Friday, October 13, 2017

Chelly Hegan and Michele Goodwin on Spectrum News

From Spectrum News:

The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era mandates by expanding the rights of employers to deny women insurance coverage for contraception. It is just one area where the federal government is questions women's reproductive rights. And it was a topic of discussion this week at Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood's annual Women's Leadership event. Joining us to talk more about this is the group's president and CEO, Chelly Hegan, and Michele Goodwin, founder of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health and professor at the University of California.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Reproductive rights supporter to speak in Albany on threats to women's freedom

Reposted from the Albany Times Union. By Claire Hughes.

The most recent affront on reproductive rights supporters’ minds may be last week’s move by the Trump administration making it easier for employers to deny contraception coverage to workers by claiming a religious or moral exemption.

Michele Goodwin, however, will remind feminists in Albany on Thursday that the rollback of federal rules requiring employers to provide coverage is only the latest in a pattern of offenses against women’s freedom going back seven years.

“This is an era in which there have been dramatic and unprecedented attacks on women’s reproductive access and rights,” Goodwin said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Goodwin is a professor at the University of California, Irvine, and founder of the school’s Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy, including its Reproductive Justice Initiative. She is will speak at a luncheon for Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood’s Women’s Leadership Circle. The group of local women philanthropists have pledged at least $1,000 a year to the provider of women’s reproductive services.

Since the 2010 passage of the federal Affordable Care Act, which included insurance coverage for family planning and maternity care, lawmakers in states around the country have proposed and enacted more anti-contraception, anti-abortion legislation than in the previous 30 years, Goodwin said. Federal proposals, too, were more extreme than in decades, seeking, for instance, to restrict abortions even in cases of rape, incest and risk to the mother’s health.

Goodwin referred to a backlash against women’s rights that in recent years has included lots of dog whistling – coded language like, “We’re just trying to save the babies” — that hides an agenda to limit women’s independence.

One trend she noted was charging pregnant women with the crime of causing harm to a fetus. In recent years, this has included arrests in some states for falling down stairs. Goodwin mentioned, too, the case of Alicia Beltran of Wisconsin who was jailed four years ago after telling her doctor she had beat an addiction to pills before her pregnancy, which resulted in her fetus being assigned a court-appointed lawyer.

“This is what it looks like when women’s reproduction becomes sport,” Goodwin said.

While many Americans might disagree Goodwin’s positions, she will speak Thursday to an audience likely to be receptive to her ideas. Some issues she raises may seem less urgent in New York, where the Cuomo administration has vowed to continue to require access to abortion and contraception coverage in health insurance.

But Goodwin said New York women have much at stake in the current political environment, should the U.S. Supreme Court rule abortion to be illegal, for instance. In addition, she said, New Yorkers assume their responsibility to American women elsewhere.

Event Details

Women's Leadership Circle Luncheon

Wolfert's Roost Country Club

Thursday, Oct. 12, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Open to the public

Cost: $25-$75


Monday, October 2, 2017

Planned Parenthood Condemns President Trump’s Decision to Rescind DACA

Washington, DC — President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program leaves at least 800,000 DREAMers and immigrant youth who have grown up in the United States at risk of deportation. Without DACA, their fate and ability to remain in this country is unknown.

Planned Parenthood calls on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to act now to immediately pass legislation to protect immigrant youth and their families.

The termination of DACA and the relentless attacks against immigrants by the Trump administration are immoral and fueled by extreme ideology that is blind to all the evidence that DREAMers are working every day to strengthen their families and communities. By caving to the will of 11 extreme state officials who threatened to sue President Trump if he did not rescind DACA before September 5, President Trump continues to follow through on his harsh attacks against immigrant communities, rooted in racism and white supremacist ideology.

“No one’s health should be compromised because of their immigration status,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA will rip millions of families apart and do irreparable harm to communities that already face discrimination and barriers to accessing health care in this country. We will not silently stand by as DREAMers and DACA recipients, many of whom are part of the Planned Parenthood community and rely on Planned Parenthood for health care, are stripped of their rights and protections. We at Planned Parenthood will continue to see patients regardless of who they are or where they’re from – no matter what.”

The consequences of being undocumented can contribute to a culture of fear in immigrant communities, and keep too many from seeking the lifesaving care they need. The repeal of DACA only further heightens this fear and solidifies barriers to care.

“The pressures of hiding in plain sight and carrying the burden of an uncertain future as an undocumented person in this country stood in the way of my ability to access health care and further my education — that is, until the implementation of DACA changed my life,” said Silvia, a Planned Parenthood intern in Florida. “I was suddenly able to get a license, get a minimum wage job, and apply for college in the country I have always considered my home. Most importantly, DACA gave me a voice. Now that it has been taken away, I do not know what my future and that of so many members of my community holds.”

Planned Parenthood believes that health has no borders. In addition to our health centers in the U.S., which proudly serve immigrant communities, Planned Parenthood Global supports more than 100 partners across Africa and Latin America to advance sexual and reproductive health in their own communities. This includes many countries of origin of current and potential beneficiaries of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans)/expanded DACA. In the U.S. and globally, Planned Parenthood is committed to helping advance the health and rights of young people, women, and families, and we will not back down from this.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood affiliates serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What's Going on with UHPP?

It's a PARTY!
Join Friends with Benefits and come to our Pink Party to support Planned Parenthood! Come dressed in your best pink attire and kick off the Fall with a party you don't want to miss! There will be fun drinks, music and dancing, prizes and more!

Friends with Benefits members get FREE admission and discounted drinks. Make sure you wear your Friends with Benefits pin! General Admission tickets are $10.

Any Friends with Benefits member who gets 1 or more friends to join Friends with Benefits between now and the event, will receive a prize at the event! Contact

 Tuesday, September 12th, 6:00pm
Troy Kitchen, 77 Congress Street, Troy, NY
Greet the arrival of the members of the March for Justice which began in New York City and walked all the way to Albany to demand human rights for incarcerated people, justice in the system and an end to abusive prison conditions! Join us for speakers and a rally with community members from across NYS.
Wednesday, September 13th, 5:00 p.m.
West Capitol Park, Corner of State and S. Swan at the Capitol in Albany
Join Upper Hudson Planed Parenthood Advocates of NY, Indivisible Chatham NY, Indivisible Rensselaer (Official), Indivisible NY19, Green River Indivisible, and other coalition partners as we rally outside Representative John Faso's office in the Village of Kinderhook every Friday from noon-1pm. Bring a sign to tell Faso what you care about, or use one of the extra signs that are usually available. It's also a perfect time to stop by his office to pick up and fill out a comment form.
Every Friday, 12:00pm
Representative John Faso's Kinderhook Office
2 Hudson Street, Kinderhook, NY
Don't Miss These Upcoming Events! 
 Tuesday, October 3rd 6:00pm
Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy
BIRTHRIGHT: A WAR STORY is a feature length documentary that examines how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as the radical anti-choice movement tightens its grip across America.
Tickets are $10 each, $5 for students WITH STUDENT ID. Purchase them here TODAY!
 Thursday, October 5th, 7:00pm
Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany
Join Friends with Benefits and go see Sex with Strangers. Friends with Benefits members get a discount of 10%! Check your Friends with Benefits emails or email to join FWB and get the discount code.
 Thursday, October 12th, 11:30am
Wolferts Roost Country Club
Join us at our signature event and help us embark upon our second century. Our Women’s Leadership Circle is laying the foundation for future generations to access the reproductive health care they need. We invite you to celebrate with Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood at our final event of the year!
Buy your tickets TODAY! 

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