December 8, 2009 § Leave a comment
It’s a well-written and inspiring account of a young Christian’s pro-choice stance and her work with an organization called Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom.
“God gave us free will, and who are you to limit that in me or anyone else?”
November 17, 2009 § 1 Comment
Tonight (11/17) and Thursday (11/19) night from 6 to 9 pm, NARAL Pro-Choice New York will host phonebanks against the ridiculously anti-choice Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the healthcare reform bill. You’ll speak with voters and connect them to their Senators, so they can hear directly from constituents who oppose the amendment.
Phonebanks will be held at the NARAL offices, but you can also participate from anywhere as long as you have internet and a phone. The folks at NARAL will guide you through it.
Contact community organizer Lalena Howard at email@example.com or 646-520-3506 to RSVP.
November 7, 2009 § Leave a comment
The lovely NARAL Pro-Choice New York has an awesome event lined up.
Wednesday, November 18th
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NARAL Pro-Choice NY, 470 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor, NYC
NARAL Pro-Choice New York in partnership with co-sponsor Spence-Chapin present “Choices: Adoption” on Wednesday, November 18th. “Choices: Adoption” will highlight the work being done to ensure that all people have access to and are supported in the process of adoption.
Presenters will share the work they do to ensure that birth mothers are heard, that professionals are trained to include adoption when options counseling, that the socioeconomic factors underlying transracial adoption are discussed and that all individuals and families, regardless of race, sexual orientation and class are recruited as adoptive parents.
Antoinette Williams, Assistant Director of Domestic Adoption at Spence-Chapin
Marci Lieber, MSW, Healthcare Advocate at Spence-Chapin
Molly HyoJung Bidol, LMSW, Counselor, Coach, Consultant on Transracial Adoption
The event is free, wheelchair accessible, and open to all with RSVP to Lalena Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-520-3506. Bring ID to get into the building.
Keep track of all NARAL’s cool events with their online calendar.
October 19, 2009 § Leave a comment
The New York City elections for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough presidents, and city council representatives are Tuesday November 3rd. Join NARAL Pro-Choice New York as we call voters, empowering them to vote pro-choice.
Pro-Choice Election Phone Banks
Tuesday, October 27th
Wednesday, October 28th
Thursday, October 29th
Monday, November 2nd
All phone banks run from 6pm-9pm.
Join us as we make calls to ensure that New Yorkers vote pro-choice up and down the ballot this November 3rd! You can either join us in our NYC office or make calls from home using our web-based system. To make calls from home all you need is a computer with high-speed internet access and a phone. Laptops and cell phones are okay! You will receive all the log-in information when you RSVP.
Training is provided for everyone and dinner is provided for those joining us in the office. Our office is located at 470 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor in NYC. Space is wheelchair accessible.
To RSVP, please contact Lalena Howard at email@example.com or 646-520-3506.
Check out more opportunities to volunteer on NARAL’s Community Events Calendar.
September 1, 2009 § 1 Comment
NARAL Pro-Choice New York is hands-down one of my favorite progressive nonprofits. They’re on the political, legislative, and community fronts working to secure safe and legal abortions for all women who want them. They also publish key resources like a pro-choice voter guide (here’s the one for September’s primaries); the Book of Choices, a comprehensive state-wide list of options for women facing unplanned pregnancies (in English and Spanish); a city-wide resource guide for free and low-cost reproductive health care; and a list of open-minded, pro-choice doctors who specialize in adolescent health (again, in English and Spanish).
That’s why I’m thrilled that they are seeking new members aplenty for their Activist Leadership Circle, a group of volunteers that Shira and I have been a part of since January.
We’ve written quite a bit about our work with NARAL, which has included calling voters directly during group phonebanks, distributing condoms and information about emergency contraception, rallying support for the Reproductive Health Act, and getting pissed when our efforts were essentially derailed by the childish behavior rampant in the New York state senate. We’ve also covered their fabulous Choices event series (though I’m sad to say I couldn’t make it to any of those three lectures).
Please consider donating your skills and pro-choice passion to this incredible organization. Here’s what’s involved in joining the Activist Leadership Circle…
Wednesday, 9/9/09, 6:00-8:30 pm: Welcome & NARAL Pro-Choice New York 101
Saturday, 9/12/09, time and location TBD: Pro-Choice Election Day of Action
Wednesday, 9/16/09, 6:00-8:00 pm: How to Talk About the Issues and Take Action
Wednesday, 9/23/09, 6:00-8:00 pm: Graduation and Welcome Party
All events (except the day of action) will take place at the NARAL Offices, 470 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor (you’ll need ID!).
And here’s what to expect when you join…
The Circle has three Action Groups that allow members to get involved in the work that is most exciting to them.
After attending our four-part series of new member trainings, you’ll be able to join one of three Action Groups:
Outreach Action Group: The Outreach Action Group is responsible for getting more people involved in NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s activist efforts and disseminating life-saving resources and information through tabling at events, street canvassing, and on-line event posting.
Political and Legislative Action Group: The Political and Legislative Action Group participates in efforts to elect pro-choice candidates such as election phone banks, disseminating voter guides, and representing NARAL Pro-Choice New York in campaign offices. Members will also help pass pro-active, pro-choice legislation by participating in legislation phone banks, petitioning, and lobbying efforts.
Reproductive Health Education Group: The Reproductive Health Education Group’s current project is researching the issue of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in New York State in order to develop a strategic advocacy plan. The Reproductive Health Education Group will also be a space to discuss emerging reproductive health issues and develop new initiatives to address them.
If you are interested in joining the Activist Leadership Circle, contact NARAL’s community organizer Lalena Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-520-3506. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions about the structure or current projects of the circle.
July 13, 2009 § Leave a comment
Upon reading your article “Palin’s anti-choice legacy,” I wanted to bring a particular point to your attention.
Your use of the term “anti-choice” is very misleading, and shows a significant misunderstanding of the term.
The term anti-choice by definition means “one who opposes ALL choices”, no matter what the topic of choice be. The opposition to abortion does not stem from the opposition of choices in general (as the term anti-choice would lead one to believe). Those who oppose abortion are against feticide and embryocide, thus making them anti-feticide, anti-embryocide, or anti-abortion. Just as someone who opposes the choice of a man to hit his wife is not anti-choice, but anti-domestic-violence, the correct label for a person who opposes abortion would be anti-abortion (or anti-feticide, anti-embryocide, etc.)
I would invite you to visit the website www.notantichoice.com to review and read more information on this subject and on the use of the term anti-choice.
I could probably just deal with this in a short response email, or even concede no response at all, but I prefer to direct public attention to a post I’ve written previously on this subject. My own words:
I am pro-life. I am completely in support of each person’s right to life – their right to go to school and grow up and decide what their favorite food is and ask questions and read magazines and get a job and dream about changing the world. That’s why I’m a pacifist. I want all of those things for every person on this earth, and I’m tired of being made to seem like I’m against life because I am pro-choice.
For me, being pro-life is being pro-women’s lives. It is one the most demeaning things in the world to feel that the government values the life of the fetus potentially living inside me more than my life. It will be a person. I am a person. It will have a life — a life that I’ll fight to protect — but I’ve already got one. It’s a goddamn group of cells. I’m a woman. I laugh at the idea of someone who believes in lives, who believes in autonomy and the right of every thing to exist, telling me how to live mine.
That’s why I much prefer the term anti-choice to pro-life, because that’s what this whole fuss is about: telling women what to do with their bodies, their futures, their lives, instead of letting us choose for ourselves. If anti-choicers were truly pro-life, they would give a shit once the fetus was born — which, you know, they don’t: anti-choicers are the ones who are cutting funds for child care and children’s hospitals. And if they really cared about reducing the number of abortions, they’d stop pouring millions of dollars into bullshit sex ed programs and limiting access to birth control. What they are actually interested in is limiting women’s choices — limiting women’s lives.
That sounds like just the opposite of pro-life to me.
Anything to add, commenters? Does someone with more time than I’ve got at the moment want to take on the troubling parallel this emailer draws between abortion and domestic violence? Do you prefer the label pro-life, instead of anti-choice? Have at it in the comments.
July 6, 2009 § 1 Comment
Via Feministing, a post by Clara Jeffery of Mother Jones tells us that one of Palin’s last acts in office was to accelerate a parental notice and consent law for women under 18 who are seeking abortion.
We see this shit all the time: my sisters’ rights to our own bodies are routinely taken away in the name of paternalistic “protection.” We saw it in the conservative media hoopla when the FDA approved over-the-counter access to emergency contraception for women 17 and older, as opposed to an earlier 18 and older policy (my favorite Mike Galanos quote: “With Plan B, they can do it now and deal with it later”). And we’re seeing it again with Palin. Nevermind that young women who don’t tell their parents about their abortion have damn good reasons for keeping quiet.
Before news of the resignation, Beverly Wooley and Jay Butler, two of Alaska’s public health experts, were essentially forced out of office for meddling in Palin’s anti-choice crusade.
Both [Wooley and Butler] made the critical mistake of wanting to present scientific evidence on the impact of parental consent laws to the state Senate. They never got the chance; the Senate “ran out of time.” From the Anchorage Daily News:
Wooley said she also intended to answer questions from legislators and said she would rely on data, not anyone’s personal beliefs. Whether she personally agreed with the governor is beside the point, Wooley said.
She intended to refer to studies from states that already had passed similar legislation, she said. Some of the research shows that, with parental involvement requirements, girls tend to get abortions later in their pregnancy, which is riskier and more expensive, she said. Other research shows fewer girls get abortions, which abortion foes like Palin likely would applaud. Wooley cautioned that the studies are small and not definitive because such laws are still fairly new.
That was enough to get her canned. And guess what? The next day, the very day that Palin resigned:
A proposal to require parental notice or consent before a female younger than 18 could have an abortion was certified Thursday by the state so that its backers can seek enough signatures to get the initiative before voters next year.
So, Sarah Palin may be gone soon. But her policies live on.
I’d just like to say: this is outrageous. Not only that Palin is so clearly shaming young women for having sex (how crazy is that? Women having sex?! News to me!); not only that she is firing staff for, in Clara Jeffery’s words, making the “critical mistake of wanting to present scientific evidence…to the state Senate” (I mean, I know Palin is scared of science, but come on!); but also that a young woman’s fundamental right to control her own body is being set aside in favor of abortion statistics.
Even if the stats show that requiring parental consent for teenagers’ abortions lowers rates — party at the Palin anti-choice mansion, anyone? I love me some barbecued moose — I still need the right to get the procedure without my parents knowing! Statistics and evidence are of course vitally important to crafting effective legislation, but reproductive rights and bodily integrity should not depend on whichever survey is being considered. They are fundamental.
June 30, 2009 § Leave a comment
Coming up next week is another of NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s Choices events.
Wednesday, July 8th
6:30 PM- 8:30 PM
NARAL Pro-Choice New York
470 Park Avenue South, 7th Floor, NYC
NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health in partnership with co-sponsors the New York Abortion Access Fund and Exhale presents Choices: Abortion.
Presenters will share the work they do each day to provide financial assistance to low-income women who cannot afford to pay for an abortion, support and counsel women after they have an abortion, ensure that all women have the health care coverage and access necessary to obtain reproductive health care, and work on the legislative and political levels to ensure that all people have access to safe and legal abortion.
- Constance DeCherney, Board Chair, New York Abortion Access Fund
- Kristen Schultz Oliver, Lead Trainer, Exhale
- Myra Batchelder, Director, Low-Income Access Program, the National Institute for Reproductive Health
- Sabrina Shulman, Political Director, NARAL Pro-Choice New York
Event is free and open to all with RSVP to Lalena Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-520-3506. Event space is wheel-chair accessible.
I hope to make it, and I’d love to see lots of people there!
June 26, 2009 § 3 Comments
It’s been two and a half weeks since the feud in the New York State Senate began up in Albany. The Times broke the news on June 8:
Republicans apparently seized control of the New York State Senate on Monday, in a stunning and sudden reversal of fortunes for the Democratic Party, which controlled the chamber for barely five months.
A raucous leadership fight erupted on the floor of the Senate around 3 p.m., with two Democrats, Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens, joining the 30 Senate Republicans in a motion that would displace Democrats as the party in control.
The quite possibly illegal coup has had ramifications for many legislation, including a proposed bill to legalize same-sex marriage that has been stalled indefinitely. It has also suspended a vote on the Reproductive Health Act, a bill that will codify Roe v. Wade into New York state law and establish political standards for reproductive health legislation.
With passage of this legislation, every woman in New York would have been assured that her fundamental right to choose abortion would be protected. Critically, the Reproductive Health Act would also have clarified that a woman would be allowed to have an abortion if her health or life was endangered. The bill, which has been loudly debated for three years, was going to be voted on quietly and respectfully so that each senator could fully vote his or her conscience.
But two days earlier, the Republicans — with the help of Sen. Pedro Espada and Sen. Hiram Monserrate, both Democrats, ostensibly — engineered a coup that took down the pro-choice Senate leadership and attempted to reinstate the same anti-choice Republicans who’ve been blocking pro-choice legislation for 40 years.
This maneuver appears to have effectively derailed the bill — ironically, as both Monserrate and Espada are co-sponsors of the Reproductive Health Act.
One would think that Monserrate, of all people, might want to make women’s issues a priority. One would think Espada, whose health center serves low-income women, might want to make women’s health a priority. One would think that Sen. Dean Skelos, who really ought to be noticing the national trend away from Bush-era extremism, might want to make women’s issues a priority.
Women’s health and rights matter in New York. Polls have repeatedly shown that nearly three quarters of New Yorkers (across all party lines and demographics) support the Reproductive Health Act.
Yet the anti-choice Republican leadership has maintained a stranglehold on the Senate, kowtowing to fringe interests.
The RHA is near and dear to my heart. In fact, as part of my volunteer work with NARAL over the past year and a half, I’ve been collecting petition signatures in support of the bill at street fairs and calling voters to transfer them directly to their district representatives. The week before this free-for-all began, I walked over to my state senator’s district office to hand-deliver almost a hundred petitions from my district alone. Soon after, he signed on as a co-sponsor.
I have been working to make this bill a law because it’s fun, it’s empowering, and it will have incredible consequences for New York’s women. But my commitment to action and dialogue has been completely silenced, while the people we’ve elected to represent us get paid to act like children.
New York did not have one State Senate on Tuesday [June 23]. It had two.
Democrats sneaked into the Senate chamber shortly after noon, seizing control of the rostrum and locking Republicans out of the room. Republicans were finally allowed to enter about 2:30 p.m., but when they tried to station one of their own members on the dais they were blocked by the sergeants-at-arms.
So then something extraordinary — and rather embarrassing — happened.
The two sides, like feuding junior high schoolers refusing to acknowledge each other, began holding separate legislative sessions at the same time. Side by side, the parties, each asserting that it rightfully controls the Senate, talked and sometimes shouted over one another, gaveling through votes that are certain to be disputed. There were two Senate presidents, two gavels, two sets of bills being voted on.
…and again just a few days later:
This feckless bunch in Albany, a k a your state senators, can’t even scuffle properly. Just when you thought they couldn’t embarrass themselves any further, they reduced themselves this week to “my gavel is bigger than yours” gamesmanship and to nyah-nyah name-calling.
“You’re out of order,” cried George H. Winner Jr., a Republican senator. No, shouted back Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat, “you’re out of order.”
And people think high school students are immature?
June 25, 2009 § 1 Comment
The one millionth way that Ann Coulter simultaneously terrifies and disgusts me:
“I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.“
– Ann Coulter on The O’Reilly Factor on June 22, 2009
And may I ask — what the fuck is an “abortionist,” or even an “abortion doctor”? Ann, you can save those extra syllables and just call them doctors — you know, the kind who go to medical school, get certified, and save lives.
via a NARAL Pro-Choice America email.