REALLY??? The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party On Birth Control

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Attacks on access to birth control and abortion are out of touch, and often off the deep end.

These attacks don’t make sense.

But they are damaging people.

On March 25, the Supreme Court will hear a case to decide whether a for-profit private corporation can deny employees health insurance coverage for contraception. It’s bad enough that the employers’ opposition in this case is based on fake science, putting public health and the well-being of millions of women at risk. In addition, they claim that the corporations they run have a religious conscience.

Sound like a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?  Check out our short punchy video (click below).

Had enough of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?  You can make a difference! Join the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign.   We’re speaking up and speaking out.  We are the people you’ve been waiting for! (and so are you.)

Together, we will safeguard reproductive health, rights, and justice, and reclaim common sense in public debate.

 

Fran Johns Letter to the Editor: Strike the Banners

strike the banners

Re the banners on Market Street proclaiming “Abortion hurts women”: The proclamation is hate speech and untrue (“Ah, the holiday season along Market Street,” City Insider, Jan. 1).

That the city of San Francisco should allow this to be broadcast across our main thoroughfare or any thoroughfare at all is damaging and hurtful to women and men alike.

The March for Life banner-hangers have every right to their religious and political beliefs. They do not have the right to spread misinformation in utter disregard of girls and women everywhere. Women like me.

I had a back-alley abortion in 1956 after a workplace rape. The abortion did not hurt me; it gave me back my life. I was lucky. Millions of women like me, before Roe vs. Wade offered safety, were indeed hurt – or wound up dead.

If each marcher under those banners could find and know one actual fetus to protect, and simultaneously see and know the woman in whose body that fetus resides, I suggest the marcher might want to protect that woman too. She is likely to be poor, disempowered and desperate. Forcing those like her to bear unwanted children or endanger themselves – that hurts women. The banners should come down.

Fran Johns, San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle, Letters to the Editor, Jan. 4, 2014

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/letterstoeditor/article/Letters-to-the-editor-Jan-4-5112353.php

Lies About Abortion Hurt Women

We are shocked to see banners falsely claiming that “Abortion hurts women” hanging from the City’s lamp posts on Market Street in San Francisco. This statement is false, and harmful to women and girls.  The display contradicts City policies and practices. We call on the Mayor to take the banners down.

1. Abortion is safe.  Access to legal abortion services is essential.

Access to legal and affordable family planning health care services including abortion has been critical for expanding economic, educational and professional success and emotional satisfaction for women, the men and children in their lives and for communities as a whole. Denied abortion care can perpetuate poverty.

The best birth control can sometimes fail. About 1 in 3 U.S. women have at least one abortion.

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. The risk of death from carrying a pregnancy to term is 13 times that of abortion in the U.S. (1)

Too many women routinely lost their lives from illegal abortions before 1973. Today, deaths from abortion have all but disappeared.

2. State and federal legislation increasingly aim to defund reproductive health care services and limit women’s rights.

Campaigns to defund and stigmatize abortion, and impose repressive views about sexuality, disempower and subordinate women and girls, and prevent them from choosing and using the vital reproductive health care services they think best.  Their tactics include violence against abortion providers, and harassment of patients at health centers. These actions hurt women and girls.

3. San Francisco must preach what we practice. 

San Francisco and California do an outstanding job of improving the accessibility and affordability of reproductive health care, including abortion care.  We can be proud that San Francisco and California policies support women’s health.  But our public pronouncements matter.

By approving these banners for prominent display on public property on Market St., San Francisco’s “Main Street,” the City contributes to undermining women’s personal and private medical decisions, and undermining public health.

It is further troubling that these lies are posted just outside of major commercial institutions, including See’s Candy, First Republic Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and E-Trade, implying that these institutions believe that “Abortion Hurts Women.” We hope that they do not.

The banners violate the City’s own regulations, because they display an inaccurate date for the related event, and the event is not of interest to a significant portion of San Francisco residents. The event is mainly attended by residents bussed in from elsewhere. The City should improve and enforce these rules.

San Francisco’s elected leaders should take a stand against this statement that lies about public health. They should advocate proactively for public health policies and services that encourage women’s right to choose the best course for their own reproductive health. This stand should include support for the federal Women’s Health Protection Act.

We call on the City to Take Down the Banners.

ORGANIZATIONS:  To sign on, Click “Leave Reply” below, enter Name, Title, Organization, Email. Phone

 Addendum

The City has grounds and precedent for limiting and redressing harm from hateful and discriminatory speech. There are good legal examples of countermeasures the City has taken in expressions of discrimination against LGBT people and Muslims. (see below)  We must pursue such a course now.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Resolutions

San Francisco Board of Supervisors

2012 Resolution File #121172 Resolution #477-12

[Commemoration of Roe v. Wade Anniversary] Resolution commemorating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and commending the work of pro-choice advocates and service providers in the City and County of San Francisco.

http://www.sfbos.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions12/r0477-12.pdf

2009 Resolution File #090995 Resolution #348-09

Resolution urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a comprehensive investigation on hate speech in the media, allowing public participation via public hearings, and to update the 1993 report on the Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes, including public participation via public hearings.

http://www.sfbos.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions09/r0348-09.pdf

2006 Resolution File #060356 Resolution #168-06

Resolution urging Cardinal William Levada, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, to withdraw his discriminatory and defamatory directive that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Francisco stop placing children in need of adoption with homosexual households.

http://www.sfbos.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions06/r0168-06.pdf

2006 Resolution File #060356 Resolution #180-06

Resolution condemning upcoming rally to be held by anti-abortion groups in front of City Hall on Friday, March 24, 2006. http://www.sfbos.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions06/r0180-06.pdf

(1)    http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/womens-health/articles/2012/01/23/abortion-safer-for-women-than-childbirth-study-claims

Signers:

San Francisco Women’s Political Caucus

Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign

Women in California Women’s Agenda (CAWA)

Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN)

TRUST WOMEN WEEK, JAN. 22-28, 2013 ~ UNITE, SPEAK OUT, ORGANIZE!

TRUST WOMEN WEEK, JAN. 22-28, 2013 ~ UNITE, SPEAK OUT, ORGANIZE!

January 22, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S.

The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women is participating in the second National Online March for Trust Women Week.  Click here to join people around the U.S. expressing support for reproductive health, rights and justice. You can add  your own comments,  and invite everyone you know to join in and speak up. We and our partner organizations commit to sending your   views to policy-makers, and to keeping you informed of the big issues   that lie ahead this year, and actions you can take.

Women won historic numbers of seats in Congress in the November election. Voters across the political spectrum supported women’s reproductive  health, rights, and justice, and defeated candidates who trivialized  women’s safety. Florida rejected a ballot measure that would outlaw  public funding for abortions.

But many state legislatures and members of Congress continue to attack  access to birth control and abortion care, and cut funds for health care providers like Planned Parenthood. In Mississippi, state regulators plan to force  the last clinic that provides abortions to close. These  restrictions most severely affect low-income women and women of color,  and women in certain geographic areas.

Threats continue to women’s long-term economic and social security and safety.

Trust Women Week partner organizations are joining together to express the  powerful voices of the majority of women, men, children, families and  communities who uphold traditional American values of democracy, independence, fairness, progress, innovation and pragmatism.

See www.oursilverribbon.org to find an event near you – or create one and post it!

Messages to Congress

1.      I Trust Women and I Vote
Women can make our own decisions about our reproductive health, and we did and will vote to enforce that right.

2.      Her decision, her health
We extend respect and compassion to individual women facing decisions about a pregnancy.

3.      Keep abortion safe and legal, and make it accessible and affordable


4.      Stand up and be counted for the human right to reproductive health and justice.
Reproductive justice and rights call on us to create the  conditions necessary for health, recognizing that we must take action to overcome disparities based on social factors including race, gender,  and income. 

5.      Contraception is Prevention
Contraception must be included in preventive health care benefits in all public and private health insurance programs

6.      Fix the economy and stop the attacks on women’s health.
We call on the government and our elected officials to help improve our lives and create the conditions to be healthy.
7.      U.S. Out of My Uterus
Politicians should stop interfering in women’s personal health decisions, especially related to reproductive biology and sex.

Mon. Dec. 10: Show Up! To Save Social Programs, Tax Wall Street

On Monday, Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, join Robin Hood and community members at Congressional offices around the country to demand “no cuts” to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and call on Congress to tax Wall Street.   (List via Health GAP, Jennifer Flynn jflynn@healthgap.org)

Austin, TX: 4-6 p.m., Chase Bank building (Senate offices housed there), 221 W. Sixth St.

Bakersfield, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office, 4100 Empire Drive, Suite 150

Bangor, ME: 10 a.m. press conference, 5:30PM candlelight vigil, Sen. Susan Collins ‘ office, 202 Harlow Street, Room 204

Boston, MA: 4-6 p.m., Sen. John Kerry ‘s, office, One Bowdoin Square, #10

Campbell, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Mike Honda’s office, 1999 S. Bascon Ave., Suite 815

Concord, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. George Miller’s office, 1333 Willow Pass Rd., Suite 203

Duluth, MN: time to be announced, Rep. Chip Cravaack’s office

Fresno, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Jim Costa’s office, 855 M. St., Suite 940

Gold River, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Dan Lungren’s office, 2339 Gold Meadow Way, Suite 220

Rockville, MD: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s office, 6475 New Hampshire Ave. Ste C-201

Kalamazoo, MI: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Fred Upton’s office, 157 South Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 180

Los Angeles, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Henry Waxman’s office, 8436 W. Third St., Suite 600
New York, NY: 4-6 p.m., Offices of Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand 780 3rd Ave. New York City

Orange, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Ed Royce’s office, 1110 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 207

San Francisco, CA: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office, 90 7th St., Suite 2-800

Seminole, FL: 4-6 p.m., Rep. Bill Young’s office, 9210 113th St.

St.  Louis: 12 noon, starting at the SSA offices,  5669 Delmar Blvd then  marching to Sen. Claire McCaskills office, 5850 Delmar Blvd, Suite A

Stockton, CA:  4-6 p.m., Rep. Jerry McNerney’s office, 2222 Grand Canal Blvd., Suite 7

Vista, CA:  4-6 p.m., Rep. Darrell Issa’s office, 1800 Thibodo Rd., Suite 310

For a list of all Fiscal Showdown events in the San Francisco Bay Area, click on this link   (via MoveOn, Frank Burton frank.burton.now@gmail.com)

http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?_s=e16a25b85e72587bb8049adbf98dc0995ebb29c4c4774c205643a69fc874e6de&action_id=300&id=&search_distance=30&search_zip=94601&submit=Search

Protect Social Security Medicare and Medicaid!

Please click here to sign the petition to Protect Social Security. Medicare and Medicaid:

Women, communities of color and allies call on  Congress and the President to protect Social Security, Medicare and  Medicaid

The Issues

As Congress reconvenes to address the budget, the first order of business  must be to protect the benefits we rely on through Social Security, Medicare and  Medicaid.

Congress failed for the last 2 years to agree on proposals to manage the  federal budget and the deficit, and now faces a “fiscal cliff:” without further  action, cuts to the military and social programs would be phased in starting in  January, 2013. The Bush-era tax cuts would also expire, meaning taxes would go  up both for wealthy and middle-income people, starting in January. To avoid  these consequences, Congress could just raise tax rates for the wealthiest 2% of  the population, but carve out middle-income people, who need the cash to  stimulate the economy. Failing that, groups associated with finance capital have  advocated for a “Grand Bargain,” first proposed by the failed Simpson-Bowles  commission, to cut benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as a  trade off for some tax increases.

Cutting benefits from Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid would be  especially harmful to the health of women, who live longer but have lower  incomes. Additionally, women of color, who already experience a host of health  disparities and difficulties in accessing critical health services, would be  disproportionately impacted by any erosion of Medicaid.

Raising the age of eligibility for Social Security income support, or  reducing benefits, would tip millions of elderly women into poverty,  including many without family or friends as caregivers, and who are people of  color. They would have to spend down their savings to become eligible for  Medicaid, and experience medically unnecessary confinement in nursing homes as a  result.

Medicare is the major source of payment for hospital and ambulatory care as  well as for rehabilitation services and considerable home health and nursing  home care. Forcing women to neglect necessary care at ages 65-67 would result in  greater risk of complications from chronic diseases as they grow older.

Medicaid provides essential support to pregnant women, their children and  people using long term care services at home, in their communities and in  skilled nursing facilities. Any reduction of these benefits would irretrievably  harm health and hasten death among women.

Further, the Social Security Trust Fund is entirely solvent through 2038,  requiring only minor tweaks in the interim to extend into the future. Medicare  and Medicaid are affected by health care cost increases, but cutting benefits  will not solve those problems.

Protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

The text of the petition

On Nov. 6, women and communities of color gave the margin of victory to a  President and members of Congress who promised to fight for higher taxes on the  wealthy, for more public investment and for careful cuts in spending, while  revitalizing the economy.

As Congress begins to negotiate on the budget, the first order of business  must be to protect the benefits we rely on through Social Security, Medicare and  Medicaid. Cutting benefits from Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid would be  especially harmful to the health of women, who live longer but have lower  incomes. Additionally, women of color, who already experience a host of health  disparities and difficulties in accessing critical health services would be  disproportionately impacted by any erosion of Medicaid. These cuts would do  nothing to address the deficit. Such cuts would force women ages 65-67 to  neglect needed health care, worsening chronic conditions throughout their lives.  Reduced income support would force many elderly women without family or friends  as caregivers to spend down to qualify for Medicaid, and experience medically  unnecessary confinement in nursing homes as a result.

There is a ready solution to raise revenue: Let the Bush tax cuts expire for  the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

We urge you to fight for:

1. No cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits

2. Let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

Click here to sign http://trustwomen.civicactions.org/twsilverribbon/protect_social_security_medicare_and_medicaid

National Online March – a Success!

The Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign initiated a collaboration with MoveOn to conduct an online campaign during Jan. 20-27, 2012, to build solidarity and momentum for reproductive health, rights and justice.

The majority of Americans believe that women should have access to basic health care services and that decisions about reproductive health care including family planning and abortion should be left to each person.  But in 2011, rather than addressing the public’s pressing concerns about the economy, Congress and state legislatures declared a “War on Women.”

36 states enacted 135 provisions limiting access to reproductive health care, including 92 measures restricting abortion.1 The U.S. House of Representatives held eight votes to limit reproductive health care. H.R.358 gives hospitals the right to refuse to provide a woman with emergency, lifesaving abortion care – even if she will die without it.

These measures restrict life choices for all women and families, with the most severe consequences for the most vulnerable. Low income women, younger women and women of color experience the highest rates of unintended pregnancies.

The National Online March aimed to begin 2012 with a powerful event that builds solidarity and momentum for reproductive justice.

We aimed to turn the tide on these policies in 2012.

Trust Women Week launched an affirmative campaign that marshalled support across the boundaries of age, ethnicity/race, and geography; that linked concerns about the economy and politics with issues of reproductive health; and that challenged mainstream thinking on these issues with a range of messages and approaches.

I trust women and I vote.
Reproductive rights are human rights.
Keep abortion safe and legal, and make it accessible and affordable.
Stand up and be counted for reproductive justice.
We are the 99%. Fix the economy, and stop the attacks on women’s health.
Contraception Is Prevention

(Please click here to read the entire evaluation.)