Author: catherine

TOGETHER WE DID THIS! Equality Amendment PASSES!

YOU DID THIS! 

>The NYS Legislature heard you and at their Special Session they voted to pass the Equality Amendment. (Click here to read it.)

> Tell your legislators Thank You! They passed the Equality Amendment.

> Call them and say, “Thank You!” 

  • Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins – (518) 455-2585
  • Speaker Heastie – (518) 455-3791; AND
  • your own NYS Senator and Assembly representative. Find their contact information here: https://openstates.org/ny/legislators/

The Bill numbers are: (A10468A/S8797A)

Here is a Sample Script you can use:
“Hello, my name is __________ from zip code ________. I’m contacting {legislator’s name} to say THANK YOU for passing the Equality Amendment. With the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the protections it provides, we must protect abortion in our state constitution. New York State has taken one step closer. Thank you.”

DO IT TODAY. 

> What happens next: The Equality Amendment will now start the three year process needed to put Roe on the ballot in New York in 2024. Next year, the NYS legislature must again pass the Equality Amendment. Once that happens, it will be placed on the ballot.

> Summary of the Equality Amendment:Provides that no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof; provides no person shall, because of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, religion, or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, reproductive healthcare and autonomy, be subjected to any discrimination in their civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state.”

ACTION ALERT: CALL TODAY – Equality Amendment!

**PROTECT New Yorkers from this Extremist SCOTUS**
Make the following calls and emails TODAY.
There is NO time to lose!

>The NYS Legislature is meeting for a Special Session tomorrow, Thursday, June 30th.

> Tell your legislators they must include the Equality Amendment on the Agenda – and then they must PASS IT! It will enshrine abortion rights and gender equality in New York’s Constitution.

Demand Passage of the Equality Amendment Now! 
Call:

  • Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins – (518) 455-2585
  • Speaker Heastie – (518) 455-3791; AND

your own NYS Senator and Assembly representative. Find their contact information here: https://openstates.org/ny/legislators/

The Bill numbers are: (A10468A/S8797A)

Here is a Sample Script you can use:
“Hello, my name is __________ from zip code ________. I’m contacting {legislator’s name} with an urgent demand. Call for the Equality Amendment to be put on the agenda at the Special Session tomorrow, Thursday, on June 30th, and THEN pass it.

If you don’t do it NOW, it will take two more years to get this to the voters. There is no time to waste, I want you to be a champion on getting bill number A10468A/S8797A passed this week. Thank you.”

Also: Email them using this simple link.

DO IT TODAY. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE.

If they don’t do it tomorrow, it will take a minimum of an extra two years to make this happen!

Is Religious Freedom Dead in the US?

By Matthew Bitterman

Since its independence, the United States has been a secular nation. The concept of separation of church and state is key, and written in our nation’s founding documents. Sadly, all three branches of the federal government have worked to erode this constitutional principle in recent years. Now, with an extremist majority in control, the US Supreme Court has taken a decisive step to completely do away with that cornerstone of governance.

Without uttering a single word, the leaked US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe vs Wade clearly links religion and government.  The decision cites the primary reason to overturn Roe as the absence of the recognition of a right to privacy anywhere in the Constitution. This has long been argued by extremists like Rick Santorum as the reason several decisions were incorrectly decided and must be overturned. The recognition to the right to privacy is the cornerstone of decisions recognizing the right to same-sex marriage, to interracial marriage and to contraception. All of these decisions are adamantly opposed by religious extremists, and now by the new US Supreme Court majority.

The right to privacy is the key principle in each of these decisions. It is not mentioned in the Constitution, but neither are many other accepted parts of our daily lives. Can the Supreme Court only issue decisions based on the precise words found in the Constitution? If so, how can it issue a single decision about 21st century concerns such as personal use of the internet.

Each of the justices voting to overturn Roe, thereby enabling all US states and commonwealths to outlaw abortion, has a personal agenda driven in great part by their own religious views. Their inability to separate their person religious worship from their position on the bench is extremely unethical and runs in direct opposition to the founding principle of separation of church and state. This raises the question, how long will it be before Americans are forced to adopt a singular religious view, one – like in Nazi Germany or Russia or China – is dictated by the government and not individual belief? People came to this country to worship freely, away from dictatorial controls.

Individual religions regard abortion and contraception differently, as they do same-sex marriage. Individual people do too. The value of individualism has always been one presented as a cherished aspect of our lives here in the United States. Unfortunately, it is not regarded as it once was. (The Buffalo shooting and its tie to the “great replacement conspiracy theory”  are frightening evidence of that.)

Essentially if Roe vs Wade is officially overturned, religious freedom in the United States will have taken another step in the wrong direction. Personal belief will no longer be “personal”. It will be increasingly state regulated and decided.

LGBTQ+ People are effected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade too!

By Olivia Halligan

The first week of May was met with breaking news that the extremist majority of Supreme Court will most likely issue a decision overturning Roe v. WadeRoe established abortion as a constitutional right in the United States. Since the leaking of decision, protests have taken place around the Supreme Court, and NPR reporter Ayen Bior  with people about the effect this reversal would have on people in the LGBTQ+ community.

Alexis Rangel, a policy counselor at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), stated, “Abortion rights and reproductive rights in this decision are about trans rights.” Rangel advocates for transgender rights by organizing in legislative offices at both the federal and state level. She points to the necessity of reproductive healthcare and abortion for transgender men and nonbinary people. Rangel was able to attend a midnight protest after the leaked decision was made public on the night of May 2nd, and she doesn’t plan on stopping there. LGBTQ+ activists warn of the dangers of overturning Roe v. Wade, specifically in vulnerable groups who could lose access to gender-affirming care.

Oneida, a senior national organizer for NCTE, feels attacks on other rights are just beginning. They said, “The tactics that we’re seeing on the attacks of abortion care, are the same tactics we’re seeing with gender-affirming care, and access to it. The attacks are on our health care providers, and then our vital body autonomy.” NCTE is discussing the impact of the reversal with lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels. The organization is also pushing for the Senate to pass the Equality Act, which would expand protections for LGBTQ+ people.

“There’s a level of violence that comes from forcing people to be pregnant. There’s another layer when you’re trans, you know, issues of gender dysphoria,” says Oneida.

Cathryn Oakley, senior counsel at the Human Right Campaign declared, “The court is opening the door to having things like contraception be put at risk…What we really need now is outrage, anger and action for those among our community who are about to see the most destructive attack on our civil rights in a generation”

The harm that the reversal of Roe v. Wade will cause won’t stop at women’s rights. As Sarah Epperson (@sarah.epperson on instagram) states, “people of all gender identities need and have abortions”.

But what can you do to protect our reproductive rights?

Most importantly, vote. Get active. Join our email list to receive our voting guide, showing which candidates are pro-choice and which are anti-choice. You can also show your support by volunteering with and donating to Choice Matters.

 

Dorothy Brown, MD – Always remember and never forget

Dorothy Brown, MD
1919 – 2004

Dorothy Brown, MD, the first black female surgeon in the U.S., was also the first American state legislator to attempt to legalize abortion. As a member of the Tennessee state legislature in 1967, she proposed a bill to that effect and her commitment to reproductive rights remained strong in the decades that followed. In a 1983 interview she cut to the heart of the conflict about abortion in the black community when she said black women “should dispense quickly the notion that abortion is genocide; genocide in this county dates back to 1619,” the year African slaves were first brought to America.”  A Simple Human Right, The History of Black Women and Abortion by Loretta J. Ross, On The Issues Spring 1994

I was going through Choice Matters’ amazing archives and came across this piece about Dorothy Brown, MD.

Many have come before us, but too often we don’t remember. This struggle has been fought and lead by women of all different demographics. Loretta J. Ross shares important insights on her website.

When we allow ourselves to be divided, we lose.

Please join with us. United we stand.

Men. Owning. Women.

Will New Hampshire legalize slavery?

Just days before the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a bill, House Bill 1181, allowing men to sue women to stop them from having an abortion was introduced in New Hampshire.

Quite literally, a man would be able to hold a woman hostage for the length of her pregnancy. All he has to do is claim he is the father. He only needs to prove it if the woman publicly claims he is not the father. Then, on his say-so, a DNA test will be performed. All of this takes time and denies the woman privacy and control of her own body—and is even applicable if the woman is raped, unless she reported the rape at the time it occurred.

The reality is that if this bill becomes law, it legalizes the ownership of a woman by a man without any responsibility for the subsequent offspring. The bill only details limited responsibilities of the man during pregnancy and none post-pregnancy.

The Assembly person introducing the bill is challenging pro-choice Congresswoman Ann Kuster (D). Local elections have consequences.

This is a moment that demands courage. The courage to stand up and fight back.  Join us. Make a contribution and/or Volunteer.

We are working 24/7 to pass a clinic access bill here in Westchester and to get sexuality education and insurance reform passed in Albany.

United we stand.

Read More: This Bill Would Give Men Veto Power Over Abortions

Stickers!

Get a FREE Choice Matters Sticker!!!

We know how dedicated you are to the fight for reproductive rights!

That’s why we want to recognize you with a gifta limited-edition Choice Matters sticker. With every donation and questionnaire completed, we will send you a sticker.

Step #1

Click Here to Complete the Survey! 

Step #2

Donate!

Make a donation to Choice Matters & get your sticker! 

Step #3

Get Your Free Sticker.
It is our way of saying Thank You for all that you do!

In a time when abortion access is under attack, we must come together to make one thing clear: Abortion is health care.

Display your sticker on your water bottle, your notebook, your laptop, or wherever you want to show your commitment to protecting reproductive rights. Don’t wait—we only have a limited number of stickers, so claim yours today!

A Head-Spinning Week – a recap

Over the last week we’ve witnessed:

  • The Supreme Court hear oral arguments against Texas’ extreme 6-week abortion  ban;
  • The Supreme Court side with the Albany Diocese AGAINST New York State, potentially overturning health insurance requirements concerning abortion;
  • Ohio’s introduction of HB 480 that is a total ban of all abortions and is structured like the Texas law, making citizens vigilante bounty hunters;
  • Anti-choice Republican candidates, including the gubernatorial one, win across Virginia; and
  • Close to home, in Nassau County, anti-choice Republicans win everything.But here in Westchester, it was different. WE WON!

    We couldn’t have done it without you.

    On Election Day, 90% of WCLA PAC’s endorsed candidates, rated 100% pro-choice by Choice Matters, WON! The “wins” for County Executive and County Clerk were overwhelming, in both cases 62% to 38%. The legislative races were tight, with our pro-choice voters making the key difference between winning and losing. (YEAH YOU!)

    Candidates who ran on a pro-choice platform won, and anti-choice ones lost.

    We proved again that abortion rights is a defining issue. Help us to continue to drive home this truth as we move forward into 2022. Contribute.

    And in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy proved that abortion rights is a core issue when he won re-election – the first Democratic governor in New Jersey to win a second term in 4 decades! And he won as proudly pro-choice, pounding the airwaves and mailings with ads that highlighted his opponent’s extreme anti-reproductive rights, anti-woman positions.

    This week must be a wake-up call for anyone concerned about reproductive freedom or access to abortion care. Our rights are under attack in Washington and in state-houses across the country. But that doesn’t mean we’re throwing in the towel.

    This is why Choice Matters, together with its two political action committees WCLA PAC and ProChoice Voter, is laser focused on electing pro-choice champions in our communities — locally, statewide and nationally. They are key to defending our reproductive freedoms.

    As we move forward, into 2022 and beyond, please know that we will stand with those who stand with us today and moving forward.

    Our champions must protect reproductive healthcare clinics, birth control, and science-based sex education. They must stand for access for all, not just some.

ALERT: Supreme Court Hears Texas Abortion Ban TODAY!

TODAY the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments against the most restrictive abortion ban in the country – Texas’ SB 8 law.

As the Court hears the two cases challenging Texas’ ban on almost all abortion, it has never been more clear, WE MUST ACT.

We – together with our allies across the country – are taking action, demanding a federal safeguard for abortion access – the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). The passage of the WHPA is the first step in ensuring equal access to abortion care—everywhere and for everyone.

We got it passed in the House of Representatives on September 24th – the first time in history, the House of Representatives voted on proactive legislation to protect abortion rights.

Now it is time for the Senate! 

Today’s Agenda
The first of the cases the Court will hear today is brought by Whole Woman’s Health and a broad coalition of providers and advocates, followed by a challenge brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Supreme Court will rule on whether federal courts even have the authority to block the law, and whether the U.S. Department of Justice has the power to challenge it. This question is raised because of the structure of SB 8 which relies on making bounty hunters out of average citizens for enforcement.

The Court will decide whether that doctors, clinic staff and others are able to sue in federal court to block this vigilante-structured law, and also whether to block the ban while litigation continues. They will not be deciding on the constitutionality of SB 8 when they hear these two cases today.

SB 8, now supported by SB 4, is a full-scale assault on privacy and reproductive health care. Bodily autonomy is a fundamental human right.

Choice Matters is pushing back against this massive assault and we are asking you to join us.

Florida state lawmakers are passing their own abortion ban legislation that copies Texas and lets private citizens, rather than the government, enforce the law. South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and North Dakota have indicated they intend to do the same.

We cannot sit idly by. We must take action.

WE DID IT! WHPA passed the House!

WE DID IT!!

WHPA PASSED THE HOUSE!!

We DID it!
Today, 218 members of the U.S. Congress voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. This is the first time in history, the House of Representatives has voted on proactive legislation to protect abortion rights.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) is federal legislation that works toward a future where all of us are free to make the personal decisions that shape our lives, our futures, and our families, without political interference.

The passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act is the first step in ensuring equal access to abortion care—everywhere and for everyone. The passage is essential for social and economic equality, reproductive autonomy, and the right to determine our own lives.

It could not be any clearer than it is today that we MUST continue to elect pro-choice candidates. The bill passed 218-211 with Representative Henry Cuellar (D., Texas) joining Republicans in voting “no.” Henry Cuellar is up for re-election in 2022. We need to get this anti-choice, anti-woman Democrat out of office!

Take the time to thank the New York Democratic delegation – all of whom voted YES! (CLICK HERE for the link and contact information.)

You can use these sample tweets:
Sample Tweet #1Today, @TKTKTK voted YES for the Women’s Health Protection Act. Thank you for standing with us to #ActforAbortionAccess. 👏👏👏 #legalchoicematters

Sample Tweet #2 @TKTKTKTK, @TKTKTKTKT, @TKTKTKT: Today, you stood up for equal access to abortion, everywhere. Thank you for voting YES for the Women’s Health Protection Act! #ActforAbortionAccess #legalchoicematters

What comes next?
The  WHPA now goes to the Senate. At this time, we do not have any details on when the bill will be introduced.

However, it is imperative that everyone urge their Senators to support the Women’s Health Protection Act!

We need everyone united to get the WHPA passed in the Senate. Our strength is in our numbers.

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!