Feb. 15th, 2011

trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
[personal profile] trouble
to find undocumented immigrants.

I got this via radicallyhottoff on tumblr.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 14, 2011

Violence against Women and Immigrant/Refugee services oppose new directive from Canada Border Services Agency.

Toronto, February 14, 2011: Women’s rights experienced a serious set-back when the Canada Border Services Agency issued a new policy directive that will impact immigrant and refugee women who are seeking safety from abuse across Canada.

Over the last two years Anti-violence against women service providers, migrant women and anti-racist organizers with the Shelter | Sanctuary | Status Campaign (SSS) in Toronto have mobilized forums, rallies, protests, press conferences, delegations and actions to ensure that women fleeing abuse can access services without fear of deportation. These actions led the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre of the CBSA to pass a policy that it would prohibit their officers from entering any space that serves survivors of violence to arrest undocumented women. The policy was originally signed in October 2010 with the endorsement of Violence against Women organizations in the GTA.

On February 11, 2011, the National Office of CBSA called a meeting with organizations that work with women who experience and are fleeing violence in Toronto to announce that a new national policy would be implemented immediately, that would replace the previously agreed to policy. Women at the meeting were shocked to find that a policy that would be effective in ensuring that women with precarious immigration status could receive essential services was being replaced by a much weaker one, which reiterated the CBSA’s priority to conduct surveillance at and enter women’s shelters in the name of national security.

Women’s advocates present at the meeting with CBSA voiced their concerns about this policy and the complete lack of consultation prior to its implementation. The lack of consultation and absence of a gendered analysis of immigration policy, including the enforcement of deportation orders in violence against women spaces, raises serious concerns about the commitment to uphold women’s rights under provincial, national and international legislation and covenants.

In response to the new CBSA policy, Eileen Morrow of the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses states, “Services that work with women and children who experience violence are dedicated to keeping women safe from violence and maintaining their confidentiality. That is our mandate and it is the mandate of all services that work to end violence against women. We’ll continue to follow that mandate. If CBSA isn’t prepared to comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada, we still are. Services will need to make decisions about how they can do that to protect women and their children from violence.”

We will continue to oppose any policy or action on the part of the CBSA or any other government agency that endangers women and their children. We demand that the policy that was enacted on February 11, 2011 be revoked immediately, and that the policy that was originally endorsed by anti-violence organizations be reconstituted for Toronto and the whole of Canada.

- 30 -

For more information contact:

Eileen Morrow - Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, 416-977-6619

Notisha Massaquoi - Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, Toronto, 416-593-7655
effex: default (Default)
[personal profile] effex
Crossposted from my personal journal.

Happy [Day After] Valentine's Day, everyone! Spring is in the air, love is all around us, and the US House of Representatives is hard at work restricting women's access to health care. Let's talk about that.

What's going on?

There are currently three pieces of anti-women’s health legislation going through the US House of Representatives: the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217), the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3), and the “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358). There's always anti-women’s health legislation going through the US congress, but the shiny new Republican majority + lack of public awareness makes these three particularly dangerous.

So what would these bills do, exactly?

The "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217) 'would strip federal family planning funding from health care providers that also provide abortion care with private funds'. Excludes abortions for pregnancies that are the result of rape and/or incest or fatally endanger the woman.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3) 'Seeks to prohibit even indirect funding streams that may potentially come in contact with abortion services. For example, it would deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions and it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds'. This is also the bill that tried to redefine rape, although that has since been dropped.

* From rhrealitycheck.org: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion? A New Bill With An Old Face. In addition to the bill's ban on abortion coverage, [H.R. 3] imposes over-reaching tax penalties upon Americans and small businesses whose health plans cover abortion care for its female employees. This bill would ensure that millions of women are permanently prevented from accessing abortion care: from lower income women using Medicaid as their insurance coverage, to women with private insurance coverage who would be penalized for needing or wanting abortion coverage, to businesses offering insurance coverage with abortion care, to federal employees who are prohibited from having abortions covered in their insurance plans, to women (and their dependents) who serve bravely in our military (and male soldiers' dependents) and have no access to insurance coverage if they are in need of an abortion, to Native American and Pacific Islander women who seek services from Indian Health Services.

The “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358) would prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. 'Focuses on restricting access to abortion coverage in the health care reform law passed last year, in addition to beefing up refusal clauses for providers. The most heinous piece of the legislation would seem to allow providers to refuse to do procedures even in emergency situations in which the woman’s life is at risk'.

As a bonus, the House Majority has also resolved to eliminate the Title X family planning program altogether. Because it's not like we actually need affordable access to preventative health care and family planning services.

* From the Huffington Post: Don't Let Them Kill Family Planning!. The Title X Family Planning -program, which Nixon signed into law in 1970, is one of this country's great achievements in public health and social justice. Clinics funded through Title X now prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year. They save women's lives through cancer screening, immunization and blood-pressure testing. Publicly supported family planning even saves the government money -- $3.74 for every dollar invested..

Why does this matter?

For millions of people, Planned Parenthood and the organizations like it are the only affordable source of pap smears, screenings for cervical cancer, breast exams, testing for STIs and HIV, contraceptives, and other forms of reproductive health care. Reproductive health care that saves lives (and vastly improves the quality thereof). Reproductive health care that's often the only access to any kind of health care people have. Plus information about, you know. How bodies work. How contraception works. How you can protect yourself while having a healthy sex life.

These bills aren't about preventing taxpayer money from being spent on abortion services; those restrictions already exist. They're sure as fuck not about protecting women or children. This is about punishing women and health care services for providing abortion at all. It's about control.

The good news is that there are things you can do! Contact your State Representative (yeah, yeah, I can hear the groans in the back. This is just an email form, it's easy). Volunteer and/or donate to your local Planned Parenthood or family planning organization. If you're in Texas, Planned Parenthood is doing a Lobby Day in March. Make your voice heard.

* From Tiger Beatdown: #DearJohn: On Rape Culture and a Culture of Reproductive Violence. We live in a culture of reproductive violence against anyone who can get pregnant. And so, so much of the violence is invisible, even to the people who experience it, because it’s normalized. When my boyfriends tried to pressure and coerce me not to use birth control, it was a form of violence. When I was raised, as a devout Catholic, without any reliable or scientifically accurate information about abortion and birth control — when I was encouraged throughout my own life to value my health less than I valued fetuses — it was a form of violence. When condoms broke, or guys “accidentally” had sex with me without condoms, and I was treated with hostility and shamed for being upset about it, it was a form of violence. When I wasn’t given information about how Plan B worked, when I was told it was “a form of abortion,” when information proving that wrong wasn’t widely accessible to me, it was a form of violence. Having to go 45 minutes away to get it? Violence. Not being taught, as an essential part of self-care, where to access it? Violence. I should have been told “it is a normal part of self-care to brush your teeth, shower frequently, use tampons or pads, always use birth control and to know that Planned Parenthood will give you emergency contraception for $15,” ALL of those messages should have been TOTALLY NORMAL AND WIDESPREAD throughout my adult life, but they weren’t.


Cut for more linkage )

yvi: Dreamsheep in Germany's national colors (Dreamsheep - Germany)
[personal profile] yvi
The arrival of thousands of Tunisian refugees on the shores of the Italian island of Lampedusa this week has alarmed Italian authorities and sparked an anguished debate in Germany and the rest of the EU over how to respond.

More than 5,000 Tunisian immigrants, the majority of them young men, have arrived in Italy in the past five days, just one month after protests brought down Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

More on Spiegel International
trouble: Sketch of Hermoine from Harry Potter with "Bookworms will rule the world (after we finish the background reading)" on it (Default)
[personal profile] trouble
Woman with learning difficulties could be forcibly sterilised
A woman with learning difficulties could be forcibly sterilised after she gives birth this week to stop her becoming pregnant again.

The secretive Court of Protection will rule on the woman’s case on Tuesday, in a rare open hearing scheduled because of the overwhelming “public interest” in understanding the case.

She is due to give birth by caesarean section on Wednesday and could undergo an operation to sterilise her at the same time, if the court agrees.

Disability campaigners described the prospect of such a “drastic” step as “quite wrong”.
The woman will be represented by the official solicitor, a government lawyer who represents those who cannot instruct their own legal team because they lack capacity.

The patient’s local NHS trust and council have made an application to the Court of Protection to decide whether she lacks the capacity to make decisions about contraception for herself - and if so, whether she should be sterilised by means of “tubal ligation”.

READ MORE: Woman with learning difficulties could be forcibly sterilised

I have a collection of stories like this because people keep telling me over and over again that these things don't happen anymore.
eumelia: (fight like a girrl)
[personal profile] eumelia
In Alphabetical order and a tiny bit of commentary:

Algeria: Defying a ban, protesters demonstrate in heavily policed Algiers. The demonstrations in Algeria in early January due to food shortages, but really, the poverty level in a country that is very rich in natural resources (and a long term dictator) showed it was a matter of time.

Bahrain: Bahrain mourner killed in clashes during another protester's funeral. The violence coming from the government in response to the protests has been overwhelming.

Iran: Police confirm protest death. The Reformists demonstrations never stopped, it just wasn't reported with the same fervor as when it started, but now that fire is sweeping through the region, it makes sense that the demo's are gathering greater numbers and are being suppressed with more violence.

Israel: While the region begins it's slow slog towards something resembling democratic process, we continue to dig our heels is and write out racist legislation like a Bill proposes discount in tuition fees for soldiers - meaning that higher education will become even more inaccessible than it already is to the working class - it is racist and ethnically based because the only ones drafted are Jews and the Druze (only men in this case) meaning that those who do not serve (i.e. Arabs, who also happen to be the most economically disenfranchised) will find it very hard to study at university, creating an even greater disparity between classes that (miraculously) coincide with ethnic and religious groups.

Palestine: Palestinian government resigns in hope of fresh start. Allow me to be more scathing than usual. The PA is so scared of what's happening in the region, the fact that just a few days about Saeb Ereakat resigned because of the Palestine Papers that they'll do anything to make appearnces of appeasement, while they suppress anti-PA demonstrations. Hamas, by the way, will not be running in these elections as it rejects Fatah authority. Like this schism is anything new.

Syria: Schoolgirl blogger jailed. A week after Syria opens their internet up for Twitter and Facebook. The Asad regime is in survival mode, it has been for years now.

Yemen: Yemen protests enter fifth day. The numbers are small, and there isn't a huge presence of women in Sanaa, but following reports on Twitter informs me that there was sizable female presence in Taizz.

That's what I got.



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