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Newsletter - July 15, 2022

LWVIN | Published on 7/15/2022


This issue of THE VOTER focuses on Reproductive Rights and Preserving Democracy.

So much has changed in the past 3 weeks and we still really don't know what the Indiana legislative leaders will propose when the Special Session convenes on July 25. We do know that this special sessions needs to wrap up by August 14 and that the plan is to accept testimony from many witnesses before any final bill is voted on. We ARE expecting the worst -- either a total ban or a ban with certain exceptions such as the life of the mother (and possibly rape or incest). Our pro-life Governor is working closely with the legislative majority.

We have added lots of new resources to the Reproductive Rights Resource page at https://lwvin.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=42001&module_id=522973.

And we also send out regular update svia our MailChimp account.If you are not on that list and want to be added, EMAIL US at LWVIN.WomensHealthAdvocates@gmail.com.

Many people helped in compiling this issue of THE VOTER. So many rally photos came in -- you can access them on this THIS GOOGLE PHOTOS PAGE. Enjoy the creative signage-- and the crowds! You will have plenty of examples when you create your next abortion rights sign.

LWVIN Women's Health Advocates Pam Locker, Joanne Evers, Bri Glidden, Betsy Kachmar, and Pam Raider

The above photo offers a glimpse of the 3000 people marching in Denver in late June, including about 500 League members attending the 2022 Convention.

The photos below show a League sign with logo and QR code (blank on both sides for writing messages) -- and Dr. Deborah Turner, LWVUS President.



At last month’s 2022 Convention, LWVUS President and associate medical director of Planned Parenthood North Central States Dr. Deborah Turner made the following remarks in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion:

Good afternoon, League members, friends, guests, and all who believe in the right to vote,and free and fair democracy — in other words, those who believe in freedom.

I have to be real. Today, our freedom was eroded. 
The Supreme Court overturned our right to abortion and signaled a wider threat to all our other civil liberties. I know right now all of us are feeling the pain, the anger, and the fear that this decision handed us today. We must use our anger as fuel for action.

The League has supported freedom of choice since 1982, and denounced reproductive coercion in any form
. Speaking as a health care professional who has dedicated my career to women’s health and reproductive health, it makes me furious, and it frightens me that a woman’s rightto choose to have a safe and legal abortion has been stripped away.

I started medical school in 1973. One of the first patients I helped care for was a young woman who had undergone an illegal and unsafe abortion. She had four children at home, and she died from her complications. I can still see her in my mind in her bed in the ICU.

I have spent my entire medical career caring for women and their families, who are makingdifficult decisions about their lives. First as a gynecologic oncologist for 32 years and then as Associate Medical Director at Planned Parenthood of North Central States.

I am angry that pregnant women, and those who can become pregnant have been reduced to the status of political footballs. These women are individuals with individual stories, making what is always a serious decision to them. I know. I have sat in the room with them and heard their stories, held their hands, and shared their tears and relief at being treated in a nonjudgmental manner. Women Power Democracy is also about being there for these women, and we will join our allies in the fight for reproductive freedom.

We will use our anger 
to fight in the legislatures, in the courts, and in the streets. We call on our elected leaders at the state and federal levels to act swiftly to restore bodily autonomy to all people.

We will not stand by as constitutional rights are stripped away, one by one.



PARTNERING FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE

Members of the LWVIN Women’s Health Advocacy Committee have been reaching out to other organizations in the state that are working on reproductive justice.

We partnered with Women4Change Indiana in an event on Wednesday, July 13 at the Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie in Indianapolis. A screening of Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always (an award-winning film about two Pennsylvania teenage cousins’ trip to NYC for abortion care) was followed by a panel discussion featuring Rima Shahid, CEO of Women4Change and Dr. Amy Caldwell, IU Medical Center Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Dr. Caldwell, who is an associate of Dr. Catlin Bernard, was able to confirm that an arrest had been made in the case of the 10-year old child who was raped and received abortion care in Indiana following the trigger ban in Ohio. There had been media allegations that the incident was bogus and that Dr Bernard didn't report it. However, according to this NYT article dated July 14, Dr. Bernard fileda“Terminated Pregnancy Report” withe the Indiana Department of Health and the Department of Child Services. The article said that on Fox News Attorney General Todd Rokita had assailed Dr. Bernard, who practices in Indianapolis, as an “abortion activist acting as a doctor, with a history of failing to report.” Dr. Caldwell assured us that they will keep up the fight.

She also told us about Path4You, an IU Medical School program that "aims to provide all people in Indiana with high-quality, non-coercive, patient-centered, comprehensive access to contraception. This includes all birth control options—from natural family planning to pills to long-acting reversible contraception."

The LWVIN Board also voted to sign on to a Health and Liberty Letter (see text above) that Women4Change is sending to our Indiana legislators. They are actively searching for other Indiana non-profits interested in participating, with a deadline of July 20.

There are actually at least two concurrent rallies planned on Indianapolis at the Statehouse on Monday, July 25.

Women4Change and ACLU is holding the Bans off Indiana Rally starting at Noon ET. It will be inside the Statehouse.
https://www.facebook.com/events/617326382800140/?ref=newsfeed

Indiana Won’t Go Back! is a rally created by Monique Rust that starts at 1 pm ET.
https://www.facebook.com/events/625827345095474/?ref=newsfeed


LWV-Indy members collected 51 voter registrations and shared VOTE411 information with hundreds of attendees at the Bans Off Block Party at Military Park in White River State Park in Indianapolis. The Saturday, July 9th event was sponsored by Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates East, All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center, ACLU Indiana, the Greater Lafayette chapter of the AAUW Younger Wonen's Task Force, Women4Change, and path4you.


On June 29 over 300 people gathered on the Tippecanoe Courthouse steps. The crowd was filled with the young and old shouting out rallying cries with drivers honking their support as they drove by the crowd. Barb Clark and Gretchen Bertolet, two of the executive leaders of the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette, were there, overhearing, as they passed a group of young protesters, "it's so good to see old women here too." The attached photo is Gretchen with her sign.


Many members of LWV-Southwestern are participating in Evansville Facebook groups organized by young women – a private group with 1200 members and a public one with 400 members. A Nasty Women’s Facebook group in Warrick County has changed its name and is focusing on abortion rights -- it now has 700 members. Rallies with hundreds of paticipants are ongoing in Evansville – including June 25, June 29, and July 10 -- with the Four Freedoms Monument on the Ohio riverfront as the starting point.


This photo is from a rally in Muncie on July 4.Multiple groups and individuals put out the call to gather -- Women's March, LWV of Muncie-Delaware County, Muncie Resist, neighborhood leaders, and more. There was also a Muncie rally on July 9 before the group caravanned to Indianapolis for the Bans Off Block Party.


On June 24 Vigo County League President Carolyn Callecod was contacted by the Tribune-Star. Her response included these words: "The League of Women Voters calls on our federal and state elected officials to restore a woman’s right to make all her personal health care decisions. The rights taken away from women today may be the start of personal rights taken away from you tomorrow.” On June 25, 60-70 people showed up for a rally for Abortion and Women's Health where the told personal stories and did chants.


LWV Porter County participated in a July 4th protest - My Body, My Choice – in Valparaiso. Local League president Beckie Guffin spoke at the rally - you can watch a video of her talk HEREAnd HERE is a video showing some of the hundreds who attended. 200 people had also marched in an earlier rally on June 25 - organized in just 4 hours by Northwest Indiana NOW and Antisexist Action.


The Fort Wayne League has been working with other organizations on a Bans Off Rally on May 15, advocacy training on June 8, a workshop on June 29, and a busload to the Indy Bans Off Rally July 9. There have been informal gatherings at their Courthouse almost daily – sometimes with more than 100 people. They will have a table at Fort Wayne Pride on July 23 and are getting a busload together to go to Indy on July 25.Women United for Progress Allen County (WUFPAC) has 4,600 members in a private Facebook group.


SAVE THE DATES!

Register Students to Vote!

Attend Ken Jones' High School and College Students Voter Registration Workshop (a Special Events Committee program) via Zoom on Tuesday July 26 at 6 pm CT/7pm ET. Participate and learn how to engage and educate new voters. It’s fun and you will be increasing voter turnout in your community!

No need to pre-register just join that day using this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88385853964?pwd=LzFzdkZBc29OVC9hWVNRWUh4aW5WUT09

Save the Date for these LWVIN ZOOM meetings:

Membership Committee- Wednesday July 27, 6 pm C/7 pm ET
Special Events Committee- Monday, August 1, 1 pm CT/2 pm ET
Voter Service Committee- Wednesday August 10, 6 pm CT/7 pm ET

and for theseLIVE EVENTS:

Presidents DaySaturday October 15, Ivy Tech, Indianapolis
LWVIN Convention-Friday June 9 - Sunday June 11, 2023, Clifty Falls State Park, Madison, IN