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Calling all women of color activists! The time is NOW to elevate our voices and demand that Congress reform our nation’s health care system. Join the Women of Color United for Health Reform - a collaboration by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and the Black Women’s Health Imperative – on Tuesday, October 20 at 3:00 pm EST for a conversation with:

Tina Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison and Executive Director for the White House Council on Women and Girls

Caya Lewis, Outreach Director for the Health and Human Services Office of Health Reform and Former Health Staffer for Senator Edward Kennedy

The White House wants your ear to discuss why health reform is so important for women of color.  They will be discussing the latest on health reform from inside the Obama White House, what it all means for women of color, and how our community can support this historic effort.  Then, they’ll open the lines for your questions.

In order to get the digits for this call, you must RSVP by Monday, October 19 to enapalo@rabengroup.com.

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductve Health is partnering up with a variety of progressive groups and health reform activists in organizing a pro-health reform rally in Times Square on Saturday August 29th from 2pm-4pm.  We are making our voices and presence known to:

  • Protect the reproductive health of Latinas
  • Oppose bans on reproductive health care services, including abortion care, for all women
  • Stand with Latinas to ensure our access to comprehensive reproductive health care

Take action and demonstrate your commitment to health care reform that embraces a human rights approach to health care, ensuring that all health services are accessible, available, affordable, and of good quality for everyone!

We will meet before the rally outside Roosevelt Hospital (10th Avenue and 59th St in Manhattan) at 12pm to hear from women’s health leaders and healthcare providers. Then we step off together at 12:30 p.m. to walk to the rally in Times Square, demonstrating our support for health reform all the way!

Contact Stephanie at 212-422-2553 or email her at Stephanie@latinainstitute.org if you are interested in taking part! Please feel free to share with others that may be interested in attending the rally with NLIRH.

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The debate in the Senate Finance Committee is heating up and comprehensive reproductive health care coverage may be jeopardized. Health care reform is of paramount importance to all Americans, and especially to Latinas who have the highest uninsured rate of women from any racial and ethnic group in the United States.  Any restriction on women’s health care is unacceptable and in order to ensure adequate access and coverage for all women we ask you to contact the Senate Finance Committee and demand that essential reproductive health care services are not left out of the health care platform.

The time is now to take a stand and let your voices be heard! Take action to ensure that our reproductive health care services are not compromised!

Ask the Senate Finance Committee to:
•    Protect the reproductive health of Latinas
•    Oppose onerous bans on reproductive health care services, including abortion care, for all women
•    Stand with Latinas to ensure our access to comprehensive reproductive health care
•    Stand up against divisive anti-choice restrictions

To contact the members of the Senate Finance Committee, please click on the members’ websites listed here for contact info.

Read NLIRH’s Policy Priorities for Health Care Reform here.

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Just before its end, the Bush Administration put in place a set of regulations that would allow any employee of a health care provider to refuse to treat any individual receiving any services that would violate the employee’s moral beliefs, dramatically and unnecessarily expanding conscientious refusal protections and undermining the importance of reproductive health.   

 

Now is the time to make your voice heard.  Let Charles E. Johnson, Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services know that we will not stand for scientifically inaccurate policies meant to undermine reproductive justice!

  • This regulation could severely limit access to contraception, as many of the clinics that low-income Latinas frequent often receive federal funding, which may be compromised under these new definitions.
  • The inability to fire or refuse to hire providers that would refuse to give women vital reproductive health services, no matter how central an aspect this is to the job, could place exceptionally unqualified persons in women’s healthcare, and would add an element of stigma and shame to what should be standard women’s health services.

Please submit the suggested comments below (or write your own!) here, or email PROPOSEDRESCISSION@HHS.GOV.

 

I am writing to urge you to rescind the Department of Health and Human Services’ regulation that could significantly limit women’s access to basic reproductive health services.  If it remains in place, this regulation could undermine the nation’s fragile network of safety-net providers that serve low-income women, many of whom are women of color.

This rule permits health care providers to refuse to perform any services they deem morally objectionable – which raises critical questions about access to all health care services. 

If it is not rescinded, the regulation will be an especially hard hit to low-income women and women of color.  Programs such as Medicaid and Title X are critically important for low-income Latinas, and this regulation raises grave concerns regarding its possible impact on access to basic reproductive health services.

Given these concerns, and the certainty that, if the regulation remains in place, it will limit access to essential medical services that women – and in particular low-income women and women of color – depend upon, we urge the DHHS to rescind this rule. 

 

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Dear Friends:

Please sign the petition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asking it to reverse the newly imposed Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination mandate for immigrant women and girls. To view and sign the petition, go to http://www.petitiononline.com/napawf/petition.html by COB Friday, February 13, 2009.

In response to the high number of individuals who wished to sign-on to the organizational sign-on letter to the CDC circulated last week, this petition was created to allow individuals to express their opposition to the mandate. The petition will serve as a follow-up to the organizational sign-on letter to the CDC that will be sent next week.

As you may know, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2007 recommended that Gardasil, the only FDA approved HPV vaccine, be administered to females ages 11 to 26 in the U.S. This recommendation became an automatic requirement for those applying for immigrant visas or adjustment to permanent residency status when the government updated its vaccination list in July 2008. U.S. citizens are currently not required to receive the vaccination, and yet it is mandatory for prospective immigrants. Although the HPV vaccine has been deemed safe and effective by the FDA, it is not designed to combat the types of infectious diseases that the immigration requirements are intended to address. Moreover, the vaccine is prohibitively expensive-costing a minimum of $360 to receive the three-dose vaccination in addition to over $1,000 in filing fees-making the mandate an undue financial burden for prospective immigrant women and their families.

Please join us in asking the CDC to retract its listing of HPV as a required vaccination for immigrants in the revised Technical Instructions to the Civil Surgeons for Vaccination Requirements, which would eliminate the directive for civil surgeons to administer the vaccine to immigrant females ages 11 to 26.

We urge you to sign on to this petition to put pressure on the CDC to correct this unfair and burdensome requirement on immigrants. To learn more, please contact Nancy Chung at nchung(AT)napawf.org.

The deadline for sign-ons is COB Friday, February 13, 2009.

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Catholics for Choice are happy to share the wonderful news that Univision has decided to run our Condoms4Life radio ads. We emailed all of you last week, urging you to take action and ask the President and COO of Univision Radio to run these important advertisements. The Spanish-language ads, which you can listen to here and here, talk about the importance of condom use within communities of faith. We are thrilled that Univision has agreed to play the ads which will air over the holidays on Univision stations in New York City.

When Univision Radio refused to run our ads on three of their NYC stations, we asked you all to get involved. You took action in impressive numbers, sending emails to Gary Stone with the message that this kind of censorship was unacceptable and that these messages are key to keeping our community safe. We want to thank all of you for taking action, especially those who passed the message along to their friends and family. A number of blogs also posted about this issue, further spreading the action.

Gary listened to you! We have the activism of the Latino community and our allies to thank for this win and Univision to thank for doing the right thing. We want to recognize Univision for listening to the resounding message you all sent last week-that the message Good Catholics Use Condoms deserved to be heard. NLIRH and Catholics for Choice will share a message of appreciation to Univision on behalf of all of us for listening to our concerns.

Thanks again for all your hard work and support. To keep up to date on this campaign, you can visit http://www.condoms4life.org or http://www.latinainstitute.org.

In solidarity,

The staff of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Catholics for Choice

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Catholics for Choice recently ran two Spanish language radio ads in NYC, scheduled in conjunction with World AIDS Day.

You can listen to the two ads here and here, but here is a summary:

The radio ads appeal to people of faith with one of the 60-second spots noting that: “I’m Catholic and there is nothing more important to me than protecting family and love. That’s why I talked to my grandson about condoms.”

The first ad features a grandmother speaking about her grandson, a gay man, who hears that Catholics are not supposed to use condoms. She tells her grandson, “I took care of you because I love you and if you love that man, you’ll take care of him, too.”

The second ad features a couple and models language that couples can use when discussing the importance of love, faith and condom use in their relationship. The ad concludes, “We are Catholics and people of faith and we know sex is sacred and that we need to take care of each other. And this means using a condom every time we have sex.”

Pretty tame right? Well not according to Univision. They refused to run the ads on three of their radio stations in NYC, despite the fact that these organizations were willing to pay for them. To add insult to injury, Univision recently received an Cable Positive award for their work on HIV prevention with the Kaiser Family Foundation.

If you want to send an email to the President and COO of Univision Radio telling him he should run the ads, go here.

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Today, May 1st is a day of solidarity amongst movements throughout the nation: from labor and workers’ rights, to immigrants’ rights, and for NLIRH, reproductive rights and justice! Today we will march in solidarity with friends, colleagues and activists from various social justice movements.

The New York City May 1st Coalition has organized thousands of workers and immigrants from around NYC to march in solidarity against the raids and deportations that are devastating immigrant families across the nation. Thousands will also march to protest the exploitation that has resulted from the passing of NAFTA and to recognize that police brutality and over-policing is adversely impacting all of us, immigrants and non-immigrants alike.

At NLIRH, we always include the perspectives and needs of immigrant Latinas in each of our programs and initiatives. We aim to raise awareness and promote policies that will improve the lives of Latina immigrants in the US. NLIRH believes it is crucial that immigrants’ and women’s rights organizations support fair and just immigration policies that protect the rights of immigrant women.

If you are in the New York City area, come to the March! For more information: please visit the NYC May 1st Coalition’s website. For other events in the country, please click here.

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What? A virtual cafecito (informal discussion over coffee) to discuss women of color, cervical cancer prevention and the HPV vaccine.

Why? Women of color have the highest rates of cervical cancer (Latina women, followed by African Americans and API women*) and are more likely to die than white women from cervical cancer. This is an issue that disproportionately affects our communities, and we want to host a discussion about the issues at hand and our concerns about the prevention technologies.

Who? The call is open to all people interested in learning more about cervical cancer prevention and participating in a dialogue focused on women of color. We are inviting national organizational partners, particularly those focusing on reproductive rights, health or justice in communities of color. Allied groups and individuals are welcome to join the phone call, but the discussion will focus on communities of color and low-income women.

When? Wednesday, November 7th, 3pm-5pm EST

Where? It’s virtual (on the phone)! So bring your cafecito (coffee), and we will provide the call-in information.  Please reply to Miriam@latinainstitute.org if you are interested in participating, and we will respond with the call info.

For more information about our campaign, visit our Take Action page.

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