Wednesday, February 23, 2011

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! STAND WITH WOMEN THIS WEEKEND IN D.C. AND ANNAPOLIS!

More then ever women’s rights are under attack! Instead of focusing on the economy and job growth, anti-choice politicians across the country have launched a barrage of attacks on women. At the state and federal level, there has been a no-holds-bar attack on family planning services, health care screenings, programs for low income women & infants, and abortion care.
Grassroots protests have sprung up across the nation in response to these threats. If you care about women, their families, and reproductive freedom, it’s time to get involved!

Although, we are not directly affiliated with these activities, these events are a great opportunity to show you stand with women, Planned Parenthood and with choice!

The Walk for Choice is an organic series of events planned for Saturday February 26, being organized via tumblr and facebook. Local walks are happening in Annapolis and D.C. from 12-3pm. Exact route details to be released Friday morning.

If you prefer a rally, The Rally for Choice is also being held this Saturday from 12-3pm in Dupont Circle, Washington D.C. Organizers from both events are collaborating to ensure the events are cohesive and enhance The event is being sponsored by the Young Women’s Project and ISO (DC branch).

Don’t stand idly by while anti-choice politicians attack reproductive rights. Grab your pro-choice buttons, get creative with your sign, and join these events in Annapolis & D.C. to show your support reproductive rights!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bieber Joins the Ranks of Anti-Choice Celebrity Teens

With his front page cover of Rolling Stone on stands today, Justin Bieber joins the long list of teenage celebrities who have taken a short-sighted approach to reproductive health issues. In the interview, Bieber who admits to not understanding the party system in the U.S., provides offers his opinion on abortion: "I really don't believe in abortion," Bieber says. "It's like killing a baby?"

When asked about cases of rape, Bieber gives his opinion on a situation that he will never find himself: "Um. Well, I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that." Thanks for reserving judgment on victims of sexual assault, Biebs, but chalking rape induced pregnancy up to fate sounds a little too close to victim blaming.

Like many other manufactured stars of the past few years (Jonas Brothers, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears) the fame and influence that Bieber has to help fellow teens become aware of contraceptives and the prevention of STDs is wasted. Ironically, unlike his predecessors, Bieber isn’t touting abstinence until marriage, but rather waiting until you’re in love to have sex. While this viewpoint is likely to be much more in tune with other teens, it’s a wonder if this split philosophy will bode well for the star and any young women he may “love.”

What is most disturbing about this interview is the affect his words may have on the 16 year old’s thousands of teenaged female fans. While Bieber is certainly entitled to his opinion and it is very likely Rolling Stone baited him with controversial questions in order to sell magazines, he may want to take a pause before tackling such a complex issue in such a public way. Particularly on issues on which he appears to have little to no experience with. With a film number two at the box office, Bieber most certainly holds a powerful influence over young girl’s wallets, but after this interview one can only hope the same is not true of his fan’s opinions.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Text4Baby Program Can Help Maryland Mothers

Have you heard about the service text4baby? Last week was the program’s one year anniversary, marking a full year of sending informative free text messages to women who are pregnant or have a baby less than a year old. Founded by the The National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition, this text service sends free messages to women with information and reminders to improve the health of both mother and child. Over 135,000 women have signed up, receiving a wealth of information from what to expect with mood swings to how to care for a newborn. Signing up for text4baby is easy, simply send a text message to 511411 with the word BABY or BEBE for messages in Spanish.

Here’s a few worrisome facts:
• In 2009 the Maryland the infant mortality rate was 7.2 per 1000 live births, and the rate among African American women,13.6 per 100 live births, is even more concerning.
• Over 25% of infant mortality deaths in the state of Maryland are due to a low birth weight.
• Health risks such as a late start to pre-natal care can increase infant mortality by 40%.

Although the infant mortality rate is falling in the state, many Maryland women would clearly benefit from the text4baby program’s care services and support to expecting women. For example, they could receive information on the importance of proper prenatal care, which can prevent low birth weight. With over 90 percent of Americans owning a mobile phone, and over a third of impoverished households, the text4baby’s program puts a potentially life saving message right in to a woman’s hands. Many low-income women are without access to pregnancy health care information, and just having up to date basic knowledge can do wonders for a baby’s development.

A program like text4baby is an innovative way to get valuable information to pregnant women. Savvy initiatives like this play a crucial role in ensuring more, and hopefully all, Maryland mothers can have healthy pregnancies and babies. Help us spread the word about the fantastic program by sharing this blog on your facebook or twitter!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Latest on Anti-Choice Bills in Congress

This week the House of Representatives is going to be the frontline for reproductive rights as hearings for both the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R.3) also known as, “Stupak-On Steroids,” and the “Protect Life Act” (H.R.358) are scheduled.

You’ve likely heard about H.R.3 due to the media coverage & public outcry over the attempt to redefine rape to “forcible rape. While anti-choice leaders bowed to public pressure and removed the “forcible rape” language, they added an even more egregious provision that would allow hospitals to deny abortion care, even if is necessary to save a woman’s life. There are still plenty of provisions that could affect women’s access to abortion forever.

In addition to allowing hospitals to deny life saving care to women, these bills would also:

• Effectively ban private coverage of abortion care in the new health-care system. For the record, currently 87% of private insurance companies offer abortion coverage.
 • H.R.3 would also impose tax penalties on Americans and small businesses with private insurance plans that cover abortion care.

These bills show how out of touch anti-choice lawmakers are with America’s values and priorities. Instead of pushing bills that would help create jobs and restore the nation’s economy, the first month of legislation has focused on restricting women’s rights.

It’s crucial for activists like you to stay informed and share your feelings with your elected officials. To help ensure you have to most up-to-date info, here is a list of recent articles:

The Washing ton Post After 'forcible rape,' another abortion restriction

The Hill Conscience rights debate reignited by abortion funds bill

Fox News Abortion Debate Returns to Capitol Hill as Lawmakers Weigh New Restrictions

The Examiner H.R. 358 would deny emergency abortions, allow women to die

Feel free to add additional links in the comment section.