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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in prochoicemississippi.org's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
3:05 pm
MS folks, we need your help
From staff at Planned Parenthood:

I've been busting my tail to get 750 signatures on a petition to urge Thad Cochran to support a fix for the national birth control pricing crunch hitting college students and low-income women. Pill prices have gone up from $5 to $50 in some cases, HERE in Mississippi. I've been in touch with all of the major universities in both MS and AL, and its killing everyone. Some schools have stopped carrying birth control altogether.

We've got 683 signatures at this point, so we only need 67 more to reach our goal. [UPDATE, We now have 706, so we just need 44 more!]

If you are a Mississippi resident, pretty, pretty, pretty please sign this petition asking Thad Cochran to help fix this problem. (If you have already signed it, I love you and I thank you 1000 times.)

4 million women around the nation are affected by this issue and need your help!
Friday, August 31st, 2007
4:36 pm
Support Planned Parenthood, Buy Something Pretty!
Hi there.

I'm Deirdra, and I run the website ProChoiceMississippi.org. I also make wirework jewelry on the side, and have begun to donate a portion of my proceeds from each commission to the causes I care about.

This month, I'll be donating $5 from each sale to Planned Parenthood of Alabama (they also run the PP office in Hattiesburg, as well as some outreach services in Pensacola, FL.) In addition to providing vital health and medical services and consultation, Planned Parenthood works their ass off to introduce state and federal legislation that champions comprehensive sex education, medically accurate information regarding contraception and disease prevention, and access to contraception. They also have an amazing and informative education and outreach program that frankly discusses reproductive health, contraception and sexuality. Planned Parenthood is on the forefront of the battle to keep abortions safe and legal, as well.

If you haven't done so, I'd also like to encourage you to sign up for their Action Network, that'll keep you informed on state and national issues.
Thursday, March 15th, 2007
11:32 am
SB 2391 on Barbour's Desk
From Planned Parenthood VP of Public Affairs, Felicia Brown Williams:

According to the MS Legislative website, SB 2391 has been signed by all appropriate legislative parties, and has been sent to Governor Barbour. Barbour has five days to sign the bill, though he may choose to expedite the process.

Please call Governor Barbour's office and leave a message with his staff asking him to veto this legislation.

You can reach his office TOLL FREE at 1-877-405-0733.

You don't have to say much. In fact one sentence will do. I suggest saying something as simple as:

"As a Mississippi voter, I urge the governor to stand up for women's health and safety and to VETO the abortion ban and restrictions."

Feel free to post about your call here, and pass this information on to supporters.
11:57 am
CLPP annual reproductive justice conference
The Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program at Hampshire College invites you to our free annual reproductive justice conference at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts from Friday, March 30-Sunday, April 1, 2007.  More information can be found on our website: http://clpp.hampshire.edu
Read more...Collapse )
Thursday, March 8th, 2007
2:36 pm
Mississippi SB 2391, the combined bill that trigger-bans abortion (should Roe v. Wade be overturned) as well as restricting the current abortion laws, passed today, and is headed for Governor Barbour's desk to be signed into law. While it doesn't change much today, it's still moving towards an ugly time in our nation's past.

Planned Parenthood's release here.
Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
11:42 am
Senate passes two anti-choice bills; Abortion ban likely to see a vote today
Earlier this morning, the Senate passed two anti-choice bills (SB 2391* and SB 2801**), breezing through the votes without discussion. It's reported that a senator will be introducing a Motion to Reconsider these two pieces of legislation, but it's uncertain the motion will be accepted.

However, it seems certain that SB 2795*** will be also be put to a vote before the end of the day.

Anyone with some time to spare is urged to gather at the state capitol at around 1 p.m. to join with fellow activists in their support of reproductive freedom and justice. Your voice can make a difference.



Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
12:34 pm
Abortion Legislation on Senate Agenda Today

All three pieces of Senate-proposed abortion legislature are on the Senate's calendar today (Wednesday, January 31st).  

Our elected representatives would rather waste countless dollars of Mississippi taxpayers' money to trot a show pony in front of the Supreme Court, when the bottom half of our state is still a shambles.  Mississippi spends $20 per capita on children's welfare programs.  Planned Parenthood attempted to find sponsorship for a fantastic package of legislation that would help prevent unintentional pregnancies, which had the potential to drastically reduce the number of abortions in Mississippi.  NO ONE would introduce the package.  This is nothing short of the state legislature attempting to enforce parenthood.

If you haven't contacted your legislators yet, please do so, and keep calling regularly!  The House and Senate need to know that we take it seriously when they push to curtail women's rights.  Support local chapters of activist groups who mirror your goals.  

Update (11:46 a.m.)

I've just gotten word SB 2801 (fetal sonogram) was passed over on the agenda this morning.  Watch this space for further updates.

Friday, January 12th, 2007
3:09 pm
2007 Legislative Session

There's some fairly tough anti-choice legislation being proposed by the Mississippi House and Senate for the 2007 legislative session, including a concurrent resolution to amend Mississippi's state Constitution. Jackson Area NOW kindly furnished us with the text of all (six) current proposed legislature.

Watch this space for details and information on how you can get involved.

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006
2:52 pm
Free EC Day at Planned Parenthood on Dec. 6
(originally posted on prochoicemississippi.org)

HATTIESBURG, MS —The Hattiesburg and Gulfport health centers of Planned Parenthood of Alabama, Inc. will be celebrating increased access to Plan B emergency contraception (also known as EC, or the "morning after pill") with a Free EC Day. Stop by a participating Planned Parenthood on December 6th and receive free EC to keep at home – just in case.

If a condom breaks, you miss a couple of pills, you were sexually assaulted, or if you had unprotected sex for any reason – there is help. EC can safely and effectively reduce your risk of pregnancy if started within five days after unprotected sex. Plan B emergency contraception is most effective when used within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. The sooner you take it, the better. It is your best chance to prevent an unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex.

The Hattiesburg health center of Planned Parenthood of Alabama, Inc. is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Gulfport health center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For those outside the Hattiesburg or Gulfport areas, call 1-800-230-PLAN to reach the Planned Parenthood Health center nearest you.

Accidents happen. Be prepared. Stop by Free EC Day at participating Planned Parenthood Health centers on December 6th.
Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
12:59 pm
Help Needed: Press Conference Today, 3 p.m.

I've just received word from Michelle Colon, President, Jackson Area NOW,  that a city press conference regarding the Operation Save America protest is being held at the Jackson Police Training Academy 

Jackson Police Department
3000 St. Charles Street
Jackson, MS 39209

That's in South Jackson, near Provine High School. It's reported that Reverend Philip (Flip) Benham, director of Operation Save America, will be speaking at the press conference.

Please make your best effort to attend this press conference and provide a strong pro-choice presence.

Thursday, June 15th, 2006
8:32 am
Update on the Clinic protests (please pass around)
Dear Colleagues:

As some of you have heard, Flip Benham and Operation Rescue (or Operation Save America at http://www.operationsaveamerica.org) are planning a protest in Jackson, Mississippi at Jackson Women's Health Organization (http://www.gynpages.com/jwho) for the week of July 15-22.

The frightening words from their website:
"The Gentle Revolution is making its way toward Jackson, Mississippi, this year, July 15-22, 2006. Pro-life leaders from across our nation will be joining us at the "last abortion mill" in the state of Mississippi. We will be storming the gates of hell in the strong Name of Jesus Christ. Little did any of us know, as we ran to the roar to help those devastated by Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and Louisiana, that God was preparing us to return to Mississippi to deal with an even more deadly foe - Abortion!"

They recently picketed the Raleigh Women's Health Organization (http://www.gynpages.com/rwho) and Susan Hill's home in Raleigh, NC. This is also the same group that attacked Dr. Warren Hern in Boulder last Summer.

On behalf of Susan Hill and the rest of the staff, we appreciate the concern and outrage of all who want to help with this effort in Jackson. Fortunately, many of the events staged by anti-abortionists recently have fallen flat and have not attracted the numbers they have been claiming. We do want to be ever vigilant, and to this extent we'd like for anyone wanting to assist in the defense of JWHO to contribute money to our security efforts.

For obvious security reasons, we're not going to detail our efforts but rest assured that they include professional security services, surveillance, and video.

We're requesting that there be no large counter demonstrations near the clinic during clinic hours. There will be pro-choice events throughout the week at the clinic and in other parts of Jackson, but the area around the clinic is small and not conducive to large groups of people. Patients don't have to walk in a public area from their cars to the clinic. Our clinic parking lot is attached to the building, so there is no need for escorts. In our experience, patients aren't able to distinguish between anti-abortion and pro-choice demonstrators, so any increase in numbers will only confuse them and make their access and comfort more difficult.

We want to hire the most sophisticated professional security detail available to protect our patients, our staff, and the clinic.

If you'd like to contribute to that effort, please send contributions to:

National Women's Health Foundation
Raleigh Women's Health Organization
3613 Haworth Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609

We promise that 100% of your contribution will go directly to security efforts at Jackson Women's Health Organization. Betty Thompson is coordinating the events in Jackson. She can be reached at the clinic at: 601-366-2261.

Again, we appreciate everyone's volunteerism and energy, and hope for a peaceful week in Jackson.

Ann Rose
On behalf of Susan Hill
Friday, June 2nd, 2006
2:59 pm
Biloxi Man Proposes People's Amendment to Mississippi Constitution Banning Abortion, More

Initiative 22 is a campaign led by David Rogers to amend the Mississippi State Constitution through the use of a People's Initiative. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative petition to be sufficient a minimum of 91,673 certified signatures must be gathered; with at least 18,355 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts.

The wording in this proposed amendment was designed specifically to include the legal recognition of"fetal personhood" to outlaw abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning, as well as banning euthanasia and assisted suicide. The "Ultimate Human Life Amendment" (UHLA) group has until January 19,2007 to collect these signatures.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
9:24 pm
Help Needed
Right now, there's a dearth of information regarding emergency contraception access in Mississippi. Princeton's most excellent Emergency Contraception Website only lists four providers who will prescribe emergency contraception. Many pharmacies carry it, and will dispense it freely, but the lack of concrete information is severely detrimental to Mississippians.

ProChoiceMississippi.Org's goal this summer is to create an online database of

--pharmacies who stock e.c. (and the pharmacists there who'll fill prescriptions
--physicians who will prescribe e.c.

The effort behind volunteering for this project is minimal, and will be broken up into small chunks (ten phone numbers, etc.) You don't even need to be in Mississippi, since so many of us have access to free nationwide long distance.

What I'm asking

--You call ten pharmacies in your area (or we'll throw together 10 numbers for you to call) and ask
---- If they stock e.c.
---- Which pharmacists there will dispense it
---- Note details (exact address, phone number with area code)
I'd prefer if you focused on pharmacies that AREN'T Target and WalMart, as the MS ACLU is compiling data about those two chains in particular.

-- Call your doctor's office (and your OB/GYN, if you have one) and ask
---- If they will prescribe e.c.
---- (if they are a group practice) if there are other physicans who will also prescribe it
---- Note details (exact address, phone number with area code)
If you're out of state, I can provide phone numbers of OB/GYNs for you to call as well as pharmacies.

Please email ecdatabase@prochoicemississippi.org if interested.

Together, we can help each other have access to speedy, compassionate care in the worst of situations.
Thursday, May 18th, 2006
10:09 am
Apply NOW for the Eighth Annual Advocates For Youth European Study Tour!
Advocates for Youth and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are sponsoring their eighth European study tour, October 20-November 6, 2006. Apply now to travel to Netherlands, France, and Germany to identify the strategies, programs, and policies that have positively influenced adolescent sexual behavior and outcomes in these countries.

For more information and to download the application, please visit: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/news/events/stdytour.htm
Tuesday, May 16th, 2006
8:38 am
Pro-Choice Public Education Project's Young Women's Leadership Council (YWLC) is looking for new members to join this national advisory board.  Please pass this information on to any who might be interested.

details, application withinCollapse )
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006
3:22 pm
Help Planned Parenthood Fight for Health Care Rights
The U.S. Senate is about to vote on S. 1955, better known as the "Lose Your Benefits Bill," which would allow insurance companies to ignore state laws that protect health coverage. This bill aims to take away health insurance benefits regarding women's reproductive health care (including contraceptive coverage), not to mention a myriad of other vital health care programs.

What do you stand to lose if S 1955 passes? Click here and here to find out. (Folks in Georgia, it looks particularly ugly for you.)

Please take a few moments to call/write your federal representatives (or fill out Planned Parenthood's simple form here) regarding S 1955.
Monday, April 3rd, 2006
3:55 pm

I was recently contacted by a producer for ARD, Germany's largest public television broadcaster.  ARD is going to be in town this week, and they're looking to make contact with Mississippians for their new piece.

Valerie Hamilton (the producer) is looking to schedule an interview:


Is there any local abortion fund or low-income women's health group which is assisting women with abortion access, through which we could contact a future or past would-be abortion
patient?  Pro-choice rural health workers?  Social welfare organizations?  We will be shooting at the Jackson clinic, but they prefer for us to try to meet patients when we're there, rather than beforehand.  We can interview anonymously (in shadow) if need be.

I'd appreciate any ideas - I am getting the impression that people are eluctant to talk about abortion in MS and I am getting nowhere with my usual suspects inquiries at Dept of Health and others. 

If you're interested, please contact Valerie via email or by telephone: 202-253-8854.

Friday, March 31st, 2006
5:00 pm
The Fat Lady Has Sung
SB 2922 is dead for 2006 leg. season, folks!

see http://www.prochocemississippi.org for ways you can become involved in our plans for the future. Groups are organizing across the state, and there are several upcoming meetings. Also, if anyone has connections to the Starkville chapter of NOW, please forward them to me.

Thanks for all your hard work, activists! Let's be prepared for next year.


Current Mood: elated
9:20 am
Valuable Article Well Worth Your Time and Consideration
Testimony To the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion from September 22, 2005

National Advocates for Pregnant Women is headed up by the entirely badass Lynn Paltrow. In the above article, she talks about how the same anti-choice/fetal rights laws recently passed have negatively and dangerously impacted happily pregnant women, and how women who've suffered unintentional stillbirths have been criminalized for their health problems or other circumstances.

Here are some gems from Paltrow's testimony:

It is not possible to treat pregnant women and fetuses as competing legal entities in the context of abortion without undermining the health, wellbeing and safety of all pregnant women and new mothers.

...if pregnancy is viewed as a legal relationship between completely separate parties having separate, competing rights, shouldn't every woman who has experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth be questioned about the extent to which she may have contributed to that pregnancy loss and whether those actions or omissions constituted an appropriate legal waiver?

Pregnant women in more than 30 states includingSouth Dakota have been arrested based on the claim that a health problem, action or circumstance a woman experienced during pregnancy can be treated as child abuse of[sic] she continues to term, or murder if she suffers a miscarriage or stillbirth. Women in California, Florida, Utah, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Carolina have been charged with manslaughter and even first-degree murder for having suffered unintentional stillbirths.

I must confess, reading Paltrow's testimony slapped me awake. I've focused so much on the flip side of this, that discovering the impact of these laws on happily pregnant women (or women who have lost a child they so desperately wanted) has turned my worldview on its ear.

These are excellent talking points, folks, and I'm interested to know your opinion.

Current Mood: discontent
Thursday, March 30th, 2006
11:14 pm
sb 2922 update
Please add prochoicems to your friends list, because I'm going to stop crossposting these sort of updates soon.

We've been calling offices left and right, as well as chasing after Mississippi legislators in their natural habitat.  Several of us have met with or spoken to Holland over the phone, and he has absolutely no intentions of meeting with the conference over this issue again.  He also said the deadline for the ban is Friday when everyone leaves, that he absolutely will not sign anything that is not the conference report that he put forth. 

From Felicia Brown, Planned Parenthood's statewide Grassroots Coordinator:

I just spoke with Representative Moak, who told me that the House has
absolutely no plans to meet in conference with the Senate on the abortion
ban.  According to Moak, the House conferees have done everything they are
going to do.  With both Moak and Holland stating that they will not
participate further in the conference, the bill is dead, provided that the
Senators do not decide to sign on to the House's conference report.

 Please keep your calls, faxes and visits steadily pouring into the Senate and House conferees' offices to remind our representatives we're still keeping watch and holding them accountable for women's lives and health.

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