Reproductive Rights

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Barbara Seaman, 1935 - 2008

Thinking about Barbara, I realize that she was a one-woman social networking site. She remembered everyone she had ever met and tried to connect them with everybody else she had ever met. She recalled where you were from, whom you dated, your health problems, and your writings or accomplishments and then she introduced to people who you should know.

Why I plan to be a "Student for Choice"

From the Rib

The end of summer marks the beginning of a relatively short but tumultuous season for the high school student: the college application process. The Common Application went up August 1, and with it came a slew of essays that students across the country must finish by January. Topics range from choice of major to hobbies to why you want to go to a particular school. I've been slowly working my way through them, and I found myself trying to answer the question of what activities I plan to pursue at college.

Mazel Tov, Heather Booth!

Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday Heather Booth, Director of Americans for Financial Reform, wrote a piece in the Huffington Post called V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! lauding Congress for passing the most significant financial reform legislation since the Great Depression.

Crisis pregnancy center targets Jewish women

Emily Kadar

Last week, Washington Jewish Week reported on the creation of In Shifra's Arms, a new crisis pregnancy center (CPC) targeting Jewish women.

Celebrating Ruth Proskauer Smith, an unheralded champion of women's and human rights

Emily Kadar

Ruth Proskauer Smith, a longtime women's and human rights activist, passed away last Friday at the impressive age of 102. Smith co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League and is today known as NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Trusting women: A look back

Judith Rosenbaum

Today is the 37 anniversary of the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion in the Roe v. Wade decision, and as such, it's also NARAL's 5th annual Blog for Choice Day. The question NARAL has posed for this year is "What does Trust Women mean to you?" And I've chosen to answer this as historians do best -- by dipping into the archives for a story about Jewish women and reproductive rights that goes back much farther than 1973.

Blogging, Tweeting, and Facebooking for Choice: An interview with Gloria Feldt

Leah Berkenwald

Happy 5th Annual Blog for Choice Day!

Today is the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and to celebrate this occassion, we wanted to discuss one of the more exciting new developments in Choice organizing: the use of social media.  Who better to speak on this topic than Gloria Feldt, whose passion for Choice organizing remains strong after 30 years of leadership at Planned Parenthood. Gloria volunteers on the board of the Women's Media Center and the Jewish Women's Archive, and worked as a consultant for Not Under the Bus, a platform and aggregator for the many media campaigns working to combat stop anti-abortion measures in healthcare reform.

The "Not My Tax Dollars" campaign and the complexity of Tikkun Olam

Leah Berkenwald

The people at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) are turning one of the arguments for the Hyde Amendment back on itself in an exciting video campaign with one of my favorite video bloggers, Jay Smooth. Hyde supporters have argued that federal dollars should not fund something a large percentage of the population considers immoral. The CRR is asking: what do you wish the government wouldn't spend your tax dollars on?  And if you don't get to pick and choose, why should the Pro-Lifers?

Abortion rights advocates celebrate a major victory and look to the future

Emily Kadar

Yesterday's Senate vote to table the Nelson/Hatch amendment, the Senate version of the infamous anti-choice Stupak/Pitts amendment, was a major victory for pro-choice healthcare reform supporters.

Barbara Boxer takes on the Nelson-Hatch Amendment

Leah Berkenwald

Barbara Boxer is one kick-ass Senator.  Yesterday, the Senate debated the new threat to women's health: the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, which is essentially Stupak round 2.  Senator Boxer did not hold back, and said exactly what I, and other women, have been thinking.

Debunking assumptions about young women and apathy

Emily Kadar

Ever since Bart Stupak finagled his anti-choice amendment onto the House’s Health Care Reform bill three weeks ago, my life seems to be all Stupak, all the time. I have attended rallies, visited Capitol Hill to talk to my Senators, helped plan a Lobby Day on December 2 with a broad group of progressive organizations known as the Stop Stupak coalition, supported students as they plan their own on-campus actions, and organized online to get the word out as much as possible.

Taking action against Stupak

Leah Berkenwald

A few days ago, I wrote about how the House of Representatives threw women under the bus in order to pass the healthcare reform bill.  All week the blogosphere has been buzzing with anger and disbelief at the fact that our elected leaders would pass such an unprecidented repeal of abortion coverage, which both prohibits the public option from offering coverage, and provides financial incentives for private insurance companies to drop the coverage they currently offer. 

Sold out in the name of healthcare reform

Leah Berkenwald

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the Healthcare Reform bill only after Democrats caved on abortion, allowing the Stupak Amendment to be added in order to move the bill along.  The Stupak Amendment prohibits any public option to offer abortion coverage, and also prevents private insurers from covering abortion by limiting federal affordability credits to plans that do not cover abortion.  For those of us who desire a truly comprehensive healthcare reform act that values women's healthcare needs, this "victory" was hard to swallow.

Women's health is not elective

Leah Berkenwald

We are in big trouble.  When I started reading about the healthcare reform battle, I was angry.  Now that the Senate panel has rejected the public option, and Obama has declined to stand up for reproductive rights, I am getting scared. The more I read, the more I started to realize that there is a larger problem underlying this debate.  There is something fundamentally wrong with the way people think about women's bodies and the healthcare they require.  While reproductive healthcare is absolutely critical to the general health of every woman, every family and every community, it is considered separately, almost as if it were elective, in the greater discussion of healthcare reform.

Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer elected to Senate

November 3, 1992

On November 3, 1992, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer were elected to the U.S.

Nita M. Lowey elected to House of Representatives

November 8, 1988

On November 8, 1988, Nita M. Lowey was elected to Congress.

Bella Abzug elected to Congress

November 3, 1970

On November 3, 1970, Bella Abzug was elected to the United States House of Representatives on a proudly feminist, anti-war, environmentalist platform, becoming th

Lily Winner publishes a defense of open immigration in "The Nation"

May 18, 1921

Writer, playwright, and activist Winner was a progressive voice for immigrants and immigration reform.

Rose Pastor Stokes

In her autobiography as in her life, Stokes fused American values of self-improvement with immigrant and socialist ideals of community.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem was a leader of second-wave feminism and the co-founder of Ms. Magazine, the first feminist periodical with a national readership. As a journalist and spokesperson, she mobilized a generation of women to advance the cause of women’s liberation. Steinem has worked tirelessly all her life as an advocate for change.

Caroline Klein Simon

Attorney Caroline Klein Simon’s long career included state office and judicial posts. She was a fierce advocate for gender and racial equality and made the first laws against real estate brokers using “blockbusting” tactics to force sales of homes.

Rosika Schwimmer

Rosika Schwimmer was a leader in the international pacifist and feminist movements, a passionate and forceful advocate of pacifism in a time of war. Schwimmer’s career soared during the early twentieth century, but, by the 1920s, she was caught in the backlash of antifeminism and antisemitism that swept the United States.

National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods

In 1913, the women of Reform Judaism, who were organized in independent, local synagogue sisterhoods founded in the 1890s and 1900s, united to create a national organization of women dedicated to religion. Reform Jewish women joined the American women of the era who established a host of voluntary associations to further various social and communal agendas.

National Council of Jewish Women

When the National Council of Jewish Women was founded in 1893, it was the first national organization in history to unite Jewish women to promote the Jewish religion. That its commitment to preserve Jewish heritage in a quickly modernizing America would be fraught with contradictions was not readily apparent in the optimistic surroundings of the World Parliament of Religions, convened as part of the Chicago World Exposition.

Nita M. Lowey

As cochair of the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey made women’s health issues a priority. In the fiscal year of 1995, when the National Institutes of Health received only a three percent increase in funding, Lowey secured a seventeen percent increase in funding for breast cancer research. As a member of the Committee on Homeland Security, she works to achieve safety from terrorism for all Americans. Also serving on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Lowey is a staunch supporter of the State of Israel.

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