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Action Alert: Help Fund the Second Chance Act Today!

Take action to support funding for The Second Chance Act in Fiscal Year 2014 today. Congressman Danny Davis has set a deadline of Friday, April 5th for members of Congress to sign on and show their support.
Please contact your US Representative TODAY and urge him or her to support robust funding for the Second Chance Act in 2014 by signing onto Congressman Danny Davis’s “Dear Colleague” letter. The deadline is Friday, April 5th, so it’s important that you contact your member of Congress right away. Thanks!
BACKGROUND: The US House of Representatives recently started work on its Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) Justice Appropriations bill that includes funding for The Second Chance Act. As this process kicks off, Congress will prioritize programs with widespread support and it’s important that they be reminded of the critical need for continued funding of the Second Chance Act.
When the Second Chance Act was signed into law in
2008, it enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support. It’s a common-sense, effective approach to improving outcomes for people returning to communities from prisons and jails. This first-of-its-kind legislation authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victim support, and other services that can help reduce recidivism.

Take Action today!

April 6, 2013: Rally For Bei Bei Shuai and Against the New Jane Crow‏

Posted for National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Indianapolis-based student, social justice, and faith-based activists are planning a rally in support of Bei Bei Shuai and against separate and unequal laws for pregnant women. The Rally will take place on April 6 at 2pm in front of the City Market (222 E. Market Street) in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Please join us there!

More than two years ago Bei Bei Shuai was pregnant and, in an act of desperation, sought to kill herself. Friends intervened and got her to a hospital in time. She survived and did everything she could to ensure that her baby would too, including undergoing emergency cesarean surgery. The baby was born alive, but tragically did not survive.

Attempting suicide is not a crime in Indiana, yet the state responded to this tragic situation by arresting Ms. Shuai on charges of murder of a viable fetus and attempted feticide. According to the state of Indiana, attempted feticide may be charged whenever a pregnant woman engages in any intentional action that threatens the life of a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus. The Supreme Court of Indiana refused to dismiss the charges against Ms. Shuai even though scores of medical, mental health, public health, and health advocacy groups explained why doing so is crucial to protecting maternal, child, and fetal health. It has been more than two years since Ms. Shuai was criminally charged. She spent a full year in jail deprived of her constitutional right to bail. She was finally granted bail and released from jail, but she is far from free — Ms. Shaui must pay $12 a day to wear an electronic monitor.

This case affects all pregnant women — and really all women of childbearing age. If upheld it means that Indiana will have a system of separate and unequal law for women: a new Jane Crow. For example, attempting suicide will be a crime — but only for women who are pregnant. Every intentional action or inaction by a pregnant woman that could lead to the death of a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus would be covered under the feticide law, relegating all pregnant women to a “special” class of persons who may be subject to surveillance, control and punishment. Declining a doctor’s advice for bed rest, prenatal tests, or cesarean surgery could all be treated as attempted feticide. (Threats of arrest and actual arrests in such situations are not hypothetical.) Indeed, every fertile woman will be responsible at all times for knowing if she is pregnant so she can determine if an action or inaction might be the crime of feticide, attempted feticide, or attempted murder.

Ms. Shuai’s case has garnered an outpouring of online support from around the world that has surprised even the prosecutor, as he admits in this video from the Indianapolis Star. You can help continue this momentum by supporting a rally to take place on April 6 in Indianapolis! There are 3 important ways you can support this effort:

Show up! Join NAPW’s Executive Director, Lynn Paltrow, in Indiana on April 6th and encourage your students, friends, family, or local organization members to attend too. And then, encourage them again! Having people show up in person sends a strong message: We stand with Bei Bei! We stand for equality, justice, and freedom!

Spread the word! Please share this event with your networks. Visit (and share widely!) the Facebook event that tells people where and when to show up. Blog about it! Share the posters and flyers! Send an email blast to your supporters! Sign the online petition!

Speak out! As NAPW’s Board President, Jeanne Flavin, and Executive Director, Lynn Paltrow, explain in “Toward a “Pro Lives” Perspective that Values the Lives of Pregnant Women and the Well-Being of Our Nation,” there is strong opposition across party lines and in spite of political labels to giving states the power to lock up and tie down pregnant women.

If you are in Indianapolis you can hear Lynn Paltrow speak at:


Actions on Faces & Voices of Recovery website.

Register to Vote

Take Action:

Ask your Representative to join the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus

The Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus is a forum for raising awareness and educating members of Congress about addiction and recovery.

Get information for The Wellstone/Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Law on the Parity Implementation Coalition website.

The Recovery Bill of Rights

is a statement of the principle that all Americans have a right to recover from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It was developed and adopted by Faces & Voices of Recovery‘s board of directors and has been endorsed by allied national organizations. We call on all Americans and our elected officials to take action to build communities of recovery that will support the more than 22 million Americans and their families still needing help and to end discrimination facing millions in long-term recovery.

A new life, free from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, is a reality for millions of Americans. Regardless of the path a person takes in seeking recovery, the lives of those around the individual – family members, friends and neighbors – are vastly improved as a result. We know that recovery is an achievable goal for the 21 million Americans1who still need help. Breaking the cycle of addiction is critical to a healthy society.

Recovery is a process that requires time, patience and support. It’s time now to implement public and private policies at the local, state and federal levels to help individuals and families get the help they need, including access to effective treatment and to peer and other recovery support services. Policies that discriminate against people in recovery must be reversed. The barriers that discrimination raises against people with addiction must be removed. People with drug convictions face additional obstacles – even after they have completed their sentences – that threaten their chances of ever becoming productive members of society.

Our nation’s response to the crisis of addiction should be based on the engagement and involvement of the recovery community – people in recovery, their families, friends and allies – and on sound public health science. Policies and programs must close the gap between science and policy. By speaking out and putting a human face on recovery, people in or seeking recovery and their families play a critical role in breaking down barriers. These personal “faces and voices of recovery” serve powerfully to educate the public about addiction and recovery and about discrimination against those seeking sustained recovery.

Americans are misspending precious taxpayer dollars because of misguided approaches to addiction. This illness, left untreated, costs Americans more than 100,000 lives and $400 billion each year.2Addiction affects one of every four children in our country.3

Yet, treating addiction is as successful as treating other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.4 Recovery benefits individuals and families. It brings relief to communities by improving public health and safety and reducing tax burdens. Every $1 invested in treatment yields a return of up to $7 in reduced drug-related crime and criminal justice costs. When savings related to health care are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1.5These benefits could be further enhanced if addiction treatment shifted from its acute care model of brief treatment to a model of sustained recovery support, analogous to the care provided to people recovering from other chronic illnesses.6

Public and private investment in recovery expands access to the growing number of recovery pathways. The reward: increased opportunities for individuals to regain their lives and for families and communities to grow stronger. The right to recovery is the right to a new life, free from addiction.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2007) 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  2. Harwood, H. (2000) Updating Estimates of the Economic Costs of Alcohol Abuse in the United States: Estimates, Updated Methods and Data. [Based on data in Harwood et al., 1998.] Report prepared for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,. Harwood, H., Fountain, D., Livermore, G. The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States 1992. Report prepared for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. NIH Publication No. 98-4327. Rockville, MD: National Institutes of Health, 1998, The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States: 1992-2002, p. vi.
  3. Grant, B. F. (January 2000). Estimates of U.S. children exposed to alcohol abuse and dependence in the family. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 90, No. 1, 114.
  4. McLellan, A.T., Lewis, D.C., O’Brien, C.P. & Kleber, H.D. (2000). Drug dependence, a chronic medical illness: Implications for treatment, insurance, and outcomes evaluation. Journal of the American Medical Association 284(3), 1689-1695.
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (1999) Frequently Asked Questions in Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide. Retrieved March 25, 2008, from http://www.nida.nih.gov/PODAT/PODAT6.html#FAQ11
  6. White, W., Boyle, M. & Loveland, D. (2002). Alcoholism/addiction as a chronic disease: From rhetoric to clinical application. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 20(3/4),107-130.

The development of The Recovery Bill of Rights was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Please contact us at: (415) 564-3691 or sheila.ganz@gmail.com  @pandorasbp if you or your group would like to host a fundraising screening.

© 2014 Sheila Ganz