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My Boring and Awesome Planned Parenthood Experience

Posted by Abigail Bar-Lev, Fellow | Posted on: July 30, 2015 at 11:30 am

When I was 19 years old and beginning my second year as an undergrad at the University of Minnesota, I realized there were two things I needed to do to start taking care of my reproductive health: First, that I was at the age where I needed to start having annual gynecological exams (ugh, a very unwelcome rite of passage into adulthood), and second, that I should be getting birth control.

I had heard a lot of good things about the Minneapolis Planned Parenthood, and I had always supported Planned Parenthood, so I thought I'd make an appointment.

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NWLC Supports Congressional Progressive Caucus' Resolution to Support Child Care

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: July 30, 2015 at 10:15 am

Earlier this week, there was nowhere I would rather have been than under a broiling hot sun on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol — standing up with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, SEIU, and child care and other workers to support increased investments in child care and supports for working families. The Congressional Progressive Caucus followed up by introducing a resolution to highlight the economic costs and the costs to working families of our vastly underfunded child care system. They will be holding a series of town halls, roundtables, and rallies around the country in August to highlight the crisis for parents and workers and talk about the need for the solutions outlined in the resolution.

At lunchtime, flanked by an assortment of adorable children, Representative Suzanne Bonamici spoke about the importance of living wages, workplace policies that ensure that workers can meet their families' needs, and affordable child care.

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Why I #StandwithPP

Posted by Brandie Temple, Well Woman's Benefit Hotline Coordinator | Posted on: July 28, 2015 at 04:05 pm

A Good First Impression

When I was 18 years old I visited Planned Parenthood for the first time to get an annual checkup and birth control prescription. This wasn't my first annual exam, I had been to my family doctor before for the same reason, but decided to go to Planned Parenthood this time as a gesture of independence. The difference in the care that I received at Planned Parenthood was clear — there were no funny looks when I told them I had had unprotected sex and I didn't feel judged when I asked for STD testing. They gave me real, unbiased answers to my questions about sex and birth control. I walked out of there with a birth control prescription and a bag of free condoms, more confident to make better decisions and take control of my own health. I continued to turn to Planned Parenthood for all of my preventive health care needs — STD testing, cancer screenings, and birth control.

A Life-Long Connection

A few years later I had just finished an associate's degree and had a job without health insurance. I had been taking birth control pills but began having either side effects from the pill or symptoms of pregnancy. I went to my Planned Parenthood clinic and, without judgement, had a pregnancy test done. The test was positive. I was terrified and unsure of what to do next. The nurse practitioner who gave my result talked with me honestly and compassionately about all of my options.

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Planned Parenthood Was There for Me

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis | Posted on: July 28, 2015 at 03:25 pm

During college I stayed on my parent's health insurance and took care of the vast majority of my health needs while I was home on break. But after graduation I moved 3,000 miles away to San Diego. For the first time I was managing all my own bills and appointments. It was overwhelming. I was working a lot at my new job and I didn't know anyone in San Diego I could ask for advice about really important questions I wanted the answer to right away — like which beach is the best — and all the logistical questions that make life work — like where can I find a doctor I can talk to and trust.

On the second one I turned to my mom. She was an OB-GYN nurse so I always trusted her opinion on health care, especially gynecological care. While she didn't know doctors in the San Diego area she assured me that if I went to Planned Parenthood they'd take care of me — and I would be able to afford it.

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Black Women and Unequal Pay: A Deep Ditch That Drives Poverty

Posted by Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program | Posted on: July 28, 2015 at 02:27 pm

Evelyn Coke worked for more than 20 years in Queens, New York caring for elderly men and women in their homes. Every day she bathed, dressed and fed them. She cooked and cleaned their homes. Ms. Coke, who is African American, often worked more than 70 hours a week at $7 per hour. And during all those years she never received overtime pay. She knew this wasn't right. So she challenged her unfair pay all the way to the Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled in 2007 that she was not entitled to overtime.

Ms. Coke's story is not an anomaly. Domestic workers are still treated unequally under the law and their pay does not match their important role. The imbalance between the care we expect and what we pay for it is a part of slavery's entrenched imprint on our labor laws. Many of the labor protections of the New Deal era of the 1930s — legislation initiated by President Roosevelt to pull the country out of the Great Depression — did not extend to domestic workers or agricultural workers, most of whom were black at the time. Recently, the Department of Labor released a new rule that would give millions of homecare workers federal wage and overtime protections. Legal challenges are unfortunately slowing down the implementation of this rule.

It cannot come soon enough.

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Black Women Have to Work 19 Months to Make What White Men Did in a Year

African American women who work full time, year round are typically paid $19,399 less per year than their white male counterparts. This means African American women have to work nearly 19 months — until almost the end of July — to make as much as white men did in the previous year alone. That makes today African American women's equal pay day — the day that African American women are finally catching up to white men's pay, 208 days into the year.

Here are four key facts you need to know:

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ACA Repeal: 57th Try Isn't a Charm

Posted by Sami Alsawaf, Legal Intern | Posted on: July 27, 2015 at 02:48 pm

Yesterday, the Senate tried once again to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when Senate Majority Leader McConnell offered an amendment to the federal highway funding bill which would fully repeal the ACA. I don't personally see the connection between the federal highways and the ACA, but presumably the Senate leadership does.

Also, the vote was on a Sunday, which is unusual because the Senate doesn't normally work weekends. They must have thought this was a vote that needed to be done immediately because they just couldn't wait for a Monday.

Try, Try, and Try Again

The vote didn't pass. Shocking, right? This vote marks the 57th time Congress has attempted to repeal or defund the ACA.

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Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Is a Bad Idea

Posted by Sami Alsawaf, Legal Intern | Posted on: July 27, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Last summer after I graduated from college, I woke up one morning very sick and doubled over in pain. Since I was away from home, I couldn't see my regular doctor. Usually, I would go to the student health clinic in this type of situation, but since I had just graduated, I couldn't go to the clinic without having to pay major fees. As I was getting worse by the hour, I became concerned that my only option was a nearby — but very expensive — urgent care center. Then, I suddenly remembered the small, unassuming house I passed by every day, with a small sign out in front that said "Planned Parenthood." I called them up and was able to get an appointment immediately. Planned Parenthood was there for me that day, but if certain abortion opponents have their way, Planned Parenthood won't be around any longer.

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