Results tagged “Florida” from Blog for Choice
On November 6, pro-choice Florida voters will get to do more than vote to re-elect President Obama and pro-choice members of Congress: they'll have the opportunity to say "no" to a dangerous anti-choice ballot measure.
Amendment 6 would let politicians interfere with a woman's right to make decisions about her reproductive health.
If passed, Amendment 6 could put a woman's health in danger.
- Amendment 6 would amend the Florida constitution to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion services in state health-benefits plans, many of which currently include abortion coverage.
- Amendment 6 also would dramatically expand the Florida legislature's power to make anti-choice laws in the state even worse, taking away all protections in Florida's constitution that currently guarantee women the right to privacy.
- Amendment 6 makes no exceptions for a woman's health - even if she is battling a serious illness like cancer.
- It may make it impossible for a woman and her family to access the medical care she needs if she faces a pregnancy with a severe fetal abnormality.
- It could take away the health care that teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses, and many students currently have access to.
Our staff got the chance to work on the ground with No on 6, the campaign fighting to stop this dangerous ballot measure. NARAL Pro-Choice America is proud to help defeat it!
If you live in Florida, vote NO on Amendment 6 on November 6. Don't give politicians sweeping authority to make it harder for women to access the health care their families count on.
The start of the new year means that state legislatures are back in session--and that means we can expect all sorts of mischief from anti-choice lawmakers.
Case in point: Florida state Sen. Mike Fasano recently filed a bill to designate this January as a month to honor anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in the Sunshine State.
What are CPCs?
CPCs are anti-choice operations that look like comprehensive women's health clinics. However, many CPCs deceive and lie to women to scare them away from choosing safe, legal abortion care. In other words, they aren't what they appear to be.
One Florida CPC was the subject of HBO's documentary film 12th & Delaware. The documentary exposes deceptive tactics a CPC in Fort Pierce, Florida uses to trick women into coming through its doors.
Believe it or not, Florida actually uses taxpayer money to fund operations that deceive women.
According to The Florida Independent, CPCs received $2 million from the state of Florida last year--while at the same time, comprehensive family-planning clinics saw their funding cut.
We know that politicians are looking for ways to cut government waste. Stopping funding anti-choice operations that mislead and lie to women might be a good place to start!
I hope that many of you were able to see the premiere of the HBO documentary "12th & Delaware" last night. Many of my colleagues here at NARAL Pro-Choice America (and our affiliate network) saw advanced screenings of the film in Baltimore, New York City, and Brooklyn, so I couldn't wait to get in on the action.
CONFESSION: I was supposed to live-tweet during the east-coast premiere. I was all prepared, notes and laptop in hand, Diet Coke poured, popcorn popped, remote in hand... and then I became so engrossed in the documentary, I completely forgot to tweet. Thankfully, I could tune in for a repeat performance of the west-coast premiere (thank you, digital cable).
Anyway, NARAL Pro-Choice America and many of our affiliates have been preparing and promoting this documentary for a long time. That's because, for years, the anti-choice movement has been building a network across the country of "fake" clinics - so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs). Our work around these CPCs has always centered on ensuring that women get accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased medical information so they can make their own decisions. That's why it's been so important to us that the public sees this film. As my colleague Kirsten said:
The directors were given unprecedented access to the CPC. They filmed conversations that the CPC director, Anne, had with women seeking help. A true documentary film, [Heidi] Ewing and [Rachel] Grady let the people at the CPC speak for themselves. And boy did they.
The pro-choice community, as a whole, is saying positive things about the film. From the reviews I've read, they all seemed to appreciate the presentation and the tone. The one complaint was that the filmmakers didn't call out or correct the myriad lies the anti-choicers told women in the film. That's not the job of documentary-makers, but it is our job as advocates who care about making sure women get the facts about their health-care choices. So, in that spirit, we've created your go-to guide for dispelling anti-choice distortions and lies.
Below is a list adapted from a series of late-night tweets you should read and share with your friends, family, and loved ones - especially if you are one of the 260 house-party hosts from more than 40 states! So read up, and then share away:
- At one point, Father Tom (who oversees the CPC) chuckles about the time the clinic called "911" because he was at the top of a ladder he'd brought, looking over their fence. Unfortunately for Florida women and providers, the state lacks a law that would protect clinic workers and patients from such harassment. Find out if your state has a law that ensures safe access to reproductive-health clinics.
- During the scene where Anne (the "counselor" who misleads women) is training future CPC workers on how to avoid answering abortion-related questions over the phone while getting women to come to the CPC, keep these facts in mind: Reports have shown CPCs deliberately deceive women about the services they offer. Thankfully, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced a bill in Congress that would hold CPCs accountable for misrepresenting their services.
- CPCs outnumber legitimate reproductive-health clinics across the country. In Florida, where this documentary takes place, 69 percent of counties lack an abortion provider. Find out your state access fact.
- Since 1993, eight clinic workers (including four doctors, two employees, one clinic escort, and one security guard) were murdered in United States.
- Inside the women's health clinic, Candace talks about the dwindling number of providers. You can learn more about the new wave of reproductive-health doctors in this article, originally in the New York Times Magazine.
- Medical Students for Choice helps train the doctors who will continue to provide abortion care for future generations. You can read more about this organization on its website.
- When one woman spoke about her husband forcing her to have sex without condoms, it's important to remember that reproductive coercion can include birth-control sabotage and/or using threats to force someone to have unprotected sex. Read more information from Guttmacher and a recent Businessweek article.
- In one scene, the CPC employee lied to a woman about the risks of abortion, so she tried to self-induce a miscarriage. Read more about the hazards of illegal abortion (pdf).
Keep in mind, this list is a start, so if you saw other parts of the film that gave you pause or prompted you to ask questions, please let us know in the comments.
Most people have no idea how these CPCs operate or, as the documentary shows us at the end, that they outnumber health centers that provide abortion by a five-to-one margin. One of our fans on Facebook looked up CPCs in her home state of Oregon and found 44 such places. That's in Oregon, one of the most pro-choice states in the country.
As we've said before, this film is going to start a conversation about abortion and how women access information about their health-care options. Let's keep that conversation going.
Great news from Florida today! Gov. Charlie Crist bowed to pressure and vetoed an anti-choice bill containing an abortion-coverage ban and a mandatory- ultrasound requirement. Our own Nancy Keenan responds:
"Gov. Charlie Crist did the right thing by listening to the pro-choice majority in Florida and vetoing this anti-choice bill that the state legislature rammed through at the last minute," Keenan said. "Floridians, like most Americans, are tired of lawmakers using women's reproductive health as a bargaining chip. It's time for politicians to stop interfering in the doctor-patient relationship."
In the past few weeks, our amazing NARAL Pro-Choice America activists have sent more than 1,200 messages to Gov. Crist urging him to veto this unprecedented anti-choice legislation. Be sure to read the full press release here.
Also, please thank pro-choice Rep. Kendrick Meek of Florida, who joined other pro-choice leaders in calling on Gov. Crist to veto this bill.
Happy Friday to all!
Before the weekend comes, and the pending SCOTUS-palooza takes hold, I wanted to take advantage of the calm before the storm and keep you up-to-date with that latest goings on in the states. There's so much wackiness, craziness, and drama, all of which puts the health of women at risk. So much so, that the Center for American Progress Action Fund dedicated an entire Progress Report to the abortion wars stateside.
BTW - Fake bonus points and a virtual high-five will be rewarded to the first person who figures out the reason behind the ordering of the states in the update.
Florida: The Florida Legislature used all kinds of legislative shenanigans to pass an anti-choice bill, and it's now up to Gov. Charlie Crist to sign or veto it. Yep - that Gov. Crist. Naturally, Rep. Kendrick Meek and other pro-choice Florida state lawmakers encouraged Crist to veto the bill that basically trades women's dignity and privacy for a cheap election-year victory. We are mobilizing thousands of our supporters in the Sunshine State, so please take a moment to help us by sharing this news with your friends in Florida to help spread the word about why this bill is so bad for women.
Pro-Choice Progress in Pennsylvania: Looking for a sign of pro-choice progress? Who isn't? There's a bill moving forward in Pennsylvania that would ensure all public schools teach comprehensive sex education that is age-appropriate and medically accurate.
Tennessee Can't Catch a Break: We're sad to report that, in addition to the horrific and devastating flooding going on in Nashville and surrounding areas, politicians have made this week even worse by taking away choices from women. This week, Tennessee became the second state to ban insurance coverage of abortion in the exchange that will be established under the new health-reform law. The law prohibits abortion coverage even in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. We're outraged by this unfortunate news, how about you?
Mighty Missouri: At least there's some great news coming from Missouri. The anti-choicers failed to get a so-called "personhood" measure on the November ballot. Our colleagues at NARAL Pro Choice Missouri worked hard to fight this:
Clearly, "personhood" provisions are much too extreme for Missourians. Voters in Missouri value privacy and each person's ability to make their own health decisions. Anti-choice tactics like this one would make drastic, unnecessary changes to current law. Pro-choice and pro-privacy Missourians wisely rejected this proposal and will do it again should any more outrageous attacks on women's health surface.
A huge round of applause goes out to our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri and their allies.
Oklahoma, Okay... Sorta: Oklahoma women caught a break this week... at least for now. A new anti-choice law is on hold pending the results of legal challenges in the courts. This is good news, because it sounds like the law was really traumatic for some women. Check out this article to learn more.
The Drama Continues in Kansas: Last week, anti-choice forces in the House fell two votes short of reversing the governor's veto of an anti-choice bill. As we all know, a lot can change over a weekend - and it did. The House voted again, and this time they managed to overturn the veto. The bill then went to the Kansas Senate, where the veto override failed by one vote. Stay tuned for more Sunflower-State drama, and check out this article for more info.
Montana Columnist Says What??: Yesterday, a really, really egregious opinion ran in the Helena Independent Record. In it, columnist Randy Rickman basically says that the recent anti-choice bill from Oklahoma (see above) is a good thing. Just how bad? Well, read this excerpt:
Will understanding the full impact of an abortion, up front, mean there will be more consultation and soul searching before making a decision? Probably so. And if that decision is made only after evaluating all the information, won't that be a better decision?
Look - we know that women accessing abortion care have thought about their decision. They have the thoughtfulness and the intelligence to make private medical decisions without a state-mandated script or a viewing of an ultrasound against their will. So clearly, this bill serves no other purpose than to shame and demean women for making a decision that some lawmakers in Oklahoma would like to take away from women altogether. It is not about informing women of their options. The law's intent is to intimidate women from exercising their right to choose while questioning their decision-making. NARAL Pro-Choice Montana is on the case, and is working on responding via letters and other options, like Twitter and Facebook.
That's all for this week. Rest up, pro-choice nation. Something tells me that next week will be a doozy!
In today's toxic political environment, it's sometimes hard to get excited about elections. With all the attacks and counter-attacks going on between the candidates and the parties, you wonder if anyone running for office deserves your support, right? Well, for pro-choice Floridians there's someone who will make you feel good about supporting his candidacy and he's giving you an easy (and almost free) way to do it.
Representative Kendrick Meek is running in the Democratic primary for the open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by anti-choice Republican Senator Mel Martinez. Kendrick Meek is pro-choice and has the congressional voting record to prove it. So, already, we here at NARAL Pro-Choice America are already excited about his senate race. Score one for Rep. Meek.
But, we also appreciate that Kendrick Meek is working to earn every supporter by doing something unheard of in previous U.S. Senate races in the state. Instead of just paying a fee to get his name on the ballot, Kendrick and his campaign team are traveling all over the state, collecting petition signatures from Florida voters. He needs to collect more than 100,000 signatures by noon on March 29 to qualify for the ballot and he's well on his way from what we've read. However, every signature counts and every signature sends a strong message to the folks who think campaign victories can simply be bought and paid for with a credit card. (Yes, Marco Rubio, I'm talking about you and your penchant for charging personal items to the taxpayers and Republican Party of Florida!)
There's one more reason we think Kendrick Meek is the best choice for the U.S. Senate. He's not afraid to talk about his pro-choice values - even in front of difficult audiences. At a Christian Family Coalition event, Rep. Meek explained that he was pro-choice to a crowd that would probably never be described as pro-choice. At that event, Kendrick Meek said, "Yes, I am pro-choice, but there are other issues that have to be addressed," he said. "I want you to understand that running for the United States Senate, I am running to be your senator, I am not running to be your pastor or your rabbi or whatever it may be."
The reporter covering the event noted that the line received no applause from the crowd. However, I can tell you that at NARAL Pro-Choice America, we cheered loudly enough for all of them.
If you live in Florida, here's what you can do to help. Go to the Meek campaign's website,
download a petition, sign it and mail it to the campaign in time for
all the petitions to be delivered by noon on March 29. And while
you're at it, ask your friends and family in Florida to sign the
petition, too. Let's send a strong message that Florida is proudly
pro-choice and proudly supporting Kendrick Meek!
Florida is a big state. Have you seen it? It's huge. Certainly bigger than my home state of Maryland (Go Terps!). Florida is also a very important state for myriad political reasons. Florida Recount, anyone?
However, in order to get on the ballot, Meek needs to gather signatures. Never heard of that before? That's because it's never been done by a U.S. Senate candidate in Florida before. I think that's truly inspiring because it means that Meek will actually earn a spot on the ballot, instead of paying a fee for that right. In other words, it's entirely up to the people of Florida, which is how it should be. Read more on his web site.
The deadline for submitting petitions is noon on March 29, 2010.
Who wouldn't want to take part in a historic petition drive? I'm kinda jealous I don't live in Florida.
But no matter, I'm just going to make sure all my Floridian friends take a moment to visit the Meek web site, download a petition, and put Kendrick Meek on the ballot. I really hope you'll do the same. We can't miss out on this opportunity to take an anti-choice seat and turn it into a pro-choice seat!
If you have any questions, please call 305-655-3213 or 1-877-FL-4-MEEK (1-877-354-6335).