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Results tagged “Alaska” from Blog for Choice

Honoring America's Dedicated Abortion Providers


Doctors office_small.jpgToday is National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day!

Any woman who experiences an unintended pregnancy and chooses abortion deserves the same care and compassion as any other medical patient. That's why the role of abortion providers is essential to women's reproductive-health care.

Abortion providers across the country risk their lives to ensure women can access abortion care with compassion. Not only do they put their safety on the line, some also travel thousands of miles to make sure they can provide care in areas where there is no abortion provider on staff. That's why we work every day to protect women's reproductive freedom and abortion providers across the country.

We hear every day from women who are grateful for their provider's compassionate care and assistance when choosing the best reproductive-health option:

Nicole, 32:

I never thought I would have an abortion. Last summer I made the heart-wrenching decision to terminate a very much wanted pregnancy. At our 12 week scan we discovered that our baby boy had an 11 mm cystic hygroma and further genetic tests confirmed that he had trisomy 18. Trisomy 18 is not compatible with life. Our baby had a less than 5% chance of even making it to term and if he did he would have died shortly after birth. We couldn't bear the emotional distress of knowing that each day could have been the day our baby would die in the womb and if we made it to birth it would only be to bury him shortly after. I still cry every day for our baby we lost but I know we made the right decision for us and I'm so thankful that we had the option to make that decision. I am also so thankful for the compassionate doctors and genetic counselors we met along the way.

KC, 30, Massachusetts:

At 35 weeks in a very wanted pregnancy, my baby was diagnosed with serious brain malformations. Her prognosis was grim. It was not known how long she would live, but it was certain that she would suffer for all of her brief life. My husband and I were devastated.

It was so late in my pregnancy that there was only one clinic in the entire country that could legally take us. We knew what our choice was and didn't need more time to think about it. We knew this was right. We scrambled for the money and hopped a plane the next business day to take us to our procedure. Our care was incredible. Everyone was so compassionate and very serious about keeping me safe. I miss my baby terribly, but I know that I did for her what I would want my parents to do for me. We saved her, and there is great peace in that.

I am so thankful to our clinic and caregivers for helping me and my baby, but at the same time I am angry that, had we found out only one day later, all doors would have been closed. I'm hurt that we had to leave our home and support network to get our care. I'm enraged that this option rested on fast access to $30,000 for trip and care. It is incredibly unjust that a family without contacts to such resources would have no choice at all. I am deeply saddened that being open about my loss might risk harassment or even violence against my family and clinic. I despair that something so close and personal and poignant be subjected to a raging war over women's rights. I am scared that other loving families in my place will run out of safe and humane options that they can live with.

Eve, 37, Alaska:

We were using birth control and it failed. I found out I was pregnant after I missed my period (at five weeks). I live in one of the larger cities in Alaska, but because the clinic does not have an abortion provider, they fly one in at regular intervals. I waited four weeks for a provider. The clinic was wonderful, caring and understanding (to the point of letting me make a backup appointment just in case the doctor was weathered out and could not fly in). I am lucky because I do not live off the road system and have a supportive family. I can only imagine what the wait might be like for someone with little support out in a village somewhere off the road system, especially with all the scary self-help advice out there on the internet. I am grateful for action groups working to keep access to abortion open and the procedure itself safe and legal. Finally, I cannot thank the clinic and the providers enough for their time and caring when I needed it.

Halina, 21, North Dakota:

While switching from different birth controls I became pregnant. I was not mentally or physically ready for a child. I chose to have an abortion. My husband and I are very grateful we had a choice in this decision. The clinic we went to was the only one available in North Dakota, they were very nice, very helpful, they made sure I was fully educated with my choice and I am very thankful for that. Banning abortion gives NO choice for women and to me, that's just wrong.

Erica, 32, Texas:

I thought I was doing everything right....

While I was certain that I was using the pill correctly, I did manage to get pregnant. I called him and we decided that we were far too young and not financially able to have a child together. I was working two jobs and I was a full time student. I was paying my way and helping pay bills for my parents.

In the end, the abortion was performed with a lot of guidance from the clinic. They made sure I was absolutely informed of my choices and I made the right one for myself and my body. Looking back, I never regret my decision for one second - other than getting pregnant in the first place. Now, I'm successful and married to a wonderful man and we are trying to have our first child. The panic I felt when I found out I was pregnant really made me understand the women who retreated to back alley abortions - I would have done ANYTHING to have my abortion and I am so thankful that I didn't have to make that kind of a decision.

Evie, 30, Texas :

My boyfriend knew before I did, and it was just a side comment from him about how beautiful I looked that made me even think to buy a pregnancy test. When I told him, he was his usual supportive and gentle self, and apologized. Then promised to support me however I wanted to proceed.

He did all the research, found me the best abortion clinic in the state...The doctors were a husband and wife team, a loving pair of caregivers who were so obviously in this practice for all of the kindest reasons.

The doctor who performed my exam apologized, seemingly humiliated, before using the vaginal ultrasound probe to show me the pea-sized [pregnancy].

About 48 hours later, my seemingly constant "morning" sickness was over and I was no longer pregnant. It was painless. I felt supported. I had an excellent team of medical professionals to support me and answer my questions.

Even though abortion care is a critical part of reproductive-health services and lets women's control their destinies - one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime - anti-choice forces work hard every day to close down clinics and force abortion providers out of business.

Anti-choice groups do whatever it takes, from passing laws like the one in Texas to close clinics, to using harassment, intimidation and even violence. As recently as last week, an anti-choice activist vandalized and forced a reproductive-health clinic in Montana to close in order to intimidate patients and providers. In 2009, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered in his church by an anti-choice extremist.

We're honored to recognize some of our current and former NARAL Pro-Choice America board members who are also abortion providers, Dr. Sara Imershein, who provides care to women on the East Coast, and Dr. Susan Wicklund, a retired provider and author of "This Common Secret" about her experience as a provider in an extremely conservative part of the country.

We thank abortion providers across the country who risk their lives and safety to ensure that women have access to essential reproductive-health services and abortion care.

Happy National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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Alaskans: Vote NO on a New Government Mandate on August 24


Anti-choice groups are trying to force a new government mandate on Alaskans that could put thousands of Alaska's most vulnerable teens at risk.  Alaskans will vote on Measure 2 on Tuesday, August 24.  If you live in Alaska, click here to find out where you can vote. 

Laws like Measure 2 put teens' health and safety at risk.  Most teens facing an unintended pregnancy already do involve their parents.  But not all teens in Alaska - or anywhere - live in homes where communication is possible.  Some don't even live with their parents; there may be drug or alcohol problems at home; abuse; or worse.  These teens, with nowhere else to turn, may delay professional medical care, turn to the Internet to look for risky options, or take matters into their own hands. 

Of course parents should be involved in their teenagers' lives, but laws like this don't work in the complicated real world. The government can't mandate good family communication where it doesn't already exist.

Fortunately, Alaskans Against Government Mandates--a coalition of teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, Planned Parenthood supporters, faith leaders and others--is fighting to defeat this anti-choice proposal.  

If you live in Alaska, sign up for Alaskans Against Government Mandates' upcoming phone banking and get-out-the-vote events.  And be sure to go to the polls next Tuesday, August 24 and VOTE NO on 2!

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RH Reality Check blog reports:

Anti-Choice Sen. Ted Stevens Loses Seat
Anti-choice Alaska Senator Ted Stevens has lost his re-election race to Anchorage mayor Paul Begich, a pro-choice Democrat endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America. The Democrats are now two seats shy of a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Writes Politico, "Begich defeated the Senate giant by a 3,724-vote margin after absentee and early votes were counted, a stunning end to a 40-year Senate career marred by Stevens' conviction on corruption charges a week before the election."

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said:

"Voters want leaders like Mark Begich who will defend women's reproductive freedom while uniting behind commonsense, common-ground proposals, like better access to birth control, that would prevent unintended pregnancies and thus reduce the need for abortion. We look forward to working with Begich to stand up for the pro-choice values that Alaskans support."

I always love a good pro-choice pick-up to get me through the mid-week blues...

UPDATE: Via NPR Politics... Stevens conceeds! Full statement:

Senator Stevens' Statement on Recent Vote Tallies

ANCHORAGE, AK -- Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) today released the following statement regarding his campaign and the most recent vote tallies in Alaska:

"Given the number of ballots that remain to be counted, it is apparent the election has been decided and Mayor Begich has been elected.

"My family and I wish to thank the thousands of Alaskans who stood by us and who supported my re-election. It was a tough fight that would not have been possible without the help of so many Alaskans -- people who I am honored to call my friends. I will always remember their thoughts, prayers, and encouragement.

"I am proud of the campaign we ran and regret that the outcome was not what we had hoped for. I am deeply grateful to Alaskans for allowing me to serve them for 40 years in the U.S. Senate. It has been the greatest honor of my life to work with Alaskans of all political persuasions to make this state that we all love a better place.

"I wish Mayor Begich and his family well. My staff and I stand willing to help him prepare for his new position."

Your Daily AK, GA and MN Senate race update


Again, via the First Read team:

*** The remaining races: In Alaska, election workers will count approximately 24,000 ballots today, which could give us a clearer picture in a race where challenger Mark Begich (D) currently leads incumbent Sen. Ted Stevens by 1,022 votes. After today, overseas ballots will remain to be counted, and the process, according to the Anchorage Daily News, will last through the week of December 1... In Georgia, early voting began yesterday for the Chambliss-Martin Senate run-off, and there were reports of some lines (the turnout of the youth and black vote in this runoff, by the way, will be the ultimate test of Obama's base; have they become permanently engaged in the overall political process or only engaged in Obama individually?)... And in Minnesota, the five-member state canvassing board meets today to officially certify the original results in the Coleman-Franken race, with the manual recount beginning tomorrow. 
Countdown to Georgia Senate run-off: 14 days
Countdown to Electoral Vote Count: 51 days
Countdown to Inauguration Day 2009: 63 days

The AFL-CIO is also making news with their game-plan for GA (via Hotline On Call with a h/t to Jonathan Martin):

A union spokesman argues that In a low-turnout election, the union vote looms large. There are about 325K union voters in GA.

The AFL-CIO's GA game plan:

-- Deliver 550,000 worksite flyers
-- Make 600,000 phone calls
-- Send 610,000 pieces union mail
-- Knock on 225,000 doors

This should really help Jim Martin.

How long again to Inauguration Day, 2009? 63 days!

Update on AK, GA and MN U.S. Senate Races


Via MSNBC's First Read:

ALASKA: Per the Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is in grave danger of losing re-election after Mark Begich widened his lead to 1,022 votes Friday. More than 90 percent of the votes are now counted, and Friday's count of absentee and questioned ballots could have been Stevens' best chance to make a comeback. That's because it included all the ballots left from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, where Stevens has enjoyed his most unwavering support." 

"There are about 24,000 ballots left to be counted, coming from Anchorage, Southeast Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. The state will tally them all Tuesday." 

GEORGIA: "Georgia supporters of the fair tax turned out en masse Sunday to cheer the idea of a national sales tax, which has become a thorny issue in the state's high-profile Dec. 2 U.S. Senate runoff. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won Georgia's GOP presidential primary in February, joined about 2,000 people Sunday afternoon at the Gwinnett Civic Center in what became not just fair-tax rally, but a major campaign stop for Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie. Chambliss backs the fair tax, which would abolish the Internal Revenue Service and replace the federal income tax and most other federal taxes. Democratic challenger Jim Martin of Atlanta opposes it." 

According to the Martin campaign, Bill Clinton will rally for Martin in Atlanta on Wednesday.

MINNESOTA: "Although he doesn't have a seat, Al Franken will have the floor Tuesday when he meets with Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "Franken, who is locked in a mandatory recount of the Nov. 4 balloting with Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, will update Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and others on the recount process, said his spokeswoman, Colleen Murray. The Senate leaders and the candidate also will talk about upcoming legislation, she said. 'If he should win this election, it would be irresponsible for him not to get ready to take office,' she said. 'Minnesota deserves a senator who is ready to take office on Day One.'"

"Franken, who was last in Washington in September, will skip a scheduled orientation for new senators also scheduled for this week. Attending that, Murray said, would be 'presumptuous.'Coleman's communications director, Mark Drake, upped that ante, calling it 'highly presumptuous for Mr. Franken to undertake such a visit when his real purpose appears to be fundraising and gaining partisan advantage from non-Minnesotans.'"

It probably goes without saying, but Begich, Martin and Franken are all NARAL Pro-Choice America-endorsed candidates which means they are fully pro-choice and you should help them in any way you can... blog about their races, donate, volunteer or talk to friends and family that live in the states of Alaska, Georgia and Minnesota.

Updates on MN and AK Senate races


For those of you that can't quite let go of election-madness 2008, I give you the following Minnesota and Alaska updates, courtesy of First Read:

*** The remaining races: Today, we might have a better sense of the outcome in the Alaska Senate race, when the state's Elections division expects to count most of the outstanding 90,000 early, absentee ballots or questioned ballots. Ted Stevens (R) currently holds a 3,257-vote lead over Mark Begich (D)... In Georgia, it's being reported that McCain will stump for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) on Thursday... And in Minnesota today, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie holds a press conference to provide additional details of the recount in the unresolved Coleman-Franken Senate race.

*** More on Minnesota: The Republicans may be struggling how to deal with rebuilding their brand, settling the Georgia Senate run-off, or dealing with the Ted Stevens situation. But the party -- both in Minnesota and nationally -- seems to have quickly settled on a strategy to deal with the Minnesota recount. The party apparatus seems to be in sync in labeling the recount and the recanvass as somehow a questionable process. Using the fact that Franken picked up so many votes during the recanvass, the GOP talking point appears to be to question the recanvass and use that to issue a cloud over the recount process. Bottom line: It appears we're quickly heading to a situation where neither side is going to believe the final result of the recount.

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