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Results tagged “Nancy Keenan” from Blog for Choice

Every Decision Has a Story: the Roe v. Wade 40th Anniversary Dinner


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.

As Ilyse said:

"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:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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.

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Politicians Push Early Abortion Bans


Despite voters' clear rejection of the War on Women in last year's election, anti-choice politicians continue to move extreme legislation in states across the country.

Anti-choice state lawmakers have introduced extreme early abortion bans, or so-called "heartbeat" bans, in Kentucky, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arkansas, and North Dakota.

These bills would ban abortion so early in a pregnancy that most women wouldn't even know they're pregnant.

On the Roe v. Wade anniversary, Nancy Keenan, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, debated Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, on PBS NewsHour about the anti-choice agenda in the states. Nancy reminded viewers that when voters get to weigh in on extreme measures like this, they decisively reject them at the polls:

"We see 'personhood' being introduced in Mississippi, and when the people have the actual opportunity to vote at that ballot box they vote "no" and they reject it. We saw the abortion ban in South Dakota twice defeated by the people. There was outrage [in Virginia] over the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound. Women spontaneously showed up at the Capital saying, 'stop this nonsense!'"

Nonetheless, the anti-choice movement is not deterred. Their ultimate goal is to render Roe v. Wade meaningless by chipping away at women's reproductive freedom, state by state.

These anti-choice politicians clearly just don't get it.

We know that seven out of 10 Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. And when anti-choice lawmakers try to force their extreme agenda on citizens of their state, voters turn out and shut down those anti-choice initiatives.

As Nancy put so well:

"I think that we always have to be vigilant. And I think we have to make sure that people that are elected to office know what's at stake here, and that's freedom and privacy. But I do believe that the people in this country share the value of being pro-choice and they're not going to let that happen."
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Nancy Keenan: Thank You and Farewell


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.

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An Eventful 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade!


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.

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On the Language of Choice


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.

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We Welcome Our New President: Ilyse Hogue!


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."

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We welcome Ilyse to NARAL Pro-Choice America and can't wait to see her propel the organization to new heights.

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Salon Talks with Nancy Keenan


We will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in a mere two and a half weeks. We know that having won women the right to choose safe and legal abortion is not enough. Our fight will never be over until all women can access the health care they need no matter where they live or how much money they make.

At the same time as we honor this pivotal anniversary, here at NARAL Pro-Choice America, our own Nancy Keenan's tenure as president is coming to a close.

In a new interview with Salon, Nancy talks about what it means to trust women to decide whether or not to access abortion care:

"None of us can walk in another woman's shoes. None of us knows the situation that she is in. None of us know what her feelings are. It is a complexity for every woman. It is not something that is done cavalierly. It is not. She thinks about it. As I've said to many elected officials, women hear their gods. They don't need to be listening to the gods of politicians."

Salon also spoke with Nancy about the importance of the millennial generation in protecting Roe for the next 40 years. She describes our research in this way:

"If you put five pro-choice millennials in a of them would vote their pro-choice values as a very critical factor for them, but if you put five anti-choice millennials in a room, almost two of them would vote their anti-choice values [based on our research]."

This point is exactly why Nancy decided to retire at this critical moment in the history of women's rights. As Nancy told The Washington Post back in May:

"There's an opportunity for a new and younger leader.... It's time for a new leader to come in and, basically, be the person for the next 40 years of protecting reproductive choice.... People give a lot of lip service to how we're going to engage the next generation, but we can't just assume it will happen on its own."

In the coming months and years, we look forward to talking with the one in five millennials who have already made choice their number one issue to, in turn, work to increase that number significantly.

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Michigan Politicians Launch New Legislative Attacks on Choice


While all eyes were focused on the fight over collective bargaining, the Michigan legislature decided that attacking choice was their next big agenda item.

These measures could make it much harder for Michigan women to get abortion care in their state. Women who live in rural areas and lower-income women will be hardest hit if these bills become law.

Anti-choice lawmakers are pushing the following bad ideas:

  • Three bills that would ban insurance coverage of abortion by all health plans sold in the state of Michigan, including private insurance plans women purchase with their own money--with no exceptions for rape or incest;
  • A bill that would allow hospitals to refuse to provide or pay for medical services to which they object--which threatens the availability of birth control and abortion services; and
  • A bill that would place unnecessary and burdensome requirements on doctors and clinics that provide abortion, and would also ban abortion care via telemedicine--a restriction that would especially hurt women in Michigan's rural areas.

Fortunately, the media is starting to the story. Earlier this week, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, spoke with Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC's "Politics Nation" about the anti-choice attacks.

There is no question that these anti-choice measures are bad for women.

These bills are completely out of touch with Americans' priorities. It will be up to anti-choice Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) to decide whether he will stand with women and protect their right to choose, or let politicians dismantle a woman's right to safe, legal abortion care.

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Nancy Keenan Joins Panel at the Center for American Progress


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.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senate Race Watch: Montana


While everyone is waiting with bated breath for the presidential election, we aren't forgetting the importance of the U.S. Senate elections.

The Senate is critical in the fight to defend the right to choose, so we must protect every senator who fights for women's freedom and privacy. Right now, there are only 40 reliably pro-choice votes in that chamber. It takes 41 to block bad legislation.

Back in 2006, NARAL Pro-Choice America's PAC was thrilled to endorse Montana Sen. Jon Tester for election. We're excited to stand with him again in 2012 as he runs for re-election!

NK_phonebank_Tester_MT.jpgNancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, joined volunteers to make calls in support of Sen. Jon Tester!

Sen. Tester has proven to be a pro-choice leader time and again. He's voted against defunding Planned Parenthood which would deny millions of Americans access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic medical care.

He also voted against a spending bill that would cut funding for contraception and cancer screenings, and eliminate family-planning programs for the world's poorest women.

Right now, Sen. Tester is locked in a tight race against an anti-choice opponent Rep. Denny Rehberg (R). Rep. Rehberg has a terrible record on choice.

In 2011, Rep. Rehberg voted twice to defund Planned Parenthood. He also voted to allow hospitals to deny emergency abortion care to women who could die without it.

These extreme anti-choice policies are completely out of touch with the needs and values of Montana women.

This race is personal for NARAL Pro-Choice America. When our own Nancy Keenan ran for Congress in 2000, she was narrowly defeated by Rehberg.

If you have friends in Montana, urge them to vote for the pro-choice candidate who will fight for women's freedom and privacy: Sen. Jon Tester.

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

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Nancy Keenan Talks Extreme Anti-Choice Politicians with Rachel Maddow


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."

Check out the interview:

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.

This is certainly not the first time Romney has failed to stand with women. When Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke "a slut," Romney simply said: "It's not the language I would have used."

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,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Nancy Keenan: Remember the Real Mitt Romney on November 6


Tonight is the second presidential debate - and it might be the last time voters get to hear Mitt Romney talk firsthand about his views on women's access to abortion and reproductive-health care.

Romney has made a sport of playing both sides. One minute he tries to hide his anti-choice views, and the next his campaign reinforces them.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, writes about this very important issue over at The Huffington Post.

Her message? Women need to remember the real Mitt Romney come November 6:

Overturning Roe v. Wade is part of Romney's agenda. The next president could nominate enough Supreme Court justices to determine the future of Roe. And Romney has said, "I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution. And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade..."

Blocking women's access to birth control is also part of his agenda. Romney has said he would eliminate Title X family-planning programs.

This election, voters will be faced with a clear choice: an administration that will protect women's privacy and personal health-care decisions, or one that allows politicians to make those choices for them.

We saw Mitt Romney tell lie after lie about his policy proposals at the first presidential debate. And now he is doing it again on the campaign trail. Women and their families need to know the truth about the Romney-Ryan ticket. And, those who want an end to the War on Women need to vote for President Obama, whose leadership supports, rather than threatens, their reproductive rights.

Check out the rest at The Huffington Post!

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

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NARAL Pro-Choice America Releases Exclusive Obama Defectors Model


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:

Roll Call

"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.

The Daily Caller

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,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Fifty-Five Shocking Anti-Woman Votes in Congress Exposed


220px-Henry_Waxman.jpgLast week, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Henry Waxman (D - Ca.), published a report documenting all of the anti-woman and anti-choice votes held by leaders of the U.S. House Representatives since January 2011

The report details 55 votes - all shamelessly anti-woman.

Here are just a few highlights/lowlights:

Our own Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, was featured in the report:

"From the 'Let Women Die' bill to IRS rape audits to attempts to defund family-planning programs, Americans have seen an unprecedented number of attacks on women's health in recent months. Rep. Waxman's report documents the lengths to which this Congress has gone in trying to dismantle reproductive freedom - and will serve as a clarion call to every American woman who cares about her rights."

Rep. Waxman's report further exposes how anti-choice leaders in Congress are waging a War on Women.

We're not going to let these anti-woman politicians vote our rights away. On November 6, we'll show them that they won't get away with their anti-woman agenda.

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Kristin Koch is the deputy director of communications for online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America

What a night! Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, rocked the Democratic National Convention last night - it was electrifying to be in there in person. You have to watch:

Nancy made important points about what it means to be pro-choice, what's at stake in this election, and praised President Barack Obama as our pro-choice champion. She emphasized the importance of making sure our friends, our neighbors, and our families understand the critical nature of this election and the importance of supporting our pro-choice president in the November election.

It was truly inspiring to see speaker after speaker talk about why this election matters so much to women. Women leaders drove home this same message even away from the cameras.

Yesterday morning, delegates and activists were wowed by the lineup of speakers at the Women's Caucus. Talk about hearing from accomplished, tough-as-nails, smart women!

These pro-choice leaders got the room on its feet again and again:

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Donna Brazile, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett, EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, actor Ashley Judd, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke... and our own Nancy Keenan.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

One thing is crystal clear: we must re-elect President Barack Obama if we're to protect women's freedom and privacy for generations to come.

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

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NARAL Pro-Choice America at the DNC: Day 1


Kristin Koch is the deputy director of communications for online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America

This is it: day one of the Democratic National Convention.

Tonight, Americans are going to hear amazing leaders talk about why it's so important to women that we re-elect President Barack Obama - and what we stand to lose if Mitt Romney takes over the White House.

Of course, we're thrilled to hear from first lady Michelle Obama. And starting around 8:00 p.m., Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice America's president, will talk about why we're supporting President Obama. He's the only candidate who trusts women and believes that politicians should stay out of their reproductive-health decisions.

We've been busy gearing up for this big today. Our fantastic volunteers helped us create 5,000 goodie bags filled with fun and functional materials for pro-choice delegates. And the delegates are proud to wear their "I am a pro-choice delegate stickers" and hold their pro-choice fans.

Take a look at what we've been up to, and be sure to tune in tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. to watch Nancy!

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Heading to the Democratic National Convention


Kristin Koch is the deputy director of communications for online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America

Bright and early tomorrow morning, I'll be sharpening my driving skills for a trip down to Charlotte, NC. Oh yes, my iTouch is fully charged.

I'm heading down with a team from NARAL Pro-Choice America for the Democratic National Convention!


We couldn't be more excited to be there in person as President Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination and delivers his speech on Thursday.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed President Obama because he believes that women - not politicians - should be able to make personal, private health-care decisions, including whether to have an abortion. And he's worked to improve women's health and pledged to defend against anti-choice legislative attacks as president.

His opponent, Mitt Romney, would take that choice away from women. Oh, and he'd take away no-cost birth control, let your boss deny you birth-control coverage, and "get rid of" Planned Parenthood.

That's why 2012 is a pivotal year for the issue of choice. By re-electing President Obama, we will move one step closer to ensuring that abortion remains legal and accessible for American women.

So what will the NARAL Pro-Choice America team be up to at the Convention?

For starters, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, will speak to the delegates and a nationwide audience when she addresses the Convention.

Throughout the week, we'll visit state delegations to talk with delegates about what's at stake for choice this election. A lot of different progressive issues are important to the delegates, and we'll make sure that women's freedom and privacy stays a priority.

And on Wednesday, pro-choice movers and shakers from Montana are hosting an event called the Big Sky Celebration to honor Nancy Keenan. We are thrilled to be joined by special guest Jim Messina, Obama for America Campaign Manager.


I'll be sharing updates about all the ways we're keeping women's freedom and privacy a priority at the Convention.

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Last night, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, appeared on Current TV's "Viewpoint" with Eliot Spitzer to speak out against the extreme anti-choice agenda of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Nancy pointed out that women who currently support Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan need to know what is at stake for them if the Romney-Ryan ticket succeeds this November.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is working hard to draw that contrast between our pro-choice president and the anti-choice Romney-Ryan ticket.

Nancy reminded audiences of Rep. Paul Ryan's support for extreme "personhood" measures which, if passed and enacted into law, would effectively ban abortion in almost all cases, with no exception for rape or incest. Furthermore, "personhood" measures could also ban most common forms of birth control, and restrict fertility treatments.

Ryan also supports forced ultrasound legislation, like the bill that passed last year in Virginia, even when it's not medically necessary, and even if it's against a woman's will.

Discussing the Romney-Ryan agenda, Nancy stated:

"This is a radical extreme ticket. I think once the contrast is drawn between Romney-Ryan and President Obama, women are going to flock to President Obama knowing that he is standing with women and standing up for our privacy and our freedom."

We couldn't agree more! We are going to work hard to ensure that women, and their families know exactly what is at stake for them if they don't support President Obama, who fights for women and their right to choice, privacy, and freedom every day.

Women are outraged, and women will remember on November 6.

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

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What the Romney-Ryan Ticket Means for Women


RomneyRyan.jpg Mitt Romney's newly selected running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), has never been shy about his extreme anti-choice beliefs.

"I'm as pro-life as a person gets. You're not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they're unavoidable, and I'm never going to not vote pro-life."

During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ryan cast 59 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues. He voted anti-choice each and every time.

Our president, Nancy Keenan, had some choice words about the Romney-Ryan terrible twosome:

"Rep. Paul Ryan's extreme anti-choice record shows just how serious a threat Mitt Romney's presidency would be for women. Rep. Ryan has also repeatedly voted to defund family-planning programs and supported the 'Let Women Die Bill,' which would allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, lifesaving abortion care, even if she could die without it. It comes as no surprise that Romney would choose a like-minded running mate who is just as out of touch with our nation's values and priorities as he is. The Romney-Ryan ticket is dangerous to women's health."

How bad is Rep. Ryan?

  • Cosponsored several "personhood" measures that, if passed and enacted into law, would end legal abortion, ban several of the most common forms of birth control, restrict fertility treatments, and put an end to stem-cell research.
  • Cosponsored a measure requiring a woman to undergo a forced ultrasound even if not medically necessary before receiving abortion services, and even if against the woman's will.
  • He has repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

The outcome of the 2012 presidential election very well could determine whether abortion remains legal and accessible for the next generation of American women. Under a Romney-Ryan administration, we could lose the protection of Roe v. Wade, women's health and lives will be at risk, and anti-choice zealots could wipe out decades' worth of reproductive rights we've fought so hard to win.

We won't take that chance in November.

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

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