Attending: Alison Bowers, Sue Coomer, Mary Fleck, Pam Madaio, Barbara Pollock, Mike Vinson
Pam discussed the impact of House Health Bill and pending Senate Health Bill on Women’s healthcare specifically and referred to the Action Alert. When we call MOCs about Healthcare legislation we should highlight the disproportionate impact on women.
Alison, reviewed the Draft Final Rule that extends the option for virtually any employer to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage by ‘self certifying’ and claiming ill defined and arbitrary “moral convictions”. She distributed copies of sections of the rule and initial comments. Subsequently she distributed full comments, which were emailed to the members for review and comment. Pam and Alison will monitor the Federal Register and send out an alert when the rule is posted reminding everyone to make comments.
Pam asked if everyone is signed up for alerts from PP, Naral, etc. and asked if she should continue sending emails when she sees news or notices of interest from these and other sources. It was decided that this was useful.
Pam noted that she had contacted the PP Southeast Legislative Liaison looking for information regarding the impact on SC specifically if PP gets defunded. We need this to develop talking points for visits to SC MOCs. Liaison said she would create something for us (amazingly they do not already have this). She also offered to come speak to us. It was agreed we would pursue this is the fall.
Pam also noted that there is a Lowcountry Indivisible Women’s Rights Committee (Beaufort Indivisible) and suggested we monitor their website to get ideas. CHS Indivisible is not particularly active on WRR.
Mike reported that he and Shirley will contact C of C in the fall about opportunities for partnering with groups there.
We discussed gaining more visibility and decided that we should try to plan visits to MOCs offices to talk with staffers or the MOCs themselves. Mike volunteered to look at when MOCs would be in local offices, and to create a list of politicians and their voting records and positions on relevant issues. Ultimately we will need someone on the committee to coordinate this effort: reaching out to MOCs offices to schedule visits, creating talking points, and recruiting others to join us. Pam suggested everyone read the Planned Parenthood Defender and Indivisible Guide for advocacy strategies in preparation for these visits.
Committee Mission: We did not discuss the committee mission in detail except to agree that we would continue to focus specifically on Reproductive Rights (not other Women’s Issues, which are a focus for the Human Rights Committee). Pam will draft a statement of the mission for review
Next meeting: Pam will send out a query for available date for our next meeting.