Our reproductive freedom is under attack
Just the latest in what has been a constant barrage of attacks since November 2016
In May, the Trump Administration announced its intent to institute a nationwide “gag rule” that would cut any health care provider who performs abortions or refers patients to clinics that provide abortion services out of Title X’s federal family planning money. Even though–because of the Hyde Amendment–Title X funding never even goes toward abortion services.
Losing access to Title X funding would be a huge deal for a lot of Utahns. And, no, our friends at other community health centers will not be able to handle the influx of patients seeking care if Planned Parenthood of Utah goes away. That’s why Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (along with PP affiliates from Wisconsin and Ohio) is taking the Trump-Pence Administration to court.
We need every member of The Birds and The Beehive to back us up on this and submit their own public comment here. Please let Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, know that you oppose Trump’s gag rule on health care providers that participate in Title X.
As if that weren’t enough, last week, Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy–a moderate conservative who has played the swing vote in many cases–announced he plans to retire within the next month. This SCOTUS opening means Trump has the opportunity to fulfill his promise of filling any open seat with a judge who will help strike down 1973’s Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling–you know, the one that has protected your right to safe and legal abortion for 45 years.
As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) tweeted immediately following Justice Kennedy’s announcement: “This is the fight of our lives.” We have to make sure the Senate blocks any Supreme Justice nominee who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
One of our own Utah Senators–Mike Lee–was on Trump’s short list of possible nominees. Though he has since been removed from consideration, we don’t expect much from our local lawmakers in regards to maintaining access to women’s health care. So, supporters should spend their time contacting a few key players from other states.
Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) helped to defend the ACA on the Senate floor last year. They are supporters of Roe, but hearing stories about what access to abortion means for real-life women might help keep them strong in the fight to protect that access. Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) would also be a good person to try to appeal to. Democratic Senators from swing states like Joe Donnelly (Indiana) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia) will likely also need some special attention and prompting to ensure the open SCOTUS spot doesn’t go to someone who will take away our reproductive freedom. (Hint: click on any of the aforementioned Senators’ names to tweet at them!)
The Birds and The Beehive has big plans to fight these attacks
On top of suing the Health and Human Services Secretary over the Title X gag rule (NBD) we’re working on some other exciting projects here in the Beehive State in order to protect your rights and access to reproductive health care.
We need YOUR stories.
We have a couple opportunities coming up for supporters to share their stories in big ways. We are specifically looking for people who fit the following descriptions, but anyone can share their PP story anytime on PPAC Utah’s website:
A) People who have had an abortion and would like to speak to medical students about their experience (this would be a great opportunity to help influence the next generation of care givers).
B) Members of The Birds and The Beehive who have had a great time working on advocacy issues and want to share their accomplishes with PP donors via video at our upcoming fundraiser, The Art of Safe Sex.
C) Former or current patients of Planned Parenthood in Utah who want to share with the world why this organization is so vital to our community.
Feeling inspired to share your story? Please email email@example.com!
Need more inspo? Check out some of the videos on our 2017 Annual Report.
Save the date.
On Saturday, September 8th Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah will host The Birds and The Beehive Boot Camp in Salt Lake City. Ambassadors who attend the Boot Camp will get educated–and get excited!–about participating in local elections and electing candidates that will work to maintain reproductive freedom for all Utahns. You’ll also earn a BeeScout patch for attending!
Last Line: be sure to register to vote before the upcoming midterm election. Help your friends and families register to vote. Educate yourself on the candidates. Make a voting plan. And vote.