Tag Archives: Women’s Health
Rosie the Riveter

Not Enough: The Ongoing Fight for Women’s Liberation

As a kid, “Dayenu” was perhaps my favorite Jewish holiday song. It’s catchy, it’s upbeat, and, if you sing the full 15 verses, it goes on forever. With “Dayenu,” we express our thanks for the myriad miracles that took place at the time of the Exodus. We sing that each was so powerful that one alone would have been enough. Read more…

Keep Abortion Legal

Pursuing Choice in the States: The Current State(s) of Reproductive Rights

It seems like every day—if not several times a day—that I get an email update from one of our coalition partners or from one of my reproductive rights news alerts telling me that another state anti-choice bill has moved forward. Just this week, Ohio state legislators introduced a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks, one of several of its kind across the country; the Montana House of Representatives and an Idaho Senate committee passed a ban on abortion telemedicine, with dangerous implications for rural women who live too far from an abortion provider to consult a physician in person; and a Florida House committee advanced mandatory waiting period legislation, which would require patients to consult a physician at least 24 hours before having an abortion.

It can certainly be difficult to keep track of the frenzy of anti-choice legislation, especially as reproductive health victories these days are few and far between. (In a single, yet important victory among the slew of advances, a New Mexico Senate committee halted bills to increase abortion restrictions after the first trimester and to ban altogether abortions after 20 weeks.) What is most important to remember, however, is that each of these laws has real consequences for women and families living in that state. Read more…

Defend Women's Reproductive Rights

From Page to Practice: Reinterpreting the Helms Amendment

Since his inauguration in 2009, advocates for reproductive rights have been urging President Obama to reinterpret the Helms Amendment, which bans American foreign aid for abortion services in all circumstances. Though certainly not the only dangerous, anti-choice policy in U.S. law, Helms stands out as the lowest hanging fruit on these issues. This is especially the case because while most of these reproductive rights-related policies take the form of legislation and apply immediately individuals across the country, the Obama Administration administers the foreign aid that would be sent to clinics around the world. Thus, it is in the power of the executive branch to reinterpret the Helms Amendment, so that entities like USAID who oversee some of the granting process, will change the rules for grantees who offer reproductive health services. Read more…

Employee denied pregnancy accommodations

Our Bodies, Our Bank Accounts: Pregnant Workers Accommodations and Economic Security

When we think of pregnant women in the workforce, the first thing that comes to mind is often maternity leave. But, maternity leave is just one piece of the complex puzzle of policies necessary to support working mothers and working families. Another critical piece of that puzzle are pregnancy accommodations—necessary to ensure that pregnant workers can keep working to support themselves and their families throughout the duration of their pregnancy. Read more…

A Woman in Prison

On Purim, Exploring the Intersections of Reproductive Justice and Criminal Justice

On Purim, we celebrate a time of transition for the Jews, from “grief to joy and from mourning to a festive day—to make them days of feasting and joy, and sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor” (Megillat Esther 9). As we prepare for Purim, we look forward to a time of “feasting and merrymaking” (Megillat Esther 9:22). Indeed, Purim is a time to celebrate the fortitude and resilience of the Jewish people, focusing especially on the impressive role of women leaders that is unique in the Purim story and throughout our history. Yet, as we celebrate our triumphs over the injustices of discrimination and exclusion, we must also reflect on the injustices that persist in our world today.

A new report by the Women in Prison Project, an initiative of the Correctional Association of New York, reveals one such travesty, finding that people do not receive adequate reproductive healthcare while incarcerated. The report, titled “Reproductive Injustice: The State of Reproductive Health Care for Women in New York State Prisons,” is an in-depth study of reproductive health care in the New York state prison system. Over the course of five years, researchers interviewed 950 inmates, visited prisons across the state, conducted surveys and reviewed medical charts to reveal “a shockingly poor standard of care, the routine denial of basic reproductive health and hygiene items, and the continued egregious practice of shackling pregnant women during labor and childbirth despite a 2011 law prohibiting it.” Read more…

Support abortion access

House of Representatives Passes Severe Anti-Abortion Bill to “Celebrate” Roe v. Wade Anniversary

On January 22, we commemorated the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established our constitutionally protected right to decide whether or not to have an abortion. That same day, in an affront to the legacy of Roe, the House of Representatives voted to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 7), dangerous legislation that would both codify existing bans on taxpayer funding for abortion and expand restrictions to limit abortion access for women who are privately insured. Read more…

Supporting Roe at SCOTUS

Reform Jewish Movement Marks Roe v. Wade Anniversary; Condemns Dangerous House Bill

Today, we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the constitutionally protected right of a woman to decide whether or not to have an abortion. In an affront to the legacy of Roe v. Wade, the House of Representatives voted this afternoon to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, a dangerous bill to restrict abortion access. On the occasion of the Roe anniversary and of the House vote, Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement: Read more…

On the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Raising Our Voices for Reproductive Justice

On January 22, we commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the constitutionally protected right of a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion. The Court held that under the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of due process, the government’s interest in protecting potential life does not always outweigh a woman’s right to privacy in her health decisions. Though this constitutional protection still exists, subsequent court decisions and state and federal laws have slowly chipped away at the decision, establishing significant obstacles to abortion access and leaving our Roe rights at risk. Read more…

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