Blog: News Update – May 14, 2019

Blog: News Update - May 14, 2019

“For women to have children by choice rather than chance and to plan their family size and spacing is a matter of autonomy and dignity. Two hundred and fourteen million women in lower-income countries say they want the ability to choose whether and when to become pregnant but lack the necessary access to contraception- resulting in some 74 million unintended pregnancies each year. The need persists in some high-income countries as well, including the United States where 45 percent of pregnancies are unintended.  Securing the fundamental right to voluntary, high-quality family planning services around the world would have powerful positive impacts on the health, welfare, and life expectancy of both women and their children. The benefits for social and economic development across all genders are myriad and, unto themselves, merit swift and sustained action. Family planning can also have ripple effects on drawing down greenhouse gas emissions.”

–From Drawdown – the Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Dear Friend of CORCRC,

Climate change is not good for our health.
Climate change is not gender neutral.

These hard-to-digest facts are now integral to the national political dialogue. The general public is concerned and more candidates feel compelled to focus on policies that address this ubiquitous problem.  Climate change is significantly interdependent with women’s health and access to reproductive health care. The important role that family planning can play in reducing climate change was highlighted by the Working Group II’s contribution to the fifth assessment (AR5) Report, “Climate Change 2014 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These policy recommendations must emphasize the bodily autonomy of women and rule out all and any notions of forced contraception, mandated limits on pregnancy, or forced sterilization.The IPCC report focuses on the unmet need for family planning around the world, especially in poor countries. The USA is often mentioned as an example of a rich country that puts up excessive barriers to reproductive health access.

Key Excerpts
On the Role of Gender

  •  Females are more strongly affected than males by high temperature and ozone air pollution. Chapter 11, pp.10, lines 1-4
  •  The effect of food insecurity on growth and development in childhood may be more damaging for girls than boys. Chapter 11, pp.10, lines 1-4
  • Pregnancy makes women vulnerable to a wide range of environmental hazards, including extreme heat and infectious diseases such as malaria, foodborne infections and influenza. Chapter 11, pp. 10, lines 1-8
On the Role of Family Planning
  • Providing access to family planning saves women’s lives by reducing the total number of births and reducing births in high-risk groups. Chapter 11, pp. 36, lines 40-44
  • When women have access to family planning, it is the highest risk age groups (youngest and oldest women) who reduce their fertility most. Chapter 11, pp. 36, lines 40-44
  • Meeting the need for family planning services in areas with both high fertility and high vulnerability to climate change (such as the Sahel region of Africa) can reduce human suffering and help people adapt to climate change. This is also important in rich countries like the U.S., where there is unmet need for services as well as high CO2 emissions per capita. Chapter 11, pp. 35-36, lines 50-54
  • Increasing access to family planning improves maternal and child health through increased birth spacing and reducing births by very young and old mothers. Chapter 11, pp. 35-36, lines 50-54
  • Many countries recognize “population pressure” as an issue for adapting to climate change, but few incorporate family planning into national adaptation planning or poverty reduction strategies. Chapter 2, pp. 34, lines 29-33

It has been made clear that investing in women, public health, education, and economic opportunity is always a win-win for the greater society.  We must brace ourselves for the upcoming election and the ever-present political and ethical challenges that we face to achieve equity for all and a sustainable planet.

Additional Resource: Why Didn’t Reproductive Rights Show Up in the National Climate Assessment?

 

Unexpected Pregnancy?

You do not have to face this decision alone. Call the CORCRC All Options Counseling line to be connected to a trained clergy person of your faith. 

 

Legislation Update

Highlights of the Colorado 2019 Legislative Session:
After the end of the four months of the 2019 State Legislative Session, Democrats did not get all that they wanted even though the party had the majority in both the state House and Senate and the Governor is a Democrat.  Republic concerns over Democratic overreach effectively challenged any overwhelming wins for Democrats by employing different tactics to slow down the process including relying on a very old regulation for proposed legislative to be read.
Yes it was a mixed bag: Governor Polis successfully passed his campaign promise and free full-day kindergarten is now available in Colorado.  HB19-1032, Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education/The Youth Wellness Act passed and is funded.  Along party lines, more regulations on green gas emissions have passed and so did the Red Flag bill.
It is clear that quite a few of the bills that did not go through the legislative process will be back next year.  The Colorado Senate shelved one such measure seeking to make it harder for parents to receive a religious or personal-belief exemption from immunizations that are required to enroll children in school.
A big disappointment was the postponement of passage of the Paid Famli Leave Act.  This bill will definitely be on the agenda for next year and discussions of viability will continue to be a top concern for members of the CO Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Coalition.

References:

At the National Level: Now that the Colorado Legislative session is over, turn your attention to what is going on nationally.  The situation is not comforting.  It is important to realize that the growing number of states that are passing burdensome restrictions impacts all women by putting incredible pressure on the providers in states that maintain reasonable access.  Even more threatening is the goal to overthrow Roe v. Wade by anti-abortion organizations.

“Many states have sought to overturn the national protection of  abortion established by the Supreme Court more than 45 years ago in Roe v. Wade. Those states have enacted bans on many or most abortions. Supreme Court blessing of a ban would overturn the Roe standard. So far, all of those laws have been blocked by the courts on grounds that they are unconstitutional.”

Review the maps below to see what is going on with our neighboring states.  Read the Washington Post article that describes the oppressive restrictions.

Your support nourishes and serves as a catalyst to grow our mission. With a financial contribution, you will ensure our continued commitment to Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (CORCRC) bringing interfaith and multiracial voices to reproductive health and rights issues.
With comments or questions, or if you would like to get involved with CORCRC, please contact Nora Bashir, CORCRC Exec Director at nora@corcrc.org

Points of Interest:

Colorado Springs’ Extremist Loses Election for City Council
This is an important indicator of change.  Gorden Klingenschmitt’s extremism, hateful prayers and religious intolerance are decreasingly acceptable to Colorado Springs voters.  This former Navy chaplain came in fourth in an 11-person race. There were three open seats, and only about 3,000 votes separated Klingenschmitt from the third-place winner.

The success of Project Blitz: A conservative Christian group is pushing Bible classes in public schools nationwide — and it’s working.   Project Blitz is successfully pushing through laws that encourages Bible classes in public schools in Kentucky and is waiting for the governors signature in Georgia and Arkansas.

“It’s part of an effort to establish this sort of narrow Christian agenda as the norm for our country, the government-sanctioned and -supported norm,” said Rachel Laser, the president and chief  executive of the Americans United group.”

A sponsor of an Ohio abortion bill thinks you can reimplant ectopic pregnancies. You can’t.  This is what happens when politicians, not doctors make medical decisions.

 

Upcoming Events

May

TO BE RESCHEDULED: Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber will discuss her new book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation. Due to scheduling conflicts, this event is being rescheduled for the Fall of 2019. Please check back here or on our website for updates.

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