[imc-st.louis] Check out 2005 -- Pro-Choice Missouri
DeborahLS at aol.com
DeborahLS at aol.com
Mon Sep 12 20:58:45 PDT 2005
Click here: 2005 -- Pro-Choice Missouri
I want to let you know about an exciting event scheduled for Wednesday night.
While many of us have been concerned about other germane issues such as the
Gulf Coast Disaster and the loss of life in Iraq our lawmakers and religious
fundamentalists continue to erode a woman's right to control her own body.
This play, "Words of Choice" sends its message home with a humorous touch.
It has a talented caste of three women who play an array of characters. You
will laugh, cry and have a chance to tell lawmakers, "No, we still believe it is
our right to make choices about our bodies and in we support other women's
rights to choice too."
The playwright is Cindy Cooper and the Artistic Director is Joan Lipkin of
That Uppity Theater Company. This play will leave St. Louis and tour some of
the "Red" states. Come out and support this production and NARAL on opening
night at 7:00 pm at the CRC on Wednesday, September 14th.
Discounted ticketing is available for individuals or groups with special
For additional info hit the link or review the info below. Also, if you can,
please circulate and/or post this information. Thanks for your interest.
All my best,
READ MORE BELOW ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MISSOURI! A press release from
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and links
to a BLOG entry!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Angie Postal or Pamela Sumners at (314) 531-8616
"WORDS OF CHOICE" TO BENEFIT NARAL PRO-CHOICE MISSOURI AS LEGISLATURE MEETS
IN SPECIAL SESSION TO RESTRICT ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE
On September 14th, 2005, the eve of a special legislative session to consider
anti-choice bills and with Roe v. Wade hanging on the nomination of John
Roberts to the Supreme Court, NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri offers the one-night-only
performance of "Words of Choice," at 7:00 p.m. at Central Reform Congregation,
5020 Waterman at Kingshighway in St. Louis. The performance will benefit
activities of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri and also offers an opportunity to meet
new executive director Pamela Sumners. The ensemble cast, directed by Joan
Lipkin, artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company, will tour Kansas to
spread the message about women's experiences before Roe v. Wade and to underscore
the importance of taking seriously the current threats to overturn Roe.
"Words of Choice," created by Cindy Cooper, weaves together the comic and
serious thoughts of 14 writers including Justice Blackmun, Kathy Najimy, Kathleen
Tolan and Emily Lyons among others.. The play tells powerful and passionate
stories from the heart-hot-button topics include emergency contraception for
sexual assault survivors, abstinence education, and access to safe and legal
abortion. That Uppity Theatre Company and director Joan Lipkin are noted for
exploring political and social issues through the arts and for a bold style.
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri is the political arm of the pro-choice movement and
protects women's privacy and reproductive health throughout the state of
"Words of Choice" has toured colleges, community centers, faith-based
institutions and theaters in 18 cities.
"I wanted to break open the conversation on reproductive rights," said
playwright Cooper, who will be on hand following the performance for a panel
discussion with Washington University Law Professor Laura Rosenbury and NARAL
Pro-Choice Missouri Access Project Director Melissa Kimball. Kimball's 2005 survey of
Missouri pharmacies revealed that 9 out of 10 of them in rural areas do not
stock emergency contraception and that of those who refuse to stock or order
it, 59% cited a "moral objection." The panel will discuss the real-world impact
of legal decisions and the personal choices of individual pharmacists on a
woman's constitutional right to choose.
Because this is a benefit performance, ticket prices above the $20 general
admission price are gratefully accepted. Student and senior discounted tickets
available at $10. Any excess donations will support NARAL Pro-Choice's
Missouri's efforts to defeat anti-choice bills in the special session and grassroots
organizing throughout Missouri.
For more information and to order tickets call (314) 531-8616. To order
tickets online visit www.prochoicemissouri.org.
An Emergency SESSION IN MISSOURI costs $100,000 Minimum!
Read how 'ANTI-ABORTION 'EMERGENCY' SESSION MOCKS KATRINA SURVIVORS FACING A
REAL EMERGENCY' ...
These days, abortion rights groups are kept scrambling
By Jo Mannies
Of the Post-Dispatch
Monday, Sep. 05 2005
HUNDREDS OF abortion rights supporters, many of them from St. Louis, are
planning to converge on Jefferson City to protest against the Missouri
Legislature's special session that begins Tuesday.
Their aim is to attack the session's focus on the further restricting of
But by the time their abortion rights rally is held on Sept. 14, legislators
are likely to have already passed the anti-abortion bill and placed it on the
desk of Gov. Matt Blunt, who is eager to sign it into law.
Once again, the abortion rights forces have found themselves outmaneuvered by
the opposition. For apparently unrelated reasons, Blunt moved up the special
session's starting date by more than a week. The rally's timing, planned for
the initial opening day, now will come near the session's end.
Paula Gianino, president of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, said
the rally would have an impact "even if the deed is done."
She also cited her side's other efforts. Since last week, Planned Parenthood
and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri have been conducting a phone-bank operation to
galvanize allies against the bill. Planned Parenthood also is sending out
190,000 fliers this week that call the session "shameful."
On Wednesday, about 30 clergy and church representatives with the Religious
Coalition for Reproductive Choice are traveling to the state Capitol to lobby
for changes in the bill.
All that activity underscores how the state's abortion rights camp has had to
scramble ever since it lost its last bastions of political support.
The Missouri Legislature always has been made up largely of abortion
even when the Democrats ruled. But abortion rights forces wielded clout
they had powerful legislative allies, often the state House speakers. Term
limits ended that marriage.
The late Gov. Mel Carnahan has arguably been the state's most powerful
of abortion rights. After taking office in 1993, he shifted the focus to
abortion prevention and persuaded legislators to set up a state-funded family
planning program for the poor.
Abortion opponents launched legislative and legal battles against the program
because it sent state money to Planned Parenthood, the state's largest
provider of reproductive health services. The agency set up a separate arm
its abortion clinic operations, to back up its claim that no family planning
money was supporting abortion. Abortion opponents remained unconvinced.
Although Carnahan's own political career survived such controversies, he
acknowledged that abortion was becoming a powerful club - especially in rural
areas - that increasingly was knocking off fellow Democrats.
His successor, fellow Democrat Bob Holden, backed abortion rights but
block opponents who succeeded in killing off the family planning program and
passed more restrictions.
With an abortion opponent now as governor, Gianino's aim is revive the
"prevention first" campaign. She believes that the public is becoming
by conservatives' efforts to eliminate public spending on contraceptives for
the poor, and to remove contraceptive information from school sex education
The state Republican Party is somewhat split over the contraceptive debate.
the party has become so identified with the anti-abortion camp that there's
longer any high-profile GOP figures, such as former state Treasurer Wendell
Bailey, who publicly back abortion rights.
That history provides some context to the political problems that face both
parties as they prepare for the statewide elections next year.
State Auditor Claire McCaskill didn't mention abortion when she announced her
Democratic bid for the U.S. Senate in front of her family's old feed mill in
Houston, Mo. Afterward, she acknowledged that she backed abortion rights but
said that she wanted to return the focus to abortion prevention and making
adoption easier. But reporters wandering around Houston found few locals who
didn't mention abortion right off the bat.
Abortion rights groups who likely will back McCaskill in the Senate are now
faced with the prospect of having to go underground with their support.
A similar situation, though, confronts some Missouri Republicans - including
the governor - who oppose abortion but are splitting with anti-abortion
on the matter of stem cell research.
U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, McCaskill's Republican target, has sided with those
groups against embryonic and therapeutic stem cell research. But he's said
little publicly, especially since certain key Republicans - notably former
John C. Danforth and donor Sam Fox - have emphasized their support for stem
Missouri Right to Life President Pam Fichter predicts that stem cell research
will become "the biggest pro-life issue" in next year's legislative session
the November election.
However, Republican legislative leaders have agreed not to bring up stem cell
research during the special session. It's too divisive. Better for the GOP to
stick to abortion.
E-mail: jmannies at post-dispatch.com
For further information - 212-560-2616
Words of Choice ~~ dynamic pro-choice theater~~ wordsofchoice at mindspring.com
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