Monday, April 6, 2015

"Sorry Babe, You're a Feminist!"

In the past, the term "feminism" has been so thoroughly dragged through the mud that it now has horribly negative connotations.  I grew up hearing the term "feminazi" used in my own home.  I was too young to know any better back then, and I thought that anything that came from the mouths of my parents was the gospel truth.  However, I now realize how much damage that this smear campaign has caused over the years.

The term "feminazi" alone is so jacked up that I can't even deal with it. To compare women fighting for equality to a group of people who exterminated millions of people is just wrong. The opposition was convinced that women were looking for special treatment somehow.  That we wanted more than what was afforded to men-- and what would that be, exactly? What the hell were they afraid of?!

Basically, yeah.
This was the temperature of the equality movement of the 70's and 80's when I was growing up.  It was such an effective technique of inflicting negative spin, that feminists are afraid to consider themselves feminists, even today.

So for that reason alone, I'm not really angry at the folks that don't want to use the word, despite good intentions.  It's not their fault that ignorant jerks throughout the years have ruined it for us.  But that simple fact does not change what we are.  We are activists, continuing to fight the good fight, and it's time to take it back.  Maybe you'll go so far as to attend a rally or speak with your legislators.  Maybe it's signing an online petition or putting a sticker on your car.  Whatever it is, own your stance and your passion.  Don't let the opposition bully you into fearing who you really are.

If you're with me, then I think you'll appreciate this hilarious little ditty from comedian Katie Goodman.  Check it out. Tell your friends. Spread the word, and remember; there is nothing wrong with being a feminist.  It's the people who are so terrified of women achieving equality that they need to equate us with war criminals who have a problem.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Join UHPP for an inspiring movie night.

VESSEL: A fearless sea captain sails a ship through loopholes in international law, providing abortions on the high seas, and leaving in her wake a network of emboldened activists who trust women to handle abortion on their own terms.

Thursday, April 30th at 6:30 pm at The Arts Center in Troy. Tickets: $20 per person ($10 for students). For more information visit our event page at Eventbrite.

Vessel begins with a young doctor who lived by the sea, and an unlikely idea. Rebecca Gomperts, horrified by the realities created by anti-abortion law around the world, felt compelled to challenge this. Her method: to provide abortions on a ship in offshore waters.

Her project, Women on Waves, begins as flawed spectacle, a media frenzy, faced with governmental, religious, and military blockades. But with each setback comes a more refined mission, until Rebecca has the revelation that she can use new technologies to bypass law – and train women to give themselves safe abortions using WHO-sanctioned protocols with pills.

We witness the creation of an underground network of emboldened, informed activists, working at the cutting edge of global reproductive rights, who trust women to handle abortion themselves. Vessel is Rebecca’s story: one of a woman who heard and answered a calling, and transformed a wildly improbable idea into a global movement.

Check out the trailer!

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!
  • Login in with your username and password at
  • 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
  • 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  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.