Results tagged “Abortion debate” from Blog for Choice
This month, we were impressed by Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims, who took a stand for freedom and privacy in opposition to his anti-choice peers in the legislature, earning him a spot in our April Hall of Fame.
When his anti-choice colleagues tried to ban women from using their own private money to pay for insurance that covers abortion, Rep. Sims expressed his dissatisfaction, saying:
"Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."
Can we get an "Amen!"
Pennsylvania has some of the most restrictive anti-choice laws on the books, and received an "F" grade in our 2012 edition of Who Decides?. That's why we're so grateful for pro-choice champs like Rep. Sims for calling out anti-choice politicians.
We know one anti-choice politician that could use calling out, and that's anti-choice Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant.
Rep. Van Zant earned a spot in April's Hall of Shame by being so offensive while offering closing statements on anti-choice race - and sex - selection abortion ban legislation he sponsored, that his remarks prompted at least five female African-American lawmakers to walk out of the room.
There are many pro-choice champions and anti-choice challengers who could easily be ushered into our Hall of Fame and Shame.
Who caught your eye this month?
In Massachusetts, pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey is facing off against anti-choice Rep. Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary in a special election for Secretary of State John Kerry's former Senate seat, and the gloves are coming off.
In a recent debate, Rep. Lynch tried to mislead voters about Rep. Markey's position and distract them from his own anti-choice record!
Rep. Markey is committed to protecting women's reproductive health and freedom, and he has consistently voted pro-choice for decades.
Rep. Markey wasn't fazed by Rep. Lynch's attempts to smear his position:
"I have voted consistently pro-choice for 30 years in the congress, 30 years Steve, and that's why Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have endorsed me."
Clearly, Rep. Lynch knows he's in trouble because the majority of independent voters want a candidate who supports a woman's right to choose, and his extreme anti-choice record speaks for itself.
That's why we've gone full-out in our efforts to help elect pro-choice Rep. Markey to the Senate!
We've already made thousands of phone calls in Massachusetts and our canvass team is on the ground getting ready to knock on doors and educate voters about why Rep. Markey is the only candidate they can trust to protect women's freedom and privacy.
The special election is less than a week away. Make sure your friends in Massachusetts know why they must elect Rep. Ed Markey and keep this Senate seat pro-choice!
Last night, NARAL Pro-Choice America hosted our Roe v. Wade 40th anniversary dinner. This year's event was particularly special, with Nancy Keenan giving her final address and Ilyse Hogue making her first speech as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"Women are thinking bigger thoughts and dreaming bigger dreams for our families and for our futures than ever before. But we cannot do that unless our foundational rights are secured. And those foundational rights will not be secure until we challenge our political leaders to match policy to the real lives of real women today."
Check out a few of the great photos from the event:
Ross Mathews of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and E!'s hit late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately, was our emcee for the evening, and had everyone laughing away:
"Am I crazy? It's 2013, not 1913, right? Let's get real. We are all here tonight because we share a deep common value: a belief in women's freedom and privacy."
This year's event theme was "Every Decision Has a Story." We introduced our new campaign Choice Out Loud, and shared its first initiative, "40," a stop-motion film of 40 pro-choice faces photographed by an incredible range of advertising, fashion, editorial and news photographers.
Stories were front and center this year. Dana Weinstein shared a heartbreaking story about receiving the diagnosis of a severe fetal abnormality late in her much-wanted pregnancy. Dana explained how difficult it was to get the care she needed. Ever since her tragic experience, Dana has been a courageous advocate for protecting a woman's right to choose:
"I am deeply grateful to NARAL and the women and men just a generation before mine - many of whom are in this room tonight - who fought for decades to gain abortion rights. Your support of the pro-choice movement made it possible for me to have a choice about what was right for my family. And now, it is my generation and the ones that follow that need to raise our voices, become involved, and actively join this fight."
Of course we know that electing pro-choice leaders is the best way to protect this right. That's why we were thrilled to have scores of pro-choice members of Congress in the room including Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D - IL), who introduced Nancy Keenan.
Our surprise guest is also working hard to protect choice for women. President Barack Obama sent a video thanking Nancy Keenan and NARAL Pro-Choice America, and welcoming Ilyse Hogue to the organization. Watch it here:
Our keynote speaker, Stephanie Cutter, deputy director of the 2012 Obama campaign, spoke about the importance of political action and the challenges that lie ahead. She thanked Nancy Keenan for her dedicated work over the last eight years and welcomed Ilyse Hogue:
"It was the way we responded, rose up and rallied together that made this past year so remarkable. It was the fact that we didn't just make this a question of choice; it was a question of respect and independence. It wasn't just political, it was personal.
Ilyse, as you grab the torch that is being passed to you, I know you'll be bringing with you a unique understanding of the power of grassroots organizing and the power of our voices. And I want you to know that we have your back."
The audience agreed with thunderous applause.
We couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to hear remarks from such an amazing group of pro-choice leaders and activists. And we're ready to take on the anti-choice challenges that lie ahead.
Despite voters' clear rejection of the War on Women in last year's election, anti-choice politicians continue to move extreme legislation in states across the country.
These bills would ban abortion so early in a pregnancy that most women wouldn't even know they're pregnant.
On the Roe v. Wade anniversary, Nancy Keenan, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, debated Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, on PBS NewsHour about the anti-choice agenda in the states. Nancy reminded viewers that when voters get to weigh in on extreme measures like this, they decisively reject them at the polls:
"We see 'personhood' being introduced in Mississippi, and when the people have the actual opportunity to vote at that ballot box they vote "no" and they reject it. We saw the abortion ban in South Dakota twice defeated by the people. There was outrage [in Virginia] over the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound. Women spontaneously showed up at the Capital saying, 'stop this nonsense!'"
Nonetheless, the anti-choice movement is not deterred. Their ultimate goal is to render Roe v. Wade meaningless by chipping away at women's reproductive freedom, state by state.
These anti-choice politicians clearly just don't get it.
We know that seven out of 10 Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. And when anti-choice lawmakers try to force their extreme agenda on citizens of their state, voters turn out and shut down those anti-choice initiatives.
As Nancy put so well:
"I think that we always have to be vigilant. And I think we have to make sure that people that are elected to office know what's at stake here, and that's freedom and privacy. But I do believe that the people in this country share the value of being pro-choice and they're not going to let that happen."
Nancy Keenan, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, will hand off the organization to new president Ilyse Hogue at the Roe v. Wade anniversary dinner this week.
My time as president has officially come to an end, and I will say the fondest of farewells to our supporters, my coworkers, and friends at our annual Roe v. Wade anniversary dinner tomorrow here in Washington, D.C.
Before I head off on my next adventure, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for eight amazing years of fighting for women's reproductive freedom and privacy.
Together, we've accomplished so much thanks to your strong commitment and willingness to take action in support of a woman's right to choose. Here are just a few highlights:
- Since 2005, we have lobbied more than 50 votes on choice-related issues in Congress and worked in partnership with our affiliates on more than 4,000 choice-related bills in the states.
- In 2008 and again last year, we played a leading role in sending President Barack Obama to the White House and electing other pro-choice champions across the country.
- We fought relentlessly to improve women's access to birth control - and we won when the Obama administration adopted no-cost birth-control coverage.
- Most recently, we helped convince Congress to lift the ban that prohibited servicewomen who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault from using their military health plans to cover abortion care.
These are accomplishments we can truly be proud of.
Welcoming a new president at any organization is a big moment, and I couldn't be more proud and excited to turn reins of the organization over to Ilyse Hogue, the new president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
I have every confidence in the changes to come for the organization. And I know that I can count on you to stand by Ilyse, help her grow our base, and protect a woman's right and access to abortion for decades ahead.
Thank you again for your unparalleled support, commitment, and friendship. Your work in the pro-choice movement will be recognized and appreciated by generations to come.
To all of you who contributed pro-choice blog posts, your Facebook posts and your Twitter tweets, we thank you for making our Blog For Choice Day 2013 a fantastic success!
By sharing our stories, we can connect personal beliefs about a woman's right to choose with political action.
That is why it is so important for the pro-choice majority to share their stories and experiences.
Erin Matson shared her story about being pro-choice and pregnant:
I strongly support and celebrate the right to abortion without shame, stigma or obstacles designed to make legal abortion practically impossible to obtain. Yet, the conversation needs to be broader to include those of us with wanted pregnancies who are placed in grave danger by outright bans, funding restrictions and other obstacles to abortion. In the past year we lost a happily pregnant, and later dangerously sick, Savita Halappanavar, who asked for an abortion that would have saved her life but couldn't get one due to "pro-life" rigidity. There is nothing that justifies her death.
Pam's House Blend discussed the growing intensity of the anti-choice movement:
It is clear that the individuals and organizations opposed to legal abortion are quickly adapting new strategies and tactics to advance their agenda. While anti-choice organizations have had some success in restricting access to abortion through the public policy process over the last four decades, their efforts to deny women options have evolved in recent years. No longer content to simply set up barriers through the legal process, the movement has redefined the word "access" and built a national network of unlicensed and unregulated "crisis pregnancy centers" with the sole intention of convincing women, sometimes through manipulation and lies, to carry their pregnancies to term. Women are already making decisions about their pregnancies in a world of inequality, limiting access and sharing mis-information only makes these decisions more difficult.
What makes Blog For Choice Day one of our favorite events is the unique variety of stories and posts pro-choice individuals share with us, such as this one from Angry Black Bitch:
I blog for reproductive justice...
I blog for the right to have children...
I blog for the right not to have children...
I blog for the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.
My passion to be an advocate for the Pro-choice movement is kept strong because my family has been affected by the very thing that would have continued to happen if Roe vs. Wade had not gone in our favor. The same thing could also happen if abortion becomes outlawed in the future.
When my grandmother was two years old, she had an older brother, a younger brother, and her mother had discovered that she was expecting again. Her parents struggled to make ends meet as it was and it was even worse because they were living during the Great Depression. Her mother felt she had no other choice but to try to end her pregnancy since her husband and herself were already trying desperately to feed the family they already had. We are unsure whether or not she resorted to a back-alley abortion by some person she didn't know, asked a trusted friend to assist her, or bravely tried to take on this feat by herself but an abortion was performed and she died soon afterwards. She was so desperate to try to make the right decision for her family that she risked and lost her own life.
Not only would many women lose their lives but many children would lose their mother and many men would lose their wives if abortion was completely outlawed. Abortion is a last resort not something that someone plans to do. It should always stay a viable option that could be considered by the families and women in a desperate situation.
I stand in solidarity with my sisters who have had abortions. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who have wanted an abortion but have not been able to afford one or have not been able to obtain one. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who have died from illegal and botched abortions. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who fight daily against the misogynistic patriarchal "pro-life" movement. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who are at the forefront of the reproductive justice movement.
I do not believe everyone should have abortions, but I do believe with every inch of me, including the cells of my daughter that will float inside me forever, that I do not get to make reproductive decision for others.You can find more awesome posts from Blog for Choice Day 2013 on our website.
Therefore, yes, becoming a mother has changed my feminism. It has made me more radical and adamant to ensure that she can make her own decisions when the time comes. I pray to all the gods that she will come to me for advice, but I know there is a chance she will not.
I fight for reproductive justice for not just my daughter, but also everyone out there.
* Blog for Choice Day posts are submitted freely to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Links to external content do not represent endorsement.
We need your help to end an egregious policy that impacts women in the military who have survived a rape.
We've been working hard to make sure that military women who are survivors of rape or incest can get abortion services covered using their military health insurance. Anti-choice law currently bans them from doing so, and they must pay the cost themselves.
The U.S. Senate is poised to lift this ban.
And today, pro-choice champion President Obama confirmed his administration's support for overturning the ban (see page four of this PDF).
We're so thankful that the person we call Mr. President stands with women, and especially with the women who dedicate their lives to serving our country.
We owe it to our servicewomen to make sure they can get the health services they need in the tragic case of sexual assault.
Help us end this horrible policy -- send a strong message to lawmakers.
Voters sent a resounding pro-choice message this year when they rejected anti-choice politicians who opposed everything from birth-control coverage to abortion exceptions for rape survivors.
Unfortunately, some anti-choice politicians clearly didn't get the message.
In Texas, anti-choice politicians are pushing legislation that would make it more difficult for women to access medical abortion care, a safe way for women to terminate an early pregnancy. Anti-choice politicians and organizations also are trying to ban abortion late in a pregnancy, a tactic especially harmful to women who face heart-breaking complications.
The state is also continuing its fight in the courts to defund family-planning providers, including Planned Parenthood.
Fortunately, anti-choice politicians in two other states backtracked —for now— on their legislative attacks.
We celebrated a victory when Ohio Senate President Niehaus announced that the legislature would not vote on bills aiming to effectively ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant and defund Planned Parenthood during the lame duck session.
And in Virginia, overwhelming opposition to a proposed "personhood" measure helped convince Sen. Steve Martin, Chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, to pull the bill from the committee's agenda. It's good news, but it's not the end. In fact, anti-choice politicians in that state have already pre-filed bills for 2013, including one that would slash insurance coverage of birth control.
Don't expect this to be the last thing we hear about choice in Ohio and Virginia. But, when politicians continue to push their extreme anti-choice agenda, pro-choice women and their allies will push back even harder.
Personal, private medical decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor - not by politicians.
Tonight is the second presidential debate - and it might be the last time voters get to hear Mitt Romney talk firsthand about his views on women's access to abortion and reproductive-health care.
Romney has made a sport of playing both sides. One minute he tries to hide his anti-choice views, and the next his campaign reinforces them.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, writes about this very important issue over at The Huffington Post.
Her message? Women need to remember the real Mitt Romney come November 6:
Overturning Roe v. Wade is part of Romney's agenda. The next president could nominate enough Supreme Court justices to determine the future of Roe. And Romney has said, "I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution. And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade..."
Blocking women's access to birth control is also part of his agenda. Romney has said he would eliminate Title X family-planning programs.
This election, voters will be faced with a clear choice: an administration that will protect women's privacy and personal health-care decisions, or one that allows politicians to make those choices for them.
We saw Mitt Romney tell lie after lie about his policy proposals at the first presidential debate. And now he is doing it again on the campaign trail. Women and their families need to know the truth about the Romney-Ryan ticket. And, those who want an end to the War on Women need to vote for President Obama, whose leadership supports, rather than threatens, their reproductive rights.
Check out the rest at The Huffington Post!
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Sen. Brown and Josh Mandel debated for the very first time this week, and their positions on abortion were raised several times.
Sen. Brown effectively pointed out Mandel's true position:
"Mandel is even more extreme than Romney on abortion, and does not support exceptions for rape or incest victims."
Mandel even threatened the overturn of Roe v. Wade:
"I will take seriously my role to appoint Supreme Court Justices, and will only approve of ones that are pro-life."
Mandel is endorsed by some of the most extreme anti-choice groups, including Ohio Right to Life PAC and the National Right to Life PAC. His anti-choice agenda is completely out of touch with Ohio women and their families.
This is why we couldn't be more proud to support pro-choice champion Sen. Sherrod Brown in his campaign for re-election.
This spring, Sen. Brown voted against the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed any boss to block their employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control. And he stood up to an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. He also voted against a bill that would have cut funding for contraception and cancer screenings for low-income women.
In the recent debate, Sen. Brown stood up for all women in Ohio when he said:
"I trust Ohio Women to make their own health care decisions."
The U.S. Senate is critical in the fight to protect the right to choose, and we must protect every senator who fights for women's health and privacy. Right now, there are only 40 reliably pro-choice votes in that chamber. It takes 41 to block bad legislation.
That's why we must send Sen. Brown back to Washington for the next six years. If you have friends or family in Ohio, urge them to vote for a true champion for women's health and privacy, Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Will he try to backtrack on his extreme anti-choice positions, like his running mate Mitt Romney did this week?
We're not buying it from Romney and we won't let Ryan get away with it, either.
Pro-choice voters need to know about Rep. Ryan's extreme anti-choice record, and how bad he is for women's health and privacy.
- Rep. Ryan campaigned in support of State Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake), who made the outrageous comment that, "some girls rape easy." Update: Rep. Ryan withdrew his endorsement from State Rep. Rivard on October 11, just hours before his debate against Vice President Biden.
- He cosponsored "personhood" legislation that, if enacted, would outlaw abortion in almost all cases, even in cases of rape or incest.
- Rep. Ryan supported legislation that would force a woman to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, even if the doctor doesn't recommend it, and even if it's against the woman's will.
- He voted to refuse emergency abortion care to women who could otherwise die without it.
We can't emphasize it enough: the Romney-Ryan ticket is bad for women and their families.
On November 6, vote for the candidate who will continue to protect women's freedom and privacy: pro-choice President Barack Obama.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Apparently Mitt Romney will say just about anything to get women to vote for him - even if that means lying about his anti-choice positions.
Then, within 24 hours, the Real Romney resurfaced and threatened to defund Planned Parenthood.
We're not going to let Mitt Romney get away with confusing voters about what kind of president he plans to be.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Political Director Beth Shipp spoke with NPR about Romney's inconsistency when it comes to his abortion position:
"That's quite a shock, coming from Mitt Romney, who has consistently called for the overturn of Roe v Wade; who said that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would do just that; who has an extensive pro-life agenda on his website that anybody can access...I know Mitt Romney really wants women to vote for him, but the way that he's going about this, by lying to people about where he stands on the issues, is not going to serve him well come Nov. 6."
NARAL Pro-Choice America Deputy Political Director Erika West was featured in The Daily Beast commenting on Romney's misleading statements:
Karen Finney, Democratic strategist and NARAL Pro-Choice America board member, talked with The Hill about our election strategy to make sure women voters know exactly where Romney stands.
We won't stand for Mitt Romney's attempts to mislead voters on his choice position. Start talking about the Real Romney with your friends about what kind of president he'll be - and why we must stop him from setting foot inside the White House.
The only way we're going to continue to protect women's freedom and privacy and improve health-care services for women and families is by re-electing President Obama. You know that, we know that, but, unfortunately, there are still some critical voters who do not plan to vote for him on November 6.
We believe this election can be won by getting these undecided voters to stand with the president. That's why we plan to contact 380,020 voters who we consider to be "Obama defectors" - pro-choice women who supported Obama in 2008 but aren't committed to voting for him yet - in 25 counties in nine battleground states. These women can make the difference in what is likely to be a very close election.
But we need your help to reach every one of these pro-choice voters. Think creatively - are any of your friends, neighbors, colleagues, or classmates pro-choice and not yet planning to vote for Obama?
Here are the top five things you should tell your friends about the Romney-Ryan ticket:
- Romney says he supports overturning Roe v. Wade.
- Romney said, "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." Romney's plan would cut off access to birth control and breast cancer screenings for millions of women.
- Romney and Ryan have supported policies that would outlaw abortion in almost all cases, even in cases of rape, incest or when a woman's health is in danger.
- Ryan supported redefining rape so that it would be harder for many rape survivors to get the medical care they need.
- Ryan voted to allow hospitals to refuse emergency abortion care to women who could otherwise die without it.
The Romney-Ryan ticket's extreme anti-choice agenda couldn't be clearer. And we're not going to let them shy away from their outrageous positions.
Talk to your friends, and they'll see that they cannot trust Mitt Romney with women's health and privacy.
Last week, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Henry Waxman (D - Ca.), published a report documenting all of the anti-woman and anti-choice votes held by leaders of the U.S. House Representatives since January 2011.
The report details 55 votes - all shamelessly anti-woman.
Here are just a few highlights/lowlights:
- A vote to ban abortion for women in Washington, D.C. who face complications later in pregnancy.
- Votes to repeal Obamacare and effectively take away women's access to affordable preventive-health services.
- A vote to allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, life-saving abortion care, even if she could die without it.
Our own Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, was featured in the report:
"From the 'Let Women Die' bill to IRS rape audits to attempts to defund family-planning programs, Americans have seen an unprecedented number of attacks on women's health in recent months. Rep. Waxman's report documents the lengths to which this Congress has gone in trying to dismantle reproductive freedom - and will serve as a clarion call to every American woman who cares about her rights."
Rep. Waxman's report further exposes how anti-choice leaders in Congress are waging a War on Women.
We're not going to let these anti-woman politicians vote our rights away. On November 6, we'll show them that they won't get away with their anti-woman agenda.
Here's what Romney should have told the American people if he were being completely honest: that he will be an extreme anti-choice president who works to take away women's freedom and privacy.
This is the man who vetoed a bill that ensured rape survivors received information and access to emergency contraception. He claimed that the "Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong." And when he promises to nominate justices who believe - like he does - that the Supreme Court decision recognizing a woman's constitutionally guaranteed right to choose was wrong, we must take him at his word.
We used to call anti-choice extremists "fringe." But now we call them governors, senators, and mayors. Let's make sure we don't call them Mr. President.
We know that you know that the best way to protect your pro-choice values is to vote pro-choice at the polls. We know that you understand full well what happens when we elect extreme politicians like Mitt Romney.
But unfortunately, a lot of pro-choice people don't connect their personal beliefs to taking political action. They might have watched Mitt Romney's speech and come away feeling like he's an okay guy who can be trusted with our rights.
We need your help to make sure your friends connect the dots - and act to protect what they believe in. We put together this video to do just that - encourage people who believe that choice is a very private and personal issue to get involved. Please watch it and share it far and wide:
By sharing our video today, you can actually persuade the voters in our communities who will make a difference this election.
Together, we won't let anti-choice extremists intrude on our personal and private decisions.
Mitt Romney wants you forget all that stuff he said he'd do to advance his anti-choice agenda.
On Monday, he said:
"Recognize this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court. The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It's been settled for some time in the courts."
Wait. Isn't this the guy who supports a "personhood" initiative that would ban abortion in almost all circumstances with no exception for rape or incest?
Romney must still be nervous about Rep. Todd Akin's explosive comments about "legitimate rape." Or maybe he saw the polling that showed voters' strong disapproval of the Republican National Party's extreme anti-choice platform. He should be nervous that 75 percent of respondents oppose banning abortion in cases of rape or incest - which is what the Republican Party platform supports.
Clearly, Romney wants to hide that the president of our country has a huge impact on reproductive rights.
We're not going to let him get away with it. Beth Shipp, NARAL Pro-Choice America's political director, aptly stated:
"For Mitt Romney not to know [the power the president has over abortion rights] is either disingenuous or flat-out stupid. I can't decide which one he's trying to be at this point because lord knows he's been all over the map on our issue, and every other issue."
If he's elected, Romney could take all of these actions to curtail women's reproductive freedom and choice:
- Nominate enough Supreme Court justices to determine the future of Roe v. Wade and women's constitutional right to choose.
- Appoint people to his administration who could directly restrict women's reproductive freedom and health.
- Impose federal choice-related policies through executive actions, such as re-instating the global gag rule. Deny funding to family-planning services and teen pregnancy-prevention programs through his budget.
We've put together this infographic so that voters don't forget the threat a Romney administration poses to a woman's right to choose.
On November 6, we'll show Romney that we have not forgotten what kind of president he's threatened to be.
We mark one of the biggest advancements in women's health this week. Beginning Wednesday, August 1st, women's preventative health care will be more accessible and more affordable, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Among many of the first phase benefits, the law requires insurance companies to start covering contraception without a copay for some women.
This means two things:
- We couldn't have won this huge advancement for women's health without pro-choice President Obama in the White House.
- Anti-choice groups and politicians are up in arms opposing near-universal birth-control coverage for women.
Our opponents are so outraged, they have been trying to derail this policy for months.
The road no-cost birth control has definitely has definitely been bumpy. Let's go back in time for a second.
Who could forget the all-male panel on birth control? Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) held a hearing attacking contraceptive coverage that featured an all-male panel. He refused to allow Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify because she was "unqualified."
Then we faced the Blunt amendment. It would've let the owner of a fast-food joint or any business deny employees insurance plans that cover birth control. Thankfully the amendment was defeated in the U.S. Senate.
But our opponents didn't let this set them back. Instead, they carried through with an anti-choice measure on the ballot in North Dakota that also would have allowed employers who oppose contraception to deny such coverage to their employees.
Within weeks of this pro-choice win, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and ensured that millions of Americans would have access to affordable care and birth-control coverage.
With this official stamp of approval, you might have assumed that the anti-birth control campaign would back down. But to the contrary, the anti-choice political machine reared its head and came down even harder on choice.
To date, we face 24 lawsuits and seven bills in Congress challenging the contraceptive-coverage policy.
So what's next?
NARAL Pro-Choice America and our state affiliates are pushing back against these attacks on contraceptive coverage through national and regional media channels, online advocacy, and grassroots events throughout the month of August.
And you can get involved!
Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and other Senators will host a tele-town hall to inform constituents about the benefits that start kicking in on August 1.
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET RSVP and get the exact time of the call by emailing CAN@prochoiceamerica.org
And if you live in St. Paul, Minnesota; Concord, New Hampshire; Columbus, Ohio; or Richmond, Virginia, we hope you join us in-person on August 1.
In partnership with our state affiliates, we are organizing local events to stop these attacks. Send us an email with your name and the city you live in, and we'll get you details.
One week ago today, Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown said the word that set off a national firestorm:
The anti-choice leadership of the Michigan House of Representatives banned her from speaking because she uttered the word "vagina."
Stand with Rep. Brown and pro-choice lawmakers everywhere: say "vagina" today at 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT.
Let's lift our voices in protest!
Nick and Kate are members of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department.
What's it to like to lobby on choice-related issues in an anti-choice-led House of Representatives?
Let us tell you about a recent experience that's likely to make your blood boil, even though it didn't make headlines.
"Abortion services" and "homeland security" are two phrases you probably never thought would appear in the same sentence. But anti-choice leaders in Congress never miss an opportunity to try to dismantle women's reproductive rights, and last week was no different. It took some doing, but they figured out a way to pick a fight over abortion policy in the legislation that funds America's homeland-security programs.
Last Wednesday, as the House Appropriations Committee finalized the 2013 Homeland Security spending bill, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) introduced an amendment to restrict access to abortion for women in immigration detention facilities.
Under current U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy, women in detention centers may only access abortion care in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. But Rep. Aderholt and his colleagues on the committee wanted to write that restriction into law with one important change: he offered an amendment to eliminate abortion access for incest survivors.
That's right, apparently anti-choice politicians believe that denying abortion care to incest survivors is a matter of national security.
Does this restriction on survivors of sexual violence sound familiar? Remember the "Stupak on Steroids" bill that tried to redefine rape last year? We're sensing a pattern...
The Aderholt measure stood out as an openly callous attempt to deny health care to women in tragic circumstances. ICE Director John Morton even denounced the proposed amendment as wholly unnecessary. Imagine a woman who endured the long and dangerous journey across the border, only to suffer sexual abuse at the hands of a family member. If approved, the original Aderholt measure would have denied that woman and victims like her the opportunity to decide how best to confront and heal from incidents of sexual violence.
The good news: pro-choice champions voiced strong opposition to this inflammatory proposal. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), David Price (D-N.C.), and Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) spoke out against this latest affront in the ongoing War on Women.
The bad news: there just aren't enough votes in the anti-choice-dominated House of Representatives to defeat such efforts, so we lost this round. Although pro-choice members succeeded in adding an incest exception to the original measure, the Aderholt amendment ultimately passed on a party-line vote of 28-21.
The silver lining: the pro-choice-led Senate, not to mention our pro-choice president, both have the common sense to reject outrageous and dangerous proposals like this.
Tell me if this sounds familiar.
This afternoon, a key subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a hearing on an anti-choice bill. The bill in question was introduced by anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who's also the subcommittee's chairman.
When a pro-choice elected woman requested to testify at the hearing, Rep. Franks told her NO.
What am I talking about?
Is it a hearing on the "Arrest Grandma Act"?
Nope. It's a brand-new attack on women's freedom and privacy that combines some of the "greatest hits" of the past three months.
Rep. Franks is pushing a bill to ban abortion care at 20 weeks in Washington, D.C., without consideration for the woman's situation, including cases of rape, incest, or fetal anomaly.
(Hear one family's tragic story that makes clear just how cruel this sort of law really is.)
Why does a representative from Arizona get to do this?
Because the District of Columbia is not a state, and opponents of choice have long used it as their anti-choice proving ground. Rep. Franks' bill is a top priority of the anti-choice National Right to Life Committee and continues the anti-choice legacy of undermining home rule in Washington, D.C.
And the pro-choice woman who wanted to testify at the hearing? That's Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, whom D.C. citizens elected with 89 percent of the vote.
Rep. Norton is not allowed to vote on the House floor, and now, thanks to Rep. Franks, she's not allowed to speak out on a bill that will affect the women in her district, either.
Rep. Franks, by the way, got exactly zero percent of the vote in D.C., since he's from Arizona. But I guess he thinks he knows what's best for D.C. women.