Results tagged “Massachusetts” from Blog for Choice
The millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1999) is both the largest generation and the most pro-choice generation in American history. By 2020, 40% of eligible voters will be from the millennial generation. NARAL Pro-Choice America is committed to working with and learning from pro-choice millennials in order to organize in favor of reproductive freedom in a way that resonates with this important generation.
NARAL Pro-Choice America founded the Choice Out Loud - On Campus program in the Fall of 2012 as part of our strategy to engage this key generation in the fight to protect and expand reproductive rights.
Our campus representatives have done amazing work to engage the community around the issue of reproductive rights. We asked our graduating class of activists from this academic year to tell us why they decided to because a campus representative, what they accomplished, and what they've learned. This post is the first in a series.
Meet Hailey Magee, a campus representative at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
1. What was your major?
I am a Women's and Gender Studies and Politics double major, with a minor in Social Justice and Social Policy.
2. Why is choice important to you?
Choice is important to me because I believe bodily autonomy is the most basic form of human freedom. The idea that any person or society could legally inhibit me from exercising my right over my own body is horrifying to me.
3. How did you get involved in the pro-choice movement? Do you intend to stay involved after you graduate?
I got involved in the pro-choice movement as a natural extension of my feminist activism. Before college I hadn't understood the gravity or salience of the reproductive rights debate. When I became president of my campus Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, I began to explore the diverse avenues through which I could create a more just society. My sophomore year, I lobbied a bill for comprehensive sex education (An Act Relative to Healthy Youth) in the Massachusetts State House, and from then on, I was hooked on reproductive justice. I spent the following summer interning for NARAL Pro-Choice New York, and have been interning for NARAL in some capacity ever since. I will spend my summer as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Intern and Campaigns Coordinator, and would love to work for NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts - or a different state affiliate - upon graduating college. This work is my lifeblood; I have never been more passionate about a cause.
4. What was your favorite event that you planned as a Campus Representative?
My favorite event that I assisted in planning was our Roe at Risk Mixer. Brandeis University Students for NARAL co-sponsored the screening with the Brandeis Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (a student organization) and the Women's Studies Research Center (an organization of predominantly elderly feminist resident scholars at Brandeis). The screening, followed by small group discussions that addressed the inter-generational differences in reproductive justice advocacy, brought many diverse and engaging perspectives to the table.
5. What is/are the greatest skill or skills that you've learned from being a Campus Representative?
As a Campus and Community Organizer, I have learned how to build a network of faculty and staff allies that can help me achieve my campaign goals as a student. I have learned how to identify, contact, and build relationships with point people on my campus - administrators and staff I particular - that can use their networks, resources, and clout to help me to foster the pro-choice atmosphere the Brandeis University students demand.
6. What is your earliest memory of interacting with NARAL Pro-Choice America?
My first official contact with NARAL Pro-Choice America occurred through a Campus Organizer conference call in October. Led by Travis Ballie, the call was engaging, inspiring, and allowed the organizers to share their progress in establish their campus coalitions with one another. Travis was an excellent facilitator, and when I came to study "abroad" in Washington, D.C. this semester, he went out of his way to let me know about NARAL events and volunteer opportunities.
7. Out of all the different ways to engage with this issue, why did you choose to engage with NARAL Pro-Choice America?
Though many organizations fight for reproductive justice in some capacity, NARAL has been my favorite by far - and that's completely due to the characters that compose NARAL's staff. NARAL employees are witty, animated, intimidatingly intelligent, and passionate. In my experiences at NARAL Pro-Choice New York, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, and now NARAL Pro-Choice America, I have consistently been floored by the warmth and acceptance with which I've been treated. The enthusiasm of NARAL staff is contagious; it is that energy and passion that attracts me to the organization.
8. What are your future plans?
I will spend my summer as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts' Intern and Campaigns Coordinator. I plan on continuing to intern with NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts throughout my senior year at Brandeis, and upon graduating, hope to continue working in a reproductive justice organization. When I become more familiar with the issues and the ins-and-outs of policy, I would like to become a lobbyist or policy director. In the distant future (or maybe not so distant!) I plan to run for state legislature and fight for social justice directly as an elected official.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear a challenge to a law that protects women seeking reproductive-health care in Massachusetts - including checkups, birth control, and abortion care - from enduring violence, and harassment by anti-choice protesters outside of reproductive-health clinics.
Massachusetts has a 35-foot buffer zone (the distance of two parking spaces) that blocks anti-choice protesters from approaching women accessing health care. But anti-choice forces are fighting the buffer zone so that they can get even closer when shaming and harassing women entering these clinics.
Anti-choice protesters often hover around reproductive-health care clinics within a certain distance to protest, picket, and hand out anti-choice propaganda to women walking into the clinic - regardless of whether they're at the clinic to get an abortion or not.
These protesters are anything but harmless. Their tactics include screaming, using threats, taking photos, and even spitting on patients. In some of the more extreme cases, anti-choice protesters have been deadly. Most recently, Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas was murdered in his church by an anti-choice protester in 2009.
We reached out to some of our allies who volunteer as clinic escorts. These courageous supporters walk women through mobs to make sure they can get health care safely. They told us what it's like to escort and sent us pictures - we so appreciate their willingness to share their experiences.
This history of violence, harassment, and ripping away patient privacy is why the Supreme Court must rule in favor of women's safety and uphold the buffer-zone law. Nobody should be subjected to harassment or violence when getting health care or making a deeply personal health decision.
Victory! Last night, voters in Massachusetts elected pro-choice Ed Markey (D) to the Senate!
Ed Markey will now join other pro-choice champions like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) in the Senate, and keep our count at 41 reliable pro-choice votes!
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, applauded the win:
"It's clear that Sen.-elect Ed Markey's strong pro-choice position was the key issue in this campaign. His steadfast support of a woman's right to choose reflects the values of the majority of Americans who continue to support Roe v. Wade."
Help us celebrate and share our graphic with your friends on Facebook:
Last night, pro-choice U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) debated anti-choice opponent Gabriel Gomez in the lead up to the general election on June 25.
Voters learned three critical new facts about Gabriel Gomez's anti-choice position:
- Gomez would vote for anti-choice Supreme Court nominees that could set the wheels in motion for the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
- Gomez's campaign dismissed women's contraceptive coverage as just "inside baseball." That's a quaint way off laughing off one of the most important and hotly-debated women's issue of the last year.
- Gomez supports forced-waiting periods for women getting abortion care, saying "I don't think that's too much to ask." Tell that to women who have to drive hundreds or even thousands of miles to the nearest abortion provider, as well as pay for child care, a hotel room, and transportation costs.
Gomez said repeatedly that he wouldn't change laws around abortion. Doesn't he realize that U.S. senators vote on abortion-related issues all the time?
Last night's debate showed that Gabriel Gomez is completely out of touch with the very people he hopes to represent and cannot be trusted to protect their best interests. It's clear that Gomez would not work to protect and expand women's reproductive freedom. Instead, he could likely add unnecessary restrictions to burden women seeking reproductive-health services and abortion care.
NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed Rep. Markey, on the other hand, trusts Massachusetts women and has a pro-choice record that spans more than three decades. That's why Rep. Markey is the only candidate women and their families in Massachusetts can trust to protect their freedom and privacy in the most personal of circumstances - not anti-choice politicians like Gabriel Gomez.
If you have friends in Massachusetts, make sure they know how dangerous Gabriel Gomez would be for women's reproductive freedom. When they head to the polls, they'll know who to vote into the Senate on June 25 - pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
On June 25, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed Rep. Ed Markey and anti-choice opponent Gabriel Gomez will face off in an election in Massachusetts for John Kerry's former Senate seat.
You would think that any candidate would make sure they're well informed about issues that have been front and center during the election, like a woman's right to choose.
But apparently, Gabriel Gomez doesn't have time for women's reproductive health. He recently admitted that he never even read important choice-related legislation that could significantly impact the people he hopes to represent.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Gomez was asked about his positions on important reproductive-rights legislation.
When asked about the Blunt amendment, a defeated measure that would have allowed bosses to deny their workers birth-control coverage based on personal beliefs, Gomez was clueless. He stumbled through his response asking, "Oh, is this like the Catholic Church and all?"
Gomez was also asked about the Stupak amendment. His response: "'Is this federal funding for abortion?"
Seriously? Who's doing the interviewing here?
When The Boston Globe explained to Gomez that this failed measure would have made it virtually impossible for private insurance companies in the new system to provide abortion coverage, Gomez clearly did not understand it. He reiterated:
"OK, but I don't think there should be federal funding for abortions."
If Gomez can't even be bothered to read and understand measures that would endanger women's reproductive-health care, what else would he ignore as a Massachusetts senator?
We don't want to find out, and neither should Massachusetts voters. That's why we've given our full support to pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey, who has read and understands these important issues for women and their families.
Maybe Gomez will take the time between now and the June 25 election to read up on measures that help protect women's freedom and privacy.
But we seriously doubt it.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Tomorrow, April 30, voters will head to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary in a special election for Secretary of State John Kerry's former Senate seat.
It's essential that we elect leaders that will protect and expand our reproductive freedoms, not work to take them away. That's why we've pulled out all the stops to help elect Rep. Ed Markey and keep this Massachusetts Senate seat pro-choice.
NARAL Pro-Choice America staff and volunteers have been working day and night over the last few weeks, knocking on more than 2,000 doors and making thousands of phone calls to educate Massachusetts voters about why Rep. Ed Markey is the only candidate they can trust with their freedom and privacy.
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, was in Massachusetts on Sunday speaking with students of Wellesley and at two rallies with Rep. Markey.
We're seeing evidence of the power of choice in this election. A lot of the voters we spoke with didn't know the primary was just around the corner. Others told our canvassers that they're pro-choice and didn't know that Rep. Stephen Lynch had voted anti-choice so frequently.
For example, there's the story of Jennifer in Newton. Jennifer was definitely planning on voting on Tuesday but wasn't aware that Markey is the only fully pro-choice candidate in the race. After learning this news, she changed her decision on the spot and became a Markey voter.
Voters in Massachusetts want a leader who will fight for their reproductive freedom and privacy. Tomorrow, they'll vote for the pro-choice candidate who will do just that, and that person is pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey.
In Massachusetts, pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey is facing off against anti-choice Rep. Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary in a special election for Secretary of State John Kerry's former Senate seat, and the gloves are coming off.
In a recent debate, Rep. Lynch tried to mislead voters about Rep. Markey's position and distract them from his own anti-choice record!
Rep. Markey is committed to protecting women's reproductive health and freedom, and he has consistently voted pro-choice for decades.
Rep. Markey wasn't fazed by Rep. Lynch's attempts to smear his position:
"I have voted consistently pro-choice for 30 years in the congress, 30 years Steve, and that's why Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America have endorsed me."
Clearly, Rep. Lynch knows he's in trouble because the majority of independent voters want a candidate who supports a woman's right to choose, and his extreme anti-choice record speaks for itself.
That's why we've gone full-out in our efforts to help elect pro-choice Rep. Markey to the Senate!
We've already made thousands of phone calls in Massachusetts and our canvass team is on the ground getting ready to knock on doors and educate voters about why Rep. Markey is the only candidate they can trust to protect women's freedom and privacy.
The special election is less than a week away. Make sure your friends in Massachusetts know why they must elect Rep. Ed Markey and keep this Senate seat pro-choice!
We were all shocked and horrified when we learned about the Boston Marathon bombings last week. In the NARAL Pro-Choice America office, each of us checked in on friends and family from the area and tried to come to grips with what had happened.
While we'll keep the families affected by the attacks in our thoughts and prayers, we know that the best way to move forward is to get back to our normal activities and not let the attacks change our day-to-day freedoms.
Right now, that means we're back to politics as usual - electing men and women who believe that it's not the government's role to tell women whether, when, and with whom they should start a family.
Two candidates are about to face off in the Democratic primary for the Senate special election to fill Secretary of State Kerry's former Senate seat in the great state of Massachusetts. We've gone all-in to see that Rep. Ed Markey - and not anti-choice Rep. Stephen Lynch - comes out a winner.
In fact, we have a team on the ground right now that's getting ready to make calls and knock on doors in pockets of the state where voter turnout will be critical.
Starting today and through the primary on April 30, we plan to hold conversations with thousands of pro-choice voters - voters who may sit out this election unless they hear from us. And with recent polling showing that not only is the race tightening up, but that anti-choice Rep. Lynch is even leading among likely independent voters - contacting them is vital.
Why is this race so important? Rep. Lynch has voted to deny servicewomen access to abortion services and against President Obama's health-reform law, which will increase women's access to family-planning services, contraception, and maternity care.
We can't take a chance - we must send someone to the Senate who we can count on 100 percent to protect and expand women's access to reproductive-health care, from birth control to abortion.
If you or someone you know can volunteer with us, sign up today. As you can imagine, it's going to take hundreds of people volunteering thousands of hours to go door to door. But it will be worth it - these neighbor to neighbor conversations are the most effective way to educate and turnout voters.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Elizabeth Shipp is political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
There's an exciting special election coming up in Massachusetts that will make a big difference in women's lives.
Now that John Kerry is Secretary of State, voters in the Bay State are going to have to decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate.
While we handed anti-choice lawmakers significant losses in the 2012 election cycle, it hasn't stopped the anti-choice politicians who remain from continuing their attacks on women's reproductive rights. That's why we must ensure the Senate continues to serve as the firewall against an agenda that categorically undermines women's access to abortion and even birth control.
The next senator from Massachusetts will have a chance to cast a lot of votes on choice, and that's why I'm so proud that our PAC has endorsed pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey. Rep. Markey is the only candidate in this race who women can trust to defend their reproductive rights.
Here are the top things you need to know about Rep. Markey:
Rep. Markey voted against the Stupak amendment. Although it was ultimately stopped in the Senate (thank you, firewall!), the U.S. House of Representatives disappointed women across the country by voting to ban abortion coverage in Obamacare. Rep. Markey stood firm against the attack.
Rep. Markey opposed attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Remember when Speaker John Boehner was ready to shut the government down in order to defund Planned Parenthood? It was a terrible day when the House voted to take away women's access to cancer screenings and birth control at their local Planned Parenthood. Fortunately, Rep. Markey would have none of that.
Rep. Markey said "no" to the War on Women in Congress. When I say that Speaker Boehner did all that he could to restrict women's access to abortion and birth control in 2011, I'm not exaggerating. That is the year the House voted eight times on choice-related bills. Rep. Markey voted against every single one.
Rep. Markey supports Obamacare. In addition to his pro-choice record, Rep. Markey is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, which will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care.
Rep. Markey is proudly pro-choice. When we announced our PAC's endorsement of his campaign, he said, "I am proud to have NARAL Pro-Choice America endorse my candidacy. I strongly support a woman's right to choose and believe women should have access to the full range of reproductive health care choices. With reproductive rights under constant attack, women across the country and in Massachusetts need a champion on these issues in the Senate. I've spent three decades fighting for women's freedom of choice, and I will continue this track record if elected to the Senate."
There's no question about it. Voters who want someone in the Senate who's going to keep fighting to protect women's right to safe, legal abortion, improve women's access to birth control, and fund honest sex education for young people need to vote for Ed Markey on April 30.
Who got booed for naming an extreme anti-choice Justice Scalia as his "model Supreme Court justice?"
Why that would be Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).
Sen. Brown has attempted to appear moderate to voters, and has even tried to mislead them by calling himself pro-choice. But his statement about Justice Scalia, combined with his voting record, reveal his true colors.
After all, it's no secret that Justice Scalia is extremely anti-choice. He recently made the news for calling Roe v. Wade "utterly idiotic."
Here's the full story:
Sen. Brown is running against Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for the Massachusetts Senate seat. During a recent debate, Sen. Brown was asked to name his model Supreme Court justice. He answered:
"Let me see here, that's a great question. I think Justice Scalia is a very good judge."
The response was promptly met with loud boos from the audience.
If you have friends who vote in Massachusetts, tell them to cast their votes for pro-choice Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. We cannot trust Sen. Scott Brown to protect women's freedom and privacy.
Another day, another story about former Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-Mass.) untrustworthiness on a woman's right to choose.
NPR turned to Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, for more information on Gov. Romney's history of phony promises:
"In Massachusetts, when he was running for governor...a very liberal state, a state that was pro-choice, he was playing to the audience," says Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "And he made promises to the pro-choice community at that time that he did not keep," she said, including vetoing a bill that would have provided emergency contraceptives to victims of rape. "So the fact of the matter is he was not authentic in his position at that time."...
Keenan says his 2005 veto of a bill to provide the so-called morning-after pill to rape victims made him even more anti-abortion than other governors who also ended up in this year's GOP presidential field.
"Pawlenty and Huntsman actually signed those bills," she said, referring to the former Minnesota and Utah governors Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. "So you can see that he is to the right (of them) and very anti-choice."
Need more reasons not to trust Mitt Romney? We've got a bunch of them here.
People are having a hard time trusting former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.)--and with good reason.
Back in 2002, he was trying to get elected governor in a pro-choice state. He promised NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts that he'd be a "good voice in the [Republican] party" for women's freedom and privacy.
What happened after Romney took office? He governed as a staunch opponent of a woman's right to choose.
Last night, Melissa Kogut, former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, went on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" to talk about Romney's deception:
- So anti-choice that he vetoed a bill that would have required doctors to provide emergency contraception to rape survivors. (Fortunately, the Massachusetts legislature enacted the legislation over Romney's veto.)
- So anti-choice that he supports defunding Planned Parenthood.
- So anti-choice that he voiced his support for a state constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception, which is what Mississippi's "personhood" measure would do.
That's the thing about Mitt Romney: the more you know him, the less you trust him.
The Washington Post is reporting today on a meeting Mitt Romney had with NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts in 2002.
Back then, when Romney was trying to get elected governor in a pro-choice state, he promised to be a "good voice in the [Republican] party" for women's freedom and privacy .
- He vetoed a bill giving rape survivors information about and timely access to emergency contraception. (Fortunately, the Massachusetts state legislature voted to override Gov. Romney's veto.)
- He said the repeal of Roe v. Wade would "absolutely" be a good day for America.
- He even voiced his support for a state constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception.
Find out more about Gov. Romney's record on choice, and judge for yourself whether he'd be a "good voice" for pro-choice Americans.
Planned Parenthood provided me with a supportive environment and education regarding birth control and other protective and preventative services that I did not (and perhaps could not) receive from other sources - including my primary care provider at the time. Because of Planned Parenthood I remain healthy, protected, and the master of my own body and my future. Defunding PP would counter-productive, irresponsible, and absolutely dangerous. There is nothing that could replace PP as effectively, and there are few institutions as important in the fight to reduce unwanted pregnancies (and thus abortions), and to provide all women with the services they need.
Elizabeth Shipp is the Political Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America.
This one's for all our friends in Massachusetts. You're ready to keep your state's U.S. Senate seat in pro-choice hands, right?
I'm not writing to remind you that there's a special election happening next Tuesday to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy. You've probably heard about that.
Because your vote for the only pro-choice candidate, Martha Coakley, is so important, I wanted to make sure you know about a critical deadline.
In case you won't be able to vote in person on Tuesday, January 19, you must apply to vote absentee by this Friday, January 15. That's TOMORROW!
Make sure you vote in this special election - whether by absentee ballot or in person. Martha Coakley is the only candidate who will continue Sen. Kennedy's pro-choice legacy.
Thanks for voting pro-choice!
(Photo source: Sen. Kennedy's Senate Web Page)
We are deeply saddened by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family today.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family today. They have lost a devoted father, husband, grandfather, and uncle, and the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts and all Americans have lost a great statesman and champion for progressive values.
Throughout his career, Sen. Edward Kennedy set a new standard as a voice for the powerless and inspired generations of Americans to strengthen their country by contributing through public service. He was a tireless advocate for women's equality and an eloquent guardian of the values of freedom and privacy, most notably as a leader on health care and judicial nominations.
Sen. Kennedy never wavered in his pursuit to do what was right for the American people. At a time when our country faces such significant challenges, we must pay tribute to Sen. Kennedy's legacy by following his example of moving forward, even against great odds and relentless opposition from opponents of progress.
You can read the full statement on our website and if you're interested in reading a great summary of the many statements from different political leaders, lawmakers, and advocacy groups, visit the Washington Post's round-up.
Please feel free to use the comment section to share your thoughts on the legacy of Sen. Kennedy and leave your sympathy and condolences for the Kennedy family.