Women’s Health Committee Meeting Notes

DATE:  March 7, 2017

TIME:  5:30 – social time; 6:00 – 7:00 pm meeting

ATTENDANCE:  20 attended

Meeting facilitated by J. Shaefer, M. Hall, C. Davey

MINUTES

Meeting started with member introductions; amazing group of women from business, health care, and advocacy groups.

Discussed purpose of this group:  The overarching purpose is to support women’s health, including reproductive rights, through legislative action on bills at federal and state level; identification and dissemination of volunteer activities; support and develop candidates for public office.

Priorities began with discussion of women’s health insurance and reproductive rights.  These issues are intertwined.  A blast email on the new ACA repeal bill was sent 3/8 to entire CWM group.  This bill has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office, defunds Planned Parenthood, increases cost to seniors and the poor.  More detailed information at many websites including Indivisible Guide.com.

We discussed the need for a single payer system and meeting sponsored by Health Care Justice North Carolina held on March 9 to detail the advantage of this approach.

Identified existing advocacy and organizations to support and partner with.  These include Emily’s List, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW, Health Care Justice North Carolina, Lillian’s List.  Brief discussion on groups and opportunities for collaboration.  Requested members in attendance consider reviewing organizations and reporting back to committee on opportunities for collaboration and mutual support.

S. DuChanois presented information on Pro Choice Charlotte and volunteer opportunities.  Pro Choice Charlotte is a grassroots, hands-on, multi-cultural, inter generational volunteer group of women and men dedicated to helping women seeking abortions, to access the medical procedure with minimum harassment and intimidation. Five mornings a week and for extra hours on Saturdays anti-choice zealots, from two separate organizations, go into the streets to try to stop women from locating and parking at the clinic. One group also set up an amplifier  and calls these women murderers, condemn them to hell and twists Christian Scripture to justify their radical right wing political ideology.

There are two ways you can help:  Become an active volunteer  in our Pro Choice Charlotte team using signs to help guide cars down the road to avoid the intimidation by those who want to stop them. Join the team by going to the Pro Choice Charlotte Facebook Page and clicking on the join icon. You will see more information about us and be able to schedule a time to come to the clinic to help.  The other is to become a clinic volunteer to escort the women from and to their cars in a way to shield them from the preying eyes of the zealots. To find out more about that group go to the Queen City Clinic Escorts Facebook Page and send a message or call the number provided to find out about needs and training opportunities.

Federal, state, and local legislative process discussed.  We are tracking two 2017 bills in NC legislature, House-62 (Woman’s Right to Know Addition/Ashley’s Law about medication for abortion.) and House-163 (Enact Right to Life at Conception Act).  Both bills are still in committee.  Both of these bills, in our opinion, jeopardize reproductive rights and are not consistent with current standard of medical practice.   We will provide specific action for these two bills.

The ACA repeal bill is currently under consideration and the CWM sent an action alert.  It is very important to contact their legislator and express opinion.  This bill is opposed by multiple groups (AARP, Planned Parenthood, Democrats and others).  President Trump is working hard for its passage.

Information sources for members identified.  One good source is the 5 call application available for your smart phone.  Application provides information on important issues and phone for your legislator.

Members asked to identify how they want to work with committee.  Many submitted information at end of meeting and others will email.  This information will be listed on website, when complete.  The discussion was about how members can contribute to achieve our goals.  Laura Allen suggested that due to large number of issues around women’s health and reproductive rights we may want to split into two groups.  The group decided to revisit at a future meeting.  Group wants to meet monthly.

 

NEXT MEETING:

DATE:  APRIL 4

TIME:  5:30 SOCIAL TIME; 6-7 pm MEETING

LOCATION:  M. Hall’s house