Tag Archives: reproductive rights

In Love Memory of Dr. Gertrude Neilson


It is impossible to live on this planet and be entirely unaware of the freak show that is passing for a presidential campaign in this year 2012. Lately I have been drawn into the insane fulminations and strategies to oppose any health insurance plan that allows women to receive contraceptives. How can people be against abortion AND against contraception? Do they want to go back to the world of my childhood where women had eight kids, three teeth, and worked 18 hours a day seven days a week? What is wrong with these idiots!

I find myself remembering a heroic woman named Gertrude Neilson, a retired medical doctor who, at age 75, ran an illegal womans health care clinic in her home on the edge of the University of Oklahoma campus. In Oklahoma in the 1960s it was a felony to sell or otherwise provide contraceptive devices to any unmarried person below the age of 21. There were a few gas stations around town where the men’s room had a machine that sold Trojans at three for a quarter. At that price they were famous for breaking, in flagrante delicto. There were folk remedies involving coke cola and saran wrap. And there was trying to jump out of a 4th story window, as one my dorm mates, who found herself pregnant and disowned by her religious fanatic parents, tried to do.

Continue reading

The Florida Legislature’s Attack on Women

by staci fox

On Jan. 10, the Florida Legislature began its 2012 session. The focus of the 2012 legislative session should be on strengthening our economy and getting Floridians back to work, not attacking Florida’s women and their access to reproductive health care.

Some of the most egregious bills attacking reproductive health care are:

HB 277/SB 290: These bills would limit access to reproductive health care services such as life-saving cancer screenings because a health center also provides abortion care. The proposed legislation only targets doctors that provide abortion care; therefore, it has only one purpose – to interfere with patient care and further restrict women’s access to legal, safe abortions.

HB 839: This bill would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks with limited exceptions (if the pregnancy endangers a woman’s life or could cause her “substantial and irreversible physical impairment”). There are no exemptions for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.

HB 1151/SB 1374: These bills are a direct legislative attempt to challenge the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision by outlawing almost all abortions in Florida.

These bills do nothing to reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion. Instead these bills tell women and their healthcare providers that they are not to be trusted and reduce access to legal health care services. These bills will do nothing to create jobs or balance our state’s budget.

Planned Parenthood of North Florida, along with the other Florida Planned Parenthood affiliates, will work hard to prevent these bills from becoming law, but we need your help.

On Feb. 21, hundreds of Floridians will travel to Tallahassee to lobby and make their voices heard in support of reproductive health care for Florida’s women and families. Will you join us? Please contact Planned Parenthood of North Florida for more information at (352)376-9000.

Staci Fox is the CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of North Florida.