Minnesota Feminists Speak Out!

The unofficial blog of Minnesota NOW


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The Hersey Abortion Assistance Fund and how you can help

In 1970, U.S. Representative (D-NY) and NOW member Shirley Chisholm wrote:

Women are dying every day, did you know that? They’re being butchered and maimed. No matter what men think, abortion is a fact of life. Women will have them; they always have and always will. Are they going to have good ones or bad ones? Will the good ones be reserved for the rich while poor women have to go to quacks? Why don’t we talk about real problems instead of phony ones?

This quote is from her first book Unbought and Unbossed, now available in a 40th anniversary edition.  Unfortunately, the battle for reproductive justice is far from over.  As it was true in1970, abortions are easily obtained by the rich, while the poor are left to fend for themselves–Roe v. Wade legalized the procedure in 1973, but the 1977 Hyde Amendment barred Medicaid funds from paying for it.

Minnesota’s own Pro-Choice Resources created the Hersey Abortion Assistance Fund to, in their words, “dismantle the economic restrictions and barriers to information that make vital reproductive health care inaccessible for too many women, especially young women, women of color, and poor women.”

Earlier today, pro-life blogger Jill Stanek announced gleefully that the Hersey Fund was out of money.  A cursory glance at the rantings on Jill’s page should be enough to drive you to Pro-Choice Resources’ web page to make your safe, secure donation to the HAAF.   The words of one recipient:

I had nowhere to go, no money and no one to talk to. I called the Hersey Abortion Assistance Fund number and for the first time in 2 months I felt I could breathe again, the lady that I talked to seemed so caring and understanding. They don’t just give you money they help you emotionally and when you go through something like that it means more than all the money in the world. I could never thank them enough.

If you can spare even a small donation for the HAAF, please do so today. 


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ACTION ALERT! The truth behind “Positive Alternatives”!

You’ve heard about the separation of church and state.  How about the separation of fact and fiction?

Minnesota NOW applauds the investigation by the Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey in a new article about the repercussions of 2005’s Positive Alternatives Act that was posted today: “State pays for ‘misinformation’ about reproductive health.”

In his findings:

  • The St. Croix Valley Life Care Center  in Stillwater, which receives $295,751 each year in direct grants from the state, refuses to dispense birth control pills because they cause abortions
  • Health Resources Life Care Center in Fergus Falls receives $149,998 annually and similarly offers information on its website that states that “an abortion will occur” if a patient takes emergency contraception
  • The Northside Life Care Center in Minneapolis, which receives $124,980 in state funds annually, says that “Artificial methods of birth control … cause early abortions. We recommend natural family planning for those who are married and chastity for those who are not married”

As Birkey notes, “nearly every major medical association has said just the opposite.”  Birkey also quotes the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who state: “Emergency contraception will not disrupt an established pregnancy. Women often are exposed to exogenous hormones in early pregnancy without adverse outcome. Some women undergoing assisted reproductive technology procedures to achieve pregnancy are routinely prescribed progesterone to support the pregnancy.”

Birthline, which is based in St. Cloud and receives $147,730 per year, says that abortion can increase the risk of breast cancer, a claim that was debunked by the American Cancer Society.

Click HERE to be linked to the Minnesota Legislature’s web page, where you can find the contact information of the people who represent you.  Let them know today that the Positive Alternatives Act of 2005 is absolutely, positively spreading false information to women about their reproductive health.  Demand that your legislators investigate the use of state funds for spreading religious, not scientific, views.