Our Commitment to Critical Health Care Services is Nonnegotiable

Today, International Women’s Day, the AAA-Fund reminds the nation that we support Planned Parenthood, who provides needed healthcare for women around the nation.

Below is a letter from Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Planned Parenthood Action Fund


With the release of the ACA replacement legislation by House Republicans, I wanted to alert you to an article that was just posted by the New York Times reporting that some in the White House have been pressing for Planned Parenthood to stop providing abortion at all health centers in return for the potential of increased funding.

Of course, any such proposal is an insult to us all, and fundamentally misunderstands Planned Parenthood’s commitment to the people we serve across the country and our mission to ensure that everyone — regardless of who they are, where they live, or how much money they make — have access to the full range of reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion.  It also misrepresents how health care reimbursement works.  Like other health care providers, there is no line-item in the federal budget for Planned Parenthood, and health centers only receive Medicaid reimbursement for preventive care, including birth control and cancer screenings.  The White House does not control the flow of funds to Planned Parenthood.

This so-called “proposal” is exactly what extreme organizations have pushed for decades, designed to get one-step closer to ending safe, legal abortion in this country by stopping Planned Parenthood’s service delivery and undermining our role as a strong advocate for full reproductive health care. These are also the same organizations who have long opposed comprehensive sex education, have attempted to stop access to condoms as a part of STD and HIV prevention, and want to roll back access to certain forms of contraception.

Please help us to amplify our response to this proposal on your social media properties.

Sample social share language:

  • Proud to #StandWithPP today & every day. Thank you for standing up for women no matter what. http://buff.ly/2mcvW53
  • Infographic on the myth that Planned Parenthood gets a check from the federal government http://bit.ly/2lPlOgz #IStandWithPP
  • Federal funds do not pay for abortion, an unfair law that has stood for over 40 years. #IStandWithPP http://bit.ly/1WvNC8T
  • WH reportedly offering @PPFA more funding if they’ll stop providing abortion. Their response: http://buff.ly/2mcvW53 #IStandWithPP
  • WH reportedly offering @PPFA more funding if they’ll stop providing abortion. That’s not how it works http://p.ppfa.org/2lUhQV3 #IStandWithPP


Please let me know if you have any questions.

How Federal Tax Dollars Support Planned Parenthood Patients




Asian American Mental Health Needs and The Clinton Response

ASian adults with mental illness are less likely to receive treatment or counseling compared to non-Hispanic whites Source: SAMHSA 2014 via FamiliesUSA.org

The Clinton campaign has issued a brief on mental health, a topic of special significance to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Of the 19 million Asian American surveyed for a 2014 Census Report, 13% had a diagnosable mental illness within the previous year. To put that into context, 2.2 million illl AAPIs is a number greater than the combined number of dentist, lawyers, and post-secondary teachers in American.

Mental Health America, a non-profit organization devoted to wellness programs, reports the following statistics:

  • 10.8 % of Asian American high school students report having attempted suicide, versus 6.2 % of whites.
  • Asian American high school females are twice as likely (15 %) to have attempted suicide than males (7 %).
  • Suicide death rates for Asian American females age 15-24 are 30% higher than white females in the same age group.
  • Suicide death rates for 65+ year old Asian American females are higher than they are for white females (4.8 to 4.5).

Public Policy Responses
Neither medical research nor health care services have successfully addressed mental health issues in the AAPI community. There’re relatively few epidemiological studies of AAPI mental health. As a result, health providers have no empirical explanation for the relatively high percentage of AAPI mental illness. Health care providers have also been unable to effectively address the problem. Until passage of Obamacare 15 % of Asian Americans and 18 % of Pacific Islanders lacked health care. Nearly half of AAPIs reported that they could not find mental health care providers with the appropriate language skills. A 2002 article identified some of the cultural influences which uniquely discourage Asians from seeking assistance. Mental illness can be a crippling source of shame within many traditional AAPI communities. These are just a few of the reasons that the AAPI population is 3 times less likely to seek mental health services.

Mental Health Statistics. Graphic created by Mental Health  America

Hillary Clinton’s Plan
In her published fact sheet, Hillary Clinton presents a comprehensive plan to address the systemic problem of mental health. Clinton is looking for ways to protect those with mental health needs, suppport their families and care givers, and promote relevant research. Highlights:

  • Promote early diagnosis and intervention.
  • Launch a national initiative for suicide prevention.
  • Integrate our nation’s mental and physical health care systems so that health care delivery focuses on the ͞whole person͟ and expand community-based treatment.
  • Prioritize treatment over jail for low-level, nonviolent offenders and help train law enforcement officers in responding to conflicts involving persons with mental illness.
  • Enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law. Improve access to housing and job opportunities.
  • Invest in brain behavioral science research.

This is the type of leadership in a social problem which government is intended to highlight and solve given its lack of an immediate profit mode. This is the type of attention to our society’s unmet needs which reduces the citizenry’s persuit of happiness and productivity thus economy. This is the sort of good governance that we expect of our elected leaders. For AAPIs, it is especially relevant that Clinton has focused upon the need to end the stigma and shame associated with mental illness.

This week Donald Trump made headlines by implying that veterens with ptsd are week. In contrast, Hillary Clinton is ready to support those suffering from mental illness.

The AAA-Fund is proud to endorse Hillary Clinton, a candidate with a plan for helping all Americans, AAPI and otherwise.

Related link: The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMA) provides access to resources especially important to the AAPI community

2016 DNCC Platform for AAPIs

Yesterday, the Democratic National Convention issued a draft of the 2016 Democratic Party Platform (Draft). We quote the sections relevant to the AAPI community so you can tell your elected officials which helps our goal of increasing AAPI progressive political involvement.

draft watermark repeating

DNC Draft Platform

Create Good-Paying Jobs

Youth Jobs

Democrats will create millions of jobs for our young people. Roughly one in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 is unemployed, more than twice the national average. The unemployment rates for African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), and American Indian teenagers are far too high. That is why Democrats will provide direct federal funding for a range of local programs that will put young people to work and create new career opportunities.

Bring Americans Together and Remove Barriers to Create Ladders of Opportunity

Racial Wealth Gap

America’s economic inequality problem is even more pronounced when it comes to racial and ethnic disparities in wealth and income. It is unacceptable that the median wealth for white Americans is roughly ten times that of African Americans and Latino Americans. These disparities are just as stark for American Indians and certain Asian American subgroups. The racial and ethnic gap in wealth and income has been created by historical and contemporary policies and practices that discriminate against people of color and constrained their ability to earn income and build assets to the same extent as other Americans.

This economic disadvantage has accumulated over time and is made worse by ongoing discrimination. For example, as a result of the housing crisis and the great recession, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans lost more than half of their net worth. And these losses were compounded by the fact that during the subprime mortgage crisis lenders targeted communities of color for faulty mortgages.

Democrats believe it is long past time to close this racial wealth gap by eliminating systemic barriers to wealth accumulation for different racial groups and improving opportunities for people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds to build wealth.

Criminal Justice

Democrats are committed to reforming our criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration. Something is profoundly wrong when a quarter of the world’s prison population is in the United States, even though we have less than five percent of the world’s people. We will reform mandatory minimum sentences and close private prisons and detention centers. We will rebuild the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Across the country, there are many police officers who inspire trust and confidence, deploying creative and effective strategies, and demonstrating that it is possible to reduce crime without relying on unnecessary force. We should learn from those examples and build on what works.

We will invest in training for officers on issues such as de-escalation and the appropriate use of force, and encourage better police-community relations and the use of smart strategies like police body cameras. We will end racial profiling that targets individuals, based solely on race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin, which is un-American and counterproductive. We support states and localities that choose to make the investigations and prosecutions of police-involved shootings more independent and transparent, including through reforming the grand jury process. And we will explore reforms of the civil asset forfeiture system. Instead of investing in more jails and incarceration, we need to provide greater investment in jobs and education, and end to the school-to-prison pipeline. We will remove barriers to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society by banning the box, expanding reentry programs, and restoring voting rights. We will prioritize treatment over incarceration in tackling addiction and substance use disorder. This means significantly expanding treatment in this country for people struggling with addiction and mental health issues.

We have been inspired by the movements for criminal justice that directly address the discriminatory treatment of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians to rebuild trust in the criminal justice system.

Provide Quality and Affordable Education

Minority-Serving Institutions

We will strengthen our nation’s public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions by providing a dedicated fund of tens of billions of dollars to keep costs down, provide a quality education, and provide dedicated support to improve student outcomes and completion rates. These schools play an important role in building opportunity and creating a diverse workforce.

Ensure the Health and Safety of All Americans

Democrats believe that it is not right that your zip code or census tract is a predictor of your health, which is why we will make health equity a central part of our commitment to revitalizing communities left behind. Democrats believe that all health care services should be culturally and linguistically appropriate. And we should disaggregate data collection for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders because data disaggregation is a necessary step in fully understanding the needs of the AAPI community for all government services.


Immigration is not a problem to be solved, it is a defining aspect of the American character and history. We must defend against those who would exclude or eliminate legal immigration avenues and denigrate immigrants.

Foreign Affairs


From the Asia Pacific to the Indian Ocean, we will deepen our alliances in the region with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand.

Post Show and Tell

Dr. Ken, ABC’s new sitcom starring Ken Jeong, premiered tonight on ABC. Dr. Ken is ABC’s fourth Asian American sitcom after the groundbreaking Mr. T and Tina, All-American Girl, Fresh Off The Boat. Dr. Ken is breaking ground of its own. Ken Jeong’s character is 2nd generation and Suzy Nakamura‘s character (Ken’s TV wife) is 3rd generation, making the kids the first kids beyond 2nd generation in an Asian American sitcom. Dr. Ken is also the first Asian American sitcom set in the 21st century.

Critics’ reviews before air are mixed at best. Arthur Chu wants Jeong to be let loose. I don’t disagree.

If you haven’t seen Dr. Ken, I suggest giving it a watch. The pilot episode starts slow but grows increasingly funny as the episode goes on. I, for one, am looking forward to next week’s episode.

If you saw Dr. Ken and were disappointed, keep watching. It gets better:

But wait there’s more!

Shortly after Dr. Ken’s premiere came the unveiling of a secret project — Post Show and Tell. Created by the beloved 8asians Editor-In Chief Jocelyn “Joz” Wong, Post Show and Tell is the official unofficial after show for Dr. Ken. Post Show and Tell will treat viewers to Dr. Ken behind the scenes exclusives and special appearances from Dr. Ken cast and crew. Post Show and Tell will also feature your questions! To ask a question, put your question in a comment on Post Show and Tell’s YouTube channel or tweet your questions to @PostShowAndTell.

The first Post Show and Tell features Ken Jeong, the star of Dr. Ken, and Krista Marie Yu, the brilliant young actress who plays Dr. Ken’s daughter:

Did you enjoy Dr. Ken? Did you enjoy Post Show and Tell? Let us know!

– Justin Gillenwater

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