Topic

women's health

150 petitions

Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to

Move Medical Conferences Out of States Without Full Access to Reproductive Care

Our New York Times opinion piece titled "A Plea From More Than 100 Medical Professionals: Boycott Anti-Abortion States" is our first call to action to restore the reproductive rights of women in the U.S.   As medical professionals across specialties, we urge that all future medical conferences move to states that fully recognize the rights of all women and support full access to health care services across the continuum, including reproductive care. We recognize that the diagnosis of any serious medical condition, including cancer, may be intimately entwined with decisions about reproductive health; the recent SCOTUS decision Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health is a failure to recognize this.  In 2022, we should be in support of fundamental access to healthcare services for all genders. This is an issue of equality, dignity, respect, and equity. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey Justice Blackmun recognized the risks faced by the individual and the need for autonomy to make that decision. "These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment . . .the liberty of the woman is at stake in a sense unique to the human condition and so unique to the law. The mother who carries a child to full term is subject to anxieties, to physical constraints, to pain that only she must bear."  There are myriad complex circumstances involving the health of the mother and any future child; every patient should have full facts and options to preserve their life and health. Most fundamentally, carrying a pregnancy to term is associated with an increase in mortality for the mother, which affects her and her family in those most fundamental of ways. The risk of dying in childbirth in the U.S ranges widely across states (4.5/100,000 per live births in California to 46.2/100,000 in Georgia), and the highest rates are in states where full reproductive rights are being banned.   States that discriminate against women by banning reproductive freedom in every circumstance directly harm the physical and mental health of women and those that care for them and violates the right to privacy between physician and patient. States like Texas have gone further, turning citizens into bounty hunters to sue neighbors and anyone helping persons for providing medical advice and services. The vigilante provision is meant to harass and frighten medical providers to stop doing their jobs.  Justice Sonia Sotomayor has called this measure “a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny.”   As researchers of and advocates for health, we cannot support wanton disregard for health and reproductive rights. We cannot tacitly endorse laws by explicitly promoting the economy of states in direct conflict with our role in promoting women’s health and public health writ large.  Following the Dobbs v. Jackson, many states have moved to ban abortion outright. This is a direct threat to our mission to comprehensively treat and care for our patients. National and international conferences that attract tens of thousands of people each year to attend should be moved out of states that have elected to ban abortions/reproductive freedom.  We encourage states that preserve reproductive rights immediately begin to add capacity to host large conventions so that meetings can be moved. As leaders in medicine, we have the power to choose where we host and attend conferences about health and education. We cannot conscionably choose to continue to have these conferences in venues that do not share our goals about health and equity. Commitments and changes to venues are already in process (https://www.sccm.org/Annual-Congress/critical-care-conference)   We must make it clear that states that undermine women’s health and public health measures will not be supported by our business. We urge companies that sponsor conferences to join us. Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Gonzales v. Carhart said “[L]egal challenges to undue restrictions on abortion . . . center on a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.” We urge that all businesses that do not wish to treat women as second-class citizens take this course of action. Signed, Laura Esserman, MD, MBA Douglas Yee, MD Credit: Photo by Emma Guliani NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/21/opinion/letters/doctors-abortion.html    

Laura Esserman, MD MBA
301 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to California legislature, Authors of California Senate Bill 132

The repealing or rewrite of a California Senate Bill #132

To see my Facebook page is to clearly understand my newest quest to protect women behind bars from being bullied and abused due to a door my lawsuit (Norsworthy Vs Beard) opened in April 2015. California Senate Bill 132 Allows for any Man or Woman to claim they are one gender or the other, and they are eligible to be housed in prison consistent with that claim. Research SB132 on your browser and YouTube for background. This petition intends to gather support, allowing myself and colleagues to pursue signatures enabling us to travel to Sacramento and get a re-hearing before the legislature to either have SB132 repealed or re-written. We want actual Transgender Women-Females (not to be confused with crossdressers) and Cisgender women-females to be allowed to participate in a rewrite. But, we need a little help for gas, food, and lodging, to take on the journey to get the voices of incarcerated women heard, which is what did not happen before and during SB132's passing in 2020. I was there when the transfers began. I, Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, am a direct material witness to facts, not the ideal, which, in theory, is excellent. But, the original testimony and thought behind SB132 was to protect trans people from being victimized...I was there when the first 20 arrived, and they weren't victims by any definition of the word "victim." The remainder I must leave for my testimony before the State Congress. My case is a strong standing precedent in the legal world, and I am for "Equal Rights" and not trans rights only. My case was supposed to level the playing field, not open the door for opportunistic parasites to create such a harmful variation, eliminating the state's need to pay for Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS). Please help us, help the women incarcerated in California. Todah Rabbah.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy
289 supporters
This petition won 1 month ago

Petition to Fall River School Committee, B.M.C Durfee School Administration

Make Menstrual Products Available at B​.​M​.​C Durfee High School's Girls Bathrooms

1 in 5 school age girls in the United States have missed at least a full school day due to menstruation related problems, be it illness, lack of access to menstrual products,  or lack of access to medication.  A multi-million dollar school should not be failing it's female students by making menstrual products inaccessible. The previous Durfee building had free tampon and menstrual pad dispensing machines that female students could access in their single sex student bathrooms, without having to ask an adult or staff member for help or permission. At our current Durfee building, there are none of these dispensing machines, and female students are expected to go to the nurse's office to ask for a tampon/menstrual pad. Female students should not have to disclose or defend their menstrual cycle to a staff member in order to receive an every-day sanitary product. This can also lead to questions about why a student can't afford or doesn't have a product with them packed already, which is not the business of a school staff member.  Single sex bathrooms should mirror the needs of the sex using them. It's a fact that the majority of adolescent and teenage girls menstruate, and we are not welcoming girls into our school when we do not meet their needs. It is a school's responsibility to ensure students are healthy, safe, and prepared to learn for the duration of the school day. It's necessary we make menstrual products accessible in each girl's bathroom. 

secret student
61 supporters
This petition won 2 months ago

Petition to Connecticut State House, Connecticut State Senate, Ned Lamont

End Forced Pelvic Exams in Connecticut

*Please note that this petition contains clarifications to the original text. Imagine needing surgery. You would worry about a lot of things. Finding the best doctor. Finding the best hospital. Having a complication. Not waking up from the anesthesia. The pain you will experience afterwards. The list goes on. Now imagine having one more worry. But this one isn’t to do with your health. Rather, it is to do with protecting yourself. Protecting yourself from the possibility of forced vaginal or rectal penetration for the purpose of practice/education while you are unconscious and unable to give - or withhold - consent. Would you have the surgery? Would you take that risk? Now you may have a choice to make. Do you protect your health, and indeed, your own life by undergoing the surgery? Or do you protect your body from the potential of an unwanted and unwarranted invasion by not having the surgery, but in doing so risk your health, and maybe even your life? The situation above probably sounds ridiculous to you. It probably sounds like something out of a dystopian novel. But the reality is, this is the situation facing the people of Connecticut right now. Because of language commonly found in medical consent forms, teaching hospitals can have a lot of leeway in the way they use their patients in their teaching practices. Language in consent forms is often written to be broad, particularly surrounding the role of students and trainees in the provision of healthcare, which in many cases consists of only one or two lines, and follows the following formula: “I understand that students and trainees may be involved in my care and consent to treatment by providers in the event of unforeseen events or complications.” Those one or two lines are typically buried in the middle or at the end of a form, which patients often report being rushed to sign by providers or administrators as they are “standard.”  Most patients assume “student involvement” - unless otherwise specified - is limited to observation. Unfortunately in Connecticut, it is not illegal for medical students to practice pelvic and prostate examinations on anesthetized patients without their direct and informed consent.   There is a bill before the Connecticut state legislature right now - HB-5278 (updated to reflect the 2022 assigned bill number) - that would ban the use of non-consensual pelvic and prostate examinations as a part of the medical education process. It will still allow students to practice their clinical skills - it poses no threat to their education or to their ability and opportunity to one day become competent, confident, and experienced clinicians. It simply prohibits students from practicing these invasive examinations on patients who have not given their specific consent. HB-5278 (updated to reflect the 2022 assigned bill number) is the latest iteration of this legislation, which was first introduced in the Connecticut state legislature in 2019 as SB 16. Unfortunately, while other states have acted quickly to enact similar laws, Connecticut’s bill did not even get a hearing during the 2021 legislative session.  The Yale University School of Medicine came out in opposition to the original iteration of this legislation (SB 16 - An Act Prohibiting an Unauthorized Pelvic Exam on a Woman Who is Under Deep Sedation or Anesthesia) in 2019, submitting public testimony to the state legislature stating, in part, that “all consent forms contain specific language explaining the involvement of trainees in the decision making and procedural process.” Please take a moment to judge that for yourself. Sample consent form language - in this case Yale's - reads as follows: “I understand that some of the system hospitals are teaching hospitals. Doctors or other health practitioners who are members of the care team and are in training may help my practitioner with the procedure. I understand the purpose and potential benefits of the procedure in relation to my goals. I give permission to my responsible practitioner to do whatever may be necessary if there is a complication or unforeseen condition during my procedure.” *Disclaimer - Yale's consent form language is provided as an example here as they refer to consent forms in their 2019 public testimony in opposition to SB 16 - An Act Prohibiting an Unauthorized Pelvic Exam on a Woman Who is Under Deep Sedation or Anesthesia cited in the above paragraph.* Tell me - would you define a student or trainee as a “responsible practitioner” in the event of a complication or unforeseen condition? Would any reasonable person? And how does a student’s need for practice - which is in no way unforeseen and can be established ahead of time - fall under that category? And when you sign any consent form, at any medical institution or provider, stating you understand the benefits of a procedure to your goals, would you even begin to imagine that  an intimate examination by a student who is unlicensed conducted for the purpose of them practicing their clinical skills could possibly be covered under that language?  Interestingly enough, medical students from various states have expressed discomfort conducting intimate examinations on patients for the purpose of practice without knowing whether that patient has given direct and informed consent, but did not feel at liberty to voice their discomfort or opt out.  We aren’t asking for much. We aren’t asking teaching institutions to sacrifice the educational opportunities they offer their students, or to take opportunities away from students. We are simply insisting that those opportunities only be offered with the consent of the patients whose bodies they are using. We are insisting that exploitation and abuse no longer play a role in the medical education of our state’s future doctors, and that they are taught the importance of consent early on. And we are insisting that our laws protect us from the dehumanization and indignity of being turned into living teaching tools without our consent. Hospitals exist to serve their patients - patients do not exist to serve hospitals, and we do not owe hospitals the use of our bodies in exchange for necessary healthcare. *Disclaimer - Yale is referred to in this petition due to their 2019 public testimony in opposition to SB 16. It is not the intent of this petition to accuse or in any way allege that the Yale School of Medicine or any of its affiliates or students have ever participated in or are currently participating in these practices.* If you are a Connecticut resident just becoming aware of this practice, please join us in standing up and saying enough by signing this petition and contacting your state representative and senator. If you live outside of Connecticut, please stand in solidarity with our state’s residents and in demanding justice and protection for us when we are at our most vulnerable. In addition to signing below, please consider reaching out to the Public Health Committee at (phtestimony@cga.ct.gov or by phone at (860) 240‑0560. If you are a Connecticut resident, please consider reaching out to your state representative (if you unsure of who yours is, you can find out https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp If you would like to learn more about this issue, please have a look at the following articles: Explicit Consent for Pelvic and Prostate Exams: A Case for CT House Bill 5067https://ctexaminer.com/2021/03/20/explicit-consent-for-pelvic-and-prostate-exams-a-case-for-ct-house-bill-5067/ Providers Are Sexually Assaulting Patients — and It’s Legalhttps://www.healthline.com/health/nonconsensual-internal-exams-sexual-assault#1 Medical Students Regularly Practice Pelvic Exams On Unconscious Patients. https://www.elle.com/life-love/a28125604/nonconsensual-pelvic-exams-teaching-hospitals/

Livia Fry
110,445 supporters