“Fake Clinic” Protest Updates!

Dear all,

Thank you so much to everyone who has made it out to the “fake clinic” protest at South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center these past few weekends!

Our protests are becoming more and more successful. We’re experiencing a big increase in participation from both members and others who are interested in learning more about what we do. Over just the past two weekends, we’ve had 17 individual people stop by during our protest of the fake clinic on Manchaca Rd. to talk to us about our message and the activism that we take part in.

We also received $100 in donations, which all went straight to our chapter and will be used for everything from protest supplies (posters, markers, bottled water, pamphlets) to refreshments for our monthly meetings, and more! Hooray!

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PLEASE NOTE: This upcoming Saturday, April 30, Lexie will be out of town and unavailable to host the protest herself. However, we wanted to reach out to see if any of you are available and interested in hosting the protest in her place–this weekend, or any weekend in the future during which she might be out of town or unavailable. Austin NOW can provide you with plenty of signs to hold, pamphlets, and stickers to pass out – all you need to provide is 3 hours of your time! If you are interested in helping Austin NOW host our regular protest this weekend, or can be available on future Saturdays as a backup, please message us on Facebook or send us an email (AustinAreaNOW@gmail.com) and we will get back to you with more details.

Once again, thank you all so much for your help and participation! You, our wonderful volunteers, are the lifeblood of the organization and we could not do any of this without you. After only a few months, we are making a huge difference in Austin already, and our support for the local community will only continue to grow.

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April Roundup

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Credit goes to Austin NOW supporter Chaz Piancone for getting us up on Castle Hill!

Hello, everyone!

Austin NOW had a great meeting last Sunday, April 10! We got to…

1) Discuss our resolution to defund CPCs (written at last month’s meeting), which cleared at the county level and is headed to the State Convention this summer;

2) Discuss events for the rest of April and early May;

3) Hear from Sharol and the WilCo Task Force about their plans for Williamson County; and

4) Set the time, date, and place for our next meeting.

Please join us for our meeting next month:

WHEN: Sunday, May 15, 2016 @ 2:00 PM

WHERE: ChoiceWorks (Whole Woman’s Health)

8401 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd

Ste. 200

Austin, TX 78753

As usual, there will be drinks and snacks available. You will also be given the opportunity to renew your membership or sign up to become a first-time member of NOW! (Free t-shirts may or may not be involved…)

Please note: Parking is available in front of the buildings. It is ChoiceWorks’ policy to keep the building door locked, so if you are unable to get in past 2:00, please knock and someone will get the door for you.

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Austin NOW had our first fundraiser event!

A ton of thanks owed to everyone who came out to support Austin NOW at our “UnHappy Hour” event this past Tuesday, April 12 (Equal Pay Day). We had a wonderful night listening to jazz and chatting with new friends. If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry – we’ll be having more UnHappy Hours in the future!

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UPCOMING EVENTS – APRIL

Students For Life Anti-PP Bus Tour (4/22)

Students For Life, an anti-abortion scare group, has rescheduled their “We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood” / “Women Betrayed” bus tour (The tour is listed under multiple names on multiple websites…) and will be arriving in Austin on Friday, April 22. Unfortunately, they have kept the exact timing and location of their visit secret, but they are scheduled to appear at the University of Texas and possibly also the Texas Capitol at some point that day. If you’re located near UT campus or the Capitol and would like to protest this event, please contact us and we can hook you up with some pro-choice paraphernalia!

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Weekly Fake Clinic Protests

Most Saturdays, our convenor, Lexie, protests a South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, a “fake clinic” in South Austin, during their open hours. This is a great opportunity for activism and awareness-raising without a lot of fuss – NOW provides the signs, and all you need to provide is yourself! Come out on a beautiful spring Saturday and hold a sign or two. You’d be amazed at how fun – and even hilarious – protesting can be (just ask Lexie about the “HONK 4 FEMINISM” sign)! Details for upcoming protests below:

WHEN: Saturdays, April 16 & 23, 2016* @ 9:00AM – 12:00PM

WHERE: South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center

4611 Manchaca Rd.

Austin, TX 78745

Parking for the CPC protest is on Forest Hill Dr., the street next to the CPC. It is a short walk along the sidewalk to the protest area next to the bus stop, which is directly in front of SAPRC.

Click here for the April 16 Facebook event

* Lexie will be out of town on Saturday, April 30, and unavailable to do the regular protest. If anyone would like to continue the tradition and protest in her stead on this day, let us know!

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Voter Registration Drives in Travis County & WilCo (TBA)

Our WilCo Task Force Leader Extraordinaire, Sharol, is leading the way in organizing voter registration drives in Williamson County. If you are deputized in Williamson County or would like to become deputized to help out the WilCo Task Force, please let us know! Travis County drives also coming soon. Exact details TBA.

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UPCOMING EVENTS – MAY

Austin NOW at the AYC Non-Profit Fair (5/5)

Austin NOW has been approved to table at the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC) 7thannual Non-Profit Fair! This is a great opportunity for us to showcase what we do to young professionals of Austin. From the AYC event page:

This event will showcase 25+ local non-profits that offer rewarding opportunities for young professionals to serve in the Austin community. There will be ample food, drinks, and networking opportunities. Come celebrate the good work of these non-profits and find a way to give back to your community!

WHAT: AYC Non-Profit Fair

WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 2016 @5:30-8:30PM

WHERE: Texas State Capitol Legislative Conference Center

NOTE – Parking: Texas Capital Visitors Parking Garage located at 1201 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

*We need help from at least 2 people in order to be able to table this event! Please send us a message if you would like to help out!

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Austin NOW private screening of The Provider (TBA)

The Provider, or Undue Burden, is a documentary about the realities of restrictive abortion laws, like Texas’ HB2, from an abortion provider’s perspective. From their SXSW page:

THE PROVIDER follows traveling abortion provider, Dr. Shannon Carr, as she travels to work in Dallas, Texas to perform legal and safe abortions despite the vigorous anti-abortion stigma. In 2013, a Texas bill named House Bill Two (HB2) was passed which effectively closed down nearly two thirds of the state’s abortion clinics. These laws have become the biggest threat to women’s healthcare since before Roe vs. Wade. THE PROVIDER examines these laws by telling the stories of those most affected by them. Dr. Shannon Carr travels every week from New Mexico to Dallas to one of the few clinics remaining in Texas.

Austin NOW would like to host a private screening for members sometime in mid-June, exact date TBA. Response last meeting was very enthusiastic about the possibility of screening this film. It will be brought up again at our next meeting, so if you have any thoughts, please make sure to attend and let us know! Keep an eye out for additional information coming soon.

For more: Check out The Provider‘s website

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Have a wonderful rest of the month and we hope to see you at our next event!

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NOW Forward Feminism Conference 2016

Register for the Conference

Celebrate NOW’s 50th Anniversary by attending our 2016 Forward Feminism Conference!

Friday, June 24 – Sunday, June 26, 2016.

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

Register online: NOW.org/about/conference/register

Type Member Non-Member
Standard $125 $165
2 Day $90 $95
1 Day $65 $75
Sliding scale $5 minimum $35 minimum
“Support a Sister” $250 $250

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For more information, contact us at AustinAreaNOW@gmail.com or via Facebook.com/AustinNOW

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Equal Pay Day UNHAPPY Hour 4/12

What: (Un)Happy Hour Fundraiser for Austin NOW

When: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (Equal Pay Day) 7-9 PM

Where: Kick Butt Coffee, Music & Booze

575 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Join Austin NOW for an UNhappy Hour at Kick Butt Coffee, Music, & Booze on April 12, 2016 to raise awareness of the unfair wage gap between women, men, & people of color.

Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.

Our friends at KBC will be serving up happy hour specials, including a large variety of beer and cocktails, or coffee if alcohol on a Tuesday night ain’t your thing! Suggested donation is $15 for 2 tickets, which gets you two happy hour drinks. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to Austin NOW to support our activism efforts!

Join us and wear RED on Equal Pay Day to symbolize how far women and minorities are “in the red” with their pay. Listen to some jazz, chill out, and support a great cause!

Reminder that this event is (and all Austin NOW events are) NOT JUST FOR WOMEN! Feel free to bring your buddies and/or special someone. 🙂

( Questions & comments? Contact Lexie Cooper at AustinAreaNOW@gmail.com )

ATX NOW Happy hour full NEW

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Austin NOW April Meeting

WHAT: Austin NOW April Meeting

WHEN: Sunday, April 10, 2016 @ 2 PM

WHERE: Choice Works 8401 IH35 Austin, TX

Join us for our April organizing meeting! Get caught up on the month’s news in feminist activism and get ready to vote on an action for this month. (Last month’s action was to write a resolution regarding defunding of fake clinics, which we did right at the meeting!)

There will be snacks, drinks, and free t-shirts for any new folks who’d like to sign up and become official members of NOW. Also – we’ve got swag!

(Look for the orange signs posted up.)

See you there, feministas!

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Some of our March meeting attendees!

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March Roundup

Hello, everyone!

Austin NOW had a great first meeting last Sunday, March 13! We got to…

1) Hear from the amazing Poppy Northcutt and her wealth of knowledge and experience in feminist activism;

2) Develop an action plan for communication and activism this month;

3) Complete our agreed-upon action (writing a resolution on defunding “fake clinics” to present to the Democratic Resolutions Committee on Saturday, March 19); and

4) Set the time, date, and place for our next meeting.

We are so happy that members of our new WilCo Task Force got to attend the Democratic Convention this past Saturday and submit our resolution to the Williamson County Resolutions Committee! We were also able to submit it to the Committee in Travis County, as well, where it passed and will be moving on to the State Convention. Congratulations, everyone!

Please join us for our meeting next month:

WHEN: Sunday, April 10, 2016 @ 2:00 PM

WHERE: ChoiceWorks (Whole Woman’s Health)

8401 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd

Ste. 200

Austin, TX 78753

As usual, there will be drinks and snacks available. You will also be given the opportunity to renew your membership or sign up to become a first-time member of NOW! (Free t-shirts may or may not be involved…)

Please note: Parking is available in front of the buildings. It is ChoiceWorks’ policy to keep the building door locked, so if you are unable to get in past 2:00, please knock and someone will get the door for you.

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WilCo NOW Task Force poses with their new banner

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Poppy Northcutt speaks to Austin NOW March 2016 meeting participants 

OTHER INFORMATION & EVENTS

Most Saturdays, our convenor, Lexie, protests a “fake clinic” in South Austin during their open hours. This is a great opportunity for activism and awareness-raising without a lot of fuss – NOW provides the signs, and all you need to provide is yourself! Come on out on a beautiful spring Saturday and hold a sign or two. You’d be amazed at how fun – and even hilarious – protesting can be (just ask Lexie about the “HONK 4 FEMINISM” sign)! Details for upcoming protests below:

WHEN: Saturdays, March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23 @ 9:00AM – 12:00PM

WHERE: South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center

4611 Manchaca Rd.

Austin, TX 78745

Parking for the CPC protest is on Forest Hill Dr., the street next to the CPC. It is a short walk along the sidewalk to the protest area next to the bus stop, which is directly in front of SAPRC.

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Have a wonderful rest of the month and we hope to see you at the next protest & meeting!

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Democratic Conventions are this Saturday! Take action NOW!

Join NOW activists across the state who will be submitting the attached Resolution for Reproductive Rights initiated by Texas State NOW! This is what to do . . .

Print the Resolution, fill in your own contact information and submit it to your county or senate district convention’s resolutions committee. You should be able to find where to submit the Resolution by going on your county democratic party website. Although it’s possible to submit the document at the convention, it’s better to send it in advance!

If you live in Travis County, you can pre-register for the convention here.

Click here to view & download your copy of the Resolution for Reproductive Rights!

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Merry Christmas 2015!

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, have a merry one! To those who do not, happy Friday and have a wonderful holiday season.

Equality Xmas

 

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South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center Protest 12/12/2015

We had another great Saturday turnout for our protest of SAPRC! Our favorite pro-choice greyhound, Portia, came out to support us all morning (and poop on the lawn, oops); a self-identified radical militant feminist stopped by to encourage us and discuss feminism with us; a few helpers stopped by to pick up signs for a bit after seeing us two Saturdays in a row (hi, Morgan!); a couple of very well-informed ladies who attend ACC joined us for the last hour; and there were many, many supportive honks, waves, thumbs-up, etc. from passersby!

Join us every Saturday at 9AM in front of the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center to help raise awareness and draw more public attention to CPCs.

SAPRC is located at:

4611 Manchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745

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What is a Crisis Pregnancy Center?

As you know, December 5 was Planned Parenthood’s designated Day of Solidarity for the victims of the shooting in Colorado. All around the nation, various organizations hosted and took part in events in their cities held in support of Planned Parenthood and all abortion providers. As the Planned Parenthood website puts it,

On Saturday, Dec. 5, people nationwide are coming together to show their support for access to safe reproductive health care, including abortion. If you believe no one should have to face violence, threats or intimidation to access basic health care — stand with us.

That very morning, Austin NOW hosted a protest in front of South Austin Pregnancy Center in order to show support for abortion providers as well as drawn attention to the quietly-growing epidemic of state-funded crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), or “fake clinics” around the country.

Not sure what a CPC is? Read on…

As Planned Parenthood and other providers of abortion services have been under increased attack, anti-abortion/anti-birth control legislators have been moving tax-payer money away from real family planning services and into “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) and “abstinence only” programs.

We call CPCs “fake clinics” because these are places where religion, not medicine, is practiced. They are run by anti-abortion groups, usually affiliated either with the Catholic church or with fundamentalist Christian organizations. Their goals are to prevent pregnant people from choosing abortion, to stigmatize abortion, to distribute false and misleading information about birth control, and, frankly, to push their religion. They advertise themselves as places where pregnant people can go for help, advice, and free pregnancy tests and often free ultrasounds – but what people actually receive there are lies about the reality of abortion.

Many of these places tell people that abortion causes cancer, depression, alcoholism, mental illness, etc. Clients at these fake clinics also receive a huge dose of religion and a lot of pressure to carry pregnancies to term. They are sometimes shown false and misleading videos and told they will be “murderers” if they choose to have an abortion. Fake clinics also spread lies about birth control, claiming that condoms just plain don’t work and that IUDs and hormonal birth control actually work by causing abortions (which is, I must point out, absolutely not true). All of this isn’t just speculation – the lies that unlicensed CPC volunteers tell have been recorded and provided as firsthand proof.

These clinics are typically run by anti-abortion volunteers often with little or no medical training or supervision but they make every effort to appear as medical professionals to deceive their clients. Even when they have a doctor or nurse associated with the clinic, those people are there primarily for their religious beliefs rather than for their medical expertise. They use ultrasounds, of course – not for diagnostic purposes, but as propaganda tools. Fake clinics often receive state and federal funding via your tax dollars, while actual family planning centers like Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are under constant attack and scrutiny. Very recently, tax dollars for real family planning clinics have begun to be reduced and redirected to fake clinics to use in their “abstinence only” education programs – despite the fact that “abstinence only” education programs have been shown to fail big-time in reducing teen pregnancy (while fact-based programs that include truthful, non-judgmental information about birth control have been objectively very successful.)

Fake clinics are not protested nearly as much as they should be because many people do not know that they exist or what they’re really doing. Our tax dollars go to these places, which lie and deceive people who often do not know any better. More people should be angry about this. The end result of cutting funding to real clinics like Planned Parenthood is that women will eventually have nowhere to turn except into the power-hungry, deceitful arms of the people who run sex-negative and medically inaccurate CPCs.

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