Results tagged “NARAL Pro-Choice America” from Blog for Choice
Last night, NARAL Pro-Choice America hosted our Roe v. Wade 40th anniversary dinner. This year's event was particularly special, with Nancy Keenan giving her final address and Ilyse Hogue making her first speech as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"Women are thinking bigger thoughts and dreaming bigger dreams for our families and for our futures than ever before. But we cannot do that unless our foundational rights are secured. And those foundational rights will not be secure until we challenge our political leaders to match policy to the real lives of real women today."
Check out a few of the great photos from the event:
Ross Mathews of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and E!'s hit late-night talk show, Chelsea Lately, was our emcee for the evening, and had everyone laughing away:
"Am I crazy? It's 2013, not 1913, right? Let's get real. We are all here tonight because we share a deep common value: a belief in women's freedom and privacy."
This year's event theme was "Every Decision Has a Story." We introduced our new campaign Choice Out Loud, and shared its first initiative, "40," a stop-motion film of 40 pro-choice faces photographed by an incredible range of advertising, fashion, editorial and news photographers.
Stories were front and center this year. Dana Weinstein shared a heartbreaking story about receiving the diagnosis of a severe fetal abnormality late in her much-wanted pregnancy. Dana explained how difficult it was to get the care she needed. Ever since her tragic experience, Dana has been a courageous advocate for protecting a woman's right to choose:
"I am deeply grateful to NARAL and the women and men just a generation before mine - many of whom are in this room tonight - who fought for decades to gain abortion rights. Your support of the pro-choice movement made it possible for me to have a choice about what was right for my family. And now, it is my generation and the ones that follow that need to raise our voices, become involved, and actively join this fight."
Of course we know that electing pro-choice leaders is the best way to protect this right. That's why we were thrilled to have scores of pro-choice members of Congress in the room including Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D - IL), who introduced Nancy Keenan.
Our surprise guest is also working hard to protect choice for women. President Barack Obama sent a video thanking Nancy Keenan and NARAL Pro-Choice America, and welcoming Ilyse Hogue to the organization. Watch it here:
Our keynote speaker, Stephanie Cutter, deputy director of the 2012 Obama campaign, spoke about the importance of political action and the challenges that lie ahead. She thanked Nancy Keenan for her dedicated work over the last eight years and welcomed Ilyse Hogue:
"It was the way we responded, rose up and rallied together that made this past year so remarkable. It was the fact that we didn't just make this a question of choice; it was a question of respect and independence. It wasn't just political, it was personal.
Ilyse, as you grab the torch that is being passed to you, I know you'll be bringing with you a unique understanding of the power of grassroots organizing and the power of our voices. And I want you to know that we have your back."
The audience agreed with thunderous applause.
We couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to hear remarks from such an amazing group of pro-choice leaders and activists. And we're ready to take on the anti-choice challenges that lie ahead.
Nancy Keenan, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, will hand off the organization to new president Ilyse Hogue at the Roe v. Wade anniversary dinner this week.
My time as president has officially come to an end, and I will say the fondest of farewells to our supporters, my coworkers, and friends at our annual Roe v. Wade anniversary dinner tomorrow here in Washington, D.C.
Before I head off on my next adventure, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for eight amazing years of fighting for women's reproductive freedom and privacy.
Together, we've accomplished so much thanks to your strong commitment and willingness to take action in support of a woman's right to choose. Here are just a few highlights:
- Since 2005, we have lobbied more than 50 votes on choice-related issues in Congress and worked in partnership with our affiliates on more than 4,000 choice-related bills in the states.
- In 2008 and again last year, we played a leading role in sending President Barack Obama to the White House and electing other pro-choice champions across the country.
- We fought relentlessly to improve women's access to birth control - and we won when the Obama administration adopted no-cost birth-control coverage.
- Most recently, we helped convince Congress to lift the ban that prohibited servicewomen who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault from using their military health plans to cover abortion care.
These are accomplishments we can truly be proud of.
Welcoming a new president at any organization is a big moment, and I couldn't be more proud and excited to turn reins of the organization over to Ilyse Hogue, the new president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
I have every confidence in the changes to come for the organization. And I know that I can count on you to stand by Ilyse, help her grow our base, and protect a woman's right and access to abortion for decades ahead.
Thank you again for your unparalleled support, commitment, and friendship. Your work in the pro-choice movement will be recognized and appreciated by generations to come.
This week, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, zipped all over town to talk about the importance of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that recognized that women have the fundamental right to safe and legal abortion care.
CNN was her first stop of the day. Nancy had a spirited conversion with CNN's Carol Costello about the current state of the pro-choice movement, and our continued work to protect women's reproductive freedom.
Nancy also, joined by Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore (D), spoke with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC about how the fight for choice has now moved to the states.
Nancy also discussed choice at the state level with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow:
"It's no longer about the legality which was the battle of Roe, making abortion legal in this country. It has now become a debate and a fight around access...This is the most extreme pressure on women, that the ultimate decision is not with her, it is with a politician here in Washington, D.C., or in the state Capitols."
But that's not all. Nancy also sat down with Gwen Ifill on PBS NewsHour to debate the future of choice with Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of anti-choice group Americans United for Life.
The celebration of Roe continued when Nancy released an op-ed via CNN affirming the significant role Millenials will play in protecting a woman's right to choose:
"During the past two presidential elections, we have seen Millennials' ability to exercise their power, speak up and change the fabric of our nation. Many are speaking up online, in the voting booth, at the grass-roots level and in the hallways of our organizations. They are telling their stories and charting their own path, but it is critical that we create pathways to broaden and build a new conversation about protecting women's reproductive health."
We know that these last four decades have challenged us to stand our ground against anti-choice extremists who work every day to overturn of Roe v. Wade - or at least render it meaningless. But we're not alone: 70 percent of Americans believe that Roe should remain intact.
With your help, we will work to ensure reproductive rights don't become a thing of the past.
To all of you who contributed pro-choice blog posts, your Facebook posts and your Twitter tweets, we thank you for making our Blog For Choice Day 2013 a fantastic success!
By sharing our stories, we can connect personal beliefs about a woman's right to choose with political action.
That is why it is so important for the pro-choice majority to share their stories and experiences.
Erin Matson shared her story about being pro-choice and pregnant:
I strongly support and celebrate the right to abortion without shame, stigma or obstacles designed to make legal abortion practically impossible to obtain. Yet, the conversation needs to be broader to include those of us with wanted pregnancies who are placed in grave danger by outright bans, funding restrictions and other obstacles to abortion. In the past year we lost a happily pregnant, and later dangerously sick, Savita Halappanavar, who asked for an abortion that would have saved her life but couldn't get one due to "pro-life" rigidity. There is nothing that justifies her death.
Pam's House Blend discussed the growing intensity of the anti-choice movement:
It is clear that the individuals and organizations opposed to legal abortion are quickly adapting new strategies and tactics to advance their agenda. While anti-choice organizations have had some success in restricting access to abortion through the public policy process over the last four decades, their efforts to deny women options have evolved in recent years. No longer content to simply set up barriers through the legal process, the movement has redefined the word "access" and built a national network of unlicensed and unregulated "crisis pregnancy centers" with the sole intention of convincing women, sometimes through manipulation and lies, to carry their pregnancies to term. Women are already making decisions about their pregnancies in a world of inequality, limiting access and sharing mis-information only makes these decisions more difficult.
What makes Blog For Choice Day one of our favorite events is the unique variety of stories and posts pro-choice individuals share with us, such as this one from Angry Black Bitch:
I blog for reproductive justice...
I blog for the right to have children...
I blog for the right not to have children...
I blog for the right to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.
My passion to be an advocate for the Pro-choice movement is kept strong because my family has been affected by the very thing that would have continued to happen if Roe vs. Wade had not gone in our favor. The same thing could also happen if abortion becomes outlawed in the future.
When my grandmother was two years old, she had an older brother, a younger brother, and her mother had discovered that she was expecting again. Her parents struggled to make ends meet as it was and it was even worse because they were living during the Great Depression. Her mother felt she had no other choice but to try to end her pregnancy since her husband and herself were already trying desperately to feed the family they already had. We are unsure whether or not she resorted to a back-alley abortion by some person she didn't know, asked a trusted friend to assist her, or bravely tried to take on this feat by herself but an abortion was performed and she died soon afterwards. She was so desperate to try to make the right decision for her family that she risked and lost her own life.
Not only would many women lose their lives but many children would lose their mother and many men would lose their wives if abortion was completely outlawed. Abortion is a last resort not something that someone plans to do. It should always stay a viable option that could be considered by the families and women in a desperate situation.
I stand in solidarity with my sisters who have had abortions. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who have wanted an abortion but have not been able to afford one or have not been able to obtain one. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who have died from illegal and botched abortions. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who fight daily against the misogynistic patriarchal "pro-life" movement. I stand in solidarity with my sisters who are at the forefront of the reproductive justice movement.
I do not believe everyone should have abortions, but I do believe with every inch of me, including the cells of my daughter that will float inside me forever, that I do not get to make reproductive decision for others.You can find more awesome posts from Blog for Choice Day 2013 on our website.
Therefore, yes, becoming a mother has changed my feminism. It has made me more radical and adamant to ensure that she can make her own decisions when the time comes. I pray to all the gods that she will come to me for advice, but I know there is a chance she will not.
I fight for reproductive justice for not just my daughter, but also everyone out there.
* Blog for Choice Day posts are submitted freely to NARAL Pro-Choice America. Links to external content do not represent endorsement.
Tarek Rizk is the communications director at NARAL Pro-Choice America
My first week or so here as communications director at NARAL Pro-Choice America has been amazing. I've been working with a great group of folks on the exciting Choice Out Loud campaign, we launched the Who Decides? report on the state of choice in America, and we announced Ilyse Hogue as the next president of the organization. All that as we mark 40 years since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman's right to choose.
In my position I'm honored to help NARAL Pro-Choice America think about the language we use to tell our story and engage our base of activists while reaching out to new people. This week, we're talking a lot about the word "choice" and how it helps us connect with different folks.
We believe the language of "choice" is a powerful tool to help people understand what is at risk and what we're fighting so hard to protect. I see the conversation about choice expanding as our community grows and changes. "Choice" isn't solely a political expression. "Choice" also points to the very personal and sometimes difficult decisions made by women who deserve privacy and respect.
As opponents of women exercising their reproductive rights have broadened their attack, I think it's important that NARAL Pro-Choice America also see "choice" in much broader terms. Choice means having access to birth control and choosing when to make the personal and financial commitment to bring a child into the world. It means taking steps to ensure you can provide for and protect that child to the best of your ability. It means you, and not the government, decide whether you become a parent.
Finally, it's worth noting that "pro-choice" is a term we use to describe ourselves and our work. We don't ask our friends and activists to wear a label. As a new generation of young people who support a woman's right to control her body and her life joins our ranks, the labels we use matter less. As we saw at the ballot box in 2012, attacks on this fundamental right drew a strong response from voters of all ages. Yesterday the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released data showing that 63 percent of respondents oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. This strong support for what we call pro-choice values has held at this level for decades.
So, in the 40 years since an energized group of passionate women and men marched and rallied and fought for the right to choose, the language has changed and will continue to change. But the values that support this intensely personal and important right have never wavered. And neither will we.
Today, the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation announced that Ilyse Hogue has been chosen to succeed Nancy Keenan as president of the organization.
"I am absolutely thrilled to be given the honor of leading this great organization," Hogue said. "This is a critical moment to engage a new generation of young people in the conversation about what choice means in a modern age. We have a unique opportunity to ignite the pro-choice values most Americans share, solidify our longstanding pro-choice base, and expand its reach moving forward."
We welcome Ilyse to NARAL Pro-Choice America and can't wait to see her propel the organization to new heights.
It's that time of year again, and we're here to announce the winners of our annual Hall of Fame and Shame contest!
We tallied your votes, and this year's winner of NARAL Pro-Choice America's Hall of Fame is: President Barack Obama!
From securing no-cost birth-control coverage, to battling out anti-choice presidential candidate Mitt Romney for re-election, to standing with survivors of rape in the military, it's been a big year for our pro-choice president.
We thank President Obama for his hard work protecting women's access to abortion and birth control.
We know that for every pro-choice superstar, there's an anti-choice extremist trying to take away women's reproductive-health care. And that person is the newest member of our anti-choice annual Hall of Shame: Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).
You may remember Akin's famous gaffe about "legitimate rape," which set off a chain reaction of outrageous comments from other extreme anti-choice candidates.
The backlash from Rep. Akin's comment just goes to show that when politicians try to get between a woman and her doctor, pro-choice voters will find a way to legitimately shut that whole thing down.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Hall of Fame and Shame contest!
This week, we headed to the Center for American Progress where Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, spoke on the panel about "Women's Political Power in 2012."
The panel featured some truly inspiring women: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI); Stephanie Cutter, deputy manager of the Obama campaign; and Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress.
The panelists discussed the vital role women played in re-electing pro-choice President Barack Obama, and the significance of electing more women to Congress this year.
As you may remember, NARAL Pro-Choice America's electoral strategy was designed to reach "Obama defectors," women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but were not yet committed to voting for him again in 2012. And as we predicted in our model, women made all the difference in the election.
But even though we saw great wins for women and pro-choice candidates this election cycle, anti-choice lawmakers clearly didn't get the memo.
This year, women showed up at the polls and shut down some of the most extreme anti-choice candidates. Still, Keenan reminded us that the fight against anti-choice legislation continues on the state level:
"We have twenty-one states in this country that are led by an anti-choice governor, House, and Senate. Twenty-one states. That means there's no one to protect women from the worst legislation politicians can imagine and draft. So, the fact is we all have to stay involved. We have a job to do."
We've already seen extreme anti-choice legislation pop up in several states post-election, and we're ready to take them head-on.
Thank you, Nancy, for contributing to this panel of amazing women who work every day to protect women's freedom and privacy.
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.
Our own Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, stopped by The Rachel Maddow Show last night to talk about the recent slew of outrageous anti-choice comments from the campaign trail.
Most recently, we heard Richard Mourdock, who is running for Senate in Indiana, say that pregnancy resulting from rape is "something that God intended to happen."
But that's not all. Rep. Paul Ryan has called rape just another "method of conception." And Rep. Todd Akin drew national attention by claiming that pregnancy rarely occurs from a "legitimate rape" because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Romney has not withdrawn his endorsement of Richard Mourdock. In fact, the only candidate that Mitt Romney has supported in a campaign ad is Mourdock. Has Romney told Mourdock to take down the ads? No.
President Obama spoke out against Mourdock's comments on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in front of millions of viewers: "This is exactly why you don't want politicians - mostly male - making decisions about women's health care decisions." His campaign released its own ad so that voters know where the Romney-Ryan ticket stands.
Romney's refusal to withdraw his endorsement shows voters that he is anything but moderate on choice.
As Nancy Keenan stated, "The American public is not stupid. And I think they're going to see through [the Romney-Ryan ticket] and understand that there's only one person who supports a woman's right to choose, and that's President Barack Obama."
We are horrified by these anti-choice comments and appalled that Romney refuses to withdraw his endorsement for Mourdock.
On November 6, make sure you support the candidate who trusts women to make their own personal decisions: pro-choice President Barack Obama.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
We're only 47 days away from the 2012 presidential election. That means we're all hands on deck encouraging pro-choice Americans to go to the polls on November 6 and vote for President Obama.
Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice America released its research on "Obama Defectors." These are women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but are currently not voting for him, weakly supporting him, or not voting at all in 2012.
Our election plan is all about microtargeting - using new technology to get the precise pro-choice women voters who we think will make all the difference for President Obama.
Here's what leading media organizations had to say about our plan:
"We think these 25 counties are the ones that are going to decide this election," NARAL Political Director Elizabeth Shipp said during a press briefing Wednesday.
NARAL President Nancy Keenan said her organization's "new and vigorous model" identifying these female voters could very well help get Obama re-elected. "Our job is to communicate with these voters about why they need to vote for [Obama]," she said.
On NARAL's campaign, Keenan said her organization worked with Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to identify 5.1 million women nationwide who are most likely to be Obama defectors who support abortion rights.
GQRR Vice President Drew Lieberman called the NARAL effort efficient, strategic and unique..."It puts them in a position to have a really meaningful impact on this election," he said.
NARAL Pro-Choice America plans to target pro-choice "Obama defector" women this election cycle to help secure a Barack Obama second term.
Their goal: To win over pro-choice female voters who voted for Obama in 2008 but are not planning to vote for him, do not plan to turn out, or are only weakly supporting him in 2012.
NARAL policy director Beth Shipp explained that a lot of the pro-choice shift away from Obama has nothing to do with abortion but rather the economy, which "still sucks" she noted.
"Those people are still pro-choice and if you talk to them about choice and relay to them how important it is this election and why their reproductive rights are at risk they can come back to the fold," Shipp said, recalling that past NARAL polling has shown that some pro-choicers will vote for a candidate based on his abortion stance alone.
This fall, there is going to be a relatively small group of women voters who may be very, very sick of hearing from NARAL Pro-Choice America by Election Day on Nov. 6. Like most of those involved in politics this election year, the abortion rights advocacy group says that women will determine the outcome of the contest on Nov. 6 between Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
But unlike most, the group has identified, by name and address, the thousands of women across the country that it thinks might make the difference - and it plans to go after their votes, and in a big way, but in small numbers - in many cases as few as 1,000 or 2,000 in an individual county.
Echoing the findings of political scientists, Naral said its research shows that many women who favor abortion rights will change their vote to support a pro-choice candidate, even if the U.S. economy is the issue that most concerns them this election year. And to convince them to do so, it plans to send 1.2 million pieces of mail, use volunteers to make telephone calls, use social media advertising and and buy commercial spots on cable television, targeting its spots to the specific voters in the individual counties.
We're confident that our Obama Defectors Model could make a huge difference in the upcoming election. Once we show pro-choice women voters just how anti-choice the Romney-Ryan ticket is, we can have a measurable impact in making sure President Obama is re-elected to a second term in the White House.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
The first phase of President Obama's contraceptive-coverage policy is in effect!
What does this mean for women? One in three women struggles with the cost of birth control - but all that is about to come to an end. Preventive-health services -including birth control, breastfeeding support, and screening for gestational diabetes- are now available without a copay.
This is a huge step forward in women's health. But we aren't sitting back and relaxing.
Why? Because this important policy is under attack in Congress and across the country.
Yesterday, anti-choice politicians compared Obama's contraceptive-coverage policy to the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11. That's outrageous!
Yesterday, in celebration of this huge advancement for women, and to counter attacks on this fantastic policy, our affiliates hosted local events in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, our fabulous activists held a visibility event thanking President Obama for making this important advancement for women possible. Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, stood up for women during a TV appearance.
In Concord, New Hampshire, birth-control supporters gathered outside Rep. Charles Bass' office to trumpet the new policy. Bass has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its birth-control policy.
In Columbus, Ohio, activists gathered outside of anti-choice Sen. Rob Portman's office to show him that his constituents support the contraceptive-coverage policy. Sen. Portman has been a high-profile opponent of birth control.
Activists in Portland, Oregon gathered for a "Walk for Women's Health." Special guests included Senate Majority Speaker Diane Rosenbaum, state Representative Lew Frederick, and state Representative Elisa Kenny-Geyer.
In Richmond, Virginia, birth-control advocates took to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office. Cuccinelli unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the health-reform law - including the important birth-control policy - in court.
Watch our activists and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in this great TV interview.
Let's have a big round of applause for these star activists, and especially for pro-choice President Obama who made this historic improvement for women possible.
On Tuesday, North Dakota voters overwhelmingly rejected Measure 3, a dangerous and unnecessary ballot initiative.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised the coalition that rallied to defeat Measure 3:
Tonight's victory belongs to the people of North Dakota who stood up for religious freedom by defeating the divisive Measure 3. This ballot measure could have allowed discrimination and health-care refusals and tied up the state in costly legal battles. The message to anti-choice groups is clear: voters are tired of your divisive attacks that undermine the fundamental American values of freedom and privacy.
Our NARAL team in North Dakota and our allies knocked on hundreds of doors in a massive get-out-the-vote effort.
Thank you, North Dakota!
This win marks the 10th pro-choice victory out of the 11 ballot measures affecting reproductive rights that have appeared before voters since 2005. This list includes the defeat of two abortion bans in South Dakota and a so-called "personhood" amendment last November in Mississippi.
Paid for by North Dakota Healthy Families Opposing Measure 3.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, today announced that her organization's political action committee proudly endorses President Obama's bid for a second term.
NARAL Pro-Choice America's independent expenditure operation released this new video highlighting President Obama's dedication to women's health and families:
President Obama has been a tireless leader for women's reproductive health, and NARAL Pro-Choice America will engage its one-million member activists and the pro-choice community to support him in this upcoming election.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Last night, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, went on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."
In her first televised interview since announcing her departure at the end of the year, Nancy spoke with Rachel about the need to allow a new generation to take the reins of the pro-choice movement:
Thank you, Nancy!
The chairs of the boards of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation announced today that President Nancy Keenan has chosen not to renew her contract, which expires at the end of December this year.
Keenan, who took the reins of the organization in December 2004, will continue her strong and successful leadership at the helm, including the organization's electoral efforts, until the completion of her contract to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, has a new guest post over at Latinovations' La Plaza blog.
She writes about the new no-cost birth control regulations--especially, about how this new policy will benefit Latinas:
Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control during their lifetime.
Yet for many women, it's simply too expensive. One in three women has struggled with the high cost of prescription birth control. And 50 percent of Latinas say there has been a time when the high cost of prescription contraception meant they couldn't use it consistently.
The consequences are staggering. Young adults ages 18-24 have the highest rate of unintended pregnancy in the United States -and nearly one-third of female teenagers become pregnant before reaching the age of 20. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended.
Thankfully, the days of unaffordable birth control will end soon. In July, a panel of medical experts recommended that prescription birth control be considered preventive care under the new health-care law.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius accepted the panel's recommendations. This means that newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay...
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) is expected to announce his candidacy for president this weekend.
Perry is Texas' longest-serving governor, having succeeded George W. Bush in 2000, and his nascent campaign is getting a ton of attention. But what do we really know about Rick Perry?
Well, my staff and I have been working to answer that question, sifting through voting records and other material as several individuals declared their intention to run for president. This is part of our work to connect the personal with the political. How a candidate voted on choice or what actions he or she took as governor tell us a lot about what he or she would do if elected president.
In this spirit, we recently analyzed the records of Gov. Perry and 11 other announced and potential GOP presidential candidates.
Gov. Perry's choice-related actions as governor of Texas are dominated by anti-choice positions.
So, what kind of effect do these laws have on women's freedom and privacy?
Many of the laws he signed inject political interference into women's private decision-making. Gov. Perry signed into law a measure that would require women to receive a state-mandated lecture that includes medically inaccurate information before they can access abortion care. He then signed additional legislation amending the law to force some women to make two trips to the provider before receiving abortion care.
Just this year, Gov. Perry signed into law a bill requiring that a woman seeking abortion care undergo an ultrasound--even if she does not want one, and even if her doctor does not recommend it.
He's taken strong stances in support of anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs). One law he helped to enact established "choose life" license plates, which allocate funding for CPCs. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has been a leader in documenting how CPCs often mislead, misinform, harass, and intimidate women. A recent investigation found that several CPCs in Texas had racked up numerous safety and privacy violations.
And how's this for supporting anti-choice ideology? Gov. Perry signed a proclamation declaring April 2009 "Abortion Recovery Awareness Month" in Texas. The proclamation claims that abortion "often leads to lasting emotional and mental health problems for the mother..." Perry is not alone in the primary field, as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also signed a similar proclamation in his state. This proclamation uses recycled and inflammatory anti-choice rhetoric that's out of step with sound science. Just check out the studies that have examined the wide range of complex experiences and feelings women have regarding abortion.
We have talked a lot about our concerns with Gov. Perry's record, but I assure you that we report the good and the bad. Gov. Perry has taken a couple of pro-choice actions. For example, Gov. Perry signed into law a measure that improves sex education for young people. And in 2003, he enacted a law ensuring that health plans that cover prescription medication also cover birth control. However, Perry effectively reversed this law two years later when he signed into law a measure allowing insurers to offer two health plans to employers--one plan that guarantees coverage of all mandated services, including contraception, and another that does not.
It would be interesting for reporters surrounding him in South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa to ask him his thoughts on the Department of Health and Human Services' recent decision to accept medical experts' recommendation that insurance plans cover contraception without an additional copay.
A handful of pro-choice actions aside, the prospect of President Perry should make us very worried. He has made inflammatory statements indicating how he would govern as an anti-choice president, calling Roe v. Wade "a shameful footnote in our nation's history books" and "a stark reminder that our culture and our country are still in peril."
Let's not forget that the president has tremendous influence over reproductive-health policy in the United States. How much influence? See our publication, The Powers of the President: Reproductive Freedom and Choice.
As the 2012 campaign heats up, NARAL Pro-Choice America will continue to be your source for analysis of Gov. Perry and the other announced and potential Republican candidates.
For now, as the media hoopla surrounds Gov. Perry, we encourage Americans who value freedom and privacy to share this information with friends and family. It's never too early to take a look at the record of someone who wants to live in the White House.
Tomorrow morning, I'll be heading to Minneapolis for Netroots Nation. It's one of my favorite events of the whole year -- a great chance for progressive activists to get together, plan strategy, engage in panel discussions, and make new friends. I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces, as well as meeting new pro-choice, progressive activists.
Ted Miller, communications director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, Elizabeth Shipp, our political director, and Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, will join me in Minneapolis. I'll post updates on my Facebook page and live-tweet.
NARAL Pro-Choice America is a sponsor of Netroots Nation, and we'll have a booth set up. Stop by for some pro-choice gear, and learn more about how to stop the War on Women.
Take a look at some of the great sessions, including Protecting Reproductive Rights in Your State and The War on Contraception.
Will I see you there?