Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: legislation

ENDA May Not Mean the End of Job Discrimination

The fight for same sex marriage has consumed the public’s mind in the past few years. With the ruling on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 this past summer many people have gotten tunnel vision, focusing all their efforts to marriage equality. I’ll be the first to admit that there isn’t anything wrong with this. Marriage equality is an issue very dear to many people, both queer and heteronormative. But another issue looms on the horizon for the queer community and that is job protection.

Why I Won’t Shut Up About the Shutdown

So let’s get a couple of things straight. The politicians who refuse to pass a federal budget in protest of the Affordable Care Act are withholding government services from millions of Americans who need them.  Some of these services include: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides pregnant women, women who recently gave birth, and their families with federal assistance through food stamps, especially targeting those children who can’t get the early-childhood nutrition they need because they are living in poverty Head Start programs that provide early-childhood education to low-income families. Domestic violence and rape crisis centers funded through the Violence Against Women Act. It is predicted that 70,120 fewer victims will have access to recovery programs and shelters as a direct result of the… Read more »

If I lived in a state that had reproductive justice…

The state would respect the humanity of ALL people. The state would not pass laws diverting money from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program to give to Crisis Pregnancy Centers that “routinely lie to and coerce women.” The state would not mandate that in order for rape crisis centers to receive funding, they must not refer to abortion care when they counsel survivors. The state would not mandate that public hospitals can only perform abortions in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother. The state would not pass laws requiring abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with a local hospital and then ban public hospitals from getting into transfer agreements with abortion clinics.

Assembly Bill 154 and Young Californians: Increasing Access to Safe Abortion Care

California is nationally recognized as one of the most progressive states in the Union and a national trendsetter for progressive issues, including reproductive justice.  In fact, I am proud to report that the Golden State has none of the major types of abortion restrictions, such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions, in place. However, our lack of legal roadblocks to safe, affordable, and accessible abortion care do not mean that every Californian has the same kind of access or that access is uninhibited.  In fact, my home state is the perfect example of why the fight for reproductive justice is always important and never finished.  Assembly Bill 154, or the Early Access to Abortion Bill, is the next piece of vital legislation for Californians,… Read more »

An Open Letter to Senator Marco Rubio

Senator, as I am sure you are aware, it was forty years ago that the landmark court case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States. But as I see my fellow low-income women, women of color, and queer women repeatedly denied not only abortion care access under the Hyde Amendment but also access to comprehensive sex education across our state I am personally reminded of the absolute worthlessness that Roe has to us because of you and other anti-choice politicians. I understand that you “feel very strongly about this issue”, Senator. But I must admit it’s rather curious to me that you wish to lead a 20 week abortion ban when less than two percent of abortions take place after 20 weeks, according to a study released… Read more »

Lo Que Los Fanáticos Religiosos Se Esconden

“that which the religious zealots are hiding” So I’m a little bummed today. The legislation in Kansas we’ve been fighting against was passed in both the House and Senate. It waits to receive its guaranteed signature from Governor Sam Brownback, who has continually proven to support harmful legislation that further endangers and marginalizes women. This recent development proves that Kansas does not have women’s best interest in mind. We did not lose without fighting. Senator David Haley, D-Kansas City, was a champion for us during the hearing. He stood up to dangerous wording and implications of the new laws. He went as far as to say that Republicans promote “narrow Taliban-like philosophies on our state’s persons.” I can’t say I disagree. Please can someone PLEASE tell me how it’s helpful… Read more »

On Privacy and Reproductive Health: California’s Confidential Health Information Act

Elizabeth McElvein is a member of the Choice USA chapter at Scripps College The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health plans and insurers to offer coverage to dependent children up to age 26. While the expansion of health care coverage is a momentous step forward, the ACA leaves matters of patient privacy relatively ambiguous; consequently, it is up to state lawmakers to mediate the conflict between maintaining appropriate health plan and insurer communication and protecting patient confidentiality. This tension is of concrete significance to women and young people for whom patient confidentiality translates into freedom to pursue sexual and reproductive health care services. Imagine a high school senior sitting by herself in a doctor’s waiting room. She contemplates telling her doctor that she is sexually active and dreads the… Read more »

Expanding Access to Abortion in California Could Be a Model for the Country

By Katherine Sheldon, Co-Vice President of Choice USA at Sacramento State Let us start by taking a moment on behalf of uteruses everywhere to give thanks to Roe v. Wade for allowing us to do what we want, when we want, with our bodies. Forty years after becoming law, there are still people fighting to take our rights to our own bodies away from us. Over the last two years, 135 laws have been passed across the nation restricting abortion access. This is not only physically dangerous for women, but it shows them that the government doesn’t take their health seriously. AB 154 is a bill that will allow more medical professionals, including nurses and midwives, the ability to perform first-trimester abortions. Allowing these professionals to perform abortions increases the… Read more »

Alabama Legislators Try to Pull a Mississippi

If you haven’t been keeping up with reproductive rights happenings in the Southern states, no worries! Here’s what happened on Plea, a dramedy about a group of young adults in Alabama who can’t access birth control because their state legislators are nincompoops! Several weeks ago, the Alabama House of Reps introduced HB-57, a measure which would require abortion clinics to have a doctor present for every procedure. While this seems okey-dokey in print, HB-57 is really just one of many sneaky bills designed to hurt—not help—clinics and those seeking out abortions. This legislation imposes unnecessary and costly restrictions on providers in the hopes that they will be forced to shut down. The representative who is sponsoring this bill is Mary Sue McClurkin, a woman who is presumably not of reproductive… Read more »

New and Improved VAWA Passes (But There’s Still Room for Improvement!)

The Violence Against Women Act serves to protect and assist survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Last Thursday, the House finally approved the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – “the good version” – sending off a bipartisan Senate decision to the President’s desk. The legislation passed on a vote of 286 to 138 with 199 Democrats and 87 Republicans supporting reauthorization of the landmark 1994 law.  Last month, the Senate passed the measure with 78 votes; those votes include every woman, every Democrat and just over half of the Republicans. In 2012 House Republicans officially allowed VAWA to expire until the next Congress, and for over a year they effectively stalled the re-authorization of VAWA.  This marked the first time since its conception that VAWA was not… Read more »