Tag: abortion

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

40 NYS-Based Organizations Join Choice Matters Demanding Passage of RHA

Groups Call For Immediate Passage Of The RHA
January 2019

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)
CD17Indivisible
Coalition New York
Concerned Citizens for Change
Cortlandt Democratic Committee
Croton Democratic Committee
Croton in Action
Greenburgh Democratic Town Committee
Indivisible New Rochelle
Indivisible Pawling
Indivisible Districts 6 & 7
Indivisible New York
Indivisible Rivertowns
Indivisible Scarsdale
Indivisible Westchester
Indivisible Yorktown NY
Irvington Activists
LarchForward
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
Putnam Progressives
Rockland Citizens Action Network
Rockland United
Up2Us
Uptown Progressive Action
WE PERSIST
Westchester Black Political Conference
Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus
Westchester for Change
Westchester Young Democrats
Westchester Women’s Democratic Alliance

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/