Posts Tagged ‘women’s health care’

Happy International Women’s Day Mme. Secretary and all who are Still for Hill!


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Read Hillary’s response to Donald Trump’s outrageous comments this week.  Many people are writing and reporting on this story, but these are Hillary’s own words.  Media source can spin stories.  This is directly from Hillary Clinton – unspun!

Donald Trump’s comments are horrific — and telling.

All of the Republican frontrunners for president want to make abortion illegal. Now Donald Trump has said how he’d enforce that prohibition: punishing women and doctors.

Donald Trump can try to distance himself from his comments all he wants. But we all heard what he said. As Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

Donald Trump keeps showing us who he is. We should believe him.

But it’s important to remember that he’s not alone. Donald Trump is just saying what Republican politicians across the country believe — everyone who has signed and voted for laws to defund Planned Parenthood, force women to undergo invasive and medically unnecessary procedures before ending a pregnancy, mandate that doctors recite misleading information to patients, and shutter every abortion provider for miles. These are laws that are meant to shame women and block their access to health care. That’s their purpose.

We don’t need to imagine the consequences of these laws. It’s unfolding right before our eyes.


Whenever politicians become involved in deciding whether, when, and how a woman becomes a mother, it’s not just degrading — it’s dangerous. Few decisions are more sacred or intensely personal, and women deserve to make them for ourselves.

Here’s the good news: While Donald Trump is a bully, voters will have our say at the ballot box. So if you disagree with his comments, you’ve got to vote. Vote like your health and rights depend on it. Because they do.





phone calls

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This must read  is addressed to her Wellesley sisters by a Wellesley grad, but I see it as having a broader scope. Here is why.

Although I appreciated all of the work that my predecessors had done for me and my generation of women, I did not fully comprehend the extent of what they had gone through in order to lift me up onto their shoulders so that I might see further and reach higher than they were ever permitted. I also did not appreciate how incredibly dangerous it is for women to live in a world where sexism is alive and well, but people believe it to be dead. When people believe sexism to be dead, they become less vigilant about losing all of the gains we have made towards equality. When people believe sexism to be dead, women who are victims are made out to be liars. When people believe sexism to be dead just because it has become more subtle, women, like myself in those taxi rides, become silenced.

Esther Jang has authored a persuasive essay that Hillary supporters may find useful in speaking to women of any age, but especially the young,  who are either Bernie supporters or are fence sitters  – the “I-don’t-know girls.”  No matter who we are or how old, we all stand on shoulders of giants.

For women in particular, as we are about to embark on Women’s History Month, a visit to the struggles of the past is more than useful and instructive.  It is essential.  As Esther Jang points out, there is deadly danger in the assumption that the work is  complete.

One issue, recently, that highlights the urgency of a Hillary vote: Zika.  When the Pope says OK to birth control, you have to know that we are dealing with a crisis of potentially monumental proportions.

In case you missed it last night, this.

Add Zika to the equation.  News flash to young women:  It is not your moms, aunts, and grandmas whose future is threatened by this crisis.  It is yours.

One candidate has fought all of her adult life for women’s rights.  One candidate is experienced, qualified, and equipped to deal with this crisis as it grows.

Nothing is a done deal. The struggle remains.  Esther Jang provides reasons to be on the right side – no matter whether or where you studied, hope to study, or what you do or plan to do.  Please read this and share it widely – broadly, even!


When standing on shoulders of giants, please consider…

Dear Wellesley sisters,

A few weeks ago, I got into a taxi and started chatting with my driver about politics. He asked me who I would be voting for, and when I replied, “Hillary,” his immediate reaction was, “Is it just because she’s a woman?” I wanted to say to him, “Are you supporting ____ just because you both have dicks?” but I refrained and continued my ride in silence.

A few weeks before that, I got into a taxi and my driver asked me what I did. When I told him that I worked for Venmo, his immediate reaction was, “You do UX or Design, right?” I wanted to say to him, “No. Also, our Head of Engineering is a woman,” but again, I refrained and continued my ride in silence.

Now that I have lived a handful of years outside of Wellesley, I find myself being silenced by the sheer exhaustion of having to deal with this type of subtle sexism every day.

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Saying “some woman some day”  is a cop out.  There has never in our history been a candidate like this one.  This woman. NOW!

Parenthetically: (Let’s dispense with the notion that propaganda is, by definition, false and/or negative. There are many models of propaganda and a long history. The epistemic model assigns no positive/negative valences.  This post, by the epistemic definition, is propaganda.  It is intended to persuade.)



Please join Hillary in helping the Flint Child Health & Development Fund if you can >>>>

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Still —

Carly Fiorina owes an apology to Planned Parenthood and the millions of women and men it serves.

She should apologize for maliciously describing a video that doesn’t exist and, when confronted with that lie, doubling down on it.

She should apologize for her despicable lies on Sunday that Planned Parenthood is “aborting fetuses alive to harvest their brains.”

She should apologize for using her position as the only woman in the GOP field to actually lead, instead of stop, the war on women.

But you and I know Carly Fiorina won’t apologize. Just like she never apologized to the 30,000 HP workers she fired while shipping their jobs overseas and taking a huge payout for herself.

Well, I know the best way for us to send Fiorina a message. We can do everything in our power to elect women who will stand with Planned Parenthood and fight back against the GOP’s war on women.

Will you send a message to Fiorina and other Republicans waging the war on women by contributing $10 or more to PAC for a Change today?

The House GOP already has three — yes, three — committees investigating Planned Parenthood, and Cecile Richards, the organization’s president, is even testifying today.

None of these committees has found a shred of evidence that Planned Parenthood is doing anything other than providing cancer screenings, contraceptives, and other critical health care for the women and men that rely upon it every day.

So, are they closing down their bogus investigation? No. Instead, they have just announced that they are going to create a new fourth committee to investigate Planned Parenthood.

soEnough. It is time to end this war on Planned Parenthood and women across America.

It is time to make clear that this is 2015, not 1915.

Contribute $10 or more to PAC for a Change today to stop the war on women and help elect progressive women across the country.

If we stand together, we can fight back — and win.

In Friendship,

Barbara Boxer
U.S. Senator

The irony would be sublime if it were not so disgusting to see the only woman on that GOP stage standing on an anti-female platform.


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The goal is 50,000 signatures.  I think we can do even better than that!


We almost couldn’t believe it.  Today, at a House Oversight Committee hearing, House Republicans convened a panel on denying access to birth control converge with five men and no women.  As my colleague Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney asked, where are the women?

Join me in our call to Speaker Boehner, Eric Cantor, Chairman Issa and all House Republicans to demand that women be brought to the table when discussing women’s health issues. Help us gather 50,000 signatures before Congress heads home tomorrow.

Sign the petition >>

Thank you for standing up for what’s right and joining our fight.

Nancy Pelosi

After you sign you can share on Facebook, Tweet, and you get an email that you can send to your contacts. Let’s share this! Let’s get 100,000! They can’t DO this!  We can STOP them!

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There is an exquisite and terrible irony that Secretary Clinton delivered these words on this day when Representative Issa, Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, refused a single female panelist at today’s committee hearing on contraception.

Women, here is the panel Issa believes should decide your access to healthcare.

Here are the words of the Secretary of State.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

FGMC, posted with vodpod

Remarks at the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
February 16, 2012

Well, good afternoon, everyone. I am so pleased to see all of you here. There are a number of familiar faces who have been working on this and other related issues for a number of years, and a lot of new and young faces, which is especially welcome. I think that the fact that you are gathered here with us to mark the first ever event at the State Department concerning the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is a great step forward to raise visibility, to create a great movement that will support the brave women and men who understand the need for this practice to stop.

And it’s especially gratifying for me to be on this stage with Ambassador Melanne Verveer, our first ever ambassador on behalf of our country standing up for the rights of women and girls around the world – (applause) – and Joe Crowley, who, as you might gather, is a good friend of mine, has been for many years. He and his wife and his family are very close to me and my family, and I’m very proud that he is here on behalf of his legislation. I think it is also very important that Representative Dent is here as well. And this is the kind of a united front on behalf of an issue that we are extremely proud to see.

When I think about what we are doing, I know it is not the work of this day or this year, but of a generation. But the good news is progress is being made. And through education, through outreach, through advocacy, we see that progress taking place. You will hear in just a few minutes from some of the real leaders in this movement who understand the issues, who have been working in the science, research, health fields, who have been working in the grassroots, in the villages, in the legislatures of countries. And it is, for me, a great honor to have all of our panelists with us. There are a number of people, as Melanne just said, watching us through the miracle of technology far beyond the Ben Franklin Room, and they will have a chance to participate in the discussion later.

I think that the importance of this event is really proven by the quality of the panelists, by the representatives of ambassadors and leaders in so many fields. I am especially pleased to see from UNICEF Geeta Rao Gupta, because UNICEF has a very big role to play in the work to end this very terrible practice that has gone on for too long. I’ve also, though, seen for myself how progress can be made. You’ll hear in a minute from Molly Melching. Molly is a real hero of mine, a friend of mine. She will be talking about the excellent community-based work that the international organization Tostan that she began in Senegal is doing.

I first got to see this work in 1997 when I was in Senegal, and Molly took me to a village where the village elders had really been thinking deeply about what the implications were of FGM on their daughters and their granddaughters. And they were reaching the conclusion by asking a lot of hard questions about what does this do to a girl’s health, what does this do to her future ability to be a mother, what does this do to the quality of life of her family. And what they were learning was leading them to conclude that this practice really had to end, even though it had gone on for as long as anyone could remember.

And what was so striking about my visit with Molly that day in that village was that Tostan and Molly were putting this very impressive discussion into the context of democracy, and there was a wonderful skit that was being performed about what democracy meant and who got to have a voice and what kinds of concerns should be brought to the village. I know Molly reported that one woman said, “What do we do with this democracy,” and what the women decided with the support of the men in the village was to change the custom of cutting their girls. So they organized their arguments and they went to the male leaders and they talked from personal experience about the pain of the procedure, about the lasting psychological damage it causes, about the health complications during childbirth, including the risk of death.

They asked their local mullah to participate, and he then began to study and look to the Qu’ran and to talk with others, concluding there was no religious basis for the practice in Islam. And eventually, the village voted to outlaw it. Then they took to the road and the male leaders went from village to village, starting a discussion about the harm from female cutting, talking to neighbors who, just like them, had accepted it because their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents had accepted it.

And by the time I returned to Senegal a little over a year later, several villages had renounced the practice through this wonderful conversation that was started. It wasn’t somebody coming from the outside pointing fingers, saying how terrible they were. It was people from both outside and inside asking questions about why do we do this, and is it something we should continue to do, and is there another way perhaps to think about giving our girls what they need, like education, to be good mothers when their time comes.

Then they decided to petition Senegal’s president to ask for national legislation outlawing FGM. I remember being so impressed by this grassroots democratic movement that had taken to the road and gotten all the way to the capital of Dakar. And I invited the very first villagers from that village I had visited to come to a meeting, to sit at the same table with powerful officials and representatives of NGOs, and I was so proud to introduce them because they really had walked the walk. They were living the hard work of human rights activism.

All these years later, I am still very proud of the work that I saw and that is being done in so many places. Let’s be clear – this is a deeply entrenched practice in many places. So we have to be both unrelenting in our efforts to end it and understanding about what works and what doesn’t work. And I think you’ll hear that firsthand from the panelists. We enter into this with a lot of humility because we have to empower those people in those villages to make the decisions.

Now we cannot excuse this as a cultural tradition. There are many cultural traditions that used to exist in many parts of the world that are no longer acceptable. We cannot excuse it as a private matter because it has very broad public implications. It has no medical benefits. It is, plain and simply, a human rights violation. And as we think about the rights of young girls to be free from both physical and mental violence, we can understand why this is such an important issue that deserves attention from the United States Congress and from leaders across the globe.

I think that for me, the honest and direct conversation that we are having, especially hearing from those with firsthand experience, is what makes this different. Our partners from the UN will be leading efforts to raise international awareness. We will be looking at laws and resolutions. We will be looking at what can be done in families and villages. We will be making the case, this is not a women’s problem, this is not a women’s issue. This affects the human family, and therefore, we all have a stake in it. When a mother dies in childbirth due to complications caused by FGM, everyone in the family suffers. When women are sick from infections or girls miss out on their education, communities also suffer. And what we have seen in Senegal and elsewhere is that when men understand the trauma that FGC causes, they are among the most effective activists for ending it.

So we’re elevating this issue, but it’s part of our overall elevation of the role of women and girls in our foreign policy economically, strategically, politically. Every aspect of our policy is intending to highlight and promote the role of women. And we are funding community-based programs that involve women and men in public awareness campaigns about the dangers of FGC. We’re working in refugee camps and other humanitarian settings. Through USAID, the United States cofounded the international Donors Working Group on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, which needs continued high-level international support, and we will redouble our efforts.

I’m very proud to announce today that we will join with the University of Nairobi to fund a pan-African Center of Excellence in Kenya, which will advance African research and strategies to address FGC. This center will focus on developing local solutions to end the practice and offer medical training on how to support the women who have been hurt and damaged by it. I hope others in the business and international communities will join the United States in supporting this very important new initiative based in Africa, where we think it needs to be.

Now, Kenya has just passed an outright national ban on FGC, becoming the 18th African country to do so. Last year, the African Union called on the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution banning it, and we will certainly work in any way we can to support the African Union in that. There is more to be done. We need more advocacy, more interaction between policy makers and those in the field. We need to empower men and women, and especially girls, to speak up for themselves. We need to ultimately overcome the deeply-rooted gender inequalities that, either tacitly or actively, permit and promote such practices.

So this is a very important day here at the State Department, and I’m especially delighted that we can have people here speaking about this, as well as others throughout Africa by means of the internet, so that we can become stronger in numbers and understanding and effectiveness. It is my hope that we can certainly see the abolition of this practice even sooner than within a generation, but no later than within a generation, and that we also do everything we can to create conditions for every child, girl and boy, to have the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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