UPDATED: Planned Parenthood is NOT backing down – 2nd MAJOR rally of the week at the state Capitol TOMORROW (6/14/12)

We’re still watching and we still vote

As I wrote yesterday, Planned Parenthood of Michigan brought nearly 500 protestors to the state Capitol yesterday to protest a package of bills that will make Michigan the most anti-choice, forced-birth state in the country. Photos and video from the rally can be found HERE.

In the face of the noisy protest, a scheduled vote was postponed in the full House and is likely to be voted on tomorrow.

Planned Parenthood is working with Progress Michigan to organize another rally for tomorrow and has hopes that this one will be bigger than the one yesterday:

Did you see the photos and video of our visit to the Capitol yesterday? It was a resounding success. We forced lawmakers to listen to their constituents – but they delayed voting on the biggest assault on women’s health in our state’s history. Now they’re planning on voting tomorrow.

Join us in downtown Lansing on the Capitol lawn at 10 AM tomorrow, Thursday, June 14, 2012.

Planned Parenthood is bringing the t-shirts, and we’ll have the cameras. All that’s missing is you, telling Lansing politicians that you stand with Planned Parenthood.

RSVP on Facebook or on their website. I hope we can count on you to be there.

Progress Michigan also has a petition drive going:

The Republican politicians in the Michigan Legislature are set to pass a sweeping and unprecedented attack on women’s health – in fact, it’s the biggest assault on women’s health in our state’s history. We aren’t exaggerating. Their “omnibus abortion package” would saddle health centers with unnecessary and burdensome licensing requirements if they perform abortions, ban abortion after 20 weeks with no exemptions for rape, incest, or fetal defects, and punish doctors who violate the vague and limited exemptions with at least 15 years in jail. This legislation is an attempt to completely shut down all abortion providers by instituting medically unnecessary regulations on health centers that provide abortion services. Now you can fight back against anti-choice extremists – sign our petition telling Lansing politicians to vote no on these bills today!

The bills surfaced last week after they were worked out in secret between anti-choice extremist lobbyists and Lansing Republicans. And it unfairly targets Planned Parenthood health centers that provide essential services for thousands of women:

  • 1 in 5 women will visit a Planned Parenthood health center in her lifetime.
  • Only 10 percent of Planned Parenthood patients have private health insurance.
  • For 75 percent of Planned Parenthood patients in Michigan, an appointment at a Planned Parenthood health center is the only health care they will receive in a given year.

The simple fact is that women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Stand with Planned Parenthood – tell Lansing politicians to stay out of women’s personal medical decisions, and protect Michigan women and families by voting no on House Bills 5711, 5712, and 5713.

This is a big deal. It’s got national attention and is being watched closely. Rachel Maddow is taking notice, too. If you can attend, please do. It’s really that important.

Here are those links again:
Facebook event page HERE.
Event RSVP page HERE.
Online petition HERE.

UPDATE: Planned Parenthood of Michigan is reporting that they now have 10,000 petition signatures and will deliver them during tomorrow’s rally. They released the following statement this afternoon:

Reports from inside the Capitol indicate the bill may be amended today. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan opposes this bill in all forms. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan has been joined by leading members of Michigan’s health care and women’s advocacy community in calling on legislators to stop this bill.

Statement from Lori Lamerand, Chair of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan:

“They have awakened a sleeping giant. Ten thousand Michigan residents have voiced their opposition to this bill today, and more will raise their voices at the ballot box.

“It’s clear this bill is about politics—not women’s health or safety. Politicians in Lansing thought they could pass this bill without input from women and Michigan’s leading medical professionals.

“We will continue to fight this bill. Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy—period.”

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and allies are planning a second demonstration at the state House tomorrow. Follow Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan’s activity to fight the bill at @mippadvocates.

[Images courtesy of Progress Michigan and Planned Parenthood of Michigan, used with permission.]

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