Healthcare: Warriors for Reproductive Justice

We are an action-focused group of advocates providing information and leadership to the greater Indivisible community on a broad range of healthcare issues.

Our areas of focus are: healthcare costs and access, reproductive health, and public health-related issues linked to sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and gun-related violence. We seek allies and partners across the political spectrum to improve all aspects of healthcare through large and small, state and national, legislative actions. 

Happening Now

The Indivisible Healthcare Working Group – also known as Warriors for Reproductive Justice – met on October 3 at 4 pm in the Should Conference Room of the Jefferson County Library.

Our next meeting will be November 7 at 4 pm in the Should Conference Room of the Jefferson County Library. All are welcome.

We welcomed new participants Liz, Mary, Karen, Selden, and Raven. 

 On the LOCAL front, Debbi briefed the results of her meeting with our local Department of Public Health. As a result of this meeting, we have the following action items:

 1.  Establish a group to work with the Department of Public Health to set up a date to paint the student health clinic at Port Townsend High School. The clinics and Chimacum and Quilcene High Schools are not currently in need of a refresh, but the clinic at Port Townsend is. The Port Townsend High School clinic also needs four chairs – nice chairs with padding – for the waiting room. 

**If you would like to be part of this effort to paint the clinic or help locate 4 nice padded chairs, please email ptindivisiblehealthandjustice@gmail.com and let us know. **

 2.  Establish a group to plan a holiday themed publicity campaign to a) highlight the health services offered at the Department of Public Health and b) create a fund-raising campaign to help subsidize family planning care for low income women in the county. Public Health provided us with a list of prices for an IUD, the patch, the pill, etc., and just like people donate to Planned Parenthood, we want people in the county to know they can donate to the Department of Public Health for these specific items. A creative artistic person is needed to design the flyers, and volunteers will be needed to post them all over the county. 

**If you would like to be part of this effort, please email ptindivisiblehealthandjustice@gmail.com and let us know. **

On the STATE front, Angela briefed the latest on federal Title X funding for family planning and reproductive healthcare services. As many of you know, the new rules the Trump administration put in place for clinics receiving Title X funding violates Washington’s Reproductive Privacy Act. Washington therefore said a) we’re suing you and b) we’ll compensate for federal Title X funds out of state funds, because every dollar spend on family planning saves $7-10 in the long run. The current state funds run out in March, so we need to start lobbying now to make sure all our representatives know we care. Next week we will be sending out lobbying language for you to use via phone, email, or letter so our STATE representatives know that you want all citizens of Washington to have access to low cost family planning and reproductive healthcare services.

On the NATIONAL front, Cheri briefed on HR 3849, Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services, which is currently sitting in the Energy and Commerce Committee. The World Health Organization has declared 2020 as the Year of the Midwife, and this bill will increase funding for midwifery programs. The US has the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world and this bill is necessary to meet the healthcare needs of women. Stand by next week for language and addresses to get Kilmer on board as a co-sponsor and to help you lobby at the NATIONAL level to get this bill advanced.

Also on the NATIONAL level, Shari briefed on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which passed the US House of Representatives in March, but hasn’t yet been assigned a bill number in the Senate. Thanks Mitch McConnell for sitting on this one. This will be another important area on which we will want folks to lobby this fall. 

Finally, Angela was tasked to find a significant date in reproductive health history. Instead of counter-protesting the anti-choice group that has formed, the participants at October’s meeting decided it would be better to have a pro-choice celebration day. Options include:

December 7, 1936 – the day a federal judge overturned the Comstock Act, making it legal once again for birth control and family planning to be discussed and condoms purchased. Dec 7, 2019 is a Saturday.

January 22, 1973 – the date the Roe v Wade ruling was issued. Jan 22, 2020 is a Wednesday.

March 22, 1972 – The day the Supreme Court ruled in Baird v Eisenstadt that unmarried people had a legal right to birth control. Mar 22, 2020 is a Sunday.

May 9, 1960 – the day the FDA approved the birth control pill. May 9, 2020 is a Saturday.

June 7, 1965 – the day the Supreme Court determined that married couples had a legal right to obtain and use birth control. June 7, 2020 is a Sunday.

Mid-January is often the date of the Womxn’s March. 

**Anyone wishing to vote for a date can send their choice to ptindivisiblehealthandjustice@gmail.com

 

“The good news is when we are in full-on sisterhood, women are the most powerful political force in America.” Cecile Richards