Middle Collegiate Church hosts rally protesting abortion bans

Artist and activist Viva Ruiz spoke at a rally in support of abortion on the steps of Middle Collegiate Church on Second Avenue this past Tuesday.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

To the uninitiated, Middle Collegiate Church might seem like an unusual place to hold a rally in support of abortion, given many churches’ stance on the subject. But Executive Minister Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft wants everyone to know that it’s exactly the right place to hold a rally in support of abortion.

“Middle Collegiate is a very progressive church and we believe the struggle for reproductive justice is a struggle we all carry and people should have the right to choose,” she said.

Hambrick Ashcraft, who is also a Stuyvesant Town resident, was the driving force behind such a rally that was held outside the Second Avenue church in the East Village this past Tuesday, one of hundreds of rallies held across the country protesting the new wave of bans on abortion in a number of different states in recent weeks.

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Maloney touts experience in bid for reelection

Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, pictured outside her home on the Upper East Side (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

While hardly an open seat, the race for candidates hoping to represent the 12th Congressional District (most of Manhattan’s East Side as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens) is proving to be a competitive one. While the Democrat primary on June 26 has just two candidates, the only reason there are just two names on the ballot is that one of them, Suraj Patel, sued successfully against another candidate, Sander Hicks, claiming he didn’t have enough valid signatures. He did the same to an additional candidate, Peter Lindner, though he’d already been booted off the ballot by the Board of Elections. This leaves Patel, a hospitality executive who also worked on both election campaigns for the Obama administration, and Carolyn Maloney, the 25-year incumbent.

On this, Maloney, while interviewed at her home on the Upper East Side last week, mused, “For someone who said he wants more participation, I’m mystified why he’s throwing his opponent off the ballot.”

Meanwhile, Patel has also been fundraising like crazy, outpacing Maloney in recent months and trying to engage people who wouldn’t normally vote.

As for Maloney, perhaps in part due to her history of clobbering challengers at the polls, she has managed to rack up just about every endorsement there is to be had from elected officials, unions, women’s organizations and local clubs. She’s also gotten the nod from Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem.

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Opinion: Trumpcare is no care bill at all

By Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

Last week, House Republicans voted to rob millions of Americans of affordable healthcare when they passed the so-called American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare. This bill, should it become law, will devastate our healthcare system, drive up healthcare costs, and cause enormous harm to millions of American families. It also has several pieces that single out New York, making it particularly harmful to our state. That’s why dozens of medical associations, patient advocates and public health experts joined me and every single Democrat in the House to oppose this bill and it’s why I hope this bill goes nowhere in the U.S. Senate.

Trumpcare is probably one of the most damaging and devastating bills to pass the House during my time in Congress. It will result in at least 24 million Americans, including 2.7 million New Yorkers, losing their healthcare coverage. For those that do not lose coverage, Trumpcare dramatically increases your out-of-pocket health costs – including premiums, deductibles, and other copays. The average marketplace enrollee will see costs rise by $3,174 in 2020 and individuals with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty line will see their costs increase by $4,815.

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Attorney for Planned Parenthood discusses the de-funding threat

Zoe Segal-Reichlin, senior associate general counsel/director of advocacy and political law for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, pictured in November with her husband, Council Member Dan Garodnick, and their two sons, Devin and Asher, as they door-knocked for Hillary Clinton (Photo courtesy of Dan Garodnick)

Zoe Segal-Reichlin, senior associate general counsel/director of advocacy and political law for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, pictured in November with her husband, Council Member Dan Garodnick, and their two sons, Devin and Asher, as they door-knocked for Hillary Clinton (Photo courtesy of Dan Garodnick)

By Sabina Mollot

Inauguration Day for President-Elect Donald Trump hasn’t happened yet, but already Planned Parenthood is preparing for a major battle ahead to protect its federal funding.

Earlier in the month, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a push by Republicans in Congress to defund the now century-old organization. While Planned Parenthood has always faced opposition from the GOP, soon there will be a Republican in the White House as well as a majority in the Senate and House.

Meanwhile, the women’s healthcare giant has vowed it won’t be going down without a fight.

Locally, Planned Parenthood has a weapon in Peter Cooper Village resident Zoe Segal-Reichlin, the senior associate general counsel and director of advocacy and political law for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Segal-Reichlin, also a mother of two and wife to City Council Member Dan Garodnick, provides advice and guidance on matters of law and regulation.

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Opinion: Cowards in Congress

By Former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

It’s not as if they are stupid. It’s not as if they do not read the newspapers. But a significant number of powerful members of Congress have proven to be utterly unresponsive and impotent in the face of the gun carnage going on in American cities almost every week. Worse than that, they are craven.

They proved it again last week.

Repeated mass murders are being committed by deranged individuals with military grade assault weapons.

They are perpetrating these atrocities out of some twisted ideology, warped personal grudges, or delusions. And our leaders of Congress are nowhere to be found. They are AWOL. They denounce the criminals, pray for the victims and walk away. Then it’s back to business as usual, which means bowing to the self-serving gun lobby and its supporters who are making a fortune from the sale of firearms.

Last week more than a dozen innocent bystanders were gunned down in a San Bernadino office building for the disabled. They were male, female, black, white, Asian and Hispanic. Hundreds of bullets fired into a crowd in a matter of seconds do not discriminate. The week before, three persons were shot to death in a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado. These massacres are accomplished with easily and legally bought high powered assault weapons, again and again!

And if there are evildoers coming into this country with the intent of committing murder and mayhem, why would we not want to prevent them from accessing the means to carry out these despicable acts of violence?

In the face of that question, the United States Senate just days ago voted down a proposed ban on the sale of weapons to persons on the FBI terrorist watch list. The NRA is cheering that action while more families are burying their dead.

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