Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon continues to fight politicians who are seemingly obsessed with banning or chipping away at a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about her pregnancy.
Here in Oregon, bills were introduced last year that would have imposed a 20-week abortion ban (with no protections for a woman’s health or safety) and that would have singled out abortion providers for unnecessary, politically motivated, targeted regulations — and effectively shut down nearly all of them. Meanwhile, opponents of women’s health, such as Oregon Right to Life, perpetuate junk science (for example, its website falsely claims abortion “is the root cause of a significant number of breast cancer cases”) and spread outright lies about rape (“the trauma of sexual assault is likely to inhibit ovulation”).
In addition, extremists are gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would prohibit access to medically necessary abortion coverage for low-income women.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon strongly believes that decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor or health care provider. 2014 promises to be a crucial election year for women’s health, and we are working to ensure that women’s voices are heard at the ballot box – and to stop right-wing extremists like Salem radio host and Oregon House candidate Bill Post from achieving positions of power.
But we can’t do it without community activists who care about reproductive freedom. This year we want to strengthen our local presence so we can continue to get results like these in the Salem area:
•Last year, we trained citizen lobbyists in Salem and marched to the Oregon State Capitol to educate lawmakers about our issues.
•We also came to the aid of three Salem-Keizer School Board members who were being challenged by Oregon Right to Life solely because they support Planned Parenthood’s sex ed curriculum, which has been proven to reduce rates of teen pregnancy, dropout and suspension.
•Our volunteers canvassed at the Salem Bite & Brew and in local neighborhoods to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act, the greatest advancement for women’s health in decades.
As we saw in the 2012 election, when advocates for women’s health fight back, we win. Please contact me to learn what you can do to join the fight in your community. We need your help building our grassroots advocacy network, engaging with the public, contacting lawmakers and more. We need you to be the voice of our movement.
Kerry Edinger Snodgrass is a Field Organizer for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. To get involved, please emailkerry.snodgrass@PPAOregon.org.