) a medical procedure that were for some biological reason was only performed on people of color, and it was repeatedly attacked by legislation that limited the ability for people to access safe, legal and affordable access to that procedure, it would clearly be a violation of the Equal Protection Claus of the 14th Amendment.
And yet, the State of Louisiana is allowed to single out doctors who provide a necessary service to the only minority that just so happens to be the majority, and deny them the same legal protections to every other doctor in state.
AHHHHHH!! Can we just freaking TRUST WOMEN? And their trained, qualified MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS?

Posted by: Meghan!

12th & Delaware

Meghan


Last Monday, several members of the Young Feminist Task Force were fortunate enough to get together to watch the HBO premiere of the new documentary 12th & Delaware.
We first had a scrumptious pot-luck dinner on the rooftop, and could not have had a more perfect evening. After that we headed in to the apartment to enjoy the film.
The group came into the film with varying degrees of knowledge and experience about crisis pregnancy centers, but everyone certainly learned a lot and were exposed to the tactics and manipulations that these organizations use to keep women from making fully informed medical decisions.
Of course the most obvious attempt at manipulating women was their tactical placement of their "pregnancy care center" directly across the street from a comprehensive women's health center. Other tactics seen in the film were using ultrasounds, manikins, and graphic and unrealistic photos to manipulate women, lying to women about gestational age to interfere with their decision making process, and offering pregnant women support that they don't actually have the resources to provide. It was clear in many of the scenes that these people are not, by any means, acting in the best interest of women.
If you are interested in getting involved to help combat the influence of CPCs in the NYC area, please contact us for more information.

Posted by: Meghan

"The first Saturday without harassment in 8 years" for Family Reproductive Health clinic in Charlotte

Jerin

Pair of NOW activists defending the Family Reproductive Health clinic in Charlotte, N.C.
Please help NOW support, foster and grow our grassroots network. Donate today!
We did it! Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Charlotte NOW, National NOW, the Feminist Majority Foundation and other allies, the Family Reproductive Health clinic in Charlotte, N.C., was free of harassment and terror threats from extreme anti-abortion rights group Operation Save America for the first Saturday in eight years.
Will you give to NOW today to help us keep clinics around the country safe?
Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue) staged a national event in Charlotte July 17-24. They boasted of their intentions to target Family Reproductive Health clinic on Saturday, July 24, but when they saw 70 peaceful abortion rights supporters outside the clinic, they packed up their red "murder" bus condemning women's fundamental right to choose, LGBT people, and people living with AIDS and left. That's right -- they packed up and left.
But this fight isn't over.
Please give to NOW today to help women's rights supporters send even more members of what Dr. LeRoy Carhart calls "The American Taliban" packing.
Frankly, I traveled down to Charlotte on Friday expecting the worst. Our people on the ground were reporting harassment from trees outside the clinic, large-scale demonstrations over highway overpasses during rush hours, and even protests outside a local mosque. And for eight years, leaders of Operation Save America have built scaffolding to rise above the fences protecting the clinic, so that they might scream at women seeking legal and safe abortion care and the doctors and staff who bravely serve them.
Defending the Family Reproductive Health clinic in Charlotte, N.C.
Thanks to everyone who protected the Family Reproductive Health clinic in Charlotte, N.C. Please continue to support our work.
But NOW members rose to the challenge. Charlotte NOW President Cindy Thomson led a local pro-choice coalition that organized clinic defense trainings, found free places to stay for NOW members and supporters who wanted to help, and worked late into nights for months on end. When National NOW recently sent out an alert asking for volunteer phoners to help turn out NOW supporters in North Carolina, we got immediate assistance from women's rights advocates around the country willing to use up their cell phone minutes to say, Enough is enough! Leave the Family Reproductive Health clinic alone.
Arriving Saturday morning, I joined grassroots NOW leaders who had driven quite some way to defend the clinic -- North Carolina NOW President Gailya Paliga, longtime NOW National Board member and leader Robin Davis; New York State NOW Young Feminist Task Force co-chair Meghan Shalvoy; even Florida NOW Secretary Dennis Blanchard, who drove all night to get there before the clinic opened. With allies and supporters, we stretched out along the block and realized we had 70 positive, peaceful demonstrators helping to defend the clinic from Operation Save America's planned siege. The result? A man harassing the clinic climbed down from a tree, and left in a car with men wearing Repent America! T-shirts.
At the end of the day, a clinic staffer came out and thanked the group for creating the first Saturday in eight years where clinic doctors, staff and the women they serve were free from harassment. As the group filtered away, one of the doctors came out in his scrubs and thanked us for our help. It was truly amazing.
Please help NOW support, foster and grow our grassroots network so that it is even more powerful around the country -- fighting back against extremists takes more than a village. It takes a NOW chapter.
For reproductive freedom,
Erin Matson
Action Vice President
P.S. Please donate NOW. Your contribution will help us provide even more support to fantastic NOW grassroots leaders like Charlotte NOW President Cindy Thomson.

Obama Administration Applies Stupak Amendment to High Risk Pools

Jerin

The following post on RH Reality Check explains why the most recent anti-choice act to come out of the Obama administration is such a slap in the face for all of us who spent time and money fighting for reproductive rights in healthcare reform.  Co-chair Meghan and I were in DC on two separate occasions to lobby our legislators to exclude Stupak-like provisions in the healthcare reform.  Other taskforce members like Michelle, Stacy, Esty, Dan, and Sabrina organized in NY and DC toward the same goal.  It seems our efforts were fruitless since the President many of us worked hard to elect lied about being pro-choice and decided to throw women under the bus.


In Solidarity,
Jerin Alam
National NOW Political Action Committee
Co-Chair
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force 
National Organization for Women (NOW)




Obama Administration Applies Stupak Amendment to High Risk Pools

Tell your senators that you support Pro-Choice Goodwin Liu’s nomination

Jerin


NARAL Pro-Choice america



Federal court nominee Prof. Goodwin Liu, a supporter of the right to privacy, 
is under attack.
We have a big fight on our hands, and need your help.


We can't let far-right lawmakers like Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) 

block Goodwin Liu from serving on the federal bench.Anti-choice senators 
are closing ranks against one of President Obama's progressive nominees 
to the federal courts who supports our constitutional right to privacy.
Tell your senators that you support Goodwin Liu's nomination.
Goodwin Liu is a professor at the University of California Berkeley School of Law
and an accomplished lawyer with a distinguished record of working to protect civil rights.

Prof. Liu criticized John Roberts' nomination to the position of chief justice,
and said of Roberts: "What we already know from Roberts's record is
cause for concern. His legal career is studded with activities unfriendly to civil rights,
abortion rights, and the environment."1
We need more judges like Prof. Liu on the federal court if we're 
going to protect Roe v. Wade and the right to privacy for future generations. 
Getting him confirmed is going to take everything we've got. 
Call on your senators to confirm Prof. Liu.
Our anti-choice opponents have lobbed nasty attacks to smear Prof. Liu's reputation
and distort his record. Sen. Hatch called Liu "the most controversial nominee
of President Obama."2  Sen. Sessions has blasted Liu's support of issues like
the right to choose, and even threatened, "We'll not confirm somebody like that."3
These attacks are grossly unfair. Prof. Liu is an accomplished, highly qualified lawyer
whose record reflects an understanding of how the law affects ordinary Americans.
We are proud to join with National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum in 
supporting Prof. Liu. Help us see Prof. Liu confirmed – contact your senators now.

Thanks for getting involved today and stopping anti-choice activists from being the only
voices heard.
My best,
Nancy Keenan


Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

1  "Senate Judiciary panel head moves forward with confirmation hearing,"
Boston Globe, April 9, 2010
2  "Goodwin Liu appeals court nomination advances," The Washington Post, May 14, 2010
3  "Appeals Court Nominee Ignites a Partisan Battle," The New York Times, April 12, 2010

NOW Sad to See Connie Saltonstall Leave Michigan Race

YoungFeminists


NOW logo
For Immediate Release

Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116
NOW Sad to See Connie Saltonstall Leave Michigan Race,
Thanks Her for Standing up to Anti-Abortion Incumbent Bart Stupak
Statement of NOW President and NOW/PAC Chair Terry O'Neill
May 10, 2010
The National Organization for Women is sad to see Connie Saltonstall withdraw from the congressional race in Michigan's 1st District. Saltonstall bravely stepped forward to take on the incumbent -- reproductive rights foe and health care reform obstructer Rep. Bart Stupak -- in the state's Democratic primary. She opened the door for other candidates and may even have lead to Stupak's decision not to seek another term. And how did the Democratic Party reward her? Disgracefully, by withholding its support.
Connie Saltonstall is a strong supporter of the full range of feminist issues, including reproductive justice, affirmative action, pay equity, constitutional equality and equal marriage rights. She is just the kind of legislator we need more of on Capitol Hill. Women continue to be sorely under-represented at the highest levels of our government, making up just 17 percent of the U.S. Congress. But we cannot hope to correct this imbalance without the backing of state and national party leaders.
We've seen this far too often, most recently with Jennifer Brunner in Ohio and Elaine Marshall in North Carolina -- promising women candidates who are given the cold shoulder by their party. As in other areas, women politicians often lag behind men when it comes to financial resources, making their party's assistance even more critical. A political party's seal of approval often determines who wins a primary and it can drive other, lesser-funded candidates out of the race.
NOW thanks Connie Saltonstall for standing up for women. Connie saw an injustice take place during the health care debate, and she decided to do something about it. We hope that other women will follow her lead and continue running for office, even when it means challenging a longtime incumbent. And NOW hopes that Connie will continue running in future races, because we believe she has a bright future, and we believe that women and girls can benefit greatly from her leadership.


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Take Action: Stop the Global Gag Rule -- Permanently!

YoungFeminists

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NOW Action Alert
Support NOW's Work | April 29, 2010 | Tell a Friend
Action Needed
Background
All NOW Actions
Take action NOW!
Stop the Global Gag Rule -- Permanently!
After taking action, please support our work!
Action Needed:
It is unconscionable to place worldwide access to comprehensive reproductive health services and accurate information about women's health care, including abortion care, in jeopardy every four to eight years. That is what the Global Gag Rule does. In one of his first acts in office President Obama issued an executive order to repeal the Global Gag Rule. President Clinton did the same thing -- only to have a succeeding president reverse it. That is why it is imperative that Congress pass the Global Democracy Promotion Act that would permanently prevent all future administrations from reinstating the Global Gag Rule.
Send a message to members of your congressional delegation urging their support of the Global Democracy Prevention Act.
Background:
The Global Gag Rule is a repressive U.S. policy that denies women and girls the fundamental right to exercise control over their reproductive lives. The rule restricts foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. family planning dollars from utilizing their own non-U.S. funds to perform legal abortion services, advocate for abortion law reform in their own countries, or to dispense accurate medical counseling on abortion or abortion referrals. In countries where women are still second-class citizens and live at an elevated risk of violence, economic insecurity, and rape, the Global Gag Rule is especially harmful and inhumane.
The Global Gag Rule was first imposed by the Reagan administration, then lifted when Bill Clinton came into office, then reinstated by George W. Bush, and now lifted once again by President Obama. Women who needed access to abortion and whose lives were unnecessarily put at risk because of the Global Gag Rule were the primary victims of this ideological tag of war. For their sake, we have to make sure that this time the Global Gag Rule doesn't make a comeback.
Take Action NOW!
The Global Gag Rule derives its name from the fact that it restricts freedom of speech on abortion-related issues and thus severely undermines women's health care by preventing access to abortion and even reducing access to contraceptives. A study by the Guttmacher Institute in 2009 found that almost 20 million unsafe abortions occur each year in 197 countries surveyed. Ensuring the permanent abolition of the Global Gag Rule would mean reduction of the 52 million unintended pregnancies and prevention of 75,000 deaths that result each year from unsafe abortions. Additionally, assuring access to contraceptives is vital to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections.
The Global Democracy Promotion Act (H.R. 4879/S. 311) was re-introduced in mid-March by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to bar future administrations from unilaterally imposing the Global Gag Rule. Currently, advocates of the Global Democracy Promotion Act are looking for additional co-sponsors in the hope that critical mass can be reached for its inclusion in the FY 2011 State Foreign Operations appropriations bill. Earlier this month, nearly 300 organizations -- including NOW -- signed a letter to House and Senate leaders in support of the legislation.
We must pass this bill to make sure that tens of thousands of women do not die because of a cruel and inhumane policy imposed by the U.S. government. Please contact your representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the Global Democracy Promotion Act, so that women and girls can have secure access to reproductive health care. Your voice can make a difference in lives of many women.
TAKE ACTION NOW! Ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Global Democracy Promotion Act.


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The Latest Health Reform News!

Jerin


From Raising Women's Voices:

Graduating Students Get Reprieve From Losing Family Health Insurance
There's some good news for all those college students who will be graduating next month and facing the potential loss of the health insurance they have been receiving from their families' policies. While they are busy looking for jobs, which may or may not offer health insurance, these graduating students will be able to stay on their family policies.

Several major insurance companies announced Monday that they will keep graduating students on family policies, instead of waiting for a provision of the new federal health reform law to kick in September 23. That provision allows adult children to stay on family policies until their 26th birthdays. Because college graduations typically take place in mid-May, many families were worried about how to provide coverage for the new graduates over the summer and until September 23.

United Healthcare and Humana announced they will immediately allow young adults to stay on their parents' plans following graduation. WellPoint, which operates 14 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans across the nation, said it will adopt a similar policy, but it won't be in effect until June 1, meaning some students who graduate in May could face a short coverage gap.
Young adult women need continuous health coverage to ensure their reproductive health needs are met.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Monday wrote to other insurers urging them to keep young adults on family policies. Call your family's insurance company to find out what their policy will be.



Anti-Choice Forces Turn to the States: New Abortion Coverage Bans Emerge

The health reform debate has opened a new front in the ongoing battle over abortion policy in the states. The health reform bill leaves in place all public funding restrictions that currently exist AND leaves it up to each state whether to include abortion coverage in the exchanges that will be up and running by 2014. And as we know, if states do indeed cover abortion in the insurance exchanges they will require policyholders to make two separate payments; one for the abortion coverage and one for everything else.

Given this, we're seeing that 
anti-choice activists and legislators are hard at work to prevent women from being able to purchase abortion coverage in their state exchanges.

NPR reported:

Abortion opponents are not satisfied with the restrictions on abortion already in the measure, particularly those on abortion coverage in private plans that will be sold in the new marketplaces known as health "exchanges." So they are pushing one particular aspect of the new law. It lets states ban all abortion coverage in the exchanges.
Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of anti-abortion group Americans United for Life, said her group wasted no time drawing up a model state law to that effect. They sent it out the day after Congress approved the health bill. It was a part of the legislation that states could opt out, and so we had a heads-up that this would be a window for us," she said. "So we moved right in to make sure that we could equip states with the tools that they need to have the most effective opt-out possible."

The ball started rolling in 
Kansas, as soon as February. The Kansas state legislature tried to require policy holders to purchase a rider for abortion coverage for all insurance providers in the state, regardless of whether the coverage was public or private. In a successful attempt to defeat the bill, pro-choice advocates attached amendments that would require supplemental insurance for smokers or people who use erectile dysfunction drugs, in an effort to demonstrate the burden of requiring riders for individual medical procedures.

Though it didn't pass, the 
Kansas legislation has jumpstarted similar efforts around the country. We've seen legislation bans moving in Arizona, LouisianaOklahomaTennessee and Missouri.

In 
Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell proposed a bar on state funding for abortion services -- except as required by federal law. This is seen mostly as a gesture to social conservatives and because of existing VA law, it is expected to have limited effect. Regardless, many other states are planning to propose bans similar to those in LA, OK and TN. This continued separation of abortion services from health care is dangerous to women and we must work hard to prevent and defeat this kind of legislation in our states. 



Funding Health for the Whole Community – Another Benefit of Health Care Reform
 

When RWV started talking to women about what they wanted in health care reform, they told us that they wanted health care itself to be better.   Women want high quality care that works and they want current disparities between the health of different groups of women to be done away with.  There's no reason that a wealthy country can't create conditions that result in equally good health for everyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity, or their income level.  RWV took that message to the policy makers and we're happy to see that there's at least some attention to funding health for the whole community in the final law.  
 

The new law includes funds for a Community Transformation program that will give grants to disseminate evidence-based community preventive health activities. Why focus on programs that affect an entire community?  Because that's a great way to improve everyone's health, and to successfully address some of the current disparities in how often different groups of people develop certain conditions.  For example, some communities have had a lot of success increasing the activity level of average folks by creating neighborhood walking programs (the Black Women's Health Imperative's Walking for Wellness program comes to mind).

Other programs that have been successful on a community-wide level include reducing cigarette smoking in teens through advertising and increasing the amount of fresh produce eaten by kids by re-organizing school lunchrooms.  Many parts of the government have already invested in solid research into which programs work – CDC is funding programs looking at ways to increase activity and reduce obesity in rural communities, for example.  Effective programs that improve preventive health activities lead to improved health – less diabetes, less cancer, fewer strokes.  That's better health.  And that's another reason to like the new health reform bill.



Making the Most of Health Care Reform – Two New Presidential Appointments to Note

 
Many of us are now pivoting from the campaign to pass health care reform legislation to advocacy on implementation of the new law.  And we're watching the Obama administration's moves closely for indications of how well health care reform is going to work for the people and the communities we represent. Will they interpret the provisions of the law broadly or narrowly? What kind of oversight and enforcement of insurers can we expect? Will administrators seize the opportunities to improve health care quality as well as coverage?  One key indicator of what we can expect from the administration may be the people the president chooses to lead the changes, and in the last week we've seen two positive signs. 

President Obama nominated Dr. Donald Berwick to run the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, where he'll be responsible for carrying out the expansion of Medicaid and trying to keep the costs of Medicare from growing unsustainably.  Berwick has been a leader in teaching medical professionals and institutions to set up systems that improve the quality of care and produce better outcomes for patients.  His focus on getting health services right the first time and reducing the need for follow-up care to fix problems that shouldn't have happened in the first place has the potential to make health care better and less expensive.
 

Jay Angoff was named to run the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, regulating insurers and insurance markets.  This is a critical position for making certain that insurance companies follow the new rules and make affordable policies with meaningful coverage available to all of us.  Angoff has worked as a consumer advocate and an insurance regulator at the state level and is well-versed in the kind of regulation and oversight necessary to rein in industry abuses.  He has said he intends to set rules that limit premium increases.  He's also noted that while progressives weren't successful in passing a law with a public option to compete with private companies, he believes that effective insurance regulation "could have a greater impact on costs and coverage" than the public option would have.