Friday, July 14, 2017

Rep. Steve King Wants to use Welfare and Planned Parenthood funding to pay for Mexico Wall

Congress should use money from its food stamp budget and Planned Parenthood funding to pay for a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico, Rep. Steve King said Wednesday.
"Are you comfortable, congressman, with providing $1.6 billion of taxpayer money, not from Mexico, to build that wall?" CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked on "New Day."
"Absolutely, yes and more," he replied. "And I'd throw another $5 billion on the pile and I would find half a billion of that from right out of Planned Parenthood's budget. And the rest of it could come out of food stamps and the entitlements that are being spread out for people who haven't worked in three generations."
He then went on to literally compare taking food stamps away from people to Michelle Obama's healthy school lunch initiative. What the what?!

It's chilling how out of touch some legislators are. Two-thirds of people on food stamps are elderly, children, or disabled. This is little better than gaslighting; perpetuating the myth that food stamps are an "entitlement for people who haven't worked for three generations," when in reality, it is estimated that fraud exists in only about 2.7% of all cases. In fact, the highest cases of fraud are connected to long-term disability payments, not food stamps and welfare. It's a campaign going back generations in an attempt to further dehumanize people struggling with poverty, mental illness, and disability. Don't listen to this nonsense. Take the time to educate yourselves on the facts.

Next, I would ask the good Congressman to take a solid look at what is happening in Texas, where a defund forced 80 Planned Parenthoods in the state to close. Unwanted pregnancies and STD rates have gone up. In some rural areas where women would have to drive 100 miles or more to receive preventative care, the abortion rate skyrocketed by 191% in three years. The point is, whether you like it or not, people need access to preventative care, including checkups, cancer testing, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and more. If you take that away, what is it that you honestly expect to happen?

As the wise poet Zac de la Rocha once said; wake up!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Capital Region Handmaids Take on DC!

On Tuesday, UHPP, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts (PPESA), Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley and Planned Parenthood Central and Western NY joined together with staff, advocates and volunteers to travel to DC. And what a GREAT trip it was!

Our volunteers were AMAZING and our Handmaids ROCKED Washington! And the proof was that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell suffered a setback and was forced to delay the vote to “defund” Planned Parenthood and repeal the ACA. This is clearly the result of all the tremendous pressure Planned Parenthood affiliates and partners are exerting online, on-the-ground, and through grasstops connections.
We have to take a moment to celebrate every victory we have -- and this one is important. They are buckling under the immense pressure we are exerting. Simply put: this is because of the tireless work of Planned Parenthood staff, supporters, and volunteers over the last six months. Every call, tweet, rally -- IT MATTERS.

And we can’t let up. They are going home over July recess -- and we will be there waiting to deliver the same message -- people will not stand for blocking women from Planned Parenthood.

Thank you to the awesome volunteers and especially to the staff who came...Anne, Jonathan, Amy Wo., Nicole C., Chelly, Kate, Tracey!

And HOLY did we get some attention!

Our local advocates made a stir in DC and it was noticed by national and international media!
Please feel free to share to your social media to help us spread the word!
Katherine S. Bruno
Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pink Out, June 2017

Last night, about 350 supporters came out to show legislators in Washington that we will not accept any shady health care bill that will defund Planned Parenthood and is not in the best interest of women all over the country.  As the sun set, we collectively lit up Capitol Park in pink, and blasted power anthems to tell our legislators in session that we will not give up the fight! Check out some powerful photos below, and the full album here.  If you'd like to get involved, please reach out to Nicole C at 518-434-5678 x 137, or

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Planned Parenthood defunding will be costly

Originally posted by the Albany Times Union

For a century, doctors, clinicians and staff at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country have opened their doors and cared for patients. They answer the questions that patients can't or don't want to ask anyone else, and they give accurate, unbiased information that is needed to make some of the most important decisions that will ever be made about their health and lives.

If politicians defund Planned Parenthood, they won't be striking a line from the federal budget. Far from it in fact, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that defunding Planned Parenthood would cost taxpayers $130 million over 10 years.

Planned Parenthood, like every other doctor's office or hospital, is reimbursed for the care it provides to patients who rely on public health programs like Medicaid. That means the people who would be most hurt are those already struggling to get by and those who already face barriers to accessing health care, especially people of color, people with low incomes and people who live in rural areas. For many of these patients, there is nowhere else to go for care.

Patients don't go to Planned Parenthood to make a political statement. They go for compassionate, affordable, high-quality health care. Every person, no matter who they are or how much money they make, deserves that kind of care. We cannot allow politicians to take it away.

Carolyn M. Ehrlich


Letter to the Editor: Patients deserve good health care

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 5, 2010 shows a pregnant woman walking outside the State Department in Washington, DC. Morning sickness is linked to a lower risk of miscarriage, according to research out September 26, 2016 that suggests a woman's nausea and vomiting early in pregnancy may have protective effects for the fetus. Between 50 and 80 percent of pregnant women report feeling nauseous or throwing up during their first trimester, said the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine. 

Originally posted by the Times Union
Published 4:14 pm, Saturday, May 13, 2017


As a health care provider in Albany, I know firsthand that Planned Parenthood health centers are a necessary resource. Without Planned Parenthood's care, the health of thousands of people across the state is at stake. Many of the patients I serve have nowhere else to turn for proper health care or education. I see people every day who rely on our health centers for preventive services like birth control, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and cancer screenings.

I've consoled the fearful and spoke honestly and compassionately with the frustrated. I've celebrated the overcoming of fears — from getting vital test results to having a pelvic exam. I've rejoiced in the pride of being able to make an informed decision — about things from birth control to treatment options.

This is care that people deserve and these are services that public health experts say cannot be absorbed elsewhere if Planned Parenthood is defunded. The Senate needs to block any attempt to attack the care Planned Parenthood provides to thousands of people in New York state and here in Albany.

Brianna Samson


Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Call to Action!

Dear Planned Parenthood Advocates,

We need your continued support and determination, now more then ever.

How can you help? Join us at events, rallies, write letters, be heard and wear PINK!

Top Actions:

Faso Watch: What we need? People to show up outside his office in Kinderhook and letters to the editors.

Voter Registration in NY19; What we need? Volunteers to canvass on Sunday, May 7.

See below for more details!

As most of you know, Congressman Faso has stated publicly he would not vote to defund Planned Parenthood but then pledged to vote to repeal the ACA which included the defunding of Planned Planned Parenthood. He has stated that he understands the important services Planned Parenthood provides to our communities. We want to let him know we expect him to vote no on any legislation, including stand alone or ACA repeal, that includes language to defund Planned Parenthood. We need to demonstrate the depth of support Planned Parenthood has in Congressional District NY19.

Upcoming Actions!

Faso Friday rallies outside Congressman Faso's Office in Kinderhook
  • Join Indivisible Chatham NY and Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood together with other local activists to rally outside Congressman John Faso's office in the Village of Kinderhook at 2 Hudson Street every Friday from 12:00pm to 1:00pm.
  • We will be there on April 27!
  • RSVP and SHARE on Facebook!
Letters to the Editor
  • If you are interested in submitting a letter to the editor on issues related to Planned Parenthood and specifically the repeal and replace of the ACA, please contact us. We can provide talking points or a written letter that you can customize.
  • Need asap!
  • Email Katherine Bruno at for more information!


Sunday, May 7th: Get out the Vote! Join with #NY19Votes

Join NY19Votes and help build on the momentum from Resistance Voter Registration by making our NY19 Votes Spring Canvass as powerful as possible. Let's continue to register and engage voters across the district, and in warmer weather!

Site Canvassing: On May 7th along with knocking doors we'll be training and sending canvassers to bus stops, shopping plaza parking lots, parks and everywhere there is heavy foot traffic to talk to voters and folks who need to register to vote.

Neighborhood Team Leaders— We're seeking dedicated volunteers and teams to adopt neighborhoods and canvass those neighborhoods throughout the entire election cycle.  Neighborhood Team Leaders will receive extensive training to listen to, learn from, then energize and activate their neighborhood electorate in November.

Spring Canvass Webinar/CC: Wednesday, May 3rd, 8-9.30pm. Sign up for details here!

Thank you for your support,

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood

Monday, March 20, 2017

MORE events at Planned Parenthood!

Upcoming Lobby Visits!
As the stakes get higher UHPP is committed to meeting with local elected officials on behalf of women and families in the Capital Region and we want you with us. Now more than ever it is crucial that we make our voices heard and demand protection for Planned Parenthood healthcare services in New York State! Join us next week as we meet with local New York State Senators and voice our concerns.

Do you live in the 46th Senate District?

Join UHPP Monday, March 20th at 11:00am to visit with Senator George A. Amedore and remind him that women and families in New York are watching.

Do you live in the 44th Senate District?

Join UHPP Tuesday, March 21st at 1:30pm to visit with Senator Neil Breslin to thank him for his continued support of Planned Parenthood.

Register for the visit HERE
PATIENT STORIES NEEDED! If you are a current or former patient of Planned Parenthood and would like to share your story that we can use in our media outreach please email Katherine at
Upcoming Events to Support Planned Parenthood!
Saturday, March 18th:
I Stand with Planned Parenthood Rally in Hudson
Join the Columbia County Democrats and Planned Parenthood at Public Square at the 7th Street Park in Hudson on Saturday, March 18th from 2 to 4 pm. The snow will not deter us!
It is vital to show the community support for Planned Parenthood. Come out and show your support for unfettered access to women’s healthcare, LGBTQ healthcare and access to abortion services.
Speakers will include Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Hudson Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton, Dr. Richard Collens, Vice President of Development at Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Curran Streett, Pastor Kim Singletary from Overcomers Ministries International Church in Hudson, Amber Harris, former Youth Health Educator from Columbia County, Carol Peckham from the Columbia County ACA Taskforce and Cyndy Hall from the Columbia County Democrats.
There is uncertainty ahead and Planned Parenthood is being attacked. But, one thing is for sure — we will never back down, and we will never stop fighting to make sure that patients are able to access the care they need. The days ahead will not be easy, but we will all work together to ensure that Planned Parenthood is here, caring for patients, for the next 100 years.

RSVP on Facebook and SHARE. We need to have a big crowd!
Monday, March 20:
Petition Drop and Rally at Congressman Faso's Office in Kinderhook 

Please join us at Congressman Faso's office on Monday, March 20 at 4:30 pm to 6 pm at 2 Hudson Street in Kinderhook as we deliver thousands of petitions from constituents who want him to know WE STAND WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD.

As most of you know, Congressman Faso has stated publicaly he would not vote to defund Planned Parenthood and that he understands the important services we provide to our communities. We want to let him know we appreciate his support and that we expect him to vote no on any legislation, including stand alone or ACA repeal, that includes language to defund Planned Parenthood. This will be a positive rally that demonstrates the depth of support Planned Parenthood has in Congressional District NY19.

Why is it so important now? Tucked into the Affordable Care Act repeal bill is a dangerous provision blocking Medicaid patients from Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide.

We need to show Congressman Faso that YOU ARE a part of the overwhelming majority that opposes defunding care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Let's show him we will be ready to fight to protect reproductive health and rights in his district.

RSVP and SHARE on Facebook!
Thursday, March 23:
Comedy Show to Benefit Planned Parenthood in Albany

Thursday, March 23rd from 7:30 to 9 pm. Erin Harkes expands her monthly Chick's Are Funny show to raise money for the UHPP! Erin Harkes headlines a night of comedy with other local ladies Jennifer McMullen, Dre Cerbin, Dee Watson and host Katherine Gaultier. 

RSVP here!
Sunday, April 2
Rise and Shine Breakfast at the Blue Plate in Chatham 
Join Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood at the Blue Plate in Chatham located at 1 Kinderhook Street from 11 am to 1:30 pm on Sunday, April 2.
This fundraiser will support our beautification project for the Hudson health center including the purchase of a new sign! Call Jonathan at 518.912.9031 for cost and to RSVP.
Tuesday, April 4:
Teach-in: Defunding Planned Parenthood and the Future of Rural Healthcare in Columbia County

Event will be held at Hudson Library located at 51 N. 5th Street in Hudson from 6 to 8 pm. 

Join Claire Parde, Executive Director of the Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium and Chelly Hegan, President/CEO of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood to talk about the future of healthcare in Columbia County. We will discuss increasing access to quality health care through collaboration, education, information and service delivery. You will learn what defunding would mean to our local Planned Parenthood affiliate, what it means to others affiliates in our state and nationwide. You will learn about the Hyde Amendment, Title X and how Medicaid funding works and how that all affects Planned Parenthood.

The event is FREE and OPEN to the public. Please RSVP on Facebook and SHARE!
If you have any questions or want to get involved, email Nicole at or call 518.434.5678, ext. 137.