Topic

women's health

78 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Washington State Legislators

Female Genital Mutilation is an American issue. Let's push Washington State to ban FGM!

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice decided to drop the appeal on a Detroit ruling that overturned the federal ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  For girls at risk of FGM, this federal ruling has put them in great jeopardy. Supporters of FGM are now empowered to think that if the federal law is not upheld, then the practice must not be wrong.  And in states without anti-FGM legislation, the absence of a federal ban leaves women and girls at even greater risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 513,000 women and girls have undergone or are at risk of FGM in the United States.  For me, these cases aren’t just data points.  My sister is a survivor of FGM.  When I was eleven and she was seven, we traveled on our own to visit our aunt in India over the summer.  What I thought was a routine summer vacation turned out to be a horror story for my sister. Our aunt cut my little sister in her basement clinic.  I later learned that my aunt carried this out without our parents’ consent and to this day, believes she did the right thing. I learned about my sister’s experience when she shared her story in the Guardian a few years ago.  Before then, I didn’t know much about FGM.  I had no idea it was happening in this country let alone in my community.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition, FGM is a human rights abuse, form of gender-based violence and child abuse.  And in my sister’s words: FGM destroyed her childhood, shattered her self-confidence, and is something she will never fully recover from. By breaking her silence and courageously sharing her story, my sister has become part of a movement to end FGM not just in the US, but all around the world.  As her brother, I stand alongside her and the many survivors on the frontlines of this movement. They should not be shouldering this burden on their own. We need more allies, including men and boys, to speak up. Right now, we have the power to send a powerful message that FGM has no place in this country.  I am writing to urge Washington state legislators to pass a law banning FGM in the state of Washington, as well as provide the resources needed to support FGM survivors and educate communities (healthcare providers, religious leaders, school teachers, and policymakers) around the devastating consequences of FGM.  We need a holistic approach where prosecution is not the end goal, but a pathway to prevention. I want no girl in the United States to endure what my sister went through. Washington is at risk of becoming an FGM destination state where girls are transported from states that have succeeded in criminalizing FGM. We need to close the federal loophole on FGM in the United States by lobbying for anti-FGM legislation at the state level:  starting with my home state of Washington.  Please join me in the fight to pass a law in Washington that criminalizes FGM.

Abid Saifee
5,792 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, Robert A. DeLeo, Harriette L. Chandler, Karen E. Spilka

Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Massachusetts

Our names are Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher, and we each are pleading to the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision (FGM/C) on young girls. FGM/C involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls, and can cause physical harm including pain, bleeding, shock, tetanus, genital sores, and cause long-lasting psychological harm including sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mariya - I was born in the United States and now live in Massachusetts, but at the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in India. Friends and relatives of mine also living in the United States have undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Australia, and many other countries in the world. Aisha- I got my circumcision when I was five. I know many women who also got it done. Personally, I know people in my community who talk about it as if it’s normal. I was aware of people practicing it behind closed doors but I also know that some people are looking for ways to keep the practice alive here in the States even though it might mean legal action is taken against them. I didn't know my home state, Massachusetts, had no laws against FGM/C until I met Mariya who works with many communities to protect girls against FGM/C. Hanna - I literally stumbled on the subject of female genital mutilation searching for a global health research topic online for a school project. I knew nothing about it and was concerned that others would find it uncomfortable and unrelatable. My teacher told me that was all the more reason to focus on FGM/C. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s not a third-world problem. FGM/C happens all over the world; it is happening in Massachusetts! Regardless of culture and tradition, and despite a lack of intent to cause injury, the end result is girls in MA are being violated and need our protection to safeguard them from FGM/C. Massachusetts is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet our state still is in the minority of states that do not ban female genital mutilation or cutting. As FGM/C is nearly always carried out on minors, is a violation of the rights of children, and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, we must protect girls from undergoing FGM/C. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over half a million girls and women in the United States are at risk. Massachusetts ranks 12th in the nation for at-risk populations with an estimated 14,591 women and girls.  Since 2012, the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association has over and over again tried to advocate for a state law criminalizing FGM/C. Yet, still to this day, no law has been put into place. The current bills, S.788, and H.2333, have been sent to committee for study and most likely will not move forward either. All three of us believe in the importance of education and community engagement to help create social change within communities and amongst groups where FGM/C might be happening. To that end, we each have organized and participated in community events to educate our friends and family members about the harms of FGM/C and why it should be abandoned. Yet, despite our efforts, FGM/C continues, often being touted as a religious or cultural practice that is needed to control women’s sexuality. In April 2017, a doctor in Michigan was charged with performing FGM/C on minor girls, highlighting yet again that FGM/C does affect women and girls living in the United States. The doctor claimed FGM/C was a religious requirement and that there were no harmful effects. We three believe that culture and religion should not be an excuse used to sanction harm to girls. We need a bill in Massachusetts that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. We need a law against FGM/C as well. We three believe our state can do a better job of protecting girls in the Commonwealth by banning FGM/C. You can support us too by signing our petition demanding that legislators make passing a bill banning FGM/C high on their list of priorities. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting!  ~ Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher  

Mariya Taher
289,166 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Betsy Mullen

Save the Breast Cancer Research Stamp!

Fund the Fight.  Find a Cure.   Background Summary  The Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp was issued July 29, 1998, at a first-day ceremony held in tne East Room of the White House.  It was the first semipostal in U.S. history.  Sales for the Breast Cancer Research (BCR) Stamp in February 2019 bring the total raised for breast cancer research to over $89 million, and stamps sold over 1.05 billion since July 1998.  By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised is given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent is given to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.  Designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, the BCR Stamp features the phrases, “Fund the Fight” and “Find a Cure,” and an illustration of Artemis, also referred to as Diana, tne mythological “goddess of the hunt” by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore. Source: Adapted from https://about.usps.com/corporate-social-responsibility/semipostals.htm The Problem, The Need & Urgent Call to Action The issuance of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp is set to end at the end of this year unless federal legislation to reissue this historic stamp designed to save lives is passed and signed into law by the president of the United States.   The Breast Cancer Research Stamp is the first semipostal (fundraising) stamp in U.S. history. Well over 1.05 billion Breast Cancer Research Stamps have been sold to date with over $87.8  million raised thus far for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense  (DoD) since July 29, 1998. It is time to take the fate of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp out of the hands of Congress and the President, and for the U.S. Postsl Service to make it a true Forever Stamp permanently. Please help is make this a reality by signing and circulating this petition throughout all social media platforms and to all you know. About the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Help Stamp Out Breast Cancer!  Source: United States Postal Service (USPS); https://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2018/pr18_080.htm These 65-cent self-adhesive semipostal stamps are available year-round in sheets of 20 to help raise funds for breast cancer research.  Each stamp is equal to the First-Class Mail 1-ounce postage rate in effect at the time of purchase.  The stamps are available at Post Offices nationwide, online at https://store.usps.com/store/product/buy-stamps/2014-breast-cancer-research-S_555304 by mail order through USA Philatelic catalog, or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724). The amount the Postal Service contributes to breast cancer research is determined by the difference between the 65-cent purchase price and the First-Class Mail rate in effect at the time of purchase, minus any costs incurred by USPS.  The distribution of the U.S. Postal Service contribution is specified by law, with 70 percent given to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent given to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.  More than 1 billion stamps have been sold since its inception in 1998, raising more than $87.8 million as pf October 2018 for breast cancer research. The Breast Cancer Research Stamp was the first semipostal stamp in U.S. history. In 1997, Congress authorized it for the specific purpose of raising funds from the American public to assist in finding a cure for breast cancer.  In 2015, President Obama signed legislation that extended the sale of the stamp through Dec. 31, 2019. Designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, the stamp features the phrases, “Fund the Fight” and “Find a Cure” and an illustration of a mythical “goddess of the hunt” by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore. In addition to the Breast Cancer Research stamp, the Postal Service offers two other fundraising stamps. The Save Vanishing Species semipostal stamp, first issued in 2011, has raised more than $5.2 million to help protect threatened and vanishing species. In addition, the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp was issued in 2017 and has raised more than $524,000 to fund Alzheimer’s research. All three stamps help raise money for causes in the national public interest and are available for purchase year-round. The Postal Service is promoting each of these stamps through the remainder of the year — starting with the Breast Cancer Research stamp in October, continuing with the Alzheimer’s stamp in November and concluding with Save the Vanishing Species in December.  The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. Forever stamps are always valid for first-class one ounce postage. Breast Cancer Research Stamps are Self-Adhesive USPS Postage Stamps. Valid as first-class USPS postage. White House Unveiling & First Day of Issuance Ceremony for the Breast Cancer Research Stamp July 29, 1998 https://www.c-span.org/video/?109486-1/breast-cancer-research-stamp  Thank you!    

Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Mullen
123 supporters
This petition won 4 months ago

Petition to Sundar Pichai (Google), Tim Cook (Apple), Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

Stop Cosmetic Surgery Apps Aimed At Kids #SurgeryIsNotAGame

My name is Diana Denza and I am the representative for Endangered Bodies New York. This is one of eight linked petitions by Endangered Bodies directed at Apple, Google and Amazon. I've worked with vulnerable children and young adults through both paid employment and volunteer work. Day in and day out, these young people are being told that their bodies are their sole value -- and that they will never be enough as they are.Plastic surgery apps don't provide any educational value and send young people the message that the only way to attain perfection is through the use of drastic, body-altering methods.As someone who struggled with an eating disorder in her young adult years, I know all too well how toxic the message that these apps depict can be -- reinforcing the notion that being "thin" and "pretty" will make your life "perfect." Children and young adults deserve better than damaging apps that offer an extremely narrow definition of beauty. _____________________ Cosmetic surgery apps, which often feature animated characters, are being marketed to kids as young as nine, a target group that is already influenced by our body-toxic culture. Our societies are saturated with images of perfect and unattainable bodies, with over 21 million cosmetic procedures being performed throughout the world in 2015 according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The dissatisfaction many adults face with their bodies has trickled down to our children. Statistics from The National Eating Disorder Association in the U.S. show 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. In the UK, the 2016 Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey found more than a third of girls aged seven to ten felt women were valued more for their appearance than their abilities. Globally, children deserve to be challenged and inspired by their toys, not to spend their free time worrying about how they look. On January 14, 2014, Endangered Bodies supported the UK-based Twitter account Everyday Sexism in its call to remove plastic surgery apps aimed at children featured on iTunes and the Google Play store. Within 24 hours, both platforms removed the flagged apps. Although neither platform released an official statement, their choice to remove these “games” indicates that they recognize the potential harm they can cause. Deceptively designed as children’s games, the apps encourage users to slice virtual patients apart using scalpels, syringes, and other tools used in surgical settings. By making cosmetic surgery apps available for download, Apple, Google and Amazon are allowing companies to stoke and profit from the insecurities of children. We at Endangered Bodies challenge the toxic culture that promotes negative body image. Cosmetic surgery apps, which promote body dissatisfaction and shame, are not games that should be marketed to vulnerable young people. Although in some cases (where games have age-based ratings) it is possible for parents to limit access to these games through parental controls, we believe that further action is needed. Apple, Google and Amazon need to scrutinize the apps that already feature an age rating to ensure the content isn’t in fact directed at younger children, using the age limit as a way to still offer their app for download. In other words, we don’t want these platforms to use the age rating system as justification to continue to offer these apps, which are clearly designed for children. Please sign this petition to ask Apple, Google and Amazon to implement a policy which is clear to every developer, that they will not accept any such apps that are targeted at children and make a commitment to protect the mental health of their young users.  

Endangered Bodies NYC
154,590 supporters