Blog Posts, Past Actions

Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act was originally passed in 1994 with the help of a coalition of pro-choice and pro-life advocates, including Feminists for Life. Since then, it's been relatively uncontroversial and enjoyed bipartisan support. VAWA is up for renewal again, and is now meeting with resistance from Senate Republicans who oppose new provisions aimed at improving services for Native Americans, undocumented immigrants, and LGBT individuals.

If you need additional pro-life incentive to help reauthorize VAWA, take a look at the statistics on the relationship between intimate partner violence, unintended pregnancy, and abortion in our "Family Planning Freedom is Prolife" presentation (.ppt) (.pdf), or in this factsheet from the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence has all the info you need on how to help:

You did it!! We now have 60 Sponsors in the Senate!

Thanks to Senator Heller (R-NV), who signed on to sponsor VAWA this week, we now have 60 sponsors – and one full day before our goal! Thank you for all your hard work!

Now we need to secure our sponsors’ commitment to S. 1925, the real VAWA, and to get as many new Senate supporters as possible. VAWA is coming to the Senate Floor and we need to have as big an outpouring of support as we can!

This week, we want you to help us by signing petitions, engaging your friends and family and getting the word out that every Senator needs to hear from you and your loved ones about why VAWA must be passed immediately.

Things are moving quickly – so “like” our Facebook page to get up to the minute information: http://on.fb.me/NTF_Facebook_page or check out our website: www.4VAWA.org

TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Suggested actions for this week include:
1. Ask your FRIENDS AND FAMILY members to call Senators to urge co-sponsorship and votes for S. 1925, the real VAWA!
2. Ask all the men you know to sign a petition supporting VAWA

Action 1: Ask your FRIENDS and FAMILY to call both of their senators’ D.C. offices today (http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm) and ask them vote YES on S. 1925 the real VAWA:

I urge Senator _____ to support the Violence Against Women Act and vote YES on S. 1925 AS IS. Don’t use VAWA as a political tool – pass it now so that all survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking can get the support they need!

Action 2: Ask all the men you know to sign a petition supporting VAWA
VAWA is everyone’s issue. Help us engage more men by asking the men you know and love to sign the 10,000 Men for VAWA petition
:

http://www.change.org/petitions/us-congress-10-000-men-supporting-the-violence-against-women-act

Check our website for fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates: www.4vawa.org

Check out and “like” our Facebook page where you can find a toolkit and other action and information items: http://on.fb.me/NTF_Facebook_page

Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #ReauthorizeVAWA and #VAWA.

If you aren't on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to Sean Black, sblack@icasa.org.

 

Blog Posts, Past Actions

Justice for Trayvon Martin and his parents

Most of the talk of reproductive rights in mainstream politics and media in the United States revolves around not bearing children. Family planning advocates, ourselves included, argue for sex education and access to contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy. Pro-choice advocates argue for a right not to bear children who have been conceived.

What is too often neglected in the mainstream discourse is the right to have children, and to raise them safely and with dignity. One reproductive right that women of color do not have in this country is the right to raise their children free of the fear that their babies will be killed because they are “suspicious.”

Trayvon Martin
was a 17-year-old African American who was visiting family in Sanford, Florida. On February 26, during halftime of the NBA All-Star Game, he walked to a nearby store to get candy for his brother and a can of tea for himself. As he walked back to his father’s home, the hood of his sweatshirt pulled up against the rain, he was spotted by the (self-appointed, as far as I’ve been able to tell) Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman. Zimmerman, 28, thought Trayvon looked “like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around, looking about.” He called 911, then told the dispatcher “these assholes, they always get away” and “he’s running.” Zimmerman left his SUV and followed Martin, despite being told by the 911 dispatcher that he didn’t need to and a squad car was on the way. Neighbors reported hearing a fight, and cries for help. On one 911 tape, cries and a gunshot can be heard. When police arrived, Trayvon Martin was dead — shot in the chest by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman claimed he had acted in self-defense. Sanford police accepted his explanation, saying that they had no probable cause to believe otherwise, despite the fact that Zimmerman shot an unarmed minor with whom he had needlessly initiated a confrontation.

Trayvon Martin had no history of violence or misbehavior, and had no drugs or alcohol in his system. George Zimmerman has a history of belligerent behavior, and was not tested for drugs or alcohol.

I think of how devastated I would be if this happened to my daughter. I also know that it wouldn’t happen to my white daughter; she will never be found guilty of Walking While Black. If she were killed while walking down the street on a simple errand, police would pursue and charge her killer. So while I stand in solidarity with Trayvon’s parents, I also don’t presume to really know what they’re going through, or what all the parents of young men of color who fear that their sons might be next are going through.

It’s too late to help Trayvon Martin’s family keep their son alive. Here’s how you can help them with their demand for accountability for his death:

  • Sign their petition asking the Florida State’s Attorney to prosecute George Zimmerman. Or call the office of State’s Attorney Wolfinger at 407-665-6410.
  • Contact the Department of Justice to ask them to investigate the case and the reluctance of Sanford police to act.
  • Call Attorney¬†Jasmine Rand at 850-222-3333 to give to the family’s legal fund.
  • Share this information. Follow @attorneycrump and @blacklaw18 and the #TrayvonMartin hashtag on Twitter, or “like” the Justice for Trayvon Martin page on Facebook, or follow the blogs I’ve linked here. Don’t let the case fade away without so much as a charge.
Blog Posts, Past Actions

Honduran women could be jailed for using emergency contraception

Following a Supreme Court decision in February which inaccurately declared that emergency contraception is abortifacient, the Honduran Congress is poised to make distribution or use of levonorgestrel emergency contraception (LNG EC) a crime punishable by jail time. Once again, we see that misinformation about EC has severe consequences. The best available research shows that LNG EC has no mechanism of action other than the prevention of fertilization. The blog Feministas en Resistencia Honduras has more information (English translation).

 

Please sign this petition to the President of the National Congress of Honduras urging him not to criminalize the use of emergency contraception. Please also continue to educate governments, media, and pro-life or pro-choice organizations wherever you live on the facts about emergency contraception.

Blog Posts, Past Actions

In Defense of Life, We Support the Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Care

All Our Lives, a pro *every* life nonprofit, does *not* stand with the anti-contraception Stand Up for Religious Freedom.

We support religious freedom, but that does not include employers' restriction of workers' family planning freedom. Instead we support and applaud the Coalition to Protect Women's Health Care in its defense of contraceptive access.

Family planning freedom is a human right in its own right, and indispensable to reducing unintended pregnancies and abortions.

All people, whether prolife or prochoice on abortion, should join together in the defense of family planning freedom, so that it becomes a reality for all women, especially women whose exercise of it is hindered by discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, socioeconomic class, race/ethnicity, disability, national origin, and/or sexual orientation.

Blog Posts, Past Actions

Pfizer birth control recall

Pfizer has announced a recall of 1 million birth control pill packets, saying that there was a packaging error that led some of the packets to have too many active pills and some to have too few. This press release from Pfizer contains information on how to tell whether your pills are subject to the recall. If you are using birth control pills, check your packet to make sure that you are not accidentally put at risk for unintended pregnancy.

Blog Posts, Past Actions

REPOST: Help needed: Translation of Family Planning Freedom is Prolife presentation

(Reposting because we have had interest in the presentation from an organization in Pakistan, so Urdu translation is now a priority.)

Are you good with languages? Would you like to help us spread the word about our Family Planning Freedom is Prolife project?

We've had interest in the presentation from around the world, and we'd like to make it available in languages other than English. We're looking for at least the official UN languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Russian, and Spanish. Hindi, Polish, Portuguese, Swahili, Tagalog, and Urdu would also be good. Please contact volunteer@allourlives.org if you can help. Thanks!

Blog Posts, Past Actions

Take action to end shackling of prisoners in labor

If you live in California, please contact Governor Jerry Brown's office to urge him to sign AB568.

Assembly Bill 568 (Skinner) would limit the use of shackles on incarcerated pregnant women to the least restrictive restraints possible.

Translation: It would end the use of belly chains, leg irons, ankle restraints and other barbaric shackling devices that are used on pregnant women in jails and prisons across our state. Yes, shackles reminiscent of slavery are still being used on pregnant women as far long as 8 ½ months.

Medical professionals agree that it’s time for a change. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) was so moved by this issue that they became co-sponsors of the bill. ACOG opposes the use of any restraints on pregnant women because it increases the risk of falling and leaving the pregnant woman, whose balance is already compromised, unable to break those falls.

When I tell my friends about the bill, their response is usually a quiet gasp followed by a confused expression because they are in disbelief. “We actually do that?” Yes, “we” do. We shackle pregnant women.

 

via California sheriffs organize against pregnant women

Blog Posts, Past Actions

Resources for pregnant and parenting students

All Our Lives is proud to support the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act in the United States Congress. The Act provides the necessary framework and resources to states and school districts to improve graduation rates for pregnant and parenting students, and to ensure that states and localities fulfill their obligations to these students under Title IX. If you represent an organization that can support this piece of legislation, please sign on to this letter to Congress and show your support. If you do not represent an organization but wish to support the bill, please write or call your member of Congress (a handwritten letter or fax is best; email is the least effective) and ask them to support H.R. 2617

The National Women's Law Center is providing the following information resources for pregnant and parenting students:


Finally, if you suspect that you or someone you know has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of being a pregnant or parenting student, you can contact the NWLC by emailing info@nwlc.org or by calling 202-588-5180. Depending on your situation, they might be able to help you directly, refer you to a more appropriate person or work to ensure that those who follow you do not face the same barriers.

Blog Posts, Past Actions

Last call for signing up for “Know Your Rights: A Conference Call for Pregnant and Parenting Students”

I'm planning to call in for this, and I hope some of our members will be there too. Supporting pregnant and parenting students is so important for women's equal access to economic opportunity. Pro-life advocates in particular should be eager to ensure that no woman feels she has to resort to abortion in order to complete her education and have a chance at a better life.

Know Your Rights: A Conference Call for Pregnant and Parenting Students!

(Please note that if you don't tick the box marked "Please continue to send me e-mail updates from the National Women's Law Center," you will not receive the call details in e-mail. This is annoying, but you can unsubscribe from the e-mail updates later if you want.)

Danielle Jackson of the NWLC writes (via email);

We’re hoping to reach a larger audience than just students who are pregnant or have children – we hope that this call can be a resource for educators, guidance counselors, and community members who work with teens and young women – and we’d love to have anyone who is interested to sign up to listen in on the call.

Blog Posts, Past Actions

Contraception Is Prolife

Blog Carnival LogoOf course the US Department of Health and Human Services should classify birth control-whatever the method or methods-as an essential preventive service for which health plans cannot charge copays. Of course.

Participation in today's "Birth Control: We've Got You Covered" blog carnival is a no-brainer for a prolife group like All Our Lives. Access to the contraceptive supplies and services of one's own choosing is essential to the voluntary, effective prevention of unintended pregnancies and abortions.

In other words, contraception is prolife. Pro the lives of women-and men-who choose to delay conception or forego it altogether. Pro the lives of children, who have the best chance at a good life if they are conceived by parents who are prepared to bear and support and love them.

Our organization calls itself prolife because we believe-on grounds open to people of all religions and no religion- that everyone, unborn or already-born, has a right to live, and live as well as possible, with all necessary supports from every level of human society. For real. That includes a thoroughgoing commitment of public policies and resources to make voluntary family planning as widely accessible and affordable as possible.

A word like "prolife" should mean what it says. All Our Lives will soon launch our "Contraception Is Prolife" educational campaign, starting with a downloadable slide presentation that explains in more detail just what we mean when we say this. We welcome your visit and participation here, and hope you will return to learn more about our "Contraception Is Prolife" effort. We have already challenged misinformation about Plan B that a Family Research Council staffer gave on National Public Radio. Please sign up for our email updates, subscribe to our Twitter feed, or join our Facebook group.