Boston Walk For Choice


Posts tagged with "Health Care"

Feminists for Choice

What is Choice?
I believe that choice means having the power to make decisions about your own body. These choices include:

  • When, and if, you want to have sex
  • Who you want to have sex with
  • What types of sexual activities are right for you
  • What type of birth control is right for you
  • The choice to get pregnant and keep a child or put it up for adoption
  • The choice to terminate a pregnancy if that is appropriate for you
  • Access to medically accurate information about reproductive options
  • The right of transsexuals to change their bodies to fit their gender
  • The right of intersex children to not have surgery until they know which gender they are
  • The right to say “no.”

The pro-choice movement encompasses all of these aspects of reproductive health, and so much more.

Just a reminder that we are always accepting personal stories


If you’ve ever sought help from or have been involved with Planned Parenthood, share your story here or at

As always, we appreciate the support!

Aug 2

How to be an Everyday Reproductive Justice Hero

1. Support a friend through a pregnancy.
When a friend tells you she is pregnant, be there for her. There is no need to be overbearing, but just let her know that you are there every step of the way if she needs you. If she decides to terminate, offer to go with her to the clinic, and check in with her afterwards. If she is continuing the pregnancy, ask her what she needs – time, ice cream, someone to hold back her hair, space. And when the baby comes, be a supporter, a babysitter, a researcher of daycare options, if that’s what she wants/needs. Show through your love and trust of the women in your life that women are worthy of love and trust.

2. Be a safe sex educator to your friends.
I know there is somewhere in your area where you can get free condoms. Go get some, and give them out to your friends. Keep a dish in your bathroom with a “help yourself!” sign on it for visitors. Hand them out relentlessly. Ask your friends what method of birth control they are using. Educate yourself and be a source of information and support. Use whatever you have up your sleeve – an air of compassion, a sense of humour – to make it ok to talk openly about sex around you.

3. Volunteer at your local clinic.
Always contact a clinic first and find out what they need. Most clinics do not need counter-protesters; they make patients nervous and incite anger. See if you can be a clinic escort: usually it’s a weekly commitment of a couple hours, and you will be directly helping women accessing sexual health services. Some clinics need other support – people to drive patients from the airport or neighbouring towns; people to host out-of-town patients overnight; people to answer phones or stuff envelopes. If you have the time to give to make yourself useful at a clinic, I promise you it will go far and be very much appreciated.

4. Lead a creative resistance.
If you are a creative person, create something. Write a letter to your representative or to the newspaper; write a blog; paint, write poetry, build a sculpture; do something big and amazing and thought-provoking or something small and quiet and cathartic. Sometimes the challenge of the movement can be so frustrating and make you so angry and sad and lost; express yourself. Often art has a way of reaching others and clarifying the issue in a way that simple explanations cannot.

5. Be an ally.
Who are the people in your community who are suffering most from the lack of access to reproductive healthcare services? Find out what they have to say. Figure out a way to use what privilege you have to be of service. This is a hard one, and a longterm thing. You will screw up. But it’s worth the effort.

6. Learn.
In whatever spare time you have, read about reproductive justice, and ask questions. Talk to people, whoever you can access – doctors, nurses, friends who have had abortions, friends who have had babies, doulas, midwives, your mother, your partner. Read blogs and articles. Inform yourself as much as possible; put yourself in a position of being able to speak to this issue and to help and support and inform the people around you. Knowledge is power.

7. Love.
I feel that this is at the root of it – true activism is an act of love. Never forget why we fight for access and the health and lives of our sisters. If we live every day and act out of love, we can’t lose. When in doubt, follow your heart.

Please feel free to comment with your own ideas and suggestions. Remember, the revolution will not be funded; we all have to keep in mind that service provision, while good and essential work, is only one piece of the puzzle. The battle will be won by the small, everyday acts of resistance that all of us can do.

8. Support mothers. Fight for legislation and local resources to help mothers feed, clothe, and educate their children as they see fit. Participate in local programs that will help mothers and families with childcare and basic needs. Help mothers who want to raise up their babies themselves to do so without judgement or shame. Fight the societal impulse to criticize mothers for anything that happens to their child and every decision they make on behalf of their own family. Support mothers.

Aug 1

Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventative Services at No Additional Cost


Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.

Last summer, HHS released new insurance market rules under the Affordable Care Act requiring all new private health plans to cover several evidence-based preventive services like mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks, and childhood immunizations without charging a copayment, deductible or coinsurance. The Affordable Care Act also made recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare.

Today’s announcement builds on that progress by making sure women have access to a full range of recommended preventive services without cost sharing, including:

  • well-woman visits;
  • screening for gestational diabetes;
  • human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women 30 years and older;
  • sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling;
  • FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling;
  • breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; and
  • domestic violence screening and counseling.

New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012.  The rules governing coverage of preventive services which allow plans to use reasonable medical management to help define the nature of the covered service apply to women’s preventive services.  Plans will retain the flexibility to control costs and promote efficient delivery of care by, for example, continuing to charge cost-sharing for branded drugs if a generic version is available and is just as effective and safe for the patient to use.

The administration also released an amendment to the prevention regulation that allows religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraception services. This regulation is modeled on the most common accommodation for churches available in the majority of the 28 states that already require insurance companies to cover contraception.  HHS welcomes comment on this policy.

“Women” in this case should apply to everyone with a uterus.

Make Free Birth Control a Reality!


As all you readers know, I’ve recently been battling my way through gyno visits, insurance customer service lines, and every other imaginable barrier to find a method of birth control that I want. And through doing all of this, I found out that my new insurance doesn’t cover any contraceptives whatsoever. That means I would have to pay nearly $1200 out of pocket to get an IUD, and $2800 to be sterilized. But if Kathleen Sebelius decides to make the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation a reality, insurance companies would have to provide all forms of birth control at zero cost to the insurance holder!

Choosing when and how many children you want to have is a basic human right. It shouldn’t be determined by prohibitive costs, especially when you pay for health insurance to defray these very costs. Please sign this petition, send it to everyone you can, and feel free to add your personal stories of struggle when it comes to birth control access. 

Donate to Planned Parenthood by June 30 and Amy Poehler will match your donation!


Ok. I seriously love Amy Poehler even more.

I’m totally going to donate and YOU SHOULD TOO!

Help Planned Parenthood out! :)

(Source: motheatenmusicalbrocade)

The Real Cost Of Defunding Planned Parenthood


Anti-choice bluster has given way to actual legislation, and guess who’s paying the price? Low-income women, and any woman who would have sought care at the fourteen Planned Parenthood clinics that are closed or have been furloughed in Indiana and Minnesota. And more states are likely to follow.

None of the six clinics closing in Minnesota even performed abortions, but they’re closing due to cuts in Title X family planning funds in the federal budget signed off upon by President Obama.

In North Carolina, where lawmakers who succeeded in defunding Planned Parenthood similarly claimed that county health departments could replace its women’s health services, the organization is contemplating litigation. But a state Planned Parenthood official told Reuters that “the waiting time for some screenings at those facilities already totals 12 to 14 weeks, and the counties do not pay for things like intrauterine devices that cost $750 each.”

We’re sure that anti-choice activists will do something that shows their sincere concern for women’s health as opposed to their current two-step plan of controlling their uteruses and denying care for reproductive health. Or perhaps something that would actually prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions, like adequate access to effective contraception like the IUD. Right?

Feminist bloggers and Planned Parenthood has been saying this ALL YEAR. Defunding the clinics does nothing but fuck over low income people even MORE. this is just not fucking right.

Jun 9

Texas House votes to strip funds from public hospitals that perform elective abortions

That’s right. Hospitals. Never mind the Emergency Department, the cardiology ward, the surgeries and the ICUs - if they ever do abortions there, DEFUND THEM.

The taxpayer-supported hospitals also would lose state funding if they “contract or affiliate with other organizations, agencies or entities that provide or refer for abortion or abortion-related services.”

The provision was one of two anti-abortion measures tacked on to a big health care bill that is needed to help balance the two-year state budget. The other, by Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, would require women and their doctors to fill out and submit to the state detailed questionnaires about their abortions.

Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, author of the main bill, said the Zedler amendment was designed to help “generate lawsuits” against abortion providers.

and also to punish the people who depend on public institutions for their health care. Let’s not forget that.

Last month, GOP leaders in a House-Senate conference committee stripped from a Medicaid-overhaul bill a similar amendment by Rep. Jim Landtroop, R-Plainview.

Landtroop’s provision was broader, applying to all hospitals and clinics. Democrats and some hospital executives objected that it did not define what would be considered an “abortion-related service” and could apply to such services as women’s health counseling, crisis pregnancy centers and any facility that performs sonograms or administers the “morning-after pill.”

Mostly along party lines, the House tentatively approved the sprawling health savings bill, 91-47.

On voice votes and with little discussion, members approved amendments that would let Texas seek federal permission to completely redesign the Medicaid program for the poor — and possibly sweep Texas seniors on Medicare into private health insurance policies.

I’m so sorry, Texas. 

Jun 6

[Poster from Amnesty USA showing statistics on “The US Maternal Health Care Crisis”.]
What does this have to do with pro-choice? Forcing [people] to have children against their will only makes these numbers worse.


[Poster from Amnesty USA showing statistics on “The US Maternal Health Care Crisis”.]

What does this have to do with pro-choice? Forcing [people] to have children against their will only makes these numbers worse.