Photo Credit: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com
Truth is, no one knows much about the third-century martyr St. Valentine, or how his name became synonymous with love—it may have something to do with old pagan rituals is about all a quick Google search can come up with. What we do know is that today, the holiday means spending a bunch of money on cheap candy and cheaper stuffed bears. (Or if you’re lucky, a fancy dinner.) But if there’s a woman in your romantic life, or if you’re that woman, then maybe it’s worth stepping back this Valentines Day, and putting that cuddly pink dollar somewhere important.
Here the ever-iconic actress and social activist Cynthia Nixon lays out why.
1. Because some members of Congress introduced 14 anti women’s health bills in only 14 days. The new Congress has only been in session for a few weeks, but some members have already begun pushing deeply unpopular measures that would restrict abortion nationwide, limit access to affordable birth control, and even defund Planned Parenthood. We know this isn’t what our elected officials should be spending their time (and our taxpayer dollars) on – and Planned Parenthood needs our help to fight back and hold these out of touch politicians accountable.
2. Because more than half of American women of reproductive age now live in a state where their access to safe, legal abortion is being restricted. Planned Parenthood and their allies are on the front lines of the fight to preserve access to the full range of reproductive care for millions of women: birth control, cancer screenings, sex ed, abortion – the list goes on. They are proactive advocates for a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, fighting back dangerous legislation in courtrooms and legislatures across the country.
3. Because some politicians are trying to send women back to the 1950s…and Planned Parenthood isn’t letting them. Politicians continue to try to insert themselves into women’s bedrooms and doctors’ exam rooms. With anti women’s health politicians trying to deny women access to abortion saying children born from rape can be “beautiful,” calling birth control irresponsible, or spreading lies about the safety of abortion, Planned Parenthood is helping set the record straight, and advocating for policies and politicians that will move women forward rather than taking them backward.
4. Because Planned Parenthood is an educator in a political climate where too often facts and science are ignored or twisted beyond recognition. Science, facts, and history are important to understanding what women are currently up against, especially in the context of how far we have come. Access to affordable birth control, for example, has given women the power to plan their families and their lives. Yet even now, women still make 78 cents to every dollar a man makes and 1 in 3 women report struggling to afford the cost of birth control at some point. Planned Parenthood provides resources – available online and in their health centers – about the full range of reproductive health care services. They also provide sex ed classes and guidance to schools and community organizations.
5. Because Planned Parenthood is elevating the conversation. Through Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and other social media, Planned Parenthood is working to create a space to break the silence, allowing women to share their stories and reduce the stigma around abortion. Planned Parenthood is further helping foster this conversation to spark change in popular culture through television, film and music to get people thinking critically and talking openly about these issues.
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