Category Archives: War on Women

Moyers Full-Segment: New Face of Reproductive Rights

Thanks, again, to Moyers Media.

About these ads

The New Face of Reproductive Rights on Moyers

Thanks to the folks at Moyers Media again for providing the link to the video preview of an upcoming program. As we celebrate 40 years of Roe v Wade, it is always good to see the leadership of this movement become more diverse.

Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and Lynn Paltrow, founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, talk to Bill about the how the modern abortion debate connects to other social justice issues.

“Reproductive justice really broadens the movement to incorporate things like socioeconomic status, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity,” says González-Rojas. “It’s really inclusive and much more holistic than looking to protect just the narrow, legal right to abortion.”

Watch on Full-Screen or…

NARAL: 2012 A Record Year of Anti-Choice Attacks

Catching up with news on women’s reproductive rights, NARAL released a report on the status of a woman’s right to choose as we celebrate 40 years since Roe v Wade.

NARAL also released a Congressional Record on choice–who supports women and who does not in D.C..

Unfortunately, it seems the fight to preserve Roe v Wade will continue.

Since 1995, states have enacted more than 700 anti-choice measures cumulatively. Each of these measures interferes with a woman’s right to make her own private, personal decisions about her reproductive health. And state governments continue to be dominated by anti-choice politicians, which likely means the trend of legislative attacks on reproductive freedom will continue in the year ahead.

NARAL outlined the War on Women in the report.

Anti-Choice Attacks:

  • 25 states enacted 42 anti-choice measures in 2012. (Readers of the book will note that the numbers are slightly different. That’s because in late 2012, two states enacted two additional measures.)
  • Arizona enacted the most anti-choice legislation in 2012, with four measures. Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin each enacted three anti-choice measures.
  • Since 1995, states have enacted 755 anti-choice measures.
  • 24 states earned a “F” on the women’s reproductive rights report card.

Pro-Choice Progress:

  • 6 states enacted 8 pro-choice measures in 2012.
  • Vermont enacted the most pro-choice legislation in 2012, with 3 measures.
  • 2012 marks the eighth year in a row that Colorado has enacted a pro-choice measure.

Keenan also pointed out states like Arizona, Georgia, and Louisiana enacted bans on abortion care after 20 weeks that are clearly unconstitutional and designed as a challenge to Roe v. Wade. And states like Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin enacted abortion-coverage bans in the states’ health-insurance exchanges.

“This is why elections matter,” Keenan continued. “Women continue to face legislative hostility in states dominated by anti-choice politicians. We may have won some battles but anti-choice politicians attack this right relentlessly – if we allow them. It is incumbent upon us to educate the public on these anti-choice tactics and hold these extreme politicians accountable.”

All I can say is that if you’re running for office (especially as a Democrat) and you are part of the attack or just stay quiet, you are doing a disservice to women.    If you are serious about running for office, any office, then you better be in tune with this issue.

What About the Latina Wage Gap?

The National Partnership for Women and Families released some new information found in the most recent Census:  Latinas are getting hit worse by the gender wage gap.

In the 20 states with the largest number of Latinas who work full time, year round, the wage gap ranges from 51 and 68 cents for every dollar paid to men in those states.

The fact that there is a wage gap isn’t a surprise, but as women are said to make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, the fact that Latinas are making even less is cause for concern, and in the case of the National Partnership, action.

“Women of color are hard hit by a kind of perfect – and perfectly devastating – storm caused by discrimination, a struggling economy and the country’s failure to adopt family friendly workplace policies,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “These new data show that the wage gap is costing women of color thousands of dollars in critical income each year that could be spent on food, rent, health care and on meeting other fundamental needs for their families. It’s an unacceptable situation that should be a resounding wake-up call for lawmakers who have the power to do something about it.”

When one looks at it in real dollar figures:

Nationally, Latinas are paid just 60 cents for every dollar paid to all men. That amounts to a loss of $19,182 each year. In general, women of color fare worse than women overall, who are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to all men – or $11,084 less per year.

The National Partnership is supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act which would close loopholes to the Equal Pay Act and provide for stronger worker protections for women. This is definitely something that we must support.

The National Partnership’s findings for the 20 states with the largest numbers of employed Latinas and African American women can be found at www.NationalPartnership.org/LatinaGap and www.NationalPartnership.org/AAGap. More information on the wage gap can be found at www.NationalPartnership.org/FairPay.

Caravan for Peace to Confront Gun Dealer

As DC has reported to you all, the Caravan for Peace and Justice, an effort to stop the failed “war on drugs,” will be arriving in Houston tonight. Click here to get the latest itinerary. On Monday, before heading out to other parts on the way to DC, they will confront a local gun dealer linked to drug traffickers. Here’s the press release:

Caravan for Peace, Mexican Victims of Drug War to Dismantle Military-Style Assault Weapon and Transform into Symbol of Peace at Heart of Historic Mexican Neighborhood.

Bearing pictures of their dead relatives, families, exiled Juarez residents, relatives of the more than 60,000 killed in drug war will also go to Carter’s Country, Houston Arms Dealer Linked to Gun Sales to Drug traffickers, and Confront Them with the Human Toll of Drug War and the Urgent Need to Regulate These Weapons

Houston, Texas –On Monday, August 27th, members of the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity will join Houston-based and other US residents, to gather in the heart of the historic Mexican neighborhood in Houston to publicly dismantle a military-style assault weapon purchased Saturday and bury it in cement in a public action calling attention to the human devastation caused by this kind of weapon. Caravan members and their supporters will also demand that President Obama enforce the existing ban on the importation of military-style assault weapons and other measures to stop the illegal sale of weapons, which have been linked to the deaths of thousands of Mexicans killed in the drug war.

Participants in the solemn act will dismantle an assault weapon like those sought by drug cartels and easily purchased from gun dealers and private citizens. They will then transform it into a symbol of peace, in an act harkening back to the turning of swords into plowshares. Families bearing large and small pictures of loved ones lost in Mexico’s drug war will later join Mexican exiles in confronting the Carter’s Country gun dealership with images and testimonies of the effects of these military assault weapons on families living on both sides of the border.

“We’re not here in the United States to contest the Second Amendment. The Caravan for Peace is here because our loved ones have been shot and kidnapped, displaced and murdered with military assault weapons sold in U.S. stores and gun shows,” said Javier Sicilia, the poet turned activist and Caravan leader after his son, Juan Francisco, was killed last year. “Assault weapons sold by U.S. gun dealers like those here in Houston are responsible for thousands of drug war deaths in Mexico, and in doing so, these gun dealers make a mockery of the Second Amendment. Together, you here in the United States, and we in Mexico, can help end this madness,” Sicilia concluded.

Where: 333 South Jensen Dr., Houston (map) (event at 11am) and the Caravan will then drive to Carter’s Country, 2120 S. Shaver St., Pasadena (map) following the press conference

When: Monday, August 27, 11:00 a.m.

Media should contact Contact: John Lindsay-Poland, Fellowship of Reconciliation: (510) 282-8983
Roberto Lovato, Presente.org: (213) 820-8424 for information related to the Caravan for Peace

Anyone may join the action online, too.

A petition demanding President Obama stop the flow of arms into our communities: http://act.presente.org/sign/caravana/?source=presente_website

And for more information.

Petition against gun smuggling: http://act.presente.org/sign/caravana/?source=presente_website

or text PEACE to 225568

For more information: http://www.caravanforpeace.org/

About the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity:www.movimientoporlapaz.mx

Facebook: facebook.com/caravan4Peace
Twitter: @CaravanaUSA (twitter.com/caravanaUSA)
Flickr: www.Flickr.com/photos/caravan4peace

Mail: caravanapresspass@movimientoporlapaz.mx

Planned Parenthood Sues Texas

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for its decision to obliterate access to health services for women. Here’s the release from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast:

Today, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has joined Planned Parenthood affiliates from across the state in filing a federal lawsuit against Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission to stop the enforcement of an unconstitutional rule that threatens access to health care for tens of thousands of low-income women.

The lawsuit argues that it is unconstitutional to block Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women’s Health Program. Over 40 percent of women who received services through the Women’s Health Program chose to rely on a Planned Parenthood health center for Women’s Health Program services, which include lifesaving cancer screenings, well-woman exams, contraception, screening for diabetes and high blood pressure, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

As you know, women in Texas have faced their fair share of attacks on health care.  First the legislature slashed $73 million from the state’s family planning program severely limiting access to basic preventive health care for 130,000 Texas women who lack health insurance.

If allowed to stand, the actions taken by Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs, with the support of Governor Perry, will lead to the loss of $35 million in federal funds and a dramatic cutback in health care services available to women in the state.

Planned Parenthood is asking all of us to stand with Texas Women by signing their online petition. Please do so.

Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez of El Paso has come out in support of Texas Women.

“…state leaders continue to conflate contraception with abortion and spread myths, while sidestepping the fact that one in four women in Texas have no health insurance at all. Here are the facts: the Women’s Health Program provides contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other basic health services to uninsured low-income Texas women. It does not provide abortions.

“Nearly half of Women’s Health Program clients receive services through Planned Parenthood, which does not provide abortions at WHP clinics. As the single largest provider of care within the WHP, Planned Parenthood providers have been critical to the program’s success.

“At the end of 2009, El Paso lost one of its primary sources of affordable reproductive health care – Planned Parenthood.  In the year following their closure, roughly 900 women and men lost health care and the rate of chlamydia increased by 24 percent, the rate of gonorrhea increased by 56 percent, and the rate of HIV cases increased by 43 percent.

“Texas women don’t need their state government — whether it’s the Governor or the executive head of a state agency — to dictate where they can get their Pap tests, mammograms or birth control.”

Obviously, DosCentavos.net stands with Texas Women, too!

Update:  Statement from State Rep. Jessica Farrar, House Dem Leader:

“Rick Perry and his Republican cohorts started this fight when they waged war on women’s health,” said Farrar.

Farrar is unequivocal in her resolve to support Planned Parenthood and Texas women. “Women did not ask for this fight, but we are sure going to finish it, even if that means a court battle,” she said. “Texas women are strong and proud, and we will not sit idly by while a group of extremists attack our health and well being.”