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Results tagged “Raymond Wieczorek” from Blog for Choice

Highlights and Lowlights: Your Round-Up from the States

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There was a flurry of choice-related headlines from the states this week--some of them very, very good, some of them horrid.

Let's get the horrid news out of the way:

The commonwealth of Virginia has seen more than its fair share of extreme attacks on a woman's right to choose this year. a state board voted to adopt politically motivated rules governing health centers that provide abortion care. The new regulations threaten to close 21 abortion providers. So, women lose access to abortion care as a result of the policies passed by anti-choice politicians. As Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated clearly, the personal is connected to the political:

These regulations, singling out women's health centers for burdensome and medically-unnecessary new requirements, remind us once again the importance of elections. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will be working in the next few months to hold anti-choice elected officials accountable by mobilizing voters to elect candidates to the state General Assembly who will not play politics with women's health.

Let's cross the Potomac and get back to Washington, D.C., where a Senate committee passed a bill that does NOT include the D.C. abortion ban. You know, it's the ban that blocks the city's elected leaders from using local funds to provide abortion care to low-income women.

(Yes, I know D.C. is not a state. That's why Congress has control over the city's local affairs in the first place.)

Our activists flooded Senate offices with tons of messages, so it's good to see this bit of progress, even though the bill has a long, long way to go.

Now...are you ready for the straight-up good news of the weekend? I thought so.

For that, let's go to the Granite State. (You know, the place where Rep. Michele Bachmann thinks the Revolutionary War started.) You might recall that a state council in New Hampshire voted to end a contract with Planned Parenthood that threatened thousands of residents' access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic care.

You may also remember one council member, Raymond Wieczorek, who expressed his thoughts on women who use contraception:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

Well, this week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (a past recipient of NARAL Pro-Choice America's Champion of Choice award) announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will ensure that residents of the state continue to have affordable access to these critical services.

NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire summed it up in this way:

We applaud Sen. Shaheen for her leadership in standing up for women's access to basic, affordable health care in our state. The Executive Council played politics with the health care of thousands of New Hampshire men and women. The public outrage, combined with Sen. Shaheen's persistence and the Obama administration's decision to ensure women's access to contraception and cancer screenings, made this important victory possible. But we encourage New Hampshire residents to continue to let their elected officials know that blatant political attacks on women's health are unacceptable.

As we told our good friend Felicity Huffman, it's best to end on a good note.

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

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Ninety-eight percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives.

Think about that. Ninety-eight percent. There's no TV show that's watched by 98 percent of American women, no sports team that can count on 98 percent of the population as its fans. In an age of polarization, there is perhaps nothing so universally used and accepted as birth control.

This week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that, as medical experts advised, newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay. In a country where one in three women finds it difficult to pay for birth control, Secretary Sebelius' decision was a victory for women's health and common sense.

The reaction from right-wing politicians and commentators? You'll have to see (or read) it to believe it.

On Monday, Rep. Steve King of Iowa spoke out against birth control on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He called the new no-cost birth control regulations "bizarre," "Orwellian," and said that they would make us "a dying civilization":


Bill O'Reilly of Fox News doubted the importance of no-cost birth control, saying, "Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex. They're not going to use birth control anyway."


In June, New Hampshire's Executive Council voted to cut off state funding for family-planning services at Planned Parenthood, forcing the state's six clinics to stop providing birth control.

Councillor Raymond Wieczorek expressed his feelings on women who use contraception:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

Not to be outdone, the commissioners of Ravalli County, Montana are threatening to reject Title-X funds, putting nearly 500 residents' access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other care at risk.

But no problem, according to Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher:

In my mind, pregnancy is not a disease state. An unplanned pregnancy doesn't make it anymore so. You can say it's a social problem, and you can argue there is a role for government to take some action in that. I don't believe that's the case.

Back in the world of "fair and balanced," Sandy Rios, vice president of Family PAC Federal and another Fox News contributor, had this to say:

Is the White House out of their mind? Does the West Wing not know what the left wing is doing? We're $14 trillion in debt and now we're going to cover birth control, breast pumps, counseling for abuse? Are we going to do pedicures and manicures as well?


Let's review what they oppose...again.

Insurance plans will cover contraception without a copay--improving women's access to family-planning services and thereby reducing the need for abortion.

As more of these anti-contraception extremists speak, I'm confident it will spur even more Americans to side with us. Do you agree?

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Birth Control Battle in Big Sky Country

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Another state, another set of politicians trying to block women's access to birth control. 

Last month, it was New Hampshire, where a member of the state's Executive Council quipped, "If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?"

Now, NARAL Pro-Choice Montana tells us that the commissioners of Ravalli County, Montana are threatening to shut down the county's family-planning clinic, which women depend on for access to birth control, cancer screenings, Pap smears, and other basic health care. 

The clinic receives federal funding through Title X, the nation's family-planning program. If the county commissioners follow through on their threat to reject these funds, the program will probably be eliminated. 

But that's not a bad thing according to Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher

In my mind, pregnancy is not a disease state. An unplanned pregnancy doesn't make it anymore so. You can say it's a social problem, and you can argue there is a role for government to take some action in that. I don't believe that's the case.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) doesn't share Commissioner Kanenwisher's backwards views on women's health. Yesterday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that newly issued insurance plans must cover the full range of FDA-approved contraception without a copay starting next year.  

In the meantime, the Ravalli County commissioners will meet again on Thursday to discuss whether to reject the Title X funds. 

Politicians like Commissioner Kanenwisher remind us why no-cost birth control is so important for all American women. 


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One More Word on New Hampshire

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As reported here on Blog for Choice, the New Hampshire Executive Council voted last month to reject a contract with Planned Parenthood, forcing the state's six clinics to stop providing birth control.

Councilor Raymond Wieczorek summed up his thoughts on women who use contraception:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

The Executive Council met again last Wednesday, and could have overturned its previous vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

But...it didn't. The Executive Council let stand its previous decision, putting women's health in jeopardy and putting the state at risk of losing federal dollars.

The lengths to which these anti-choice politicians will go are astounding!

Fortunately, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire was there to answer back. Check out their rally at the State House in Concord:






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More on that New Hampshire Executive Council

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Our affiliate, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire, gave us an update to yesterday's post on the Executive Council, whose vote to reject a contract with Planned Parenthood forced the state's six clinics to stop providing birth control.

In particular, one council member's comments about women who use contraception struck a nerve with many of our readers here at Blog for Choice:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

I know it's called the Granite State, but that doesn't mean that its politicians need to be stuck in the Stone Age. 

The Executive Council will meet again tomorrow, and could reconsider its vote to defund Planned Parenthood. If you live in New Hampshire, take action through our affiliate.

And not a moment too soon: Nick Toumpas, New Hampshire's commissioner of health and human services, said that cuts to family-planning funding put the state at risk of losing federal dollars.

So tomorrow will be a test of how far these politicians want to take their attacks on women's health care.





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Another state, another attack on women's health care. The latest outrage comes from New Hampshire, where the state's Executive Council last month rejected a contract with Planned Parenthood

The result: the Granite State's six Planned Parenthood clinics have now stopped providing birth control.

But that's no problem, according to Raymond Wieczorek, one of the council members who voted to end the contract. He had this to say about women who use contraception:

If they want to have a good time, why not let them pay for it?

As a reminder to Councilor Wieczorek, 98 percent of American women use birth control during their lifetime. And one in three will struggle with the high cost of prescription contraception.

Comments like these send your blood pressure to Mt. Washington-level heights? As NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire counters Wieczorek's comments on the ground, there's something you can do about it.




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