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If you experience certain life changes, you don’t have to wait for Open Enrollment in November to enroll in affordable health coverage on healthcare.gov or your state’s marketplace. You have 60 days after the following events to apply for a Special Enrollment Period and enroll:

• Moving to a new zip code or county
• Getting married or divorced
• Having a baby, adopting or becoming a foster parent
• Becoming a U.S. citizen or getting a green card

You have 60 days before or after the following to enroll: 

• Losing your health insurance from your job
• Turning 26 and aging off your parent’s health plan

And if you are experiencing domestic violence and want to apply for your own health plan, you can do so at any time.

Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods at healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

 

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RWVoices

Thursday
Sep202018

Sexual assault in the national spotlight

Will allegations against Kavanaugh be investigated before a SCOTUS vote?

The allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are shining a national spotlight on the incidence of sexual assault, especially when the survivors are teenagers, and spurring an array of #WeBelieveSurvivors actions. Girls ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be survivors of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault, according to statistics from RAINN, the national sexual violence hotline.  But often, these attacks remain an ugly secret, haunting women and girls who are reluctant to come forward. More than 60 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to police.

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that California psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford had credibly accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault and attempted rape when they were both in high school. As reported in the Post, significant circumstantial evidence supports Dr. Blasey Ford, who described the attack to therapists in 2012 and 2013, long before Kavanaugh’s nomination.
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee had been scheduled to vote on the nomination today, with a vote in the full Senate planned for next week. At first, Republicans attempted to muscle their way through. When that became untenable, they hastily announced a hearing for this coming Monday, September 24, allowing little time to investigate the allegations beforehand.
 
Dr. Blasey Ford has called for an FBI investigation, and has said she will not testify on Monday. But this afternoon, it was reported that she has told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she “would be prepared to testify next week” although not on Monday, so long as senators offer “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety,” according to the New York Times. She has beenreceiving death threats, and her family has reportedly moved out of their home. As of this writing, committee Republicans are refusing to subpoena conservative writer and high school friend Mark Judge—an allegedparticipant in the attack— and are refusing to ask the FBI to re-open their background investigation on Kavanaugh. They are also refusing to allow corroborating witnesses to testify, including those who could testify to Dr. Blasey Ford’s character.
 

How can we send the message that #WeBelieveSurvivors?

Protestors gathered outside Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley’s office this morning and social media channels were full of #BelieveChristine messages.  Today and tomorrow have also been designated as national call-in days, with SEIU offering a toll-free hotline (866-426-2631).

Let your Senators know that there must be a thorough, independent investigation of the  allegations against Kavanaugh before any vote on his nomination!
 
On Monday, the #SAVESCOTUS coalition has scheduled a variety of protest actions as the Judiciary Committee meets, most likely without Dr. Blasey Ford present. The sponsoring groups are asking people to register here, if you plan to show up and participate in the events taking place in the Hart Senate Atrium in Washington, D.C. starting at 10 a.m.  From 11 a.m. to noon, there will be an event in the atrium featuring survivors of sexual assault, #MeToo movement leaders and celebrities and leaders of many national women’s organizations. From noon to 1 pm, there will be a march to the Supreme Court for a symbolic collective action.
 
At 1 pm Eastern time on Monday, the coalition has called for a national walkout and moment of solidarity with Dr. Blasey Ford.  Participants are being urged to wear the color white and capture a photo of you and your allies walking out of work, classrooms or other places to share immediately on social media using the hashtag#BelieveSurvivors.  Want to organize an event in your community? Check out the “We Believe Survivors” toolkit here.

 
What are Kavanaugh and his supporters saying?
 

Kavanaugh’s boosters, for their part, have sought to minimize the allegations, tacitly accepting their credibility but arguing that attempted rape shouldn’t be disqualifying for a Supreme Court post if it happened long enough ago.
 
Kavanaugh himself has “categorically and unequivocally” denied the allegations altogether—a position that may be difficult to maintain under oath as senators question him about the hard partying and underage black-out drinking that both he and Judge have acknowledged in the past. In a 2015 speech at Catholic University, for instance, Kavanaugh joked: “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep. That's been a good thing for all of us, I think." That line was missing from the speech transcript he submitted to the Judiciary Committee earlier.
 
Notably, this isn’t Kavanaugh’s only association with sexual misconduct and violence against women. Kavanaugh’s longtime mentor on the federal court, Judge Alex Kozinski, was forced to retire early after more than a dozen women described sexual harassment and groping. Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski in the 1990s, Kozinski’s son clerked for Kavanaugh last year and the two have remained close. Kozinski’s reputation was widely known—women law students were warned to avoid clerking for him—in part because he ran an email list for law clerks, judges and attorneys in which he shared incredibly vile sexually explicit material. Then there is Kavanaugh’s friendship with disgraced senior White House aide Rob Porter, whose violent physical abuse of his ex-wives was known to the White House for a year before it became public. Porter got his White House gig on Kavanaugh’s recommendation.
 
Further affecting Kavanaugh’s credibility is significant evidence that he lied to Congress under oath during his previous confirmation hearings about a host of other issues, including whether he knowingly used stolen documents, was involved in vetting radical judicial nominee Charles Pickering and had defended the Bush administration’s illegal use of torture. 

How are senators responding?

 
Three Senate Democrats—Doug Jones (AL), Patrick Leahy (VT), and Richard Blumenthal (CT)—have questioned whether the White House knew about the allegations beforehand.Writing to White House Counsel Don McGahn, they noted the cover-up of Porter’s history of violence towards women and the suspicious timing of a letter signed by 65 of Kavanaugh’s high school acquaintances designed to discredit the allegations. (A number of Kavanaugh’s character witnesses have declined to reaffirm their support on the record after the allegations came to light.)
 
In contrast, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) referred to the allegation of attempted rape as “a little hiccup” in a conference call with “VIP” supporters, before assuring them “we’ll get through this and we’ll get off to the races.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) seemed to echo the White House’s talking points rejecting the need for an FBI investigation and hinting that if Dr. Blasey Ford refuses to testify without one, the Kavanaugh confirmation should move forward.
 
Every woman in America understands what Republicans are trying to do to Dr. Blasey Ford -- and we aren’t going to stand for it.  The Republican men on the Senate Judiciary Committee are trying to drag out Dr. Blasey Ford without her consent and on their own terms, take it or leave it. Every woman understands what that feels like.
 
Kavanaugh has the potential to shift the balance of the court on issues critical to women’s health for an entire generation. If he is confirmed and proves to be the pivotal vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, all three women on the Court will have voted to uphold abortion rights while two of the five men voting to take those rights away will have been credibly accused of grave sexual misconduct.

 
Why don’t victims of sexual assault come forward sooner?

Why didn’t you come forward sooner? This question – faced by countless sexual victims, and now by Dr. Blasey Ford --  is rooted in misconceptions about abuse, stigmatization and trauma relating to sexual violence. It is very common for survivors to delay sharing their trauma because of feelings of shame and denial, fear of what will happen as a result of sexual violence and low self-esteem. Survivors are also deterred from speaking out due to a lack of information about sexual violence, issues of memory loss from being drugged and having a history of being sexually violated.

How can we support those experiencing sexual trauma and work to prevent sexual violence? RAINN provides 24/7 hotline services online and by phone at 800-656-HOPE. They offer a range of services including education on the warning signs of sexual violence for different age groups and demographics as well as prevention services. To learn more visit: www.rainn.org

Friday
Sep142018

New Black Women’s Health Policy Agenda!

Black Women’s Health Policy Agenda to be released today

The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) is releasing Black Women Vote: The 2018 National Health Policy Agenda today at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference. The agenda includes policy positions and recommendations, as well as a feature that will be especially useful during this fall’s election season: a two-page, fill-in report card for voters to assess candidates’ policy positions on key health issues related to Black women.

“We are excited to release this first-of-its-kind policy agenda, which offers our nation a framework for addressing health inequities for Black women and girls," said Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO of BWHI. "We want to provide voters with a way to assess candidates for office at all levels on issues that are important to Black women, such as ensuring access to quality health care and protecting an individual’s right to make personal decisions about reproductive health.”

BWHI, which is one of the three national Raising Women’s Voices coordinating organizations, produced the agenda with support from Planned Parenthood, In Our Own Voice, the Coalition of 100 Black Women, U.S. Senator Doug Jones and U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly.  The agenda will be unveiled at Rep. Kelly’s panel, “CBCF Health Braintrust: Truth and Reconciliation in Health,” and Rep. Danny K. Davis’ CBCF-ALC Community Health Centers’ panel entitled "Breaking Down Barriers and Closing the Health Care Gap for Black Women."

The agenda includes in-depth policy positions and recommendations under four main pillars: Access to Quality and Affordable Healthcare, Equitable Responses to Public Health Emergencies, Sufficient Diversity in Clinical Research, and Increased Funding to Support HBCUs (historically-black colleges and universities). The first pillar asserts that Black women’s health outcomes depend on the accessibility, availability and affordability of quality health care. Access to quality, affordable care will allow health care providers to detect and treat health issues more effectively in Black women, which can potentially lead to a reduction and, hopefully, elimination of health disparities impacting Black women.

BWHI seeks to generate and leverage evidence that strongly supports the prioritization of the following policy and community-level issues for Black women and girls: the preservation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including meaningful and affordable insurance coverage; strengthening of Medicaid and protection of Medicare; patient access to affordable prescriptions; access to high quality maternal health resources; reproductive health, rights and justice (Title X, access to affordable contraception, access to safe, legal abortion, comprehensive sex education, access to care for endometriosis and uterine fibroids); access to cancer prevention, screening and treatment services (for breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer); improved cardiovascular health; and education and advocacy for preventive and diagnostic resources (for diabetes, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia and mental health).

You can download Black Women Vote: The 2018 National Health Policy Agenda for free on the Imperative’s website, bwhi.org, starting today. Any questions and comments on the agenda should be directed to the BWHI Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Tammy Boyd (tboyd@bwhi.org).
 
What’s the latest on the SCOTUS nomination?
 
On Thursday, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously blocked Democratic efforts to access documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that the White House has kept hidden. Even though Kavanaugh has signaled that he would protect the president from investigation, two of Donald Trump’s most vocal Republican critics, Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), joined the party-line vote in committee.
 
Meanwhile, the Senate’s lone Republicans who profess to be supportive of abortion rights -- Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) -- have indicated they are likely to support the nomination, claiming that Kavanaugh won’t be the deciding SCOTUS vote to gut reproductive rights. Several Senate Democratic conservatives -- including Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) -- have been vocal about their support of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but they have thus far refused to say how they will vote on Kavanaugh, despite his clear hostility to the ACA.
 
The Senate Judiciary committee will vote on Kavanaugh next Thursday morning, September 20, teeing up a vote by the full Senate during the week of September 24. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will join the Court before its new session begins October 1. 
 
On Monday, September 17, disabled women from across the country will come together to fight for the right to control their own bodies, live in their own homes and the keep their health care. Non-disabled allies are welcome to join as supporters. The group will be using the hashtags #SaveRoe #HomesNotInstitutions #DisabledWomenResist #CancelKavanaugh. On Thursday, the Save SCOTUS coalition will be lining the halls outside of the Judiciary Committee hearing room to demand senators #StopKavanaugh. (Please note NO signs are allowed inside the building.)
 
And, of course, it’s absolutely critical to keep up a drumbeat of calls in senators’ offices. You can reach Senators by calling 202-224-3121.
 
Renewed GOP threats to repeal the ACA!
 
Republicans have made clear that if they retain control of Congress after the mid-term elections, they will make another attempt to repeal the ACA and gut Medicaid.This week, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise told the Fox Business Network, "We’ve got to hold the House, but if we get more Senate seats, which I think we will, we’ve got to go back to health care. Obamacare’s only getting worse. … And [we’ll] transform Medicaid, which is the most failed part of health care."
 
Scalise, you may recall, was seriously wounded by a gunman last year and recovered with the help of his government-funded health care through the ACA. In his home state of Louisiana, 473,900 people gained coverage through Medicaid expansion, driving down the state’s uninsured rate from one out of every four people to one of out of nine.
 
Vice President Mike Pence told a campaign rally in August that, “We made an effort to fully repeal and replace Obamacare. And we’ll continue. With [Republicans in the Senate], we’ll go back to that.” And Axios quoted a “senior GOP aide” as saying Republicans won’t describe their next attack on health care as “a cutting Medicaid exercise.” Rather, he argued, describe it as “a 'screw the blue states' exercise and block grant to states.”  Two Republican Senate candidates running against ACA supporters are attorneys general pushing the court to revoke the ACA’s protections for preexisting conditions.
 
The Protect Our Care Coalition is launching a nationwide bus tour this fall to hold repeal-and-sabotage Republicans accountable. Kicking off in Portland, Maine, on September 24, the bus (“Care Force One”) will make 48 stops across 23 states, covering a total of 11,303 miles. The bus tour schedule is available online, along with ways to get involved. Check it out and meet the bus when it comes to your state!

 

Thursday
Sep062018

SCOTUS nominee a threat to ACA protections, Roe v. Wade!

Kavanaugh won’t promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions

Our concerns about Brett Kavanaugh’s views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Roe v. Wade deepened this week as Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court got underway.

Kavanaugh’s responses to senators’ questions on Wednesday appeared to confirm fears that he would pose a threat to our health care, if confirmed. Kavanaugh told Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) that he can provide “no assurance” that he would uphold requirements thathealth insurers provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. He later declined to give an answer to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on whether or not he believes President Trump (who nominated him) should have the executive power to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

What about his views on Roe v. Wade?

Kavanaugh remained vague and noncommittal when questioned Wednesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about his views on Roe v. Wade, saying no more than that the ruling is “settled as a precedent” and “has been affirmed many times in the past 45 years.” Feinstein tweeted out this response:
Feinstein’s skepticism seemed to be validated this morning, when the New York Times published leaked emails that Kavanaugh had sent when he was a White House lawyer in the Bush administration. One of them, from 2003, said this: “I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since Court can always overrule its precedent.” Kavanaugh’s answers were troubling, but no surprise, as he has taken a regressive stance in cases involving health care and women’s reproductive rights. Just last year, he voted against assuring that an undocumented teenage immigrant could obtain a timely abortion.
 
During the hearings, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) reminded the committee what’s at stake with Kavanaugh’s nomination: “We’re talking about the impact of one individual on… whether a woman with breast cancer can afford health care or is forced off life-saving treatment; whether a gay or transgender worker is treated with dignity, or treated as second-class citizen; whether a young woman who got pregnant at 15 is forced to give birth or, in desperation, go to a back alley for an abortion.”

Sen. Maizie Hirono (D-HI) said Kavanaugh was hand-picked by Trump’s ultra-conservative advisors to act as the “decisive fifth vote” on a Supreme Court that currently consists of four Democratic appointees and four Republican appointees. “It could take just one vote on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny women control over their reproductive rights… [and] to declare the ACA pre-existing conditions protections unconstitutional,” she said.

Such a court decision would have devastating consequences for the estimated 130 million people across the country, including 67 million women and girls, who have pre-existing conditions.Without the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions, people could be denied health insurance coverage or charged higher premiums simply because of their health status. Unsurprisingly, a new Kaiser poll finds that the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing are overwhelmingly popular with the public, with 90% saying they want the ACA’s pre-existing condition protections to remain law.

The hearings on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee continue today, and a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee is planned for later this month. If you care about protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Roe v. Wade or contraceptive coverage, listen carefully to Kavanaugh’s answers to Senators’ questions. Then use this link to let your Senator know how concerned you are about what Kavanaugh could mean for people with pre-existing condtions and for women’s reproductive health.

How are we speaking out about these threats?

Leading up to this week’s SCOTUS hearings in the Senate, advocates across the country have been speaking out about the threat his confirmation could pose to the ACA, Medicaid, and Roe v. Wade. As part of the Unite for Justice Day of ActionNorthwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA), our Seattle-based regional coordinator, participated in their local rally at Westlake Park.

Janet Varon, NoHLA’s Executive Director (pictured at left), attended the rally to highlight the rights at stake for NoHLA’s constituencies, including Roe v. Wade, voting rights, workers’ rights, LGBTQ rights and immigrant rights.

In Washington, D.C., RWV co-founder Cindy Pearson joined women leaders from across progressive movements at the Senate Hart Atrium for the “I’m What’s At Stake Vigil,” where women shared their personal stories about why they’re in this fight and what the threat of Kavanaugh’s confirmation means to them personally. 
Texas lawsuit threats pre-existing condition protections

As we continue to follow the Senate hearings, we’re also closely watching a lawsuit attempting to strike down the ACA as unconstitutional. On Wednesday, a Texas district court judge heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of conservative state Attorneys General who are seeking to overturn the ACA on the grounds that the federal tax cut bill enacted last year repealed the ACA’s individual mandate to have health insurance. Legal experts believe this lawsuit is likely to make its way to the Supreme Court, and that Kavanaugh, if confirmed, could tip the balance of the Court to rule against the ACA and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. 

Advocates in West Virginia, including staff from our Charleston-based RC, WV FREE (pictured), came together at a press conference to highlight how West Virginians with pre-existing conditions could be harmed by the lawsuit. At stake  is the fate of 737,900 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, who could lose their health insurance without these protections. The press conference was held at Charleston’s Recovery Point, a treatment center for women with substance use disorders. Speakers discussed what life was like before the ACA, when insurance companies could deny coverage to people with a history of substance abuse or mental illness, as well as the role Medicaid expansion played in increasing access to treatment for West Virginians with substance use disorders. 

 

Thursday
Aug302018

Get ready for post-Labor Day advocacy!

Next week’s a big week for protecting women’s health!
 
We all deserve a little rest and relaxation over the long Labor Day weekend. We’ve had a busy year so far protecting women’s health from an onslaught of attacks by the Trump administration and GOP leaders in Congress.  Raising Women’s Voices wants to thank you for all you’ve done this year!
 
But we also want to make sure you’re prepped and ready to go after the holiday, because we are going to have a busy week ahead.  The U.S. Senate will open three days of hearings on Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, September 4.  The following day, September 5, a Texas district court judge will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit attempting to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as unconstitutional. What will these events mean for women’s health, and what can you do?
 
The ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions are at stake in both the Texas court hearing and the SCOTUS nomination.  An estimated 130 million people across the country, including 67 million women and girls, live with pre-existing conditions. If these protections are repealed, millions could face the possibility of being denied health insurance coverage or charged higher premiums. (The loss of the ACA would also take us back to a time when insurers could charge women more than men.)
 
The lawsuit, filed by a group of conservative state Attorneys General, seeks to overturn the ACA because the federal tax cut bill enacted last year knocked out the ACA’s individual mandate to have health insurance.  In response to the lawsuit, the Trump administrationhas refused to defend the ACA.  Fortunately, 17 Attorneys General from more progressive states have intervened in the lawsuit to defend the ACA and Democrats in the Senate and House have filed resolutions that would give House and Senate legal counsel the authority to intervene in the lawsuit. If the lawsuit works its way through the levels of federal courts and up to the Supreme Court, the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the court could tip the balance against the ACA.
 
To highlight what’s at stake for people with pre-existing conditions, RWV co-sponsored a successful Twitter Chat last week with Community Catalyst, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, American Heart Association, Little Lobbyists, Families USA, Protect Our Care and SEIU.  Many of our RWV regional coordinators also participated, including California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, COLOR, EverThrive IL, Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Consumer Health First, Northwest Health Law Advocates, and WVFREE. Our chat quickly reached a wide audience and our hashtag #130MillionStrong was trending in the top 10 nationally. We were even joined by Rep. Nancy Pelosi and the First Lady of NYC, Chirlane McCray. Many health care consumers also shared their personal stories about why protections for people with pre-existing conditions matter to them and their loved ones. 
 
We urge you to keep spreading the word about the importance of protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Using social media, share stories of how you or family members with pre-existing conditions have been able to get health coverage because of the ACA. Tweet at your members of Congress asking them to protect people with pre-existing conditions and defend the ACA. Community Catalyst has an easy-to-use action page that can help you compose your tweet and get it to the correct members of Congress.  Submit a letter to the editor or an op-ed to your local newspaper using a sample op-ed available here.
 
If you are in a state where the Attorney General has joined the lawsuit to overturn the ACA, consider organizing a protest event in front of your AG’s office using this Advocacy Guide from Community Catalyst. The states are Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

Women across the country unite to save SCOTUS!
 
Advocates in all 50 states participated in more than 200 events across the country on Women’s Equality Day this past Sunday to warn that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could turn the balance of the court against women’s reproductive rights and produce a ruling to undermine or repeal Roe v. Wade. Organizers said the Unite for Justice Day of Action was the largest single-day action against a Supreme Court nominee in the country’s history.  RWV and our regional coordinators promoted and participated in local events in CO, GA, MA, ME, NJ, NM, NY, OR, TX, WA and WV to highlight the dire threat Kavanaugh could pose to the ACA, Medicaid andRoe v. Wade.

Raising Women’s Voices-NY (pictured) joined a rally in downtown Manhattan, where we heard from speakers who highlighted what’s at stake with Kavanaugh’s nomination. Alyssa Mastromonaco, former Obama staffer who just joined NARAL Pro-Choice America, explained: “We are the last line of defense for the 93 million women in America who need family planning, affordable health care, and access to safe and legal abortions.” New York activist Therese Patricia Okoumou, best known for climbing the Statue of Liberty on the fourth of July to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families, spoke about the inextricable link between reproductive rights and immigrant rights
 
Both our Charleston-based coordinator, WV FREE, and our Portland-base coordinator, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, joined the national conversation via Tweet Storm. NARAL Oregon encouraged participants to take it local by using the hashtag #ORDissents to highlight why opposing Kavanaugh means protecting Oregonians and their ability to access abortion.
 
The Afiya Center, our Dallas-based regional coordinator, hosted a community conversation to discuss the impact of the SCOTUS nomination and how it will impact the lives of Black women and the larger Black community. Marsha Jones, Executive Directorand Deneen Robinson, Program Director (pictured at right), also discussed abortion rights and the importance of keeping Roe v. Wade.  
 
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), our coordinator in Denver, was one of the many groups to participate in the national Reproductive Justice Day of Action on SCOTUS. Women of color took action on the Hill and across the country to make their voices heard on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
 
COLOR joined in these efforts locally by taking action in Denver at Senator Cory Gardner's and Senator Michael Bennet’s district offices. Advocates Kylie Dennis and Maria Ignacia Miranda Santis (pictured at right) met with Senator Bennet’s staff to share their concerns about Kavanaugh’s stances on abortion access, immigrant justice, and LGBTQ liberation.
 
What’s next in the SCOTUS fight? We need to continue to stay loud, particularly as we head into next week, when Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings begin in the Senate. What can you do? Reach out to your Senators, and let them why you think that Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, would turn the balance of the Supreme Court against the rights of women and LGBTQ people. Use this Take Action page to reach your Senators.
 
Meet our new regional coordinator in the South!
 
We would like to welcome the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable to the RWV regional coordinator network. Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable (MS-BWR), is an intergenerational civic engagement statewide network and the women and girls empowerment arm of the of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) that champions equitable public policy on behalf of Black women and girls nationally and across the South. The Mississippi effort is led by co-convenors Cassandra Welchlin & Debra Robinson.

BWR is a highly effective economic and social justice organizing network led by Black women across the country, with a focus on expanding inter-generational leadership and addressing economic insecurity, education and health disparities that perpetuate systemic, multi-generational poverty for too many Black women, families and communities.

 

Wednesday
Aug222018

What’s at stake? Women’s health!

#WhatsAtStake? Women’s Health! 

It’s a busy week of action for women’s health advocates, with press conferences, social media actions, town hall meetings, forums and rallies taking place across the country:
  • Raising Women’s Voices joined other women’s health groups Tuesday in a #PreExAtStake day of action – part of a national Women’s Week of Action to call attention to what’s at stake with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 
  • Tomorrow from 2 to 3 p.m., we will co-host a #130MillionStrong Twitter chat designed to explain how the 130 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions are threatened by the Kavanaugh nomination, a pending lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that could make its way to the Supreme Court and by new “junk” health insurance plans that can exclude the coverage we need.
  • This week is also Reproductive Justice Week of Action, organized by Black women’s organizations, including RWV’s partner, the Black Women’s Health Imperative.
  • And on Sunday, NARAL ProChoice America, MoveOn and more than 30 other organizations are calling for a national day of action, “Unite for Justice,” to oppose the Kavanaugh nomination.
Need a guide to the action, and how you can get involved? Read on!
 
 

Female Senators Join Women’s Week of Action 

We were there for a press conference in Washington Tuesday at which U.S Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York discussed why the Kavanaugh nomination threatens access to affordable health care, especially for women of color. 

A lawsuit led by Texas and 19 other Republican-led states to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could make its way to theSupreme Court. Confirming Kavanaugh to the court could mean a ruling that sends us back to pre-ACA times when women were routinely charged higher premiums or denied coverage for things like seeking treatment for domestic or sexual violence, having a cesarean section birth or being pregnant.
 
“Imagine how many women would have to choose between paying for the care that they need or paying their rent if Kavanaugh gets on the court and slashes these protections. We cannot let that become a reality,” said Sen. Duckworth, shown at the microphone. Eliminating key health care protections could put the more than 67 million women and girls with pre-existing conditions at risk. 
 
After the press conference, we dropped off letters voicing strong opposition to the confirmation of Kavanaugh at the offices of Senators whose votes on the nomination are considered key. These include Susan Collins of Maine, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of IndianaHeidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Doug Jones of Alabama. 
 
We kept the action going by joining in a #PreExAtStake Twitter storm on social media. Today (Wednesday, August 22), there will be a Women United Will #StopKavanaughevent in front of the Supreme Court from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and accompanying activity on social media, using the hashtag #StopKavanaugh.
 
Join us for more social media action on Thursday!
 
 
You can join the social media action tomorrow (Thursday) from 2 to 3 p.m. when Raising Women’s Voices will co-host a #130MillionStrong Twitter chat about what’s at stake for the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions. We’ll be discussing the protections that people with pre-existing conditions gained from the ACA and how those are threatened by the Texas lawsuit, the SCOTUS nomination and the new  short-term “junk” health plans that will soon come on to the market.
 
Reproductive Justice Week of Action Is Underway!
 
In Our Own Voice is incredibly excited to work alongside its strategic partners, including the Black Women’s Health Imperative, for Reproductive Justice Week of Action (RJWOA) from August 20th - 26! Black women leaders hosted in-state congressional visits on Tuesday, August 21, and will lead a national Twitter chat today (Wednesday) from 1pm-2 pm to highlight their work and that of their partners. Follow them, and join in, by using the hashtag #BlackWomensRJ.
 
Each of the partner organizations will host unique events, such as town halls and community forums. The goal is to bring together community activists, state legislative champions and community members to celebrate our accomplishments and discuss pressing reproductive justice issues. The Black Women’s Health Imperative will release an op-ed during RJWOA discussing Black maternal health, participate in the national twitter chat, host American University students on Thursday, August 23, for a half day of RJ and policy 101 and support other actions.
 
In Our Own Voice is also sponsoring many RJ week of action events across the country including our Raising Women’s Voices regional coordinators in Louisiana,Women With a Vision; Texas, The Afiya Center; Tennessee, SisterReach; and Pennsylvania, New Voices Pittsburgh.
 
The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, in partnership with All* Above All, Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, In Our Own Voice: Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National LGBTQ Task Force and allies are also planning Fight for Reproductive Justice - #StopKavanaugh Day of Action on August 23rd to voice opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Reproductive Justice Week of Action ends on Sunday, August 26, which is also Women’s Equality Day. Partners will host or participate in events around the power of the Black woman’s vote or the ongoing #SaveSCOTUS fight.

 
On Sunday, August 26, Unite for Justice! 

Get out your megaphones and prepare your signs for Sunday, when there will be rallies in cities across the country as part of a National Day of Action opposing the SCOTUS nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. The activities are being organized by NARAL Prochoice America, MoveOn and other organizations. Our RWV regional coordinators across the country are promoting and participating in their local rallies, where they’ll highlight the threat Kavanaugh’s nomination poses to their constituencies. 
 
Want to know if there is an event planned near you and how you can get involved?Go here and type in your zip code to find out. Can’t join in person? Join a #StopKavanaugh online action on Sunday instead, like the Stop Kavanaugh Twitter storm our Charleston-based regional coordinator, WV FREE is hosting.  If there isn’t an event planned near you, get creative and follow the lead of our Massachusetts coordinator, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, which is encouraging members to host house parties on Sunday to talk about what’s at stake for women with Kavanaugh’s nomination.
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