Opponents of abortion rights are using state legislatures to advance hundreds of extreme, unconstitutional and dangerous legislation – and we need Choice Matters supporters like you in the fight to push back.
Since Trump left office,more than560 abortion restrictionshave been introduced,including 165 bans.
On July 23rd, the state of Mississippi formally asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Mississippi Attorney General, Lynn Fitch, argued that Roev. Wade and its subsequent decisions are “egregiously wrong”, and that “the conclusion that abortion is a constitutional right has no basis in text, structure, history, or tradition.” (italics added)
In other words, according to Mississippi AG Fitch, the right to an abortion is not protected by the Constitution and respective decisions protecting abortion rights should all be overturned – AND that states must have the right to ban abortion outright.
This is Mississippi’s opening salvo. The US Supreme Court has announced it will hear a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban this fall.
This will be the Court’s first abortion case with its new 6-3 extremist majority. The announcement explicitly said that the Court will use this case to reconsider whether laws that ban abortion are unconstitutional.
EQ·UI·TY /ˈekwədē/ freedom from bias or favoritism; something that is equitable EQ-UI-TA-BLE\ ˈe-kwə-tə-bəl dealing fairly and equally with all concerned
EVERY YEAR. ALL YEAR LONG. DAY IN & DAY OUT.
We at Choice Matters FIGHT for Reproductive EQUITY.
The changes we need will only come through legislation.
We MUST repeal the Hyde Amendment &
pass Equity Access legislation in Albany.
What good is abortion care if not ALL women can access it? – If a woman doesn’t have the money to pay because it is too damn expensive? – If a woman has to travel miles upon miles, hour after hour, to get an abortion or birth control? –If she is of color, an ethnic minority, and/or low income, and good healthcare is out of reach?
Access to abortion must be a reality for ALL women in ALL of New York’s many counties, regardless of race, ethnicity, geographic location or ability to pay.
What good is comprehensive sex ed if it is not available in ALL schools? –If the only mandated NYS requirement is to teach about HIV? –If myths continue to be perpetuated, like HIV comes from sweat? –If fear continues to dominate & NYS, like Oklahoma, remains one of states that has no mandated sex ed requirement?
We need your help. An important bill that allows minors in post sexual assault circumstances to consent to the full course of HIV preventive medicine is at risk of veto in Albany.
THE ACTION: (by Monday morning)
Please contact the Governor’s office and urge the Governor to sign this bill, A.1204-A (Peoples-Stokes) / S.2279-A (Hoylman).
Please tell Governor Cuomo:
>We need Governor Cuomo to sign Bill A.1204-A (Peoples-Stokes) / S.2279-A (Hoylman).
>Minors in post sexual assault circumstances need Governor Cuomo’s help.
>These minors need to be able consent to the full course of HIV preventive medicine
>They have already been the victims of sexual assault. Let’s Help Them, not victimize them again!
>Sign Bill A.1204-A (Peoples-Stokes) / S.2279-A (Hoylman).
>The budget should not be balanced on the backs of sexual assault victims!
Remember to tell them your name and if you are with an activist organization, the name of the group. Please add this information to your emails also.
(The greater our number the more powerful we become!)
I believe that you can only veto a bill that allows minors in post sexual assault circumstances lifesaving treatment if you think no one is watching. And while the executive has stated concern about the fiscal impact, they have the ability to keep the status quo on the fiscal cap through chapter amendments.
I urge you to make your voice heard here.
These minors need our help.
On Saturday, June 22nd, we will honor an outstanding Assemblymember, Amy Paulin,
(NYS Assembly District #88.)
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin is a champion for women. She has been a prolific legislator, with more than 200 of her own bills being signed into law. Her diverse legislative agenda includes state government reform, children and families, domestic violence, sex trafficking, education, health care, animal welfare, and preventing gun violence.
Amy’s distinguished record of activism in public policy and community issues before being elected to the Assembly has helped make her the outstanding elected official she is today. Amy has served as Executive Director of My Sisters’ Place, Founder and Chairwoman of Westchester Women’s Agenda, President of Westchester League of Women Voters, Vice President of NY State League of Women Voters, Citizen Member of County Board of Legislators’ Special Committee on Families, and as a Member of the Board of Directors of WCLA – Choice Matters! What a launching pad for women’s issues!
Choice Matters and the community of advocates and activists are particularly excited by Amy’s writing and sponsoring of the bill that eliminated the statute of limitations for rape, and sponsoring the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act to dramatically toughen penalties for traffickers and buyers while providing support to the victims of human trafficking to help rebuild their lives. (Click here to read a partial list of Amy’s Bills.)
After the IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) we all swore not to be fooled again. No matter whether there was a “D”, “R” or “WFP” after the name, we were going to watch the actions, instead of simply listening to the words.
Choice Matters has been doing exactly that – and, unfortunately, our findings are not good.
1.Westchester County Government solicited and accepted a Trump Administration HHS grant for abstinence-only education targeted at the most vulnerable – teens – mostly of color, living below the poverty line & designated as “high risk.” That’s a huge problem. We are balancing our budget on the backs of the most vulnerable, and we are doing it with lies and half-truths.
Choice Matters successfully got the County to reject the abstinence-only, anti-gay intervention curriculum provider but they are still taking the grant money. Choice Matters will work with the County to find a viable curriculum provider who will provide comprehensive sex education. If we cannot, we must demand that the County return the grant.
3. Another man – this time a Westchester County Democratic leader – told a room full of Democratic committee chairs to ignore whether Choice Matters rates a candidate as pro-choice or anti-choice. Why? Because he does not want his Democratic candidates who are anti-choice to be adversely impacted. He clearly thinks the “D” is more important than women’s constitutional rights.
4. A male candidate for County Court judge lambasted Choice Matters for rating him anti-choice, after all he said he was “pro-choice.” Then he went on to make our point for us by coming out in total opposition to minors’ rights. This candidate has no place on the Bench.
There is no more important an office than that of judge. Choice Matters is the only organization that interviews and rates judicial candidates.
Oh, and fyi – let’s not forget the male presidential contender who entered the Democratic field two weeks ago. He thinks campaigning for anti-choice candidates is fine – even those who have a track record of co-sponsoring bills to restrict abortion rights. According to this presidential candidate, “…you can’t exclude people who disagree with us on one issue.”
Really??? Women’s reproductive right is just one issue?? According to the Roe v. Wade decision, that one issue is a woman’sconstitutionalright. Maybe this candidate is willing to forfeit other constitutional rights, maybe those protecting People of Color or LGBTQ folks. Or is it only women’s rights that are expendable?
When you are playing fast and loose with constitutional rights, you never know what might go next!
Groups Call For Immediate Passage Of The RHA
We, the undersigned, ask that you vote for the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) of 2019 during this legislative session. The RHA secures and protects our health and reproductive rights by updating New York’s outdated abortion law passed back in 1970, prior to Roe v. Wade.
According to current state law, New York regulates abortion as a homicide in the penal code. The law as it stands fails to meet the constitutional standard of Roe and is out of step with modern medicine. With the Trump administration determined to limit abortion access and a new anti-Roe majority on the Supreme Court, time is of the utmost importance. This is why we ask that you pass the RHA NOW.
The Reproductive Health Act is important because it:
Updates our laws, securing and protecting the right to abortion in New York. The RHA enshrines in state law the constitutional standard of Roe, affirms reproductive freedoms, and allows New Yorkers to get safe and legal abortions.
Protects health care professionals who provide vital care. The RHA ensures that qualified health care providers with appropriate training and expertise can provide abortion services. This improves access to health care, especially for low income women, women of color and women in rural areas.
Treats abortion as health care, not a crime. The RHA moves the regulation of abortion from the penal code into public health law and repeals a Civil War-era law that criminalizes women who terminate a pregnancy without a medical provider.
Nearly eight out of 10 New Yorkers support protecting a woman’s right to have an abortion. Additionally, one in four women will access abortion care in their lifetime. We want to make sure that New York offers the fullest protections when it comes to reproductive health care.
The policies of the Trump administration and the new Supreme Court make it unsafe and irresponsible for New York to rely on federal protections to ensure our basic rights. We need state protections, and we expect our elected officials to show real leadership in defending abortion access.
With your support, New York State can be a national leader when it comes to abortion access and the reproductive rights of women. We strongly urge members of both houses of the legislature to support the Reproductive Health Act of 2019.
WCLA – Choice Matters, the oldest ongoing pro-choice advocacy organization in the nation, proudly joins with the following forty (40) New York State-based organizations, together representing thousands upon thousands of NYS residents, to ask NYS Governor Cuomo, the NYS Senate and the NYS Assembly to pass the Reproductive Health Act into law NOW.
WCLA – Choice Matters stands with the following 40 NYS-based Organizations Action Together – Northern Westchester
American Muslims Indivisible
Briarcliff Ossining Indivisible
CCoHope Indivisible (Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill)
Coalition New York
Concerned Citizens for Change
Cortlandt Democratic Committee
Croton Democratic Committee
Croton in Action
Greenburgh Democratic Town Committee
Indivisible New Rochelle
Indivisible Districts 6 & 7
Indivisible New York
Indivisible Yorktown NY
Left of Main Street
Lower Hudson Valley Progressive Action Network
March on Peekskill
New York Progressive Action Network
Northern Westchester Indivisible
Philipstown Women Are Watching
Progressive Women of New York
Progressive Women of Pelham
Rockland Citizens Action Network
Uptown Progressive Action
Westchester Black Political Conference
Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus
Westchester for Change
Westchester Young Democrats
Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance
On Wednesday, January 8th, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins was voted Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader by her colleagues.
This is the official end of the “3-men-in-a-room” NYS governing process!
AND – In the newly-elected NYS Senate, now 20 of the 63-member body are women – (Still not an accurate reflection of the State’s gender make-up but a heck of a lot better!)
The changing demographics of New York State are more clearly reflected by this Senate body than any before it. Among the newly-elected senators are the first Muslim, first Iranian American, first Chinese America, first Salvadoran American, first Costa Rican American, first Indian American and two Colombian Americans.
And in the NYS Assembly, For The First Time EVER
For the first time in the State’s history, a woman, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo, was named Assembly Majority Leader. Surrounding Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes were 50 women which is a record number for the Assembly.
Approximately 32% of those serving in the NYS Senate and Assembly in 2019 are women. Nevada has the highest percentage in the country of women serving in its State legislature, with 51% being women.
Assembly Majority Leader, Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes said, “I’m not sure I can put into words how insurmountable I think the significance of this day is. It’s exciting. It’s to some extent overwhelming. It’s humbling.”
Governor Cuomo did not attend the opening session of either the NYS Senate or the NYS Assembly.
The role personal perspective plays in judicial decisions is seismic, in all courts and at all levels – not just the US Supreme Court. Personal opinions do matter. Temperament, previous decisions and prior actions tell exactly what kind of judge a candidate will be. Personal bias affects how a judge treats those who come before her/him, the sentence imposed, the bail required, and more.
That is exactly why Donald Trump has been appointing only judges who the ultra-reactionary Federalist Society selects.
Every time you vote for judicial candidates, you are voting for someone with a personal history. That is exactly why WCLA – Choice Matters and WCLA PAC interview each judicial nominee, and if the nominee refuses to be interviewed, we rate accordingly. If someone wants to serve in the courts, we all need to know more. Saying, “I will follow the law” or “it is established law” generally means that the candidate does not want to share his/her view with you.
Just imagine the impact a judge’s view on reproductive rights can have in a state that requires parental notification/consent. To avoid informing her parent(s), a minor may apply for a judicial bypass, which means a judge can allow the girl to terminate the pregnancy if she/he deems the girl mature and capable of making the decision. If the judge is anti-choice, what are the chances he/she will permit the abortion? They can outright deny the abortion or simply draw out the decision until the window for a termination has passed. In Alabama, some judges even appoint an attorney to represent the fetus.
This year, for NYS Supreme Court Justices in the 9th Judicial District (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties) you can choose to vote for 6 qualified attorneys who have experience and great understanding of the issues confronting women and their families, or you can vote fortheir anti-choice opponents.Use your vote wisely.
This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe. But my personal story is not so unique. That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it.
Again and again, we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. I get it.
But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence.
More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. The men and women who gathered there could’ve heard many things. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq.
Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk.
We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.