Being Honored, Being There: Rally with NAPW Saturday Feb. 26th

On March 15th 2011, I will be receiving the Margaret Sanger Woman of Valor Award at Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Spring Luncheon. That is, if there is still a Planned Parenthood by then.

As you may know, Congress and state legislatures across the country are making women, especially pregnant women, the focus of their legislative activity . . . but not in a good way. Rather than propose legislation that would, for example, reduce America’s appalling rates of maternal and infant mortality, provide paid leave for parents (as pretty much every other western industrialized country does), or address the real economic problems that working families face, federal and state legislators are proposing bills that would deprive pregnant women of their constitutional and human rights.

Last week, the US House of Representatives voted to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. One of the many other bills pending is called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. NAPW knows that this bill and the others are really the No Justice for Pregnant Women Acts. Bills being proposed would significantly cut funding for the Women Infant and Children (WIC) program, an essential nutrition program for pregnant women and children. Other bills would cut Title X Family Planning altogether; allow hospitals to refuse to treat a pregnant woman who needs an abortion even in emergencies such as ectopic pregnancies; and limit funding for abortion unless a woman can prove that she was physically brutalized in addition to being raped. These proposals particularly target low-income mothers and children.

But that is not all. Legislators are also proposing new feticide laws and laws justifying murder in defense of the unborn. They are also proposing laws that would create special, sex discriminatory, criminal penalties for pregnant women who use any amount of any illegal drug. Some proposed laws would create special birth penalties, punishing drug using pregnant women if they go to term. NAPW is making sure that people committed to Reproductive Justice understand that these laws undermine maternal, fetal and child health and are part of a long-term strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade and expand the war on drugs to women’s wombs.

This past week, I had an opportunity to weigh in on some of this legislation on Laura Flander’s GRIT TV. You can weigh in too. Please join National Advocates for Pregnant Women on Saturday, February 26 as we stand with Planned Parenthood and Rally for reproductive justice, health, and dignity for all pregnant women: 
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
at Foley Square between Centre Street and Lafayette Street, NYC. NAPW activists will be marching as pregnant women to make clear that current legislative assaults affect all pregnant women including those going to term. Please check our Facebook and home pages for details.

In the spirit of the amazing Act-Up activists whose direct action changed law and policy to ensure health care and dignity for people with HIV and AIDS . . .

We say: Knocked-up? Fight Back!