Category: Uncategorized

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

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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.

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!

Lubbock, Texas – The Picture of Oppression

–Charlotte Baron

What does June 1st, 2021 mean to you? For the woman of Lubbock, Texas, it was the day their rights were stripped away.

Texas has been at the forefront of restrictions on a woman’s reproductive rights. By now, most of us are aware of the Texas “heartbeat” law that bans abortions after a heartbeat has been detected – as early as six weeks – and allows private citizens to sue anyone involved in the abortion process. However, many are not aware of what is happening in small Texas cities.

An ordinance that made Lubbock, Texas a “sanctuary city for the unborn” went into effect on June 1st, 2021. The City Council rejected the ordinance which led to a vote by the residents of Lubbock. 62% of residents voted to enact the ordinance. Lubbock is not the first city to pass a total ban on abortions within its city limit. However, it is the first city to have a Planned Parenthood that provides abortions within its limits and is the largest city to enforce an ordinance of this kind.

The ordinance completely bans abortions within the city. Similar to the state law, the ordinance allows family members of a person who has an abortion to sue the provider and any individuals who help a woman get an abortion. The measure can only be enforced by private citizens unless the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The ordinance states “Abortion at all times and at all stages of pregnancy is declared to be an act of murder.”

A lawsuit was filed by Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Surgical Health Services. The suit identifies the city’s “Ordinance Outlawing Abortion” as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The lawsuit was dismissed by a federal district judge, saying Planned Parenthood did not have standing to sue the city.

On June 1st, the Planned Parenthood in Lubbock stopped all abortion services. In order to get an abortion now a woman must now travel a minimum of 600 miles round-trip. This is unacceptable and unconstitutional.

Suing total strangers involved in an abortion

Texas has passed the most extreme abortion ban since Roe.

Since Trump left office – that’s just 6 months ago – 561 abortion restrictions have been introduced across 47 states (as of 6/7/21). 83 of those restrictions have been enacted across 16 states, including 10 bans. These anti-woman zealots are getting more cunning and venomous every day. WE. MUST. ACT. NOW.

Texas is leading the charge “deputizing ordinary citizens to sue anyone involved in the [abortion] process.” NYT, 7/9/2021

This is NOT the time to “duck and cover”. This is a time to rise up.

Texas Governor Greg Abott signed into law a bill that prohibits abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks – before many people even know they are pregnant – without even an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

This Texas bill is truly evil and Machiavellian. It empowers anybody to sue every single person – from the uber driver to the clinic escort to the doctor to the babysitter watching the patient’s other children – involved in a woman’s medical choices. And if they win the lawsuit, they can be awarded $10,000!

————-
The Texas Ban
Yes, it’s unconstitutional!
Yes, it violates HIPAA and the right to privacy
– And YES, it violates Roe.
********
A 6-week-abortion ban = an outright ban on abortions.
(6 weeks = 2 weeks after a missed menstrual cycle.)
AND
Almost ANY private resident is empowered to SUE ANYONE involved in an abortion occurring after 6 weeks according to their personal calculations!

GEORGIA – Let’s take it to the next level!

Dear Friends and Allies,

After a slow exhale, take your right hand and put it over your left shoulder and pat yourself on the back. Each and every one of us has worked so hard to get here. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris – How terrific is that!!!

Savor the moment.

Because the next fight has already begun.

The run-off elections, in Georgia on January 5th, will include electing TWO (not one!) US Senators who will determine the fate of the Senate and the path that the Biden/Harris first two years will take.

We must win BOTH Senate seats to secure the Senate majority in order to have any chance at a successful progressive agenda.

Let’s Focus:
>The US Senate Run-Off Election Day is January 5th!
>Early Voting begins December 14th.
>Voters can register until December 7.
(Link to register – click here.) 

Maybe you know Georgia residents who aren’t registered, or friends or relatives who just moved. Send them the link or print up a registration form and mail it to them, along with an envelope addressed to the Secretary of State, State of Georgia, PO Box 105325, Atlanta, Georgia 30348-9562. (Click here for the application and return envelope with return address.)

Voters must APPLY for absentee ballots or vote in person.
>Georgia residents can start requesting their absentee/mail-in ballot today if they don’t want to vote in person at the polls.
>Georgia residents can make sure their registered to vote by clicking here,
>They can fill out an absentee/mail-in ballot request by clicking here.

Beginning November 18, 2020: Absentee ballots will begin to be mailed out to those who requested one.

DO WHAT YOU DO BEST – GET INVOLVED!
THERE ARE MANY WAYS!
Here are several Phone Banking and Texting Opportunities:
>Phone Bank for Georgia Runoff Race for U.S. Senate! Hosted by Flip the West.  https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/362350/

>Georgia Runoff Strike Team Hosted by the Georgia Democrats
https://www.mobilize.us/georgiademocrats/event/362551/

>Immigrants for Biden Hosted by the Georgia Democrats
https://www.mobilize.us/georgiademocrats/

AND IF POSTCARDS ARE MORE YOUR THING:
>Postcards to Georgia Voters for U.S. Senate Runoff Race! Hosted by Flip the West
https://www.mobilize.us/trnindivisible/event/362341/

>Reclaim our Vote Campaign
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1k5pKB6cDRu9Q64nHgE5zUgrZrYvoigOrZddS1zEXBqA

Questions?
Call 914-946-5363
or email: vote@prochoicevoter.org

Let’s Keep Moving Forward!

Faith-Based Healthcare – NYC Field Hospital Run by Evangelical Christians

By Charlotte Baron

With the overwhelming number of people affected by COVID-19, a field hospital set up and run by Samaritan’s Purse opened in Central Park on April 1st. Samaritan’s Purse is an Evangelical Christian fundamentalist group. They require all persons working in the facility to swear allegiance to their doctrine.

This organization’s leader, Franklin Graham, is openly anti-LGBTQ+, anti-abortion and Islamophobic. Graham has specifically sought out “Christian” medical staff, and he makes everyone follow a statement of faith; one of the statements expresses that the volunteers must commit to is that marriage is between a man and women: “We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other.” Another one expresses the opposition to abortion, “We believe that human life is sacred from conception to its natural end; and that we must have concern for the physical and spiritual needs of our fellowmen.” Graham has previously stated that “Satan is behind same-sex marriage”. He has also described Islam as “wicked and evil.” Many New York City citizens are concerned that their medical care will be compromised because of the organization’s views.

When the Mayor’s office was asked about the impact this organization’s ideology would have on incoming patients that might not fit this extremist Evangelical criteria, a spokesperson said that “the field hospital will operate as a Mount Sinai facility, and must adhere to the hospital’s policy against discrimination.” DeBlasio also stated that the City would be keeping a close eye on Samaritan’s Purse. He assured everyone that the group would be acting in a way  “truly consistent with the values and the laws of New York City.”

Despite DeBlasio’s initial claims that the field hospital would be operated jointly with Mount Sinai Hospital, that is not the case. The medical center will be providing patients but no oversight, and will rely on a pledge to treat patients equally.

It seems clear from medical professionals rejected by the organization because of their refusal to sign why Samaritan’s Purse would not comment on whether they would accept help from non-Christians or those who do not commit to follow their statements of faith. Samaritan’s Purse’s actions are extremely alarming. They appear to be politicizing healthcare, which according to a Mount Sinai emergency room doctor is “exactly what this organization is about.” Jacklyn Grace Lacey who is a medical anthropologist who has closely followed how the organization has “helped” in other crises has said, “This is a dangerous religious propaganda machine that uses international medical aid to further their agenda.” If the city does not closely monitor this organization, the results could be detrimental for hundreds of New Yorkers.

Call to Action-HELP Minors in Post Sexual Assault Circumstances

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).

THE MESSAGE:
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!)

PLEASE EMAIL the message above to the following people, AND ALSO CALL: (518) 474-8390, and tell them
Chief Counsel Elizabeth Garvey  at Elizabeth.garvey@exec.ny.gov
Executive Counsel Jill Starishevsky directly working on this bill at Jill.Starishevsky@exec.ny.gov.
Director of Women’s Affairs Emily Kadar at Emily.Kadar@exec.ny.gov
Counsel Rebecca Wood at Rebecca.Wood@exec.ny.gov

Click here to read more about the bill.

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.
Thank you.