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LWVBC July 2022 Newsletter

Laurie Teal | Published on 7/29/2022


The Brown County Voter

July 2022 

 

The League of Women Voters of Brown County is a nonpartisan political organization

encouraging informed and active participation in government.

It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

Educate • Advocate • Empower • Reform

_________________________________


Just a Note

By Shari Frank, LWVBC President

 

If you believe in the individual right to self-determination, now is a time to speak up to defend those rights.  Contact legislators before the special legislative session begins July 25.

 

 

“Criminalizing abortion will not end abortion; it will simply end safe abortions, forcing the most vulnerable among us — as well as medical providers — to make impossible decisions.”

 

Joint statement from Elected Prosecutors across the United States.

Read the full letter here:https://www.lwvin.org/docs.ashx?id=1014594

 

 


The Indiana legislature has proposed Senate Bill 1 that takes away an individual’s right to choose, removes a person’s autonomy over their own body, violates the right to privacy, the right for a person to decide their own medical care needs privately with their medical provider.  SB1 bans all abortions, with some exceptions including for rape, incest, and life of the mother.  There is a tremendous amount of pushback including (see link for details):

 

https://indianacapitalchronicle.com/2022/07/22/businesses-faith-leaders-react-to-abortion-bill/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=967a9504-2a7a-4a5a-af98-b3affc55cf53)

:

  • “Nearly 400 faith leaders from various denominations signed another letter to lawmakers imploring them to maintain abortion access, as some religious teachings allow for, or even require, abortion as part of maternal healthcare.”
  • The Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a letter signed by more than 250 businesses across 30 cities in the state, all signaling their opposition to the abortion legislation introduced yesterday.”

In the LWVBC letter to the editor later in this newsletter, many concerns are listed about why making abortion illegal will hurt Hoosiers.  Can you imagine:

 

  • A mother is put in jail because she aborted at under 12 weeks. She already has three children, she and her husband both work full time, they’ve just gotten their heads above water, their contraceptives failed, they can’t afford child care and they fear losing their home if they lose income.  What happens to her children now? 
  • A mother died from pregnancy or child birth complications.  She wanted but couldn’t “qualify” for an abortion.  She becomes a maternal death statistic in Indiana, leaving behind motherless children.
  • A doctor delays an abortion for a septic uterus to get legal consultation and the mother dies.
  • Hospitals re-open special wards for botched abortions. These wards closed after safe abortions became available for the last 50 years.  But now, because so many women can’t afford to travel to another state, “back-room” abortions will rise.  Hospitals will be forced to re-open these wards when safe abortions are no longer available.  https://nwlc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Roe-Report-Part-I-2.pdf

Please write to legislators and the Governor to share your story on why personal autonomy should be upheld.  Reproductive decisions belong to the individual and their medical provider.  The state should work to protect families and provide the umbrella services to support families, not criminalize individuals who are already faced with impossible choices.  See legislator contact information at the end of this newsletter. 

________________________________

 


LWVBC Board Activity

Notes from the July 11 LWVBC Board meeting:

  • The Board voted to donate $100 to this year’s National Night Out event, scheduled for August 2 in Nashville. LWVBC will not host a table at this event.
  • LWVBC President Shari Frank reported on her experience virtually attending this year’s LWVUS convention. Please see the article in this newsletter for more information.
  • LWVBC will host a booth at this year’s 4-H Fair. Stop by to say hello. Our booth will be open from 6-10 pm from July 25-30.
  • The Board voted to approve a letter of support for the Nashville Human Rights Ordinance which is being developed by the Nashville Town Council.
  • LWVBC Co-VP Sunny Leerkamp updated the Board on efforts to present a redistricting change to Brown County.
  • Board member Ruth Reichmann talked about current Heritage Tourism efforts by Peaceful Valley Heritage (PVH). The next historical marker will be placed in Brown County State Park and will feature Kin Hubbard. PVH is working with State Park officials on details for the marker. Please see the article in this newsletter from Dr. Reichmann discussing the Hoosier Scenic Byway.
  • President Shari Frank congratulated this year’s Volunteers of the Year, sponsored by the Brown County Community Foundation: the League’s own Co-Vice Presidents Sunny Leerkamp and Laurie Teal.
  • The Board voted to host a table at the Nashville Farmers Market in September or October this year to discuss redistricting and encouraging voting in the November general election.
  • Membership Co-Chair Laurie Teal discussed with the Board the idea of hosting an open house in late summer to give League members an opportunity to meet our new and newish members.

 

The power to question is the basis of all progress.

 

Indira Gandhi



LWVBC Submits Letter to the Editor About Reproductive Rights

Editor’s Note: The Letter to the Editor to follow was submitted by the LWVBC Board in support of reproductive rights for all.


The topic of abortion is sensitive and triggers emotional responses that make discussion difficult. But it is important.  This letter highlights some of the complex issues regarding why the Indiana legislature should uphold individual rights to privacy in decisions on reproductive care, as with any medical procedure.  In a special session beginning July 25th, Indiana legislators will make decisions impacting all Hoosiers.

  

Banning reproductive rights strips people of their bodily autonomy, their constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law, and the right to privacy. Women and pregnant people will no longer be equal in our democracy if decisions about their reproductive health are put under the control of the state. 

 

The medical reasons where abortion is essential are too complex to list or to enumerate legislatively. Fearing prosecution, doctors may refuse to provide lifesaving abortions, or may take time to consult an attorney to determine legality, risking the mother’s life with delay.  Consider just a few examples where abortion is required to save the mother’s life such as an ectopic pregnancy, septic uterus, or a miscarriage that a body won’t release.  Decisions on action needed to prevent complications or to save the mother’s life should be left to the medical provider and individual, unclouded by legislative mandates.  

 

If the option for abortion is withheld, child victims of rape or incest will be cruelly and unjustly forced to carry and birth babies.  Their immature body may not be able to safely deliver, subjecting them to further trauma, anguish and medical complications that threaten their life and hope for the future. Even more mature victims of rape or incest suffer much of the same trauma, health risk and devastated future unless they have the autonomy to make their own choice.

 

Banning reproductive rights will exacerbate societal inequalities, falling disproportionately on families who are poor and those in rural areas with a shortage of health services. People denied a wanted abortion have four times greater odds of living below the Federal Poverty Level.  A longitudinal study examining the effects of unwanted pregnancy shows that when people are unable to get wanted abortions, there are profound risks to their health and economic security as well as a shift in the trajectory of their lives with negative effects on their relationships, aspirational plans, and the wellbeing of their children. The study finds that those able to access the needed reproductive care are more financially stable, set more ambitious goals, raise children under more stable conditions, and are more likely to have a wanted child later. [1] This means that denying access to abortion care will detrimentally impact Indiana’s economic health and quality of life.

 

The Indiana legislature should take action to protect life by addressing our critical health care deficiencies. Indiana’s maternal mortality rate is the third highest in the U.S. (43.6 per 100,000)

and more than ten times higher than the best state’s rate. [2]  Indiana infant mortality is 20 percent higher than the national average. [3]  Indiana ranks 41 out of 50 as the best state to have a child. [4]

 

Funding to support services for all aspects of pregnancy, family and child welfare would demonstrate a deep concern for life and quality of life.  But Indiana lacks basic needs including child care, universal pre-school, adequate foster care, parental support, health care, housing and even food.  In this context, restricting reproductive health options serves as a political exercise of power, not a protection of life.

 

We urge legislators to support people’s constitutional right to privacy and autonomy regarding their body and reproductive health.  And to focus on addressing Indiana’s deficiencies to enable all children and families to thrive.

 

You may wish to contact Brown County legislators, Representative Chris May at Indiana House of Representatives at (317) 232-9600 and Senator Eric Koch at (317) 232-9400 to let them know what action you support.

 

1 Turnaway Study: https://www.ansirh.org/research/ongoing/turnaway-study

https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/maternal-mortality-rate-by-state.

https://medicine.iu.edu/expertise/indiana-health/infant-mortality

https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/best-states-to-raise-a-family


LWVBC Co-Hosting July 30 Legislative Update

Submitted by Ralf Shaw, LWV Bloomington-Monroe County

 

“Thank you for your interest in our Legislative Updates in the spring. I’m sending this announcement in case you’d like to join us for the special session update on Saturday, July 30, from 9:30-11 a.m. via Zoom.

 

“State legislators who represent any part of Monroe or Brown County have been invited to discuss the work of the Indiana General Assembly's special session, scheduled to convene on July 25. They will also take questions from attendees. Questions should be framed to enable any of the legislators to weigh in.

 

“Advance registration is required. Here’s the link: https://bit.ly/3catMRm

“The event is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Brown County, and the Brown County Chamber of Commerce.”


Petition Circulating in Support of Human Rights Commission 

 

Brown County resident Denny Kubal has initiated a petition on www.change.org in support of the proposed Human Rights Commission in the Town of Nashville. Kubal’s goal is to get at least 100 signatures on his petition. To view and sign the petition, go to this link: https://chng.it/bSn8hm7MTX .


Get On The Web! 

 

Logging in Made Easy

 

It's increasingly important that all members easily access the member side of the League's website. You can make it easy to access the member side of the website by clicking Member Login in the upper right of the http://www.lwvbrowncounty.orghomepage, entering your username and password, checking "Remember me on this computer," then clicking the Login button. The next time you log in, all you'll need to do is bring up the website and click Member Login and you will automatically be logged in. Try it!

 

Designate the Information You Want to Receive

 

Do you want to receive more emails from LWVBC? Or maybe fewer? Do we have preferred contact information? Club Express, our website management system, allows you to control your contact preferences, how you want your profile displayed, and what areas of League work interest you. Follow these easy steps and GET ON THE WEB! 

  1. Go to www.lwvbrowncounty.org
  2. Log in by clicking “Member Login” in the upper right corner (contact Shari Frank at shari.r.frank@gmail.com– if a password reset is needed) 
  3. Click on the "Members only" tab for a drop down of choices 
  4. Select "Membership Directory" 
  5. Search for yourself by entering your last name in the “search text” box and click search 
  6. Click on the spot where your photo goes (you are welcome to upload a photo as some already have) 
  7. Click on the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner of the CONTACT INFORMATION box 
  8. Review information for correctness and make any needed changes 
  9. Click “save” if you make any changes 
  10. Click on the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner of the INTERESTS box 
  11. Click all areas in which our work aligns with your interests to receive emails from those committees as well as stay informed about opportunities to get involved.
  12. Click SAVE 
    If you want to change how your information is displayed, you can select the preferred privacy level. If you do nothing the following information will be displayed when your profile is viewed by others in the League: name, city, state, bio (provided by you), email, telephone. To change the information display, go to “Standard Member Directory” box in your profile, click the drop down and choose which info you are willing to have displayed. 

Update on Hoosier Scenic Byway

Submitted by LWVBC Board member Ruth Reichmann

 

The Hoosier Hills Scenic Byway was designated July 15, 2021. Beginning at US 40, known as the National Road, it runs through Martinsville and Morgantown on State Road 135, through Nashville and Story to US 50. It is designed to be a part of the Indiana Scenic Byway System and is to connect US 40 to US 50, both also Byways.  

  

U.S. Route 40 or U.S. Highway 40 (US 40), aka the Main Street of America, is a major east–westUnited States Highway, traveling across theUnited Statesfrom theMountain Statesto theMid-Atlantic States. U.S. Route 50 is a part of the United States Numbered Highway System that runs from West Sacramento, California, to Ocean City, Maryland. In Indiana, it is part of the state road system. US 50 enters the state in Vincennes. The 171.38 miles of US 50 that lie within Indiana serve as a major conduit. 

  

The Indiana Byway Program is designed to preserve, protect, enhance, and recognize transportation corridors of unique character. These corridors are notable examples of our nation's beauty, history, culture, and recreational experience. Some byway routes are designated nationally while others are state designated byways.  The national designation is made by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from nominations presented by the states and federal land management agencies. 

  

The real work on the Hoosier Hills Scenic Byway on the local level is just beginning and all places of interest, be they food, businesses, or historic, cultural and natural points of interest, such as the Town of Nashville or the Brown County State Park, need to be pointed to, described and included. All places of interest are to aid the traveler to come, to learn, to enjoy and Brown County organizations and citizens are asked for input and help. 

 

A Brown County Democrat article from February 2021 provides some additional in-depth information: https://www.morgancoed.com/2021/02/16/the-scenic-route-new-hoosier-hills-scenic-byway-includes-brown-hendricks-jackson-and-morgan-counties/


Compelling Data That Vaccines and Boosters Keep Us Safe

 

Brown County is currently in the MEDIUM  level for COVID-19.

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests ” Stayup to datewith COVID-19 vaccines. Get testedif you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask onpublic transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precautions.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view|Indiana|18013|Risk|community_transmission_level

   

COVID-19 Vaccine Indiana:If you are age 5 or older, you can get a vaccine. https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/index.htm

 

The CDC now recommends anyone 12 years of age or older should get a booster vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html?s_cid=11711:%2Bwho%20%2Bcan%20%2Bget%20%2Bcovid%20%2Bbooster:sem.b:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY22

 

Additional Resources:  


Updates from LWVIN

Source: www.lwvin.org

 

Partnering For Reproductive Justice: Members of the LWVIN Women’s Health Advocacy Committee have beenreaching out to other organizations in the state that are working on reproductive justice.We partnered withWomen4Change Indiana in an event on July 13 at the Kan-Kan Cinema and Brasserie in Indianapolis.  A screening ofNever, Rarely, Sometimes, Always (an award-winning film about two Pennsylvania teenage cousins’ trip to NYC for abortion care) was followed by a panel discussion featuringRima Shahid, CEO of Women4Change andDr. Amy Caldwell, IU Medical Center Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology.


Dr. Caldwell, who is an associate of Dr. Catlin Bernard, was able to confirm that an arrest had been made in the case of the10-year old child who was raped and received abortion care in Indiana following the trigger ban in Ohio. There had been media allegations that the incident was bogus and that Dr Bernard didn't report it.  However, according to this
NYT article dated July 14, Dr. Bernard filed a“Terminated Pregnancy Report” withe the Indiana Department of Health and the Department of Child Services.  The article said that on Fox News Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita had assailed Dr. Bernard, who practices in Indianapolis, as an“abortion activist acting as a doctor, with a history of failing to report.” Dr. Caldwell assured us that they will keep up the fight.

She also told us aboutPath4You, an IU Medical School program that "aims to provide all people in Indiana with high-quality, non-coercive, patient-centered, comprehensive access to contraception. This includes all birth control options—from natural family planning to pills to long-acting reversible contraception." 

The LWVIN Board also voted to sign on to aHealth and Liberty Letter that Women4Change is sending to our Indiana legislators.  They are actively searching for other Indiana non-profits interested in participating. 

 


Updates from LWVUS

Source: www.lwv.org

 

DISCLOSE Act:“On July 19, 2022, the League’s CEO Virginia Kase Solomon spoke before the US Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in favor of the DISCLOSE Act. This legislation would increase transparency in our elections by requiring large political donors to disclose their identities so voters know who is funding their candidates. You can read Kase Solomon’s prepared remarks and/or watch the full recording.”

 

National Convention:“June 25 concluded the 55th League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) National Convention. This was the League's first hybrid Convention, with 1000+ members from all 50 states joining both virtually and in-person in Denver, CO.

 

“Notably, the 2022 Convention coincided with the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. In heropening remarks, LWVUS board president Dr. Deborah Ann Turner reflected on her experiences as an obstetrician/gynecologist and the League's dedication to reproductive justice.

 

We hold the power to create a more perfect democracy. Women’s rights are human rights, and we will continue to fight until the right to abortion is restored,’ Dr. Turner stated. ‘This is the work that the League of Women Voters does...We fight for our freedom. And that’s why we are here today at Convention.’ Dr. Turner closed by announcing the League's next ‘moonshot’ goal: abolition of the Electoral College. The League haslong supported this goal due to the college's racist history and many shortcomings.

 

“The League also shared its2020-2022 biennium report, which showcased the League's impact over the past two years.

 

“Throughout three days of plenary, delegates elected the 2022-2024 LWVUS Board of directors. Dr. Deborah Ann Turner was once again elected as board president, a role she has held since 2020.Delegates also voted on several motions, including the LWVUS budget and various bylaws amendment proposals. Read thedecision summaries.

 

“Delegates had the opportunity to attend dozens of workshops and caucuses throughout Convention on topics as diverse as mis and dis-information, activating young voters, using Outreach Circle, and more. 

 

“This past week reminds us of both the urgency of our work and the power of our members to create a more perfect democracy. The next two years will determine the course of our nation; as Dr. Turner said, we will ‘keep on keeping on.’ And we will win.”

 


Here’s How to Contact Your State and Federal Legislators

 

State Senator Eric Koch 

Website: https://www.indianasenaterepublicans.com/koch


Email: Senator.Koch@iga.in.gov
Phone: 800-382-9467 or 317-232-9400
Address: Indiana State Senate, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis IN 46204 

 

State Representative Chris May 

Website: https://indianahouserepublicans.com/members/general/chris-may/


Email: h65@iga.in.gov
Phone: 317-232-9981
Address: Indiana House of Representatives, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis IN 46204 

 

9th Congressional District U.S. Representative Trey Hollingsworth 

Website: https://www.hollingsworth.house.gov
Phone: 202-225-5315
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrey
Address: 1641 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515 

 

U.S. Senator Mike Braun 

Website: https://www.braun.senate.gov
Phone: 202-224-4814
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/mikebraunforindiana

Address: 374 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 

 

U.S. Senator Todd Young 

Website: www.young.senate.gov
Phone: 202-224-5623
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorToddYoung

Address: 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 

 

Governor Eric Holcomb 

Website: https://www.in.gov/gov/

 

Phone: 317-232-4567
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/GovHolcomb/
Address: Office of the Governor, Statehouse, Indianapolis IN 46204-2797 

 

_________________________________

 


 

The League of Women Voters

 

Making Democracy Work

Grassroots Leadership since 1920

 

Educate • Advocate • Empower • Reform

 

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.Membershipis open to all regardless of gender.

 

The League does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

 

We cordially invite you to join us and encourage you to learn more about the League by attending our meetings and other events, including legislator forums and Meet the Candidates. Membership is not required to attend these meetings and events.

 

Annual Membership Dues*:

 

$50/Individual$85/Couple$20/Friend of the League(non-voting)

Your dues include membership in the national, state, and local leagues.

 

*Membership Scholarships available

Email for more information:browncountylwv@gmail.com

 

To join or to send a donation, mail your check payable to LWVBC, PO Box 74, Nashville IN 47448

Please include your name, address, phone, and email

 

For more information, visit our website:www.lwvbrowncounty.org.

 



Government and LWVBC Meeting Calendar

 

GOVERNMENT AND BOARD MEETINGS

 

PLEASE NOTEMeetings may be in person and/or virtual.

See links below to check days/times.

 

Brown County Election Board:

First Tuesdays of the month, 2 pm, Salmon Room

• August 9,2:00 pm(check for possible changes)

• August 23 (work session),2:00 pm(check for possible changes)

• September 6,6:00 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Brown County Commissioners:

First and Third Wednesdays, 2 pm, Salmon Room (check website for zoom link)

• August 3, 2:00 pm

• August 17, 2:00 pm

• September 7, 2:00 pm

 

 

Brown County Council:

Third Monday of the month, 6:30 pm, Salmon Room

• August 16, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

• September 19, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Brown County Health Board:

Bi-monthly, third Tuesday, 5 pm

• September 20,5:00 pm(check for possible changes)

• November 15,5:00 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Nashville Town Council:

Third Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm

August 18, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

• September 15,6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Note: for all government and advisory board meetings and to verify times, please check the Brown County government calendar: http://www.browncounty-in.gov

or the Brown County Democrat: www.bcdemocrat.com

 




 

LWVBC MEETINGS

 

LWVBC meetings are held the

second Monday of each month

 

August 8, 6:30 pm (via Zoom)

September 12, 6:30 pm (via Zoom)

 

 

League Members, Friends,

and the public are welcome

 

 

To participate in the meeting, contact League President Shari Frank at browncountylwv@gmail.com