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Results tagged “Chicago” from Blog for Choice

Benita Ulisano is a co-chair of the Illinois Choice Action Team, a committed group of volunteers advancing NARAL Pro-Choice America's mission, based in Chicago.

Did you hear about NARAL Pro-Choice America's recent victories with Yahoo and Google? Both search engines agreed to enforce their truth in advertising policies and removed a slew of deceptive ads from crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that come up if you search for "abortion clinic" - even though CPCs don't provide abortion care and actively dissuade women from choosing abortion.

I'm particularly thrilled about this change because I know firsthand how dangerous CPCs are.

One of the CPCs we caught lying in a Yahoo ad is actually right around the corner from the women's health clinic here in Chicago where I run an escort program. Check out the ad - you'd never know this is for a CPC!

Chicago CPC ad_small.jpg

(Last time we checked, the CPC website referenced in this ad is down, too.)

One of CPCs' common tactics is to purposely situate themselves near real reproductive-health clinics to confuse women. This CPC is no different.

CPC Proximity Map with arrows.jpg

For women who figure out where the real clinic is, anti-choice activists aggressively try to prevent women from going to their appointments. They stalk around outside the clinic, hold offensive signs, and harass women as they head in for an appointment, even if it's for a birth control prescription. The staff at the reproductive-health clinic has asked me to increase the days we're organizing escorts from one day a week to four. It's that bad.

I've seen anti-choice activists approach women in their cars to intimidate and shame them. CPC activists will yell at anyone of reproductive age who just happens to walk by! The harassment is so unbelievable that some of my current clinic escorts told me they decided to volunteer because they live in the neighborhood and are sick of being harassed for walking down the street.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

This is what's happening outside the clinic. What's happening inside the CPC is even more disturbing.

One woman told us that she was tricked into going to this CPC instead of the reproductive-health clinic by finding the CPC online. Mid-way during the appointment, when she realized she wasn't at the real clinic and tried to leave, CPC staff physically restrained her. We've also heard reports that inside the CPC there are photos of our pro-choice escorts posted on the wall. We provide a lot of training to our escorts so they know how to handle this kind of pressure, but of course it's intimidating to know that you've been targeted so personally.

Women who are looking for an abortion provider shouldn't have to endure the harassment and intimidation that I've witnessed firsthand - and a lot of that starts with what's happening on Internet search engines. Women deserve the truth when trying to find abortion providers or other reproductive-health services. Every day I hear about women who have to encounter anti-choice protesters from the CPC, and you wouldn't believe the lies they've been told.

I'm happy that Yahoo is reporting that it's going to do the right thing. We'll review the deceptive ads we found to verify Yahoo's claims, and we'll hold them accountable if our results don't match what they're telling the press. Enforcing their policies and taking down ads that deceive women will go a long way toward protecting women from deception.

Quick, where's your go-to place for calling out anti-choice extremism and hypocrisy? NARAL Pro-Choice America, of course!

Earlier today, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, joined pro-choice activists in Southwest Chicago to pay a little visit to the district office of Rep. Dan Lipinski, an anti-choice Democrat.

Rep. Lipinski is one of the biggest cheerleaders for the War on Women. He's voted in lockstep with House Speaker John Boehner to defund Planned Parenthood, compromise rape survivors' confidential medical records, and take away insurance coverage for abortion care.

 Today, Rep. Lipinski heard loud and clear that his constituents do not want these extreme attacks on women's health.

Illinois was just the first stop on NARAL Pro-Choice America's tour to call out key members of the House and hold them accountable for taking votes that harm women and families.

Back here in Washington, The Hill recently reported that 24 lawmakers signed on to a bill written by Rep. Michael Grimm of New York that would repeal a tax on tanning salons.

In case these politicians missed the hypocrisy inherent in this position, Nancy sent them a friendly letter

We don't have a position on the tanning tax. But we are curious about how the same lawmakers who decry tax increases could be okay with supporting a bill that takes tax credits away from small businesses. We would hate for them to be unaware of this contradiction. As we all know, there's nothing worse than a politician who says one thing and then does another.

Awaiting a response from these representatives in 3...2...1...

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My Kind of Pro-Choice Town, Chicago Is


While the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives goes to further and further extremes in waging its War on Women, our pro-choice heroes in Congress are busy fighting back.

Last night, pro-choice Illinoisans got the chance to thank some representatives who are standing up and speaking out for women's freedom and privacy. Reps. Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky spoke to a packed house at the Gage Restaurant in Chicago. 

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Rep. Schakowsky gave a rousing speech, and promised to stand strong against the onslaught of attacks on women's health in the House. 

Rep. Quigley wondered why politicians who are supposedly for smaller government are trying to interfere with women's personal, private medical decisions.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, introduced the representatives, and called them some of the brightest pro-choice stars we have in Congress. She also thanked Benita Ulisano and the Illinois Choice Action Team for the work they do to protect a woman's right to choose in the Land of Lincoln. 

Nancy applauded all the men who came to the event, for showing that the War on Women is something that concerns everyone. She gave a special shout-out to Jeremy Ly, a Grundy County Board member, who's standing up for his pro-choice values on the local level.

It was awesome to see so many good folks come out to the event!

The next thank-you event will be in Minneapolis on Thursday, June 16. Dues-paying members will have the chance to meet and thank some pro-choice heroes from Minnesota. But space is running out quickly, so RSVP today!


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Meet Some Heroes (and a Zero) in Illinois!


Members of Congress will be back in their districts next month. This means that we, the people they were elected to represent, have a great opportunity to let them know what we think about the War on Women going on in Washington. 

The Chicago area is home to some great pro-choice champions who have been standing up and speaking out against the War on Women. 

These pro-choice lawmakers include Reps. Bobby Rush (IL-01), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02), Luis GutiƩrrez (IL-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Danny Davis (IL-07), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).

NARAL Pro-Choice America is holding a reception with these pro-choice heroes in Chicago on Wednesday, June 8.

Dues-paying members are invited, because we want to thank you, too, for helping us fight back against the War on Women. If you're not a member, don't worry: you only need to contribute $10 to become one

These representatives fight day in and day out for women's freedom and privacy. Help us let them know we've got their backs!

At the same time, the Chicago area is also home to one of the biggest cheerleaders for the War on Women: anti-choice Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski. 

Rep. Lipinski needs to hear loud and clear that his constituents do not want these extreme attacks on women's health.

We would love for pro-choice Illinoisans to join Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, for a petition delivery at Rep. Lipinski's district office on Friday, June 10.

Make sure your voice is heard!

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Less than one month after its billboard was taken down in New York City after it sparked a public outcry, an anti-choice group is moving its divisive campaign to Chicago. 


No woman's reproductive choices should be questioned or subjected to more scrutiny or control based on her racial or ethnic background--and that's exactly what these billboards do. We also find it deeply offensive that the group behind these billboards is wrapping its anti-choice agenda in the language and framework of civil rights. This cynical campaign represents politics at its worst, and will not succeed in Illinois or anywhere else these billboards appear.

NARAL Pro-Choice America will continue to work with our pro-choice allies to fight these attacks, and ensure that every woman has the right to choose. 

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