|In the News|
Who’s covering sexual and reproductive health politics and legislation in Massachusetts? Check out some of the latest appearances of PPAF’s issues in the news.
Ed Markey, a longtime champion for women's health, was elected 55-45 to be the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts on June 25, 2013. The candidates' positions on women's health played a critical role in the election. Coverage of women's health over the course of the campaign included:
On June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court announced they would review Massachusetts' buffer zone law, which ensures the privacy, dignity, and safety of women who seek health care at Planned Parenthood and other medical facilities. The law had been upheld in January 2013 by a three-judge panel for the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals. Martha (Marty) Walz, PPAF president and a lead sponsor of the 2007 bill as a state Representative, was cited in serveral stories, including:
Throughout the month of May, Gabriel Gomez, Republican candidate for US Senate, refused to answer questions from reporters and advocates about how he would vote on key women's health bills. He dodged multiple questions on the Blunt Amendment and never responded when Marty Walz delivered the full text of the Blunt Amendment directly to his office.
News coverage included:
Stephanie Ebbert of the Boston Globe was the first to report on Gomez's unwillingness to take a stand on the Blunt Amendment and other women's health legislation in her article, "Gomez unclear on some aspects of abortion."
On May 28th, 2013, state Representative Linda Dorcena Forry won the 1st Suffolk Senate seat in a landslide, after coming out on top of a challenging Democratic primary election on April 25th. PPAF endorsed Dorcena Forry and, in concert with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, launched a robust voter mobilization program. Planned Parenthood volunteers called more than 13,000 voters and knocked on more than 1,300 doors throughout the month of April to get out the vote for this women's health champion. Dorcena Forry is the first Haitian-American to serve in the state Senate and the first woman to represent the district. Travis Anderson covered this landmark victory in the Boston Globe.
In March 2013, Marty Walz joined PPAF and our sister organization, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, as President and Chief Executive Officer. Marty had represented the 8th Suffolk District in the State House since 2005. Among her many legislative achievements, she was the lead sponsor of the 2007 Buffer Zone Bill and championed family planning funding, teen pregnancy prevention programs, comprehensive and age-appropriate health education, and education reform. Coverage included:
Women's health was on the ballot in November 2012, in Massachusetts and across the nation, and voters spoke loudly and clearly by electing women's health champions President Obama and Elizabeth Warren. Coverage included:
Women's access to health care became a focal point for the Senate and Presidential races. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund educated voters on why Elizabeth Warren and President Obama are the champions of women's health that Massachusetts needs. Coverage included:
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts supported Elizabeth Warren as she debated Scott Brown in Lowell on October 1. Check out the photos from the "Women are Watching" visibility event outside the Lowell Debate.
After the Republican National Convention, the Massachusetts Republican Party was set to vote on whether to adopt the national GOP platform – which would make abortion and some forms of contraception illegal – as their own in September. Although they tabled the vote until after the election, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund took Senator Brown to task from remaining on the sidelines yet again.
Offensive comments by Representative Todd Akin sparked a national conversation about rape, pregnancy, and the Republican Party platform. Senator Scott Brown wrote a letter to GOP leadership encouraging them to acknowledge "pro-choice" Republicans in the party platform. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund called on him to make his words count by publicly supporting a "pro-women's health" platform authored by Republicans for Planned Parenthood. However, Brown said "it's up to others now" to continue the fight for women's health. Coverage included:
In August 2012, Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney chose Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate. PPAF President Dianne Luby wrote a letter to the Springfield Republican to highlight why the Romney/Ryan ticket is "troubling for women."
On April 9, 2012, The Planned Parenthood Action Fund endorsed Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, after working in collaboration with the Advocacy Fund. Read our press release for more information. State and national coverage of the endorsement included:
Expand below for news from before the 2012 elections.
On March 1st, the U.S. Senate voted down the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed any employer to deny coverage of any health care service that goes against their religious beliefs or moral conviction – that could mean birth control, HIV treatment, or any essential health care. We are thankful for the result but disappointed that Senator Scott Brown voted to restrict health care access. Coverage of the vote and a protest of Brown’s position in Dracut, MA included:
The Obama administration’s decision on February 9th affirmed that all women should have access to affordable contraception, no matter where they work. GOP and Catholic leadership were still not satisfied, despite most Americans’ support for birth control coverage. Some coverage of the fight for birth control:
In February 2012, the Susan G. Komen Foundation decided to end future funding for life-saving cancer screenings and breast health education work at Planned Parenthood due to mounting pressure from anti-women's health groups. Backlash from supporters of women's health caused them to reverse their decision within only a few days. News coverage in Massachusetts and across the country was extensive and included:
Even as we recognize the 39th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v Wade, the GOP's opposition not only to abortion access but also to contraception continues to grow. Read about the "Assault on reproductive rights" in an op/ed by Ellen Goodman for the Boston Globe.
On Nov 28, 2011, PPAF addressed presidential candidate and former MA Governor Mitt Romney’s changing position on women’s health at a press conference hosted by the Massachusetts Democratic Party. News coverage included a segment reported by Christine Lee for WWLP: “Dems release Mitt Romney attack ad.”
In August 2011, we celebrated the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to mandate health insurance coverage of contraception without co-pays. News coverage included:
In Spring 2011, Planned Parenthood supporters rallied against Congressional efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and successfully petitioned Senator Scott Brown to vote against the measure. News coverage included: