The Pennywise Urgent Response fund is supporting:
ShiftMeals, a program being conducted by Skinny Pancake, provides nourishing meals for those in need in Vermont. They serve anyone and everyone who needs a meal: laid-off restaurant workers, musicians, artists, gig workers, farmers, anyone affected by this crisis. They also share meals through food shelves and community meal sites.
Steps to End Domestic Violence
The COVID-19 crisis and Stay Home Stay Safe orders present enormous challenges to survivors of domestic violence. Beyond the heightened need for emotional support services, isolate-in-place safety planning and crisis intervention, people impacted by violence and abuse are likely to experience additional stressors with lost work, closed schools and social isolation. Steps is working hard to help its service users navigate these unprecedented challenges.
Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform
VCJR and its partners are working to improve the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) response to the current crisis and to hold DOC accountable to prisoners’ rights. Among other critical issues VCJR is demanding testing of all incarcerated people in Vermont, affordable access to video and telephone visitation and removing barriers to the release of non-violent offenders.
COVID-19 is devastating health systems far more prepared and resilient than those in Haiti, which are under-resourced and already overwhelmed. As the country braces for the worst of the crisis to hit, SOIL recognizes that it is more critical than ever to safeguard the provision of SOIL’s lifesaving sanitation service. To prepare they are cross-training staff, hiring additional team members and working to rapidly acquire additional Wi-Fi hot-spots, personal protective equipment, and other necessary materials to see them through this challenging time.
Pennywise has been partnering with the William Talbott Hillman Foundation and leading Amazonian scientists to make sure that immediate needs of the Kuikuro, an indigenous community of the Upper XIngu region of the southern Amazon are being addressed as they face the coronavirus. Efforts have included support for traveling Kuikuro returning to the village; securing supplies including food, gas, soap, and cloth for masks; and adapting village structures for quarantine.
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Many states and the federal government have laws and policies that create barriers to accessing reproductive health care, especially abortion care. Denying health care coverage for abortion, banning telemedicine for abortion, preventing prescription access to medication abortion, mandated ultrasounds, forced waiting periods, and parental consent laws are just a few examples of the medically unnecessary restrictions placed on abortion care. Due to the ongoing pandemic, many states are now placing bans on "non-essential" health care procedures in order to prioritize combating the pandemic. Anti-abortion politicians and organizations are capitalizing on this moment of crisis to further restrict access by deeming abortion services to be "non-essential," effectively attempting to shut down abortion access in their states entirely.
The primary care clinicians that we work with are feeling the impact of the pandemic acutely. They are on the front lines caring for sick patients, often dealing with shortages of proper Personal Protective Equipment. Many primary care clinics in areas struggling to manage the pandemic are asking healthy patients seeking birth control and other reproductive health care services not to come and to access services via the phone or internet. Yet, current laws and policies prevent these very services from being provided virtually.
Now, more than ever, it is important that we stay true to our mission and values. Evidence-based, patient-centered reproductive health care must be accessible to everyone, in a way that takes into account the reality of people's lives in this moment. We need, in this time of crisis, to prioritize:
The Reproductive Health Access Project is committed to ensuring that reproductive health care, including abortion care, is protected in this time of crisis and beyond.