BLOG 11/11/15

November 11, 2015  It’s unbelievable. Extremists in the U.S. House of Representatives are convening yet another witch hunt against Planned Parenthood. This one is taking the form of a so-called “Select Investigative Panel” — or, as our champions on Capitol Hill more accurately call it, the Select Committee to Attack Women’s Health.

NOW chapters and activists are mobilizing with our allies against this latest attack. We won’t tolerate any cuts in funding for Planned Parenthood or any other Title X family planning clinic, period.

With hundreds of chapters and state organizations around the country, NOW knows how to fight back against attacks on our rights. Will you stand with us and take our pledge for reproductive rights and justice?

I know we have a great defense against these attacks on our rights, but we’re not stopping there. We’re also going on offense. This week, NOW and its allies delivered over 170,000 petitions calling on Congress to support the EACH Woman Act, a bill that requires abortion care to be covered in all health plans — whether a woman gets her insurance through her employer, through Medicaid, or on an exchange under the ACA.

Imagine that: Safe, legal abortion care for every woman no matter how much she makes or where she lives — improving women’s health and reducing the shamefully high rates of maternal and infant mortality in this country.

I hope that you will join us by taking the pledge to promote all women’s reproductive rights and justice!

One in three women will have an abortion by age 45, making that procedure a common and necessary aspect of our reproductive health care. I promise you that NOW will never stop fighting against anti-woman politicians bent on blocking access — and we’ll never stop working to guarantee abortion access to every woman who needs it.

Will you stand with us? Please take the pledge for women’s reproductive health?

checkmarkNovember 3, 2015 submitted by:  Eden James, Political Director Democracy for America  Exactly one year from today — on November 8, 2016 — all across our country people will be heading out to cast the votes that will determine who the 45th President of the United States will be.

One year is a long time. We don’t know yet who the candidates will be, or what issues will be at the forefront of voters’ minds as they head to the polls. But if history is any guide, we do know one thing that will be true that day: Voters will turn out at a depressingly low rate.

In a typical presidential election, fewer than 50% of Americans vote — and in the midterm elections that determine control of Congress, that percentage is dramatically lower. Countries around the world, from Italy to New Zealand, regularly put our voter turnout to shame.

There are a lot of reasons why Americans don’t vote. Many, like complex voter ID laws and long lines at polling locations, will require major legislation or big changes in local policy to fix.

But one major obstacle to getting people to the polls — long, unpredictable Election Day work hours — has a simple solution, at least in the short term. If President Obama took executive action and made Election Day 2016 a federal holiday, it would give thousands of workers the flexibility they need to get to the polls — and help others in their families do the same.

We’ve looked into it: It would be completely, 100% legal for President Obama to do this. Presidents can declare one-time federal holidays for any reason they want. In the past, they’ve used this power to honor the passing of former presidents, or even to extend an extra long Christmas holiday to workers. So why not use this power to increase voter turnout and revitalize our democracy, if only for one year?

Do you think Election Day 2016 should be a holiday? Democracy for America is joining with Brave New Films and other leading progressive organizations to call on the President to make it one in 2016. Click here to sign our petition.

Making Election Day 2016 a federal holiday by executive order wouldn’t be a permanent fix, and it wouldn’t affect all workers — only federal employees would automatically get the day off of work, though we hope other states and businesses would be inspired to join in the holiday.

Here’s why we think this experiment is necessary: Democracy in this country is in a death spiral. Because so many working Americans fail to vote, our government increasingly represents only the dedicated minority who do — and when people feel like their “representatives” don’t actually represent them, they become less willing to jump through hoops to cast their vote.

If we are going to get back to having a government that truly represents the American people, we need to break down the barriers that are keeping people from the ballot box — and ending hectic work schedules on Election Day is key to making that happen.vote3

Want to see what American elections could look like if we gave Election Day the respect it deserves? Then tell President Obama to use his pen to make Election Day 2016 a federal holiday now.

Thanks for helping us make 2016 a more democratic year for everyone!

Attacks on Women’s Healthcare: Bad Policy and Bad Politics by NOW President Terry O’Neill

September 24, 2015 Washington, DC – Thanks to U.S. Senators who actually care about women’s health, Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) government spending bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood has been stopped.

For months, extremists in Congress have promoted a fraudulent smear campaign against the country’s largest provider of excellent, non-judgmental reproductive health services. To be clear, their aim is not just to block the 2.7 million women and men served by Planned Parenthood from accessing essential family planning services. They are also hell-bent on shaming women and ultimately banning all abortion.

The reality is that Planned Parenthood is beloved – and it’s no wonder. By one estimate, one in five women in the U.S. has used Planned Parenthood’s services at some point during their lifetime. Attacks on Planned Parenthood attack the patients who depend on their care the most: low-income women and families, young women, and people of color.

Family planning clinics funded by the Federal Title X program, including Planned Parenthood, save the lives and health of these women and men every day. Right-wing politicians, whose venomous anti-woman, anti-healthcare policies are so relentless that they threaten to shut down the government, are anything but “pro-life”.

One in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Ninety-nine percent of sexually active women have used contraception. Reproductive health services are basic healthcare for women and must be safe, affordable and medically appropriate for every women in the U.S.

While we are proud of this victory, we know the fight is far from over. Those who would withhold vital healthcare from women are entitled to their opinion — but they don’t belong in the U.S. Senate. NOW chapters across the country are already mobilizing to replace them with legislators who will stand up for women’s basic rights. For more information contact Elise Coletta, elise@now.org, (951) 547-1241