Demand Answers for Young Woman in the Federal Government’s Care

A heartbreaking case making its way through the court system has raised extremely troubling questions on how the U.S. Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement is treating young women in need of medical care.

A 17-year-old undocumented young woman under the government’s custody was given permission by a Texas judge to choose an abortion–but the federal government is refusing to allow her to do so. They have blocked her court-appointed representatives as well as shelter personnel from transporting her to a clinic.

In fact, federal officials have actually pressured the young woman to continue her pregnancy and sent her to an ideologically driven, anti-choice “crisis pregnancy center” to try to change her mind.

This is a stark departure from the Obama Administration’s policy–and while clearly acting reprehensible in regard to this case, their actions demonstrate a broad willingness to block medical care for political reasons and allow federal employees to force their own, personal views on others.

More from the Washington Post:

Under the directorship of E. Scott Lloyd, an antiabortion activist appointed by President Trump to lead the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, ORR began preventing federally funded shelters from “facilitat[ing]” access to abortion services unless Mr. Lloyd approved. Instead, shelters for undocumented minors may support only “pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling.” Mr. Lloyd has personally reached out to several pregnant teenagers to counsel them against seeking abortions, reportedly viewing himself as a “foster father.”

Calls to action:

  1. Demand that your representatives tell HHS to release the young woman and to immediately cease interfering in personal medical care.
  2. Call E. Scott Lloyd’s Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS and demand that they allow Jane Doe access to the medical care to which she is legally entitled, immediately. PHONE: 202-401-9246. FAX: 202-401-0981.

How Your Voices Made a Difference: Unraveling

Some weeks are tougher than others, and this was a rough one—between Donny giving companies the right to deny women health care coverage for birth control, to the EPA’s Scott Pruitt rolling back the Obama-era protections of the Clean Power Plan to replace it with his own dirty version and threatening to remove tax incentives for wind and solar power, and of course demented Donald’s latest disgorgements of bile:  trying to circumvent the GOP’s failure to repeal the ACA with an executive order, flouting our First Amendment by threatening to revoke media outlets’ licenses for publishing news he doesn’t like…and the soul-draining childishness of the man-baby-in-chief’s petty feud with Sen. Bob Corker, and GOP lawmakers’ collective cowardly silence in its wake.

But the weird upside of all this awfulness is this: Lately it’s Donny’s own voice making a difference. Don John’s behavior and actions are becoming egregious enough that some of the GOP is beginning to find its spine (and moral compass). Backlash against Donald’s attack on the First Amendment was immediate and bipartisan, including GOP Sen. Ben Sasse’s sharp call-out on Twitter (apparently the new forum of political discourse…sigh). Donald’s attacks against women’s health care have women’s health experts speaking out to refute his premises. His Twitter-tantrum threats to remove aid from Puerto Rico in a crisis “largely of their own making”(while he plays golf yet again) is an attack on and abandonment of more than 3 million Americans drawing broad censure—and his failures as a leader are starkly underscored by five former leaders’ (the five living ex-presidents) banding together to help hurricane victims (of all shades). His undermining a health care system that a majority of Americans now approve of is fueling criticism from states on both sides of the aisle. And his attempts to undermine NAFTA will undoubtedly bring a backlash from the industrial and rural base he so often panders to, who will be most hurt by it. Even Rex Tillerson, after Donald demanded a tenfold increase in nuclear armaments despite decades of policy designed to reduce the nuclear threat worldwide rather than expand it, has realized his boss is a “fucking moron.” (Mensa has kindly offered to host an IQ test to answer the question definitively after Donald tweeted out an “I know you are but what am I” to his secretary of state.) An array of White House insiders report versions of Donny “unraveling” in jaw-droppingly unstable ways.

Meanwhile, the Harvey Weinstein scandal is rocking Hollywood—not only showing conservatives how you handle a sexual predator (by calling it out loudly and publicly, and taking sharp actions against the predator to stop the actions—rather than by defending it and offering it a cable show, or electing it president), but by bringing this rampant sexism and harassment into the light, and showing that women (and James Van Der Beek, one of the disappointingly few courageous men speaking up) will no longer be silent in the face of institutionalized sexual misconduct and abuse. The tide for sanctioning the sexual-predator-in-chief may be turning.

Steps forward are incremental, and not always steady—some weeks it can be hard to see all the progress we are making. But remind yourself of the huge victories the resistance has already won, most decisively stopping every attempt to repeal the ACA, and comfort yourself that Donny’s ratings—sorry, approval numbers—are tanking faster than his loose hold on rationality, even in his rural base, and according to pollster Quinnipiac, 55% of voters believe he is not fit to be president.

Donald’s own actions will wind up bringing him down, as long as we continue holding him and all his defenders in the GOP accountable, and demanding our lawmakers do the same. To that end, on the Russian-investigation front, it’s looking like Bob Mueller is getting close to something that’s making the Donny John camp pretty uncomfortable: Carter Page—Don John’s former campaign manager who got benched after confabbing with Russian diplomat and top spy Sergei Kislyak last year (despite denying speaking with him) and who subsequently met with Putie’s top associates in Russia—has refused to testify before the Senate Intelligence panel in their Russia investigation. You know, like you do when you have something to hide and fear incriminating yourself and perhaps the leader of the free world. Reince Priebus spent an entire day with Mueller’s team, talking about who can only guess what…? Now’s a good time to call your MoCs and ask that they support the two bipartisan bills in Congress proposed to prevent Donald from firing Mueller as he tightens the noose around the man-baby-in-chief’s neck.

You’re not imagining how hard this battle can be—this administration is taking a deep emotional and mental toll on many Americans. But in a glimmer of hope for our collective future in these divided times, 55% of Americans now believe politicians should work more bipartisanly and embrace compromise. (You know, like you do in every single other relationship in your life.)

Hang in there, warriors. If all else fails, Hustler’s Larry Flynt is offering $10 million to anyone who can provide info leading to 45’s impeachment. Really.

Austin-Area “Payback Recess” AHCA Events

The House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a cruel bill designed to strip healthcare from millions of Americans while giving a tax cut to the rich.

So now it’s payback time. We’ll update this page with more detail as events unfold.

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Monday, May 8

3:30 – 5 pm at Michael McCaul’s Austin office, hosted by TX-10 Indivisible

TOPIC:

We want the answer to one question: “Why did Representative McCaul vote ‘YES’ for the AHCA?”  We want to know the logic behind Representative McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote knowing the following about the AHCA:

  • It will remove the requirements to cover ‘essential health benefits’, such as emergency services, maternity care, and hospitalization
  • It will allow insurance to charge whatever they want (ie exorbitant premiums) for people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions
  • It has drastic cuts to Medicaid
  • It had zero public hearings and zero transparency
  • It will lead to more than 24 million people losing health insurance, while giving a wind-fall in tax breaks to the top 1%

We will also let his staffers know why the ACA is so important in our lives and what we think about his ‘YES’ vote on the AHCA.

WHAT TO BRING:

This will be a rally outside his office; so please bring big signs that say ‘Why?’, ‘Explain Yourself’, ‘Holding You Accountable’, or anything that is healthcare related.  Also, please write a letter that you can read aloud about why the ACA is so important in your life and/or what you think about McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote on the AHCA.  Make your letter personal and please include your full address (including your 9-digit zip code).  You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to — supporting others willing to speak is just as important.  Hopefully a staffer will come out to explain McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote and take notes about our concerns; but if not, we’ll still record the event (for those who wish to be recorded) and hold a peaceful rally.  And as always, children and babies are welcome!

WHERE:

Rep. Michael McCaul’s Austin Office
9009 Mountain Ridge Drive
Austin Building, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759

We’ll meet in the office park parking lot at 3:30 PM promptly.  FYI: It’s a corporate office park off 360, so it’s a bit hidden.  There is plenty of parking in the building lot and on the street.

4 – 5 pm Die-in at Bill Flores’ AUSTIN Office, hosted by Indivisible TX-17
It’s been 6 months since America has made the worst decision in its lifetime. Let’s show the world we’re not backing down. This is a protest to show our commitment to our cause of unity and freedom, and to show our outrage over the healthcare bill that Bill voted to pass. We pledge allegiance to the liberation of all people, and to each other. Just as we pledge our allegiance to each other, we will remind our members of Congress of their allegiance to us—the voters. https://www.womensmarch.com/pledge

This will be a “die-in” to represent the harm that the GOP #deathcare bill will have on the public (special shout out to Black Lives Matter for inspiration for this style of protest), and show Mr. Flores what his yes vote will lead to. This is a PEACEFUL protest. See below for a toolkit to help you prepare and know the “do’s and don’t’s” to make this demonstration a huge success! Everyone is free to protest in their own individual way, if that means lying-in, sitting-in or chanting loudly outside, go for it!

-We will use no violence (physical or verbal) towards any person.
-We will not destroy or damage property.
-We will not carry anything that can be construed as a weapon, nor possess (or consume) any alcohol or drugs.
-We will all hold each other accountable to respecting these agreements.

WHERE:
Rep. Bill Flores’ Austin Office
14205 Burnet Rd, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78728

4 – 7 pmLie-in/Protest at Congressman Bill Flores Bryan-College Station Office, hosted by Indivisible TX-17BCS

WHERE:
Rep. Flores’ BCS Office
3000 Briarcrest Dr #406
Bryan, TX 77802

Tuesday, May 9

11 am Indivisible Austin rally at Sen. John Cornyn’s office to protest the AHCA.

WHERE:
Sen. Cornyn’s Austin Office
Chase Tower
221 West Sixth Street
Suite 1530
Austin, TX 78701
RSVP NOW

8 pm Indivisible Austin conference call with NARAL Pro Choice TX and the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. Valerie R. Peterson, who is on the Board of Directors of NARAL Pro Choice Texas. Dr. Peterson also shared her personal abortion story in the New York Times and continues to be engaged with reproductive rights in the Texas Legislature.
  • Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)

To join:

1-(712) 770-8067
Code: 409542

NOTE: This is a change from the previously posted dial-in

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1911682312441317/

Thursday, May 11

2:30 – 4 p.m. ACA Die-In at Rep McCaul’s Office

TOPIC:
Michael McCaul just voted to strip away healthcare from millions of Americans and replace it with a plan that would be disastrous for our country. Let’s show him what the results of his actions will look like. A “die-in” is meant to create a stark visual to remind our representatives what the consequences of their actions are: Little or no access to healthcare for millions of Americans, higher rates of preventable death and disease, and poorer health for us all. If the ACA is repealed and replaced with the AHCA, an estimated 52 million people would have no healthcare coverage by 2026. And the latest version of the bill lets individual states decide whether insurers must cover those with pre-existing conditions. We can’t let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Michael McCaul what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for McCaul. Reference: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486

WHAT TO BRING:
– Cardboard signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Here lies the ACA,” or, “Trumpcare killed me,” or “McCaul voted to take away my healthcare.”

WHAT TO WEAR:
– Black, white, or grey clothing
– If possible, costumes such as the grim reaper
– Any other theatrical elements you think are appropriate
NOTE – People should lie down in shifts to prevent exhaustion and overheating.

WHEN:
Thursday, May 11, 2:30 – 4:00pm

WHERE:
Congressman Michael McCaul’s Austin Office
9009 Mountain Ridge Dr #203
Austin TX 78759

PARKING INFO:
Please park along the street near the office building called Mountain Ridge Drive.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 13

11:45 am – 2:15 pm TX-25 Congressional District Town Hall, hosted by Indivisible TX-25 East

Did you know that 45% of Congressman Roger Williams voters live in Travis County?

Austin constituents from Texas Congressional District 25 are hosting a town hall meeting for Congressman Roger Williams in the King-Seabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillotson University on May 13 from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:45 am.

We will have a moderator and non-partisan policy experts lined up to answer your most pressing questions if Congressman Williams chooses not to attend.

Make your voice heard!

RSVP Here

Tuesday, May 16

1:30 to 3 p.m. Die-In at Sen. Cruz’s Office: R.I.P. = Republican Insurance Plan

The AHCA passed the House last week and now goes to the Senate for review. Let’s show Senator Cruz exactly how we feel about Trumpcare and the number of lives this bill will impact.

  1. Bring your STORIES! Do you (someone you know) rely on the ACA? How will the changes affect your friends/loved ones? Write a letter and bring it with you.
  2. Come with PROPS for visual effect – tombstones, RIP signs, etc. This is a die-in format which means we want to be dramatic with our props. WEAR BLACK. The AHCA will impact access to care for millions and lives are at risk.
  3. It’s recommended you bring a yoga mat or blanket to put on the ground. For those able, we will lie down to reinforce the dying effect.

See you next Tuesday! Dump Trump and Cruz.

Hosted by Indivisible Rosedale Huddle.

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1861280994139294/

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Tuesday, May 23

Noon. Die-In at John Cornyn’s Austin office, hosted by Indivisible TX-10.

TOPIC:

The senate is currently working on a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implement “TrumpCare 2.0.” We must send a strong message to Senator Cornyn that stripping away healthcare from millions of Americans is simply unacceptable. A “die-in” creates a stark visual to remind our representatives that if protections for essential benefits and those with pre-existing conditions are erased, millions of Americans will lose their access to affordable healthcare, and people will die from preventable conditions. We cannot let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Senator Cornyn what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for the senator.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Lived under ACA, died under Trumpcare,” or “R.I.P. Affordable Healthcare.”
  • A blanket or mat
  • NOTE – This is a busy area of town, so people should lay single-file if necessary to avoid blocking the street and sidewalk and to maintain everyone’s safety.

WHAT TO WEAR:

  • Black or grey clothing
  • Costumes and/or masks such as the grim reaper
  • Any theatrical elements you think are appropriate

WHEN:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 12:00 pm

WHERE:

Senator John Cornyn’s Austin Office
221 W 6th St #1530
Austin, TX 78701

PARKING INFO:
There are some metered spots along the street, and there are several parking garages in the area. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to find parking and walk to the location.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/408221736227492/

Conference Call with NARAL Pro Choice TX and CPPP: May 9, 2017 at 8 p.m. CT

Please join our next conference call on Tuesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. CT.

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. Valerie R. Peterson, who is on the Board of Directors of NARAL Pro Choice Texas. Dr. Peterson also shared her personal abortion story in the New York Times and continues to be engaged with reproductive rights in the Texas Legislature.
  • Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)