Protect our birth control

Earlier this month, Trump issued new rules allowing employers, health insurance providers, and universities to drop insurance coverage for birth control if they have any religious or moral objection. Trump’s rules not only threaten our bodily autonomy and right to privacy, but also our health and well-being. Birth control is medicine, whether it’s used to prevent pregnancy, or treat illnesses like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Since then, a group of women’s health champions in the House and Senate introduced the Protect Access to Birth Control Act. This legislation will repeal the Trump administration’s new rules on birth control coverage. Although this bill has been co-sponsored by 54 House Democrats so far, our Congresswoman has not yet signed on.

We’ve fought hard to win affordable access to this necessary health care. With your help, we can make sure we keep it.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Call Congresswoman Pelosi and ask her to co-sponsor HR 4082, the Protect Access to Birth Control Act. You can say “I am calling to urge the Congresswoman to cosponsor the Protect Access to Birth Control Act, and help save thousands of Americans from losing their contraception coverage. Birth control is medicine, and we should not be denied affordable access to this critical health care because our boss or school objects.”

Want to do more? Join a Reproductive Freedom Town Hall to meet pro-choice candidates for state superintendent, hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America. Learn more and sign up.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Brown Bag Lunch w Senator Feinstein’s State Director
Fri, Nov 3, Noon
Rooftop garden, Crocker Galleria, 50 Post St
REGISTER NOW

Can’t make it? Send us your top issues to take to the senators.

It’s personal.

My first protest was a pro-choice march I attended with my mother when I was in high school. Mom made sure I understood the impact of unplanned pregnancy on my physical and mental health, my economic stability, my relationships, and my future. As a bisexual woman, I was lucky to have a mother who made sure I had condoms in my wallet, and lucky to have access to hormonal birth control through Planned Parenthood throughout my youth.

Reproductive rights, sexual rights, and the rights to bodily and economic sovereignty are crucially, personally important to me, and my whole life I’ve been glad to have the freedom to choose. Roe v. Wade happened when I was five and I’ve lived in California since then, so I’ve never been denied access to birth control or an abortion. I’ve been able to live with a freedom every woman should have, but as the GOP chips away at our rights, fewer and fewer women do.

Last week, the House passed a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, falsely claiming that the fetus feels pain at this point. The cruel bill, which would force women to carry fetuses with fatal birth defects to term, is now headed for the Senate. Shortly after that, Trump announced a new Dept. of Health and Human Services rule that would allow employers to deny reproductive health coverage to anybody for “religious or moral” reasons. This will undermine contraceptive coverage in all health insurance plans, and is all about punishing women, and restraining our freedom.

It’s comforting to feel safe in California, with Senators Feinstein and Harris looking out for us. But Senator Feinstein has released no public statement on either issue. Make sure she knows what you want from her.

Take action now!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Join us THIS SATURDAY to meet a guest speaker from Swing Left and learn what you can do to help elect Democrats in 2018.

Stand Up SF October Meeting
Sunday, October 15th
2pm – 4pm
REGISTER NOW

We get to keep our healthcare

The latest GOP healthcare bill is dead. Whew! A huge relief! It is dead because of the pressure we put on those who represent us. 2,233 Indivisibles made 320,552 calls to constituents of the holdout GOP Senators! We were part of this! In addition, last week alone, Indivisibles with red Senators hosted 172 events at congressional district offices. This is a major victory. Even with a unified conservative government, attempts to hurt people can be stopped by constituents exercising their power. Go Indivisibles!

Happy we won? Consider making a small contribution to Indivisible so “the mothership” can help us win more. We believe Indivisible represents a pretty strategic and critical investment at this time.

Sadly, the fight isn’t over. Trump is deliberately sabotaging the Affordable Care Act, compressing Open Enrollment, slashing the outreach budget, putting out anti-ACA propaganda, cutting assistance to local organizations who help people enroll, and more. And insurers are already starting to jack up premiums as a result of Trump’s ongoing threats to end reimbursements for subsidizing lower-income customers as required by the law (called cost-sharing reductions). FL just announced a 45% increase.

Our next long fight will be about tax reform. Republican lawmakers this week unveiled a 9-page tax blueprint that reduces taxes on the highest earners and on businesses while closing almost no loopholes. It raises the lowest tax bracket, and creates what looks like trillions in new debt. The silence from deficit hawks has been deafening.

Tax policy is a statement of our national priorities. It tells us who we are. Public opinion is on our side, with recent polls showing that what Americans would like even better than a tax break is for government to spend more to educate their children, rebuild infrastructure, and provide health care and a safety net for the elderly, veterans and the poor. A fact-check of Trump’s tax speech this week shows we are in for an onslaught of misleading statements and downright lies.

This week wacko birther extremist Roy Moore won the GOP primary to take the Senate seat Jeff Sessions vacated. Who knew a single Senate candidate could make so many headlines. Moore is especially dangerous as he believes his personal religious views should supersede our civil laws, and far-right Christian religious culture should infuse our institutions. He is a zealous bigot against rights for gays and women among others. He is fact-challenged, was a columnist at the conspiracy-theory site World Net Daily, and just this week said there is sharia law in the US right now — “as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana.” He compared a congressman taking the oath of office on a Koran to doing so on Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” and said 9/11 was punishment from God. He also brandished a revolver at a campaign rally. Super cool! Some are afraid his election will start a trend. Let’s hope he doesn’t win the general election on Dec. 12.

Also this week it was revealed that six white house advisers including Kushner have been using personal email for official business (as well as disappearing messaging apps), and the FBI revealed it is investigating about 1,000 cases of white supremacist domestic terrorism.

Stand Up SF actions:

  • The Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) has introduced a new regulation that would allow the agency to collect info from immigrants’ Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram uploads, and search results. The proposed rule would also
    allow DHS to monitor the social media accounts of green card holders and naturalized citizens, and, according to an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, U.S. citizens who communicate with immigrants, File a public
    comment on this invasion of privacy.
  • Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who wants to repeal net neutrality rules, has to be re-confirmed by the Senate now that his term is up. This could happen any day. Call Senators Feinstein and Harris
    and tell them to vote NO on Ajit Pai for another term as head of FCC.
  • GOP House leaders say they will vote on a bill next Tues to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with doctors facing up to five years in jail for providing care. Call Congresswoman Pelosi and ask her to make sure all House Dems vote against this invasion of women’s rights.

Actions with other groups:

  • ACLU is going on the offense at the state and local levels to expand access to the ballot and make our democracy more representative. Their first step is to host events where volunteers can watch a “Let People Vote” Livestream
    Training that covers everything needed to immediately get to work locally to protect our voting rights. Sign up to host an event on Sun 10/1 at 4pm. If you decide to host an event, let us know and we will get the word out to Stand Up SF members!
  • Mon 10/2 5:30-8:30, The SF Immigrant Rights Commission is holding a special hearing on the latest travel ban.
  • Wed 10/4 6-9pm Mission: We are all invited to join Swing Left’s party and fundraiser at El Rio, 3158 Mission St in San Francisco. The event will feature David Chiu, CA State Assemblymember, Lucia Nuñez, CA-10 District Organizer for the CA Dem Party, and Dan Hoyle, an actor and writer who has entertained many of us at the Marsh Theater and elsewhere. The Swing Left organizers are putting together a build-your-own taco bar for us all to enjoy, and there will be a cash bar. RSVP so they know how much food to buy. They ask attendees to donate what you can ($10 – $20 – $50 – $100) either ahead of time or at the door. Funds support their effort to take back the House in 2018.

Zombie TrumpCare rises again

It’s hard to believe, but Senate Republicans are trying to bring TrumpCare back from the dead again. Not much is known about the new bill (surprise, surprise) but we know it would once again destroy Medicaid. The GOP has only until September 30 to pass this toxic bill, and we know it’s going to be a tough fight, particularly as Senator John McCain has said he would support it. Get your dialing finger ready.

Trump is trying to torpedo the Affordable Care Act whether TrumpCare passes or not. His latest maneuver is to withdraw funding for the outreach necessary to promote the ACA and help Americans sign up — which especially affects the most vulnerable populations such as non-English speakers and those who don’t have Internet access. This is just the most recent attack on critical programs for Americans, and is sadly consistent with Trump’s budget priorities, which include cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, education, and Pell grants.

DACA recipients are still reeling from last week’s horrible announcement, and now the House is expected to vote this Tuesday on a bill that criminalizes immigrants, including those fleeing gang violence, and allows more of them to be detained and deported. It also affects vulnerable populations such as asylum seekers, TPS holders, and unaccompanied children. This is the kind of legislation that makes it easier than ever for ICE to terrorize immigrants and encourages others to turn away rather than offering support and demanding justice.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma is pounding Florida and Betsy DeVos is trying to remove sexual assault protections on college campuses.

There are a lot of places to direct your passion right now. Stay focused on the issues that matter most to you, and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

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Hopping mad about any of the above? Join us at Congresswoman Pelosi’s office this week to find out what she’s doing to make sure TrumpCare stays dead, and to protect Americans from Trump’s deadly budget cuts. If you can’t make it, submit your ideas for talking points to policy@standupsf.net.

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Bring a friend to our next meeting! Come to hear guest speaker Rafael Mandelman, President of San Francisco City College’s Board, talk about the resistance movement and how it’s shaping our communities in the Bay Area.

Stand Up SF September Meeting
Sunday, September 17th
2pm – 4pm
REGISTER NOW

This week’s Stand Up SF actions

  • Kill TrumpCare and defend the ACA: Tell all three MoCs that you appreciate their efforts to defend the ACA and protect Americans’ health care. You can say “I want the [Congresswoman/Senator] to know that I appreciate her ongoing work to defend the ACA. I am counting on her to work against Graham-Cassidy, the latest version of TrumpCare, and want to know what she’s doing to offset Trump’s sabotage of the ACA, such as cutting funding for outreach.”
  • Defend DACA recipients: Tell all three MoCs that you want the Dream Act attached to every must-pass bill in Congress. (background and scripts)
  • Don’t let Congress criminalize immigrants: Call Congresswoman Pelosi and tell her to vote no on H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act. You can say “Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in San Francisco. I am concerned that H.R. 3697 will make vulnerable immigrants who are trying to escape gang violence into ICE targets. Let’s not punish asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, and others who are especially vulnerable. Please vote no on H.R. 3697.”
  • Protect Americans from dangerous budget cuts: Call both Senators and tell them to oppose any budget any resolution that makes cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, or SNAP, and doesn’t offset tax cuts with new revenue or closing loopholes. (explainer and script)

Actions with other groups

  • Tue 9/12: Protect San Franciscans from police violence. At this meeting, the San Francisco Police Comission will consider a proposal by Chief Scott to arm SFPD with Tasers. Come out and voice your concerns.
  • Wed 9/13: Join Swing Left’s monthly meeting to prepare to canvass and register voters in the red district of San Joaquin County. RSVP.
  • Protect voting rights: Join the ACLU’s national voting rights campaign. Sign up to send text messages and help recruit for this vital effort.

Thanks for all you do.

Laura