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Results tagged “Jeanne Shaheen” from Blog for Choice

Congress Votes to Support Rape Survivors in the Military


Today, Congress voted to lift the law banning servicewomen who survive sexual assault and become pregnant from using their military health plan to cover abortion care!

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.

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Justice for Rape Survivors in the Military


We're ready to say goodbye and good riddance to an anti-choice policy that's an injustice to women in the military.

Today, was a big step forward for the health and safety of women in the military. Members of the House and Senate have agreed to consider language and are expected to vote to lift the ban on servicewomen who survive sexual assault and become pregnant from using their military health plan to cover abortion care!

We're so close to a victory that will mean everything to the thousands of servicewomen who are raped every year. Finally, these women will be able to use their insurance plan for abortion care if they choose to. It's the right thing to do.

The next step will be for the full House and Senate to vote on the final language. We'll keep you posted!

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Delivering Your Petitions to Speaker John Boehner


In case you haven't heard, this week the U.S. Senate took a huge step forward for women in the military when they adopted a provision sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as part of the FY'13 Department of Defense authorization bill (DoD).

We're grateful that the Senate stood with rape survivors in the military. But now the bill will be conferenced with the version the U.S. House of Representatives passed in May that does not include the same language. That means it's up to House Speaker John Boehner to do the right thing for servicewomen -- and ensure that the provision lifting the ban stays in the final bill.

We asked you, our supporters, to send a strong message to Speaker Boehner and other anti-choice members of Congress to put the needs of sexual assault survivors in the military before their anti-choice agenda.

More than 26,000 activists signed our petition in just three days!

We took those signatures up to Capitol Hill today and delivered them directly to Speaker Boehner's office to let him know that denying reproductive-health care to servicewomen who are rape survivors is just plain wrong.

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Thank you, to everyone who contributed to this petition!

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A Special "Thank You" to a Pro-Choice Champion for Servicewomen


468px-Jeanne_Shaheen,.jpgThis year's elections proved that Americans won't tolerate politicians who turn their back on rape survivors. No matter where you stand on the issue of legal abortion, it's just wrong to deny a woman who endured sexual violence access to reproductive-health care.

Under current law, military women are banned from using their military health-insurance plans to cover abortion care if they become pregnant as a result of sexual assault.

Today, the U.S. Senate took a big step toward finally paying military women the respect they deserve by adopting the language known as the Shaheen amendment in the FY '13 Department of Defense (DoD) authorization bill to lift this discriminatory policy.

Last week, President Obama marked his administration's support for lifting this ban.

Our own Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, applauded the Senate,

"Today, women in the military have come one step closer to winning protections they deserve for reproductive freedom and privacy. Denying our heroes access to complete reproductive-health care coverage not only discriminates against them but also endangers their health. Congress has an opportunity to protect and support those who selflessly serve our country. Now it's up to John Boehner to step up to this task."

But nobody has worked harder for military women than the author and namesake of the language, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D- N.H.).

Sen. Shaheen has been leading the charge to correct the current policy, which places an undue burden on the servicewomen who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

We thank Sen. Shaheen for her tireless work to end this unjust policy, and we're thrilled that the Senate stood with military women.

Now, the U.S. House of Representatives has the opportunity to end this cruel policy when they work with the Senate to approve the final version of the DoD authorization bill.

We need your help - send a strong message to Speaker John Boehner and anti-choice members of the House: We owe it to our military women to provide them with the health care they need in the tragic circumstance of sexual assault.

Supporting Servicewomen


As my colleague Thomas wrote recently, it's outrageous that women in the military who survive rape can't use their military health insurance to cover abortion care. That's out of step with current Medicaid law and with the federal government's health-insurance programs for civilians.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced an amendment to correct this unjust policy, and it will go to the full Senate for a vote soon.

The amendment is backed by many retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces. They joined with Sen. Shaheen today for a press conference to support it.


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, expressed her support for the amendment:

"It's time to end discrimination against our servicewomen and provide them with the same care women receive here at home. We salute Sen. Shaheen and these military leaders for speaking out for women serving our country. Protecting those who serve our country falls in line with our American values. It is a tragedy that this commonsense policy is continually subjected to political attacks."

On, retired members of the military are speaking out in support of this amendment.

You can help, too. Take action now and tell your senators to support Sen. Shaheen's amendment.

The brave women in the military, who sacrifice so much for us, deserve our support.

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Did you know that servicewomen who are survivors of rape or incest cannot get coverage for abortion care under their military health-insurance plans?

As awful as this sounds, it's true.

But in hopeful news, last week the Senate took a big step toward changing this unconscionable policy. The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment authored by pro-choice Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that would provide abortion coverage for military women who are pregnant as a result of sexual assault.

Retired military officials have joined a group called Stand Up for Servicewomen to fight this discriminatory policy. One retired army captain who belongs to this group called the Shaheen amendment an important step forward for women serving their country.

"Servicewomen promise to support and defend the Constitution and our country," said Cindy McNally, Chief Master Sergeant, US Air Force (Ret.). "It's unconscionable to turn our backs on them in their time of need. We owe it to them--and to ourselves--to get this one right."

A huge shout-out goes to Sen. Shaheen and our other consistent champions of choice on the committee:

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.)

Thanks to these senators for fighting for the women who fight for us.

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Standing Up for Women in the Military


Our servicewomen put their lives on the line for our rights, but they don't have same right to choose that we have at home.


Current law permits the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide abortion care at military facilities only in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

In the tragic cases of rape or incest, the servicewoman must bear the cost of the medical care herself, which means the restrictions on military women go even further than on civilian women.

Fortunately, pro-choice lawmakers are working to change this unfair policy.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced a measure that would repeal the law that blocks women from using their military insurance plan to cover abortion care if they survive a sexual assault.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Sen. Shaheen and other pro-choice leaders for standing up for our servicewomen:

Women in the military deserve the same reproductive -health care as women here at home. Anti-choice lawmakers are putting politics ahead of servicewomen's health and safety. These women are fighting for our freedom while being denied their own.

It's outrageous for women in the military who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault to be denied the right to the full range of reproductive-health care options.

Thank you, Sen. Shaheen!

Call on your senators to stand with our servicewomen by supporting the Shaheen amendment.

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Highlights and Lowlights: Your Round-Up from the States


There was a flurry of choice-related headlines from the states this week--some of them very, very good, some of them horrid.

Let's get the horrid news out of the way:

The commonwealth of Virginia has seen more than its fair share of extreme attacks on a woman's right to choose this year. a state board voted to adopt politically motivated rules governing health centers that provide abortion care. The new regulations threaten to close 21 abortion providers. So, women lose access to abortion care as a result of the policies passed by anti-choice politicians. As Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated clearly, the personal is connected to the political:

These regulations, singling out women's health centers for burdensome and medically-unnecessary new requirements, remind us once again the importance of elections. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will be working in the next few months to hold anti-choice elected officials accountable by mobilizing voters to elect candidates to the state General Assembly who will not play politics with women's health.

Let's cross the Potomac and get back to Washington, D.C., where a Senate committee passed a bill that does NOT include the D.C. abortion ban. You know, it's the ban that blocks the city's elected leaders from using local funds to provide abortion care to low-income women.

(Yes, I know D.C. is not a state. That's why Congress has control over the city's local affairs in the first place.)

Our activists flooded Senate offices with tons of messages, so it's good to see this bit of progress, even though the bill has a long, long way to go.

Now...are you ready for the straight-up good news of the weekend? I thought so.

For that, let's go to the Granite State. (You know, the place where Rep. Michele Bachmann thinks the Revolutionary War started.) You might recall that a state council in New Hampshire voted to end a contract with Planned Parenthood that threatened thousands of residents' access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic care.

You may also remember one council member, Raymond Wieczorek, who expressed his thoughts on women who use contraception:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

Well, this week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (a past recipient of NARAL Pro-Choice America's Champion of Choice award) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will ensure that residents of the state continue to have affordable access to these critical services.

NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire summed it up in this way:

We applaud Sen. Shaheen for her leadership in standing up for women's access to basic, affordable health care in our state. The Executive Council played politics with the health care of thousands of New Hampshire men and women. The public outrage, combined with Sen. Shaheen's persistence and the Obama administration's decision to ensure women's access to contraception and cancer screenings, made this important victory possible. But we encourage New Hampshire residents to continue to let their elected officials know that blatant political attacks on women's health are unacceptable.

As we told our good friend Felicity Huffman, it's best to end on a good note.

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

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Off to the Races: Shaheen v. Sununu edition


From now until the election, NARAL Pro-Choice America is going to focus on a different congressional race each week. This week is Jeanne Shaheen week, so stay tuned to Blog for Choice for more information about Shaheen's race!

Yesterday, according to the Nashua Telegraph, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) "lead canvassers for Obama today in Nashua and Manchester, respectively and then talk about abortion rights and the judiciary at two stops in Concord."

Great news right? It's good to know that the Obama campaign continues to visit New Hampshire because there is another important race that New Hampshire's pro-choice voters must focus on: the U.S. Senate Race between Pro-Choice Jeanne Shaheen (D) v. Anti-Choice Sen. Jon Sununu (R).

The NARAL Pro-Choice America elections page has the run down, but here are some excerpts:

    • As governor, Shaheen signed legislation repealing New Hampshire's pre-Roe law making abortion a felony. She also signed a bill to ensure health insurance coverage for contraceptives.
    • Shaheen has a long record of standing up for a woman's right to choose. In the state senate, she is on record in 1992 stating "This issue should be decided by a woman and her family and her physician. Government should not be involved in this." (New Hampshire Senate Journal, 1149, 4/9/92) As a state Senator, Shaheen also introduced legislation to ensure safe access to women's health care clinics.
    • Shaheen promises to continue her strong support for women's freedom and privacy in the U.S. Senate, including fighting for funding to prevent unintended pregnancy through family-planning services and sex education.

Sen. Jon Sununu (R), on the other hand, is staunchly anti-choice.  That's why NARAL Pro-Choice America is working to make sure Sununu's first term in the Senate is his only term!

Visit our elections section and Shaheen's section to read more, and don't forget to visit Shaheen's website to see how you can get involved. To get involved in more pro-choice politics in New Hampshire, please visit our NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire affiliate web site. 

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