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Results tagged “Affordable Care Act” from Blog for Choice

7 Pro-Choice State Lawmakers to Watch in 2014

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We celebrated some great pro-choice wins in 2013, in large part because we have strong, pro-choice leaders who fight day in and day out for our rights. Here's our list of notable pro-choice state lawmakers to watch in 2014:

1) Texas gubernatorial candidate and State Sen. Wendy Davis

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Wendy Davis gained pro-choice political stardom last summer when she filibustered extreme anti-choice legislation that could shut down almost 90 percent of reproductive-health clinics that provide abortion care across the state of Texas, force women to get an ultrasound before they can have an abortion, and ban abortion after 20 weeks. We know that exciting things await Wendy and her colleague, Texas state Sen. Leticia van de Putte, in 2014. And we look forward to seeing NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and these pro-choice champions make magic this year.

2) Texas State Sen. Leticia van de Putte

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During Sen. Davis' filibuster, Leticia raised the roof when she called out her anti-choice colleagues in the Texas state Senate, asking, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?" If you haven't seen it yet, the video is pretty incredible. You can hear the literal roar of pro-choice activists who showed up in solidarity with Texas women.

3) Oklahoma State Rep. Doug Cox

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Republican state Rep. Doug Cox, a practicing physician, is part of the pro-choice minority in the Oklahoma state legislature. He caught our attention last year when he reprimanded his Republican colleagues for attempting to restrict women's access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. He got even more vocal in an op-ed, Doug wrote, "What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman's life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?" How will Rep. Cox fight for women in 2014? We can't wait to see.

4) North Carolina State Rep. Alma Adams

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Alma has fought for women and families for nearly three decades, and in 2013 she, along with NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, was a leader in the fight against the "motorcycle safety" bill that politicians used to sneak in a dangerous anti-choice provision. Alma spoke out about the extreme legislation: "It's about politics. It's not about women's health. It's not about safety...As a woman, I am personally insulted by the maneuvers around getting this bill to the floor. We've made a mockery of women's health and safety." We're grateful that Rep. Adams continues to speak out for women's health in North Carolina and we're sure 2014 will be no exception.

5) California State Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

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Toni wrote the new law in California to increase the number of medical providers who can provide abortion care in California. You can watch Toni talk about her bill in this video. We, along with NARAL Pro-Choice California, couldn't be more grateful for Asm. Atkins' pro-choice initiative in California. We're excited to see even more from her in 2014.

6) Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer

whitmer-crop.jpg In December 2013, the anti-choice Michigan legislature bypassed Gov. Rick Snyder's signature to ban insurance coverage for abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. While Sen. Gretchen Whitmer bravely spoke out against this extreme legislation that essentially demands women to purchase additional coverage if they need an abortion after a sexual assault, she revealed that she too was a rape survivor. Here's part of her statement: "This tells women that were raped and became pregnant that they should have thought ahead and planned for it. Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens' initiative. It's a special interest group's perverted dream come true." Abortion coverage may be law, but not to worry, pro-choice politicians in Michigan are already planning their next move in 2014. And we are sure state Sen. Whitmer will be critical to this campaign.

7) Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner

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Pro-choice Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner is a loud and proud advocate for reproductive rights. When anti-choice politicians introduced a bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - that's before most women even realize they're pregnant - Nina countered those attacks by introducing her own bill. Nina's legislation exposed her colleague's extremism toward women by turning the tables and proposing a tongue-in-cheek requirement that men attend psychological counseling to prove they are fit to get insurance coverage for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications. Her legislation would also require doctors to inform male patients about all of the potential risks of Viagra in writing. Oh snap, Nina! We can't wait to watch NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Sen. Turner fight for women's reproductive rights in 2014!

Chuck Todd: A Few Questions for Ken Cuccinelli

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Ken Cuccinelli_small.jpg Anti-choice Ken Cuccinelli
Election Day in Virginia is fast approaching. This Wednesday, gubernatorial candidates pro-choice Terry McAuliffe and extreme anti-choice Ken Cuccinelli will go head to head in a debate over important issues for Virginia voters.

If Ken Cuccinelli uses the same strategy we've been seeing for weeks, then we can expect him to hide his true position on reproductive-health care. He has a mile-long record opposing birth control and abortion access, but now he's campaigning like a moderate to win back women voters.

That's why we need debate moderator Chuck Todd to make sure Cuccinelli doesn't get away with misrepresenting his record. It's his job to ask the important follow-up questions and hold the candidates accountable for their past actions and statements on an issue that would critically impact women and families in the Commonwealth.

Send Chuck Todd a tweet to urge him to ask Ken Cuccinelli some key clarifying questions about his views on reproductive rights for Virginians. Feel free to borrow our examples below, or make up your own questions:

#QuestionforKen @ChuckTodd: If elected governor, would Cuccinelli sign a "personhood" bill to ban abortion and types of #birthcontrol?

#QuestionforKen @ChuckTodd: How have Cuccinelli's #antichoice policies grown Virginia's economy?

#QuestionforKen @ChuckTodd: How does Cuccinelli claim he supports rape survivors if he opposes abortion?

#QuestionforKen @ChuckTodd: Does Cuccinelli support no-cost #birthcontrol coverage?

#QuestionforKen @ChuckTodd: Does Cuccinelli support Koch bros Creepy Uncle Sam ad talking college students out of #Obamacare?

We know that reproductive freedom will be a defining issue in this election and the outcome will determine whether women and families in Virginia have access to reproductive-health care and abortion services. That's why it's so important that Chuck Todd asks these critical follow-up questions so Ken Cuccinelli doesn't get away with misleading voters on his position on a women's right to choose.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Tom Corbett_small.jpgSome of the nation's most extreme anti-choice Republican governors - who've been anything but timid about their opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on political grounds - are changing their tune about expanding health insurance to millions of low-income residents in their states now that the ACA is becoming a reality.

Why? These governors simply can't ignore the benefits of the ACA. Just today, anti-choice Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA), who previously sued to overturn Obamacare, issued his plan to take advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid program and ensure access to health care for thousands of Pennsylvanians.

Gov. Corbett now joins these other anti-choice Republican governors who decided that the health and well-being of their constituents was, in fact, more important than their own political ideology:

  • Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ)
  • Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
  • Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA)
  • Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
  • Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND)
  • Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
  • Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM)
  • Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV)
  • Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)
  • Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN)
  • Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)initially rejected expanding Medicaid entirely, but then lobbied the White House to create a Medicaid program for the elderly and disabled with federal funds.

Even though we still disagree with these governors over women's reproductive rights, it's gratifying to see that so many have been persuaded to put aside their own political agendas and pursue the best policy for their constituents regarding access to health care.

For most people, implementing health-care coverage for low-income families is a no brainer. But as we've seen time and again, for many anti-choice governors, it's not about health care, it's about politics. And state officials who continue to play politics with peoples' health and reproductive choices will face the consequences when the elections roll around again.

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It's not just a Texas problem

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Chelsea Gelbart is the millennial fellow at NARAL Pro-Choice California

"Forcible rape." "Masturbating" fetuses. Over the past few years, the anti-choice rhetoric coming out of politicians' mouths has gotten crazier and crazier.

Unfortunately, what many people in 'blue' states like New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, and California don't realize is that this isn't just a problem for places like Texas. It's everyone's problem -- in everyone's state.

Recently in California, State Assemblymember Donald Wagner (R-Irvine) wondered why women weren't showing up at hearings for a bill to expand abortion care, dragging their children behind as "evidence" that they weren't able to terminate their unwanted pregnancies. Unbelievable.

And he's not unique. Right now, an anti-choice candidate is running in a special election for California Senate District 16. His name is Andy Vidak, and he represents the same Tea Party views as politicians like Michele Bachmann and Todd Akin who support defunding family-planning services. Vidak wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would eliminate Obamacare's no-cost contraception coverage benefit.

His opponent, pro-choice candidate Leticia Perez, is dedicated to expanding access to local and affordable reproductive-health care. She stands with California women and families and supports a women's right to make personal medical decisions without government interference.

Even in traditionally 'blue' states like California, we must work tirelessly to keep anti-choice politicians out of our personal, private decisions. If you want to help, check out Leticia's website and like her on Facebook to find out ways that you can get involved.

Obamacare Turns Three!

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Three years ago, President Obama put his pen to paper and signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) into law.

This law is a huge win for women's health, and ensures that millions of Americans will have access to health care that they otherwise may not be able to afford, including no-cost birth control.

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Here's a photo marking one of our favorite Affordable Care Act (ACA) moments from 2012. President Obama, in the Oval Office, speaks with the Solicitor General of the United States after learning that the ACA was upheld by the Supreme Court.

We fully support this huge advancement for women's health. Thanks to Obamacare, more than 30 million Americans will have access to affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care. We know that when women have control over their own health-care, they're empowered to make essential decisions about their families and their futures.

We stand with our pro-choice President Barack Obama and will continue our work to ensure that millions of Americans have access to the health care they deserve.

Medicaid Expansion Shows Good Policy Trumps Bad Politics

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stethoscope_smal.jpgOne aspect of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that is getting a lot more press coverage lately is the Medicaid expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to expand the Medicaid program to provide health-care coverage to more low-income people.

If Medicaid is expanded, millions of uninsured American women would qualify for health-care coverage. People covered under the expanded program will receive access to maternity and newborn care and women's preventive-health services, including contraception and well-woman visits.

Making health-care services more accessible for low-income women could improve their lives in a big way. Low-income women are more likely to experience health problems but often face roadblocks that prevent them from accessing the care they need.

It's sort of a no-brainer for states to expand Medicaid programs to more people. Under the law, the federal government will pay the costs completely until 2016. After that, states only need to cover 10 percent of the costs.

Given that local health-care providers often treat low-income people who can't fully cover the cost of their health care, these added resources will help pay for health-care services that local doctors and hospitals are already providing. The whole thing helps people stay healthy and makes good financial sense.

However, the Supreme Court left it up to the states to decide whether to expand Medicaid. Many anti-choice governors railed against the expansion and announced they would refuse the offer in their states.

But in an interesting turn of events, several anti-choice governors who had opposed Obamacare are now supporting expanding Medicaid in their state. Do we smell political opportunism in the air?

Anti-choice Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is the most recent convert. Funny, because he eliminated family-planning funding from New Jersey's budget and twice vetoed efforts to restore it. He also blocked efforts to expand coverage of family-planning service for low-income women. But now he stands behind expanding Medicaid in his state.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has never met an anti-choice law she didn't like. However, not long after two of her key advisors left to lead a coalition of hospitals, insurers, and other providers supporting the policy, Brewer too decided to back expanding Medicaid.

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) was one of the most outspoken opponents to the Affordable Care Act, and even spearheaded efforts to challenge its constitutionality before the Supreme Court. But even he has reversed his position to support expanding the Medicaid program.

Clearly, even some anti-choice politicians can't deny that getting more people insured through Obamacare just makes common sense. Will these same people start to see the error of their ways and stop attacks on other aspects of women's health? We won't hold our breath.

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Craft Store Fights No-Cost Birth-Control Policy

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President Obama's win on November 6 means that implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue. That includes one of our favorite provisions, the no-cost birth-control policy. Under this policy, all FDA-approved methods of contraception will be covered without a copay for newly issued insurance plans going forward.

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Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, is one of many organizations that objects to the policy. It sued to deny birth-control coverage to its employees based on the employers' personal beliefs.

Early last week, a federal judge ruled that Hobby Lobby must comply with the birth-control policy. While this is promising for the future of the policy, Hobby Lobby has already appealed the decision.

Perhaps Hobby Lobby forgot that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration got it right: women, not their bosses, should make the health-care decisions that are best for them.

We have fantastic news!

A new study shows that free birth control does indeed reduce unintended pregnancies and, therefore, the need for abortion.

This study comes as millions of women are starting to see the benefits of no-cost birth control under the Affordable Care Act - aka Obamacare.

These positive results further demonstrate the benefits of no-cost birth control. It is one of the greatest advancements for women in a generation! It makes sense right? When birth control is affordable, you'd think that more women will use it and, therefore, avoid unintended pregnancy altogether.

But wait - there are still plenty of politicians who are living in another century and want to make it harder for women to get birth control. The U.S. House of Representatives has voted more than 30 times to repeal the health-care law.

And Mitt Romney is one of the biggest opponents of no-cost birth control and Obamacare. He's threatened to repeal it on "day one."

That is why it is so important for us to keep the Romney-Ryan ticket far, far away from the White House. If we don't re-elect pro-choice President Obama on November 6, we could be saying good-bye to near-universal birth-control coverage for women.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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How to Talk to Your Friends about Mitt Romney

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Wednesday night's presidential debate has everyone buzzing about the candidates: extreme anti-choice Mitt Romney and pro-choice President Barack Obama.

Mitt_Romney_by_Gage_Skidmore_6.jpgThe 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:

  1. Romney says he supports overturning Roe v. Wade.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Ryan supported redefining rape so that it would be harder for many rape survivors to get the medical care they need.
  5. 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.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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What You Don't Pay, Thanks to President Obama!

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Don't forget to tune into the presidential debate tonight!

Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will answer questions about the economy, health care, and the role of government.

Have you heard Mitt Romney's campaign claim that women don't care about birth control, and that birth control isn't an economic issue?

The thing is, birth control is an economic issue. And President Obama understands that.

We created this graphic to highlight the stark difference between these two candidates when it comes to making birth control affordable. Many women will no longer have to take out their wallet when they pick up their birth-control prescription at the pharmacy thanks to President Obama's no-cost birth control policy. If Mitt Romney's elected? He's threatened to take away this great preventive benefit.

Make sure to share it with your friends:

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We'll be live tweeting the debate tonight, so be sure to follow @NARAL for updates.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Rep. Steve King Denies His Anti-Contraception Record

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Steve_King_Official.jpgIt seems like everyone is running away from their anti-choice record these days.

Yesterday, Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa) denied attacking women's access to birth control.

When his Democratic challenger, Christie Vilsack, brought up his extreme position, Rep. King insisted,

"If I were opposed to it, I would have introduced a bill. I mean, look at my history. I have had 16 years out there. I don't know why they have to make things up."

But that's not exactly true, is it, Rep. King?

Rep. Steve King has an extreme anti-contraception voting record. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

Rep. King is trying to appear moderate on birth control, but we're not fooled. Nice try, Rep. King, but your extreme anti-contraception record speaks for itself.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Standing up for No-Cost Birth Control at La Plaza

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Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, has a new guest post over at Latinovations' La Plaza blog.

She writes about how Obamacare is starting to affect women in their everyday lives - especially Latinas. Across the country, more and more women are no longer being charged a copay when they pick up their prescription birth control.

August 1 marked a momentous day for women: President Obama's no-cost birth-control policy went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This law holds some of the most important advances for women that we will likely see in our lifetimes.

There are so many preventative services that women will now get at no cost, including screenings for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, and, of course, birth-control coverage.

At NARAL Pro-Choice America, we wholeheartedly believe that contraception is basic health care. In fact, 99 percent of all women use contraception at some point in their lives.

But until now, many women were forced to choose between their birth control and other necessities like groceries, because contraception is expensive. And even for women fortunate to have contraceptive coverage, many insurance plans charged high deductibles that put the medication out of reach. In fact, fifty percent of Latinas say that they can't afford to use birth control consistently due to the high cost. But this is all starting to change. Thanks to the new policy, many women will now have greater access to family-planning services.

Check out the rest at La Plaza!

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Anti-Choice Missouri Lawmakers Override Health-Care Coverage for Women

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Extreme anti-choice state lawmakers are at it again!

Last night, the Missouri legislature overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's (D-Mo.) veto of a far-reaching anti-choice bill that will now go into effect.

This law will allow bosses to refuse to cover birth control, abortion, and other health-care services in their insurance plans based on their personal beliefs. Women who work at these organizations may no longer receive comprehensive health-care coverage.

This is the furthest-reaching of any recent state bill on this topic.

When Gov. Nixon vetoed the bill in July, he delivered a strong rebuke against its intent to deny contraceptive-coverage to women. Watch his great remarks:

We've seen this kind of political interference in women's birth-control coverage at the federal level, too.

Earlier this year, another Missouri native, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), proposed an extreme amendment to allow corporations and insurance companies to refuse to cover birth control and other essential health-care services, including maternity care, HIV/AIDS screenings, mammograms and cancer screenings.

Fortunately, U.S. senators stood up for women and defeated the notorious Blunt amendment.

Keep up to date on what's happening in Missouri by following NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri on Facebook and Twitter. They are on the front lines, and we applaud them for doing everything they could to stop this attack on women's birth-control coverage.

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Fifty-Five Shocking Anti-Woman Votes in Congress Exposed

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220px-Henry_Waxman.jpgLast 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:

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.

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What a Pro-Choice President Means to Women

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Tonight, President Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination. We can't wait to watch his speech!

He's been such a strong pro-choice president and advocate for women that it's almost hard to remember what it's like to live under an anti-choice president.

But four years ago today, women were enduring the anti-choice Bush administration.

How was life different for women under an anti-choice president four years ago? Let's take a walk down memory lane. Remember to take deep breaths while reading:

  • On his first day in office, President Bush re-imposed the global gag rule, effectively making it more difficult for low-income worldwide to get the reproductive-health care they need.
  • Bush stacked his cabinet and administration with anti-choice personnel by appointing John Ashcroft as U.S. attorney general, Tommy Thompson and Michael Leavitt as secretaries of Health and Human Services, and W. David Hager to a key FDA panel on women's health.
  • For years, the Bush administration refused to listen to medical experts and blocked efforts to make emergency contraception available without a prescription.
  • President Bush became the first president in history to sign legislation outlawing safe abortion procedures.
  • President Bush tried to cancel contraceptive coverage for federal employees.
  • The Bush administration repeatedly censored accurate medical information on government websites at the behest of anti-choice activists.

In November 2008, we ushered in a new era for women's freedom and privacy when we elected pro-choice President Barack Obama.

Here are some of President Obama's pro-choice highlights:

  • In his first week in office, President Obama rescinded the global gag rule. That was the anti-choice policy that canceled U.S. family-planning funds to many overseas health centers and denied the world's poorest women birth control.
  • President Obama repealed the worst provisions of the controversial, last-minute Bush policy known as the Federal Refusal Rule. The regulation could have allowed entire health-care corporations to refuse to provide medical services--including, potentially, birth control.
  • President Obama signed legislation increasing family-planning funding for American women.
  • President Obama won passage of the Affordable Care Act, the law that will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception and maternity care.
  • President Obama also pledged to veto two far-reaching anti-choice bills, the "Rape Audits" bill and the "Let Women Die" bill.

We've come so far under Obama's presidency. We cannot let Gov. Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, take us back to the dark ages with their support for overreaching and extreme anti-choice legislation.

Join us November 6, and we'll show Romney and Ryan just how out of touch they are with American voters.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Celebrating No-Cost Birth Control for Women Across America

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The first phase of President Obama's contraceptive-coverage policy is in effect!

What does this mean for women? One in three women struggles with the cost of birth control - but all that is about to come to an end. Preventive-health services -including birth control, breastfeeding support, and screening for gestational diabetes- are now available without a copay.

This is a huge step forward in women's health. But we aren't sitting back and relaxing.

Why? Because this important policy is under attack in Congress and across the country.

Yesterday, anti-choice politicians compared Obama's contraceptive-coverage policy to the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11. That's outrageous!

Yesterday, in celebration of this huge advancement for women, and to counter attacks on this fantastic policy, our affiliates hosted local events in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


In Minneapolis, Minnesota, our fabulous activists held a visibility event thanking President Obama for making this important advancement for women possible. Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, stood up for women during a TV appearance.

In Concord, New Hampshire, birth-control supporters gathered outside Rep. Charles Bass' office to trumpet the new policy. Bass has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its birth-control policy.

In Columbus, Ohio, activists gathered outside of anti-choice Sen. Rob Portman's office to show him that his constituents support the contraceptive-coverage policy. Sen. Portman has been a high-profile opponent of birth control.

Our pro-choice activists must have been loud, because Ohio News Network and Progress Ohio covered the event.

Activists in Portland, Oregon gathered for a "Walk for Women's Health." Special guests included Senate Majority Speaker Diane Rosenbaum, state Representative Lew Frederick, and state Representative Elisa Kenny-Geyer.

In Richmond, Virginia, birth-control advocates took to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office. Cuccinelli unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the health-reform law - including the important birth-control policy - in court.

Watch our activists and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in this great TV interview.

Let's have a big round of applause for these star activists, and especially for pro-choice President Obama who made this historic improvement for women possible.

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What's the Most Offensive Thing You've Heard Today?

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Politicians are known for their sporadic inflammatory remarks, but this recent comparison really blew all others out of the water.

Anti-choice Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) went so far as to compare the new birth-control policy to 9/11.

I know in your mind you can think of times when America was attacked. One is December 7th, that's Pearl Harbor day. The other is September 11th, and that's the day of the terrorist attack....I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom. That is a day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.

Unbelievable.

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.) supported Rep. Kelly's statements saying, "This is a right that every American should be outraged, outraged about what this administration and Secretary Sebelius has set forth here on August the 1st."

Rep. Buerkle also dubbed the mandate, "the largest assault we've seen on first amendment rights in the history of our country."

Both Reps. Kelly and Buerkle have extreme anti-choice voting records. They voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care, to a woman who could die without it.

They also voted twice to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, which would have denied millions of Americans access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic medical care.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), whose district includes Ground Zero, blasted Kelly for his remarks:

For the thousands of Americans who lost their lives on these two horrible days, to the thousands more who put on a uniform to protect this country and ensure that the lives of those lost are not forgotten, to the thousands more who mourned the loss of a loved one or bore witness to those two tragic days in American history, Mike Kelly's comments are beyond outrageous.

To drag the memories of those lost and those still grieving into the culture wars is unforgivable. And to equate those terrible attacks with the safe and legal availability of contraception for women -- ostensibly to score political points -- is stunning. The American people deserve an apology.

We agree, Rep. Nadler. We couldn't be more horrified by these comments.

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The Road to No-Cost Birth Control

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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:

  1. We couldn't have won this huge advancement for women's health without pro-choice President Obama in the White House.
  2. 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.

The voters of North Dakota would not be silenced about their distaste for the measure, and they rejected it by a 64 to 32 percent margin.

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.

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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.

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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.

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The anti-choice leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives just can't help themselves.

They're like Captain Ahab and Wile E. Coyote combined with their mad obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

And even though the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the House will vote again tomorrow to repeal this landmark piece of legislation--the 31st attempt by the anti-choice House leadership to invalidate the law.

And just what are they voting to repeal?

  • Improving women's access to maternity care
  • Covering birth control without a copay
  • Allowing young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
  • Refusing to let insurance companies discriminate against women.

What planet are these people living on?

Instead of taking action to create jobs and grow our economy, anti-choice members of the House are voting to attack our health care--again.

Call your representative at 202-224-3121, and tell him or her that enough is enough: vote NO on this latest attack on health care.

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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare!

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Good news: this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare!

The law will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care.

It's a HUGE victory for American women!

A group of my NARAL Pro-Choice America colleagues was out on the Supreme Court steps this morning speaking out for Obamacare.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians in Congress are still trying to repeal the health-care law. In fact, less than an hour after the Supreme Court issued its ruling, anti-choice U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell went to the floor of the Senate to call for a repeal of the law.

That's why we must tell Congress that enough is enough: no more attacks on our health care.

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