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Results tagged “North Carolina” from Blog for Choice

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R.7, an extreme anti-choice bill that would take away abortion coverage from millions of American women.

Thanks to a huge outcry from the public and pro-choice elected officials, anti-choice members of the House committee had already revised this bill to drop a provision that would have redefined rape. Last week, they revised the bill a second time to drop a provision that would have forced women to prove to the IRS that they'd been raped. Not only that, but they snuck in new provisions that have never been discussed or debated in committee.

We've seen anti-choice politicians in Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio cheat to force their extreme anti-choice agenda on the public. Now, they're using these same backhanded tactics in Congress!

As of today, here's what H.R.7 would do:

  • Impose tax penalties on small businesses that offer abortion coverage in employee insurance plans.
  • Ban abortion coverage entirely in the new health-insurance exchanges.
  • Permanently ban abortion coverage for women who get their health care through the government, including servicewomen and low-income women.
  • Require health plans to make biased, one-sided "disclosures" of abortion coverage.

You can learn more about the harmful effects of H.R.7 on our website.

If you are as outraged as we are about this, please share our graphic on Facebook so that we can get the word out far and wide about how anti-choice politicians will stop at nothing, including cheating, to block reproductive-health care for women and families who may need it the most.

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Honoring Our "Who Decides?" Dedicatees

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We're delighted to honor some notable state lawmakers who have fought back against extreme anti-choice legislation against all odds in the 23rd edition of our annual report Who Decides? The Status of Reproductive Rights in the States. These state lawmakers truly represent the pro-choice majority, and they champion women's reproductive rights in some states that may need them the most.

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  • One honoree we're highlighting this year is Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis.
Sen. Davis' 13-hour filibuster of an extreme, anti-choice omnibus bill captivated the nation, and she quickly became the face of women's struggle to access safe, legal abortion, especially in states with extreme anti-choice legislatures, like Texas. Thanks to NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, we organized to support Sen. Davis' efforts to block the bill from going into effect and activated thousands of pro-choice Texans who will #StandWithWendy as she continues to fight for choice in 2014.

  • Another honoree in this year's edition of Who Decides? is North Carolina state Rep. Alma Adams.

Rep. Adams has spent nearly three decades fighting for women and families and, alongside NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, she helped lead the fight against the now-infamous "motorcycle safety" anti-abortion bill which the anti-choice North Carolina legislature rushed through at the last minute to bypass any opposition from pro-choice elected officials. Alma had this to say about the bill she tried to stop: "It's about politics. It's not about women's health. It's not about safety...As a woman, I am personally insulted by the maneuvers around getting this bill to the floor. We've made a mockery of women's health and safety."

  • Our final honoree is California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins.

Asm. Atkins authored the 2013 law that expands access to safe abortion care in the Golden State, which NARAL Pro-Choice California organized around to help pass. This new law will increase the number of medical professionals who can provide early abortion care like midwives and nurses. Now, women in parts of California where there are only a few doctors will have the ability to access abortion care from someone they know and trust.

Check out our latest edition of Who Decides? The Status of Reproductive Choice in the States for more information on choice-related laws in your state and learn about how state legislatures can have a deep impact on women's reproductive freedom.

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North Carolina Gov. McCrory's Big, Fat Broken Promise

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You may not have even known the name of North Carolina's governor until recently, but ever since Gov. Pat "Liar Pants on Fire" McCrory cheated women out of their right to choose in North Carolina, his handle is all over Twitter.

How did Gov. McCrory go from that guy we never heard of to the most despised governor in the country? One big, fat broken promise.

Here's how it went down.

1. Promise women voters that you will not be one of those guys behind the War on Women.

2. Get elected.

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3. Sneak an extreme attack on access to abortion in a bill on... motorcycle safety.

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4. Sign the bill.

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(No photos are available because he did it behind closed doors.)

5. Offer a plate of cookies to all those ladies who've been protesting outside your mansion.

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6. Watch as women's health centers close because of your broken promise.

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Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, discussed new anti-choice legislative attacks across the country and politicians' cheating tactics on "Hardball with Chris Matthews."

"[Anti-choice politicians'] goal has remained the same: to outlaw abortion as well as women's other reproductive choices...What's more interesting is how they're resorting to do it. These politicians in Texas and North Carolina, and I'm from Texas as well, know that they don't have popular support on their side, and so they're resorting to cheating, changing the rules, doing these things under the dark of night.

I think women have had enough. That's what we're seeing in Texas and in North Carolina. We're getting calls from national members everywhere asking "what can we do?" This is it, this is enough. We will support Texas, we will support North Carolina, and we will get these folks out of office that are driving these extreme policies that are bad for women, and bad for our families."

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The Democratic National Convention is kicking off in Charlotte, North Carolina September 3 and will run through September 6.

If you live in the area or are already planning to attend the convention, sign up with us to volunteer and show your pro-choice pride.

Even if you can spare only one day or a few hours, we could use your help collecting petition signatures and handing out our pro-choice goodies. All volunteers will get a T-shirt!

Check out the awesome swag we have planned for this year.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Be sure to sign up to volunteer and help make sure there's a strong pro-choice presence at the convention this year.

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Saturday Salute, Courtesy of Kansas and North Carolina

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Kansas and North Carolina both have a storied history in college basketball. Whether you're a Jayhawk or a Blue Devil or "bleed Carolina blue," you will like what we have to report.

Let's go first to the Sunflower State, where the Miami County Commission recently voted to reject any federal funds related to family planning. Well, about 100 citizens got together to raise $9,500. They then presented a check to the commission to ensure that people in their community who rely on family-planning services for contraception and other basic health care.

But, the residents behind this grassroots effort made it clear that this is a one-time deal, and that they expect their elected officials to change course on family-planning policy:

To be absolutely clear, this is an emergency gesture to provide for next fiscal year's contraception needs only. It is not a way to remove your responsibility as commissioners to reverse your position on contraception for the health department in the future," [Denise] German [who spoke for the group that presented the money] said. "Dismay at your decision is growing. At a time when so many people are struggling to make ends meet in a dismal job market, rejecting this grant was inexcusable. Miami County women deserve the same public health care options and support found in the rest of the counties of Kansas.

BTW, look at this picture from the check delivery:

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The other good news comes from NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. The organization is giving its Susan Hill Award to McCoy Faulkner, who for 27 years has provided security to abortion rights organizations, clinics, and high-profile advocates. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina chose Faulkner for the award from nominations sent in by organizations across the state.

Carey Pope, the affiliate's executive director, told the Raleigh News-Observer, "It was an untraditional choice. Last year, we gave the award to an abortion provider, which is great, but now we're honoring someone who is literally on the front lines protecting women. This award is to honor someone who puts his life on the line every day for this movement."

So, we say thanks to these unsung heroes from Kansas and North Carolina.

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Speaking Out about How CPCs Mislead College Women

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Last week, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation released the findings from its 12-month investigation of so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in the Tarheel State.

The report got a ton of coverage from major news media organizations, and Carey Pope, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation, went on "PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton" to discuss it.

And today, Rachel Witkowski, a student at North Carolina State University, wrote a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News and Observer pointing out how CPCs target college women:

After reading the full report by NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation, I was unsettled to learn that within 25 miles of every public university campus in North Carolina there is at least one CPC. Since many of my friends are also college students, I worry that if they were looking for guidance when facing an unintended pregnancy they would instead be given misinformation by a CPC. I am concerned that women who go into these clinics seeking help might be influenced by the false information presented.

No woman should ever be lied to or misled while seeking help. Overall I am extremely relieved to see that the truth about these centers has come to light thanks to this article, and hope the General Assembly considers legislation to regulate the troubling practices of CPCs.

Thanks, Rachel, for getting the word out.

And we agree with you: North Carolina's General Assembly should put a stop to deceptive and misleading practices.

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On Monday, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation released the findings from its 12-month investigation of so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in the Tarheel State.

The report has gotten a ton of coverage from major news media organizations.

Last night, Carey Pope, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation, went on MSNBC's "PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton" to talk about how these fake clinics often mislead women about their health-care options:

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Thanks, Carey, for getting the word out!

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Picture this: You're scared that you might be pregnant. You see an ad for a free pregnancy test and counseling. You call the number and make an appointment. You're told that birth control is the same as abortion and that if you have an abortion, you will probably get breast cancer. You're vulnerable, scared, and confused.

You have walked into a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC), and you have been lied to and manipulated.

Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation released the findings from its 12-month investigation of CPCs in the Tarheel State.

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation found that the vast majority of CPCs in North Carolina are not licensed medical facilities--yet only a quarter disclosed this fact to women seeking care. And because they're not licensed, these CPCs are not bound by the same patient privacy and confidentiality rules that govern real medical facilities.

Fortunately, word is getting out about the dangers posed by CPCs. The Raleigh News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer, the Greensboro News & Record, the Greenville Daily Reflector, The Daily Tarheel, The Associated Press, The American Independent, ThinkProgress, Jezebel, and Feministing all picked up on NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation's research.

And this scrutiny couldn't come at a more important time: a new state law requiring that a woman seeking abortion care in North Carolina undergo an ultrasound--even if she does not want one, and even if her doctor does not recommend it--goes into effect tomorrow. The kicker is that CPCs will be listed on a state-run website listing places where a woman can access the ultrasound.

Another new law funds anti-choice CPCs through the sale of "Choose Life" license plates.

Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation for focusing the spotlight on these threats to women's freedom and privacy.

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A Mid-February Update

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I know, I know, it's been a while since our last update. It's not a good excuse, but remember that whole DC "Snowpocalypse" thing? Yeah. It was that bad, and it set me back a bit, so apologies for the lack of blog posts. Before we get back to the regularly scheduled blogging, I wanted to give you an update of what's been going on in the world of choice-related news. I hope this is helpful.

So-Called "Personhood" Measures are the New Abortion Ban: Mississippi and Colorado - get ready to fight because anti-choice opponents set their sights on outlawing abortion in your states. Late last week and early this week, anti-choicers put the wheels in motion to get anti-choice "personhood" measures on the ballot. In Mississippi, the Associated Press reported:

Personhood Mississippi, led by Les Riely of Pontotoc, delivered petitions with signatures of 105,167 people on Tuesday. The group's goal is to extend rights to fetuses and stop abortion in Mississippi. Similar efforts have been under way in several other states, including Colorado, Florida, Montana and Nevada.

In Colorado, the Denver Post noted:

So-called "Christian soldiers" announced Friday that they have handed in the thousands of signatures needed to place the Personhood Colorado amendment on the 2010 ballot. But proponents of the anti-abortion measure fell well short of the 131,000 signatures submitted for a similar amendment in 2008. This year they will be handing in only 79,817 signatures, just 3,770 more than then 76,047 valid signatures needed for the Secretary of State's office to certify the initiative for the ballot.

Thankfully, our colleagues at NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado are working hard to defeat this extreme measure in their state, just as they did in 2008.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T: An independent Pentagon panel's decision to ensure military women have access to EC at military health facilities received excellent coverage in The New York Times this weekend. The "Gray Lady" even called for an end to the anti-choice policy that prohibits servicewomen's access to abortion, even when they use their own money:

Next, Pentagon officials and members of Congress need to address the callous treatment of servicewomen with regard to abortion. Under current rules, military doctors may perform abortions only in cases of rape, incest or when the women's lives are endangered. And even in cases of rape and incest, the women must pay. It is outrageous that politics is allowed to interfere with the health care decisions of women who wear the nation's uniform.

It's a must read, and a must share.

Things May Go South for Some Women in North Carolina: This week, we learned that county employees of Wake County, North Carolina, might lose abortion care from their insurance policy. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina calls this move "a slap in the face to every female employee" and is standing up to this attack on choice at the local level.

Because Crazy Talk Never Goes Out of Style: All this unexpected snow in Washington, D.C. must have sent crazy dust across the country. This week, we had not one, not two, but three extreme examples of crazy-talk from anti-choicers. Let's file these under ARE YOU KIDDING US WITH THIS?

Via Hotline's Wake-Up Call, courtesy of the Associated Press:

A Tea Party organizer in eastern WA who told a crowd that she'd like to "hang" Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) says her remark "was taken out of context," and that she meant she'd like to "hang Patty Murray, by vote."

Uhhh, WHAT? Statements like that have no place in the political dialog and, in fact, are downright scary.

The New York Times' Caucus Blog reported on a speaker, Jason Mattera, who bashed President Obama at the infamous Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). That alone doesn't surprise anyone, but highly-insensitive remarks like the one below gave cause for a double take (or read, rather):

He then mocked what he described, with a Chris Rock voice, as "diversity," including, he said, college classes on "cyber feminism" and "what it means to be a feminist new black man." Describing the latter, he said: "Think of a crossover between RuPaul and Barney Frank."

REALLY, Mr. Mattera? Really?

Finally, Ken Blackwell - senior fellow at the Family Research Council, visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law, and chairman of Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition - was at it again this week, this time attacking Dawn Johnsen, President Obama's nominee for a top job at the Justice Department:

If Mr. Obama is serious about civility he needs to withdraw Dawn Johnsen's nomination. If she is confirmed, we will see a radical anti-Catholic, pro-abortion zealot influencing policy th[r]oughout the Justice Department--but also policy throughout the entire federal government.

Riiiiiiiiiight. Ironic that Ken Blackwell is calling someone other than himself a radical and a zealot.

The Problem with Pro-Choice Men?: Nope, that isn't a set-up to a lame joke, but rather the subject and headline of an article that ran in the Daily Beast.

Pro-choice activists argue that there's more to the issue than one poll, however. Ted Miller, Communications Director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, points to South Dakota. When a legislative ban on abortions was defeated in 2006, anti-abortion activists claimed that a similar bill, with exceptions for rape and incest, would pass in the next legislative cycle. In 2008, the bill, now with exceptions, was handily defeated again, and both pre- and post-polling showed men and women equally against it.

... Miller says that NARAL's ongoing research project among young voters has found that of those who "were supportive of a woman's right to choose... almost all the young men talked about women in their lives who had gone through the experience of choosing abortion."

We thought it was an interesting piece, and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Finally, we'd like to offer pro-choice Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) our best wishes for a speedy recovery following his diagnosis of stomach lymphoma. The entire staff of NARAL Pro-Choice America will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

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NARAL Pro-Choice America's ad about anti-choice politics in health-care reform is running on cable TV stations in Richmond, Va., Raleigh, N.C., the Bangor and Portland markets in Maine, and in multiple markets in Michigan and other state markets that air in Rep. Stupak's congressional district.

You can read our full release here, view the ad on our YouTube page here, and view the fact sheet about the ad here.

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NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina has made great strides in their effort to bring comprehensive sex education to teens in North Carolina. Last week, the commonsense legislation passed the House and now it moves on to the Senate. The affiliate's executive director, Sean Kosofsky, has a great post up on RH Reality Check explaining a bit more about the legislation:

It has been quite a year for North Carolina. The state voted for Barack Obama, defeated Elizabeth Dole, and elected the first female governor (who happens to also be pro-choice). But the changes don't just stop there. With changing demographics in our state and a clarion call for sanity from Washington, comprehensive sex education could just be just around the corner.

Be sure to check it out.

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