women's health

165 petitions

Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to

Oppose Non-Consensual Pelvic/Prostate/Rectal Exams in Massachusetts

“Before anyone performs a pelvic, rectal, or prostate exam on me, I expect them to ask my permission first.” Does that seem like a reasonable statement to you? If so - we need your help.  This statement is the sentiment at the heart of legislation that has been pending in Massachusetts since 2019 - legislation that would close legal loopholes that allow for non-consensual intimate exams on unconscious patients.  It is unimaginable to most of us that in 2022 someone could or would ever be subjected to a non-consensual pelvic, rectal, or prostate examination. Yet, it is not uncommon for medical students to learn how to do intimate exams by "practicing" on anesthetized patients who have come in for surgical procedures, often without their  prior knowledge or consent. This practice has a long history in the US and, unfortunately, is legal in the majority of states. In fact, this peer-reviewed research study conducted by Dr. Ari Silver-Isenstadt showed that 90% of students learn to conduct pelvic, rectal, and prostate exams on unconscious patients without explicit consent.  Intimate exams can happen to anesthetized patients in other scenarios as well. We are calling for the state of Massachusetts to protect ALL PATIENTS, regardless of gender, from non-consensual intimate exams.  Both students and patients are traumatized by this long-standing practice. It is very hard for medical students to say "no" when they are asked to do something unethical, and the psychological impact on them can be significant.  Our goal is to pass a law that will require healthcare providers, students, and trainees to explain the exams to patients ahead of time, introduce the individual or individuals who plan(s) to perform them, and require the patient’s signature on a form that clearly spells out the purpose and nature of the exam as well as who will be performing it. Patients will have the right to either consent or refuse. If they refuse, their bodies then cannot be used for training purposes. This would, in effect, bring medical practices and policies into line with what the general public overwhelmingly already wants and expects from our healthcare providers. Please sign whether or not you live in Massachusetts There is evidence of this happening in Massachusetts, where these practices remain legal. It goes without saying why you should care about this if you live in the state. However, even if you are not a Massachusetts resident, this issue very much impacts you too. The medical students who learn how to be doctors in Massachusetts go on to practice all over the country. The practices they learn and the attitudes toward consent and patient autonomy they acquire there will go on to impact the patients they end up seeing throughout their careers - in the South, in the Midwest, in the Southwest, on the West Coast - everywhere. There is a good chance you will be treated by a doctor who was educated in Massachusetts at some point in your life, meaning you have a stake in this legislation too.  Medical Education Gets to do Better Institutions often defend this practice as necessary for medical education. We need to ban this practice in order to make it clear that this kind of betrayal of patients’ bodies is not acceptable. It is time that we send a clear message that informed consent is critical for all intimate exams. Choice and consent to all medical procedures are our fundamental human rights. We aren’t asking medical students to stop learning, and we aren’t asking medical schools to stop educating them. We are, however, demanding that any who are doing so at the expense of their patients’ dignity and bodily autonomy immediately stop. It is not only wrong - it is unnecessary. Studies show that up 72% of patients would consent to students performing practice exams on them if asked - but they rightly expect to be asked.  It’s Time for Massachusetts Twenty-one states have already passed laws requiring direct and informed consent for intimate exams, and we are hoping 2023 will see Massachusetts join them. Please sign our petition to show the Massachusetts state legislature that you support the passage of this law, and that you want to see the state take a strong stance supporting our right to decide what happens to our own bodies. Together, we can and we will get this done!  RESOURCES: >> Here are some resources documenting this practice, a recent article on best legislative practices and the trailer for the new documentary At Your Cervix << Medical Students Regularly Practice Pelvic Exams On Unconscious Patients  Providers Are Sexually Assaulting Patients — and It’s Legal  A Medical Student’s Perspective: Barnes, S. S. (2012). Practicing pelvic examinations by medical students on women under anesthesia. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 120(4), 941–943.  An Article on the Impact of Non-consensual Exams on Med Student Attitudes Toward Consent:  *Ubel, P. A., Jepson, C., & Silver-Isenstadt, A. (2003). Don't ask, don't tell: A change in medical student attitudes after obstetrics/gynecology clerkships toward seeking consent for pelvic examinations on an anesthetized patient. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 188(2), 575–579.  A Legal Perspective: Wilson, R. F. (2005). Autonomy suspended: Using female patients to teach intimate exams without their knowledge or consent. Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, 8(2), 240-263. At Your Cervix - 2-minute Trailer (please join us in getting this film out there) 

A'magine Goddard
58,322 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Kamala Harris, Madeleine Dean, Jenniffer González-Colón, Gregory W. Meeks, Nancy Pelosi, Gordon Johnson, Cory Booker

Petition to Advance the Rights of Widows in the United States and Worldwide

In the United States, widows are expected to control most of the $30 trillion in wealth of the baby boomer generation by 2030 -- a potential wealth transfer that approaches the annual GDP of the United States¹; yet American WIDOWS remain mostly invisible in the eyes of policy makers and the law. Every day, widows continue to fight for their rightful estates, social security benefits, bereavement leave, and access to healthcare.  Internationally, over 300 million widows endure systematic disinheritance of their rightful property, eviction, discrimination at the hands of laws and culture, and violent traditional cleansing rights that plunge them, and 600 million children, into vicious underworlds of poverty, human trafficking, child marriage, and violence.  And Covid-19 is a #WidowMaker. It’s time we begin to recognize the needs of widows, and their families, in the United States and beyond. It’s time to #MakeWidowsMatter.  We propose these important widow/widower recognitions: 1) Create a new office entitled The Office on Widowed Persons (OWP) within the Administration for Children & Families (ACF), a division of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).  The purpose of OWP would be to protect and assist widows and widowers in the United States. 2) Increase the number of bereavement days to be equal to the current allowable days for childbirth leave provided under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 3) Increase the current one-time survivor death benefit payment from $255 to $1,500. 4) Provide free healthcare (Medicare-like disability) for widows for a term of two to three years from the death of a spouse. 5) Introduce legislation ensuring the protection and monitoring of widows’ rights is prioritized in the future issuance of foreign aid. 6) Require the U.S. Department of State to include widows in its international human rights reporting requirements and to create programs to facilitate their economic and legal empowerment. 7) Call for the U.S. to propose a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly to protect rights and security of widows in the US and globally. 8) Call for the U.S. to propose a resolution in the United Nations Security Council to protect rights and security of widows in conflict and post conflict contexts. 9) Recognize International Widows' Day June 23 to coincide with the United Nations  10) Designate U.S. National Widows' Week of Awareness - Annually, the week after Father’s Day. Father’s Day was inspired by a widower, and this is one way to honor mothers who act in place of fathers. 11) Designate U.S. National Widowers Week of Awareness - Recognized annually, the week after Mother’s Day. Mother’s day was inspired by a widow, and this is one way to honor fathers who act in place of mothers.'s_Day  Mr. President, Madam Vice-President, and members of Congress, the United States of America would be the first and only country to take such important steps towards the needs of this group of citizens. Let's lead the charge for these audacious and necessary changes. Modern Widows Club, Global Fund for Widows, and our joint community of global supporters and partners are fully behind these important proposals to improve widowed persons’ lives worldwide.  #ModernWidowsClub #GlobalFundForWidows #OneMillionWidows #WidowAdvocacy #WidowRights #MakeWidowsMatter #CovidIsaWidowMaker Citation: ¹ McKinsey & Company Financial "Women as the next wave of growth in U.S. wealth management" July, 29, 2020.

Modern Widows Club
10,561 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Maryland State House, Maryland Governor, Steny Hoyer, Katherine Klausmeier, Pamela E. Queen, Alma Adams, Maxine Waters, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Delores G. Kelley, Jill P. Carter, California State Senate, Florida State Senate, John R. Curtis, Alaska State Senate, Vivian Davis Figures, Shelley Hughes, Karen Fann, Jane English, Rosa L. DeLauro, Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia State House, New York Times, Daniel Adam, Yvette D'Ath, ABC, Angela Merkel (CDU), Amazon, Scott Morrison, Juan Ignacio Zoido, Mark Zuckerberg, Bryan Steil, Joseph R. Biden, Rand Paul, FOX Broadcasting Company, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, CBS, Georgia State Senate, Tammy Baldwin, Dianne Feinstein

Stop employers from forcing women in the workplace to wear heels causing permanent damage

GLOBAL WOMENS HEALTH & RIGHTS ISSUE! SAVE OUR SPINES & FEET from employers sexist, barbaric, gender discrimination high heels policy! Casinos & Employers around the world are responsible for the PERMANENT DAMAGE to the spines and feet of thousands of women! MUST SEE VIDEO     MAKE the "men" wear heels! MGM National harbor in Oxon Hill MD and hundreds of employers across the nation are mandating that female servers wear high heels or be terminated. Thousands of women all over the nation are being forced to wear heels to work to appeal to the sexual desires of male executives or as they put it "appearance standards". This only applies to female servers not men. Wearing heels for more than an hour daily will change your bone structure eventually causing permanent damage such as scoliosis, Plantar Fasciitis, and Sciatica. It causes permanent damage to the spine and feet. Many women are forced to resort to surgery, even after surgery women are left with lifetime damage. Why should you be forced to choose between your health and your job. Forcing women to wear heels for any amount of time is detrimental to their health especially when they're the average American working 40 hours a week, but required by employers to wear heels however the males in the workplace get to wear comfortable flats/sneaker like shoes. Casinos and many Employers across America are causing permanent damage to their employees emotionally and physically. Women are being fired for not adhering to the demands of employers forcing them to wear shoes that cause severe pain and a plethora of health issues Podiatrist say high heels immediately shift your entire body weight to the ball of your foot, when it should be on the heel of your foot. This puts more stress on your knees. Your lower back and chest are pushed forward, throwing your spine out of alignment. And worst of all, foot pain may strike at any time.  Prolonged wear of high heels is linked to a long list of foot injuries, like fractures, bunions, and the afore-mentioned strains and sprains. They’re behind the most common emergency room visits for women, and over time, can weaken the muscles and tendons in your legs, ankles, and feet.         

Rebecca Lopez
1,671 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)

Help Measure the Placenta and PUSH Pregnancy End Preventable Stillbirth

Did you know that more children are stillborn than die from prematurity, SIDS, car accidents, drowning, guns, fire, flu, poison, and listeria COMBINED? In fact, a baby is 10 times more likely to be born still than to die from SIDS. In the U.S., 23,000 babies are stillborn every year (source CDC). That’s equivalent to 3 kindergarten classes wiped out every day and unlike in other countries, the number is not falling. We need to take action now and we need your help. Research has proven that many of these babies could have been saved and that’s where Measure the Placenta and PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy come in. We have a solution—measure the placenta during a standard prenatal ultrasound. This will save babies' lives, and it is backed up by research from Yale University. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the professional association of physicians that sets the standards for prenatal care. It is unacceptable for ACOG and prenatal care providers to continually ignore placenta size as a risk factor for stillbirth and to do nothing to try to stop these preventable deaths, many at or near term. We want ACOG to address the stillbirth crisis. We want ACOG to start an advisory group to recommend next steps to address the unacceptably high rate of preventable stillbirths in the U.S. We want placenta sizes to be monitored during pregnancy as a risk factor for poor outcomes, including stillbirth. We want fetal size to be charted, along with placenta size, and any deviation from either growth curve to be flagged and investigated. We want ACOG to lead the way by implementing third trimester Estimated Placental Volume (EPV) measurements into routine clinical care. Families affected by stillbirth would like to work with ACOG to end preventable stillbirths and save babies now. Unlike other countries where the stillbirth rate has declined, the stillbirth rate in the U.S. has remained stagnant for decades. It’s time for change. It’s time to measure the placenta! You can help us by signing this petition to make measuring the placenta part of the standard of care for all pregnancies.  Learn more at Measure the Placenta and PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy

Measure the Placenta & PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy
4,404 supporters