Pro-Choice Friday News Rundown

  • Earlier this week, the tools in Congress voted to ban abortion at 20 weeks. They totally, ignorantly ignored the fact that many fetal anomalies cannot be discovered until past that period in a woman’s gestation. Alexis Miller, who was overjoyed to be pregnant, is one of those women and her story of needing a late abortion is powerful. (Time)
  • More Congressional tomfoolery to report on this subject. These morons justified their vote to criminalize abortion after 20 weeks by using the awful mass shooting that took place a few days ago in Las Vegas to illustrate how much they value life and “have” to protect it. Really? How about passing some restrictions on guns, then? How many 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old children died in Sandy Hook? Why do these lawmakers value an unborn fetus the size of a kidney bean more than they do living, breathing human beings??? (Think Progress)
  • Studies indicate that black women have fewer sexual partners and are more likely to use condoms than white women from similar economic backgrounds. And they are not members of the highest-risk demographic: gay and bisexual men. So why are black women in Philadelphia at a higher risk of contracting HIV than their white counterparts? (Philly.com)
  • One thing I never hear anti-abortion folk (who cling to the term “pro-life”) cry over? The fact that the U.S. infant mortality rate among black babies is more than twice as high as it is for white babies. How can you be “pro-life” and never put your advocacy efforts toward helping born children survive? It’s baffling, isn’t it? Luckily, some people DO care, and many cities are turning to doulas to help these babies survive. (WaPo)
  • Anyway, while the folks in the House were passing an abortion ban because they care so much about babies, children, and “life” … they let the Children’s Health Insurance Plan expire, potentially leaving millions of poor children without any health insurance. I guess it’s OK if already-born children suffer and die since technically they’re out of the womb? (HuffPo)
  • Republican hypocrite Tim Murphy, who is SO pro-life he’s never fostered or adopted any children in need, is resigning from Congress after the news that he urged his mistress to have an abortion became public. Murphy, a House Pro-Life Caucus member, voted this week to restrict abortion AGAIN and has a lengthy record of similar votes. The hypocrisy, while not at all stunning, is infuriating. This wretched human being has done everything in his legislative power to take away women’s choices and dominion over their bodies under the guise of valuing life. Yet when a life that HE helped create threatened to disrupt his double life, he was all too willing to terminate it. Good riddance to this trash legislator. Pennsylvania deserves better. (Politico)
  • Could male birth control finally be on the horizon, like, for real?! Maybe! The creators of a male birth control gel (which will be applied on the shoulders, of all places!) designed to inhibit sperm production — while maintaining healthy testosterone levels in the bloodstream — will soon start recruiting 420 couples from around the world to enroll in a new clinical trial. (Scientific American)
  • Rewire has a heartbreaking write-up on the first victim who lost her life due to the Hyde Amendment. Rest in grace, Rosie Jimenez. (Rewire)
  • STDs are at an ALL-TIME HIGH in this country right now! (Time)
  • The Ontario government has introduced groundbreaking legislation that will create protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics, the homes of doctors and staff, and even pharmacies and offices that provide pills used to terminate pregnancy. Yasss Canada! Kudos to you! (Toronto Star)

Death of a Bill, Birth of an Activist

Editor’s Note: Liza Love, an Arizona pro-choice activist, testified against House Bill 2838 at the Arizona House of Representatives on February 15, 2012. She shares her experience speaking out for reproductive rights.

I am one of millions. We all have some sort of story that reflects the positive impact of Planned Parenthood in our world. There are some of us who honor that role loudly, there are those who allow it to have a quiet sort of resonance, and there are even some who refuse to acknowledge it at all, but that makes it no less true.


We must get to a place where ridiculous ideology is unacceptable from our leaders, where science and facts are not vilified. That will happen when our voices are louder and more coherent.


I have wanted to give back to Planned Parenthood for a long time. Not having much monetarily to share, I have given what I could over the years, yet still felt a need to do more. When I read about HB2838, which would ban abortions at 20 weeks, even in the case of fetal anomalies, I was astonished! I had just moved and had a ton of unpacking to do, but I knew I would be at the hearing for HB2838 to make my voice heard. The plan was that I was going to show up at the Arizona House of Representatives early, meet with my fellow pro-choice activists outside, and get the story of someone who couldn’t be present so that I could share it on his or her behalf. It would allow me to support women and health and see the process of lawmaking all at the same time.

When I arrived at the Capitol, I ended up in this tiny room that was so full it would be an understatement to compare it to being packed like sardines! There were people everywhere!  Rep. Cecil P. Ash, the chairman, was reading some guidelines for the hearing, and then some proposed amendments from Rep. Matt Heinz were being explained to the panel, and ultimately, all but one was voted down. That alone was eye-opening. First of all, Dr. Heinz is a friend to women’s reproductive health and overall well-being, and his efforts to make sure his peers are informed with facts and details was refreshing. Continue reading

Action Alert: House Bill 2838 Is Resurrected as House Bill 2036

All of your calls and emails really made a difference! HB2838 — the abortion bill that would impose harsh felonies and possible prison time on the physicians who provide care to me and my family — was pulled from the House Health Committee agenda and was considered dead!

But…

Rep. Kimberly Yee, the sponsor of the bill, has found another bill to use as a striker for 2838. House Bill 2838 has just become House Bill 2036.

A strike-all amendment is a little-known backdoor legislative maneuver that allows lawmakers to strip the contents of a bill and replace everything below the title with new bill language that died along the way, like HB2838, effectively resurrecting a dead bill.

House Bill 2036 now includes all the same language that was in HB2838. Anti-choice legislators and the Center for Arizona Policy have pulled out all the stops — even ignored the cries of constituents who opposed this bad bill. HB2036 is going to the Senate Judiciary Committee this Monday, February 27, and we have to make sure we show our power again! We helped kill this bill in the House — I know together, we can do it again in the Senate!!

TWO ACTIONS NEEDED NOW!

  1. Call Senate President Sen. Steve Pierce at 602-926-5584 and tell him: “Please do NOT allow HB2036 to be heard. It was already killed and it does not deserve to come back. I do not want doctors to have to face these kinds of liabilities and threats of jail.”
  2. CLICK HERE to send an important message to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

We can kill this bill forever!