Thank Senator Heitkamp for moving quickly to protect women’s access to birth control coverage in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 30 in Hobby Lobby vs. Burwell to allow some corporations to deny such basic health care to their employees based on their personal religious beliefs.
Unfortunately, only 56 Senators supported this legislation – Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act, or, the Not My Boss’ Business bill – and 60 were needed to move it out of the Senate.
Rest assured, the fight to right this decision is not over. Let’s first take a minute to thank our women’s health champions in the U.S. Senate for their reliable support and aggressive action.
Click here to send a note to Senator Heitkamp!
Have you heard the buzz about the new hit rom-com "Obvious Child" with Jenny Slate? Well, whether you have or not- the buzz about town is it's playing at the Fargo Theatre! And, we've gotta check it out- here's a trailer.
Please join us for our Planned Parenthood July Volunteer night at the Fargo Theatre on Wednesday July 16th at 4:30 pm. We'll have a quick meeting at 4:30- talking about how to plug into happenings in the Reproductive Health movement in North Dakota, and then we'll be magically whisked into the lovely Fargo Theatre for the 5 pm showing to watch this must-see flick.
Tickets are $9 and you're responsible for your own treats this time. Take in this raw, yet hilarious, film about being a young person in the modern age surrounded by your Planned Parenthood comrades. Can't wait to see you there!
Today in "stuff we could've told you": an exhaustive new study has found that sex-selective abortions are not a problem in the United States or in many of the other countries Americans think of as enshrining male bias when having children. This is especially important news in North and South Dakota, two of the eight states that have banned sex-selective abortion. (South Dakota's ban was signed by the governor just earlier this year.)
Sex-selective abortion bans are founded on the notion that families might prefer having a child of one sex rather than the other (usually assumed preference of boys over girls), and would seek an abortion once a doctor can confirm gender. On the surface, it sounds like the kind of thing any supporter of gender equity would endorse. In reality, these bans are harmful to women's health, counter to a human rights agenda, and primarily a political tactic of groups who work to make abortion illegal.
Conservative lawmakers have repeatedly cited the “highly skewed” sex ratios in Asian communities as evidence for the necessity of sex-selective abortion bans, but this study demonstrates that these claims are based on nothing more than stereotypes and poor data interpretation. In fact, the study flipped the script, finding that Asian Americans have more girls than white Americans. Fancy that.
You may be wondering: If sex-selective abortions aren't prevalent in America, why does it matter if they're banned? In addition to promoting harmful misinformation and further stigmatizing women and their reproductive choices, these bans make it harder for women to make those choices. They also intrude on the doctor/patient relationship by requiring doctors to become investigators and patients their suspects, and that strips nonjudgmental, high-quality care from women in need.
Coupled with past statements from leading human rights organizations opposing curtailing access to abortion to address sex selection, we can only hope these new findings reverse this unfortunate trend.
LAUREN MACK, SOCIAL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT
The worst thing about appointing a former anti-women's health legislator to become a federal judge isn't that he could uphold laws designed to shut down abortion providers, or that he will allow politicians to stand between patients and their doctors, or that he will allow anti-women's health politicians to impose a narrow-minded agenda on women.
The worst thing is that he is up for a lifetime appointment — and we don't need another judge who will undermine women's rights and access to care.
That's why we have to stop Michael Boggs from being confirmed to a federal judgeship. Tell your senators: Michael Boggs is wrong for women, wrong for our families, and wrong for the federal bench.
As a candidate for Georgia Superior Court judge, Boggs stated, "I am proud of my record. You don't have to guess where I stand... I have a record that tells you exactly what I stand for." So what is Boggs so proud of? A record of undermining women's rights and access to care and standing on the wrong side of the fight for equality:
We don't need another federal judge with a record of hostility toward women's rights, equality, and justice. Send a note to your senators to say no to Michael Boggs before he gets the chance to do more damage to women's health and rights.
By. Molly M., PP North Dakota Community Organizer
Organizing in rural states around issues like reproductive justice can be a long row to hoe. I recently attended a training called "Path to Power"- it was a great experience and an amazing training. It spoke to how organizing around issues can solidify a base of people who support similar issues and how that can lead to long term strong support in those communities. It was empowering to say the least. Especially empowering because we're seeing those very things mentioned above happen across our great state of North Dakota.
We want to give a shout out to the community of Minot: way up in the NorthWest corner of the state, and on the edge of the oil patch, Minot has been cultivating a community of feminists and advocates of women's health since last fall; and it continues to grow! Thanks to our dedicated intern, Kayla S., (Kayla- you rock!) who started the Minot Advocates of Planned Parenthood facebook group and who continues to facilitate monthly "Feminist First Fridays" in conjunction with the ND Women's Network- this just goes to show what slow and steady work can yield. If you want to join the fun in Minot on the First Friday of every month, please head to the facebook page: Minot Advocates of Planned Parenthood, click 'like' and you'll be in the know.
And, if you're in the eastern part of ND and want to help us grow our base here, and across ND please join next week's monthly volunteer night. We'll be talking to folks from Abercrombie to Zap to find who our supporters are and if they want to get involved in this movement. This is one sure way to grow our base of supporters of reproductive rights so that when the time comes to flex our muscles, we can do just that. Join us next next Tuesday May 27th at 6-8:30 pm in the Fargo Office: 624 Main Ave Suite 9 in Downtown Fargo.
The IMS Institute on Healthcare Informatics estimates that in 2013 women saved a whopping $483 million in out-of-pocket costs for oral contraceptives alone—thanks in large part to the Affordable Care Act.
For those of you interested in more stats: the share of women with no out-of-pocket costs for birth control pills increased to 56 percent (from 14 percent in 2012.) A total of 24 million more prescriptions for oral contraceptives were filled with no co-pay in 2013 than in 2012, saving each woman an average of $269.
It's no wonder that 7 in 10 Americans support the contraception mandate: with economic benefits on top of health benefits, affordable access to birth control is a clear win. As Planned Parenthood's own report explains, birth control doesn't just help women plan their pregnancies—it gives them control over their futures and moves them closer to economic equality, all while saving North Dakota taxpayers money.
Posted at 12:00 PM | Permalink
Laura Wilner, an APN/PA on staff at Planned Parenthood in Moorhead, wrote in to The Forum last week:
As we observe National Women’s Health Week this week at Planned Parenthood, we're also celebrating the 30th anniversary of our clinic in Moorhead. That's 30 years of providing preventive health care, such as life-saving cancer screenings, annual exams and birth control to women in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
In honor of women's health and our 30th anniversary, I want to encourage all women to make their health a priority and schedule their next annual well-woman exam. As a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood in Moorhead, I have the unique opportunity to serve women from both Minnesota and North Dakota (our patients are 50/50). I can tell you that no matter which side of the river you're from, well-woman exams are key in order to stay healthy and prevent future health problems. They help providers identify health risks and include preventive screenings for breast and cervical cancers. These are crucial because early detection and treatment of these diseases save lives. They also provide an opportunity for you to ask someone you can trust about, well, anything.
Read the rest on INFORUM.com, then take her advice and schedule a well-woman exam at a Planned Parenthood near you.
The Planned Parenthood North Dakota office had an awesome volunteer night last night! We talked to folks across the state about women’s health and reproductive rights in our state.
We kicked off the night in the Fargo office with a conference call to our remote phonebankers in Grand Forks (shout out to Jed!) and Bismarck (hellooooo Britta!). Our 5 (count em- 5!) volunteers in the Fargo office consisted of the fabulous team: Zach, Sonda, Lethe, Mara, and Karis- holla! Thanks to all for coming out and advocating for reproductive justice in North Dakota!
Through our calls we connected with many supporters and picked up a few new volunteers along the way. Thanks to the conversations from our confident Planned Parenthood Advocate volunteers, we are reaching with supporters from Abercrombie to Zap!
Thank you to everyone who came to help: some were first time callers and they were pros by the end of the night. We also had our seasoned and veteran volunteers back at it… they never miss a beat.
If you weren’t able to make it this time, we’ll hope to see you next month!
The following is a statement from Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota President and CEO Sarah Stoesz on today’s ruling by a federal judge which struck down a North Dakota abortion ban.
“Today, a federal judge struck down a North Dakota law that would ban safe and legal abortion as early as 6 weeks — before a woman may even know she is pregnant. This ban was part of a sweeping package of bills from the 2013 legislative session aimed at making abortion inaccessible in the state.”
“We congratulate the Red River Women’s Clinic and the Center for Reproductive Rights on this legal victory for the women of North Dakota."
“This should send a clear message to politicians in North Dakota. Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family and her faith in consultation with her doctor – not to politicians. These are deeply personal and often complex decisions for women and their families. Government has no place intruding on these decisions.”
Cross Posting from the North Dakota Women's Network
Women, half of North Dakota’s population, hold only 17 percent of North Dakota’s legislative seats and less than 10 percent of county commission seats. And startlingly few of those who have won office are women of color, despite the state’s increasing diversity. North Dakota ranks 41st nationally in the percentage of women in state legislature.
In an effort to increase women’s representation, the North Dakota Women’s Network (NDWN) is hosting a training to encourage women’s political participation. To help prepare women to seek office or serve as campaign staff, the NDWN will host a multi-partisan campaign training, Ready to Run™, on Wednesday, March 19th on the NDSU campus in the McGovern Alumni Center. Potential candidates will hear directly from prominent political leaders, and campaign consultants about how to get ready to run.
Ready to Run™ is co-sponsored by the NDSU Political Science and Women's Studies Departments the Upper Midwest Regional Center of Public Policy.
The Ready to Run North Dakota training is open to any woman in the state with an interest, curiosity or ambition to seek a leadership position in public office. The cost to attend is $30. Online registration is available at www.ndwomen.org. For more information on Ready to Run™, contact Renee Stromme at 701-226-1116 or firstname.lastname@example.org