Anti-women bills are a Republican priority. At the top of their agenda has been 1) excluding all coverage of abortion in the new health care law (including allowing hospitals to refuse to admit pregnant women with a life-threatening condition), 2) restricting contraceptive coverage in that law (putting the demands of religiously affiliated institutions that take public funds and serve the public above women’s health care), and 3) defunding the highly regarded national family planning program, including Planned Parenthood clinics. Accordingly, Virginia excluded abortion coverage (except in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment) from the new health insurance exchange and regularly attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Contraceptive coverage may be next.
While still working on the master strategy of overturning Roe v. Wade, the Republicans’ daily tactic is to “chip away” at services. Two pointless Virginia measures would have done that – an unconstitutional ban on abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation and a ban on Medicaid funds for abortions in the case of a fetus who will not survive. The Medicaid ban was not only cruel, it made no sense. In the last fiscal year only 23 women received state funds to terminate a pregnancy because of a fetal anomaly, costing the Commonwealth less than $15,000. “Chipping away” includes the unnecessary clinic regulations adopted last year, requiring women’s clinics providing first-trimester abortions to meet hospital standards. The intent is to force clinics to close.
Nationally, the most extreme factions back personhood measures, giving full legal rights to a fertilized egg. Virginia’s personhood bill failed when Republicans could not figure out how it could possibly work (the word “person” is defined 118 ways and used some 25,000 times in the Virginia Code) but it will be back.
Some national trends have not yet trickled down to Virginia, but chances are they will. The reason is that the National Right to Life Committee and other national organizations that develop legislation make sure it gets into the hands of state legislators who will fight for it. Among bills to watch for is the racist Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would criminalize abortions for sex-selection and race-selection – despite the fact there is zero evidence of this. Again, the intent is to shut down clinics.
The Republican “warriors” may have gone too far. (Current “joke” – next they’ll require women to paint the nursery and pick the name before an abortion.) Women’s rights supporters can help persuade independent and Republican women to vote for pro-women Democrats by showing how out-of-touch Republicans are. Women need to know that Democrats will fight to defend reproductive health services.
*Marjorie follows reproductive rights for the Virginia Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a national pro-choice coalition.
Congressional District Reports
Report by Pixie Bell
The 8th CD Democratic Committee meets on the 3rd Monday of each month, 8:00 PM at Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls St. Falls Church. The next meeting will be on 4/16, 2012; Remember, the filing deadline for your caucus being held on April 21 is at 5:00 PM that evening. If you are planning to file for the National Convention, your form must be mailed to Margo Horner, c/o Arlington County Democratic Hq., 2050 Wilson Blvd., Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22201. Phone 703-931-6591 – more info next month on hand delivery. The Call to Convention, presented by our Rules Chair Patrick Morrison, was fully discussed, amended and passed. Last month I listed the Temporary Chairs for our 8th CD Convention and Temporary Committees. I am still working on filling our Committees from Fairfax, 6 each for Rules, Credentials and Resolutions. The 8th CD Convention will be held at Robert E. Lee High School on Franconia Rd on May 19. Doors will open at 8:00 PM, credentials will be ready for people to sign in by 9:00PM and the Convention will be called to order at 10:00PM. In case you had not heard, one of the 3 men originally seeking the Democratic Nomination for Congress had dropped out, so there will be 2 in the 8th CD Primary on 6/12.
REP. JIM MORAN’S STATEMENT ON PAUL RYAN BUDGET PROPOSAL
“The Republican Budget introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan is a radical document. At its core is a massive redistribution of income from lower income Americans to the wealthiest members of our society; one that will undermine Medicare, and cripple our infrastructure and social safety net programs that protect Americans facing hard times. Make no mistake; this budget resolution would end Medicare as we know it, passing rising health care costs along to states and senior citizens.”
MORAN INTRODUCES BILL to CARE for SERIOUSLY ILL CHILDREN
“H.R. 4147 is legislation to improve health care for seriously ill children by allowing states to bypass the years-long application process for the Children’s Program of all-inclusive, Coordinated Care (ChiPACC). This legislation makes it easier and quicker for states to provide the best possible care to young people.”
County District Reports
BRADDOCK DISTRICT By Lisa Daniel, Communications Chair
Braddock District Dems are gearing up for their 31st annual Derby Day, Sat., May 5, from 4-6:30 at Kilroy’s, 5250 Port Royal Rd., in the Ravensworth Shopping Center. Derby Day, and its silent auction, is Braddock Dems’ biggest annual fundraiser and the best Kentucky Derby party in the area. Buy your tickets at fairfaxdemocrats.org. For contributions to the silent auction, contact Nick Hudson at Nicholas.I.Hudson@gmail.com.
In other news, Braddock Dems continue to grow and welcome new members, most recently with Angela Easterwood and Ellen Strauss, both of whom already have taken on leadership roles, Angela as a precinct captain and Ellen as a team leader for the Obama for America campaign. OFA has been busy in Braddock District, and in March kicked off two new neighborhood teams: Team Annandale and Team Government Center. All the Braddock teams have been busy reaching out to new volunteers at phone banks, as well as registering many new voters.
DRANESVILLE DISTRICT Ron Bleeker, Chair
Dranesville members turned out in force for a meeting at FCDC with DNC Chair, Cong. Debbie Wasserman-Schulz in support of our Women’s Action Committee. DDDC member Margi Vanderhye is Chair of this committee.
DDDC will have its next meeting on Thursday, April 12 at the Herndon ArtSpace.
LEE DISTRICT Steve Bunn and Hugh Robertson, Co-Chairs
On Sunday, April 15th from 3:00-6:00pm join the Lee Democrats as we get ready for the elections at our 2012 Opening Day Fundraiser. We look forward to welcoming all our elected officials who represent Lee District. Have a cold beer, a ball park dog and a Democratic good time. We will be giving away free Nationals shirts, hats, and other baseball items. The location is 6209 Edison Drive, Alexandria, VA 22310. Tickets are $25/person (other contribution levels appreciated: $50 – Center Field Club, $100 – Lower Terrace, $250 – Baseline Box, $500 – Dugout Box, $1,000 – President’s Box). If you can’t come, consider a ticket(s) as a contribution to our committee!
For more information, please contact LeeDems Co-Chairs Hugh Robertson (703.924.1433) or Steve Bunn (703.861.1343) or visit our website at wwww.leedems.org.
MASON DISTRICT Rachel Rifkind, Chair
The Mason District Caucus to elect delegates to the 11th and 8th District conventions scheduled for April 21, 12-2pm, at the Woodrow Wilson Library at 6101 Knollwood Drive, Falls Church. The deadline to file the pre-filing form and voluntary fee of $25 is April 16 at 5pm at Rachel Rifkind’s address, 4104 Daniels Avenue #101, Annandale.
Plans are underway for the Congressional District Conventions (the 8th and 11th Districts on May 19) and for the State Convention on June 2-3 in Northern Virginia at George Mason. The 11th District convention is at Luther Jackson Middle School from 10am-Noon and the 8th District convention is at Robert E Lee High School also from 10am-Noon.
We are very pleased to announce formation of two new FCDC standing committees: LGBTQA and FCDC Communications Standing Committee. John Wertman is our Mason representative to the LGBTQA. I am also pleased to announce that six MDDC members will be representing Mason on the newly reformed Women’s Action Committee: Suzie Phipps, Terilee Edwards-Hewitt, Alex Rodriguez, Carol Leftwich, and Margie Ellis.
The FCDC Dine Out for April will be in Mason District Wednesday, April 18th, 6:00-8:30pm at Public House No. 7 at 6315 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041 at Seven Corners. Thanks to Mary Ellen Tisdale and Virginia Field for their hard work on making this location possible
Don’t forget the FCDC Eleanor & Franklin Roosevelt Dinner is on May 6th at the McLean Hilton. My thanks to Mary Tycz and Norma Jean Young for their work on the Silent Auction Baskets. If you have an item to contribute to a baseball-themed basket please let me know. Also, let’s try to have 2 or 3 Mason tables at the dinner.
The Mason District annual thank you party is on May 20 (2-4pm) at the home of Glen White and Mark Deal. Start pulling together your list of volunteers from last year for the invitation. I will need them by April 30.
The FCDC will be meeting on May 22 (place to be determined). The Mason committee will caucus briefly to elect new members who have recently filed. Mason meets on April 17 at the Mason Government Center.
Sustainer Honor Roll
Caucus Filing Forms to Run for Delegate to the State Democratic Convention
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