If you can’t be in Lansing for Lobby Day, you can show your support virtually from wherever you are.
Today, November 5th, Planned Parenthood supporters from across Michigan are gathering in Lansing to show the Legislature that they stand with the healthcare organization and the vitally important healthcare services they provide.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan (PPAM) is holding the Lobby Day to call attention to the role Planned Parenthood plays in life-saving preventive healthcare, and to urge legislators to pass proactive legislation that increases access to women’s medical services.
More than 20 bills have been introduced to help expand women’s access to safe, affordable health care, but none have been given priority by majority leaders or committee chairs. On Lobby Day, PPAM supporters will be urging hearings on two important bills. The “Keep Politics Out of the Exam Room Act” (Senate Bill 159 / House Bill 4972) which insures that doctors are allowed to make professional, ethical decisions without the interference of politicians. And, the “Yes Means Yes Act” (SB 512 / HB 4903) requiring Michigan schools that choose to teach sexual education to also teach affirmative consent.
In a statement, Lori Carpentier, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, had this to say:
Women’s healthcare, and Planned Parenthood specifically, continue to be pawns in political games. There are 22 counties in Michigan that have no practicing OB/GYN. Yet, every county has a veterinarian. We must do much better as a state to make sure that the people of Michigan have access to the basic reproductive care and sex education necessary to lead fulfilling, healthy lives. Greater access to women’s healthcare needs to stop being a political pawn and become a legislative priority.
Education is a focus of Lobby Day — educating both the Legislature and the supporters who are in Lansing. This all-day event will include a lobbying training, an overview of legislation affecting Planned Parenthood, meetings with legislators, and remarks by Carpentier in the Capitol Rotunda.
Carpentier and supporters will also gather on the Capitol steps at 1:30 p.m. to
underscore the need for legislators to stop politicizing women’s health care and to expand access to preventive health services and comprehensive sex education.
During Lobby Day and beyond, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan intends to raise awareness of key facts about the healthcare the organization provides — and the vital need for these services in Michigan. Click the image to enlarge and click HERE to see page two.
For example, did you know that in 2010 in Michigan, 54 percent — more than half! — of pregnancies were unintended, costing Michigan taxpayers $662 million in public dollars, including costs of prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care, and 12 months of infant pediatric care. The national average of unplanned pregnancies is 51 percent, underscoring the vital need for more education and birth control access. But if it wasn’t for Planned Parenthood and other safety-net providers, the rate of unintended pregnancies in Michigan would be 31 percent higher.
These are the facts the public — and those elected to represent Michigan’s citizens in Lansing — need to hear. Lobby Day is all about educating and advocating for a focus on policies that are good for the health of women and men.
Even if you’re not in Lansing today, you can participate in Lobby Day from wherever you are. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan has put together resources that make it easy to call or email your legislators to educate them about the important work of Planned Parenthood and the critical role they play in communities by providing access to healthcare.
To make your voice heard, visit the Virtual Lobby Day page to get involved virtually. And use social media to spread the word using #PPAMLobby2015.
Together, we can let the Legislature know that Michigan stands with Planned Parenthood.
[Images courtesy of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.]