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Results tagged “North Dakota” from Blog for Choice

All I can say is: GROSS.

plastic fetus.jpgAn anti-choice group in North Dakota is using the state fair to promote its anti-choice agenda by targeting children - without their parents' knowledge.

Minot Right to Life has been giving away tiny plastic fetuses in bags of candy to impose its anti-choice values on children.

These plastic figures are often used by anti-choice supporters to mislead and shame women who might be considering abortion care.

Executive director of North Dakota Right to Life claimed that these plastic figures "have nothing to do with abortion," which is pretty absurd considering that organizers at the booth were handing out "educational" pamphlets with the figures that said, "Week 1: conception; the baby is smaller than a grain of sugar, but the instructions are present for all that this person will ever become."

One mother who attended the fair expressed her outrage that anti-choice activists were imposing their views on her children:

"My kids can read, I shouldn't have to explain to five and six-year olds what abortion is at a family event. I doubt these people would be allowed to hand out condoms to little kids. But it's okay to talk to them about abortion without my permission?"

The whole story is deeply unsettling. And it goes to show that anti-choice activists have no problem crossing the line to impose their extreme anti-woman agenda on children.

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When it comes to comprehensive sex education, anti-choice politicians - the same ones who want to ban access to safe abortion care - are fighting to block teens from receiving objective and complete information.

This year, anti-choice lawmakers are moving several anti-sex-education measures.

Politicians introduced measures to block groups that provide abortion, including Planned Parenthood, from teaching sex education in schools in Arkansas and North Dakota. And legislators are still considering similar language in Texas.

In Ohio, politicians tried to insert an amendment to the state budget bill that would effectively ban comprehensive sex education from schools and fine teachers thousands of dollars for endorsing "gateway sexual activity." Gateway sexual activity?

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It's hard to believe the utter hypocrisy of these anti-choice politicians. They rail against abortion care, but want to withhold important information that young people need to learn how to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. The alternative that our opponents are peddling is, in short, dangerous.

In West Virginia, student Katelyn Campbell became suspicious when an "abstinence-only" assembly was scheduled at her high school. Katelyn educated herself about the speaker, and not only decided not to attend, but also to alert the local papers.

The principal at Katelyn's school threatened to call her future college and tell them that Katelyn is a "backstabber" with "bad character" for leading the charge against the assembly. Katelyn has since helped raise awareness about the many problems with "abstinence-only" programs in high schools today.

We know that the best way to reduce unintended pregnancy, and therefore the need for abortion, is to educate our young people on how to practice responsible, safe sex with accurate and comprehensive information - something anti-choice politicians and activists refuse to accept.

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Forced to Choose Between Life-Saving Abortion Care and Prison

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Doctors office_small.jpgWhat would you do if you had to choose between a life-saving abortion and prison?

That's the decision women will be forced to make if anti-choice groups are successful in their goal to ban abortion regardless of a woman's personal situation or heartbreaking circumstance.

Anti-choice organizations across the country spend countless efforts and resources fighting for policies that would ban abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, and a woman's health and safety. And if they're successful, any woman could be forced to choose between her life and her freedom.

Abortion bans have already been passed in North Dakota and Arkansas.

Policies that ban abortion care with no exceptions endanger women's lives and force them to make impossible decisions at the hands of extreme anti-choice politicians.

In El Salvador, where abortion is illegal in all cases, one woman will be forced to choose between life-saving abortion care and time in prison.

According to Salon:

"The 22-year-old mother of one, identified only as Beatriz, is four-and-a-half months pregnant, but her doctors have confirmed that the fetus has anencephaly (developing without a brain and certain parts of the skull) and that the pregnancy [may face a tragic outcome]. In addition to the diagnosis [of a fetal anomaly], Beatriz is experiencing critical health complications related to her lupus and kidney disease."

The hospital treating Beatriz has requested that the government grant permission for life-saving abortion care, but so far, no permission has been granted.

That's why it's so important to make sure all women have access to safe, legal reproductive-health care and abortion services. Our lives may depend on it.

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The Winners of March's Hall of Fame and Shame

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Thankfully, for every anti-choice opponent there is a choice champion who steps up to protect and expand reproductive freedom. That leads us to this month's Hall of Fame and Shame.

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Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe
This month we were floored by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe's (D) courage.

He stood up to anti-choice politicians in the Arkansas state legislature and vetoed not one, but two extreme abortion bans. In delivering his veto, Gov. Beebe pointed out that these bans are clearly unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, and defending the laws in court would be incredibly expensive for a state that's already struggling financially.

Unfortunately, the state legislature overrode his vetos anyway, and now the state will likely be forced to dip into already limited funds to defend these restrictive abortion bans. That means less money for health care, public safety, and education.

Arkansas isn't the only state to enact abortion bans this month, which brings us to our "Hall of Shame:"

The North Dakota state legislature won the race to the bottom when it approved anti-choice legislation that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - before many women even know they are pregnant.

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North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple
What's worse, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) ignored the calls of many in his state and signed the abortion ban into law, earning North Dakota the dubious distinction of having the worst abortion ban in the country.

North Dakota anti-choice politicians could use a lesson in representing the needs of women in the state instead of attacking their fundamental right to reproductive freedom.

There were plenty of inspiring choice champions and anti-choice opponents who could've earned a spot in our Hall of Fame and Shame. Keep an eye out for them as we look for next month's winners.

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North Dakota: The "Freest" State that Just Banned Abortion

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North Dakota sign_small.jpgThis week, anti-choice Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) signed so-called "heartbeat" legislation into law, effectively banning abortion in the state.

This anti-choice law is so extreme that if it goes into effect, it will ban abortion before many women even know they're pregnant.

Ironically, Mother Jones reports that North Dakota was ranked number one in the Mercatus Center's annual report "Freedom in the 50 States:"

"The Center's rankings are quite thorough--you can see where each stands based on dozens of variables, including taxation, tort reform, fireworks laws, same-sex partnerships, happy hour regulations, the legality of raw milk, and whether or not the state bans salvia."

One thing is missing from the report: reproductive rights!

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clinic_small.jpgFor now, Arkansas holds the title as the state with the earliest abortion ban. But that could change very soon.

North Dakota is poised to adopt an extreme law which would ban abortion even earlier - at six weeks!

The North Dakota state legislature has mounted numerous anti-choice attacks on women's reproductive freedoms before, but this so called "heartbeat" ban is the worst.

This legislation would ban abortion before most women even know they're pregnant, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It would effectively make abortion illegal in the state of North Dakota.

Lawmakers in North Dakota passed this anti-choice bill along with divisive legislation that criminalizes doctors for the reasons women seek abortion care. Both bills are on their way to Gov. Jack Dalrymple's (R) desk.

But that's not the end of the story.

Anti-choice politicians in the state are also pushing a "personhood" ballot initiative, a 20-week abortion ban, and - in case they hadn't driven the point home already - a TRAP bill aimed at closing the last remaining abortion provider in the state.

We cannot go back to the days before Roe v. Wade, when abortion was illegal. Because when abortion is illegal, women are forced to seek unsafe abortion care that could have devastating effects.

We hope that Gov. Dalrymple will think long and hard about what these bills would mean for the reproductive health and well being of women in North Dakota before he signs this outrageous package of bills into law.

It's time for these anti-choice politicians to stop attacking choice, and start trusting women.

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The Dakotas Join the Anti-Choice Legislation Race

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womenpatient.jpgDespite the fact that seven in 10 Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, politicians across the country continue to propose anti-choice legislation that chips away at women's reproductive rights.

In North and South Dakota, anti-choice politicians are mounting these attacks at an alarming rate.

From so-called "personhood" measures, to bills that ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, to unnecessary waiting periods for women who seek abortion care, women's access to reproductive-health care is becoming more and more restricted.

Alisha Sedor, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota, commented on anti-choice lawmakers' recent attempts to extend the forced-waiting period for women seeking abortion care in the state:

"H.B.1237, if passed, will severely limit access to abortion in South Dakota, making it virtually impossible for women to access needed reproductive health-care. The measure could make it impossible for the state's only comprehensive women's health clinic to continue providing abortion services, effectively banning abortion in South Dakota."

And just like South Dakota, many of these anti-choice initiatives are being pushed forward in states which may only have one abortion clinic in the entire state. An upcoming film, "The Last Clinic", highlights the attacks on choice and the unknown fate of Mississippi's last remaining abortion clinic.

Nick Wunder, a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department and a South Dakota native, worked on the ground with our affiliate in that state to stop these extreme anti-choice attacks to women's freedom and privacy.

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Banning abortion in the most heart-breaking of circumstances

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Recent polling shows that Americans continue to believe that it should be a woman's decision when and whether to start a family - and that abortion needs to remain an option.

When you think about a woman who chooses abortion, it's easy to assume it is due to an unintended pregnancy. But that's not the whole story.

There are also women who are happily pregnant and can't wait to welcome a child into the world. Sadly, even women with wanted pregnancies need the right to access abortion.

Dana is one of these women. When Dana went to her 29-week sonogram, she learned that there were grave complications with her pregnancy. The fetus suffered from multiple brain abnormalities and it was uncertain whether the pregnancy would survive to term.

Christy is also one of these women. Christy received a tragic diagnosis when she had a sonogram at 21 weeks pregnant when she learned the fetus she was carrying was suffering from multiple severe anomalies including a rare birth defect in which the central connecting structure of the brain is absent. Christy and her husband consulted medical experts around the world and were told that, if the fetus survived the pregnancy, which was uncertain, the baby would be in a state of near-constant seizures, requiring numerous surgeries to remove what little of the brain matter remained.

After discussing their circumstances with their families and their doctors, each woman chose abortion.

It's hard to imagine the grief Dana, Christy, and their families must have endured when they received a life-changing diagnosis.

Despite the fact that we can't know each woman's circumstances, anti-choice politicians continue working to take away a woman's right to choose what is best for her and her family in situations like this.

Who could be so heartless? Lawmakers in North Dakota, for starters. According to Buzzfeed, Americans United for Life - an anti-choice organization - is working with lawmakers in several states to block abortion access. One tactic is to criminalize doctors who provide abortion care to women facing tragic circumstances like Dana or Christy.

We will be doing all that we can to stop these bills. Please consider sharing your story so that women's voices aren't silenced in this debate.

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Victory in North Dakota

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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.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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.

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Rallying North Dakotans to Defeat Measure 3

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"Hi, my name is Thomas, and I'm a volunteer with North Dakotans Against Measure Three."

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I've been saying that a lot these past few days. I'm in North Dakota with a team of my NARAL colleagues. We're working with our allies here to defeat Measure 3, a dangerous and unnecessary initiative on the ballot in North Dakota tomorrow!

We've been going door to door in Fargo and Grand Forks and making calls to folks throughout the state to urge them to vote NO on Measure 3.

And we've got a lot of momentum behind us. Several of the state's leading newspapers have written editorials urging a no vote. Here's what the Fargo Forum had to say:

The spiritual lives of North Dakotans who chose a spiritual life - as most do - are sound and secure. Measure 3 threatens that honorable heritage and history. It's a self-serving scheme that has the potential to deeply divide people of faith, and thus undermine religious liberty, not protect it. Vote "no."

Our NARAL team alone has knocked on hundreds of doors over the past four days. We handed out leaflets at the Fargo Ribfest (delicious!) and had conversations with voters of all political persuasions.

One concern I keep hearing from people is that, if Measure 3 were to pass, a man could try to claim that domestic-violence laws don't apply to him because his religion teaches that a husband has the right to discipline his wife and children as he sees fit.

In fact, that's why Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota is strongly urging people to vote no.

Simply put, Measure 3 is a terrible idea that puts North Dakota families at risk.

If you live in North Dakota, or know someone who does, be sure you and your friends vote NO on Measure 3 tomorrow.

Paid for by North Dakota Healthy Families Opposing Measure 3.

Heading to North Dakota to Defeat Measure 3

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In a few minutes I'll be getting on a plane to Fargo, N.D.

I'm heading out there with some of my colleagues because this Tuesday, June 12, North Dakotans will vote on Measure 3.

We're joining our allies at North Dakotans Against Measure Three to defeat this dangerous measure.

What is Measure 3?

It's a far-reaching sneak attack that could open the door for serious and harmful unintended consequences for all North Dakotans.

For example, bosses could claim they can use their religious beliefs to discriminate against their female employees.

If Measure 3 passes, health-care providers could refuse to provide prenatal care to an unmarried woman.

A man could claim domestic-violence laws don't apply to him because his religion tells him he has the right to discipline his wife and children as he sees fit.

I'll be sharing updates as we talk with folks in North Dakota about what a terrible idea Measure 3 really is.

And if you live in North Dakota, or know someone who does, be sure you and your friends vote NO on Measure 3 on Tuesday, June 12.

Paid for by North Dakota Healthy Families Opposing Measure 3.

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A Far-Reaching Sneak Attack in North Dakota

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On Tuesday, June 12, North Dakota voters will vote on Measure 3, the so-called "Religious Liberties Restoration Amendment."

The what?

You might be thinking, "Why would North Dakotans vote on this? Aren't our religious liberties already protected by the U.S. Constitution?"

Indeed, they are. And, like most Americans, North Dakotans are strong believers in religious freedom.

The fact is that Measure 3 is a sneaky ballot measure that isn't really about what its sponsors claim it is.

Measure 3 is so broad that it could allow anybody to do (or refuse to do) just about anything as long as they claim to be motivated by a "sincerely held religious belief." It is also poorly written and has so many loopholes that it could open the door for serious and even harmful unintended consequences for all North Dakotans.

For example, bosses could use their religious beliefs to discriminate against their female employees.

But it doesn't stop there.

A man could claim domestic-violence laws don't apply to him because his religion tells him he has the right to discipline his wife and children as he sees fit.

If Measure 3 passes, health-care providers could refuse to provide prenatal care to an unmarried woman.

Simply put, Measure 3 is a terrible idea. And it's not limited to North Dakota. If it passes, it could pave the way for similar measures across the country.

That's why are working with North Dakotans Against Measure Three to defeat this dangerous measure.

If you live in North Dakota, or know someone who does, be sure you and your friends vote NO on Measure 3 on Tuesday, June 12.

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Late Friday afternoon, the North Dakota state Senate, which has an anti-choice majority, rejected a dangerous so-called "personhood" bill that would have outlawed abortion and could have led to bans on birth control, stem-cell research, and in-vitro fertilization.

NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan hailed the North Dakota Senate, but cautioned, "Today's victory in North Dakota is an important step forward for pro-choice Americans, but it's not the end. ...the anti-choice movement is waging war on women's freedom and privacy by advancing so-called 'personhood' measures in 16 states."

You should know that fighting this dangerous bill was a top priority for NARAL Pro-Choice America. NARAL contacted their members in North Dakota with email alerts and volunteer phone banks that reached 542 supporters in the state who then contacted their senators and urged them to oppose this dangerous bill. In addition, nearly 20,000 national activists sent messages to North Dakota's anti-choice Gov. John Hoeven, urging him to veto any abortion-ban legislation that reaches his desk.

That's a lot of hard work, so if you were one of the thousands who took action, pat yourself on the back. WELL DONE! Jen at the Women's Rights blog at Change.org commends you too, saying:

Well done NARAL for getting it's supporters to help the State Senate of North Dakota to reject this deceitful piece of legislation.

Let's keep up the good work!

I've got a really important action coming at you straight from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Rather than reword it, I'm going to give it to you straight. It reads:

Anti-choice ideologues think you don't care about women in North Dakota.

That's why they're pushing a so-called "personhood" bill through the North Dakota legislature--a measure that would ban abortion and could lead to bans on birth control, stem-cell research, and in-vitro fertilization.

Stand up for the women of North Dakota and stop this "guerilla warfare" on reproductive choice now.

After losing the White House, critical seats in Congress, and three ballot measures last November, the anti-choice movement launched a new phase of their war on women's freedom and privacy. They vowed to return to their glory days of angry protests by waging "guerilla warfare" against a woman's right to choose.

The anti-choice movement is starting in North Dakota because they think no one will notice. And when they're done there, they'll move along to the next state.

In fact, they're working to advance "personhood" measures in 16 states. Personhood USA, one of the organizations leading the fight, hopes their strategy leads to the end of the right to choose: "Establishing personhood closes what we call the 'hole' in Roe v. Wade."

So, come on! Sign the petition to the governor of North Dakota telling him to veto any abortion-ban bill that comes to his desk.

Little known fact: North Dakota does not have a single pro-choice law on the books that helps prevent unintended pregnancy. Women in North Dakota have no safeguard against pharmacies that refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and they have no assurance that they can access emergency contraception at the hospital in the case of sexual assault.

This new "personhood" bill would block women in North Dakota from ever receiving those protections.

Thank you for standing with the women of North Dakota--and women everywhere--by taking action today.

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