Friday, March 25, 2011

Deficit Reduction Lies: The House GOP Leadership’s War on Women’s Health and Contraception

We have no time to waste: the anti-choice House leadership is using the budget deficit as a justification for their devastating and draconian budget cuts for Title X family planning programs and specifically their demands that Planned Parenthood be defunded – with potentially disastrous consequences for women’s health.  The chair of the Washington section for the American Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Dr. Judy M. Kimelman debunks this lie specifically for Washington women by explaining:
In Washington, for every dollar spent on family planning the state saves more than $4 in costs associated with unintended pregnancy…Planned Parenthood serves more than 140,000 women in Washington, provides education to 35,000…In 2010 alone, 72 percent of women in Washington who used Title X funds received their care at a Planned Parenthood health center.
Take Action Now: Sign our petition to our Senators and Representatives and ask them to stand up against the War on Women.
Planned Parenthood provides women with a litany of medical services ranging from cancer screenings, HIV testing, and annual health exams.  The real truth is that the House GOP wants to stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortions and they are willing to sacrifice the health and welfare of women to do it.  The House GOP wants to deny vulnerable, low-income women access to medical care but specifically they want to deny these same women any access to contraception.  Anti-choice politicians reveal their hypocrisy when they say they’re opposed to abortion while simultaneously trying to restrict access to birth control.  Telling people that access to birth control does not reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies and therefore does not reduce abortion rates flies in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Access to birth control is the best way women can prevent unintended pregnancies. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recruiting Women in Science: Bridging the Gender Pay Gap

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) 2010 report on women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concluded:

While men typically earn more than women in STEM fields, as in other fields, the pay gap tends to be smaller in science and engineering.  For example, women computer and information systems managers typically earn 87% of what their male colleagues earn compared to the overall gender pay gap of 77% for all occupations.

In Washington State women earn only 74 cents for each dollar a man earns.  With more and more families relying on women as the primary breadwinner the need to begin addressing the reasons why women do not choose to enter STEM fields becomes increasingly important for all working families.  According to a 2010 Center for American Progress study, in Washington State 37.4% of working moms were identified as breadwinners or “…single mothers who work and married mothers who earn as much or more than their husbands.” 

So why are there so few women represented in STEM fields in the U.S?  More importantly, what can be done to turn the tide to get female high school and college students interested in earning STEM degrees?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Limited Service Pregnancy Centers: Unapologetically Selling Women Lies and Deception

This is a battle between “darkness and light,” said Anne Lotierzo, the Executive Director of a crisis pregnancy center located in Fort Pierce, Florida. 

Wednesday night NARAL Pro-Choice WA Foundation presented the remarkable documentary 12th & Delaware at the Central Cinema in Seattle.  The Seattle showing was the first stop of a nationwide tour that NARAL Pro-Choice America has organized around the country.  The documentary takes an in depth and up close look at the deceptive practices used by so-called crisis pregnancy centers or Limited Service Pregnancy Centers (LSPCs).  The documentarians spent one year observing the practices of an LSPC in Fort Pierce, Florida.  They also documented how that LSPC’s presence has impacted the abortion clinic located right across the street.  You can find more information about this documentary and the co-directors, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, here.

Wednesday’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion that included presentations from representatives for NARAL Pro-Choice WA, Legal Voice, a woman that visited an LSPC in Tacoma, and a Seattle ob-gyn.  Washington State would be the first state in the nation to hold these LSPCs accountable to the women that seek out their services.  The NWPC-WA has endorsed the Limited Service Pregnancy Center Accountability Act.