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Pregnancy center serves in heart of abortion battleground

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From TESSA REDMOND, Kentucky today

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (KT) – BsideU for Life has served women in the Louisville metroplex since 1988, often in close proximity to the few gynecological hospitals that offer abortion services in Kentucky.

“Our mission is to bring hope and support of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those affected by unplanned pregnancies and to stand by them for life,” said Monica Henderson, executive director of BsideU for Life. “We are gospel centered, we believe in the holiness of life, we are in prayer, we walk with integrity, we are intentional, we are relational, and we are discipled.”

Formerly known as A Woman’s Choice and Necole’s Place, BsideU for Life was renamed in 2017 and brought together their medical clinic and life skills service under one banner.

“When we changed our name to BsideU for Life, it wasn’t just about the baby’s life. We want long-term relationships with the women we interact with, ”explained Henderson. “Some of our customers have literally been with us for years and know that they can come back anytime.”

Like many pregnancy centers, BsideU offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, option advice, and STI tests and treatments. They also offer educational services like GED support, parenting classes, stress and anger management, financial readiness, and Bible studies.

However, BsideU is unique among Kentucky pregnancy centers in that its location on W. Market Street shares a wall with one of the state’s two abortion providers: the EMW Women’s Surgical Center. In the mid-1990s, BsideU was next to another abortion clinic that has since closed and later shared a semi-detached house with a satellite office of Planned Parenthood before they were approved by the state to perform abortions.

“It’s in our DNA to go near the abortion clinic or to clinics depending on the situation,” said Henderson.

BsideU for Life has been near EMW since 2000, and the proximity has brought some unique challenges.

“It’s always been a very controversial block because of the clinic escorts and the presence of pro-life advocates on the sidewalk,” Henderson said. “It set us of the abortion community a goal – a bigger goal. I think pregnancy centers feel that there is always a goal; it only got more pronounced when we physically moved right next to EMW. “

Klinikeskorten, a group of abortion volunteers who introduce women to the EMW, often stand near the BSideU parking lot and yell at patients.

“When a woman drives into our parking lot and we want to serve her and there is a clinic escort on the edge of our parking lot and she yells that we’re not the abortion clinic and we’re doing bad things, it’s hard,” said Henderson.

“When a girl comes into our center and someone yells at her and yells at her and tells her not to come here (and) that we are the wrong clinic, those kinds of things can shake your heart a little bit,” added Theresa Skeeters , a client attorney who has worked for BsideU for 15 years. “That has a negative effect. Nobody likes to be yelled at and yelled at, and the girls are nervous before they even get out of the car. “

“We focus on the woman in crisis, not the escort. We are here to serve her, ”said Henderson.

Although the BsideU staff and volunteers have experienced resistance on the sidewalks outside their location on W. Market Street, they are greatly supported by the local churches. These partners take part in the annual baby bottle campaign, send volunteers or support BsideU with their mission budgets.

“We have some really fantastic church relationships and we want to keep them alive not just because they support us and what we do, (but because) we want them to be a church home for our customers,” said Henderson. “We always try to connect (our customers) with healthy, balanced, supportive evangelical churches.”

BsideU has helped more than 650 women in the last year alone and will continue to love and serve families as the abortion landscape in America changes over the next few years.

“Women will still have unplanned pregnancies until Jesus returns,” said Henderson. “The work of the pregnancy center will not end when Roe v. Wade tipped, abortions made illegal, or restrictions tightened to the point that it is incredibly difficult to perform an abortion. The work in the pregnancy center will still take place. “

To learn more about BsideU for Life, visit bsideu.org.

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Women’s Health

In Response to NH Executive Council Vote to Defund Granite State Family Planning Organizations, NH Delegation Urges Biden Admin to Swiftly Award Supplemental Assistance Directly to Impacted Providers

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17.09.2021

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) headed a letter today with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urged HHS to make additional grants directly to the New Hampshire family planning providers that were recently withdrawn by the New Hampshire Executive Council and are not receiving Title X program funding.

On Wednesday, the delegation slammed the Executive Board after it voted to terminate several contracts for family planning organizations, effectively cutting off critical services to women’s health care providers across New Hampshire, such as planned parenting.

Today the delegation wrote: “As a result of the actions of the Executive Board, several family planning providers are facing budget constraints that will affect the availability of health care for thousands of granite staters, mostly women, who rely on family planning providers for their vital health. “Including breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, birth control and other reproductive health services. Low-income women and rural women will be disproportionately affected by the reckless decision of the Executive Board. We are deeply concerned about the health care gap that will be inevitable without immediate federal support. “

They continued, “With the situation looming in New Hampshire, we ask HHS to review all available means to provide immediate support to affected family planning providers in our state. We appreciate HHS efforts to repeal the harmful Title X-Gag rule and restore federal funding for family planning providers in New Hampshire and across the country. However, the family planning providers in New Hampshire need immediate help. We therefore demand that the providers be provided with additional funds quickly and directly in order to close the funding gap they are confronted with. “

You can read the letter in full here.

Wednesday’s Executive Council vote is particularly egregious as it follows the Trump administration’s years of attacks on women’s reproductive health, particularly President Trump’s implementation of the Title X Gag Rule, which controls the majority of family planning providers in New Hampshire rules out federal grants. In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Welfare Xavier Becerra urging him to support family planning providers in New Hampshire who will lose government funds under the New Hampshire Draft Budget. This support is urgently needed to help these vendors fill the funding gap until the Biden administration can complete its repeal of the Trump administration rule.

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Taliban Seize Women’s Ministry Building for Use by Religious Police

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KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban have converted the women’s ministry building into offices for the Religious Morality Police, which once fueled fears of their oppression of women and the brutal enforcement of Sharia law by the militant government two decades ago in Afghanistan.

The renovation of the building in Kabul, the country’s capital, indicated at least a symbolic slap in the face from a ministry that embodied the rise of women in Afghanistan after the Taliban was ousted in 2001.

A video posted by Reuters showed women employed by the ministry protesting in front of the building because the Taliban had denied them entry and told them to go home.

It remains unclear whether the Department of Women was abolished by the Taliban, who regained power after the collapse of the US-backed government last month. But when the Taliban announced their incumbent cabinet members for the new government earlier this month, there was no appointment to oversee women’s affairs.

And in another ominous sign of renewed gender discrimination among the Taliban, the Ministry of Education ordered male teachers back to work and said secondary school classes for boys would resume on Saturday. There was no talk of girls.

The Ministry of Women’s new resident, the Ministry of Inviting, Guiding, and Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice, appears to be just a slightly renamed name for the notorious Taliban standards of conduct enforcer who made the group a global pariah in the 1990s.

The Ministry’s police officers have been known to beat or flog women who ventured outside their homes without full body covering and male escorts. They banned girls from school after elementary school and banned women from looking for work. Unmarried couples risked death by stoning for adultery.

While the Taliban leaders have recognized that Afghanistan has evolved after two decades of American-led occupation, they have also left women fearful of what the future may bring. No women have been appointed to positions of authority under the new Taliban government, and steps have been taken to separate men and women in public spaces.

Earlier this week, Minister of Higher Education Abdul Baqi Haqqani said women could continue to study in universities and postgraduate courses, but only in gender-segregated classrooms in appropriate Islamic clothing.

The building that formerly housed the Ministry of Women is in a former liberal district of Kabul that is full of cafes and a popular Turkish-run shopping mall with clothing stores, a counterfeit Apple store, and restaurants ranging from fast food chains to high profile Restaurants littered -end steak house.

Now a white Taliban flag is waving over the armored gate of the building complex, adorned with a sign for the ministry, who is its new resident, while Taliban security forces stand guard.

Understanding the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan

Map 1 of 6

Who are the Taliban? The Taliban emerged in 1994 amid the unrest following the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, including flogging, amputation and mass executions, to enforce their rules. Here is more about their genesis and track record as rulers.

Who are the Taliban leaders? These are the top leaders of the Taliban, men who for years have been on the run, in hiding, in prison and dodged American drones. Little is known about them or how they plan to govern, including whether they will be as tolerant as they say they are. A spokesman told the Times the group wanted to forget about their past, but there would be some restrictions.

The walls surrounding the site are still adorned with murals and signs depicting the work of the Ministry of Women, but some have had women’s faces vandalized, a type of vandalism that has occurred elsewhere in Afghanistan since the Taliban regained power is to be observed.

A sign that reads “Supporting women who are victims of violence is our human duty” shows a woman with a black eye. Another is from the United States Agency for International Development, which has been a major resource for Afghanistan, and read, “Keep your city green and clean.”

Even critics of the American military’s long stay in Afghanistan have recognized the progress made by Afghan women over the past two decades. Under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, women’s health, literacy rates and employment all rose. Assistance and shelter were given to abused women. Women entered the legislature and other positions of power.

A revealing barometer of growth was shown in the changing composition of the workforce. A World Bank study found that women made up 22 percent of the workforce in 2019, compared to 15 percent in 2009. A survey conducted two years ago by the Asia Foundation also showed growing public support for women in the workplace, with 76 percent of Afghans support women’s right to work outside the home.

The news of the Taliban’s conversion of the Ministry of Women came when the United Nations Security Council reassigned the organization’s six-month mission to Afghanistan. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which was established in the aftermath of the US invasion in 2002, is the primary tool for monitoring Taliban’s behavior following the chaotic US military withdrawal last month.

Stéphane Dujarric, the UN spokesman in New York, said he knew nothing about the development of the Ministry of Women and could not comment on it. Nevertheless, there have been “worrying developments in recent times, but we are continuing our dialogue and our advocacy for women’s rights, for girls’ rights, especially in the field of work and education”.

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Women’s Health

Addressing the pandemic’s toll on women’s health in the workplace

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Released: September 18, 2021


Alex Perry, CEO at Bupa UK Insurance

September 16, 2021

The global pandemic was a world changing event and it is inevitable that it has had, and will continue to have, an impact on almost every segment of society. While it continues to affect lives and livelihoods around the world, we can already see the resulting consequences affect gender equality. McKinsey estimates that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs; The burden of unpaid childcare during school closings and the care of relatives during the lockdown was disproportionately borne by women with the closure of schools, and unfortunately the rate of domestic violence is also increasing.[1]

The pandemic is adding to another area of ​​gender inequality – health. It has shed a harsh light on some of the persistent health inequalities, and research by Bupa in the 2021 Census of Workplace Wellbeing found that a significantly larger proportion of women than men think the pandemic is negatively affecting them Life has an impact on health and wellbeing – two-thirds of women (66%) versus 57% of men.

While it is inevitable that the scale of a global pandemic will affect almost everyone, its impact on women and their working lives is undeniable – our census showed that a third (32%) of women felt that their mental health was affecting their work , and many are struggling with the transition to working from home. A quarter (26%) have seen blurred lines between work and personal life with the World Health Organization (WHO)[2] This suggests that many women find themselves in an impossible situation of multiple caring responsibilities, with some returning to traditional household roles as well as their professional workload. While every woman’s situation is different, it is clear that COVID-19 continues to exacerbate existing inequalities for many. In addition, the long-term effects of the pandemic will have social and economic repercussions for women for many years to come.

[3]How can organizations react effectively and create conditions for optimal equality for women? In recent years, companies have recognized the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This is stronger today than ever as companies with more diversity are more likely to outperform less heterogeneous ones in terms of profitability. The pandemic is therefore providing a unique opportunity for companies to rethink how they can support women at all stages of life so they can realize their career potential, with no better starting point than women’s health. Employers have a responsibility to support their employees and create an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive and do their best mentally and physically.

There are still some taboos and information gaps surrounding women’s health. One of the few benefits of the pandemic is that we are prioritizing our health more than ever. Let’s take this golden opportunity to rethink how we can better support the health and wellbeing of women, starting in the workplace.

References

Effects of COVID-19 on Women and Gender Equality | McKinsey

https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-determinants/gender/news/news/2021/3/inspiring-change-womens-leadership-in-health-care-is-vital- during-the-covid-19-pandemic-and-beyond

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters#

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