Tag: abortion

The Hypocrisy of the Anti-Choice Zealots’ Zero Tolerance Policy

By: Jane Forman, Guest Blogger

Children are being torn from their families, put in cages, and left uncertain if and when they’ll see their parents again. This is the reality for over 2,000 immigrant children as a result of Trump’s zero-tolerance policy which began in May, and for months before as a part of a “pilot” program. Not only is the policy inhumane, but it also exposes a real hypocrisy among many politicians. How is it that the very elected officials who champion the rights of the fetus are ready to throw the “born” into concentration camps?

Many of these politicians who refuse to support a comprehensive reunification program of children with their parents are also the politicians who rally behind the message that “every life” has value and should be protected by society. According to the anti-woman Pro-Life Action League, “Every child, regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception, will be welcomed and loved.” – unless that child happens to be non-white. Many of the same people who’ve been silent or indifferent to the crisis produced by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy profess support for the anti-choice “right to life” stance. This message – touted by mostly white male representatives – apparently does not apply to the lives of immigrants who are not in-utero, and are coming to this country from non-white nations.

Every Democrat in the Senate signed a bill that would have prioritized connecting the State department with various countries’ governments to facilitate immediate family reunification. The bill would have also addressed some of the issues affecting immigrant men, women, and children such as rape, sex-trafficking, femicide, and violence. But not one single Senate Republicans has supported the bill – without which it cannot pass the Senate!

Separating these children from their parents, most of them below the age of 12, is a complete rejection of their emotional and physical well-being. Doctors and child welfare advocates not only cite the damaging effect of the short-term anxiety experienced by the separated children, but also that it puts them at a higher risk of PTSD, depression, and attention deficit disorder. These care facilities, regardless of their good intentions, cannot provide the concentrated love and comfort that shape children during their early developmental stages. Further, the longer the period of separation, the longer the recovery will take.

As one contract worker wrote, “They’re in crisis. They’re just crying uncontrollably.” “We’ve seen young kids having panic attacks, they can’t sleep, they’re wetting the bed. They regress developmentally, where they may have been verbal but now they can no longer talk.”

In addition, because there has been no tracking of the children, the reunification process will take months.

This kind of major governmental failure is not uncommon when it comes to immigrants of colors. As a nation, we’ve systematically shut out non-white immigrants throughout our history. Whether it was the Chinese Exclusion Act, The Immigration Act of 1924, or trying to stop immigrants from “shithole countries,” racial identity plays a major role in one’s ability to come to the U.S.

Trump’s own wife is a recipient of this privilege. Melania is a recipient of the Einstein Visa (for a reason no one is quite sure of,) and was able to sponsor her parents’ immigration as well. But this familial sponsorship is now considered to be “chain-migration” by her husband and he’s working to dismantle it.

It becomes more important as Trump destroys the lives of so many immigrant families to call out the hypocrisy that infects his government, and his family. Anything less than reunification must be called out so our country can finally treat every immigrant, regardless of their skin color, as human beings.

Why do anti-choice fanatics think the rights and well-being of “born” children are less important than the rights of fetuses? Because their position is based on controlling women. The separation and division of immigrant families are about control and humiliation – just like their anti-choice one is about doing the same to women.

The Practices of Anti-Choice Crisis Centers Aren’t Just Misleading, They’re Unconstitutional

The existence of anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers that disguise themselves as real clinics is already deeply unsettling. However, a recent Rewire article sheds light on something even more appalling: some of these centers in North Carolina are using federal money to buy programs that spread misinformation about abortion and promote Christianity.[1]

The program in question is the “Earn While You Learn” program, which is comprised of a series of videos that claims to educate women on reproductive health, but actually spreads false information about abortion, postpartum depression, and pregnancy as a whole.

As a reward for watching these videos and completing worksheets over them, women can earn essentials for childcare, such as diapers and car seats. Not only is this blatantly incentivizing women to avoid exercising their right to obtain an abortion, it is also disparaging of lower income women. Dinah Monahan, the founder of the program, described her motivation to start the program as being to counteract “entitlement culture.”[2] She blames lower income women for their struggles to obtain materials necessary for childcare and claims that they have grown up manipulating the system. Her program, in her mind, is an effort to correct this behavior— and also to “share Christ”. Women involved in the program have said that they are able to earn points to redeem on diapers and other essentials by attending Bible study and church services.[3] This goes well beyond using federal funding to promote religiously biased videos. This amounts to federal funding being used to promote Christianity to women in crisis. This type of activity tramples on the Constitution’s guarantee of a separation of church and state. Unfortunately, this is truly a snowball rolling down hill. Under Trump and the present Senate and House leadership, every day leads to ever-greater destruction of women’s civil rights. The more organizations like these crisis pregnancy centers are able to get away with, the greater the risk to unfettered access to reproductive health care.

[1] Littlefield, A. (2018, May 03). Anti-Choice Centers in North Carolina Use Federal Funds to Buy Programs Crafted to ‘Share Christ’. Retrieved May 10, 2018, from https://rewire.news/article/2018/04/26/anti-choice-centers-north-carolina-used-federal-funds-buy-programs-crafted-share-christ/

[2] Littlefield, A. (2018, May 03). Anti-Choice Centers in North Carolina Use Federal Funds to Buy Programs Crafted to ‘Share Christ’. Retrieved May 10, 2018, from https://rewire.news/article/2018/04/26/anti-choice-centers-north-carolina-used-federal-funds-buy-programs-crafted-share-christ/

[3]Littlefield, A. (2018, May 03). Anti-Choice Centers in North Carolina Use Federal Funds to Buy Programs Crafted to ‘Share Christ’. Retrieved May 10, 2018, from https://rewire.news/article/2018/04/26/anti-choice-centers-north-carolina-used-federal-funds-buy-programs-crafted-share-christ/

20-Week Abortion Ban – No Big Deal? THINK AGAIN!

If you’re a woman in your 30s or 40s, beware – the 20-week abortion ban is aimed at you.
Even though it was beaten back in the Senate in September, the 20-week abortion ban will be back. It’s been passed in the House and is already the law in 13 states. Anti-choice extremists in Congress want to make it the law everywhere.
These zealots are targeting your right to decide whether or not to have a healthy child. They want to force you to give birth to a child who is suffering from chromosome abnormalities and/or genetic disorders – whether you want to or not.
Those of us who get pregnant in our 30s and in our 40s are at a greater risk of giving birth to a child with a birth defect, because of our age. We know this.
I knew this so I had three Amniocenteses, one in each of my pregnancies. It’s the most accurate and the safest test you can have. An Amnio tests for chromosome abnormalities and genetic disorders, and also detects neural tube defects which are birth defects of the brain, spine, and spinal cord – the two most common of which are spina bifida and anencephaly.
But you can’t get it until the second trimester.
An Amnio is performed at 17-19 weeks, and it takes another 2-3 weeks to get the results. That will take you to 19 to 22 weeks.
You’ll be out of time to get an abortion if anti-choice extremists in Congress and in states
across the country have their way.
That means all of us women, who want to have children, will no longer be able to have accurate testing for chromosome abnormalities, genetic disorders, or neural tube defects,
and do something with the results.
The possible loss of this right is very real – and this is not to even mention, what if your life is at stake.

The Bastion of White Male Privilege

I confess. I read the obituaries regularly. I like to. They are a great glimpse into history. You read about people you may never have heard about and about accomplishments you may never have known occurred.

But, truthfully, what is omitted is more striking. With rare exception, there are no women – and the few people of color mentioned are men.

Some might argue that men generally die before their female spouses, and, therefore, there is no one left to write the obituary for the wife when she goes. Really??

The truth is that the men who inspire long obits and thanks from different boards did not reap their accomplishments on their own, but rather just did not share the public glory. This speaks to “behind every great man is a woman.”

I have had the pleasure of meeting many of these women, the wives who have outlived their successful husbands, and are still here providing the funds necessary for the not-for-profit world to survive. They recognize what abortion rights means, and what not having them also means. When we speak, I do not have to navigate the artificial obstacles – minors’ rights, emergency contraception, waiting periods, sonograms. Abortion is abortion – a necessary medical procedure that must be available to all regardless of age, race, religion or ability to pay. These women know and understand.

They are older now, and often rely on another woman, a housekeeper or an aide who is usually of color. Together these two women navigate their way. This is a relationship not to be romanticized but to be recognized.

Sometimes one or the other will share a story with me. They’ve usually been together a long time, and rely on one another. Their lives and station in society are without doubt very different, but they do have one thing in common: neither will be highlighted in The New York Times obituaries. The widow will, at most, be described as “Mrs. Joe Smith, the wife of the great…” The aide won’t even receive that mention.

This power to erase women’s accomplishments has not changed with time. In contrast to the chronicling of the deaths of younger men, when younger women die we are told the cause of death rather than what they did.

Perhaps, the true measure of how far we have, or have not, come and the thickness of the glass ceiling is found in the obituary column.

Dorothy Height – The Irony of It All

Dorothy Height – “The godmother to the Civil Rights Movement”
President Barack Obama

A portrait of Dorothy Height is on the Black Heritage forever stamp this month. She was an amazing woman with more credits to her name than most of us could ever dream of. She spent almost 50 years of her life fighting for race and gender equality.

She helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, and was the only woman to stand on the stage with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  But, despite being a march organizer and representing the National Council of Negro Women, she was not asked to speak.

Dorothy Height recognized a fundamental truth – a truth that we must embrace today. Women’s rights, including the right to choose – the very right to control your own body – encompasses all women and must, therefore, include all women on the front lines.

Height and other black women leaders sought to empower the black community to fight restrictions on abortion. The African-American Women for Reproductive Rights, an influential black political, social and grass-roots organization, gave voice to that.

We will include Dorothy Height on our 45th anniversary wall Recognizing the Pro-Choice Voter.

The irony that it took until Trump was in the White House for her image to appear on our 1st class postage stamp cannot be overlooked. Trump and his administration seek to  destroy all we have fought for, for  so many years – including birth control and abortion rights. Dorothy Height’s portrait stands as a reminder that we can neither stand idly by nor can we isolate ourselves in groups as we wage this battle.

The 8 IDC = LIARS

The IDC* Mantra: When all else fails, LIE
(Sounds like Trump, doesn’t it?)

Clearly Choice Matters’ expose of the IDC’s anti-choice actions as well as their tactics of obstruction of all progressive legislation is taking its toll. 

They just sent out a mailing  implying that their 8 rogue members were endorsed by Planned Parenthood — NOT!

The truth is:
1. Planned Parenthood had nothing to do with the mailer.
2. The 8 IDC members stopped the Reproductive Health Act & the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act from coming to the floor for a vote.
3. The  IDC members did nothing to advance the Reproductive Health Act and Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act to the floor, despite these bills having bipartisan sponsorship and support – BUT the mailer falsely implies that IDC members successfully passed both bills.
4. In addition, the IDC members REFUSED to support a bill that would have provided contingency funding to Planned Parenthood.

Call All 8 IDC members & tell them to stop lying!  
Click 8 NYS Democrats for their names & telephone numbers!

fyi: The IDC  is blocking all progressive legislation including the Reproductive Health Act, Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act, and  Contingency funding for Planned Parenthood from coming to the floor of the NYS Senate, INCLUDING a New York State bill that would force Trump to disclose his taxes.

Schneiderman Respects Reproductive Rights!

by Ruth Colburn

On June 20th, in a much-welcomed victory, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced a lawsuit to “protect women from abuse and intimidation outside of a reproductive health clinic in Queens.” If successful, it would create a cushioning of 16 feet outside of the clinic to guarantee women have the freedom to exercise  their constitutional right to access reproductive healthcare without the intimidation and harassment that has become far too familiar.

This is a much-needed, celebrated win for the women of New York. We commend the Attorney General for his continued support and empowerment of women when too few officials are willing to stand up for basic human rights.

In the time of Trump, this is exactly the kind of action that is imperative, now more than ever. We hope AG Schneiderman’s action will inspire others in cities and states across the country to follow New York State’s top law enforcement officer’s lead.

Read more about AG Schneiderman’s action to protect the rights of women to safe access.

New York State’s Attorney General Sues Women’s Clinic Protesters
New York Just Took The First Steps In Ending Abortion Clinic Harassment

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!