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Results tagged “Ohio” from Blog for Choice

Chalkboard_small.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a new report out on teen pregnancy, and called out how ineffective "abstinence-only" programs really are:

"Only four out of 10 [teenagers] said they had been given information both on how to say no to sex and about birth control. And 83 percent of the boys and girls who had sex said they had not received any sex education before their first time."

Woah. That's just scary. No wonder the U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rate of any developed nation.

This is what the anti-choice movement is all about: keeping people from getting the facts and from making the health-care decisions that are right for them. That means a lot of teens aren't learning what they need to know to stay healthy.

Take a look at four ways the anti-choice movement's agenda is playing out across the country:

  1. "Abstinence-only" programs: Not only has the anti-choice movement made it their agenda to withhold information from young people across the country, "abstinence-only" programs actually promote misinformation and use shaming tactics to block teens from accessing birth control or their full range of reproductive options. Only 28 states require sex education that teaches about birth control.
  2. In one Mississippi classroom, students of an "abstinence-only" program were made to pass around an unwrapped piece of chocolate to show that sexual activity is dirty and shameful. A school district in Texas compared sexually active teens to "chewed up gum" that should be thrown away. Another program taught students that if they have sex they're like a "rose without petals." Education is supposed to encourage and inspire students, not shame them and make them feel worthless. The problem is these programs just don't work. Teens will still have sex, but they have no idea of the risks or consequences.

  3. Anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs): The anti-choice movement's agenda of denying information and using shame isn't only happening in schools. Our opponents have created "crisis pregnancy centers" to stop women from choosing abortion. These fake clinics are meant to look like abortion providers to lure women facing an unintended pregnancy through their doors, but then they tell women lies like "abortion causes breast cancer," "Condoms are porous," and "abortions will ruin your chance of having children in the future."
  4. Attacks on contraceptive coverage: For the anti-choice movement, withholding information isn't extreme enough. They are also working to let bosses who oppose birth control refuse to cover it for their employees and two of their cases have gone all the way to the Supreme Court. One in three women struggles to afford birth control, so if these bosses win it's going to mean that a lot of women could lose access altogether.
  5. Laws that close abortion clinics: Anti-choice politicians in states like Texas close reproductive-health clinics, including ones that provide abortion. We're seeing this happen in Ohio where new restrictions are forcing clinics out of business because they cannot comply quickly enough with unnecessary transfer agreements with local hospitals. These Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws have one goal: shut down clinics where women can get safe and legal abortion care. And, sadly, in states that are dominated by anti-choice politicians, these laws are doing just that.
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February is Black History Month, and we'd like to acknowledge and honor a few amazing African-American pro-choice champions who've stood up for women's reproductive freedom, especially against recent anti-choice attacks in the states.

When anti-choice politicians in Ohio introduced legislation that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - before most women realize they're pregnant - State Sen. Nina Turner introduced a tongue-in-cheek bill that would require men to undergo psychological counseling before accessing Viagra.

A close ally of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, we recently honored Nina with our Champion of Choice Award for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of women's health.

We'd also like to recognize North Carolina state Rep. Alma Adams who spoke out against extreme anti-choice restrictions that could close reproductive-health clinics.

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When anti-choice politicians in her state tried to pass anti-choice restrictions using a "motorcycle safety" bill, Alma called out the anti-choice legislators for their cheating tactics:

"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."

Alma has been fighting for reproductive rights for nearly three decades, and we are so grateful for having her solidarity with NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina and being an ally to all women and families.

In the Cheesehead state, we'd like to recognize Wisconsin state Rep. LaTonya Johnson. She fought against a medically unnecessary forced ultrasound bill and spoke on the Wisconsin floor about the importance of access to comprehensive sex-education program.

LaTonya also spoke at the Stand with Wisconsin Women rally let by NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin and their coalition. Check out the video below:

And in New York, we're giving a shout out to State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic Conference Leader and the first African-American woman to hold that position!

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Andrea, who was endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice New York, led the charge for the Women's Equality Act (WEA) in the State Senate last year and continues to advocate for the full 10-point WEA. She said:

"No one would believe that in 2013 there were not enough Senators willing to vote to protect the health and equality of women. In 1970, when choice was first passed in New York, 12 Republican Senators joined a majority of their Democratic colleagues to support this landmark legislation. In our state, women's health has never been a Republican or Democratic issue. I find it shocking that 43 years later not one Senate Republican stood up for women's equality."

Andrea was the primary sponsor of the Reproductive Health Act in the 2011 session.

In Texas, where NARAL Pro-Choice Texas works on the ground to defend reproductive rights against huge challenges, we want to recognize some awesome leaders who were loud and proud about their pro-choice values during the heated legislative attacks that led to Wendy Davis' historic filibuster.

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson hung a wire hanger from the microphone while she spoke during the hearings to pay reverence and respect to the many women who were injured or died accessing illegal abortion.

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State Rep. Dawnna Duke rallied women in Texas and proposed amendments that would allow more options for women with unintended pregnancies.

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We're also giving a shout out to Virginia Delegate Charniele Herring, who has a 100% pro-choice voting record!

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Charniele was the first African-American woman elected to represent Northern Virginia in the General Assembly. Charniele was also chair of the reproductive rights caucus in 2012 and was a huge player, along with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in the fight against forced ultrasound legislation in 2012.

The pro-choice movement is fortunate to have incredible champions from all backgrounds and walks of life but we couldn't be where we are today without the tenacious, smart, and courageous leadership of African-American state lawmakers.

We can't thank these pro-choice rock stars enough for standing up for women's reproductive freedom in all communities.

Happy Black History Month from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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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7 Pro-Choice State Lawmakers to Watch in 2014

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We celebrated some great pro-choice wins in 2013, in large part because we have strong, pro-choice leaders who fight day in and day out for our rights. Here's our list of notable pro-choice state lawmakers to watch in 2014:

1) Texas gubernatorial candidate and State Sen. Wendy Davis

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Wendy Davis gained pro-choice political stardom last summer when she filibustered extreme anti-choice legislation that could shut down almost 90 percent of reproductive-health clinics that provide abortion care across the state of Texas, force women to get an ultrasound before they can have an abortion, and ban abortion after 20 weeks. We know that exciting things await Wendy and her colleague, Texas state Sen. Leticia van de Putte, in 2014. And we look forward to seeing NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and these pro-choice champions make magic this year.

2) Texas State Sen. Leticia van de Putte

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During Sen. Davis' filibuster, Leticia raised the roof when she called out her anti-choice colleagues in the Texas state Senate, asking, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?" If you haven't seen it yet, the video is pretty incredible. You can hear the literal roar of pro-choice activists who showed up in solidarity with Texas women.

3) Oklahoma State Rep. Doug Cox

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Republican state Rep. Doug Cox, a practicing physician, is part of the pro-choice minority in the Oklahoma state legislature. He caught our attention last year when he reprimanded his Republican colleagues for attempting to restrict women's access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. He got even more vocal in an op-ed, Doug wrote, "What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman's life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?" How will Rep. Cox fight for women in 2014? We can't wait to see.

4) North Carolina State Rep. Alma Adams

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Alma has fought for women and families for nearly three decades, and in 2013 she, along with NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, was a leader in the fight against the "motorcycle safety" bill that politicians used to sneak in a dangerous anti-choice provision. Alma spoke out about the extreme legislation: "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." We're grateful that Rep. Adams continues to speak out for women's health in North Carolina and we're sure 2014 will be no exception.

5) California State Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

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Toni wrote the new law in California to increase the number of medical providers who can provide abortion care in California. You can watch Toni talk about her bill in this video. We, along with NARAL Pro-Choice California, couldn't be more grateful for Asm. Atkins' pro-choice initiative in California. We're excited to see even more from her in 2014.

6) Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer

whitmer-crop.jpg In December 2013, the anti-choice Michigan legislature bypassed Gov. Rick Snyder's signature to ban insurance coverage for abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. While Sen. Gretchen Whitmer bravely spoke out against this extreme legislation that essentially demands women to purchase additional coverage if they need an abortion after a sexual assault, she revealed that she too was a rape survivor. Here's part of her statement: "This tells women that were raped and became pregnant that they should have thought ahead and planned for it. Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens' initiative. It's a special interest group's perverted dream come true." Abortion coverage may be law, but not to worry, pro-choice politicians in Michigan are already planning their next move in 2014. And we are sure state Sen. Whitmer will be critical to this campaign.

7) Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner

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Pro-choice Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner is a loud and proud advocate for reproductive rights. When anti-choice politicians introduced a bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - that's before most women even realize they're pregnant - Nina countered those attacks by introducing her own bill. Nina's legislation exposed her colleague's extremism toward women by turning the tables and proposing a tongue-in-cheek requirement that men attend psychological counseling to prove they are fit to get insurance coverage for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications. Her legislation would also require doctors to inform male patients about all of the potential risks of Viagra in writing. Oh snap, Nina! We can't wait to watch NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Sen. Turner fight for women's reproductive rights in 2014!

CPC Action Week: Who's Behind Anti-Choice CPCs?

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The secret is out: CPCs pose as legitimate pro-health clinics, then lie to and shame women out of choosing abortion care. CPCs are essential to the anti-choice movement's strategy to block abortion access. The president of Ohio Right to Life even admitted:

"When we look at the overall strategy of ending abortion, not just in Ohio but nationwide, we have to have a strong federal strategy, a very strong state strategy, and then a local strategy to support our pregnancy centers."

This is the final day of our CPC week of action, where we've partnered with Feminist Majority Foundation to tell the truth about CPC lies. Today, we're pulling back the curtain on who keeps dangerous "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in business.

There are a whole slew of anti-choice organizations with friendly-sounding names that keep CPCs up and running. Care Net and Heartbeat International are two powerful umbrella networks that provide support and training to thousands of CPCs across the country. Through this funding and training relationship, these groups teach new CPC "counselors" strategies to manipulate women.

You don't have to take our word for it. Just listen to Abby Johnson, an extreme anti-choice activist, train new CPC "counselors" on how to lure a woman through their doors and use coercion and lies to talk her out of choosing abortion.

Beyond anti-choice umbrella organizations, state governments directly fund CPCs with taxpayer dollars. The same legislators who passed the now infamous anti-choice omnibus bill in Texas, for example, voted to funnel millions of dollars to CPCs. And in Ohio, anti-choice politicians used the state budget to give funds meant to help low-income women and families to CPCs instead.

And of course, CPCs receive "charitable" contributions from anti-choice individuals. Ken Cuccinelli, who recently lost the gubernatorial election in Virginia after female voters deemed his anti-choice policies too extreme, made thousands of dollars of personal contributions to CPCs over the last four years to make sure they continue to tell women lies like "abortion causes breast cancer" and "birth control is enslavement."

But shockingly, Cuccinelli isn't the worst of them. Very few people are aware that the Koch brothers have been donating millions CPCs as well.

The powerful politicians, organizations, and individuals like there aren't going to stop using CPCs to push their agenda. That's why we need your help to get the word out and protect women from CPCs' dangerous lies. Learn more about CPCs and find out how you can get involved.


Ohio_state_seal.pngWhat could be more extreme than politicians in Ohio trying to take tax dollars from low-income families and give them to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" that lie to women?

The outrageous - and in some cases just plain bizarre - anti-choice bill that NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has dubbed the "Politicians Playing Doctor" Act.

Thirty-five politicians (and counting) are pushing this bill, which is so egregious that it will force providers to knowingly mislead pregnant women and in some cases even tell them that they do not need medical care at all.

This is truly an anti-choice monster of a bill, so we've broken it down. If passed, the "Politicians Playing Doctor Act" would:

  • Force women to undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion even if it's medically unnecessary - and then make her pay for it herself. In an especially outrageous twist, if the forced ultrasound does not show certain gestational markers that normally appear between four and six weeks, a woman's provider would be forced to tell her she will miscarry and therefore needs no further medical care at all.
  • Require a physician to swear under oath and under penalty of perjury that they've complied with every requirement of the bill or face up to 10 years in prison and pay a $1,000,000 fine.
  • Require doctors to lie to women about the "risks" of abortion care.
  • Extend Ohio's forced waiting period from 24 to 48 hours before a woman can get abortion care, even if she has a medical emergency. And with only one abortion clinic left in Ohio, the time it takes to schedule an appointment can amount to a day of a lot more than 48 hours.
  • Requires women to sign a "conflict of interest" statement that includes the physician or abortion facility's gross income, a percentage of that income that came from providing abortion care, and a statement explaining the financial loss if the woman decides not to get an abortion. It's clearly not about giving a woman information, it's about harassing and stigmatizing abortion providers.

Shocked yet? It gets worse: there is no exemption from any of these requirements if a woman is a survivor of rape, incest, or if her health depends on accessing abortion care sooner.

Politicians think lying, shaming, and even withholding care is medicine, and it's inexcusable. This bill demonstrates just how little regard anti-choice politicians have for women's safety - and how far they're willing to go to restrict a woman's right to choose in Ohio.

If you live in Ohio or have friends there who are as appalled as we are, join NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and ask them to tell Ohio Gov. Kasich to stop these politicians from playing doctor and block this bill if it comes to his desk. You can also stand with Ohio women and tweet your disapproval of this bill to Gov. Kasich's twitter handle: @JohnKasich

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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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The Fight for Choice Continues in the States

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Voters sent a resounding pro-choice message this year when they rejected anti-choice politicians who opposed everything from birth-control coverage to abortion exceptions for rape survivors.

Unfortunately, some anti-choice politicians clearly didn't get the message.

In Texas, anti-choice politicians are pushing legislation that would make it more difficult for women to access medical abortion care, a safe way for women to terminate an early pregnancy. Anti-choice politicians and organizations also are trying to ban abortion late in a pregnancy, a tactic especially harmful to women who face heart-breaking complications.

The state is also continuing its fight in the courts to defund family-planning providers, including Planned Parenthood.

Fortunately, anti-choice politicians in two other states backtracked —for now— on their legislative attacks.

We celebrated a victory when Ohio Senate President Niehaus announced that the legislature would not vote on bills aiming to effectively ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant and defund Planned Parenthood during the lame duck session.

And in Virginia, overwhelming opposition to a proposed "personhood" measure helped convince Sen. Steve Martin, Chairman of the Senate Education and Health Committee, to pull the bill from the committee's agenda. It's good news, but it's not the end. In fact, anti-choice politicians in that state have already pre-filed bills for 2013, including one that would slash insurance coverage of birth control.

Don't expect this to be the last thing we hear about choice in Ohio and Virginia. But, when politicians continue to push their extreme anti-choice agenda, pro-choice women and their allies will push back even harder.

Personal, private medical decisions should be made by a woman and her doctor - not by politicians.

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How to Enjoy Your Turkey *And* Talk to Your Family About Choice

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Thanksgiving is one of those win-win holidays: your responsibilities are to eat, sleep, and enjoy family.

This year, the Thanksgiving conversation may focus on recent topics like...oh...let's say, the elections. Uncle Marvin can't help himself and he starts in on a few of your favorite lawmakers who defeated a few of his favorite candidates.

AwkwardThanksgiving.JPGFortunately, you know your stuff. You've checked out our info pages for the lowdown on how to talk about your pro-choice values in the face of "hostile interrogators."

Thanks to all our pro-choice supporters proudly talking about protecting women's access to birth control and abortion, we were able to defeat so many anti-choice candidates. You can tell Uncle Marvin about the anti-choice politicians who oppose abortion services even for survivors of rape or incest.

You can tell Uncle Marvin that voters broadly support the new contraceptive-coverage policy and don't want to see Planned Parenthood defunded.

You can let him know that on Election Day, voters rejected these extreme anti-choice positions. Not only did they re-elect our pro-choice president, they also voted 43 new pro-choice faces into Congress.

Also, you can let him know that pro-choice Americans still have some challenges ahead.

Anti-choice politicians in Ohio clearly didn't get the message, because they're pushing for legislation that could ban abortion services before a woman even knows she's pregnant.

And when a judge in the court case against Arizona's 20-week abortion ban asked about the tragic circumstances of a woman with a wanted pregnancy facing a severe fetal anomaly, the state's solicitor general showed his complete lack of compassion by saying, "With due respect, that's a woman's problem. She should have made that decision earlier."

Even if you and Uncle Marv have disagreed in the past, you never know...maybe you can share a point of view he hadn't considered before. And maybe your cousin in college, who overhears the discussion, will keep your conversation in mind and talk to her friends when she goes back to school.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Pro-Choice Sen. Sherrod Brown Stands Up for Women in Ohio

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220px-Sherrod_Brown.jpgThe Senate race in Ohio could not be more important for choice.

The incumbent, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), is pro-choice and is endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC. He is being challenged by anti-choice state Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Sen. Brown and Josh Mandel debated for the very first time this week, and their positions on abortion were raised several times.

Sen. Brown effectively pointed out Mandel's true position:

"Mandel is even more extreme than Romney on abortion, and does not support exceptions for rape or incest victims."

Mandel even threatened the overturn of Roe v. Wade:

"I will take seriously my role to appoint Supreme Court Justices, and will only approve of ones that are pro-life."

Mandel is endorsed by some of the most extreme anti-choice groups, including Ohio Right to Life PAC and the National Right to Life PAC. His anti-choice agenda is completely out of touch with Ohio women and their families.

This is why we couldn't be more proud to support pro-choice champion Sen. Sherrod Brown in his campaign for re-election.

This spring, Sen. Brown voted against the Blunt amendment, which would have allowed any boss to block their employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control. And he stood up to an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. He also voted against a bill that would have cut funding for contraception and cancer screenings for low-income women.

In the recent debate, Sen. Brown stood up for all women in Ohio when he said:

"I trust Ohio Women to make their own health care decisions."

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

That's why we must send Sen. Brown back to Washington for the next six years. If you have friends or family in Ohio, urge them to vote for a true champion for women's health and privacy, Sen. Sherrod Brown.

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

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Celebrating No-Cost Birth Control for Women Across America

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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.


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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.

Our pro-choice activists must have been loud, because Ohio News Network and Progress Ohio covered the event.

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.

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Vote for Pro-Choice Rep. Dennis Kucinich Tuesday!

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NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC has endorsed Rep. Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary for Ohio's 9th Congressional District. The primary election is this Tuesday, March 6.

Rep. Kucinich believes strongly in a woman's right to choose. As politicians in Congress launch more extreme and outlandish attacks on women's freedom and privacy, we need Rep. Dennis Kucinich to continue to be a strong pro-choice voice in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Because of redistricting, Rep. Kucinich is running against Rep. Marcy Kaptur in the Democratic primary.

Unfortunately, Rep. Kaptur cannot be counted on to vote pro-choice. In fact, she even voted for the infamous Stupak amendment during the health-care reform debate in 2009.

And that's not all. This past year, Rep. Kaptur:

  • Voted with anti-choice politicians on a bill that would ban abortion coverage in state health-insurance exchanges;
  • Voted to impose tax penalties on small businesses and many individuals who purchase private health plans that include abortion coverage;
  • Voted to make permanent several restrictions that block many women from accessing abortion care; and
  • Supported an anti-choice amendment to the agriculture bill that would make it more difficult for rural women who use telemedicine to discuss all their options, including abortion, with their doctor.

Simply put, there's only one pro-choice candidate in this primary race: Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

If you're a registered Democrat in Ohio's 9th Congressional District, check out our Voter Guide for more information on how and where to vote.

And be sure to vote for pro-choice Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Tuesday, March 6.

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

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Pennsylvania Governor Signs Anti-Choice Bill

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Call it the winter of 69.

Anti-choice Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett just signed a new anti-choice bill into law, bringing the number of anti-choice measures enacted in the states in 2011 to 69.

The measure Gov. Corbett signed is a TRAP law, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. It subjects abortion providers to unnecessary and burdensome regulations that other medical professionals don't have to follow.

Despite the outcome, we were proud to work with allies in the Keystone State to counter this measure. More than 800 of our activists called on Gov. Corbett to veto the bill. Apparently, listening to the public is not in vogue this season.

The enactment of Pennsylvania's TRAP law comes just two days after anti-choice Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a ban on insurance coverage of abortion care from the state's new health-insurance exchange.

We knew Pennsylvania could never let Ohio have the last word.

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Yesterday, Ohio's anti-choice governor, John Kasich, signed into a law a measure banning insurance coverage of abortion care from the state's new health-insurance exchange.

Kasich's action means that states have thus far enacted a whopping 68 anti-choice measures in 2011.

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said that anti-choice politicians in Columbus were clearly out of touch with Ohioans' values and priorities:

Politicians should never be allowed to limit the kinds of insurance benefits that women are allowed to purchase with their own money. All women deserve the same peace of mind that they can obtain the health care they need, regardless of where their insurance comes from. It is appalling that Governor Kasich signed this bill, which clearly violates the Ohio Constitution, into law. Surely there are better ways to spend taxpayer dollars than defending unconstitutional legislation in court.

But I guess Gov. Kasich and his anti-choice allies are what you'd call "constitutional conservatives": conserve the parts of the Constitution you like, ignore the parts you don't.

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War on Women Continues in Ohio

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It's the heat of summer, and anti-choice politicians are still finding the time to wage their war on women's health care!

Yesterday, anti-choice Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a far-reaching ban on abortion care into law

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, called the new law another example of political intrusion in the doctor-patient relationship:

This intrusive new law will force women who face serious health problems later in their pregnancies to wait until their lives are in jeopardy before a doctor can legally terminate their pregnancy and has no exception to provide care for women carrying a fetus with a severe anomaly. Ohio is on the fast track to becoming the most dangerous state in the country for pregnant women.
 
Last fall, Governor Kasich promised voters that he would work tirelessly to create jobs and grow our economy. Instead he has joined the legislature's War on Ohio Women. He and the Ohio Legislature are endangering women's health because they don't trust women and their doctors to make personal, private decisions for themselves.

Hmm, a politician promising to focus on jobs and the economy, and then turning around and waging a War on Women? Sounds like a familiar story. 

Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio for standing up for women in the Buckeye State. 

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Anti-Choice Sneak Attack in Ohio

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Imagine you're an anti-choice state legislator. You want to introduce extreme anti-choice bills, but every time you do this, people wonder why you're focusing on attacking women's health care instead of creating jobs and growing the economy. So what do you do?

How about sneaking your anti-choice attack into a budget bill at the last minute, without any public commentary? And then turning your phone off so that you don't have to hear from your outraged constituents?

That's exactly what the anti-choice leadership of the Ohio state Senate did yesterday. The senators inserted language into the budget bill that would ban abortion care in all hospitals that receive state money.

Here's what Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, had to say about this outrageous legislative maneuver:

It is obvious that Ohio Senate leaders know this move is shameful; they waited until the eleventh hour to launch this attack so that no public testimony opposing these dangerous measures could be heard. They've even stopped answering their phones.

It's just further evidence that anti-choice politicians will advance their War on Women by any means necessary. Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio for catching them in the act. 

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A Webinar on the War on Women!

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Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America held a press webinar with reporters, bloggers, and key supporters to discuss the unprecedented wave of attacks on women's freedom and privacy in Congress and the states. You can watch a video and check out the slides for yourself (download the PDF or view them below).


You will hear the voices of Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Donna Crane, our policy director. 

We were also honored that Ohio state Rep. Nickie Antonio, a pro-choice member of the state legislature, joined us to share her experience of fighting against anti-choice attacks. She spoke firsthand about the dire consequences that the 2010 elections have had for women in the Buckeye State. 

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, talked about one bill that could ban abortion care before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

We'd love to get your feedback on the webinar. Please leave a comment to let us know what you think. 

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It's been a busy day in the states. Choice-related bills are being considered in Ohio, New Hampshire, and New York City. When it comes to their effect on women's freedom and privacy, these bills range from good to bad to downright atrocious.

First, the good news.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, the New York City Council just passed a bill that requires anti-choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) to adhere to truth-in-advertising standards. 

CPCs are fake clinics that are often staffed by anti-choice activists who mislead and lie to women about abortion and birth control. The primary reason they exist is to dissuade women from choosing legal abortion care. 


Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice New York, and to the New York City Council for standing up for a woman's right to receive medically accurate information!

Now on to some bad news.

NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire is reporting that a bill imposing a dangerous parental-involvement mandate just got one step closer to passage. This bill would require young women who seek abortion care to tell their parents or go to court, even if they come from homes with physical and emotional abuse.

Pilar Olivo, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire, said the bill would jeopardize young women's health and safety, noting that "if a young woman has been raped, she should get to decide who she gets to talk to first."

New Hampshire's previous parental-involvement mandate was repealed in 2007 by pro-choice Gov. John Lynch and a bipartisan coalition of New Hampshire legislatorsNARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire will continue to fight this dangerous bill.

Now on to the Buckeye State, which wins today's award for biggest anti-choice side show.

Anti-choice state legislators in Ohio recently introduced a bill that could ban abortion care before a woman even knows she's pregnant.

Today, the Ohio House Health Committee held a hearing on the bill, during which anti-choice lawmakers called on a fetus to "testify." At the same time, the committee's chairman barred testimony from women who have chosen abortion care. (I guess women don't have anything to say in the matter.)

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, called the hearing a media stunt

It is clear that this committee is more interested in making headlines than discussing how to improve women's access to health care or create good jobs in our state. This bill could entangle Ohio in an expensive legal fight, and is out of touch with our state's values and priorities.

It is beyond disappointing that the committee won't allow video testimony so they can hear from women who have made the profoundly personal decision to terminate a pregnancy. The politicians behind this bill refuse to acknowledge what Ohioans understand: Every woman's situation is different, and it's unacceptable for anti-choice lawmakers to think they should make the personal, private decisions that belong to women and their doctors.

Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio for standing up to anti-choice politicians and their backwards priorities. 

Thanks also to NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, which is standing up against anti-choice Gov. Scott Walker's attempts to bring his own War on Women to the Badger State.

And a shout-out to our entire network of state affiliates, who fight to protect women's freedom and privacy in statehouses and city councils across the country. 


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Anti-choice lawmakers in Ohio have introduced one of the most dangerous and extreme attacks on choice in the country

Under the provisions of a new bill, abortion care could be banned as early as the fifth week of pregnancy--before many women even know they're pregnant! Doctors who provide abortion care after that point could face up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. 

Ohio is currently facing an $8 billion budget shortfall, yet anti-choice politicians in Columbus are making attacks on a woman's right to choose a top priority. In the last two weeks, they've introduced five bills that interfere with a woman's ability to make personal, private medical decisions. And with a new anti-choice governor and state legislature, these dangerous bills could very well become law.

Our colleagues at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio are fighting against these attacks on women's freedom and privacy. Kellie Copeland, the organization's executive director, called out the anti-choice legislative leadership for pulling a bait and switch on Ohio voters:

Ohio's new legislative leadership campaigned on a promise of creating jobs and revitalizing the economy. Instead, at the first available opportunity, these politicians are pushing an anti-choice agenda that is out of touch with Ohio's values and priorities. Ohio's anti-choice politicians who campaigned on less government intrusion in our lives are actually fine with government intrusion as long as it involves the personal, private decisions that take place between a woman and her doctor.

It's the same anti-choice hypocrisy we're seeing in Congress and in statehouses across the country

Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and all of our state affiliates for fighting against these dangerous attacks on women's health. 

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Here is today's updated list of vigils. We're still receiving notice of more popping up all over the country, so we will continue to update this list, and the full list from Monday.

If you've attended a vigil for Dr. George Tiller, and took pictures, please email them to us so we can add them to our flickr set and put them on our blog.

As always, please be sure to let us know of events that you know of but don't see on our list. You can email us or leave it in the comments below. Thanks!

Concord, NH: 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, statehouse grounds in Concord, NH. For more information, call NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire at 603-228-1224.

Austin, TX: 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, The Hill at Butler Park: 903 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX, Located between Riverside Drive and Barton Springs. Immediately west of Palmer Events Center.

New Haven, CT: 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, First Presbyterian Church of New Haven: 704 Whitney Avenue, New Haven CT 06511, For more information, email Gretchen

Columbus, OH: 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, Broad Street Methodist Church, 501 East Broad Street, Columbus 43215

Richmond, VA: 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, Richmond First Unitarian Church: 1000 Blanton Avenue

Gainesville, FL: 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, Planned Parenthood clinic: 914 NW 13th St. Please park in the Office Depot parking lot.

Tallahassee, FL: 6 p.m. on Friday, June 5, on the steps of the new Capitol at Waller Park. This side of the Capitol is right across from the Supreme Court on Duval Street.

Chicago, IL: 8:15-9:15 p.m. on Friday, June 5, Churchill Field Playlot Park (c/o Holstein Park): 1825 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, For more information, send an email here.

San Marcos, TX: 8 p.m. on Friday, June 5, Courthouse Square, San Marcos, TX

Jacksonville, FL: 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, Planned Parenthood clinic:  3850 Beach Blvd.

Madison, WI: 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, Lisa Link Peace Park: 400 State Street, Madison, WI, please direct any questions to the NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin office at (608) 287-0016 or via email

Milwaukee, WI: 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee: 1342 Astor Street, more information on the NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin website.

Washington, DC: 6 pm.m on Monday, June 8, Remembrance and Celebration of Dr. George Tiller, The National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle, N.W., Washington DC

Denver, CO: 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, location TBD, please direct any questions to the NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado office at (303) 394-1973. RSVP for confirmation of details to denvervigil@prochoicecolorado.org 

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