Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Male Politician Epic Fails at Female Anatomy

I couldn't make this junk up if I tried.  Jezebel nailed it, so I'm just going to leave this here:

Our friend Vito [Barbieri, Rep. Idaho] asked Dr. Julie Madsen, who was testifying against [a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine], if women could simply swallow a camera in order for doctors to perform remote gynecological exams. Madsen I assume chocked back cries of utter disdain and horror before explaining that “swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.” (read more)

Seriously....what?  I mean, I know it's "lady parts" but I thought this stuff was common knowledge by now.  These are people we elect to office.  These are the people who are deciding which laws will legislate our lives and well-being, and he doesn't know how a freaking vagina works.  This guy has a wife and three kids, and somehow missed this.

I will leave you with the foundation shaking implications of this. Really take a moment to let this sink in.

I would like conclude by also pointing out that the official website for the Idaho legislature chose papyrus as its font.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

[Bustle] 6 Anti-Abortion Politicians To Watch Out For As The Fight Heats Up In 2015

As feared, the are many new challenges the pro-choice movement (along with many other proponents of a number of civil rights causes) will be facing with the new Republican-led Congress.  This post from Bustle highlights who we need to watch out for.  The fact that there are women on this list is extremely disappointing.
In its first three days, Congress introduced five anti-abortion measures. Five. It seems that limiting women’s access to safe abortion is on par with the Keystone XL pipeline, another harmful Republican favorite. The House re-introduced a bill that would restrict abortion limits to 20 weeks, which already passed the Republican-led chamber in 2013. Representatives will vote on the bill on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to commemorate their embarrassing backpedaling on human rights. Meanwhile, the Senate took aim at Planned Parenthood funding and created a legislative obstacle course for abortion providers, particularly outside of urban areas. Ah, what a start!
Find out who is on the list. And a side note to Millennials: Please go vote.  We needed your voice in the last elections and you didn't turn up. You are an intelligent and impassioned group of people calling for social change, but you need to make your voice heard at the polls or it's all for naught.  I was astonished by the election results, considering the current conservative platform is growing increasingly unfavorable among Millennial and Gen-Y voters who desire social reform. Please-- we can't let this continue. Vote, vote, vote!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Support UHPP while you shop for holiday gifts!

There are two great ways to support UHPP while shopping for loved ones!

Shop at smile.amazon.com!
  • Login in with your amazon.com username and password at smile.amazon.com.
  • Select Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood as the beneficiary of proceeds from your purchases.
  • To learn more about AmazonSmile, click here.

Participate in the Yankee Candle fundraiser for UHPP!
  • This fundraiser is run by Lab School students at Bethlehem High School in honor of UHPP’s 80th anniversary.
  • 40% of the fundraiser’s proceeds support UHPP’s mission.
  • Shop from now through New Year’s Eve to support UHPP!
  • Login to yankeecandlefunraising.com.
  • Type in Group Number 990072906 to access the online fundraiser store.
Tis the season to give!  Please consider a gift to UHPP today.  If you'd rather just give a one-time donation directly to the agency, please contact the Development office at 518.434.5678 x.121 or email Amber at amber@uhpp.org.  Thanks, and happy holidays!

The staff of UHPP are pleased to sponsor a family in the
Adopt-a-Family program every year for the holidays.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Planned Parenthood Celebrates 80 Years of Choice!

UHPP CEO Chelly Hegan with Susie Essman
Last month, UHPP hosted its fabulous 80th anniversary event, and as an attendee, I must say, I couldn't have been more thrilled.

Hosted at the newly renovated and stunning 60 State Street ballroom, there was a definitive "old Albany" vibe to the event, which is apropos, because when Planned Parenthood got its start in Albany, it was 1934, the great depression was in full swing, and women and families needed safe access to family planning services more than ever.

Curb Your Enthusiasm's Susie Essman received UHPP's inaugural Giraffe Award for sticking her neck out for choice.  She gave a hilarious performance peppered with moments of poignancy, and she and UHPP CEO Chelly Hegan urged guests to continue to stand up for choice.

Essman with award designer
Dana S. Owens
The Giraffe Award was created by Albany artist Dana S. Owens of The Machine, a Creative Co-op, who, ironically, operates a studio on the property of UHPP's former Lark Street location. One could call it kismet.

Local food vendors donated some creative and amazing dishes, including; Taste, New World Bistro Bar (owner and local celebrity Rick Orlando manned the station himself!), Healthy Cafe Catering, The Capital Eatery & Lounge, and more.

Photography services were donated by Ianelli Photography.

There are still ways you can help raise funds for UHPPs historic 80th year.
  • Have a party!  Seriously, have a party.  Invite a staff or board member from UHPP to come and talk about the organization, or perhaps charge a small cover to donate to the agency. 
  • Come to our Comedy for a Cause event on December 19. Here is all the info. Seriously, you should go. Last year's was a scream, and we raffled off a ton of great prizes. Whether you plan to attend or not, you could help us out by "liking" us on facebook, and liking and sharing our stuff.  Invite your friends to the event!
  • Finally, just keep caring. It's no secret that the midterm elections were a bit of a disappointment, and more people will be attacking Planned Parenthoods across the nation in a potentially unprecedented manner.  While we may feel safe in NYS, remember; as long as people are out there trying to shut us down, women are in danger.  Speak out! Vote!
I will leave you with this short little slideshow I made commemorating our first 80 years, so check it out.  It serves as a helpful reminder of how different it was in 1934, when the Great Depression held the nation in its merciless grip, and so many families were destroyed.  Perhaps, in another 80 years, we will finally be able to stop fighting for what should be a no-brainer;  equal rights, healthcare, and choice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hilarious Video Showcases How Clueless We Can Be About Sex

The folks at CollegeHumor put together a fun video highlighting how clueless people can be when they're younger, even right up to their first sexual experience.  Don't leave your kids in the dark, parents.  TALK TO YOUR KIDS!

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Viagra Versus the Pill;" Should Insurance Cover Both?

Lisa Campo-Engelstein, Ph.D. of Albany Medical College posted an illuminating piece regarding the hypocrisy behind the fact that Viagra is covered by insurance, yet there is a constant brouhaha over the coverage of birth control pills.  Far be it from me to imply that healthy sexuality is elective; I understand how vital healthy sexual potency is for well-being of individuals and relationships.  But it does seem as if there is an unfair balance in that regard.  If sexual potency is important, isn't also choosing when or when not to become parents?  Especially when raising a child beyond one's means costs the taxpayer so much more?

Dr. Campo-Engelstein points out:
"Some feminists argue that part of the reason we understand and treat pregnancy and impotence differently is because we have different standards for women's and men's health, which result from the traditional gender norms at play in our society. We (as a society) expect women to adhere to norms of chastity (e.g. fall on the “virgin” side of the virgin/whore dichotomy by not having sex until marriage) and one way we do this is by limiting their access to sexual and reproductive health care. In contrast, because our notions of masculinity are tied into sexual prowess, we are more receptive to providing health care for men who are not able to maintain an erection."
"The ACA includes contraception as a form of preventive care because it recognizes the risk unintended pregnancy poses to the women, their partners, the children, and their families, as well as the public more broadly."
If the last bit is true (and it is), then why are people trying to restrict access to this vital preventative service?

It really boils down to the basics; patriarchy. The article goes into much greater detail about the misalignment of what is considered necessary healthcare for women vs men, and its potential effects on women. I highly recommend giving it a look, and tell your friends. The fight isn't over until the needs of women are considered just as important to those of men.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's Trivia Time!

Last year's UHPP team before annihilation
Tonight is the 3rd Annual PPYL Trivia Tournament!  If you read my post about the tournament from last year, you'll see that I talked a lot of smack about loving Jeopardy and junk.  Well, it so happens that we got our asses handed to us big time, so the UHPP team is excited for a rematch!

The event will again be held at Brown's Brewing in Troy, from 6pm-9pm.  Registration is preferred, and you can do so on the Eventbrite page.  Returning as host is Beau Comeaux, who absolutely killed it last year.  I'm not just saying this because I'm biased-- but seriously-- this event is so much fun.
I should also mention that we will have awesome prizes to raffle off, in addition to the winning team's receipt of the coveted Golden Speculum award. We don't want anyone to end up with bookends, so come and challenge last year's champions!  The funds raised will help support UHPP and our patients during its landmark 80th year.

Cost: $25 or $10 with valid student ID. 21+ only. PPYL is a group of 40-ish and younger local professionals committed to the mission and activities of UHPP, who have expressed interest in meeting and networking with like-minded individuals in an informal atmosphere.