Illinois action blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tell your Rep to Keep Politics out of Women's Health!

cow.jpgLast week, two anti-choice bills passed out of the Agriculture Committee, a committee that normally deals with farm and hunting issues. HB 4117 and HB 4085 may soon be considered by the Illinois House of Representatives.

These bills are not about health care. They were designed to put abortion providers out of business and to shame and demean women who are seeking reproductive health care. 

HB 4117 mandates that all facilities where 50 or more abortions are performed in any calendar year must comply with all of the regulations for Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Centers (ASTCs). Illinois law does not require surgeries to be performed only in ASTCs or hospital settings and this bill singles out abortion as the ONLY type of surgical procedure that MUST be performed in an ASTC if there are 50 or more performed at a particular site.

Planned Parenthood accepts reasonable regulation of abortion care for health and safety reasons. However, we object to politically motivated legislation that is designed to close facilities and end access to care. What's more, medical facilities that provide abortion care are already regulated through a variety of laws and rules.

HB 4085 requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must offer to perform an ultrasound and allow the patient to view it if she chooses to. It is highly unusual for a law to force a doctor to offer a particular test or procedure regardless of whether or not it is medically indicated. HB 4085 violates the doctor-patient relationship. Health care professionals, not politicians, should decide what care is best for their patients.

We know that HB 4085 is not about improving safety or standards of health care. In fact, the sponsor of this bill stated in committee that this bill is designed to get women to change their minds about having an abortion. This bill is disrespectful to women and assumes that they don't know what they're doing.

Tell your Representative that you won't stand for it. Urge your Representative to vote NO on HB 4117 and 4085. Click here to find your representative.

Thanks for your support!

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, women's health, Illinois

Friday, February 24, 2012

Women's Healthcare Advocates Speakout for Birth Control

This afternoon, Planned Parenthood joined Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Congressman Mike Quigley and serveral women's health supporters and religious groups in a speak out for women's access to contraception.

On February 10, the Obama Administration announced a final rule requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives without charging a co-pay, co-insurance, or a deductible. The rule exempts 335,000 churches, mosques and synagogues. The policy also ensures that if a woman works for a religious-affiliated employer such as a hospital or university with objections to providing contraceptive services, the woman’s insurance company will be required to directly offer her contraceptive care free of charge.

Speakers in support of the policy at the event held at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple included Carole Brite, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Rev. Larry Greenfield of Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Dr. Tara Kumaraswami of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Lorie Chaiten, Director of ACLU of Illinois Reproductive Rights Project, and Sara Hutchinson, Domestic Program Director of Catholics for Choice.

“It is inconceivable to me – in the year 2012 –that there should be any controversy about access to contraception,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “The use of birth control and its medical benefits have been widely supported by medical experts and scientific experts. No employer should decide for a woman whether she can access the health care services that she and her doctor decide are necessary.”

“Make no mistake, there is a war on women, and we have to fight back,” said Rep. Mike Quigley. “Last week, I walked out of a Congressional hearing on birth control without a single woman on the witness panel. Hours later, I turned on the TV to hear someone suggest contraception was as simple as women putting aspirin between their knees. Enough is enough.”

Last year, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report recommending coverage of contraception services, supplies, education and counseling – without cost-sharing requirements. The recommendations were based on scientific research that showed the important health impacts of planning a pregnancy and proper birth spacing on both a woman and her children.

99% of sexually active American women - including 98% of Catholic women - have used some form of contraception in their lives.

We, and all groups involved thank President Obama for holding firm to the principle that there should be no barriers for women to get the health services they need. Thank you, President Obama, and thank you to everyone holding strong on this issue. We will not back down!

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Birth Control, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Quigley, Barack Obama

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Illinois Legislators Denounce Anti-Choice Bills

A news conference was held in Springfield today with several Illinois Representatives to discuss HB 4085 and HB 4117, two politically motivated bills designed to undermine women’s access to abortion. These medically unnecessary bills have been assigned to the Agriculture Committee – not a committee that usually deals with health care issues - in attempt to ensure that they will go to the full House for a vote.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy (14th district), Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (12th district), Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (103rd district), Rep. Elaine Nekritz (57th district), Rep. Robyn Gabel (18th district), Rep. Karen May (58th district), Rep. Michelle Mussman (56th distrcit), Rep. Ann Willaims (11th district) and Rep. Greg Harris (13th district) were joined by Planned Parenthood of Illinois and the ACLU of Illinois to discuss the threats these bills pose to reproductive rights.

HB 4085 dictates requirements for medical professionals and takes the standards for medical care away from professionals. Health care professionals, not politicians, should decide what care is best for their patients.  HB 4085 will not improve patient care. Instead, HB 4085 creates a regulation and additional paperwork designed to make abortions more onerous, complicated, and time consuming for both patients and medical providers.

HB 4117 would require that facilities where 50 or more abortions are performed be fully licensed ambulatory surgical treatment centers. This bill is designed to make abortions more expensive and less accessible in Illinois. The supporters of HB 4117 are not medical or public health organizations. They are groups that have a political agenda in making abortion as difficult to access as possible. Planned Parenthood accepts reasonable regulation of abortion care for health and safety reasons. However, we object to politically motivated legislation that is designed to close facilities and end access to care.

Planned Parenthood thanks all these champions of choice for standing up for women!  What can you do? Contact your state represenative today and urge him or her to vote NO on HB 4085 and HB 4117!

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, HB 4117, HB 4085

Get Registered to Vote!

Did you know that the Illinois Primary is only a month away? Today is the last day of voter registration for the March 20th General Primary Election. Are you registered?  If you're not sure, visit this link to find out.  If you are registered, be sure to spread the word and encourage your friends and family to get registered!

Voter Requirements in Illinois:
- Must be 18 years of age by Election Day
- Must be a US citizen
- Must have been a resident of the prescient at least 30 days prior to Election Day

What forms of ID are required when I register to vote: 
- Two forms of identification with at least one showing your current residence address is needed when you register in-person.

Visit or click here to get the most current information.  To register to vote click here.  Once you're registered, mark your calendar for March 20th and get to the polls!  Here in Illinois, voters also have the option to vote early.  Early voting runs from February 27th through March 15th. 

Check out our site, Women Are Watching, to learn about the candidates, and be sure to visit to get more information on what's at stake here in Illinois.

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Vote, Register, Election Day

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine’s Day is upon us yet again, and it brings up images of hearts, roses, chocolates, dinner, romance, kisses and, well, sex.

But don’t wait until the heat of the moment to bring up condoms.

Talk about condom use before you are in a situation where you might need one.

We recommend talking with your partner about the importance of using condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms are the only form of contraception that also helps reduce the risk of STIs.

Did you know that many people who have a sexually transmitted infection don’t even realize it? Take a second to let that sink in.

That's why it's so important to let your partner know that you want to use condoms every time you have sex, keeping both of you healthy and protected. Being safe and protecting each others' health is a smart choice.

Every year PPIL provides more than 75,000 women, men, and teens across Illinois with health information, services and education to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy.

If you are having trouble choosing a condom then check out Proper Attire condoms, a PP line of chic stylish condoms (above) that are leaps and bounds more fashion-forward then other brands and you won't have a problem carrying them around with you.

Do you love us?

Because we love protecting you! Show us your love by reviewing us on Search for "Planned Parenthood" near your zip code.

Now go out and have a safe and wonderful Valentine's Day.

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Valentine's Day, Condom, Proper Attire,

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's National Condom Week!

When condoms are used consistently and correctly they provide the best protection against sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy for sexually active women and men. Research shows that every year there are more than three million unintended pregnancies and approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections.

That's why it’s so important to talk to your partner about using condoms before you engage in sexual activity. It’s also important to use condoms with your other method of birth control to reduce your risk for getting a sexually transmitted infection. Latex and plastic condoms, as well as female condoms, are highly effective in preventing pregnancy, and they’re the only forms of birth control that also help reduce the risk of STIs.

The CDC estimates that nearly 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year, almost half of which are among 15 to 24-year-olds. The heaviest chlamydia burdens were among young women aged 20–24, followed closely by adolescent girls aged 15–19. The heaviest gonorrhea burden was among adolescent girls aged 15–19, followed closely by young women aged 20–24. Biological factors place women at greater risk of infection than men, and contribute to more severe health consequences for women.

So for National Condom Week (Feb 14 - 21) we are advising you to be safe and use condoms before engaging in any sexual activities. You might be surprised to know that many women and men say they find sex more enjoyable when they’re protected because they aren’t worrying about unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

And it gets better; if you're tired of the same old generic condom in the unappealing wrapper then check out Planned Parenthood's line of stylish Proper Attire condoms that are designed to help women feel more comfortable about buying and carrying condoms.

With chic, fashion-forward packaging in different varieties, Proper Attire condoms are designed to appeal to a women’s sense of style in order to encourage them to take charge of their own sexual health and safety.

These condoms are available at Planned Parenthood health centers and also available online by clicking here.

You can always rely on us for accurate information about condoms, other forms of contraception, STI's, and anything else you may have a question about. We work every day to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and keep people healthy. If you have a question about condoms click this link.

Watch these videos about how to use a condom:

For English - Click Here
For Spanish - Click Here
Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Condom, Proper Attire, National Condom Week, STI

Friday, February 10, 2012

Women are Watching

By now you've probably heard all the buzz about Women are Watching. You probably have already taken the Pledge and have been watching politicians just as intently as we have, and we thank you for that. We are talking to those of you out there who haven't taken the pledge yet.  We need your help!   

For too long, anti-choice politicians have worked furiously to undermine women's health and destroy organizations like ours that protect women's access to reproductive care. They've gotten away with outrageous attacks and flat-out lies in the hopes that nobody will call them out. And they've used every bit of power they've gained to turn back the clock on women's health.

It is critical that women know where political candidates stand on women's health care issues. Women are Watching is a nation-wide campaign aimed at educating, engaging, and empowering supporters to take action, and ultimately to vote to protect women's health and expand care for all women in America.  

We encourage supporters to share information with their friends, family and colleagues. The more women’s health supporters know about the issues and the threats being made to their health and rights, the more they will be motivated to get involved in the upcoming elections.

After one of most aggressive legislative assaults on women’s health last year, it’s up to us to take action to ensure that protecting women’s health is a priority in 2012.

In 2012 things are going to be different, politicians need to know that we’re watching and we will hold them accountable on women’s health. Please visit the Women are Watching website ( for more information about who we are "Watching," the "States at Risk," "Champs" and "Chumps" and other great resources so you can stay informed about the political climate. 

It’s time to Stand Up and Speak Out. Let candidates for office know that we hear what they are saying, we see what they are doing, and we’re WATCHING.

Please take the Pledge today by clicking here

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Women are Watching, Health Care, Women's Rights

Friday, February 3, 2012

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation Restores Partnership

Planned Parenthood is enormously grateful that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers.

What these past few days have demonstrated is the deep resolve all Americans share in the fight against cancer, and we honor those who are at the helm of this battle. The outpouring of support for women in need of lifesaving breast cancer screening this week has been astonishing and is a testament to our nation's compassion and sincerity.

Over the last three days, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Breast Health Fund has received more than $3 million from thousands of people across the country. Every dollar we received for this fund will go directly for breast exams, diagnostic services, breast health outreach and education so that more women can receive this critical care.

The extraordinary generosity will allow us to expand our breast health services nationwide far beyond what we ever thought possible. Planned Parenthood health centers provide nearly 750,000 breast exams each year, but we know there are hundreds of thousands of women who need our services but don’t have access to them. The Planned Parenthood Breast Health Fund will enable us to reach these women and provide them with affordable, quality clinical breast exams. 

In short, this outpouring of public support will lead more women to detect breast cancer earlier, and will save more women’s lives. Early detection is critically important, and the work that our health center doctors and nurses do helps to identify potential cancers EARLY on—when it’s most treatable.

To read a statement from PPFA President, Cecile Richards , please Click Here.

It was because of YOU that this was all possible. You were the ones that supported us by signing petitions, donating, volunteering, standing up, tweeting, blogging, posting on Facebook and all the other things you did that made the difference. Thank you all so much for standing with us and being truly the most amazing supporters!

Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, Breast Cancer, Cecile Richards
  • Stay informed with updates from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund!