Category: News

IDC Members Vote “NO” to Planned Parenthood Funding

On April 4, 2017, NYS Senator Persaud introduced an amendment to the NYS budget that proposed emergency funding for Planned Parenthood if and when the federal government cut funding to the organization.

In her comments, Senator Persaud detailed the need for the services and the people who rely on them.

All 8 IDC members voted against the amendment to fund Planned Parenthood.

What does that mean? It means that they – joining forces with the Republicans – voted to deny women necessary healthcare services.

All 8 IDC members voted against women of all colors; against women of all ages; women of all religious affiliations; against women of all ethnicities – they voted against all women.

The IDC members clearly displayed their total disregard for the women of New York State!

** 8 NYS Democrats, who comprise the IDC (the so-called Independent Democratic Conference), have aligned themselves with the Republican Party of Trump, and govern with them. They have deliberately turned the duly elected Majority Party, the Democratic Party, into the Minority Party, and have catapulted the Party of Trump, the Republican Party, into the majority. No progressive legislation can come to the floor of the Senate until these 8 return to the Democratic Caucus, or are replaced.

Buy This, Not That!

Round #1: Retail
By Liza Lederer

One of the most challenging aspects of resisting oppressive regimes is working to ensure that your dollars aren’t fueling the powers you’re trying to resist.   In a capitalist country, where the dollar often speaks loudest, it’s imperative that we spend our money with businesses that do not support – or better yet actively work against – the powers seeking to strip us of our rights.

So this new series of posts looks to inform you of the businesses you might currently patronize whose top representatives are actively supporting the Trump administration, and to provide you alternative businesses with better track records.

Put your money where your mouth is and move your purchases to businesses that aren’t actively working to strip your rights away.

Standing by Our Values!

SHOP at REI

 

 

 

 

Exclusionary all the way to the bank.

NOT at L.L. Bean 

 

 

 

 

L.L. Bean heiress Linda Bean is one of 50 family members who own and run the outdoors supply store. Bean spent the 2016 election season fundraising and donating to Donald Trump’s political action committee. She is a member of the company’s board of directors, and has longtime ties to the Republican party. Bean personally donated $60,000 to the Making America Great Again LLC.

This donation flew largely under the radar until Trump himself tweeted a thank you to Bean for her support. While the LL Bean PR department rapidly got to work, insisting that the other family members had no such ties to Trump, and thus the company was not deserving of backlash for Linda Bean’s actions, she remains a vocal member of the board, and a staunch supporter of racist, misogynistic, bigoted candidates.

 

SHOP HERE: REI

REI has long held a sterling reputation as a fair employer, environmental advocate, and all-around excellent retailer of outdoor sporting supplies – And since the Trump inauguration, their progressive voice has only gotten louder. Shortly after Trumps signed his initial travel ban, CEO Jerry Stritzke sent a letter to his co-op employees:

“Over the course of the first week alone, we’ve witnessed actions that conflict with our co-op values on issues including climate, the environment, women’s rights and the singling out of individuals based on nationality and belief,” Stritzke writes. “These issues are core to the health of the outdoors and the ideals of our nation.” “We are an organization, and a country, built on inclusion,” he continues. “We believe we are better when we come together, when we are open and when we are welcoming. Accordingly, we do not support the executive order issued by the President on Friday regarding immigration. I have reached out personally to all employees currently in the immigration process to ensure they have the support they need.”

Stritzke’s words echo the history of actions of REI. The company leads volunteer programs around the world, helping to maintain parks and reduce the effects of climate change and human presence.   While we don’t know how he votes, Stritzke’s active stance against a hallmark of Trump’s platform is a great reason to move your business to REI, to support an ethical employer with progressive ideals.
Here is a link to REI (coupons & all!)

3 IDC Members Refuse to Co-Sponsor Reproductive Health Act

Tell them: You can’t have it both ways!

NYS Senators & IDC leading members Klein, Savino & Carlucci to be pro-choice BUT refuse to sign on as co-sponsors of the Reproductive Health Act*.

Just like you can’t be “a little bit pregnant”, you can’t be “a little bit pro-choice”. You cannot pick & choose civil rights. It’s all or nothing.

These 3 IDC traitors want women to vote for them, so they lie.

*They say, “We’re Pro-choice.” BUT they do not support women having 21st century medical care.
*They do not support giving New York women the full constitutional protect guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.
*They do not support putting abortion care in the health code.
*They support keeping abortion in the penal code.

Because of them, if Astorino, or his equivalent, becomes governor, it will be easy to “tweek” the law and, potentially, end up prosecuting women and their doctors.

(You say that can’t happen here, but remember we also did not think Trump and his anti-choice, sexually abusive mentality would end up in the White House.)

(*The Reproductive Health Act would guarantee New York women 21st century medical care, and the full constitutional protection of Roe; plus it would put abortion in the health code where it belongs, and remove it from the penal code.)

Call Klein, Savino & Carlucci and Demand They sign on as Co-Sponsors of the Reproductive Health Act!

Jeff Klein: 718-822-2049 and/or 518-455-3595

Diane Savino: 718-727-9406 and/or 518-455-2437 and/or 718-333-0311

David Carlucci: 845-623-3627 and/or 518-455-2991 and/or 914-941-2041

A Constitutional Amendment? Not with the IDC!

Governor Cuomo has proposed a New York State constitutional amendment codifying Roe v. Wade in State law.

That sounds great. But here’s the problem: this process would take four years at the very least. (And that’s only if we get rid of the IDC!)

Why? Because passing a constitutional amendment into law is a very lengthy process.  **Each house of government, the Senate and the Assembly, must pass the legislation twice – one time in two different elected sessions; **Then, and only then, the proposed amendment can be put on the ballot for a public vote.

But here’s the reality and the truth.  This constitutional amendment will NEVER make it to the floor while the 8 rogue Democrats of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) remain aligned with the Republican Party of Trump and govern with them. The IDC has deliberately turned the duly elected Majority Party, the Democratic Party, into the Minority Party, and have catapulted the Party of Trump, the Republican Party, into the majority. Because of these 8, our New York State Senate has failed to do the business of the People for which they were elected. In a nutshell, these 8, who are more concerned with personal power than party and principle, sold out their constituents and  including and specifically the women of New York State.

Given Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, the original author of the Hobby Lobby decision, to the Supreme Court, we need Governor Cuomo to demand these 8 rogue Democrats return to the Democratic Caucus. There is no time to waste!  Trump is doing everything in his power to turn the clock back on women.

If these 8 “Democrats” did their jobs and put women first, here’s how we could get this done immediately: NY State Senate Minority Leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, rightfully be the Majority Leader, has sponsored a law — the Reproductive Health Act — that would do immediately what the Governor is proposing to take years to do. The Senate would then go on to make the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA) law, and pass a budge that would provide for Planned Parenthood and neighborhood clinics.

It is not too late to fix this. Call the IDC members and tell them to:

  1. Return to the Democratic Caucus;
  2. Pass the Reproductive Rights Act; and
  3. Make the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act law!

If Not Now, WHEN? If Not Here, WHERE?

As we enter 2017, we must demand that Governor Cuomo STAND with the women of New York State.

Governor Cuomo used his powers: 1. to pass the Marriage Equality Act; 2. to pass Sensible Gun Legislation, and 3. to pass Anti-Fracking Legislation.

Governor Cuomo must use those same powers to make New York a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary State.

To do so, he will need to oppose the IDC (so-called Independent Democratic Conference) comprised of 7 rogue members who work with the anti-choice Republican Senate at the expense of their constituents, simply for their own personal power grab.

Cuomo is up for re-election in 2018.
Tell him the TIME is NOW.

We must tell Governor Cuomo that he cannot turn a deaf ear to the women of New York. He cannot win without us.

Help us keep women’s reproductive rights on the front burner for Governor Cuomo.

Remind Cuomo, Donald Trump intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, take away funding from Planned Parenthood, cut Obamacare which will take away contraception from millions, appoint over 100 anti-choice federal judges plus U.S. Supreme Court Justices – and the list goes on.

This is the time for Governor Cuomo to stand up for women!

———————-
Anti-Abortion Groups Expect Quick Action from Trump

Trump to Inherit more than 100 Court Vacancies, Plans to Reshape Judiciary

The Abortion Conversation We Need to Have

States Enacted 60 Abortion Restrictions in 2016

Abortion Foes, Emboldened by Trump, Promise “Onslaught” of Tough Restrictions

Make NYS a Sanctuary for Reproductive Rights!

We can make New York State
a Reproductive Rights Sanctuary
– But Not Without Your Help!

We Know Donald Trump intends to overturn Roe v. Wade. He confirmed that again on 60 Minutes, when he promised to appoint only “pro-life” (sic) judges to the U.S. Supreme Court who will overturn Roe and make abortion a “states’ rights” issue again. Trump has surrounded himself with extremists, beginning with picking the most ardent anti-choice governor as his running mate, Mike Pence, and Congressman Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services who espouses the false claim that abortion causes cancer. Pence, as governor, signed a law requiring all fetuses, from abortions and miscarriages, be buried, and outlawed abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities. In Congress, Pence joined Price in voting to defund Planned Parenthood, and against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts. These men, together with the newly-minted anti-choice majority in Congress, are leading the charge to destroy women’s healthcare nationally.

But WCLA – Choice Matters is ready and we know what to do. Having assessed the impact of the 2016 elections and the real horrors to be thrust upon us by the Trump Administration and the ultra-reactionary Congress, WCLA – Choice Matters is ready to arm its supporters with a very pro-active winning strategy.

We must make New York State a Sanctuary Reproductive Rights!

We must demand that NYS Governor Cuomo and the Senate join the Assembly to Pass:

1.  The Reproductive Health Act
♦ NYS’ abortion law is out-of-date. ♦ It doesn’t provide the full constitutional protection guaranteed by Roe or 21st century medical care. ♦ 53% of NY counties have no abortion clinics.   ♦ Abortion is still in the penal code. ♦ If a woman’s health is at risk or something goes wrong in her pregnancy after 24 weeks, she must seek care outside of NY because State law doesn’t allow a doctor to provide abortion coverage.

2. The Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act (CCCA)
♦ This bill would protect and expand access to contraceptive coverage without a co-payment; and ♦ It would increase access to emergency contraception.

3. A Budget that Funds Reproductive Health Care
♦ The NYS budget must protect the coverage gains we have; and ♦ It must safeguard women’s health providers, including Planned Parenthood, from defunding attacks that are guaranteed to come as Trump and his Congress do away with Obama Care.

Moving Forward – 2017:
♦  Choice Matters is organizing telephone and writing campaigns to targeted NYS Senators who are acting as roadblocks. They need to be with us or get out of our way. We have already reached out to the Governor.

♦  We are using our now-famous ProChoice IDEA – identification, education and activation – to expand our Outreach Program.  We identify voters who will vote only for candidates who are pro-choice and are willing to cross party-lines to do so. We add those pro-choice voters to our database. We send everyone in our database, free-of-charge, our ProChoice newsletter/voting guide. All we ask is that they vote, and they do! (As of January 1, 2016 we expanded this outreach to NYS Senate District #9 and helped deliver a pro-choice victory to Todd Kaminsky in April!)

♦  We are writing, facebooking and tweeting. We are all over the web and have promised to give Trump a run for his money on twitter.

♦  We are organizing outreach events at temples, churches and community centers. If young voters don’t understand this issue, how can they know what is at stake?

♦  We are also organizing house parties. These are small gatherings to explain what is happening and what we can do. (Please, if you can host a house party, let us know!)

But, at the end of the day, it comes back to money. We need your financial support. Money pays for our outreach which is only limited by what we raise, not our energy or strategy.

We have been able to succeed because of our proven strategy and your contributions .Please donate today!

A Few Salient Points for the Election

Be kind to your neighbor.
Many people can’t get to the polls. Age, weather, physical impairments or simply no transportation can stop a person from voting. Don’t let that happen. Lend a hand and a ride. You can also call: 914-946-5363 and we’ll find you transportation. We all need to vote.

This year’s election is more than the presidential race alone.
Voting all the way down the ballot matters! REMEMBER: Determining who is in the White House, and who controls Congress, the New York State Senate and the Assembly will decide what laws protecting women’s rights do or don’t get passed. Who is elected Westchester District Attorney will determine whether those laws are enforced.

When Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973, other pro-choice advocacy organizations across the country packed up, believing the war was won. We did not. We recognized that women’s reproductive rights would always be under attack and that protecting our rights would require constant vigilance. We were right! We see that again today in New York State, even though our state – even now – does not guarantee women the full protection of Roe v. Wade; abortion remains in NYS’s penal code; and NY women are denied 21st century medical care. Some groups like NARAL ProChoice NY which closed in January and Empire Pride which closed last December, are gone. But we are here. The fight is hard but definitely worth waging. WCLA – Choice Matters has been here for pro-choice voters for more than 43 years. WE DELIVER and we will continue to do so! In the Special Election in April, WCLA PAC went to Nassau County and made the difference in NYS Senate District #9 – winning by getting pro-choice voters to the polls. 780 votes put that seat in the Pro-Choice column! Our work requires your support. We don’t need massive SUPER PAC money to succeed, but we do need your contributions. As we’ve clearly demonstrated, we spend our funds wisely. The more you invest in us, the greater our impact will be on New York State and federal politics. It starts with a donation from you. Please make a contribution today.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Abortion Law

The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled,
in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt,
that Texas’ HB 2 admitting privileges & surgical center requirements are
unconstitutional!

This is a huge win for women everywhere!

Although this case only addresses this Texas law, the effect of this decision should have a much broader impact.

Approximately 24 other states have passed similar restrictions into law. Although the majority of these laws have been challenged, they have not made it to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Now there is a strong case to strike down similar laws in these other states.

The Details in the Ruling

It was a 5-3 decision with Justice Stephen Breyer writing the majority opinion on behalf of Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and himself.

> The ruling throws out an earlier Appellate Court decision which – had it been upheld – would have resulted in the closing of the vast majority of abortion clinics in Texas, leaving only 9 of the more than 40 that were functioning before the law was passed.

> This case centered on the question, had Texas lawmakers placed an “undue burden” on the constitutional right to an abortion with the new restrictions? The language “undue burden” was established in the 1992 landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

> In the Majority Opinion, the justices explained that the two parts of the Texas law being challenged create a “substantial obstacle in the path of women” who are seeking abortions and neither provision “offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.” In other words, YES, Texas’ HB 2 did place an “undue burden” on women!

(Texas’ HB 2 had required doctors who performed abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The law also had required abortion clinics to meet the stricter standards of hospital-style “ambulatory surgical centers.”)

> Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is the first major Supreme Court decision on abortion since the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Let’s Be Perfectly Clear

> Texas’ HB 2 was never about protecting women’s health.
It was always about ending access to abortion!

> Texas’ HB 2 is only one of the many anti-choice laws extremists have already passed in states across our nation. These laws are about obliterating abortion rights and access to birth control – nothing less.

> The Republican National Platform includes a plank dedicated to opposing abortion.

(From the 2012 Platform: “Faithful to the “self-evident” truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.” )

We Have Only One Choice!

> We must continue to fight on every front:
from County governments to State Governments to the Federal Government.

> Every Election Matters!

> We must now go on the offensive and fight for a Country where women’s comprehensive rights are valued and guaranteed!

AN IMPORTANT READ: An Overview of Abortion Laws