Angry about Alabama? Here’s one way to help:
Following passage of the the all-out abortion ban in Alabama, WHARR reached out to the Yellowhammer Fund to see if there are other ways to support them, in addition to giving cash. They asked us to support the Reproductive Justice Resource Center in Birmingham, which provides free menstrual products, condoms, emergency contraception, diapers, formula, prenatal vitamins, and more to folks who need them. The RJ Resource Center has an Amazon wish list. What if we completely stock the store? This would go a long way towards providing reproductive care in Alabama to anyone who needs it.
Let’s expand abortion access in all states!
This bill would create a national safeguard to assure abortion access throughout the United States.
Senators Gillibrand and Schumer are co-sponsors, as are Brooklyn Congressmembers Nydia Velázquez and Yvette Clarke. However, Congressmembers Hakeem Jeffries and Max Rose are not.
Call Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and ask him to co-sponsor the bill (202-225-5936)
Call Congressman Max Rose and ask him to co-sponsor the bill (202- 225-3371)
This bill would lift the discriminatory Hyde Amendment and restore insurance coverage of abortion for people enrolled in Medicaid and other federal programs. Senator Kristen Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of this bill, but Senator Chuck Schumer is not.
Call Senator Schumer and ask that he become a co-sponsor (202-224-6542)
Brooklyn Congressmembers Nydia Velázquez, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, and Max Rose are all already co-sponsors of this bill. You can check to see if your House rep has co-sponsored or not.
Fight for Comprehensive Sex Ed in NYC and NYS
In August 2011, the NYC Department of Education announced that middle and high schools are required to provide comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).
CSE includes: anatomy and physiology; puberty; identity and gender; pregnancy and reproduction; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; healthy relationships; and, consent and respect.
In 2016 and 2017, an assessment found that most schools were not meeting the bare minimum requirements, including how to put on a condom and consent. Of students surveyed, 35% reported they had not had any sex ed at all.
If you have a child in NYC public school:
If CSE is not provided, what can you do?
Educate and organize other parents; reach out to the PTA and the Parent Coordinator
Contact the Department of Education Office of School Health at 718-310-2434
If your child’s school has a Relationship Abuse Prevention Program counselor or coordinator, you could reach out to them regarding CSE
Ask your child about his/her school
Ask the Parent Coordinator of your child’s school
Ask the principal: who teaches health sexual education; is the teacher trained and comfortable teaching health sexual education; when is sexual health taught; what are the curricula materials; how are health education and sexual health education taught?
We also need strong statewide legislation mandating comprehensive sex ed.
A bill for statewide CSE was introduced in Albany (S.4844 / A.6512), but unfortunately it never progressed out of the Education Committee during the 2019 legislative session. Ask your Assemblymember and State Senator to support the bill for CSE and to call on leadership to send the bill to the floor for a vote in the next session.
Combat Crisis Pregnancy Centers — aka fake clinics — in our city and state
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) — also known as limited service pregnancy centers — are anti-choice organizations that often deliberately mislead women by positioning themselves as a neutral and objective medical facility. For example, CPC staff may tell women that abortion can cause breast cancer.
CPCs often use false and misleading advertising and the offer of free pregnancy tests or other services to lure women — especially poor women — into their offices. Their goal is to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose.
TAKE ACTION IN NEW YORK CITY:
In 2016, the New York City Council passed a law to regulate CPCs, but this law is poorly enforced. The law dictates that CPCs must clearly state — in English and in Spanish — that there are no medical staff in the facility. They must make clear to potential visitors that they are not a licensed medical facility and cannot provide medical advice. However, we have found that CPCs don’t always comply with these requirements. Call or write to your City Council Member to demand better enforcement of the law.
TAKE ACTION FOR NEW YORK STATE:
There is no state legislation regulating CPCs. This means that the approximately 116 CPCs located in New York State — but outside of NYC — are not regulated. Towards the end of the 2019 legislative session, a bill was introduced in Albany requiring a state-wide study of CPCs and an associated report with findings, conclusions and recommendations to the governor and legislature (A.8212 / S.6311). Tell your State Assemblymember and Senator that you are concerned about CPCs and ask them to support the bill in the next legislative session.