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Sec. Sebelius Speaks Out for Women's Health and Privacy at NARAL Event

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It's not every day that you get to eat lunch with someone who's one degree of separation from our president. But yesterday, hundreds of pro-choice supporters did just that at NARAL Pro-Choice America's Chicago Power of Choice Luncheon.

Special thanks go out to the event's co-chairs, Karen Berkowitz, Steven Cohen, JoAnn Eisenberg, and Rabbi Michael Sternfield, as well as the entire Chicago Leadership Council.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, had the honor of introducing a very special keynote speaker: Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Secretary Sebelius is a tireless champion of women's freedom and privacy going back to her days as governor of Kansas.

Earlier this year, Secretary Sebelius followed medical experts' advice and announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover all FDA-approved birth-control methods without a copay.

And at yesterday's luncheon, the secretary did not mince words when she spoke about the War on Women that anti-choice politicians are waging throughout the country:

They don't just want to go after the last 18 months, they want to roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America.

We've come a long way in women's health over the last few decades, but we are in a war.

Indeed, we are. This year alone, as we told The Associated Press yesterday, states have enacted 62 anti-choice laws.

As Nancy said yesterday, politicians who campaigned last fall on a platform of limited government are now focused on making government just small enough to fit in your bedroom or inside your medicine cabinet.

Secretary Sebelius reaffirmed the Obama administration's commitment to women's health and the right to make personal, private medical decisions:

If we can fight through the misinformation and get Americans the facts, I'm confident we can keep moving forward to a day when all American woman have access to the comprehensive health services they need and the right to make their own choices about their bodies and their own futures.

Thank you, Secretary Sebelius! It's nice to have an administration fighting for women's access to health care, not against it.

And judging by the audience's standing ovation, pro-choice Americans are on board.

One Chicago pro-choice mom said the event "drove home how anti-woman the so-called pro-life movement is and how much scary legislative progress they've made in states across the U.S."

And Millennial pro-choice leaders attended in full force. Mistress of Ceremonies Sylvia Ewing gave a shout out to the next generation that's going to lead the pro-choice movement into the future, leaders like Anthony Todd, from Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Todd said he was pleased by what he heard in Secretary Sebelius' speech:

Just because Obama isn't making as much noise as progressives would like him to, it doesn't mean the important policy changes she discussed that affect real women's real lives aren't happening. That's encouraging, as a Democrat, to remember that something's happening.

Something is happening. And it's thanks to pro-choice leaders like President Obama and Secretary Sebelius that we have the chance to make a good something happen.

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