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Filtering by Tag: pro-choice

Action Alert: Press Conference and Petitions to make NYC safer and better informed


The following were sent by The NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault:

Press Conference at City Hall to Save the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) (STEPS to End Family Violence)

We invite you to join Council Members Annabel Palma, Julissa Ferreras, students, community-based organizations, RAPP Members and concerned New Yorkers to show NYC that RAPP funding is vital.

Wednesday, June 2, 2011
3:30 pm

City Hall Steps

For more information, please visit the full announcement
Petition for Healthy Relationship Education and Dating Violence Prevention Policy in NYC Schools (Start Strong Bronx)

Recently, the New Jersey legislature became the seventh state to pass a law requiring school districts to provide dating violence education, following the trailblazing states of Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and Nebraska. We, the undersigned New Yorkers, want to join our fellow Americans in this pioneering movement to educate and empower youth to build safe and healthy relationships because, as Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan says, “No school can be a great school until it is a safe school first.” We hope you'll sign the petition and help us get as many adult and student signatures from NYC residents as possible. Start Strong Bronx will bring them to the next Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) meeting. For more information, please visit the full announcement
Partnering with Parents to Deliver Sex Education: The Adult Role Models (ARM) Program  (Planned Parenthood)

While numerous and recent studies document the importance of involving parents in sexuality education and unplanned teen pregnancy prevention efforts, there is still a lack of resources for organizations seeking to more strategically engage and educate parents.   The Adult Role Models (ARM) program is a parent-peer education program designed to provide parents with the information and skills they need to become the primary sexuality educators of their children.  The ARM program has published an online Manual to help agencies to develop or strengthen their own parent-peer education programs.  This webinar will guide participants through the Manual’s contents and answer questions commonly asked about the ARM program.  We will also present preliminary data and findings from our randomized controlled trial, which is measuring the ARM program’s impact on parents and teen sexual health outcomes.  For more information, please visit the
full announcement

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

Florida "Uterus Controversy" Song Parody


Amidst the war on women, especially with our Democratic President - who won with the 13-point margin provided by women voters - "conceding," a.k.a. throwing the women under the bus AGAIN, the following song over the Florida "uterus controversy" gives me hope about feminism in America.

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

Come to D.C. on Thurs, April 7 to tell your member of Congress to reject H.R.3.

The Latest Rant

An anti-choice bill in Congress could subject survivors of rape and incest who choose abortion to Internal Revenue Service audits. Mother Jones reports that the anti-choice bill moving now through Congress, H.R.3, could turn “IRS agents into abortion cops.”1

Help me fight this insulting attack. Come to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 7 to tell your member of Congress, face-to-face, to reject this bill.

A tax expert recently told Congress that, under H.R.3, the “burden of proof” is on the woman who accesses abortion care to prove to the IRS that the sexual assault occurred. Imagine: being forced to describe such a horrifying experience to a tax collector.

Any bill that spurs the IRS to audit rape survivors is beyond the pale, and members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about this bill one on one. That’s why I need your help.

Come to Washington, D.C. on April 7 for our big lobby day and help me stop this outrageous bill.

If you can’t make it to Washington, you can help us get the word out. Do you have any friends in the Washington area? Do you know anyone who is a student, is retired, or has a flexible work schedule who can make the trip during the week?

Forward this message to your friends and family who might be able to attend.

The attacks on women’s access to abortion must stop. Activists like you have sent 61,238 messages to Congress opposing the “Stupak on Steroids” bill, but we must do more. I hope you can join us in Washington on April 7.

My best,

Nancy Keenan

Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America



Cross-posted on the NOW National blog

The recent news story about a man who attacked three separate groups -- a Planned Parenthood office, a mosque, and a church he deemed supporting the LGBTQ community -- is another example of something true feminists have known all along: You cannot advocate for the rights of one oppressed group without acknowledging the interconnectedness of the struggles of all oppressed people in society.

The story touches a personal nerve, as a Muslim feminist who has been asked, "How can you be Muslim and feminist at the same time?" The question came after a biased attack following 9/11, when I was almost run over because a white man decided the way I looked meant I loved America less than him. More recently, I had a frustrating conversation with a well-known feminist who said Islam was the biggest threat the world faces -- more dangerous than the threats to the environment.
In fact, Islam gave women the right to own property centuries before the Western world. And while the U.S. has yet to elect a female president, certain Muslim nations, like Pakistan and Bangladesh, have already done so. Virtually every religion has been twisted to serve misogyny -- like the Catholic Church, which admitted to forcing nuns who were raped by priests to have abortions -- so why single out Islam as an anti-woman institution? My secular husband and I have been visiting the Islamic Cultural Center of New York, whose Imam has argued for women's rights using verses of the Quran -- noting that Islam does NOT give husbands the right to hit their wives, and allows wives just as many rights as their husbands.
Fortunately, my husband is not the only non-Muslim standing up for Muslim Americans. He recently attended the"Today, I am Muslim, too" rally along with people of all faiths, including celebrities like Russell Simmons. On April 9, he and I plan to join other members of the NOW-New York State Young Feminist Task Force for the "Rally to Oppose war, Condemn terrorism, & Fight Islamophobia."
As feminists, we must always be vigilant to ensure that our personal prejudices do not get in the way of the movement. Remember, the most effective strategy of the other side has always been to divide and conquer.
In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Sat, Feb 26: Join Us & Thousand Others to Stand Up For Women’s Health


Please join us, the NOW New York State Young Feminist Task Force, along with thousands of other pro-choice activists at the following rally.

The anti-choice movement, who has coined “pro-life,” has anything but respect for life. Its Reps just voted to cut nutrition funding from pregnant women, babies and kids.  Pro-choice is pro-life. We are the true pro-life movement. We need to reclaim the language as our own. Let's call the anti-choice movement what it truly is – the anti-life movement.

In Solidarity,

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

Join Thousands to Stand Up For Women’s Health including Gloria Steinem, Senator Charles Schumer, Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney and Jerry Nadler, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Kathleen Turner, Kathleen Hanna, the Mountain Goats, Nellie McKay, Maddy Wyatt, and More 

On Saturday, February 26, celebrities, elected officials, musicians and women’s health leaders will join thousands of New Yorkers in Foley Square to rally and stand up for women’s health.

The rally comes on the heels of last Friday's passage of the Pence Amendment, a dangerous piece of legislation which, if made into law, would eliminate basic health care and education services for millions of Americans – and according to department of health estimates, 800,000 New Yorkers.

This Saturday, thousands from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, along with celebrities, musicians, non-profit organizations, and elected officials, will stand up for women’s health, and encourage Senators to reject the Pence amendment, and send a clear message to members of Congress that attacks on women’s health are attacks on all of us.

WHAT: Rally to Protect Women’s Health

WHERE: Foley Square, Across from the Court House in Lower Manhattan
Between Lafayette St. & Centre St.; New York, NY 10007

WHEN: Saturday, February 26, from 1-3pm

WHO: Elected Officials:
- Senator Charles Schumer
- Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
- Congressman Jerry Nadler
- Public Advocate Bill deBlasio
- Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
- State Senator Liz Kruger
- State Senator Gustavo Rivera
- Assembly Member Dick Gottfried
- Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal
- City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
- New York City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin
- New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras
- Others TBD 

Notable Speakers:
- Gloria Steinem
- Kathleen Turner
- Kathleen Hanna
- Amanda Marcotte
- Cecile Richards
- Others TBD 

- Nellie McKay
- The Mountain Goats
- Maddy Wyatt
- Others TBD 

- Patients & Activists
- Others TBD

The Rally is sponsored by: Choice Matters, Community Health Network, Family Planning Advocates of New York State, Feminist Majority Foundation, Inwood House, NARAL Pro-Choice NY, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, National Council of Jewish Women New York Section, New York Civil Liberties Union, NOW-New York City, NOW-New York State, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, Planned Parenthood of New York City, PRCH, Public Health Association of New York City, Public Health Solutions, Raising Women's Voices, Reproductive Health Access Project, SisterSong NY, Trust Black Women, Trust Women, United Neighborhood Houses, Women's Media Center, YWCA of Brooklyn

Sat, Feb. 26th, 12-3pm: Rally for Women's Health in NYC


National Organization for Women (NOW) New York State is sponsoring the following event, along with a host of other pro-choice organizations.  I will attend, along with other NOW NY State Young Feminist Task Force members.  Hope you can join us.

In Solidarity,

Details for the rally:
Right now Congress has 1 agenda item: take away your access to reproductive health care.
Next week, Congress could decide whether to strip family planning funds from all Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health centers. And legislation has been introduced that would allow hospitals to deny abortions to women even when their lives are in danger.
This is a coordinated attack on reproductive freedom and those we serve — and the situation is getting worse.
Saturday, February 26th, 1-3pm
Location: Foley Square (across from the Courthouse in Lower Manhattan - between Lafayette, Worth, & Centre Streets)RSVP TODAY!!
Subway: J, Z to Chambers St.
4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall
N, Q, Z to Canal St.

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)