World Population Awareness

How You Can Help

November 27, 2013


Combat Misinformation

Draw the Line Against Attacks on Reproductive Rights

Sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights
2013, Draw The Line

Time to act!

Click on the link to see a series of videos and to sign the Bill of Reproductive Rights. doclink

We Won't Go Back; We Demand Medicare for All

2013, Credo

We need to expand health care for Americans, not roll back hard-won reforms. Hands off the Affordable Care Act, and give us an up-or-down vote on expanding Medicare to all Americans. doclink

Need Your Quick Help - Vote for Kakenya Ntaiya as the CNN Hero of the Year

November 12, 2013,

Please visit the CNN Heroes website and vote for Kakenya Ntaiya, as the CNN Hero of the Year.

If Kakenya gets enough online votes between now and November 17, her Center in Kenya will receive $250,000 that will help hundreds of Maasai girls get an education, avoid female genital mutilation and child marriage and learn important skills to be self-sufficient.

Your vote can help hundreds more Maasai girls achieve their full potential and, like Kakenya, help improve Kenya's political, education, economic, and health systems. You can vote for Kakenya every day between now and November 17th.

Click on the link in the headline to vote. doclink

Nestlé is Draining Developing Countries' Groundwater to Make Its Pure Life Bottled Water

November 10, 2013, SumOf+Us

Nestlé is draining developing countries' groundwater to make its Pure Life bottled water, destroying countries' natural resources before forcing its people to buy their own water back. Now Nestlé is moving into Pakistan and sucking up the local water supply, rendering entire areas uninhabitable in order to sell mineral-enriched water to the upper class as a status symbol, while the poor watch wells run dry and their children fall ill. Tell Nestlé to stop stealing Pakistan's water and making its villages uninhabitable. doclink

A Million for a Billion Petition

October 30, 2013, Million for a Billion

We need 1,000,000 people to tell Congress: Access to contraceptives and reproductive health care is an essential right. Click on the link in the headline to sign the petition. doclink

Tell Your Senators: Say No to Sen. Graham's Abortion Ban

October 30, 2013, PPFA - Planned Parenthood Federation of America

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham just introduced a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks, nationwide. This is just the latest attempt by anti-women's health politicians to turn back the clock on women's rights, even if it means endangering women's lives and ignoring the Constitution. Politicians like Sen. Graham have no right to stand between a woman and her doctor, and Congress should not have a say in any family's deeply personal medical decisions. But the House passed a similar bill earlier this year, and similar legislation just went into effect in Texas — so we need to speak out and shut this bill down now. Tell your senators: Say NO to Lindsey Graham's dangerous, unconstitutional abortion ban. doclink

Is Gov. Brown Now Open to a Moratorium on Fracking?

October 29 , 2013, Credo

There is a good chance that California Governor Brown signed SB 4 last month without having all the pertinent information. SB 4 started out looking like a decent bill, but at the last minute changes were make to allow expanded fracking for oil production in the state.

Perhaps, because of the last minute changes in the bill, Brown did not realize that the bill was for oil, not gas, or that California's CEQA environmental quality review would be suspended for fracking, or he may not know how bad fracking is for the climate.

At a recent San Francisco event to ink a climate agreement with Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Brown described climate change as "the world's greatest existential challenge." Governor Brown must have been misinformed by oil industry lobbyists, his aides or both.

Fracking in California is for oil, not gas. With methane leakage from gas drilling, gas is just as bad for the climate as coal -- but this (false) tradeoff doesn't even apply in our state, since drillers are after oil. Oil companies are already fracking California, including drilling test wells and buying land leases to drill on the Monterey Shale. They aren't waiting for an environmental review.

Environmental groups like NRDC and California League of Conservation Voters supported the bill until its language was changed at the last minute, then abandoned the bill hours before the vote, but not in time to adequately inform legislators of their change of heart. The LA Times ultimately disowned the bill as passed.

There's hope that Governor Brown, when turning his full attention and intellect to designing a responsible environmental policy for California, will see that it is completely inconsistent with being a climate leader to let Big Oil turn vast sections of California into toxic sacrifice zones so that it can get rich dumping carbon pollution into our atmosphere.

Tell Governor Brown: Impose a temporary moratorium on fracking while you fully investigate the science behind fracking for oil production. doclink

Karen Gaia says: The demands for oil and gas are driven by population and consumption. If the swelling numbers of Americans don't find ways to alleviate their need for energy, then the environment of both humans and wildlife will suffer.

The World's Worst Punishment for Rape? - Petition

October 2013,

16 year old Liz was was ambushed by six men who took turns raping her and their only punishment was that had them mow their station lawn.

Her story sent shock waves through Kenya and put politicians and the police under pressure, but women's groups in Kenya know that nothing will change unless the government is put under the global spotlight.

Rape is illegal everywhere, but too often these laws are just not enforced. Click on the link in the headline to get justice for Liz and send a message that the war on our women and girls is over:

To Kenya's Inspector General of Police:

We call on you to deliver justice for Liz including the immediate arrest and prosecution of her rapists and disciplinary action on police officers who failed to handle her case properly. doclink

The ACA - Get Covered and Spread the Word!

October 10 , 2013, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Laura is a two-time breast cancer survivor who was denied coverage by insurance companies for years due to her pre-existing condition. But with Obamacare she can finally get covered.

Now millions of Americans now can enroll in more affordable health coverage, for the first time ever. Yet opponents of the law are still spreading misinformation.

Click on the link in the headline to get the facts and find out how you can get covered under the health care law! doclink

U.S.: Obamacare Quiz

Top Five Things They Don't Want You To Know
September 17, 2013, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Click on the link to take the ObamaCare Quiz. Every correct answer will generate a 10 cent donation to Planned Parenthood Federation of America from a generous donor (up to $25,000) to help us stand up for Obamacare and protect women's health. doclink

Draw the Line Against Attacks on Reproductive Rights

July 01, 2013, Center for Reproductive Rights

Join the 31 Days of Action. Sign the Bill on Reproductive Rights - click on the link in the headline doclink

Obamacare Works

July 31, 2013, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

The big story of Obamacare is the steady, historic progress that doesn't grab headlines: preventive care without co-pays, an end to being told that pregnancy or domestic abuse is a "pre-existing condition," or that women's care should automatically cost up to 150% more than men's.

The real story of the new health law is better care for millions of Americans, and and in just a few weeks, nearly 12 million currently uninsured women aged 19-44 will be able to sign up for new, more affordable health insurance plans, all of which cover maternity care, ER care, doctors visits, and also cover birth control and well-woman exams without a co-pay.

But opponents of the law are still trying to stop lifesaving benefits like these from going into effect. They know that this is their last chance to spread misinformation and stop Obamacare. Because once families start getting the coverage they need, once they can go to the doctor without fear of being turned away or the worry that a diagnosis will mean bankruptcy -- they're not going to let anyone take that away.

We can't back down now. Stand up and show them Obamacare isn't going away, and neither are we. Add your name to the pledge today by clicking on the link in the headline. doclink

Stop the Gynoticians

June 20, 2013, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Gynotician: a politician who feels more qualified that women and their doctors to make women's health care decisions

In the first quarter of 2013, 694 provisions that relate to reproductive health were introduced, nearly half to restrict or limit access to abortion. A number of other measures which could make it harder for women to get birth control, cut women off from cancer screenings, or prohibit sex education programs that help prevent teen pregnancy.

These restrictions will significantly impact millions of women.

Decisions about women's health should be made by a woman, her faith, and her family in consultation with her doctors. Unfortunately, more politicians seem to want to be playing the role of doctor—acting as "Gynoticians."

These politicians are doing their darndest to insert themselves into the exam room. Follow the link in the headline to sign a petition telling Gynoticians: Time to Hang It Up. doclink

Can Drop in California's Teen Birth Rate Be Sustained Now That Youth Education Programs Have Been Cut?

June 05 , 2013, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Between 2007 and 2011, the teen birth rate among ages 15-19 fell by 28% in California. That didn't happen by accident. Targeted teen-pregnancy prevention efforts, including PPMM's nationally recognized education programs, have been an important part of turning the problem around. But those education programs are now victims of the state budget ax.

A donation of $30 can help provide crucial sex education services for 10 students in our local middle schools and high schools.

Even if the state continues to cut funding for youth education programs, PPMM will always be committed to keeping teens healthy and safe. And we couldn't do it without your support. doclink

U.S.: California: Support Medi-Cal Expansion

April 22, 2013, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), California has the chance to expand Medi-Cal coverage for low-income individuals throughout the state. Two bills, ABX1 1 and SBX1 1 would do just that.

These bills will expand coverage to many individuals who are newly eligible under the Affordable Care Act, and also will reach uninsured women of childbearing age, and extend coverage for pregnant women to include full scope Medi-Cal benefits.

Also they will enable people to determine their eligibility for Medi-Cal online.

Please call Governor Brown today at 916.445.2841 and support these two Medi-Cal expansion bills to ensure that low income women and families in California have access to health care and live the promise of health care reform. doclink

U.S.: Support the UNFPA! Defeat the Wicker Amendment in US Senate

March 22, 2013, Population Connection

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) has just introduced an amendment to eliminate all U.S. aid to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has long been a target of the extreme Right because of its work to expand access to voluntary family planning in the poorest parts of the world. Working in 150 countries around the world, the UNFPA helps increase the availability of safe, effective, and affordable contraceptives; supports work to eliminate harmful practices like female genital cutting; prevents and treats maternal injuries and illnesses; and is quick to respond with lifesaving reproductive health supplies and personnel in the case of natural and man-made disasters.

Because its work is universally seen as important, it receives voluntary contributions from 180 nations, including all the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. U.S. support is critically important to ensuring the sustained success of UNFPA's projects around the world.

Please take a minute to tell your senators to oppose the Wicker Amendment and to support family planning around the world. doclink

Stop the Sequester. It's a Terrible Way to Govern and it Will Do Real Harm to People - Especially Women - at Home and Around the World.

March 12, 2013, Population Connection

Our aid to international family planning programs is facing devastating cuts due to the sequester. A 5.3% cut to our international family planning programs would mean:

*1.68 million women denied access to contraceptive services & supplies,

*485,000 additional unintended pregnancies,

*226,000 additional abortions (of which 162,000 will be unsafe),

*1,292 maternal deaths, and

*6,460 children losing their mothers.

Instead of this kind of mindless slashing of funds, we need to increase our investment in family planning programs overseas. It will bring huge returns in terms of improved global health, expanded economic empowerment of women, increased educational opportunities for girls, protection of resources and greater political stability.

Please act quickly to stop the disastrous cuts the sequester will bring. doclink

U.S.: They're at it Again, and it's Up to Us to Stop Them. Again.

March 06 , 2013, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

A group of House Republicans recently introduced a bill to repeal the birth control benefit. Two weeks ago, a group of 11 politicians chose to stand with companies that have sued for the right to deny employees birth control coverage. These businesses think that bosses should get to control the health care choices of their employees. These are part of an orchestrated attack on women's access to birth control, despite the fact that 70% of Americans support insurance companies covering birth control without co-pays.

No company, no boss, should get to control the health care choices of their employees. No woman should have to ask her boss for permission to use birth control. Women should be able to make their own decisions about their health and their bodies.

While you stand with the companies who want to take this coverage away, I stand with the 70% of Americans who agree with the law, and who believe insurance companies should cover this basic benefit. When women have the power to protect their health, to plan their families, to make their own medical decisions, we all benefit.

Guaranteeing access to affordable birth control means fewer unintended pregnancies, healthier families, and women more in control of their futures. So let's show these members of Congress we won't back down when it comes to protecting birth control access. Add your name today. doclink

What Do Melinda Gates and Susan Oregede Have in Common?

March 08, 2013, Pathfinder International

Every day, Melinda Gates and Susan Oregede and millions of other women dare to challenge the status quo for women.

Even if it isn't easy, Susan Oregede dares to stand up before community leaders in Uganda, and say that a woman should be able to choose how many children she has.

Nafis Sadik, formerly head of the UNFPA, spoke up even though she was told not to challenge society on women's rights issues like abortion.

Jill Sheffield, founder of Women Deliver, gets criticism for advocating for maternal health. But she does it anyway.

"Millions of people-men and women-stand by the conviction that empowered women are a source of progress, and they want to take action," said Melinda Gates on Womens Day March 8th.

You can show your support for these women and other daring women like them:

* Share stories by Melinda Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, Mary Robinson, and other "Women Who Dare" with at least five friends

* Ask Congress to support family planning and a new international violence against women act doclink

U.S.: Sierra Club Members: Three Things You Can Do Right Now for Clean Energy + Climate Protection

March 03, 2013, Sierra Club

What you do will help mount pressure for clean energy and climate protection. Spread the word to friends and networks.


• If you are in California: Utilities are launching a massive disinformation campaign to mislead the public, press, and decision-makers, in the hopes of halting the trend towards rooftop solar. First in their sights: programs that allow Californians to offset their energy bills with rooftop solar, and new innovative proposals to bring those programs to renters. California has a long way to go before everyone can use clean energy but if utilities succeed in ending new rooftop solar programs, we're never going to get there.

Tell your representatives in Sacramento: Don't buy the utility lies! We need more, not less rooftop solar in California.


• Tell President Obama to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline and act to protect the climate. Send letters, e-mails, and phone calls to the White House. Sierra Club has been leading the charge against what may be "the death knell of climate protection" and a huge boon to dirty fuels and Big Oil. Sierra Club has supported large, vocal demonstrations in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and other cities to voice opposition. Club leaders have engaged in civil disobedience for the first time in Club history.

Will you call the White House today and demand immediate climate action?


• President Obama may be considering Ernest Moniz, proponent of the dangerous process of hydrofracking, as his new Energy Secretary. Sierra Club has already expressed its concern. Better candidates are available.
 We're counting on you to help change Obama's mind about this nomination.

Can you tell President Obama to find a better choice for Secretary of Energy? doclink

U.S.: This is the Last Straw: Tell President Obama We Can't Trust Shell in America's Arctic!

January 10 , 2013, Sierra Club

At the start of 2013, a Shell Oil rig, carrying over 150,000 gallons of petroleum products, broke free from its tugboat and ran aground near Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Last year, Shell showed it was completely unprepared for the reality of the stormy waters of the Arctic Ocean when it prepared to drill for oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas -- home to 20% of the world's polar bear population. Shell's ships caught fire, the spill clean-up equipment was destroyed during testing, and at the last minute, Shell admitted it wouldn't be able to comply with its clean air permits.

Click to tell President Obama to immediately cancel Shell's drilling permits before it's too late.

The Polar Bear Seas are far too important and fragile to leave in the hands of Big Oil. They are home to walrus, endangered ice seals, hundreds of species of migratory birds, and bowhead and beluga whales. Shell's incompetence could lead to an irreversible disaster.

Last year, millions of comments from people like you stopped Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic, and we can stop Shell again this year. doclink

U.S.: HHS Can't Ignore the Evidence on Emergency Contraception

December 04, 2012, Center for Reproductive Rights

It has been one year since Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius overruled the expertise of FDA scientists and blocked increased access to emergency contraception. Don't you want leadership that listens to science and doesn't cave to political pressure? It's not too late for Secretary Sebelius to do the right thing. Tell her to revisit the scientific evidence and end restrictions now. doclink

Nigeria: People Power Vs Big Oil

November 04 , 2012,

In days, Nigeria's Parliament could approve a $5 billion fine against giant oil polluter Shell for a spill that devastated the lives of millions of people, and pass a law to hold all oil companies to account for polluting and plundering. This is a watershed moment, but unless we all speak out, oil giants will crush it.

Finally, Big Oil is having to pay for the wasteland and violence that they've created. President Jonathan supports the Shell fine, and progressive Senators are pushing for strong regulations, but oil companies are slick, and without huge international support MPs could buckle under the pressure.

Politicians are deciding their positions right now -- sign the urgent petition for the Nigerian Parliament to fine Shell and support the bill, and then forward this page to everyone -- when we hit a million signers we'll bring our unprecedented global call to the steps of Nigeria's Parliament. doclink

U.S.: Bill of Reproductive Rights

Draw the line - Sign the bill - Spread the word
October 13, 2012, Center for Reproductive Rights

Attacks on reproductive rights have become rampant. Hostile politicians keep trying to put women down in their speeches and keep women down through their laws. But when news of a movement to fight back reaches the one person capable of spreading the word to EVERYBODY, a revolution is born. doclink

Bangladesh: Save the World's Best Bank

October 08, 2012,

One powerful woman is threatening the future of millions of others. But if we all weigh in right now we can rescue the people-powered bank that's an inspiration to the world.

The Grameen Bank has enabled millions of women to lift themselves out of poverty by giving them tiny loans to buy animals or equipment to start earning money. But Bangladesh's jealous Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has fired its Nobel Prize winning founder Muhammad Yunus and now wants to seize control of the bank, all to silence a political rival. This takeover could break the bank and destroy millions of people's hope.

Hasina is already facing a series of scandals at home -- if we can add a giant global backlash to her list of worries, we can force her to back down. When 1 million of us come together, Avaaz will kick off a media firestorm in Bangladesh and around the world, shaming her into ending this vengeful attack. doclink

U.S.: California: Governor Brown signed the Access to Birth Control Bill AB 2348!

September 21 , 2012, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

California has a large unmet need for publicly funded family planning services, in some counties as high as 50%. Thousands of women struggle each month to access birth control and AB 2348 will help! AB 2348 will allow registered nurses to dispense birth control under a standardized procedure. Health organizations like Planned Parenthood, the California Family Health Council, American Nurses Association - California, and California Primary Care Association all support AB 2348 because it's common sense legislation. Ensuring women have timely access to birth control prevents unintended pregnancies and creates better health outcomes. doclink

U.S.: "Human Life" Amendment - Take Action!

September 20, 2012, Center for Reproductive Rights

Opponents of abortion are once again backing a "human life" amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This amendment would give a fertilized human egg "a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed" and is really an absolute ban on abortion, many forms of contraception and fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization -- and the abolition of a woman's right to choose whether or when to have children.

In El Salvador, for example, where a fertilized egg has the same legal rights as a person, it is not uncommon to see police officers patrolling hospital corridors, "investigating" premature endings to pregnancies. Emergency rooms become courtrooms of blind persecution, and women who suffer miscarriages and stillbirths are presumed guilty by judge and family alike, tossed into prison, and disowned.

Make sure that your Representative and Senators defeat any attempt to put in place this assault on reproductive rights. doclink

U.S.: Weakening California's Environmental Act for Fracking

August 15, 2012, Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity has learned of sneak-attack plan on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), possibly by gutting and amending an unrelated bill to include language that would hamstring or eliminate CEQA review as we know it.

If successful, this would have severe repercussions for cities and counties seeking to limit fracking in their jurisdiction, and for residents seeking to prevent, or even just obtain information about, fracking in their communities.

Legislators could release the bill next week or the week after and move immediately for a vote, before the public can find out.

Time is extremely short, and we need to move fast to make our voices heard by the legislative leadership.

Please encourage your members and supporters to call their state senators and assembly members today to urge them to defend the California Environmental Quality Act against the fracking industry and others who want to gut our landmark environmental law.

We also need to generate calls, emails, and office visits to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg at (916-651-4006) and Speaker of the Assembly John Perez at (916-319-2046). Please encourage our legislative leadership to stand up for CEQA doclink

Karen Gaia says: the more people there are, and the more we consume, the more fossil fuels deplete, and the more risk to our environment the fossil fuel industry will take to get it out of the ground.

U.S.: Act Now to Stop the Great Basin Water Grab

August 09 , 2012, Center for Biological Diversity

If the Southern Nevada Water Authority has its way, a pipeline would take more than 37 billion gallons of water a year from Great Basin aquifers and transport it over 300 miles to Las Vegas sprawl to fuel unsustainable growth in the driest desert in North America.

Water tables would drop up to 200 feet, and 137,000 acres of prime Great Basin shrub land would dry up along with more than 3,600 acres of wetlands. More than 70 springs and 140 miles of perennial streams would be reduced to a trickle, in some cases disappearing completely. 14 desert fishes, such as Moapa dace and least chubs, and 25 species of rare Great Basin springsnails would almost certainly go extinct. Imperiled greater sage grouse, pronghorns and elk would also face widespread suffering. Click on the link to tell Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to stand up to Las Vegas interests, stop this irresponsible water grab and protect the fragile life of the Great Basin. doclink

8 Reasons for Women to Celebrate Today

August 01, 2012, Population Institute

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, beginning today, all newly-issued insurance plans must now cover with no co-pay:

*All FDA approved birth control and birth control counseling

*Annual well-woman visits

*Screening for gestational diabetes

*Domestic and interpersonal violence and screening

*Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling

*Testing for HPV (human papillomavirus)

*Counseling for sexually transmitted infections

*Counseling and screening for HIV

These new guidelines take women's health care decisions out of the hands of politicians and insurance companies, and put the power where it belongs: with women. doclink

U.S.: The Assault on Contraception and Reproductive Health Resumes in the House Appropriations Committee

July 18, 2012, Population Institute

In another attack on low-income women, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, and Related Agencies approved a funding bil - the Labor-HHS FY2013 appropriations billl - that would

* Eliminate funding for Title X, which supports family planning clinics serving low-income women. Provide only $20 million for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs, $89 million below the President's request.

* Put in $20 million for "abstinence only" education programs that have been shown to be ineffective in lowering teen pregnancy rates.

* Prohibit any funding to Planned Parenthood or any of its affiliates, unless the organizations certify that they will not perform abortions or provide any funds to any other entity that does.

* Permit employers to deny health insurance coverage of any medical services (like birth control), if they object on grounds of religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Make your voice heard. Tell Congress to halt the assault on contraceptives and reproductive health! doclink

U.S.: House to Vote on Repeal of Health Care Reform

July 09, 2012, Population Connection

Just two weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), House leaders have pledged to vote on a bill to repeal the law on Wednesday, July 11th.

There is a lot on the line with this vote, especially for women. Under the ACA women can't be denied coverage for "pre-existing conditions" like previous pregnancies or C-sections, and they can't be charged higher insurance premiums than men. Heathcare plans are also required to include well-woman visits, maternity care, and coverage of contraceptives without co-pays. The law offers a significant step forward in the effort to finally make universal access to affordable birth control a reality.

Its repeal would be a devastating blow for women. Urge your representative to vote against this legislation on Wednesday. Please take a moment to tell the House to stand firm against this right-wing assault on women's health and contraception! doclink

Take the "No Controversy in Contraception" Pledge for Women & Girls

June 28 , 2012, No Controversy in Contraceptives - Gates Foundation

by Melinda Gates

Over 1 billion people currently use birth control. For the most part, they do it without hesitation. They do it because they want the power to plan their own lives—and to raise healthy, happy families when they are ready to do so. There is no controversy around this routine fact of everyday life.

If you agree there is no controversy in contraceptives, you are encouraged to go to and take the pledge:

"I believe that every girl and woman deserves the opportunity to determine her own future."

Of the more than 200 million women around the world who don't want to get pregnant and don't have access to contraceptives, over 100,000 will die in childbirth. For some reason the uncontroversial idea of deciding when to have a child has somehow become shrouded in controversy. And the victims of this paralysis are the poorest people in the world.

On July 11 the Gates Foundation, the UK government, and other partners will host the London Summit on Family Planning. The goal is to mobilize global policy, funding, and delivery commitments to an additional 120 million women in the world's poorest countries to provide them access to contraceptive information, services, and supplies by 2020. doclink

Karen Gaia says: the vast majority of North American, and European women and their families, and many in Asia and in South and Central America have benefited tremendously from contraception. It is time to pass the word forward and help the rest of the world.

Stop the African Hunger Games

June 26, 2012,

Baaba Maal is a Senegalese musician pleaing for help for the 18 million people are on the brink of disaster in Africa's drought-struck Sahel region.

"Our urgent appeals for help are being met with deafening silence. Only a targeted and overwhelming demand for action can stop this catastrophe from turning deadly."

"The UN says $1.5 billion in aid is needed immediately, but governments have pledged less than half the required sum. The countries who can make all the difference are the US, Japan, France and Germany, but they're stalling -- that's why I started a petition on Avaaz's Community Petitions website to appeal to the world for help."

In days, world leaders will gather in Brussels to discuss the Sahel -- if they decide right there and then to pledge their fair share, we can avert disaster. Sign this urgent petition (click on the link) now and Oxfam will deliver it in a coordinated stunt when we reach 1 million signatures. doclink

U.S.: Tell the House of Representatives to Support Title X

June 25, 2012, Population Institute

Title X supports family planning clinics serving low-income households. Every year more than 5 million women and men obtain family planning and related services through Title X funded clinics. In 2008, according to the Guttmacher Institute, Title X clinics helped to prevent 973,000 unintended pregnancies, 432,600 unintended births and 406,200 abortions.

Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the part of the budget for FY2013 that includes Title X. Funding for the program was reduced slightly from last year's funding level of $296.8 million to $293.9 million.

However the House Appropriations Committee version of the bill is coming up. Last year the Subcommittee voted to eliminate all funding for Title X, defunded Planned Parenthood, and slashed funding for teen pregnancy prevention initiatives, while boosting support for failed "abstinence only" education programs.

While the House version was mostly blocked by the Senate last year, but this year's legislative battle could turn out differently. It's time to halt the assault on contraception and reproductive health. http to tell your Representative to support increased funding for Title X. doclink

Act to Support Bill to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies Introduced Into Congress

May 14, 2012, TriplePundit

The End Polluter Welfare Act would end fossil fuel subsidies, and save over $10 billion a year and more than $110 billion over 10 years. The bill would specifically end tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, plus eliminate special financing, end taxpayer funded R&D, and set fair royalties policies.

Senator Bernie Sanders said that the Act "ends all the tax breaks, the special financing arrangements, and the federal research and development funding."

A fact sheet by lists the money that would be saved by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies:

$14 billion saved by eliminating the intangible drilling deduction $12 billion saved by repealing a 2004 law that allows fossil fuel corporations to take deductions aimed at helping American manufacturers by claiming they are manufacturers $6.8 billion saved by closing the loophole that allows corporations like BP to deduct money they spend cleaning up their own oil spills and paying damages $2.4 billion saved by stopping fossil fuel companies from investing through Master Limited Partnerships, an option not available to clean energy businesses $3.7 billion saved by shutting the federal Office of Fossil Energy $10.6 billion saved by recouping lost royalties for offshore drilling in public waters

Fossil fuels are subsidized at almost six times the rate of renewable energy.

The Yale Project on Climate Change's November 2011 survey found that 70% of Americans opposed federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, including 67% of registered Republicans.

Senator Sanders is enlisting the help of citizens to garner support for the bill by asking them to sign a petition, which can be signed here: doclink

U.S.: Halt the Assault on International Family Planning

May 18, 2012, Population Institute

Tell your elected representatives in Congress that it is time to halt the assault on contraceptives and reproductive rights. Tell them that you: 1) support the President's Budget request for international family planning assistance; 2) want full funding for UNFPA; and 3) oppose a legislative re-imposition of the global gag rule. doclink

Protect Our Federal Lands From Fracking

May 12, 2012

The natural gas industry thinks it's fair to frack up our federal lands and tell us about it later -- 30 days after the drilling has taken place! The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the largest manager of oil and gas resources in the country, just released a set a rules for fracking on our federal lands with plenty of room for improvement. Right now, the natural gas industry is lobbying to weaken safeguards, and we need you to tell BLM they can do better.

The improvements are common sense -- people should know what chemicals are used in fracking before drilling takes place, diesel fuel (a known carcinogen) should be banned from use in fracking, open pits of toxic chemicals are not safe, and fracking should not take place on our most sensitive lands.

https to give BLM for your input now. doclink

Stop the Amazon Chainsaw Massacre

May 09, 2012,

Twenty percent of the world's oxygen comes from the magnificent Amazon rainforest, and it plays a key role in mitigating global climate change. While there Brazil has achieved a 78% decline in deforestation rates between 2004 and 2011, due to a world-acclaimed forestry law, strong enforcement and satellite monitoring this dangerous new bill would open up an area the size of France and Britain together to clear-cutting and gives loggers amnesty for all past deforestation crimes. This would set a bad precedent for other countries.

Brazil rapidly developing, battling to lift tens of millions out of poverty. Despite evidence that growth does not require deforestation, a powerful agriculture lobby pressuring President Dilma . Activists are being murdered, intimidated and silenced. Ex-Environmental Ministers and people across Brazil have sent a clear message to Dilma that they want to save the Amazon. We can bring the global force of people power to get a win for our planet!

http to sign the petition which will be delivered by Brazil's former Environment Ministers directly to Dilma. doclink

Karen Gaia says: it's a good thing that Brazil has a good handle on bringing down population growth. Growth rate is 1.134% and will soon come down as the soon as it's youth bulge gets older. Still, a growing population must be fed somehow. Brazil's annual net grain imports of 8 million tons during the 1990s have dropped to a modest 3 million tons, according to Earth Policy Institute. Much of the new land is being used for ethanol and soybean production, which usually benefits the rich, not the poor.

Two Bills - HB 2625 and HB 2800 - Before Gov. Jan Brewer Would Directly Restrict Arizonans' Ability to Make Private and Personal Medical Decisions. Brewer Should Veto Both.

April 27, 2012, Arizona Daily Star

HB 2625 would allow organizations to declare themselves "a religiously affiliated employer" and refuse to include contraception in their health-insurance plans. The "religiously affiliated" distinction is a step back from the original version, which allowed any employer to declare a religious objection. However it still allows employers to impose their personal religious beliefs on another.

HB 2800, would strip any public funding from any organization that provides abortion services, even though it is already illegal for agencies to use public money to pay for those services. Health-care organizations such as Planned Parenthood would be prohibited from receiving taxpayer money to provide any type of family planning services.

HB 2625 would allow employers to refuse to cover "any prescribed drug or device" used as a contraceptive, as well as "consultations, examinations, procedures and medical services provided on an outpatient basis and related to prescription contraceptive methods to prevent unintended pregnancies."

There is no exemption for surgical procedures - such as a vasectomy - that are intended specifically to prevent a man from inseminating a woman and causing a pregnancy. So it's not only women's bodies that Arizona Republican lawmakers want to control - they want to interfere with men's private medical decisions, too.

While HB 2800 names abortion services as the determining factor in taking away medical agencies' public funding, the result would directly affect men as well. Planned Parenthood, for example, provides testing for HIV, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases as well as urinary-tract infections.

Taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion services. This bill would deprive Arizonans of needed medical care, because organizations like Planned Parenthood also provide cancer screenings, pregnancy testing and family-planning services.

These bills affect all Arizonans who want to make medical decisions with the guidance of their doctors rather than Republicans in the Legislature.

Just as a woman has myriad reasons to decide to prevent a pregnancy, so does a man. And he has just as much right to make his own personal health-care decisions as a woman does.

Brewer should protect all Arizonans' ability to make their own private and personal health-care decisions and veto both bills.

Call Gov. Jan Brewer's Tucson office at 628-6580, or call Phoenix toll-free at 1-800-253-0883. Or email her using the form on her website: doclink

Protect Corals, Fish and Whales From Ocean Acidification

April 04, 2012, Center for Biological Diversity

Without swift, national action to protect the ocean's vast diversity of life from acidifying waters corals, shellfish, salmon and a whole host of beautiful creatures will be lost.

We need your help to ask President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to get working on a bold plan to curb ocean acidification.

Carbon dioxide pollution is also being absorbed by the ocean, causing its chemistry to change and become more acidic. This spells trouble for marine animals that are now having difficulty building shells, growing and sometimes even surviving in increasingly corrosive waters.

http or on the left arrow to take action. Everything from the smallest of plankton to the largest of whales has a stake in what the White House and the EPA decide to do about ocean acidification. doclink

Petition Against Jail Time for Birth Control in Honduras

April 12, 2012,

The Honduran Congress is about to vote on a proposal that would send women to jail if they use the morning-after pill -- even for rape victims. But the President of the Honduran Congress can stop this. He's concerned about his international image and his future in politics, so our massive outcry can shame him and stop this attack on women. http to sign the petition:/?cl=1718679404&v=13635 . The vote could happen any day.

Some Congress members agree that this law -- which would also jail doctors or anyone who sells the pill -- is excessive, but they are bowing to the powerful religious lobby that wrongly claims the morning-after pill constitutes an abortion.

Avaaz will work with local women's groups to personally deliver our outcry.

The emergency contraceptive pill delays ovulation and prevents pregnancy - like ordinary birth control pills. But if this new bill passes, Honduras will be the only state in the world to punish the use or sale of emergency contraception with a jail term.

Emergency contraception is vital for women everywhere, but especially where sexual violence against women is rampant, unplanned pregnancy rates are high and access to regular birth control is limited.

For more information see: Honduras, most sweeping ban on emergency contraception anywhere (RH Reality Check): doclink

Pledge to Halt the Assault on Contraception

April 05, 2012, Population Institute

Everyone, regardless of their gender, should care about reproductive health and rights.

I pledge to encourage my friends—women and men—to speak out against efforts to restrict access to contraceptives and family planning clinics. Follow the link in the left arrow or the headline to take the pledge doclink

Stop the Pebble Mine! Tell Foreign Mining Corporations that "No Means No"

April 03, 2012

Despite overwhelming local opposition, foreign mining giants Anglo American and Rio Tinto are pressing forward with plans to build a gargantuan, open-pit gold and copper mine above Alaska's Bristol Bay -- threatening the world's greatest sockeye salmon runs and the very last 284 beluga whales of Cook Inlet.

Sign the petition today and tell these two corporations not to build a mega-mine against the will of local citizens. doclink

Karen Gaia says: The disasterous impacts of mining are the result of too many people X (basic consumption plus excessive consumption).

The excessive consumption was not considered excessive back in 1960 there were only 180 million people in the U.S. to consume natural resources. The fact is, copper is already becoming scarce. It is used for electrical wiring. So far we have not found anything that can replace it. We used to have aluminum wiring, but aluminum is scarce too.

If we continue life as we know it, and business as usual, we will have to rape every part of the planet that has recoverable copper. We need to 'get it' - we have already exceeded our carrying capacity! We have to stop growing, and in fact, let our numbers decline for awhile.

U.S.: Join Us on Capitol Hill Today

April 2, 2012, Population Connection

Today, nearly 100 Population Connection activists are on the Hill urging congressional support for international family planning.

They are asking Congress to:

*Increase U.S. investment in international family planning to one billion dollars.

*Pass the Global Democracy Promotion Act (HR 4879/S 311) to prevent a future president from re-instating the Global Gag Rule.

*Support the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Please take just a minute to add your voice to theirs by sending a quick email to your representative and senators. https to take action. Tell them that family planning is critical to building a safe, stable and healthy world. doclink

Center for Biological Diversity Condoms - Earth Day 2012 Series

March 30, 2012, Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity will mark this year's Earth Day by distributing 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms around the country. The Center collaborated with artist Roger Peet to create a special edition of the colorful condom packages featuring a suite of species — from the dwarf seahorse to the polar bear — threatened by the world's growing human population.

These wonderful condoms come in colorful packages depicting endangered species and entertaining slogans like 'Don't go bare, save the polar bear'. The website is well worth visiting. doclink

U.S.: What Every Woman Deserves

March 22, 2012, Planned Parenthoood Action Fund

Last Friday, the Obama administration issued an official policy that will fulfill the promise of ensuring that women, regardless of where they work, will receive insurance coverage for birth control with no co-pays, no additional hurdles — and no interference from their employers. And that's not all: under these rules, college and university students will be eligible for birth control coverage with no co-pays as well.

But we're not at the finish line yet. The Department of Health and Human Services will accept public comments on these new rules for the next 90 days.

You don't need me to tell you that the Obama administration is going to be hearing from a lot of anti-birth control, anti-women's health voices in the coming weeks. From state lawmakers to members of Congress, from presidential candidates to Rush Limbaugh, they've proven that they'll say and do anything to deny women access to affordable birth control. doclink

Doonesbury Takes on Ultrasound Laws - Sign Our Petition Letting Editors Know That Censorship in Unacceptable

March 12, 2012, Center for Reproductive Rights

The much-loved political cartoon "Doonesbury" is running an entire week of comic strips focusing on mandatory ultrasound laws beginning on March 12. More than 60 newspapers have refused to run "Doonesbury" cartoons even though they are simply trying to humanize the struggles of women under Texas's demeaning law.

Click on the headline link or the left arrows to sign Center for Reproductive Rights' petition letting editors know that censorship is unacceptable. doclink

U.S.: Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood, Says Thank You, Jon Stewart!

March 08, 2012, Planned Parenthoood Action Fund

Cecile Richards was a guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. They discussed the most unbelievable statements and legislation of late.

She says: "Thanks for holding legislators and the media accountable for their hateful actions and statements over the last few months. Thanks for pointing out — with much-needed humor — just how ridiculous some of these attacks have been. And, in doing so, thanks for standing with women everywhere. If you agree, join me in thanking Jon Stewart for holding Rush Limbaugh, legislators, and the media accountable. Sign our thank you card!"

.. http to see the video

Click on the link in the headline to thank Jon Stewart doclink

U.S.: Vote on Birth Control Coverage Possible Today - Action Needed

January 14, 2012, Population Connection

Perhaps as early as today, the Senate will vote on a proposal to allow any employer to deny insurance coverage for any service--for any reason whatsoever. Introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), the amendment would erase critical protections in the Affordable Care Act and completely undermine a fundamental principle of the health care law—that everyone in this country deserves a basic standard of health insurance coverage.

Senator Blunt and his allies on the Right continue to cynically hide behind arguments about religious liberty while their attacks on the contraceptive requirement are based on nothing more than contempt for women's health care needs. Every American woman and couple has the fundamental right to make their own decision about whether and when to have children. And that every American woman deserves coverage of preventive health services regardless of where they work.

Recently President Obama changed the policy in what would seem to be a good-faith negotiation with a rational opponent.. Under the amended rule, religiously affiliated employers will not have to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees, but their health insurance companies will be required to provide the coverage directly to women at no charge. Women will still get access to the care they need, and institutions with religious objections will not have to provide it.

Unfortunately, birth control opponents have, once again, proved themselves to be anything but rational.

http to send a message to your senators: Affordable access to birth control is good public policy. And reactionary ideology can't be allowed to trump that. doclink

Women's Health is Not Beside the Point

February 8, 2012, Population Connection

There are a couple of new fronts in the War on Women. Breast exams for poor women? Why, that's an opportunity to attack Planned Parenthood. Birth control coverage without co-pays? That's their chance to brand the Obama administration as an enemy of religious freedom.

The fight over contraceptive coverage continues, and we can't afford to relax yet. Opponents frame their objections to the requirement as coming from concerns over religious liberty, rather than as overt opposition to birth control. But in doing so, they have made statements that are offensive, dismissive, and grotesquely out of touch with the real needs and day to day lives of women.

One pundit dismissed women's need for birth control as "beside the point." Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R/NE-1) said that birth control was "unrelated to the basic needs of health care." And the Bishop of Phoenix said that the decision is an attempt to turn Catholics into "second-class citizens."

Women's health is not beside the point: it is the central point. Every American woman should have the same access to affordable contraceptives. The current rule will save the average American woman some $600 in out-of-pocket health care costs. For families living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay for day care or get their car fixed, this could make all the difference.

In a respectfully balanced compromise: explicitly religious employers are exempt from the new requirement. Some 335,000 churches are exempt, but the White House is still receiving a ceaseless barrage of criticism from opponents of family planning. Opponents of birth control have introduced legislation in Congress to rescind the policy.

The Obama administration and our allies in Congress need to know that you see though this ploy. Please take a moment, go to!/petition/stand-strong-support-new-no-cost-birth-control-policy/HM8jg7Y4 to sign a White House petition in support of the coverage requirement and to send an email to your members of Congress. Tell them not to back down in the fight to protect women's access to health care. doclink

U.S.: Trust Women Week March

January 2012, Planned Parenthoood Action Fund

Do you trust women to make their own medical decisions? Join the Trust Women Week National Online March today. I hope you'll pick up a virtual sign and march with me today! Click on the link in the arrows or the headline to take action.

The last year has seen unprecedented attacks on women's access to care and on the fundamental right of every woman to make her own medical decisions — not just in Washington, but in states around the country. Just last year, 36 states enacted a record 135 provisions limiting access to reproductive health care, including 92 measures restricting abortion.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund has joined 70 other organizations in the National Online March for Trust Women Week to show just how many of us are willing to stand up for women's health.

Despite the setbacks, 2011 also proved that we can achieve tremendous victories when we stand together and speak with one voice. Not only did we secure no-cost birth control for women, but we're seeing some of the effects of the Affordable Care Act take hold. doclink

Trust Texas Women

January 23, 2012, Center for Reproductive Rights

A federal court just gave Texas's demeaning and invasive mandatory ultrasound the green light. Enforcement could potentially begin as early as January 31.

Send a letter to Texas media NOW—let them know that this ruling is unjust and hurts women. Click on the link in the headline or left arrow doclink

U.S.: Roe Vs Wade is 39 Years Old Today

January 22, 2012, Planned Parenthoood Action Fund

39 years ago the courts recognized the right of women to make personal, private medical decisions, to control their bodies, their reproductive health, and their lives.

Planned Parenthood has set up a website - - to show the world exactly what Roe has meant in the past and still means today. We've got a lot to fight for, and a lot to lose. Please, take a look and share it far and wide. Even better, add your own comment about how Roe v. Wade has made a difference in your life.

Despite the broad, mainstream support for upholding Roe, some politicians are as determined as ever to overturn it and strip women of the rights we've held for nearly 40 years. doclink

To the 2012 Candidates for Office: Women Are Watching

January 10, 2012

"The state has a right to [ban contraception], I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that." .. Rick Santorum

"Mitt Romney is pro-life and... supportive of efforts to ensure recognition that life begins at conception." .. Romney spokespersons

Candidates for office need to know that women (and men) like you and me are paying attention to what's happening concerning women's health and rights at the state and local level. Candidates are hoping they can say whatever it takes to get the Republication nomination for president and get away with it. They're hoping that because they're making outrageous statements in small gatherings designed to reach their own supporters, that we won't know.

I'm watching. So are hundreds of thousands of others. Our Women are Watching campaign is our best bet to stand up against anti-choice, anti-women's health candidates, and it takes all of us, working together.

There is a full slate of presidential candidates vowing to prevent Planned Parenthood health centers from providing health care to the millions of women who rely on them. They are pandering to an extreme base that is determined to roll back the clock on women's right to make their own medical decisions.

They're counting on the media to ignore their most dangerous policies as just campaign rhetoric. They are hoping that you are so exhausted by the constant attacks on Planned Parenthood and women's health that you just give up.

It's so important to keep tuning in, keep speaking out, keep fighting back. Start by signing the Women are Watching letter to all the 2012 candidates (click on the link in the red arrows or headline). Tell lawmakers and candidates for office that we will not sit quietly by while they attack our health and our rights.

The majority of voters are women, and no politician in the country can win without our support. doclink

U.S.: Plan B Emergency Contraceptive: Tell Obama: Keep Politics Out of Science

December 09, 2011, Population Connection

The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently overruled the experts at the Food and Drug Administration and kept the Plan B emergency contraceptive from being available over-the-counter to all women. So, girls under 16 will still need a prescription.

There was never any scientific or medical reason for the age restriction, and the FDA commissioner was poised to remove it - see . Not only will young women - under the age of 17 - still need a prescription for this important medication, but all women will still need to ask a pharmacist for it, ensuring that the medication will be kept behind the pharmacy counter, not on the shelves. This undermines all women's access to a safe, effective way to help avoid an unintended pregnancy.

Greater availability of emergency contraception has the potential to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy among young women. Since this was a decision made by the administration, it is a decision they can choose to reverse. Please take just a moment and ask President Obama to reconsider the decision on Plan B by clicking on the link in the headline above. doclink

U.S.: Obama Administration to Decide Birth Control Coverage

November 18, 2011, Population Connection

Earlier this year, an expert panel recommended that all forms of prescription birth control should be covered without co-pays under all new health insurance plans. The Obama administration accepted this recommendation but included an exemption for certain religious employers. That wasn't enough for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) or the Catholic Health Association (CHA). The USCCB is calling the birth control provision a violation of their religious liberty and demanding a vast expansion of the refusal clause. If they have their way, experts estimate that at least a million women across the country will not have access to this new and valuable benefit.

The proposed rule is only a draft and a final decision will be made soon. It's time that the White House heard from those of us who support contraceptive coverage for everyone. Tell President Obama that this benefit is critical to the health and well-being of all American families and that nobody should be denied this important coverage because of the "conscience" of another. doclink

Protect Our Waterways From Pesticides

November 16, 2011, Center for Biological Diversity

Pesticides in our waters are linked to higher cancer rates, hormone disruption and other serious health effects in people. Fish and amphibian populations have been devastated by these toxics, which can be the last straw for endangered species already in crisis.

Right now chemical and agribusiness lobbyists are pushing a radical revision of our clean-water laws - H.R. 872 - that has already passed in the right-wing-dominated House of Representatives but we may be able to stop this disastrous polluter bill from passing in the Senate.

Our water supply is too precious to poison. Please take five minutes to call your senators and tell them to protect the Clean Water Act. Senate Bill 718 is a hazard to all life in the United States, and should be rejected, along with any companion bill to House Resolution 872, proposed by Sen. Pat Roberts. Tell them to support the EPA's safeguards against pesticides through the "pesticide general permit" process. This protects our environment and public health.

Click here to find the number for your senator: Let us know you were able to get through by clicking here: doclink

Karen Gaia says: Overpopulation has raised the demand for food. As farmlands are lost from overuse, erosion and urbanization, more and more pesticides will be required to produce crops. How to keep them out of the water supply?

U.S.: Women Are Watching Campaign

November 11, 2011, Planned Parenthood

Presidential candidates are vowing to defund Planned Parenthood. Anti-choice lawmakers in state after state are putting harsh new restrictions on women's right to make their own medical decisions. There has been a constant, relentless, vicious effort to deny women access to basic health care, including lifesaving cancer screenings and STD testing and treatment.

The majority of voters are women, and no politician in the country can win without our support. That means that the future of women's health is up to us. As always, protecting women's health will take courage, determination, and a massive, coordinated effort.

There is one year left to Election Day. Click the headline or the arrow to sign the Women are Watching letter to all the 2012 candidates. Tell lawmakers and candidates for office that we will not sit quietly by while they attack our health and rights. doclink

Call Your Senator About An Upcoming Battle in the War on Women

November 10, 2011, Population Institute

As early as today the Senate will be debating a "minibus" appropriations bill. It contains funding for the State Department and various foreign assistance programs, including international family planning and reproductive health.

The Senate Appropriations Committee version was a victory for women. 1) It increases the current funding level for international family planning assistance for the 2012 Fiscal Year to $700 million, including $40 million for the United Nations Population Fund. 2) It makes permanent an executive order issued by President Obama that repealed the "global gag rule".

Unfortunately, next week a number of amendments are expected that would most likely reduce the amount of money for international family planning and reproductive health, eliminate funding for the United Nations Population Fund, and block the language that would permanently repeal the global gag rule.

According to research from the Guttmacher Institute, for every $10 million cut from the international family planning and reproductive health program:

* 610,000 fewer women and couples would receive contraceptive services and supplies;

* 190,000 more unintended pregnancies, and 82,000 more unplanned births, would occur;

* 83,000 more abortions would take place (of which 60,000 would be unsafe);

* 500 more maternal deaths would occur;

* 2,300 more children would lose their mothers.

To help, call (202) 224-3121, tell the operator what state you are from, and ask to be connected to one or both of your U.S. Senators. Tell your Senators that you support full funding for international family planning and a permanent repeal of the "global gag rule." doclink

Anti-Choice House Leadership Holding Hearing on Birth-Control Refusal

November 02, 2011, Blog for Choice

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health - led by Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania (author of the bill dubbed "Let Women Die") - is holding a hearing on the no-cost birth-control policy going into effect as a result of the health-reform law signed by President Obama in 2010. Anti-choice lawmakers think employers who oppose contraception should be allowed to deny their employees a health plan that covers contraception due to the so-called "conscience" of corporations.

Ninety-eight percent of women--of all faiths and backgrounds--use birth control at some point in their lives.

NARAL Pro-Choice America submitted testimony to the subcommittee in opposition to an expansive refusal clause.

Help us tell the White House that all women--regardless of their employer--should benefit from no-cost birth control. Follow the link in the headline to take action. doclink

Take Action for 7 Billion

October 25, 2011, Pathfinder International

7 billion people is a big milestone for our planet. It can seem overwhelming—what can we do in the face of such growth? But now is the time that we must take action.

There has never been a more critical time to raise awareness, build support, and advocate for the importance of universal access to contraception. Please take a stand now:

* Go to the link in the headline above to sign the pledge to support universal access to contraception

By taking the pledge, you are helping raise awareness among friends, family, and colleagues about the critical importance of family planning and reproductive health care. doclink

U.S.: Californians: Stand Up for the Health of Our Teens!

October 06, 2011, Planned Parenthood

Your 30-second call to SUPPORT AB 499 is critical!

AB 499 would provide teens with the ability to protect themselves against STDs and cancer. Current California law allows teens to consent to the testing and treatment of STDs, but not to preventive measures that could protect them from contracting these diseases in the first place.

Opponents have made it a priority to kill this bill and are working hard to flood the phone lines, we need to fight back.

Call Governor Brown: (916) 445-2841 or 1-855-468-2796

* Select 1 for English or 2 for Spanish * Press 2 to voice opinion on a piece of legislation * Press 2 to voice opinion about AB 499 * Press 1 to show you are calling in SUPPORT of AB 499

We only have a few days left to show Gov. Brown how important this bill is for the health and well-being of the teens in our state. doclink

Karen Gaia says: reproductive health is part of a comprehensive package at Planned Parenthood, making it a more effective way to reach teens for any reproductive health need, including contraception.

Key Budget Battle Looms for International Family Planning

September 26, 2011, Population Institute

In late July when the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved a 25% cut in international family planning assistance for FY2012 and voted for a ban on any support for the UNFPA, and reinstatement of the global gag rule that President Obama repealed by executive order during his first month in office.

More recently the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 that would provide $700 million for international family planning assistance, including $40 million for the UNFPA. The Senate action would boost funding by $85 million over this year's appropriation level ($615 million). The Committee rejected the gag rule, and voted to make President Obama's repeal of the gag rule permanent.

House-Senate negotiations on the budget bill will begin soon, probably after October 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year. In the meantime a "continuing resolution" to provide temporary funding for federal programs until agreement can be reached will likely be passed.

The result of this battle will have profound impacts on the lives of women around the world. The Guttmacher Institute has calculated that cutting U.S. family planning assistance by 25% would result in:

*9.4 million fewer women and couples receiving contraceptive services

*Almost 3 million more unintended pregnancies

*1.3 million more abortions (mostly unsafe)

*1.3 million more unplanned births

*7,700 more maternal deaths

There is still time to tell Congress that family planning and reproductive health care services are vital to the health and well-being of women and their families in the developing world. Make your voices heard…before it's too late. doclink

Senate Committee Stands Up for Family Planning

September 21, 2011, Population Connection

Yesterday Population Connection asked you to email your Senators about the important vote on the Global Gag Rule expected today in the Senate Appropriations Committee - and over 1200 of you responded.

We won. Today, the Appropriations Committee voted on the Lautenberg Amendment, which passed 18-12. Every Democrat on the committee, with the lone exception of Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted in favor, along with three Republicans: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mark Kirk of Illinois.

This is an important victory in the fight to protect access to family planning for women and families around the world, and it could not happen without the support of individuals like you. doclink

Karen Gaia says: a good reason to join Population Connection if you haven't already.

U.S.: Your Senator to Vote on Global Gag Rule - Click Here to Help

September 20, 2011, Population Connection

The Global Gag Rule is a United States government policy - instated or reinstated by conservative presidents and rescinded by liberal presidents - that requires all non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a method of family planning, in other countries. Critics of the policy say that, in addition to reducing the overall funding provided to particular NGOs, it closes off their access to USAID-supplied condoms and other forms of contraception. This, they argue, negatively impacts the ability of these NGOs to distribute birth control, leading to a downturn in contraceptive use and from there to an increase in the rates of unintended pregnancies and abortion. Critics also argue that the ban promotes restrictions on free speech as well as restrictions on accurate medical information.

Now Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) plans to offer an amendment to the bill that would prevent a future president from unilaterally reinstating the Global Gag Rule.

If your senator is a member of the Appropriations Committee, we need you to help make sure he or she votes the right way. Tomorrow afternoon, the Senate Appropriations Committee will meet to consider the Fiscal Year 2012 State Department/Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, including the Lautenberg amendment.

The committee vote is especially important this year, when family planning has been under attack from what seems like every direction. A successful vote on the Lautenberg Amendment would be both a counterweight to recent House votes in favor of the Gag Rule and also a bold affirmation that there are still champions on the Hill who will stand up for family planning.

The Global Gag Rule is a matter of life and death for many women in the developing world. Please take just a moment to remind your Senator of the importance of family planning, and tell him or her to support the Lautenberg Amendment. doclink

Karen Gaia says: You can only participate if your Senator is a member of the Appropriations Committee. In California's case,for example, it would be Senator Dianne Feinstein.

U.S.: Don't Let Governor Perry Do This to Texas Women

September 02, 2011, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Governor Rick Perry and the Texas legislature have launched an assault on Planned Parenthood and women's health that is a true threat to women in Texas and beyond. They have passed a bill that would force women seeking abortion care to view a sonogram. It would also require doctors to read an anti-choice script written by the anti-choice legislature. The only way to avoid these burdens would be for women to certify in writing that they are pregnant due to rape or incest.

Thankfully, a federal judge stopped enforcement of the worst parts of the new law just two days before they went into effect. His ruling pointed out that this law "compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen."

Governor Perry immediately vowed to appeal the bill.

Texas has more uninsured residents than any other state. But Governor Perry recently cut family planning funding by two-thirds - which could cut off health care to more than 300,000 Texas women.Women in Texas struggle to find affordable health care, but Governor Perry is trying to shut down the Planned Parenthood health centers that provide it. doclink

U.S.: California: Please Urge Governor Brown to Sign Ab 499

September 08, 2011, Planned Parenthood Action Funds in California

Current California law allows teens to consent to sensitive medical care for the testing and treatment of sexual transmitted infections. However, currently teens are not allowed to consent to preventative measures that can protect their health and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

AB 499 would update the existing law to reflect new and ongoing developments in sexually transmitted disease prevention and remove barriers to minors in accessing these important preventative measures.

Young people should not be denied access to preventative methods when they are available, especially for sexually transmitted viruses that currently cannot be cured, only treated.

While most teens involve their parents in medical decisions, even those involving sensitive subjects, we need to allow for those minors who cannot include their parents.

Take action by emailing Governor Brown. See doclink


Wise Giving Guide

Change comes from what we do; not what we think. The world has more problems than we can solve. Supporting those who offer good solutions may be all that most of us can do. But when the phone rings almost daily with people requesting donations, I always decline. To ensure that what little I have to donate goes to the best possible use, I pool my contributions and carefully target them for maximum affect. doclink

We Can Do More This World Contraception Day

September 26 , 2012, Pathfinder International

Let us help the 215 million women who lack access to family planning, like Georgette, a mother in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who, before she finally found access to contraception, had already been pregnant 20 times, and lost 7 of her babies to starvation because nursing was cut short by another pregnancy. With the help of the Pathfinder-trained community health worker, Georgette chose a contraceptive method and is now happy and healthy.

Click here to donate.

$25 can provide 4 doctors with infection prevention training manuals.

$50 can give a woman in Peru a year of contraception and counseling.

$100 can train a community health worker in India to provide basic family planning services.

$250 can train 10 midwives to recognize the signs of high risk pregnancies, enabling them to refer a woman to a health facility.

$1,000 can buy one year of injectable contraceptives for 600 women in Ethiopia. doclink

Center for Biological Diversity Overpopulation Public Service Ad in Times Square on a 520-square-foot Screen for One Month

September 08, 2011, Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity launched a new national campaign, 7 Billion and Counting, to highlight the devastating effects of the world's exploding human population on wildlife around the globe. The PSA in Times Square will reach a million people every day over the next month. Check out the powerful ad by clicking on the headline link above -- now running hourly in one of the most crowded places on the planet.

The 7 Billion and Counting campaign is timed to raise public awareness of the world hitting its 7 billionth human being at the end of October and the impacts of that benchmark on global biodiversity and endangered plant and animal species.

The money for the ad was raised from individual contributions. doclink

Book Signing Set for Redlands Author; Jane Roberts Says Her Grass-roots Fundraising Has Been 'an Incredible Adventure'

November 03, 2005, Press Enterprise (US)

Jane Roberts was mad that the Bush administration had refused to release the funds Congress had approved for UNFPA and she set out to raise the $34 million - she would ask 34 million Americans to send $1 each to UNFPA. Lois Abraham came up with a similar idea, the U.N. agency put the two in contact and they joined forces. Together they gave birth to 34 Million Friends of the Women of the World. By May 1, 2003, the organization had raised $ 1 million and a recent tally puts the total at nearly $ 2.75 million. UNFPA has been using the money for family-planning supplies and the prevention and repair of obstetric fistula. Ted Turner's U.N. Foundation has donated grant funds and support. A first-hand account of her experiences, published by Ladybug Press is titled "34 Million Friends of the Women of the World." After co-founding the organization, Roberts began speaking around the world about the fundraising effort. Roberts and Abraham were nominated, along with 998 other women, for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. They did not win, but their nomination brought attention to their efforts. For years she believed herself to be the lay person best informed and most passionate about women's reproductive issues and problems. "I am living in a dream world, doing what I want to do most in the latter years of my life." doclink

Peruvian Amazon Conservation

June 26, 2005, Richard Grossman, MD

We can all agree about the importance of providing voluntary family planning to women. Please take a moment to learn about an amazing organization, Peruvian Amazon Conservation, which supplies women who live along a section of the Amazon with an exceptional contraceptive service.

PAC ( is based in a small village where there are no roads'all travel is along the waterways. It was a real eye-opener for me when I visited there a few years ago. The people are universally poor - too poor to afford any medical care in most cases. Although Peru has a family planning program, people would have to go to Iquitos (the nearest city) to participate; this is a journey that few of the people in this area can afford. Although population density seems low, all people live along rivers, and they are making significant changes to the rain forest by cutting down trees and "development". PAC provides basic medical care, health and environmental education as well as family planning.

The PAC family planning program is based on depo-medroxyprogesterone (Depo Provera, or DMPA). Women come to the clinic for their shots every three months. All women receive their shots during the same week so they can "carpool". (Actually, people arrive at the clinic by dugout canoe.) If a woman wants to start contraception at a time different from the shot week, she is given enough birth control pills to last until the next time shots are given.

It has been difficult and expensive to get a reliable supply of DMPA. People from my hometown, Durango, Colorado, gave over a thousand dollars last year to help pay for the medication and to support PAC. (Please note that PAC is not a slick organization with paid staff. You need to mail them a check rather than making a donation by internet). PAC is a nonprofit 501c3 tax-exempt organization, so all donations are tax deductible. The contact information is:

Peruvian Amazon Conservation 1759 Dyson Drive NE Atlanta, GA 30307 Phone: 404-378-9800

The organization is run out of the home of Eleanor Smithwick, the founder and executive director. She is often in Peru, so her husband, Ron, will answer the phone if she is not at home. Note that none of the contributions go to support Eleanor or the other USA staff. doclink

Letter and Article Writing

LTE: for Contraception Methods, Long-term Options Work Better

November 27 , 2013

Bonnie Tillery, a population issues coordinator for the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club wrote this LTE which she is willing to share with anyone who wants to send it to their local paper.

For contraception methods,long-term options work better

There has been a lot of negative press about the Affordable Care Act, but here is some positive news.

The act mandates that insurance companies provide all forms of female contraception without a co-pay as part of preventive health care. This should bring down the incidence of unplanned pregnancy dramatically, as was shown in a 2007 study at Washington University in St. Louis.

According to an Oct. 23 article in The American Prospect, researchers "provided 10,000 St. Louis women with free contraception, with the goal of decreasing unintended pregnancy.... Few women ended up choosing the pill. Most went with a long-acting contraceptive method, like an IUD or an implant and the results were striking. Women who opted for a shorter-term contraceptive like the pill were 20 times more likely to have an unintended pregnancy."

Currently, about one-half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned - the largest number among countries in the developed world. By reducing dependence on the birth control pill, which is not as effective as other long-term contraceptives, the incidence of unplanned pregnancy should be greatly diminished.

Women who are able to plan their pregnancies and space their children have healthier outcomes for themselves, their families and the environment.. doclink

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