Sanity Prevails: Mayors Take A Stand For Choice And Planned Parenthood

What a great way to start the week. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, a non-partisan organization composed of representatives from cities across the country, took a stand against the dominionism based, anti-choice movement,6/16/12, when they voted to pass a resolution against the legislative efforts of the anti-choice movement to defund Planned Parenthood and suppress a women’s reproductive freedoms.

The bill, sponsored by Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Ed Lee of San Francisco, Mike McGinn of Seattle, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Pedro Segarra of Hartford, Conn. and Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon, addresses the onslaught of anti-choice legislation at both the state and the federal level and is a shot in the arm for the somewhat beleaguered, though undaunted, pro-choice movement. Here is the bill in its entirety.

SUPPORT WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

WHEREAS, Americans believe that women should be able to consult with their doctor, family, and faith about personal, private medical decisions; and

WHEREAS, states enacted twice as many anti-choice laws in 2011 as they did in the previous year, including laws that force women who choose abortion care to undergo a forced ultrasound procedure against their will and even if their doctors do not recommend one; and

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WHEREAS, eight states since 2010 have enacted laws that ban abortion at 20 weeks, regardless of the women’s situation, without exceptions to protect her health, and in violation of the right to privacy guaranteed under Roe v. Wade; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Title X, the only federal program exclusively dedicated to family-planning and reproductive-health care, and Planned Parenthood, jeopardizing access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care for millions of Americans; and


WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives also passed a bill that could spur the Internal Revenue Service to audit rape survivors who choose abortion care and another bill that would allow hospitals to refuse emergency abortion care to women who could die without it; and

WHEREAS, the debate around women’s access to reproductive-health services, like contraception, has drawn offensive rhetoric; and

WHEREAS, reproductive-health care and the overwhelming majority of services
provided by Planned Parenthood health centers is basic health care for women, including cancer screenings and breast exams; and

WHEREAS, for many women with limited incomes, Planned Parenthood clinics are their point of entry into the health care system and their ongoing source of primary care services; and

WHEREAS, if these services disappear, more women are likely to contract diseases that will imperil their lives and lead to highly expensive Medicaid and Medicare bills borne by taxpayers; and

WHEREAS, these programs are essential to reducing rates of unintended pregnancy and preventing the increase of the number of women with cervical and breast cancers who are not diagnosed until the cancers are in the late stages; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of
Mayors affirms the importance of women’s reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress and the states to pursue a positive agenda that reaffirms fundamental rights and improves women’s access to safe and comprehensive reproductive-health care.

Nancy Keenan president of NARAL Pro-Choice American was quoted as being “inspired,” by the resolution. Keenan states, “these mayors collectively represent millions of Americans in communities where the public-health programs and clinics under attack by members of Congress and state legislators provide basic care for their residents. We are inspired by the mayors who supported this resolution, and we salute them for stepping up in support of women’s freedom and privacy.”

As a New Yorker, Mayor Bloomberg is probably one of my least favorite people, but even I have to give him props for this:

“When it comes to reproductive health decisions, nobody knows better than an
individual woman what is best for herself and her family. New York City is committed to supporting a woman’s right to choose and ensuring that all New Yorkers have the information, and access to care, they need to make safe and healthy decisions.”

Nobody DOES know better than an individual woman what is best for herself and her family and thank you mayors for not only recognizing that fact but putting your vote behind it.

Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan (MAWT)

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