The stakes for women’s health have never been higher than they are in the 2016 election -- access to safe and legal abortion, insurance coverage for birth control, and ensuring patients can still access Planned Parenthood’s preventive services are all hanging in the balance.
Peer health educators from Minnesota joined 150 other young change-makers for Lift as we Climb, the inaugural Teen Council Summit in Washington D.C. The Teen Council Program is an educational model that trains teen members to present medically-accurate sexuality information to their peers and other members of their communities.
Our world is not just, and will never be so until no one fears for their safety because of their skin color. We will never forget Philando Castile—or Alton Sterling, Jamar Clark, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin—or any of the many people who have lost their lives. We are all traumatized by what is happening, and we will unflinchingly examine the entrenched racism in our culture, in ourselves, and in our civil institutions. We will honor their memories not by moments of silence, but rather by working until we persevere in overcoming racism and creating the world that we want for all of our children.
Abortion stigma, or the shared cultural understanding that abortion is morally wrong and/or socially unacceptable, often silences the most important voices in the political conversation: people who have actually had abortions.
On June 27, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision on abortion access, ruling that Texas’ dangerous, medically unnecessary abortion restrictions—which were designed to shut down clinics but billed as “helpful” to women—are, in fact, unconstitutional. Abortion rights advocates and Planned Parenthood affiliates in all corners of the country celebrated, and Minnesota was no exception.
This morning the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 to protect access to safe and legal abortion. In standing up for Texas women, the Court reinforced that politicians can't pass laws that punish women by blocking access to safe abortion under the guise of protecting their health.
In the coming days, the Supreme Court will issue its decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a case that could redefine abortion access in America. The stakes for women in this case cannot be overstated. A woman's very right to access safe, legal abortion is before the Court, and the consequences may reverberate far beyond Texas.
The 2016 Minnesota legislative session has drawn to a close. This session saw scores of bills to restrict access to abortion, along with an unprecedented attempt to defund Planned Parenthood and the tens of thousands of patients who access reproductive health services across the state each year.
We need our legislators to stop attacking women’s health and start focusing on doing things that actually improve people’s lives. Please understand three things: the work the organization does, the wide support it has and the motives of those who would thwart it. There’s a political price to pay for politicians who try to block patients from the care Planned Parenthood provides.