Tag: abortion

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!

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

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

The On-Going Attacks on Planned Parenthood

To anti-choice extremists. Planned Parenthood is the symbol of women’s reproductive freedom, which to them is unbearable.

In July, anti-choice zealots launched their war on women with a guerrilla-style attack on Planned Parenthood. Seemingly out of nowhere they hurled heavily edited videos at the media, that supposedly showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal tissue for a profit. When the whole video was examined, however, the truth came out. It became clear that the real conversation being had was actually a discussion of legal forms of fetal tissue donation.

Unfortunately, it did not matter that the producers of the altered videos all had suspicious credentials and belonged to the anti-abortion group The Center for Medical Progress (CMP)—led by 26-year-old activist David Daleiden who has a murky past at best. The feeding frenzy had begun.

“Roll Call found that some House Republicans had seen the videos weeks before they were released to the public without making any public comment, suggesting some degree of private coordination between the CMP and the GOP.” The Daily Beast

Despite the stench of fraud surrounding these altered videos, the federal government and some states began probes into Planned Parenthood.

In August, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, and South Dakota completed their probes and cleared Planned Parenthood of any alleged wrongdoing; and governors in Washington, New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Virginia have rejected calls for probes in their own states.

In addition, the attempt to get the Federal Government to defund Planned Parenthood failed-but only by seven votes in the Senate. That’s why they think they can make it happen this time around.

Anti-Choice Extremists have been Very Successful this Summer:
► Five (5) states – Alabama, Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Hampshire – have all defunded Planned Parenthood and other states are working toward the same end.
â–º There has been a dramatic increase in violence, including arson, against Planned Parenthood clinics around the country as a result of the hateful and false rhetoric spread by anti-choice legislators and activists.
â–ºThese anti-choice activists gained traction with candidates in search of an electoral base. They demand that their candidates staunchly oppose women and our right to comprehensive reproductive health care including abortion and contraception

Republican presidential candidates have weighed in:

● All of the candidates are on the record as opposing abortion, and want to ban it.

  • Some want to ban abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.
  • Mike Huckabee has said he would not rule out using the military to end abortion, and recently stated, as if to prove him point, that he would support denying an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim.
  • They have all vowed to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Jeb Bush is famously on the record for saying “[He’s] not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues”

► These extremists have also aided in the rise of severe abortion restrictions including Ohio’s new one, HB 131, which will make it a felony to perform an abortion based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. As a candidate competing for the GOP presidential nomination, Gov. John Kasich will sign it into law. This law holds the doctor liable!

51 Abortion Restrictions & New York State

“Through the first six months of 2015, states enacted 51 new abortion restrictions; this brings the number of restrictions enacted since 2010 to 282. Although only about a dozen state legislations remained in session as of July 1, these states may well enact additional restrictions before the end of the year.” RH Reality Check

It is a fact that state governments are well on their way to criminalizing abortion, and women are already dying. Just this year, a 33-year-old woman in Indiana was sentenced to 20 years in jail under that state’s fetal homicide law for supposedly self-aborting her pregnancy.

People incorrectly think that there is no problem for women in New York State. The reality, however, is quite different.
> In 2012, NY cut $2 million from the family planning budget and has still not restored those funds.
> Since January 1, 2015, nine anti-choice bills have been proposed in Albany.
> 53% of NY counties have no abortion clinics and the number of abortion providers is decreasing every year.
> In 2011 there were 225 abortion providers which is a 9% decline from 2008 when there were 249.
> For those living in NYC, abortion services are accessible. However, for those out of the City, to get an abortion past 16 weeks is significantly more difficult. Women generally have to travel to the City or Westchester to terminate. WCLA – Choice Matters and I have personally dealt with women coming from upstate to terminate at that point. It is a three-day procedure and the people require housing, etc. – not to mention they have to miss work, school and leave their families.

> After 24 weeks, it is virtually impossible to terminate in NY. NY’s law was written before Roe v. Wade and does not provide the full constitutional protection guaranteed by Roe. 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 NY law does not allow a doctor to perform an abortion.

There are three truths:

  1. Abortion is an essential part of reproductive health care.
  2. Women will find a way to have abortions regardless of the laws and penalties implemented to stop them.
  3. Most women, by a vast majority and regardless of religion, support the right for all women to have unfettered access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion.

The vast majority of young people do not recognize – because we have not forced them to learn it – that the right to control our bodies is a civil right, just like the right to vote and to marry whomever you choose. Unless vigilantly defended, these rights can and will be lost.

WCLA – Choice Matters has established a strategy for fundamental grassroots advocacy of reaching out to all registered female voters to establish their position on reproductive rights and, if pro-choice, keeping them informed about candidates and the issues. Then we email to whom we can; and mail with a stamp to everyone. Despite the speed and ease of the internet, the reality is that paper materials mailed to a household are still far more effective than email, and, unfortunately, far more expensive.

This commitment and degree of outreach are the way a real grassroots organization works and why Choice Matters and WCLA PAC are so successful – and what sets us apart, and is the key to our phenomenal impact in elections every year. However, we can’t do it without your continued financial support.

Stand with us and the silent majority that votes with our WCLA PAC Yellow Voting Guide in hand. Your continued moral and financial support enables us to keep up the fight. Without you, we cannot exist.


Senate to Consider 20-Week Abortion

The Anti-Abortion Rights Strategy

“One state at a time – and then go national!”
That is the new anti-choice strategy and it’s working!

The 20-week abortion ban is the anti-choice extremists’ target right now.  They believe the ban will be their opening to challenge and, ultimately, overturn Roe v. Wade.

Over the course of the last 12 months, these strategic zealots have managed to get this ban – a prohibition of all abortions from 20 weeks on – passed into law in 15 states, with others including Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Ohio considering bans as well.

These bans are so extreme that a woman is prohibited from terminating a pregnancy even in cases of severe fetal anomalies.

By showing success in individual states, these anti-choice extremists gained leverage in Washington DC. They used it to convince their legislative partners in the House of Representatives to introduce the same ban in Congress – and it passed in the House on May 13, 2015.

Then on June 11, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Senator Lindsey Graham introduced the bill in the Senate, and every single 2016 GOP presidential hopeful quickly endorsed it; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised to get it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Maybe you think this doesn’t affect you because you live in New York.

Think again! If the 20-week ban is passed by Congress then it becomes New York’s law too.

For now, the Senate Democrats will hopefully block the ban; and if they fail, President Obama will likely veto it. But the legislation is gaining momentum.