Karen Frankenstein published THE SAD STATE OF WOMEN’s HEALTH CARE in Reproductive Justice 2020-08-03 03:50:59 -0400
Save this for later…. just in case
How to Get an Illegal Abortion
I’ve been helping women outside of the US get safe illegal abortions for years.
Throughout Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia, abortion remains highly restricted yet commonplace. While many, especially young and marginalized women, still resort to sharp objects or dangerous cocktails, there are now safer options than in the pre-Roe days.
Many Americans already lack practical access to legal abortion due to onerous restrictions in a number of states. Millions more would join them if abortion was decided at the state level.
So if you are thousands of miles from a legal abortion, what are your options, short of crossing a border?
Here is what women in developing countries do, and how professionalized medicine in the US would make it easier for me to get an abortion in my adopted home, the most conservative state in Mexico, than in my native state of North Carolina. It’s time to start preparing for the worst.
The New and Improved ‘Back-Alley’ Procedure
Most surgical abortions in the first or second trimester do not require an operating room thanks to the invention of the Manual Vacuum Aspirator (MVA). Think a giant syringe with a blunt plastic tip. Clinicians are trained to use it by sucking seeds from a papaya.
MVA is also used for incomplete miscarriages, so is available to clinicians no matter what the legal status of abortion. In developing countries, private clinics and even public hospitals routinely use MVAs to perform illegal abortions off the books- for those who can pay.
How many clinics or hospitals in the US will be willing to risk being shut down for performing illegal abortions? Probably none, since abortion clinics are closing all over the country when they can’t comply with new operating restrictions. How many clinicians will be willing to put everything on the line to do an abortion in their guest bedroom? Likely some, but not nearly enough.
How many would teach lay people on a papaya? Networks of women who perform illegal abortions have happened before - learn more in this podcast. Sound like a risk you are willing to take? Then buy a speculum, and if you live in the tropics, plant a papaya tree. Just in case.
DIY - there’s an app for that
The other way women in developing countries have safe abortions is by taking misoprostol, a pill that causes uterine contractions. The drug was developed to treat ulcers and pregnancy was labeled as a contraindication; women in countries with restricted abortion but lax perscription enforcement quickly caught on to the practical uses of this side effect. It leaves no trace and looks clinically like a miscarriage.
Hesperian, publishers of the “Where There Is No Doctor” books, now has an app on how to use pills for abortion. The Dutch organization Women On Waves, who used to have to sail women into international waters to perform abortions, is now reaching many more on the web with mail-order pills.
Taking misoprostol is easy - the problem for Americans is how to get it. It’s not going to be OTC at CVS anytime before hell freezes over, and mailing it outside of the health system is illegal. Some Texan women have long been crossing into Mexico to buy it at pharmacies. Will misoprostol soon be moved by cartels, available from your corner drug dealer? It could fit between the gaps of Trump’s border fence...
Next time you are in a country without strict pharmaceutical controls, pick up a few boxes of misoprostol (also commonly known by its brand name, Cytotec) for your ‘ulcer’. Just in case.
If becoming part of an underground abortion network or a misoprostol drug smuggling ring makes you nervous, Make sure you request your absentee ballot at votefromabroad.org and VOTE!
August 3, 2020
The Reproductive Justice Team
Karen Frankenstein wants to volunteer 2020-08-04 10:42:59 -0400
The Democrats Abroad Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus is looking for your support at global, national, and chapter levels. Here is more information about opportunities to volunteer with our different working groups. Let us know how you want to get involved, by checking off the working groups you're interested in the form below.
Communications & Outreach
Help reach new caucus members and share stories of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders living abroad. This working group curates our caucus’s online presence (web, social media, email) and promotes events, activities, and issues.
Country Committee Guidelines
Help coordinate with, support, and organize with Democrats Abroad's 40+ country committees to establish an AAPI caucus at the country and chapter levels.
The AAPI community is large and diverse, which means there is also a wide range of issues impacting our members. Help us identify and educate our members about these different issues.
Events in a Box
To help local AAPI caucuses, we are preparing pre-made events that caucus leaders at the country and chapter levels can use for events to bring their members together. Volunteers can help create an event based on issues identified by the Issues Working Group and find ways to facilitate discussions.
Organize speaking events with prominent members of the AAPI community. This could include these roles:
- Coordinate event with the Global Communications & Global AAPI Co-Chairs
- Zoom training with Global IT
- Liaise with speakers and plan logistics
Welcome to the DA France National Caucus page. We have created this space to share news, events, and ideas within the caucus communities of our members in France.
Karen Frankenstein published Turning Tragedy into Political Change in American Women 2020-07-11 12:01:32 -0400
“We are powerful because we have survived.” Audre Lorde, a self-described “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” wrote these words in her book, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Women have made an art of turning tragedy and despair into meaningful change and transformation of their communities, states, countries, and, indeed, the world. Many of these women have looked unspeakable tragedies in the eye and instead of pulling into themselves, launched campaigns or organizations to bring about change.
Representative Lucy McBath, a Democrat, ran and won in Georgia’s 6th district on a platform of gun violence prevention after her son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in 2012 by a white man at a Florida gas station. Shortly after Jordan’s murder, McBath joined with a group of other mothers who had lost children to gun violence or police violence to form Mothers of the Movement. Then she became national spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action, continuing her work on gun-violence prevention policies and education. When this didn’t bring about change fast enough, she ran against Karen Handel, a Republican and NRA A-rated and backed candidate. McBath won, and in addition to supporting a number of gun-violence prevention policies, in June of 2019 she introduced H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019--a law that allows family or law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily remove firearms from a person who presents a danger to themselves or others. This law, if passed, will save lives--lives like Jordan’s.
Stacy Abrams, after having the governor election stolen from her due to voter suppression, launched an organization called Fair Fight. Fair Fight is dedicated to fair elections and turning out the vote for 2020. Abram’s turned her defeat into a movement against voter suppression, which will hopefully have tangible positive outcomes for voters in 2020.
After living through homelessness as a child and losing family members to the opium epidemic, Rosemary Ketchum became West Virginia's first transgender elected oficial. Ketchum, who served as a director at a mental health center said, “Running for office was never in the plan for me. I didn’t know what that would look like or how I would fit into that world.” But she kept focused on local issues of poverty, homelessness, and substance abuse and won as a city councilwoman in Wheeling, WV.
This article profiles just three of the many women who have turned hardship into political action and reform. They stand with other women such as Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani assassination attempt survivor, Nobel prize winner, and activist fighting for girls’ education; Greta Thunberg, Swedish climate activist; and Emma Gonzalez, Parkland school shooting survivor and gun-violence prevention activist. We, as women, turn tragedy and heartache, and loss into change. We reach deep into our hearts and know that our tragedy doesn’t have to be another woman’s tragedy, and we work toward positive change. The 2018 election saw more women running for office than ever before, backed by woman-led organizations and activists knocking on doors, phone banking, and having hard conversations with voters; 2020 will be no different. When we use our stories and our talents to take on the system, we can win.
Karen Frankenstein published The War on Women - MS Magazine in Reproductive Justice 2020-07-11 10:06:34 -0400
This is a very interesting article, correctly entitled: THE WAR ON WOMEN. It describes the reproductive justice strategy of the current Administration.
As you can see, the current Administration it is doing all it can to restrict or if it can, eliminate, our reproductive rights
Karen Frankenstein published Take action before mid-February 2019 in Medicare for All 2020-04-28 06:45:32 -0400
We are asking for your urgent action to support our gold standard Medicare for All bill.
Right now Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) is quietly rewriting the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. The original legislation, based on the advice of the Physicians Working Group to create a universal public healthcare system in the US, is the gold standard of single-payer legislation. In its place, Rep. Jayapal is drafting new legislation under the National Improved Medicare for All banner and her staff have admitted the rewritten legislation will be weaker than its predecessor.
A single-payer healthcare system is both possible and morally imperative in a great country like the USA, but in order to achieve it, we must stand up and demand a strong bill.
We have just a few days to weigh in before the Medicare for All re-draft is finalized and released in mid February. Here's what you can do:
Call Rep. Pramila Jayapal today at +1 202 225 3106 and tell her to preserve the original provisions of the Medicare for All bill by:
- Prohibiting for-profit providers and buying their facilities.
- Putting everyone into the new system at once.
Permitting the participation of all people in the United States.
[For more information on these demands see http://healthoverprofit.org/letter-to-congresswoman-jayapal-protect-everyones-health/ ]
- Sign this petition to all House members asking them to expand Social Security and Medicare for All. Then call your representative and ask them to support both bills.
- Check with your local DA chapter to see if they are participating in a Medicare for All Day of Action in February. Click here to contact your Country Committee Chapter, or search for them on Facebook.
- Join our new closed Facebook group for the Democrats Abroad Medicare for All Working Group. There we'll be organising and posting more actions for you to participate in.
There are are currently unprecedented levels of public support for Medicare for All and we need to mobilize to keep the momentum going!
- Call Rep. Pramila Jayapal today at +1 202 225 3106 and tell her to preserve the original provisions of the Medicare for All bill by:
Karen Frankenstein published News from the House - November 16, 2019 in News 2019-11-17 05:54:04 -0500
The House was busy this week especially with bills pertaining to Veterans... Here are the bills that were passed. However the one about citizenship was taken off the floor and hopefully will be considered at a later date.
H.R. 4803 – Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act (THIS BILL WAS PULLED FROM THE FLOOR BY DEMOCRATICLEADERSHIP AND THEREFORE NOT CONSIDERED)
H.R. 3537 – Veteran Entrepreneur Training Act (PASSED THE HOUSE BY A VOTE OF 424 TO 1)
H.R. 499 – Service-Disabled Veterans Small Business Continuation Act (PASSED THE HOUSE BY A VOTE OF 423 TO 0)
H.R. 3734 – SERV Act (PASSED THE HOUSE BY A VOTE OF 421 TO 3)
H.R. 1615 – VA-SBA Act (PASSED THE HOUSE BY A SIMPLE VOICE VOTE)
Karen Frankenstein published EMEA Non CC Countries in Europe, Middle East & Africa 2019-11-05 02:01:56 -0500
Karen Frankenstein published Marking Hispanic Heritage Month: honoring Medal of Honor Recipient Roy Benavides in News 2019-10-07 09:36:21 -0400
The Democrats Abroad Veterans and Military Families Caucus along with the Hispanic Caucus proudly recognizes the unparalleled patriotism of Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant Raul “Roy” P. Benavidez.
As one of the most courageous and honorable people in our nation’s history, we simply cannot talk about Hispanic Heritage Month without mentioning Benavidez. Born in Texas in 1935 to a Mexican-American father and Yaqui Native American mother, Benavidez’s childhood was rough with having to move in with his extended family after both of his parents had passed away when he was a boy. As a teenager, he stopped attending school to work blue-collar jobs to help the family pay bills and make ends meet.
During the middle of the Korean War, Benavidez decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. A few years later, Benavidez arrived in Vietnam and was critically-injured from stepping on a landmine. With severe bodily damage from shrapnel, medical professionals back in Texas concluded that he would never walk again. Determined to prove the doctors wrong, Benavidez struggled to get out of bed every night to exercise and flex his injured limbs. One year later, he shocked the medical staff by walking out of the hospital and then left to rejoin his fellow platoon members in Vietnam.
The Vietnam War tragically ended with roughly 60,000 deaths of U.S. troops and 1.3 million deaths of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. Yet, it produced several examples of courage in the face of all obstacles. Roy Benavidez was one of these examples...
Known as the “six hours of hell” in South Vietnam in May 1968, then-SSgt. Benavidez, armed with only a knife, rode a helicopter straight into harm’s way to help surrounded American Special Forces who were radioing for help. With incredible bravery, Benavidez, who received multiple near-fatal injuries, still managed to successfully complete his mission of assisting his countrymen in need and recovering classified materials. During the battle, the heavily-wounded Benavidez miraculously carried both wounded and dead American and Vietnamese soldiers and loaded them on an extraction helicopter. Sure enough, Benavidez both secured the highly-classified documents and saved the lives of at least eight American troops in those six hours.
Years later, President Reagan awarded MSgt. Benavidez with the Congressional Medal of Honor after another former solider came forward with eyewitness testimony of Benavidez’s heroic acts during that day of combat in 1968. Sadly, in 1998 Benavidez passed away in Texas after battling health issues – yet, his legacy and American spirit live on.
Benavidez did not ever consider himself a hero. He once stated that he did those particular actions in war because he knew it was morally the right thing to do for his country and his countrymen.
Roy Benavidez was a historically-significant American patriot the Democrats Abroad Veterans and Military Families and Hispanic Caucus shall forever respect and admire. He showed us what it means to be brave in the face of extreme peril, what it is to fight for what you love, for what you believe, and for your values. May his heroism, his sacrifice, and his teachings never be forgotten. Let us all fight as Roy Benavidez did.
Karen Frankenstein published Crisis Hotline, VA & Tricare in Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus 2019-10-02 09:41:56 -0400
Karen Frankenstein published Declaración del Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano en Reconocimiento del Día del Trabajo in News / Noticias 2019-09-03 05:34:35 -0400
El 2 de septiembre de 2019, celebramos a las familias latinas de trabajadores que pueden rastrear sus raíces hasta los días anteriores al nacimiento de nuestra nación, así como a los hombres y mujeres inmigrantes cuyo ingenio y arduo trabajo han ayudado a convertir nuestra economía en la más grande del mundo.
Con una crisis climática global ya aquí, una Administración alentada por su base de extrema derecha para deportar a veteranos estadounidenses y destrozar familias inmigrantes, y tantos otros asuntos importantes que necesitan nuestra atención urgente, nos detenemos brevemente en este Día del Trabajo para reconocer la enorme contribucion de latinos, como Stuart Mora en Indianápolis y Jessica Dueñas en Louisville, y pasar tiempo con nuestras familias y amigos antes de poner manos a la obra y reiniciar nuestro activismo en nombre de los latinos de Estados Unidos, la columna vertebral de la fuerza laboral de nuestra nación. Estamos orgullosos de los trabajadores estadounidenses de herencia hispana y los saludamos por su participación en todo, desde trabajar horas extras en granjas hasta construir nuevos ferrocarriles y luchar contra la injusticia social en las salas del tribunal.
Al reflexionar sobre este tan querido día de fiesta nacional, el Caucus Hispano reafirma su compromiso de promover y apoyar el desarrollo económico, la atención médica, la educación, la participación cívica y los problemas de derechos civiles de las comunidades y personas latinas que trabajan incansablemente para fortalecer nuestra gran nación.
Karen Frankenstein published Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee Statement Recognizing Labor Day in News / Noticias 2019-09-03 05:32:48 -0400
On September 2, 2019, we celebrate the hardworking Latinx families who can trace their roots back to the days before we were a nation as well as the immigrant men and women whose hard work and ingenuity have helped build our economy into the largest in the world.
With a global climate crisis already here, an Administration encouraged by its extremist right-wing base on deporting U.S. veterans and ripping immigrant families apart, and so many other important issues needing our urgent attention, we pause briefly on this Labor Day to recognize the enormous contributions by Latinos – like Stuart Mora in Indianapolis and Jessica Dueñas in Louisville – and spend time with our friends and families before rolling up our sleeves and restarting our activism on behalf of America’s Latinos – the backbone of our nation’s labor force. We are unapologetically proud of America’s workers of Hispanic heritage and salute them for their involvement in everything from working overtime on farms to building new railroads to fighting social injustice in the court room.
As we reflect on this widely-loved national holiday, the Hispanic Caucus reaffirms its commitment to promoting and supporting economic development, health care, education, civic engagement, and civil rights issues of Latinx communities and individuals who work tirelessly to strengthen our great nation.
Karen Frankenstein published Welcome to the Taxation Task Force Page in Taxation Task Force Blog 2019-08-31 05:30:06 -0400
The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force (TTF) was formed to 1) research U.S. tax policy as it affects Americans living outside the U.S. and 2) consider, develop and execute initiatives aimed at enacting reforms that resolve adverse impacts.
We undertake research-based advocacy to describe the problems U.S. taxation causes Americans abroad and support our reform recommendations. Our latest research on the tax filing and financial account reporting experience of Americans abroad was published in March 2019. Click here to download the report.
Democrats Abroad has published a "laundry list" of tax code provisions that discriminate against Americans abroad - with accompanying reform recommendations on how to fix them. The list is here: smarturl.it/HowToFix23
We fear Congress is too divided to find remedies for each of the many and myriad tax problems we have identified. But we are determined to demand it of them.
We are committed to Residency Based Taxation as a remedy, requiring little effort by Congress, that addresses the vast majority of the tax problems faced by Americans abroad.
Further, we will continue to promote:
- the elimination of FATCA reporting for the accounts of Americans abroad,
- the repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision,
- an exemption for American business owners abroad from the transition taxes in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and
- a citizenship remedy for "accidental Americans".
We support tax reforms that help reduce inequality, boost opportunity for all Americans and raise enough revenue, predominantly from those with the greatest ability to pay, to meet public needs.
Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force
Karen Frankenstein published I will vote… Will you? in Our Voices / Nuestras Voces 2019-08-04 01:35:59 -0400
The day had come, July 4th, 2013. That day was my 18th birthday. Coincidentally, it was the very same day our nation turned 237 years old.
Most people my age wanted to become 18 to do other stuff… go to a bar and legally drink, drive a car, or buy a pack of cigarettes, but not me, I desperately wished to turn 18 to VOTE.
My interest in politics goes way back to the year 2000 when I was only 5 years old. I remember my dad talking about a recount and a guy named Bush stealing an election. Fast forward to the 2008 election and I clearly remember the Democratic Primaries. I ardently supported Hillary Clinton for our party’s nomination. Although I wanted her to become our 44th President, there was nothing I could do… I was 13.
Now that I’m old enough to vote, I’m saddened whenever I see the turnout numbers. The first cycle I voted was in the 2014 midterms, and only 36.4% of eligible voters actually showed up to the polls. In 2016 and 2018, 55.7 and 50.3% of eligible voters cast a ballot, respectively. Those numbers appall me. It is truly shocking that, on average, 52.5% of voters didn’t bother to vote in the three most recent election cycles.
The other day, I met a young expat. The entire time we spoke, he talked ill of Trump and all the horrible actions he’s taken since he took office. I gently asked him, “Well… did you vote in the last election?”, “No! My vote won’t make a difference!” When I heard those words being uttered, my blood boiled. HIS VOTE COULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE!
Low turnout tends to help Republicans. Low turnouts in Florida in the year 2000, and low turnout in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in 2016, were decisive to give us two of the worst presidents in modern history. Imagine what would have happened if turnout would have been different. We could have prevented having children separated from their parents at the border, tax cuts for the top 1%, destruction of the environment by large transnational corporations, and billions and billions of dollars being spent on war.
I vote because I care about my fellow US citizens. I vote because I believe government should be there to help everyone, not just a few. I vote because I believe that the United States should be and can be a force of good on this planet. I vote because I believe we can have a fair economy, one that lifts immigrants, the poor and needy, and those who are living from paycheck to paycheck.
Voting is freedom of speech in its ultimate form. It is enshrined in our Constitution.
Do not squander this golden opportunity to change your life.
I will vote… Will you?
Global IT Team; Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee
Global IT Team Member - Helpdesk Admin