- Why the 37th vote to repeal Obamacare matters. Learn more about the ACA here.
- Along the same lines: Four Better Ways To Spend The $55 Million Wasted On Votes To Repeal The Affordable Care Act
- Apparently, it’s National Masturbation Month?! Here’s a great FAQ about “doing it yourself.”
- Another personal in charge of curbing sexual assault in the military has been arrested.
- Easy to forget: Helen Keller was kind of a badass
- How many weeks of paid maternity leave do other countries provide?
- An update on the abortion restrictions on Arkansas and North Dakota
- In case you missed it: Motherhood and Fatherhood are not binaries – a great piece from Mother’s day
- Walmart apologizes after refusing to a print a photo of a mother breastfeeding
- Are you coming with PPHP on June 4th? We’re going to Albany to lobby about the Women’s Equality Act, and you should come too.
This week is National Women’s Health Week!
First of all, have you had your well-woman exam? Check out the video below to see what really goes on at a well-woman exam – it’s nothing to be afraid of!
Planned Parenthood health centers provide high-quality, nonjudgmental, confidential health care to women across the country. Click here to find a health center near you, and schedule an appointment.
But there’s more to Women’s Health Week. Do you know how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, might impact your access to health care? It turns out most women don’t. The latest polling shows that half of Americans do not understand how the ACA will affect them or their families. Four in ten Americans are still unaware that the ACA is still law.
And, to make matters worse, Congress is still trying to repeal the ACA. Michele Bachmann has introduced another bill to repeal it; this is the 37th time that House Republicans have tried to overturn Obamacare. No wonder the public is confused.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week: “It just keeps getting worse.” But actually, 45 million women have benefited already from the Affordable Care Act.
Already, women in our community who have insurance are seeing a difference because insurance plans are starting to cover birth control with no co-pay, and other preventive benefits for women. Check with your insurer to find out if your plan includes this new benefit and if it includes the method that works best for you –whether it’s the pill, the ring, implants, diaphragms, cervical caps, or an IUD. And if you’re not insured, starting October 1, you should have access to a new marketplace where private health insurance companies will compete for your business – we’ll post more information about how this is being rolled out over the summer. Basically, many previously uninsured women will be able to access health insurance for the first time.
Planned Parenthood also offers online tools that can help people start a conversation with providers about health care: The Check can help users figure out whether to get tested for STDs and My Method can prepare women for a conversation with their providers about the most appropriate and best birth control option.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act benefits and eligibility for coverage, go to healthcare.gov.
I’ve been talking a LOT lately about the Women’s Equality Agenda, Governor Cuomo’s 10 point plan for advancing women’s rights in New York State. The plan includes strengthening sex trafficking laws, improving and protecting work environments for women, increasing pay equity, protecting reproductive health, and ending discrimination against domestic violence abuse victims. These changes are both simple – in the way they update existing laws – and long overdue. In the words of the Governor himself,
With all our sophistication, with all our education, with all our wealth, in the greatest city and the greatest state on the planet, we still discriminate against women. It is intolerable.
And I agree, Governor, it is absolutely intolerable.
What’s truly unique about this plan is seeing the idea of the intersectionality of oppression being put into practice. So often in politics and the media we see coverage of pay equity, or coverage of sexism in the workplace, or coverage of abortion, or coverage of domestic violence – like each one is its own separate issue, unrelated to anything else. Governor Cuomo’s package shows his understanding that “women’s issues” around pay, violence, housing and reproductive rights are all interconnected. No one issue can be resolved without looking at the big picture. He’s using his power as Governor to connect & break down the legal barriers that hold women back – to truly empower women – and that is unusual.
So, what is being done to make sure that this 10 point plan is put into action? The New York Women’s Equality Coalition is an organization of more than 820 groups that support Governor Cuomo’s plan. We’ve been talking to press and to legislators and to community groups to make people aware of this plan and the facts about women’s lives that drive each provision.
Have you done your part yet? Pick up the phone and call your NYS Senator – check out the Senate website to find contact info (or just look up who represents you). Use social networking, like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness (if you tweet, use #NY4Women). Send a letter expressing your support to your legislator or to your local paper. Don’t forget: Legislators are elected to represent you and your needs. Most importantly: Join us in Albany on June 4!
- This Mother’s Day, our moms deserve better. Agree? Send a message to your New York State lawmakers, and watch a video from our Mother’s Day press conference today in Babylon with PPNC.
- A way forward for pregnant, homeless women – this is exactly why we need preventative reproductive health care and prenatal care.
- North Carolina May Force Teens To Get Notarized Parental Consent Before Getting STD Tests. We agree with Feministing.
- House Republicans are still trying to overturn Obamacare. Next week’s attempt will be the 37th time.
- The military’s approach to sexual assault has to change. No kidding.
Did you see our ad? The Women’s Equality Coalition launched our first TV ad – view it here.
It’s been a big week!
I, for one, am glad it’s over.
- EC (Emergency Contraception) news: On Tuesday night, the FDA approved Plan B One-Step for girls 15 and older without a prescription. Then Wednesday night, the Justice Department lodged an appeal against a court ruling directing it to make emergency contraception available over the counter and without age restrictions. In a nutshell, “Plan B is very misunderstood.”
- Jason Collins became the first active male pro athlete to come out. This is a huge deal! Here are some female pro athletes who came out years before Jason Collins did.
- Virginia’s new abortion clinic regulations have already closed one center.
- The abortion pill (note: different from EC!) will go from as much as $800 to as low as $12 – in Australia.
- Mary Thom, an editor at Ms. Magazine, passed away.
- Need a gift for mother’s Day? Give the gift of prenatal care to women in developing countries as a tribute to mom. #honoryourmom
- The Affordable Care Act application got a whole lot simpler.
- Pregnancy Discrimination: It Happens. This is another reason we are pushing for the WEA here in NY!
ChoiceUSA recently introduced the term bro-choice into the lexicon. The bro-choice movement aims to get men to “move beyond a place of complacency and paternalism, and arrive at an understanding of their own self-interest in fighting for sexual and reproductive justice,” among other things. The idea is that men are overwhelmingly pro-choice and they understand the connections between these issues, but feel reluctant to get involved. They explain, “It’s clear that we can no longer afford to accept passive male allies. We need men to be vocal stakeholders in the fight against sexual violence and reproductive oppression.”
Personally, I wince at the word “bro.” I heard about bro-choice, and I didn’t want to be onboard. Does this movement really need to be masculinized in order for young men to get fired up about it? Are people who identify as “bros” really the people we want in this movement?
But maybe there’s more to it. Any campaign that aims to get men to give a hoot about reproductive justice can’t be all bad, can it? We’ve been trying to get these issues out of the styles section for a while. I hate seeing “women’s issues” sequestered on “HuffPost Women” and “Slate XX” when we know that these issues affect everyone – and nobody ever calls serious news “mens’ news.” And who am I to block certain people from this movement just because of their backwards hats and cheap beer?
If “bro-choice” can encourage young, progressive men to come out of the woodwork and start doing the legwork for reproductive justice, you won’t see me standing in the way. Bring it on, bros. We need all the help we can get.
- Obama just spoke this morning at the Planned Parenthood 2013 National Conference – watch parts of the speech here.
- Wack news out of Florida, as they try to ban race- and sex-selective abortions.
- Put the Pill on Drugstore Shelves. Pregnancy Is More Dangerous Than Birth Control.
- What Real Teenage Families look like
- What Do Women, Immigrants And Gay People All Have In Common?
- More on “choice,” “reproductive justice,” and the ongoing semantic battle that our movement faces
- While the US cuts abortion access, Australia likely to increase it
- There’s been some horrible stuff going on at the University of Arizona. Trigger warning for rape apology and victim blaming.
LaTanya Mapp Frett, Planned Parenthood Vice President – Global, on why women in the peace corps should have the same access to abortion as other women serving our government. More info here.