“Make Love, Not Babies” ♦️ Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Today is the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade! As I read through the tweets of people discussing the reasons they are grateful, I’m surprised by the lack of acknowledgement of what choice did for love and relationships.

We’re so used to having reproductive rights that we forget the most revolutionary part of choice.

Making love now involves you and your lover. You don’t have to live in a marriage where you fear becoming pregnant every…single…time you’re together.

We don’t have to live in a world where sex is only for the purpose of making babies and once we’re finished having children, we sleep in a different bedroom from our spouse for the remainder of our lives.

Life before the 1960s and 70s meant there was no birth control. There was no choice.

Now, making love can be about love. About desire. About connection. With the power of choice, sex is not solely for the purpose of procreating.

When I watch movies that were filmed before 1973, I see the layers of fear involving love making even between people truly in love. I realize the lack of intimacy freedom that existed. A freedom that today, we take for granted.

Period movies and historical shows filmed today have everyone rolling around with everyone and it’s completely unrealistic — but then again, we live in a world today with so much freedom, we assume it always existed on some level. We can’t really fathom any longer how different romantic relationships were before choice.

Unfortunately most of the defenses for choice today revolve around catastrophic pregnancy situations, not freedom and autonomy.

I am grateful for the freedom to exist without fear, to want any children I might have because they were not forced upon me, and to know above all else that I too, was wanted. I wasn’t a consequence, I was a gift. 🎈


Happy 44th Anniversary Roe vs. Wade!

Paradise
Virginia NOW
communicationsvp@vanow.org
Communications Director ♦️ Webmistress

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Charlottesville NOW Invites You:

An Event for Reproductive Rights

WHY: The Supreme Court just ruled again that states aren’t allowed to pass medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. When we fight, we win. Now it’s time to make sure that everyone has access to abortion when needed.
John D’earth and Dahlia Lithwick to Headline Charlottesville All Access Event On Reproductive Rights Cultural event to shine a light on abortion access with music, art, and family-friendly festivities

Charlottesville, VA – Charlottesville will play host to one of 30 All Access events September 10th, a nationwide day of cultural and arts events bringing attention to abortion access. Nonprofit organizations Progress Virginia Education Fund, Blue Ridge Abortion Assistance Fund and Shift. will host the family-friendly celebration at Blue Moon Diner on Main Street. The program includes a performance from local music sensation John D’earth, a presentation from Dahlia Lithwick, a nationally noted author and commentator, and surprise video appearances.

All Access is a powerful cultural event featuring simultaneous concerts in five cities and dozens of other events taking place in cities across the country. More information about the All Access events is available at allaccess2016.com.

Seven in ten Americans support abortion rights but it’s clear that we have an access problem. Eighty eight percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider. Here in Virginia, 92% of localities have no abortion provider. We cannot exercise our right to abortion if we don’t have access. All Access will give each of us the opportunity to speak up in support of abortion access and the women who need it.
WHO: Author and commentator Dahlia Lithwick, musician John D’earth, Blue Ridge Abortion Assistance Fund, Shift., Progress Virginia Education Fund, and more.

WHAT: All Access Charlottesville

WHEN: Saturday, September 10th 6pm-8pm

WHERE: Blue Moon Diner, 512 W. Main Street, Charlottesville, VA

WHY: The Supreme Court just ruled again that states aren’t allowed to pass medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. When we fight, we win. Now it’s time to make sure that everyone has access to abortion when needed.

Our Contact Information:

Blue Ridge AAF
PO BOX 5082
Charlottesville, VA 22905

434­963­0669
blueridgeaaf.com

Take Action – Keep Virginia’s Health Centers Open!


In a huge victory for women’s health, the Virginia Board of Health voted to amend medically-unnecessary “TRAP” restrictions designed to shut down women’s health centers. The Board’s vote was the first step toward ensuring that rules for women’s health centers are based on medicine, not politics. But we’re not done yet and we need your help.

We have until February 11 to tell the Board we support their vote.

The ACLU of Virginia has set up a special website with suggested messages and the link to the public comment website. Please take a minute to visit the site and make your comment before February 11.

The restrictions on women’s health centers are about denying access to abortion, period. Three of 21 women’s health centers in Virginia have been forced to close or stop providing abortion services, in part due to these restrictions. If the restrictions remain unchanged, additional health centers will close – cutting off access to preventive health care such as cancer screenings to thousands of Virginia women.

Please submit your comment now.

Thank you for all you do every day for women and girls.
Marj Signer

Virginia NOW Legislative Vice-President

Good News for Reproductive Freedom!

GOOD NEWS FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM!
(Recap from December)

Board of Health to amend TRAP!  ProChoiceAvatar

On December 4th, the Virginia Board of Health voted to move forward with amending the state’s targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP)!

This doesn’t repeal TRAP, but it gives us the opportunity to do so.

The 13-2 decision comes after years of fighting dangerous and medically-unnecessary restrictions. This crucial vote means we get another shot to ensure that abortion providers are not forced to comply with regulations that were specifically designed with the intention of being impossible to meet —  so that all but 4 of Virginia’s 18 abortion providing clinics would have to close.

These regulations have been designed to restrict, and even end women’s access to abortion and her right to choice.

We still have a long way to go but we now have the opportunity and are making lives better for women in Virginia!  This is because of you!


Happy New Year!
Paradise Kendra
Virginia NOW
Communications VP, Webmistress

Aside

Medical Privacy: Not So Private

 

Many patients don’t realize that a physician’s ability to service the community can be suspended or retracted entirely by the DEA for their patient’s misuse or diversion of drugs.

(*)  ###  (*)

Why is this an issue for the everyday American who never intends to overdose or abuse their prescription dosage?

protectpatientinfo.jpg

 

 

The DEA is implementing stricter and stricter regulations on physicians and their ability to provide prescriptions. They are also enforcing legal penalties for abuse of prescription drugs on the doctor who prescribed them as well as the patient who actually broke “regulation”.

For example, if a patient went to a second doctor in addition to their primary one to gain a second prescription, the DEA now uses the Prescription Monitoring Program to enforce the legal repercussions against the doctors who prescribed a medication for their patient in addition to the person who committed the crime.


(*)    The DEA’s agenda is not medical. It is political.   (*)

 

They are expecting doctors to be responsible for their patient’s actions outside of the office.

  • Why is it the doctor’s fault if a patient were to overdose on a medication?
  • Why should the doctor to go prison or lose their medical license if their patient obtained duplicate medications from another physician?

 

They shouldn’t be. They’re not cops. They’re there to provide the best health care possible. They can’t do this if the DEA puts so many barriers in their way that they’re afraid to write up a legitimate prescription that could save a life, prolong a life, or enrich one.

The DEA is the enforcing arm of this agenda, the “messenger”.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (through the Food and Drug Administration) has the responsibility of making medical recommendations on drug related issues to the Secretary of Health based on scientific evaluations.

Beyond the medical spectrum, the Office of Diversion Control (DEA Headquarters) has expanded its department making it a primary goal to “regulate” controlled substances in hopes of decreasing drug abuse.

Under federal law, all businesses which manufacture or distribute controlled drugs, all health professionals entitled to dispense, administer or prescribe them, and all pharmacies entitled to fill prescriptions must register with the DEA. Registrants must comply with a series of regulatory requirements relating to drug security, records accountability, and adherence to standards.

All of these investigations are conducted by Diversion Investigators (DIs), a specialist position within the DEA assigned to investigate suspected sources of diversion and take appropriate criminal and/or administrative actions. Prescription Database Management Programs (PDMP) aid and facilitate investigation and surveillance.

Sometimes in an effort to solve a problem, we end up creating a new one. Sometimes with the most sincere motivations, laws do more to restrict our freedom than to protect the innocent.

(*)

Our privacy, protection, and freedom rely on the level of medical expertise and the direct relationship between doctor and patient access permitted within our healthcare system.

 

Fight for the future.

 (*)  ###  (*)

  More

TRAP Public Comment Period – Closes Thursday

We have just two days left to push back against the highly politicized targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP). The public comment period ends at midnight Thursday, July 31. Please take a few minutes to make your views known about these medically unnecessary regulations that have already resulted in two clinics closing and threaten the health and safety of Virginia women.
Click here to submit your comment.
Here are some talking points to use when writing your comment:
  • The Board of Health must completely repeal and rewrite the current regulations of women’s health centers to protect women’s health and preserve access to comprehensive reproductive care.
  • All health professions should be regulated, but these politically motivated restrictions aren’t necessary for patients’ safety. Instead, these restrictions endanger women’s health.
  • Current regulations of Virginia women’s health centers are about politics, not medicine.
  • Doctors, health care professionals, and a majority of Virginians oppose these regulations.
  • If the regulations are not repealed and rewritten, tens of thousands of Virginia women and families will lose access to critical medical care.

Thank you for taking action for the health and safety of Virginia women.

Marj Signer
Virginia NOW
Legislative VP

To comment, go to the Virginia Regulatory Town hall site: http://www.townhall.virginia.gov/L/comments.cfm?periodicreviewid=1316. 

Learn more:

In May, Gov. McAuliffe directed the Virginia Board of Health to conduct a review of the abortion clinic regulations designed by former Atty General Ken Cuccinelli and enforced by former Gov. McDonnell. Currently, the Virginia Dept. of Health is accepting public comments on whether to amend, repeal and rewrite, or uphold the regulations in their current form.

~o~

Click here to see available current reproductive, choice, and abortion services within Virginia. 
http://www.vanow.org/support/reproductive-choice-abortion-services

The Hobby Lobby Decision

So, from now on, when you go to a job interview, remember to ask the HR folks about the corporation/company’s religious exemptions to your health insurance.

According to Reuters, Hobby Lobby did not seek exemption for all forms of birth control, only emergency contraceptives and IUDs. Justice Ginsberg sees much larger and more chaotic implications of the decision, as noted in her objection. Part of the problem is that the owners of the company don’t have to follow the science about these drugs/methods, only their “sincerely held beliefs.”

Importantly, employees can still obtain these services/medications through their insurance, just in some as yet undefined process that does not involve the employer (my bet is a separate “rider” for whatever they choose to exclude, at your extra cost).

See the Reuters article here (click).

Hobby Lobby has a page on its site devoted to its Ministry Projects, and various not really applicable historical quotations. So, how far does this collection of quotations go toward being a ministry project or the actual demonstration of “sincerity.” There is no evidence here of any practical project.

As a bar for legal sincerity that will affect the cost of health care, even its access, for women who do not share an owner’s faith, this strikes me as exceptionally low.

Further reports and analysis and educated rants at Politco, Jezebel, Bitch. I’m sure there’s more to come.

Carry on!
Simone Roberts
Web Editor / Historian
Virginia NOW

 

Action: TRAP Review Public Comment Period Now Open

Dear Virginia NOW members and friends,

Thanks to Gov. McAuliffe’s call for REVIEW OF TRAP regulations that threaten to close many of Virginia’s health clinics (especially reproductive health clinics and abortion providers), the PUBLIC IS NOW INVITED TO COMMENT on the topics of choice, reproductive justice, and abortion access.

Virginia NOW urgently requests that you engage this opportunity to GET ON THE RECORD FOR CHOICE.

To add your voice in support of truly comprehensive health care for women and our families, and to emphasize the importance of complete reproductive autonomy for women as unique individual human beings free to follow their their own moral compass:

CLICK HERE to go directly to the PUBLIC COMMENT FORUM.

If you need background, or a guide to the process, or want a few talking points for inspiration for your unique message, follow these links. You can download these documents for your reference, and you can share these links on your social media.

Our Lobbying Director, Vicki Yeroian, has created several easy to follow guides to help you engage in this process effectively. If you have further questions, you may contact Vicki at lobbyingdirector@vanow.orgYou may also contact our Legislative VP, Marj Signer, at legislativevp@vanow.org for more information.

Please share this post widely with your friends. It is absolutely vital that Virginia women be heard LOUD AND CLEAR at this point in the review.

With our appreciation and thanks,

The Virginia NOW Executive Board

Governor Orders Review of TRAP

Last week, Governor McAuliffe took a bold first step in directing the Board of Health to review burdensome regulations on Virginia’s health centers (also known as Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers, or “TRAP”). The purpose of this review is to determine if the regulations should be repealed, changed, or upheld – and the Board of Health’s first meeting is June 5th!

Join us at the Board of Health meeting on June 5th to show support for regulations based in medicine, not politics!

What: Board of Health Meeting to review TRAP
Where: 9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23233
When: Thursday, June 5th, 9:00am

This is the first step in the review process, and it’s critical that we show support for keeping Virginia’s health centers open and accessible. Please join us, and stay tuned for more information when the public comment period opens on June 16th!

With your help. June could be a great month for Virginia women.

VA NOW

TUESDAY, March 25, RALLY for WOMEN’S FREEDOM to ACCESS BIRTH CONTROL

… and Keep Your Boss Out of Your Pants!!! … and your private life. … and your faith. … and live by your own moral compass. Because, you, you are a complete human being.
* * * * *

Join NOW and our allies on Tuesday March 25th in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the Court hears challenges to the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act. Women fought hard for this benefit – and the two cases before the Court will determine if for-profit employers have the right to deny their employees access to no-copay birth control. Join us to demonstrate support for birth control as basic health care.

These two cases could have far-reaching consequences for millions of American women and our health care. The two companies involved, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood, are attempting to claim that the religious beliefs of their owners allows them to refuse to cover birth control. They are trying to use religion to discriminate against women!

Read Terry O’Neill’s piece in the Huffington Post on the arguments presented by Hobby Lobby’s attorney.

The natural extension of this thinking is to expand rules like “conscience” clauses that already make access to some health care an inconsistent and emotionally difficult process.

We’ll gather in front of the Court starting at 8 am. There will be a people’s mic and rally from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and the rally will continue until 11:30 am.

If you can’t attend the rally make sure to sign our banner so your voice is heard!

This rally is really important because these cases would give bosses the right to deny their employees birth control coverage. A large coalition of groups is demonstrating what a majority of Americans believe – that birth control decisions are ours to make, not bosses. We will join groups including NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Religious Institute, Catholics for Choice, Methodists Federation for Social Action, National Council of Jewish Women, the Religious Coalition for Reproducitve Choice, a number of LGBTQIA groups*.

These cases are based on the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, which a was used as the attempt in Arizona to allow business owners to refuse to serve people on the basis of a “substantial burden” to religious freedom/practice. Because, you know, being around LGBTQIA people, or women using The Pill, or being around folk of other faiths — this is a stain on the soul.

For more information, please contact Marj Signer at legislativevp@vanow.org.  See you Tuesday morning!!!

Spread the Word! Tell Your Friends:
Bosses shouldn’t be able to take away their employees’ birth-control coverage! Join the rally on March 25 at the U.S. Supreme Court to make sure our voices are heard.   

It’s offensive that some bosses think they should be able to impose their views against birth control– or any medication or medical proceedure –on their employees. Speak out against these over-reaching bosses — join the rally in DC on March 25.

Getting There – Be sure to leave plenty of time for rush hour traffic and Metro crowds.
The address if the U.S. Supreme Court is 1 First St NE, Washington, DC 20543

The closest Metro (subway) stops are:
> Capitol South (Orange & Blue Lines, 0.3 miles)
> Union Station (Red Line, 0.5 miles).
Additional information on riding the Metro is available at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

By Train
> Amtrak, VRE, and MARC trains service Union Station, which is located approximately 0.5 miles from the Court — and has direct connections to the Metro.

By Car
> Street parking is extremely limited near the Supreme Court and virtually non-existent before 9 or 9:30 am. The closest public parking garage is located at Union Station.

*Apologies to our allies!! I (Simone) had to post this pretty quick, and research was not turning up the names of your organizations w/o a great deal of drilling. Next time, I hope I to have a wider window in my own schedule for the research!!

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