Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Trust Oklahoma Women

Tomorrow is “Rose Day” at the Oklahoma State capitol.   The annual “Rose Day” event draws hundreds of people to the capitol to deliver roses to legislators and show support for extreme anti-choice legislation introduced every year. 

To offset the large attendance at Rose Day, Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma in coordination with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland created a social media campaign called #RejectTheRose. This is your opportunity to give a voice to the pro-choice, pro-woman, pro-family movement during a time when legislators will be swarmed with anti-choice messages.  

Tweet, post and pin at your convenience, tag your legislator and encourage your legislators to #RejectTheRose.  Use the hash tag #RejectTheRose in all of your communications so we can track our impact and measure our success!  Here are some messaging examples you might use:

·         (Insert your name or organization) believes that access to comprehensive health care is the real solution. #RejectTheRose
·         Nobody knows a woman's specific situation — we're not in her shoes. #RejectTheRose
·         Women's health matters. #RejectTheRose
·         Trust Oklahoma Women! #RejectTheRose
·         We all want to protect women's health.  #RejectTheRose
·         As legislators consider policy on women's health, it's critical to listen to doctors and medical experts who know legal abortion is safe. #RejectTheRose
·         The ability to control your own fertility is a fundamental human right. #RejectTheRose
·         Decisions about childbearing should be made by a woman, in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her conscience — not politicians. #RejectTheRose

Thank you for standing up for women's health and reproductive rights in your community, for current generations, and for generations to come.


Your friends at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma

Monday, December 15, 2014

Make a New Year's Resolution to stand with Planned Parenthood!

Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma cares. No matter what. It is a mantra we are fully dedicated to now, and in years to come. And we hope you’ll care too, by standing with us in the New Year.

It seems like a no-brainer to us that everyone deserves access to the healthcare and education it takes to responsibly manage one’s fertility regardless of income, race, sexual orientation, marital status, or residence. However, we know that in bright red Oklahoma our legislative body stands in the way of our mission far too often. As 2014 comes to an end, and we prepare for the new legislative session we here at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma ask that you make a New Year’s Resolution to support us in the coming year.

There are several ways you can get involved, and show your support:

1. Contact your state congressmen. We know this may seem hopeless… But they need to hear the voices of pro-choice constituents. Your reason for supporting access to reproductive healthcare might just be the one that resonates with them. Find your legislators and their contact information here. 

2. Keep an eye out for our events! We post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every time we host a pubic event. We have fun events like the Roe v. Wade anniversary party, and we have more serious events like Women’s Health Day at the capitol. You and all your friends are invited! 

3. Donate. Frankly, we couldn't do the work we do without funding from the community. Our medical services are significantly less expensive than at private practices, we offer free condoms to patients, and our education seminars reach to the far corners of the state. All those things cost us money so every little contribution helps. 

4. Come to one of our clinics for your next annual exam, or STI test. Since you have to get that annual exam anyway, you might as well utilize our medical services! It’s going to cost you less than a private doctor visit anyway. 

5. Talk to your friends and family about your pro-choice beliefs. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is stigma. Too many people misunderstand what we do at Planned Parenthood. The stigma will fade away if we can all open up and tell our personal stories. 

6. Help us prepare for direct lobbying this year by telling us your reasons for using contraceptives. We expect some Hobby Lobby style bills seeking to limit access to contraceptives, and we need your help explaining to congressmen that birth control is healthcare. So visit this page to tell us about your experience with birth control. 

 We are here for the community so we want to share the love with you all! Your support means so much to us. Have a happy holiday season, and a happy new year! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Get Yourself Tested

April is 'Get Yourself Tested' month. The #GYT campaign was created by the National Centers for Disease Control, to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases. 

Having regular STD tests is part of practicing safer sex. It is equally as important as consistently using birth control. Recent studies show that Chlamydia tops the list of most common STDs, but the tricky thing about Chlamydia is that most of the time it shows no symptoms at all while doing long term damage to reproductive organs. While STDs are a very real hazard, it's nothing to be ashamed of. So do the responsible thing and #GetYourselfTested!  

STD tests are not painful (the worst think you’ll be asked to do it pee in a cup), and at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma they are not expensive either. Call and ask about the “Peace of Mind” package which tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV, and Syphilis. Since females are anatomically more susceptible to transmission of STDs they are additionally tested for Bacterial Vaginosis, Trichomoniasis, and Yeast.

 Know your status! #GYT

Thursday, December 26, 2013

You Have a Voice. You Have a Choice.

                Each year, Oklahoma sees the proposal or passage of at least a few anti-choice laws. This is unfortunately something we have come to count on. With the New Year upon us, pro-choice advocates across the state wonder, what will 2014 bring?

                This year we worried over minors losing the option of Judicial Bypass to gain access to abortion care, last year our stomachs turned over the Personhood bill, and in the 2011 session we winced at the passage of a 20 week abortion ban. Of these bills, only the out-right ban on abortion known as “Personhood” was successfully defeated.

                It’s a sad truth that with the New Year comes a new fight at the capitol over a woman’s right to choose. It’s frustrating, and hurtful, and disappointing to watch the Oklahoma Legislature argue away our options for family planning, but don’t fret! You can help.

                We here at Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma are keeping a vigilant eye on the capitol and we hope you will too! We encourage you to learn more about what your representatives represent and read about the bills that come up for debate in the 2014 session. Know that you do not have to take these attacks lying down.

Here are a few tools to help you stay informed and support family planning through the upcoming legislative session:

·         Visit:  http://www.oklegislature.gov/index.aspx to read about proposed bills and learn how to contact your representatives.
·         Email danielle.williams@ppcok.org to join PPCO’s Action Alert mailer. Email with the subject line, “Add me to the Action Alert list” and you will receive email alerts about actions taken at the Oklahoma capitol that threaten family planning, as well as tips on how you can be part of the concerted effort to stop them.
·         Write to your representatives! Let them know who you are and how strongly you favor the right to choose. Use social media (no joke, your representatives are probably on twitter!), use email, write a letter, or train a carrier pigeon. Do whatever it takes to make your voice heard.
·         Stay generally informed. Read both local and national coverage of family planning issues. Keep up with what is going on and share the news with your friends and family.

Together, we can protect family planning and a woman’s right to choose in Oklahoma. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ultrasound Law is Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case on Oklahoma’s ultrasound law, allowing the Oklahoma court decision, that the law is unconstitutional, to stand. This is the second major anti-choice law to be declared unconstitutional in as many weeks, an almost unprecedented event in Oklahoma. Both cases were challenged by The Center for Reproductive Rights and The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice.

The law, challenged in 2010, would have forced doctors to show patients seeking abortions an ultrasound of the fetus. Laws like these are methods of increasing both the financial and emotional cost of abortions. Though we have seen a spike in this type of legislation in recent years, we are beginning to see many of these reproductive-rights-restricting laws being successfully challenged and defeated in court.

As we look forward to the upcoming legislative session, these failed anti-choice laws set a great precedent for legislators who year after year decline to let women manage their own family planning. We owe The Center for Reproductive Rights and the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice a big thank you for taking up these cases and defending women’s freedom of choice in Oklahoma!

Learn more about these court decisions: http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/11/12/supreme-court-refuses-to-hear-challenge-to-decision-blocking-oklahoma-ultrasound-law/

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pro-Choice Oklahoman’s Have Reason to Celebrate (For Once)!

Big news on women's health in Oklahoma! 

In a rare victory, Oklahoman pro-choice advocates saw a major abortion restriction lifted this week. An antiquated Oklahoma law that put unreasonable restrictions on abortion inducing drugs has been struck down for good. Women in Oklahoma now have full access to safe and legal medication induced abortion. This is big news because this type of abortion is among the safest and least invasive methods of terminating a pregnancy. 

Thank You, Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices!

The law was ruled unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court last December, but the ruling was challenged. This week the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling to stand. The law in question required doctors to abide by very outdated FDA standards of use, which required doctors to use 3 times the dose medically necessary to induce abortion, it required women see their doctors three times to receive the medication, and it outlawed use past 7 weeks (differing from the medical community’s opinion that the medication is safe up to 9 weeks).

The restrictions were proposed under the guise of “protecting women’s health” but clearly it does just the opposite so we couldn’t be happier to see it go. Victories in the fight for reproductive justice are few and far between in Oklahoma so in the spirit of bodily autonomy, CHEERS!

Thanks to the 
Center for Reproductive Rights legal team and theOklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice serving as plaintiffs!

Learn more about medication abortions: http://bit.ly/9vaV5F

Friday, October 4, 2013

Is Oklahoma Home to the Next Abortion Rights Challenge?

Oklahoma might just be home to the next big case to expand or restrict access to abortion care. A 2011 law restricting drug induced abortions has been challenged and could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In June the US Supreme Court agreed to review an Oklahoma law regulating the use of abortion inducing drugs and the law remains up for review currently. Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional, but without a formal explanation the law required further scrutiny. The drugs, known as Mifeprex and Misoprostol, are used to terminate pregnancies in the first three months by inducing miscarriage and they have shown to be safe. The Oklahoma legislature signed regulations of this procedure into law in 2011 but the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice (OCRJ) argues that the law creates “undue burden” on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.

This case is tricky because the law in question appears reasonable. The Oklahoma law simply states that doctors must strictly abide by FDA protocol for Mifeprex approved in 2000. Taken at face value the law appears to protect women’s health, but according to many medical doctors it does just the opposite.

FDA labeling from 2000 requires that Mifeprex be prescribed in 600 mg doses in the presence of a doctor. Today, 13 years after the FDA approval, doctors have a very different idea of how the early term abortion educing drug can and should be used. Doctors now understand that the drug works effectively and safely in 200 mg doses. As the law stands, doctors are required to prescribe patients three times the needed dosage, an unnecessarily excessive amount. These regulations create risk for women seeking early term, non-surgical abortions and thusly discourage doctors from prescribing the risky dose.

Furthermore doctors understand that patents can take the second dose (misoprostol) at home. The FDA label requires women to visit their doctor a minimum of three times (one visit for each dose and a follow up), which can prove difficult to low income women or those who live far away from Oklahoma’s few abortion care providers. FDA protocol bans doctors from prescribing the drug after 49 days of gestation, however many doctors agree that the drug is safely and effectively administered within 63 days of gestation.

These regulations are cleverly masked as safety standards. Instead they actually put women at more medical risk and intentionally limit access to safe, legal abortion procedures. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, in conjunction with the Center for Reproductive Rights, has taken the Oklahoma law to the Supreme Court on the grounds that it creates unconstitutional barriers to access. The ‘war on choice’ has aimed to restrict women’s basic human right to control their own bodies and these restrictions are nothing more than a twist on old tactics of limiting abortion access. This case could finally grant some clarity on the legality underhanded legislation aiming to stop women who chose abortion from practicing their right to do so.