Support Sex Education in Helena!
On Tuesday, July 13, the Helena Schools Board of Trustees heard public comment on a proposal to update the Health Enhancement Curriculum. Both supporters and protesters of the proposed sex education piece of the curriculum showed up in full force to vocalize their opinions. The Helena School Board will take up the issue again in August, and it is essential that supporters of sex education speak out so that a vocal minority does not take over the public debate on this critical issue or succeed in limiting the access to important and relevant sexual health education. Show your support of medically accurate, science-based comprehensive sex education by calling or sending a note to the superintendent of the Helena Schools.
CI-102 Fails To Qualify- Thanks everyone who declined to sign!
CI-102, the high profile constitutional initiative, which sought to amend the constitution to define life at conception, fell about 16,00 signatures and 23 House districts short of qualifying for the November ballot. The anti- choice ballot initiative was a strategy to make abortion illegal under any circumstances, and had the potential to make it legal for a woman to be criminally investigated for miscarriage and outlaw certain methods of birth control.
For months our supporters have encountered slippery signature gatherers who were evasive about the intent and actual language of the amendment. There were also many cases of the signature gatherers framing the issue as a human rights concern, confusing the actual anti-discrimination organizing with Montana pro-life's anti-rights and pro-discrimination agenda.
Allyson Hagen, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, had this to say in the Billings Gazette: "The continued failure of this amendment should be a signal to elected officials in Montana that, when they vote to eliminate women's privacy rights, they are voting against the values the vast majority of Montanans hold."
Missoula Men Stage Counter Protest: Ask For Removal of Graphic Pictures
A few Missoula men made the news recently with their counter to the Wednesday protesters on Russell and Broadway. They are young, male parents who, regardless of their or anyone's take on the abortion issue, feel the pictures are unnecessary and go too far, especially for folks passing by with children. They even created a facebook group called The Dirty Picture Rush Hour Club, which says its aim is to work together to remove mutilated fetuses from your daily drive...
Blue Mountain Clinic Is A Member of the Feminist Abortion Network
The mission, vision and purpose of the Feminist Abortion Network is to support the continued success, excellence, and strength of our clinics. Feminist Abortion Network (FAN) is a consortium of non-profit, independent, feminist health centers providing reproductive health care. The Network provides unique feminist perspectives and leadership that shape the women's reproductive health and justice movement from the perspective of local independent abortion providers. We are deeply committed to access to abortion.A network of non-profit, feminist-based health care clinics in the United States. Our mission is to keep quality and access issues in the forefront of abortion care discussions.
Recently FAN members participated in an interview with RH Reality Check to discuss health care reform from a feminist perspective:
"Health care reform is the hurricane of
U.S. public debate this year. Within that debate, access to abortion has been
smack dab in the eye of the storm. Pro-choice advocates are outraged that
legislators have sought to strip us of our ability to retain private insurance
coverage for abortion services. But what of the women who never had that
coverage in the first place? What about the low- income women in our country
who, because of the Hyde Amendment (now considered to be abortion neutral so
to speak), never had equal access to abortion? Where do these women go when
they need or want an abortion in this country?
If you said Planned Parenthood, you'd only be partially right. In some parts of the country, the majority of abortions and much of the family planning services are actually provided by independent, non-profit, feminist women's health centers. Health centers that have been in continuous existence for upwards of 30 to 35 years. Health centers that provide the kind of woman-centered, non-judgmental, empowering care so critical for abortion and other reproductive health related services.
Lower and middle-income women have relied upon these independent, non-profit community health centers for years for abortion, birth control and annual exams. Sure, we think about these clinics when a provider like Dr. Carhart or Dr. Tiller is targeted, injured or killed by anti-choice terrorists. We talk around them, discussing the lack of access to abortion care, the problems with forcing women to view ultrasounds, how many providers are left in this country and where they are located, how much it costs for a woman to have an abortion, and how far she has to travel.
But how many of us actually think about our country's original basic reproductive health service providers, the architects of the movement for informed, empowered, self-directed health care? These centers and the women who staff them (many of whom have been there for 15, 20 and 25 years) are pioneers quietly existing, on the periphery of our awareness; struggling for the funding and resources necessary to continue providing optimal care to mostly lower- and middle-income women in this nation. What many don't realize is that most, if not all, of these health centers are not solely abortion providers. These community centers engage in extensive outreach, community education, provider education and training, family planning services including contraception, HIV/AIDS testing and more."
Read the full article here.
Find all the FAN members here.
Blue Mountain Clinic Continues to Voice Concern About How Health Care Reform Will Impact Women
Read the women's health inclusion statement generated by BMC, Planned Parenthood of Montana and Bridger Clinic of Bozeman.
View Anita on Bill Moyer's Journal from Friday 7/10/09: Assessing a "Public Option" for Health Care.