Results tagged “Congress” from Blog for Choice
Days after news broke that the Air Force officer overseeing the service's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program was arrested on charges of sexual assault, a Pentagon report was released showing that there were an estimated 26,000 cases of sexual assault in the military in fiscal year 2012 - a six percent increase over 2011.
It's reprehensible that this officer could have perpetuated the very same act that he's supposed to be working to end.
How we treat our service members reflects on us as a society. That's why we're working hard to make sure that our service members have the same rights as citizens here at home.
We celebrated a victory last year when Congress enacted the Shaheen amendment, which lifted the ban on sexual-assault survivors using their health insurance to pay for abortion services.
We've also been working with amazing pro-choice champions in Congress like Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who introduced the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health for Military Women (MARCH) Act which would repeal the ban on women in the military using their own money for abortion care overseas.
It's unacceptable that military women who sacrifice so much for our country are blocked from making the most personal of reproductive-health decisions.
We're optimistic that more political leaders will make ending sexual assault and ensuring service women's reproductive rights a priority. Because even one sexual assault is too many.
We couldn't be happier that Congress put the needs of our servicewomen before personal agendas. It was the right thing to do.
This policy win would not have been possible without the leadership of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who authored the repeal in the FY13 DoD bill.
NARAL Pro-Choice America has been working on this issue for more than 15 years, and we couldn't have achieved this important victory without your help.
We're also grateful to President Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. These leaders all voiced their support of the Shaheen amendment, and marked their commitment to rape survivors in the military.
We also can't forget the 98 senators who voted for the Fiscal Year 2013 Department of Defense (DoD) authorization bill containing the Shaheen amendment.
We hope Congress will keep fighting to make sexual assault in the military a thing of the past. Until that happens, it is good to know that politicians aren't turning their backs on servicewomen who find themselves in these tragic circumstances.
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.
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.
Well, we've got your one-stop shop to find out where all the candidates stand on a woman's right to choose!
You can get the scoop on all the candidates--Republican and Democratic--for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. You can find out which candidates received an endorsement from NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC, and learn important information about how and where to vote.
Our primary voter guide makes it easy to vote pro-choice down the line!
Don't live in Pennsylvania? Don't worry. We'll be updating our voter guide as each state holds its primaries.
The voter guide makes it easy to vote pro-choice in every race, in every state.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are on recess for the next two weeks.
That means your lawmakers are back in their states and/or districts and ready to hear from you!
If your lawmaker has been standing up against the War on Women, congratulations! Thank him or her for standing up for women's health.
But what about those politicians who have spent their time in Washington launching attacks on women's freedom and privacy?
Here are some questions you can ask them:
- Should bosses and corporations be allowed to deny their employees insurance coverage of birth control?
- Should politicians who don't have medical licenses get to overrule the medical decisions women make with their doctors?
- Presidential candidates like Mitt Romney want to defund family-planning programs and clinics, including Planned Parenthood. Do you?
A lot of politicians in Washington have been saying yes to all three questions. Now, it's time to hold them accountable!
If you see that your member of Congress is holding a public event and he or she has been part of the War on Women, show up and ask one of our questions.
Then let us know how it went by emailing Field@ProChoiceAmerica.org.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
We hope that women who live in rural communities and rely on telemedicine to stay healthy don't need access to medical abortion care.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment on June 16 that could make it impossible for a woman to even talk with her doctor about medical abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing.
Who's behind this terrible idea? Anti-choice Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). Rep. King has been quite active this year, attacking women's rights at every turn. This is just the latest in his War on Women.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, had this to say about today's vote:
It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor.
Have you ever used telemedicine? Do you live in a rural area and can speak to how a ban like this would affect you? Please share your story! Your personal story can help us show members of Congress how disastrous a policy like this could be for women who need to keep open all their options for talking to their doctor.
- Make a sign. Make a sign from scratch or download and print out our sign.
- Take a picture of yourself holding the sign. You can use your camera, a webcam, or even a photo from your phone is fine!
- Email your picture to email@example.com - a unique address that will automatically upload your photo to NARAL Pro-Choice America's Flickr site. (You can use the subject line to give your photo a title and the body to add a description.)
- Make sure your friends are involved, too! Get the word out on Facebook and Twitter.
Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then "on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger," Owens says. "It would be fairly intrusive for the woman."
This bill gets more outrageous and insulting by the day. Not only would a woman have to describe her sexual assault to the police, but she could then be forced to relive that horrifying experience with an agent from the IRS. The 221 members of Congress who signed their names to this egregious bill must explain to their constituents why they want to give the IRS authority to audit rape survivors.
My sincere hope would be for legislators to focus on the country's pressing challenges rather than undermining a woman's right to choose, but the outlook is not promising. Anti-choice lawmakers, in their words and actions, are pushing for a wave of proposals that would open the door to more political interference in the doctor-patient relationship. This agenda is out of step with our country's priorities.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation held an event this afternoon to launch the 20th edition of Who Decides?. We were joined by pro-choice coalition partners and members of the news media. Nancy Keenan highlighted the report's key findings.
- Congress banned abortion on overseas base hospitals for women serving in the U.S. military. (NARAL Pro-Choice America is working to repeal it.)
- Congress banned insurance coverage of abortion services for nearly eight million federal employees.
- Congress banned the local Washington, D.C. city government from using its own funds for abortion care for low-income residents. (President Obama signed a bill into law that repealed this attack on local governments last year.)
- The House voted against funding to protect clinics threatened by violence.
- The House voted to impose the "global gag" rule on health clinics abroad, which would block the world's poorest women's access to birth control and other essential health care.
- The House voted to deny state-funded abortion services for low-income women in cases of rape and incest.
- And Congress slashed funding for overseas family-planning services.
- Impose the Stupak amendment on the health-reform law, which would effectively ban abortion services for women in the new system. They could repeal the health-reform law, which improves women's access to contraception and pre-natal care services.
- Move a bill written by anti-choice Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey with more than 170 cosponsors (including Rep. Boehner) that would, among many things, impose a tax on Americans with private insurance plans that include abortion coverage. (Keep in mind, 87 percent of private plans include such coverage.)
- Reinstate the abortion ban on low-income D.C. residents by usurping the ability of elected city leaders to decide how to spend local funds.
- Reinstate the failed "abstinence-only" programs that censored discussion of contraception or condoms.
- Cut funding for family-planning programs, both here at home and overseas.
Some irony for your Thursday afternoon...I meant to mention it days ago when it happened, but there's been so much crazy, it was hard to keep up! Apologies.
Anyway, the Politico reported on a pre-9/12 rally on The Hill saying:
Attendees, many of whom railed against Obama's health care reform push, carried signs reading, "Who owns your body? You or your government?"
I'm sorry - what now?
It's a hypocrisy many pro-choice activists are familiar with: Anti-choice extremists say they don't want the government making decisions about what they choose to do with their personal health, and yet they have spent the majority of this summer demanding a new nationwide abortion ban in the private health-insurance market. If these anti-choice extremists, who include some members of Congress, get their way, women could lose coverage for abortion care, even if their private health-insurance plan already covers it! How in the world does that give people control over their body?
It's as frustrating as it is wrong.
Call Congress today to make sure they know that you strongly urge your representative to oppose any attempts to take away abortion coverage from women who already have it.
The last myth-busting installment of brings us this doozy of a claim: Anti-choice members of Congress have not been allowed to change the bills to limit abortion coverage in the new system. That's so wrong, I don't even know where to start...except for going to the truth.
FACT: On July 30, lawmakers (from both sides of the abortion debate) who serve on a key House committee voted for a compromise that allows each insurance plan to decide whether to provide coverage for abortion. It also separates public tax dollars from private funds, thus keeping bans on public funding for abortion services in place. As pro-choice advocates, we find this action regrettable since it singles out abortion from other health-care services, but apparently it was necessary to stop anti-choice politicians from continuing to use health-care reform to attack a woman's right to choose.
So now you have the top three ways to rebut the health-care myths you've been hearing about abortion:
Please spread this knowledge far and wide. When we see stories popping up on how anti-choice politics could derail health-care reform, we must remain vigilant and fight back.
We only have two weeks until Congress returns from recess at home (perhaps you've heard about the town halls), so there's never been a more important time to get the truth out.
NARAL Pro-Choice America's 2008 Congressional Record on Choice documents the choice-related votes taken during the second session of the 110th Congress. (Note: there were no scored House votes in 2008.)
As 2009 begins, NARAL Pro-Choice America is determined to take advantage of this year's historic election results. Defenders of reproductive freedom have waited years for such a significant opportunity. Inspired by our forbearers and energized by our current leaders, we look ahead to the future with great determination and optimism. This is our time, and we are ready to fight for the values we hold most dear.
You can find more information here.
With election-coverage in overdrive, I wanted to be sure to mention what's going on in Congress these days.
Right now, they're busy writing next year's budget bill, and determining what programs get funded at what levels. If you're like me, you're wondering if they're going to make birth control affordable for students, ensure that low-income women have access to affordable reproductive-health services, and cut funding for dangerous and discredited "abstinence-only" programs... among other things.
We need as much political will behind these pro-choice priorities as possible - especially given President Bush's persistent veto threats.
This is, naturally, where you come in. Please take a moment to call on your lawmaker to stand firm for these important initiatives:
- Fix the birth-control crisis. Congress must bring down the price of birth control to $5 or $10 instead of $50+ for students and low-income women. As you know, two years ago Congress inadvertently eliminated many health-care clinics' access to deeply discounted birth control and as a result, millions of low-income women and college students have seen the price of their birth control skyrocket. THE ASK: Please preserve the Senate bill's language to fix the problem.
- Improve women's health by increasing funds for the federal family-planning program. The House bill recommended a $315 million funding level for Title X. THE ASK: Please support this recommended $315 million funding level.
- Cut taxpayer dollars on fraudulent "abstinence-only" programs. These programs are unproven and dangerous. THE ASK: Support the Senate's recommended cut of $28 million.
Together, these three provisions will go a long way toward protecting women's reproductive health and together we can speak up on behalf of women whose everyday lives are affected by these federal policies and programs. So thanks for your help and support.