Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If You Are Not Outraged, You Are Not Paying Attention

The title is one of my favorite bumper-sticker messages. It is so simple, yet so to the point. It also leads me to my post today, information that comes to me courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign. From their email:

Former Senator Jesse Helms, the notorious author of dozens of measures attacking GLBT and HIV-positive people during his years in the Senate, died on July 4. Unfortunately, the legacy of discrimination against HIV-positive people he helped to create lives on in a law that bars nearly every foreign person with HIV from entering the United States. That's right – with very few exceptions, an HIV positive individual cannot come to the United States for any reason, be it to visit, work, study or become a legal resident.

Because of stigma alone, HIV is the only medical condition codified in U.S. law as a basis for inadmissibility for short-term travel and immigration – the admissibility of persons with all other communicable diseases is at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

But you can do something about it. Click here to send an email to your senators asking them to support Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Smith (R-OR) in repealing this discriminatory law.


In other news, the Bush administration continues to chip away at issues that are important to all humans. They are about to release a rule that will make it possible for federal funding that is specifically designed to prevent unintended pregnancy and promote reproductive health to now be used for anything but that.

The rule would also require entities that receive family planning funding, like Planned Parenthood, to certify that they will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control. Between deceptive "crisis pregnancy centers" delivering woefully incomplete care and legitimate health centers with extremely limited funding, hundreds of thousands of women are at enormous risk.

You can go here to add your input to a massive public outcry being organized by Planned Parenthood.