States rights are WAY more important than individual bodily autonomy rights.
The state of Kansas defended a budget provision which defunded a Planned Parenthood chapter as a matter of state sovereignty, arguing in a court document that a proposed injunction would unconstitutionally replace the state’s discretion with the court’s judgment.
But Planned Parenthood has contended the Kansas statute unconstitutionally imposes additional conditions of eligibility for a federal program that are not required by federal law.
Which argument prevails will help determine whether U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten next week grants the preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
Planned Parenthood, which has received federal funding for the past 25 years, expects the new provision to strip it of about $330,000 in annual funding for its Wichita and Hays health centers that provide services to about 4,720 patients in Wichita and 960 individuals in Hays.
It contends the new law likely will force it to close one or more health centers in Kansas. If the statute is allowed to stand, thousands of patients would face higher costs, less access to services and longer wait or travel times for appointments, the group said.
I bolded a few parts. State sovereignty my ass, this is just another attack on Planned Parenthood intended to strip thousands of people of their ability to easily access affordable healthcare. At least call it for what it is.
Holly Morgan, director of media relations and communications for Planned Parenthood in Dallas, said their McKinney health center located on Eldorado Parkway was “attacked” between 10 and 11 p.m. Tuesday with an incendiary device.
The person or persons involved in the attack threw a Molotov cocktail, consisting of diesel fuel in a glass bottle with a lit rag, at the building. Morgan said the device did not penetrate the front of the clinic but did cause some serious damage.
Worth mentioning is that this clinic did not provide abortions or any form of surgical procedure. It is strictly a preventative care office. But the rhetoric against Planned Parenthood has gotten so vile, the terrorists on the right are not going to distinguish between clinics that do and do not offer abortion services. They’re just going to attack every building with PP’s name on it, and if people die in the process, oh well. Disgusting.
My best friend was at a Planned Parenthood in Dallas yesterday. This was one of the first things that popped up on my dash today. I nearly had a heart attack. I read a few articles about it and immediately texted her. I was so relieved to find that the attack was late at night, no one was hurt, and it wasn’t even the same location my friend had been to.
After recovering from my brief moment of panic, I’m still feeling really sad. Why do terrorists want to harm people who need sexual and reproductive health services? Of all the problems in the world - poverty, famine, war, etc - you’re SO upset that people are having sex for pleasure that you want hurt them? What is WRONG with you? If this is motivated by some sort of misguided Christianity, how can you not see that what you’re doing is far removed from your own religious principles? Whatever happened to “love thy neighbor”, assholes? I have few doubts that these attacks were done by white christian terrorists, just like the majority of terrorist attacks committed on US soil, and it makes me sick.
Not that it matters whether they provided abortions or not but, boy, does that make it funny- in a sad sort of way.
Nothing says you’re pro-life more than throwing bombs at buildings, amirite?
This link proves that the “Pro-life” movement really doesn’t care about reducing the number of abortions. If they did, they would be ecstatic that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that co-pays for birth control be eliminated. Any person who is able to use basic logic realizes that having birth control accessible to all will lower the number of unintended pregnancies, and the number of abortions.
Instead they say it is a “scheme” to “treat pregnancy as a disease”. While pregnancy itself is not a disease, it can cause many different illnesses. Some common complications of pregnancy are:
If the so-called “pro-lifers” really cared about the health of pregnant people, they’d be happy that birth control could possibly be free. Instead, they have shown their true colors. They only care about controlling the sex lives of others. They want to force their morality (read: religion) on to others. They would love to replace every rule of law with a Bible. If you, like me, are sick and tired of seeing these people get their way, sign Planned Parenthood’s petition and let the Department of Health and Human Services know you want birth control free. It’s time for us to stand up for what’s right.
Senator Lautenberg and Rep. Maloney have introduced the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act in congress and we're so thankful. This act protects women’s access to basic, preventive health care and ensures that women will not be denied birth control or emergency contraception at the pharmacy counter. Take a minute to thank them for their dedication to women's health.
Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed a bill into law that will restrict abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless a doctor determines the fetus is not viable or if the woman’s life is endangered. The bill does not include an exception for instances of rape and incest. Doctors who break this law could face arrest or have their medical licenses revoked.
Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, stated, “This is a big deal, in that it could have a real chilling effect on later abortions because there’s a potential to be thrust into the court system for providing an abortion after viability. It would be a huge burden for a provider to go through all of that and have to hire a lawyer to prove that you provided an abortion under the law.”
Ohio joins 39 other states with late-term abortion limits, including seven states that passed similar legislation: Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, and Alabama. Since January, the Ohio legislature has taken up eight other abortion related bills.
After a while one begins to wonder when this slew of unconstitutional, dogmatic, anti-woman legislation will cease.
During the conference there was a person from the Guttmacher Institute running a workshop about the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood. I asked her why, exactly, these politicians were wasting their time, efforts, and resources for something that is so seemingly insignificant when compared to the rest of the problems this country faces? Why is the erosion and elimination of this constitutional right so important to them?
Her answer was that it does not require NEARLY the same amount of time, effort, and resources for politicians to enact this legislation than it does for us to combat it. The fact that it is so simple for them to remove and restrict our rights is abhorrent when it’s considerably more difficult for their constituents to fight it. Luckily we’ve got many judges and politicians who are on the side of Planned Parenthood and will call bullshit whenever necessary, but it’s not always enough.
She went on to say that they do it because they can. The question for them is not ‘why,’ so much as ‘why not.’ Apparently they’re not stopping until Roe v Wade is overturned. I have a feeling it will not pan out that far, that in due time they will be put in their place and our rights will be upheld (albeit vaguely if some of this legislation is not eventually removed). It’s difficult to see the light at the end of this very long and very tumultuous tunnel but we are the ones with something worth fighting for. We’ll get there.
“With the additional barriers that anti-abortion activists have erected around the country, Dana Weinstein worries about other women in her position. “Abortion is a right, and if that right is taken away, people like me won’t be able to make the choice that is right for their child in pain,” she says. “I couldn’t sit back and watch women’s rights be chipped away by people who have never walked in these shoes.”—Thank you for sharing your story, Dana! Via Mother Jones. (via iamdrtiller)
What do you say to someone that uses the life begins at conception argument against abortions?
I would say to someone that there is little to no scientific merit to that statement. A sperm and an egg are already technically living before the sperm even wiggles its way into the egg and they attach themselves to a person’s uterus (which doesn’t always occur anyways). A fertilized egg is not a thinking, feeling, thriving, autonomous being. And for that matter neither is a zygote or a fetus. It depends on the woman/person’s body for its survival and could not survive outside of the womb (except farther along in the pregnancy, typically around the 6 month, and at this stage only people whose health are in serious jeopardy or whose fetus has extreme defects are receiving abortions. These are wanted pregnancies). Antis are so concerned with a little bundle of cells that isn’t even visible to the naked eye but the person who is bearing it, the thriving, thinking, feeling, individual with goals and aspirations and opinions and loved ones, well, antis aren’t concerned with them in the least. If you want to see something truly sick, don’t look towards abortions, look at how we treat those who may require it.
I cannot view the abortion procedure as anything other than purely academic. It’s a medical procedure- nothing more, nothing less- in which contents of the uterus typically during the early stages of pregnancy are gently removed. That’s it, folks. There are no babies being stabbed with sharp instruments, no nine-month-old fetuses being aborted by mentally unsound and ‘dangerous’ abortion doctors; none of what the anti-choicers either believe or want everyone else to believe.
This notion that ‘life begins at conception’ almost always has religious implications. How many other medical procedures have been attacked through legislation that is shrouded in religion? How many other medical procedures are banned or may be banned because of religious doctrine / beliefs? We do not allow medicine and surgeries to be influenced by religion. If a person abstains from certain medicines or procedures because of their own personal beliefs, so be it. But we cannot and should not legislate that shit.
Even if life began at conception it certainly does not end at birth, a fact which antis frequently forget as politicians attempt to make access to affordable healthcare even more difficult for millions of women and people of all genders, as they shame those who find themselves requiring WIC or food stamps to feed themselves or their families- many of whom may have an abortion so they can continue to feed themselves or their familes; as they allow the quality of our education system to fail our children in more ways than just a letter or number on a test that bears no legitimate measure of their intelligence but may prevent them from attending a college or university- but in reality who can fucking afford it anyways. Our citizens are being displaced from their homes, surviving on little, unable to find jobs (jobs which our politicians promised us, and we instead received this slew of anti-choice legislation), and without quality education. SO, to get back to your question- I would say to them that I do not believe that life begins at conception and that I am much more concerned with the quality of life of those who have already been born.
Don’t let anyone tell you to calm down or that you’re taking what you’re passionate about too seriously. Don’t let them get away with thinking that because it’s not important to them, it’s not important. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t get upset about or what you should care about.
Most of all get angry. Get fucking angry.
That is one piece of advice I always give to those who want to get involved with any sort of activism: get angry. And turn that anger into something productive. With anger comes passion and with passion comes the thirst to fight and with fight comes change.
So much of what is frustrating about the unneccessary debate about abortion is how deeply steeped in misogyny it is. I have another blog, Men Who Hate Women, that exists solely to allow me to vent my frustration about the women-hating ways of Congress by profiling the…
“Family planning is not a gender specific issue. Men, as much as women, are interested in learning about ways to protect the physical and economic health of their families. They are asking questions and seeking answers. It is our responsibility to listen and respond to them.”—Ashley Judd
"My daughter, a divorced mother of three, called me recently to complain about the high cost of birth control. As a physician, I’m familiar with this problem, yet it never fails to frustrate me. Our health care system could save billions — and improve the health of women and families — by placing birth control within every woman’s reach. Instead, health insurers continue to charge fees that make it difficult, sometimes impossible, for women to prevent unintended pregnancy.Believe it or not, my daughter is one of the lucky ones. She works for a health insurance company, and her own coverage includes preventive reproductive health services. Unfortunately, her plan has a $1,500 deductible and her contraceptive of choice — an IUD — requires an up-front payment of $1,200. Lacking that kind of money, she opts for contraceptive injections, which last only a few months but are less costly in the short run.
Millions of American women share my daughter’s struggle. Fortunately, they may soon get a break. In a report due out this week, the Institute of Medicine will review a range of women’s health services and will advise the federal government on which ones should qualify as preventive health care under the Affordable Care Act signed last year. If the institute defines birth control as prevention — and the government accepts its advice — women will no longer have to pay deductibles or make co-payments for birth control. The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to decide the matter in August.
The change is overdue. Cost often determines whether a woman is able to choose and maintain her most appropriate method of birth control, especially during hard times. One in three women voters have struggled to pay for prescription birth control at some point, and have used it inconsistently as a result, a survey commissioned by Planned Parenthood found last year. That’s one reason our country has such high rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion.
Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, but affordable contraception can change that. One study found that as the proportion of unmarried women at risk of unintended pregnancy who used contraceptives increased — to 86 percent in 2002 from 80 percent in 1982 — the abortion rate for the same group fell, to 34 per 1,000 women in 2000 from 50 per 1,000 in 1981.
More affordable contraceptives would also improve health. A 2008 literature review found that women with unintended pregnancies were less likely to receive timely prenatal care, putting infants at greater risk of low birth weight and health problems, and in some cases resulting in more costly deliveries.
Last but not least, easier access to contraceptives would save taxpayers money. Compared with their peers, teenage mothers are less likely to graduate from high school or attain an equivalency diploma; they also make less money and require more federal aid.
When the federal government offered full coverage of birth control to all federal employees in 1998, it experienced no increase in costs. In fact, by some estimates it costs employers more not to provide contraceptive coverage in employee health plans.
Today’s system of co-payments and deductibles for birth control compromises the health of families, wastes money and sends a terrible message to women like my daughter: when it comes to planning your family, you’re on your own. It’s time to change that.”
Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
NARAL texted me today, because we’re bffs, and alerted me to the fact that a panel of medical experts has recommended to the Department of Health and Human Services that all FDA approved birth control be offered free of copays! The HHS will make its decision later this week.
In the meantime, please sign and reblog this petition!
Last week I attended the Planned Parenthood Youth Policy and Organizing Conference in Washington D.C. with five other peer educators from my affiliate (Planned Parenthood of Central PA).
Thursday was lobby day, where all of the affiliates had the opportunity to meet with their representatives. We met with Todd Platts, who we also had the chance to meet back in April. Our focus was on the issue of medicaid and funding for PP. While Platts supports family planning, he is fervently anti-choice and does not support Planned Parenthood. He also believes medicaid should be in the control of the states, which as we know could potentially screw over thousands of people who access Planned Parenthood services if their state were to decide that medicaid would not cover such services. His attitude was basically “well people voted for me, why should I do anything differently or consider positions that haven’t even crossed my mind in the past?” It was like.. wake up dude, this shit is important. The meeting was somewhat tedious and at times very tense but overall I feel like we effectively shared our message even if he discounted most of it (although personally, I wish we would have focused more on the education and outreach programs that PP provides since that is the reason we were able to be there in the first place).
(I’m on the far left)
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She’s such an incredible woman and has amazing presence. I love hearing her speak.
This was taken right before our HUGE group photo (250+ people) on Capitol Hill.
It’s experiences like this that remind me why I do this work and that my passion is shared by thousands- if not millions- of others. I will always stand with and fight for Planned Parenthood.
“I’ll say that again: If you define pro-life as preventing abortions, Planned Parenthood is the most effective pro-life organization in the history of the world. No, it doesn’t give teenagers the idea of having sex. That idea comes to them quite naturally, thank you very much. What Planned Parenthood does, more comprehensively than anyone else, is to distribute the means and knowledge to control your risk of getting pregnant when you don’t want to be pregnant. And those two things, combined with pressure to exercise that control assiduously, are the surest way to prevent abortions. If you wait till women are already unhappily pregnant, you’re too late.”—Human Nature : The Pro-life Case for Planned Parenthood (via becauseiamawoman)
Rachel’s been extremely busy so far this summer (and will continue to be until she heads off to school this fall) and I’ve been busy packing everything I own with my girlfriend for a 9-hour-half-way-down-the-country move, so that’s why everything’s been very irregular lately. We should be moved and settled in just a little over a week, though, so hopefully I can update more after that. As for Rachel, I know she updates as much as she can, and I’m sure she’ll keep doing so. So just hang with us for a little longer and things will even out.
Also, as usual, submissions are open and welcome, either through our submit button or at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Nurse at the Planned Parenthood understood the situation I found myself in, a situation that is sadly NOT uncommon, and managed to take me aside and talk to me. She took the time to understand the bind I was in—not wanting to abort my child yet having an abusive partner who did not want me to continue my pregnancy, not having a full time job, not having income on my own, not knowing where to turn or what to do, feeling ashamed and blamed for the “situation” that “I” found myself in.”—Read the Stories: Shakesville: My Planned Parenthood Story: Planned Parenthood Saved My Daughter (via standupforwomen)
Please remember that when it comes to sex, practicing safer sex is the only way to ensure your health and protect from STI’s and HIV. That means utilizing condoms and dental dams and getting tested at least once a year, especially if you are displaying symptoms. However: the most common symptom of an STI is no symptom at all, which is why getting tested and knowing your status is vital to maintaining a healthy sex life for you and your partner/s. If you have any questions about how to use condoms and dental dams, don’t be afraid to ask, we’re here to help educate! You can find these resources for free at your local Planned Parenthood, which also provides free STI testing and treatment.
Play safe, play smart. Staying educated and informed extends far beyond any fear and paranoia.
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The first time I worked with Planned Parenthood, I was in the fourth grade. My mother and I marched in the March for Women’s Lives and seeing that many people who cared so much about reproductive justice and the idea that democracy sometimes looks like voters expressing their displeasure to those in power changed my life.
I joined a Planned Parenthood youth program in my freshman year of high school and have been an active member and political liaison in the last three years.
I have met my best friends and had the best conversations of my life through the work I’ve done with Planned Parenthood.
More importantly – most importantly, the youth program I am a part of has allowed me the space to figure out who I am with the assumption that I would forever be accepted, supported, and loved by those around me.
I have absolutely no idea who or where I would be if I had never found Planned Parenthood and their fantastic youth initiatives.
That’s not entirely true. I have some idea.
I would be shy. Planned Parenthood helped me find my voice to talk about issues that matter to me. Before I came to the youth program, I was embarrassed by any little thing. But, when you can talk openly about the toughest, most taboo topics out there, everything else is easier.
I would be in the closet – even to myself. I am so – repeat so – lucky that I found a group of people that unconditionally support each other. It took me a really long time to figure out that I was gay and without the youth initiative program, I would have had the misfortune of figuring out this part of my identity surrounded by strangers (i.e. in the beginning of college). I still have a lot of figuring out to. And a lot of coming out to do. But I am so grateful that I have a whole year to do it surrounded by the best friends I made at Planned Parenthood (some of whom, helpfully, have done this already).
Thank you Planned Parenthood. Thank you to all of the marvelous people who work there and make it the wonderful, loving, caring, supportive environment it has been for me and so many others – you will never understand how much you have meant and continue to mean to me.
A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday on whether to stop Texas from enforcing a new law requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion.
The so-called sonogram law, which takes effect Sept. 1, requires a doctor to describe the fetus’ features and allow the pregnant woman to hear the fetal heartbeat. The law does not allow women to opt-out of the description. Exemptions are allowed only cases of rape or incest and when the fetus has fatal abnormalities.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the federal lawsuit last month, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks will hear the case in Austin.
i submitted my story last night, but for some reason only the title showed up (thank you). when i tried to submit the text again, it wouldn't take it. i'll try again later, but i just wanted to let you know because i thought that while its probably a problem on my end, it could be a glitch on the awesome page that i love so much. thats all. :)
Thank you so much for letting us know! If anyone else is experiencing trouble submitting, you can submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org until we can figure out what the trouble is.
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