Results tagged “Mississippi” from Blog for Choice
Despite the fact that seven in 10 Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, politicians across the country continue to propose anti-choice legislation that chips away at women's reproductive rights.
In North and South Dakota, anti-choice politicians are mounting these attacks at an alarming rate.
From so-called "personhood" measures, to bills that ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, to unnecessary waiting periods for women who seek abortion care, women's access to reproductive-health care is becoming more and more restricted.
Alisha Sedor, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, commented on anti-choice lawmakers' recent attempts to extend the forced-waiting period for women seeking abortion care in the state:
"H.B.1237, if passed, will severely limit access to abortion in South Dakota, making it virtually impossible for women to access needed reproductive health-care. The measure could make it impossible for the state's only comprehensive women's health clinic to continue providing abortion services, effectively banning abortion in South Dakota."
And just like South Dakota, many of these anti-choice initiatives are being pushed forward in states which may only have one abortion clinic in the entire state. An upcoming film, "The Last Clinic", highlights the attacks on choice and the unknown fate of Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic.
Nick Wunder, a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department and a South Dakota native, worked on the ground with our affiliate in that state to stop these extreme anti-choice attacks to women's freedom and privacy.
We've got great news! Today, a "personhood" measure in Colorado failed to qualify for the ballot in November.
That's probably because Colorado voters know "personhood" measures are so extreme that they could ban abortion, outlaw most modern forms of contraception, and could even restrict in vitro fertilization and stem-cell research.
Last November, Mississippians overwhelmingly rejected a "personhood" measure that would have outlawed abortion care under all circumstances.
So where do the candidates running for the highest office in the nation stand on extreme "personhood" measures? Let's look at the contrasting positions of President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney.
President Obama, who has been a steadfast champion of women's freedom and privacy, opposes "personhood" laws.
"The president believes that extreme amendments like this would do real damage to a woman's constitutional right to make her own health care decisions, including some very personal decisions on contraception and family planning."
Where does Mitt Romney stand on "personhood" laws?
When asked if he would have "supported a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?" Romney replied, "Absolutely."
So let's get this straight.
Romney supports "personhood" measures that would ban abortion, most modern forms of contraception, and even restrict fertility treatments.
President Obama unequivocally opposes "personhood" laws because they "would do real damage to a woman's constitutional right to make her own health care decisions."
The difference between these candidates couldn't be clearer.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Everyone is talking about Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) outrageous statement that abortion isn't necessary for survivors of "legitimate" rape. He said they rarely get pregnant because the "female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down."
The Romney-Ryan campaign tried to distance itself from the statement, but Rep. Ryan's (R-Wis.) record tells a very different story.
Rep. Paul Ryan cosponsored extreme "personhood" legislation that, if passed and enacted, would ban abortion in almost all cases, including rape or incest. And Mitt Romney supported the Mississippi "personhood" initiative that, if passed, would have done the same thing.
Last year, Rep. Ryan joined with Rep. Akin to cosponsor H.R. 3, a bill that could have effectively redefined "rape."
The original version of H.R. 3 would have blocked a woman's access to abortion coverage unless she was a survivor of "forcible rape." Really?! What's more, when given the chance to apologize for his offensive comment, Rep. Akin explained that when he said "legitimate" rape, he meant to say "forcible" rape.
Don't be fooled. Whatever Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) may have said about Rep. Akin's comments, those views mirror the values and agenda of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
In November, pro-choice voters will show Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan exactly how out of touch they are with America's priorities and values.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
If Mitt Romney is trying to get women to vote for him in November, it's surprising that he'd pick a running mate who wants to pass a "personhood" measure.
That's right. Rep. Paul Ryan cosponsored "personhood" legislation that is so extreme that, if passed, it would ban abortion care in almost all cases, including rape or incest.
The bill he cosponsored could even outlaw several of the most common forms of birth control, restrict fertility treatments, and put an end to stem-cell research.
Watch this great segment from Rachel Maddow on Rep. Ryan's horrible record:
Doesn't Romney know that voters in blue and red states alike have said no to "personhood" measures?
And voters in Mississippi decisively defeated a "personhood" ballot measure last November.
Clearly, voters across the country are saying no to "personhood" measures. That's why they must vote no on the pro-"personhood" Romney-Ryan ticket on November 6.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Some good news out of Mississippi: yesterday, a federal judge temporarily blocked a new law that could have forced the state's only abortion provider to close.
Anti-choice politicians in the Magnolia State admitted that this law was designed to prevent women from receiving safe, legal abortion care.
Anti-choice state Rep. Bubba Carpenter was particularly candid about his intentions:
And of course, there you have the other side. They're like, "Well, the poor pitiful women that can't afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger. That's what we've learned over and over and over."
But hey, you have to have moral values.
Fortunately, Mississippi voters are a few steps ahead of their politicians. Last November, Mississippians overwhelmingly rejected a "personhood" measure that would have outlawed abortion care under all circumstances.
But I guess anti-choice politicians never got the memo.
The fight in Mississippi is only getting started, but yesterday's court ruling is a victory for women.
Last week, I told you about "October Baby," a new movie that's generating a lot of buzz.
The filmmakers claim "October Baby" is just a coming-of-age story with no political agenda.
That's an interesting claim, given the filmmakers' ties to extreme right-wing groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family. The filmmakers even did screenings of "October Baby" to help support the Mississippi's failed "personhood" initiative.
What's more, 10 percent of the profits from "October Baby" go to fund organizations that match the description of anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs)--facilities that regularly deceive and lie to women seeking abortion care.
Whether someone wants to make a film with a political bias is not the issue. The point is that American moviegoers have the right to know whether their ticket dollars are going to fund organizations that mislead women.
That's why we're calling for a meeting with Doug Morris, the CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. (Provident Films, the distributor of "October Baby," is a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.)
We want to educate Mr. Morris' company about the danger CPCs pose to women's health.
CPCs rely on secrecy and deception in their efforts to trick women. They're counting on people not knowing how they really operate.
That's why it's so important that we get the word out.
Sign our letter to Doug Morris today! The American people deserve to know if their money's going to CPCs.
Could a movie with an anti-choice agenda be coming to a theater near you?
Today's New York Times had a story on the new movie "October Baby," which made $2.8 million in its opening week.
"October Baby" bills itself as a coming-of-age story with no political agenda. But a closer look at the filmmakers and the groups behind this movie reveals a troubling connection with the extreme anti-choice movement.
Who's behind "October Baby"?
You'll notice that the movie's website lists several supporting anti-choice organizations.
Focus on the Family and the American Family Association are among the groups that support extreme "personhood" measures.
Last November, the American Family Association campaigned aggressively for a "personhood" initiative in Mississippi that would have banned abortion care without exception, and could also have outlawed most common forms of birth control.
The filmmakers, Andrew and Jon Erwin, even did screenings of "October Baby" to help support the "personhood" initiative.
But the people behind Mississippi "personhood" aren't giving up. They're pushing similar measures in other states.
Who's getting money from "October Baby"?
The movie's website lists Care Net and Heartbeat International as partners. They're umbrella organizations that support anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs).
Ten percent of the profits from "October Baby" go to fund organizations that match the description of Care Net CPCs. That's more than $280,000 funneled in the last week alone toward misleading women!
So, here's why moviegoers should have concerns about how this financial arrangement affects women.
CPCs are anti-choice operations that pose as 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.
Investigations by NARAL Pro-Choice America state affiliates and HBO's documentary "12th & Delaware" have shown that CPCs regularly provide false or misleading information.
A CPC in Florida even suggested to one woman that her abusive boyfriend would stop abusing her if she carried her pregnancy to term.
There are more than 4,000 CPCs operating throughout the country; they outnumber health centers that provide abortion care by a 4:1 margin.
Sometimes, a movie's just a movie--but that's not the case with "October Baby."
Please feel free to share this information and check your local movie listings.
The "personhood amendment," granting legal rights to human embryos, might have seemed to be a political nonstarter after voters in Mississippi, arguably the most conservative and anti-abortion state in the nation, rejected such a proposal last month. But the idea has not faded in the Republican primaries.
Oh, no, it has not.
Next Tuesday, December 27, Republican presidential aspirants Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum will attend a special radio forum hosted by Personhood USA, the extreme anti-choice group pushing these "personhood" measures nationwide.
Memo to candidates: when 58 percent of voters in a state that has one of the worst grades on choice think something's too extreme, it's probably too extreme.
Speaking of 58 percent, that's also the percent of Virginians who oppose a proposed "personhood" bill that anti-choice lawmakers in the Old Dominion have made the first new bill of the opening legislative session.
But it looks like extreme isn't taking a break for the holidays.
P.S. And, if you're around on December 27, please consult our website for info on the presidential candidates.
Thousands of people have spoken, and the winner of this year's NARAL Pro-Choice America Hall of Fame is:
This coalition of faith leaders, reproductive-justice and pro-choice allies, and other Mississippi-based groups successfully convinced their neighbors to reject a dangerous and far-reaching "personhood" measure.
Hats off to them!
And while we celebrate our pro-choice heroes, we recognize that 2011 brought a slew of new attacks on women's freedom and privacy, ranging from the tragic to the ridiculous.
Every bushel has its rotten apples, and this year, Fox News Channel was voted rottenest of them all.
Remember when a Fox News commentator compared insurance coverage of birth control to manicures and pedicures?
Remember when Bill O'Reilly said that many women won't use birth control because they're "blasted out of their minds when they have sex," and then said no-cost birth control would increase unemployment?
Remember when Sean Hannity said birth control is "not about women's health?"
We remember. And it looks like you did, too.
Fox News Channel is the newest member of the Hall of Shame.
Last night, at the final Republican presidential debate of 2011, former Gov. Mitt Romney fielded a question about how he flip-flopped on the issue of choice.
Romney has answered the question about his flip-flop on many occasions; now, he needs to articulate why he has endorsed multiple extreme efforts to allow politicians to interfere in a woman's personal, private decisions.
So, here are three different $10,000 questions for the governor:
- In October, you told Gov. Huckabee that you "absolutely" supported a state constitutional amendment to define life at conception, similar to Initiative 26, Mississippi's failed "personhood" measure.
Such a measure would ban abortion care without exception: even in cases of rape or incest, and even when a woman's life or health is in danger. It could also outlaw in vitro fertilization and some of the most common methods of birth control.
However, after Mississippi voters overwhelming rejected Initiative 26, your campaign tried to re-explain your endorsement of a "human-life amendment" that would have established the beginning of life at conception.
Why are you supporting measures that voters in one of the most conservative states in the Union found too extreme?
- This year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two radical attacks on a woman's right to choose: H.R.3, the "Stupak on Steroids" bill, and H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill. Both bills effectively would ban private coverage of abortion care in health-insurance exchanges. (A large majority of private plans currently offer such coverage.) H.R.358 would also allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life.
President Obama signaled his intention to veto both bills if they should ever reach his desk.
As president, would you sign H.R.3, the "Stupak on Steroids" bill, or H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill?
- Gov. Romney, last month you proposed eliminating the Title X program, the nation's only dedicated family-planning program. Millions of Americans rely on Title X for birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care.
How do you propose that these Americans get access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care they need once you've eliminated Title X?
About two weeks ago, Mississippi voters decisively rejected Initiative 26, the extreme "personhood" measure. Initiative 26 would have banned abortion care without exception, and could also have outlawed in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
The defeat of a radical, anti-choice measure in one of the most conservative states in the Union is further evidence that the American people simply do not want attacks on a woman's right to make private medical decisions with her doctor.
But it seems the people behind these "personhood" measures didn't get the memo.
In Virginia, a "personhood" bill will be the very first order of business for the anti-choice state legislature in January.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said to expect this legislative session to be heavy on anti-choice attacks, light on job creation:
We have no doubt that this is just the beginning of an all-out series of legislative attacks on women's freedom and privacy.
People didn't see campaign literature or TV ads about advancing abortion bans, because voters were under the impression that creating jobs was the top priority. This agenda is out of touch with our commonwealth's values and priorities--and we will fight it every step of the way.
Moving west, yet another "personhood" measure could be on the ballot in Colorado in 2012. Voters in the Centennial State have already defeated such measures--twice!--by lopsided margins, but in the words of one "personhood" backer, "Now is not the time for quitting."
No, these extremists aren't quitting, and neither are we. Here's how Emilie Ailts, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, put it:
I think the voters have spoken out emphatically that they believe this is a personal choice.
I think that [the latest effort] is flying in the face of the wishes of the voters in this state.
I believe that it's very unfortunate that they spend every day of their lives working very hard to restrict the rights of women and their families.
We'll be working equally hard to meet these extreme attacks with force and determination everywhere they arise.
Time to head back to the ol' homestead for a healthy helping of homemade pumpkin pie. And things are looking good this year: Aunt Brenda finally put aside the creamed-corn casserole for some healthier (and tastier) options, and the Buffalo Bills have a winning record.
Harmony reigns at the dinner table, and it looks like we're going to get through the meal without an outburst, when...uh oh...Uncle Marvin.
Yes, Uncle Marv is back, and so are his politics. Now, he's grilling you about that Mississippi "personhood" initiative from earlier this month.
Fortunately, you know your stuff. You've checked out our info pages for the lowdown on how to talk about our pro-choice values in the face of hostile interrogators.
And it was talking about our values that defeated the "personhood" measure in Mississippi. You tell Uncle Marv all about how a coalition of faith leaders, students, reproductive-justice and pro-choice allies, and other groups successfully convinced their neighbors to reject a radical, anti-choice measure in one of the most conservative states in the Union.
You can even tell dear Uncle Marvin that the people behind the Mississippi vote are pushing "personhood" measures in other states in 2012--and that our nation's pro-choice majority will respond in these states with the same force and determination that we brought in Mississippi.
About 2012, you give Uncle Marv the facts on just how terrible all of the candidates for the Republican nomination for president would be for a woman's right to choose.
Now, maybe you changed Uncle Marv's mind, and maybe you didn't. But you did start a conversation about your belief that a woman's personal, private medical decisions should be made by her and her doctor--not politicians. And it's that conversation that Americans will have at dinner tables throughout the country as we gear up for the 2012 elections.
Reward yourself...have that extra slice of pumpkin pie.
Safe travels, and a very happy Thanksgiving.
Last week, Mississippi voters decisively rejected Initiative 26, the extreme "personhood" measure. Initiative 26 would have banned abortion care without exception, and could also have outlawed in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
This victory in one of the most conservative states in the Union would not have happened without the hard work of a broad coalition of faith leaders, reproductive-justice and pro-choice allies, and other Mississippi-based groups.
It also would not have happened without the dedication and effort of students at Mississippi's historically black colleges and universities.
Ms. magazine reports on how these students mobilized their friends and neighbors to defeat Initiative 26:
Students at Tougaloo held forums and a rally against 26; student organizers at Jackson State handed out flyers, educated their peers and mobilized at the "Hot Spot" for a Rock the Vote rally; Alcorn students proudly displayed "Vote NO on 26″ signs on the windshields of their cars. It was inspiring to see both women and men energized and participating in grassroots organizing on their campuses around what is not only a state issue, but also a national issue concerning reproductive rights.
Kudos to Mississippi students for standing up for women's freedom and privacy!
While we celebrate the victory in Mississippi, we must remember that much remains to be done. The people behind the "personhood" measure aren't giving up: they're pushing similar measures in at least six more states in 2012!
And, as Loretta Ross, national coordinator of SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, reminds us, last Tuesday's vote was not a total win for the women of Mississippi:
At the same time, Mississippi voters approved Initiative 27, a Voter ID exclusion initiative requiring government-issued identification in order to vote, a direct threat to the Voting Rights Act. Even on November 7, some black voters were questioned about their ID and their right to vote.
We'll continue to work with our allies in the reproductive-justice community to ensure that all women have the right to choose--and the right to protect that right to choose at the ballot box.
Coming on the heels of Mississippi voters' decisive rejection of Initiative 26, the extreme "personhood" measure, we have more evidence that American voters do not want politicians who attack women's freedom and privacy.
A new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America shows that President Obama's pro-choice position is shaping up to be a key asset for him in the 2012 election.
The poll revealed an identified group of women voters who supported the president in 2008 but are currently unsure about supporting his reelection. A large bloc of these voters says they would never vote for anyone running for president who opposes a woman's right to choose, regardless of that candidate's position on other issues.
Al Quinlan, president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, explained the implications of the findings:
There is a group of women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but are not currently supporting him, and these data suggests many of them should be in his camp. Choice provides an opening for President Obama and other Democrats to create a sharp contrast with anti-choice Republicans.
In 2012, we will continue to communicate with voters to highlight the contrast between President Obama and his anti-choice Republican opponents, and ensure that the White House stays safely in pro-choice hands.
Yesterday, Mississippi voters decisively rejected Initiative 26, the extreme "personhood" measure.
Initiative 26 would have banned abortion care without exception: even in cases of rape or incest, and even when a woman's life or health is in danger.
It could also have outlawed in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
Hats off to the coalition of faith leaders, reproductive-justice and pro-choice allies, and other Mississippi-based groups that, in the face of a tough environment, successfully convinced their neighbors to reject this dangerous and far-reaching measure.
We salute the voters in Mississippi who stood up for the fundamental American values of freedom and privacy. We especially applaud those women and men who volunteered in their communities to tell their neighbors about Initiative 26's intrusion into the private medical decisions of women in Mississippi.
The message from Mississippi is clear: An amendment that allows politicians to further interfere in our personal, private medical decisions, including a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion, is unacceptable. We will build on the momentum in Mississippi to fight similar attacks on choice that will be on state ballots in 2012.
Indeed, our work is only beginning.
The anti-choice groups behind Initiative 26 are pushing similar ballot measures for 2012 in California, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada.
In 2012, Montana voters will also face a parental-involvement measure that jeopardizes the health and safety of young women who, for fear of violence or in cases of incest, cannot turn to their parents.
In California, anti-choice forces are collecting signatures for ballot measures that also would impose a dangerous parental-involvement mandate and mandatory 48-hour delay on young women who seek abortion care.
And in Massachusetts, anti-choice groups are pushing for a voter referendum that would ban insurance coverage of abortion care.
It's all part of the War on Women you might not have heard of yet.
Our nation's pro-choice majority will respond in these states with the same force and determination that we brought in Mississippi.
In the run-up to the Mississippi vote, NARAL Pro-Choice America mobilized its 1,000 member activists in the state.
Over three nights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, along with our coalition partners, contacted more than 3,000 voters in the Magnolia State.
We ran Google ads educating voters that were seen nearly 7,000 times by people in Mississippi .
We also launched a nationwide public-education campaign through our 500,000-strong email list, and, thanks to donations of our generous supporters, helped Mississippians for Healthy Families run targeted ad buys. And nearly 1,000 of our Facebook fans proudly stood by the women of Mississippi by sharing our image macro.
Together, we started a conversation around our shared values and our belief that a woman and her doctor--not politicians--should make personal, private medical decisions. This conversation led to the defeat of a radical, anti-choice measure in one of the most conservative states in the Union.
We must continue this conversation with our friends, neighbors, and family-members to defeat the onslaught of anti-choice attacks coming onto the ballot in 2012. Leave a comment to let us know what you think about last night's victory, or join in the conversation happening on our Facebook page.
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.
Tomorrow, Mississippians will vote on Initiative 26, a "personhood" measure that would ban abortion care and possibly outlaw in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, has a new piece in The Huffington Post in which she explains how Mississippi's initiative is not an isolated case--it's part of a disturbing trend in anti-choice ballot measures:
What's happening in Mississippi is not just about Mississippi. We are already tracking multiple anti-choice ballot measures throughout the country. It's the War on Women you might not have heard of yet.
The anti-choice groups behind Initiative 26 are pushing similar ballot measures for 2012 in Florida, Ohio, Montana, and Nevada.
New polling from Public Policy Polling shows that Mississippi's vote could go either way.
Show your support for Mississippi women and families by sharing this image on your Facebook wall. And if you live in Mississippi, don't sit this one out. Vote NO on Initiative 26 tomorrow, November 8, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) is a master of insincerity.
He talks out of both sides of his mouth so often that people wonder where he stands on a woman's right to choose.
Last night, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, went on MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" to set the record straight:
Gov. Romney even voiced his support for a state constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception, which is what the "personhood" measure on the ballot in Mississippi this Tuesday would do.
These "personhood" measures ban abortion care, and could outlaw in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
Gov. Romney also supports eliminating all funding for Planned Parenthood and Title X, the nation's family-planning program.
As Nancy said, Americans want a president with conviction and authenticity. They won't get either in Mitt Romney.
Next Tuesday, Mississippians will vote on Initiative 26, a "personhood" measure that would ban abortion care and possibly outlaw in vitro fertilization and most types of birth control.
You can show your support for Mississippi women and families by sharing this image on your Facebook wall.
And if you live in Mississippi (or know people who do), be sure to go out and vote NO on Initiative 26 on Tuesday, November 8.
One week from today, Mississippians will vote on Initiative 26, Mississippi's "personhood" ballot measure. Initiative 26 would ban abortion care and possibly most types of birth control in the Magnolia State.
Today, BlogForChoice.com is proud to join HERvotes in a blog carnival dedicated to defeating this dangerous ballot measure.
HERvotes will post blog posts on the Mississippi "personhood" measure throughout the day.
If we spread the word far enough, we can reach every voter in Mississippi who believes in a woman's right to make personal, private medical decisions.