Tag: budget

January 22nd – A Day to Say Thank You

Forty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. That decision declared that women have the constitutional right to have an abortion. This single court decision has saved the lives of many, many women.

Before you do anything else today, turn to your mother, your grandmother, your aunt, and say, “Thank you. Thank you for fighting so that I may make my own decisions, so that I may have a healthy family if and when I choose to have one.”

Without these brave women and men — the women of J.A.N.E., the clinic escorts, the Dr. Tillers, and so many more — we would not be here to fight another day.

I wish I could tell you we have won and our rights are secure but the fact is that Roe v. Wade only fueled anti-choice extremists in their war against women’s reproductive freedom. These attacks on our rights are frightening: Clinics being bombed; abortion providers disappearing in 87% of the counties in the U.S.; anti-choice legislators fighting to make Kansas the first “abortion-free” state in the nation. Simply watch this video from the Rachel Maddow Show to catch a glimpse of what is playing out on the national stage.

Your support today shows that you understand we must keep fighting.

In New York State we have the opportunity to make history as we did in 1970. In his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Women’s Equality Act, a 10-point plan that would break down barriers to a woman’s full participation in society and advance her health and well-being. A hallmark of this agenda is a state law protecting every woman’s right to choose safe, legal abortion care here in New York, especially if her health is in danger.

But Westchester is not Albany. Right here in Westchester County, we face anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life. He even vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities. Surrounding himself with seven anti-choice legislators, all of whom voted against safe clinic access, Rob Astorino has brought the War on Women and our Families home to Westchester–and his seven allies are helping him target the most vulnerable. They have cut funding for childcare and afterschool programs that would have enabled women to work; and four of them even voted to cut transportation for seniors. Astorino’s 2013 budget cuts $3 million in county funding to three neighborhood health centers.

Unless we change the make-up of Westchester’s county government their laws and budgets will be the ones we live by. Remember these are the people who do not think women deserve safe access to reproductive health care.

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget
–Line items may be different but the effect is the same—

Protect the top 2% while trampling on the middle class and working poor, with a bull’s eye being placed squarely on the foreheads of working women.

One week ago, anti-choice County Executive Astorino with the support of nine minions passed a 2013 County budget.

This budget illustrates yet again the true meaning of the right-to-life agenda: care about the fetus when it’s in the womb, and the minute it’s born, it’s on its own. The cuts to Westchester’s public health care and childcare systems are of historic proportion, targeting the most vulnerable and least able to fight back among us.

Four of Choice Matters’ previously endorsed legislators voted with Astorino in support of his anti-woman anti-family budget. By supporting this horrific budget, these four legislators – Virginia Perez (17 CLD), Mike Kaplowitz (4 CLD), Jim Maisano (11 CLD), and Bernice Spreckman (14 CLD) – have publically declared their support for the County Executive’s priorities and his War on Women and our Families.

This is not hyperbole. Their votes to pass the budget rather than to fight for their constituents will have devastating affects on working women and their families.

– Astorino’s Priorities, and those of his minions who voted in support of the budget –

►Astorino clearly thinks protecting your friends and fans’ employment is more important than the good of the County.
Astorino has preserved 56 patronage jobs, at a cost of $5.4 million dollars to tax payers; and he is holding 44 positions vacant should he wish to fill them within the coming year,

while at the same time:
â–ºHe has cut 100 important jobs that serve the residents of Westchester.
Over half of these jobs are in social services, such as social workers and eligibility examiners who help those applying for assistance. The result is that the time between applying, receiving approval, and then actually getting the services, such as food stamps, aid to dependent children, public assistance, etc., will grow exponentially. And, as we all know after the past 5 years, the number of people needing help just simply to feed their families has grown at an unimaginable rate.

The other half of the jobs cut include probation personnel, paralegals, and over 80% of the engineering and architectural staff who are essential to overseeing infrastructure improvements—that means bridges, roadways, waterways, parks, anything and everything.

►Astorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Speckman, cut $3 million dollars in County funding to three neighborhood health centers. Let’s remember who uses the health centers. It is not Astorino and his cronies. It is the ever-growing number of working poor who cannot, just because funding is cut, go somewhere else. Many women rely on these clinics for contraceptives, pap smears, and cancer screenings, among other things. Their children go for check-ups, immunizations, and so much more.

This cut to neighborhood health centers is clearly a politically motivated action by a man who has done nothing to prepare the County for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which starts to take effect here in Westchester in 2013.

Astorino’s attack on our health care is driven by ideology. Astorino opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, and vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities.

He opposes the Affordable Care Act and is against recognizing contraceptives as part of preventative care.

By supporting this Paul Ryan-like budget, Virginia Perez and Mike Kaplowitz, as well as Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman, have aligned themselves with Astorino’s ideological war on women and our families.

â–ºAstorino, with their support, cut funding for childcare programs that would have enabled women to work. The budget raised the family share for subsidized childcare to unaffordable levels.

The Astorino budget caps the number of Westchester kids ever to be allowed to be served by the Title XX program at a level reached last spring. Title XX is program that helps people earning less than the poverty level to have access to childcare funding. (As I said, Astorino is anti-abortion and anti-child, especially if they are the children of the working poor!)

This nightmarish budget also cut all funding to a program that has provided technical assistance to childcare providers and visits to legally exempt providers so there would be some reliable quality of services. Basically, this program has made facilities safer, and because of this administration, it can’t anymore!

â–ºAstorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Spreckman, cut all the funding to the Food Patch ($72,000) and to the Food Pantry ($72,000).

Women now won’t be able to work because of having no childcare; we won’t be able to access health care in real time; and we won’t be able to feed our families with the help from the pantries which we will now need more than ever because we can’t work without childcare.

This is the ideological agenda that Virginia Perez, Mike Kaplowitz, Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman support.

It is time to hold our legislators accountable. All of the County legislators and the County Executive are up for election in 2013. Let’s remind Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano, and Spreckman that we do not vote for traitors!

The Tea Party Congressional Reps Attack Women, Seniors and the Poor ALL in One Go!

On Friday, Tea Party favorite Republican Rep. of Wisconsin Paul D. Ryan’s budget was passed by a vote of 235 to 193. All Democrats and seven Republicans voted against it.

This budget attacks Medicare programs that serve those 65 and older, Medicaid health programs for the poor, and any funding for Planned Parenthood and Title X–WHILE CUTTING CORPORATE AND PERSONAL INCOME TAX RATES!

Clearly it was not enough to hit the poor with the Hyde Amendment and the slashing of funds to DC City residents, now they have to attack Planned Parenthood by cutting all of their funding.  Perhaps these extremists relish the idea of the poor not being able to get cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control.

This Tea Party-controlled Congress is showing the world that Social Darwinism rules. They are targeting the most vulnerable–the elderly, the poor, and women–while empowering corporations and the most wealthy.

Read more in The New York Times

New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Joins Forces with Other Female Senators to Protect Women’s Health

And They Say it Soooo Well!


Washington, DC—Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, together with Senate Democratic women, urged their Republican colleagues to vote against the upcoming resolutions that would eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and roll back health care reform, and to end a continued legislative assault on women’s health care options. The Senators highlighted the devastating impacts these resolutions would have on women and families across the country.

“The election last November was not a mandate for any one political party or ideology,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “It was a mandate for action – for solutions that will create jobs and get our country going again.  But what are the House Republicans focused on? Not creating jobs. Not growing our economy – but an assault on the rights of women, and health services for millions of American families. These votes to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal health care reform show a disregard for women. If Republicans continue their anti-woman agenda, they will continue to find a fight in the Senate.”

“Even though the Republicans want to take women back to the Dark Ages, we will not go,” Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) said. “We will fight them with every legislative tool at our disposal. Make no mistake: This entire process has not been about reducing the debt or the deficit – it’s been about reducing opportunity. The major constituencies that bear this burden are the women and children”

“I am proud to stand here with my Democratic women colleagues to send the message that we are not going to allow women to be thrown under the bus in this – or any other – budget debate,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). “As a woman and a mother, I am angry that women’s health care is even up for debate right now. I truly hope that once we win these votes and put the issues behind us, Republicans stop playing ideological political games, and work with us in good faith on the serious issues facing our country.”

“This is simply an opportunity for the right wing to turn back the clock and really sock it to American women,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “To be clear, to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood is to stop providing critical health care to millions of American women, the majority of whom are poor and cannot afford the range of preventative health services provided in California and around the country.”

“While claiming to be focused solely on deficit reduction, Republicans have been pushing an extreme ideological agenda that threatens the health and lives of American women,” said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), We will continue to stand up for the millions of women and families who rely on these preventive and life-saving health care services.”

“While our budget hangs in the balance, Republicans have chosen to wage a war on women’s health, and we are the last line of defense,” said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “We should not be diverted by an extremist social agenda not supported by the majority of Americans. Let’s get back to putting Americans back to work, creating new jobs, and moving our economy forward.”

“Votes on unrelated political issues are a distraction from the real debate over the budget, which itself is a distraction from what we should be talking about–creating jobs,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “It’s very troubling that a vote to cut cancer screenings and routine care for women was what the Republicans demanded in exchange for not shutting down the government.”

“Just days after a bipartisan budget agreement, I am frustrated that the Senate will spend valuable time on a partisan measure that threatens to take away vital health services for millions of vulnerable American women,” Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) said. “Last year, North Carolina Planned Parenthood facilities performed more than 11,000 breast and cervical cancer screenings and 18,000 STD tests for women who could not otherwise afford these services. I hope my colleagues will stop playing political Russian Roulette with women’s health services and instead focus on a bipartisan, comprehensive plan to reduce our long-term debt.”

“In some parts of New Hampshire, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of preventive health care services to low-income women,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). “It’s going to be far worse for patients and more expensive for the government if we eliminate this funding.” (Press Release Issued 4/13/11)