Tag: abortion

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.”

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

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!

Breaking: Supreme Court denies emergency request to block Texas’ 6-week abortion ban

In a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court has denied the request to block Texas’ Senate Bill 8 extreme abortion ban. S.B. 8 takes effect immediately and forces almost all legal abortion in Texas to stop.

The law bans abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy—before most women even know they’re pregnant, with no exception for rape or incest.

S.B. 8 is clearly unconstitutional. It effectively eliminates the guarantee in Roe v. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions that women have a right to end their pregnancies before viability, and that states may not impose undue burdens on that decision.

S.B. 8 also effectively deputizing private citizens to enforce this law. “Any private citizen — even if they don’t live in the state — can sue anyone they suspect of “aiding or abetting” abortion care in Texas and be rewarded with at least $10,000 if they win, with all their legal fees paid for by the other side.”* The law allows for anyone to be sued, including doctors, nurses, a friend or family member — or even an Uber driver. Already extremist groups have mounted a web campaign recruiting vigilantes to sue.

This 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.

Together we can win passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) and the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH Woman) in Congress ensuring that all women across the country have full unimpeded access to abortion;

And

Together we will make New York State the Reproductive Rights Sanctuary we know it can be – making sure that all persons have full, equal and unimpeded access to comprehensive reproductive health care throughout the state regardless of their ability to pay or geographic location. We must make sexual education a part of our academic curriculum; medication abortion available on SUNY campuses; and emergency contraception available free of charge.

People’s fundamental freedoms depend on our strength and persistence. Thank you for your passionate support for reproductive freedom.

Why we say equity matters

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?

Please watch this video. It says it better than we ever could.
Click the Picture or Click HereJoin Us.
DEMAND EQUITY!

Is IDC behavior back in style?

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.

Choice Matters is your feet on the ground. Please contribute today.

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’s constitutional right. 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! 

It’s official – the Reproductive Health Act is Law!

Today, Tuesday, January 22, 2019, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade,the NYS Assembly and Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act sending it to Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law. AND HE DID!

(Please remember that this Trump Administration and Supreme Court are overtly and outspokenly committed to overturning Roe.)

New York – as of today – finally has legislation that takes abortion out of the penal code, that means no longer legislating abortion as homicide, and instead providing women with 21st century medical reproductive health care.

This could not have happened without YOU!

Choice Matters has been working tirelessly to pass this bill since 2006.

However, not until you voted in 2018 to give NYS a pro-choice Senate with a Democratic majority could we make this pro-woman healthcare, pro-woman’s civil rights law a reality.

We thank you for your support and ask you to recognize that we work day in and day out to pass pro-choice legislation to protect your right to Choose. Now we will focus our attention on making sure that NYS has a budget that enables women who live on the financial borderline to actually be able to use this law!

Sincerely,
Choice Matters Staff