My sincere hope would be for legislators to focus on the country's pressing challenges rather than undermining a woman's right to choose, but the outlook is not promising. Anti-choice lawmakers, in their words and actions, are pushing for a wave of proposals that would open the door to more political interference in the doctor-patient relationship. This agenda is out of step with our country's priorities.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation held an event this afternoon to launch the 20th edition of Who Decides?. We were joined by pro-choice coalition partners and members of the news media. Nancy Keenan highlighted the report's key findings.
Donna Crane, policy director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, gave an overview of what we can expect from Congress and the states in the next year
. She drew special attention to a new law in Nebraska that bans abortion at 20 weeks, without an adequate exception for threats to a woman's health, for cases in which the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or for cases of fetal anomaly. The law targeted Dr. LeRoy Carhart
, whose practice is located in Nebraska. Anti-choice groups are threatening to pass copycat laws in other states in 2011.
New Hampshire received an A- grade
in the new Who Decides?
, and has a history of strong bipartisan support for the right to choose. But anti-choice gains in both houses of the state legislature could threaten New Hampshire's pro-choice status. Olivo said that, as recent as yesterday, legislative leaders had vowed to pass a parental-involvement mandate that could jeopardize the health and safety of vulnerable teens. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers repealed a similar measure in 2007. That law had been the focus of a court challenge that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire will work closely with pro-choice Gov. John Lynch to make sure that a woman's right to make personal, private medical decisions doesn't go the way of the Old Man of the Mountain