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Results tagged “Sandra Fluke” from Blog for Choice

It's March, which means it's Women's History Month!

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis became a household name overnight when she took an epic stand against extreme anti-choice politicians in her state. There are so many pro-choice champions that few are ever recognized for their hard work and dedication to protecting women's reproductive freedom. That's why this year, we're recognizing some amazing heroines of the pro-choice movement that stood up to anti-choice attacks in their states, and work tirelessly to protect and expand women's access to reproductive-health care, birth control, and abortion services.

In New Mexico, we recognize Dolores Huerta, a worker's and women's right activist who was a key figure in battling the first city-wide abortion ban proposed in Albuquerque. In an ad produced by NARAL Pro-Choice America, Advocates for Youth, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and Young Women United, Dolores said:

"I am Dolores Huerta, New Mexican, and Catholic mother of eleven. Women are the only ones who should make decisions about their bodies. We cannot allow others to interfere in our lives. Decisions about abortion belong with a woman, her family, and her doctor. I have fought for working people all of my life. Join me and defend the rights, dignity and the respect of all women and families."

Huerta has been fighting for civil rights for more than six decades. She recently received our Champion of Choice Award. Check out this video of her acceptance speech:


In Massachusetts, we recognize Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office defended the state's pro-choice buffer zone law at the Supreme Court, which NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts supported strongly. This law protects patients and medical professionals from being harassed and intimidated by anti-choice protestors who mob reproductive-health clinics.


Attorney General Coakley released a statement after the buffer zone oral arguments and said:

"I am proud that Massachusetts passed the buffer zone law to help people access reproductive health care free from harassment... I thought the justices asked insightful questions about the constitutional balance that this law must, and we believe does, strike. I am hopeful that they will conclude that the buffer zone statute appropriately protects speech, health care access, and public safety, and should remain law."

In Oklahoma, we're like to recognize Rep. Constance Johnson who led the charge against recent legislative attacks in her state.

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When politicians in the Oklahoma state legislature pushed for extreme anti-choice "personhood" legislation that would ban abortion care with no exception for survivors of rape or incest and could also ban in-vitro fertilization, Sen. Johnson fought back.

Sen. Johnson introduced her own tongue-in-cheek bill to ban "non-procreative ejaculation" and expose the hypocrisy of anti-choice politicians who would endanger women's health:

"As a woman and a 31-year veteran of the legislative process in Oklahoma, I am increasingly offended by state law trends that solely focus on the female's role in the reproductive process. With Oklahoma's new, never-before-experienced Republican majority, we are seeing enactment of more and more measures that adversely affect women and their rights to access safe medical procedures when making reproductive-health care decisions."

In New Hampshire, we recognize former NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire board member and co-chair of the New Hampshire Reproductive Rights legislative caucus, state Rep. Candace White Bouchard.

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Year after year, Rep. Bouchard stands up to legislative attacks on choice and received NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire's Champion of Choice award in 2012. Rep. Bouchard co-sponsored the New Hampshire buffer zone bill and was lauded by her pro-choice peers when she bravely refused to allow an anti-choice colleague to speak against abortion to the full House on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Over in Michigan, we must recognize Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer who took a stand and bravely shared her own personal story of sexual assault to fight the anti-choice "rape insurance" bill in Michigan. She spoke out against her extreme anti-choice colleagues, saying:

"As a legislator, a lawyer, a woman and the mother of two girls, I think the fact that rape insurance is even being discussed by this body is repulsive, let alone the way it has been orchestrated and now shoved through the legislature."Those of you on the other side of the aisle are all too happy to be puppets in this offensive game impacting women's lives... This is by far one of the most misogynistic proposals I've ever seen in the Michigan legislature."

You can watch state Sen. Whitmer's testimony below:


In California, we recognize state Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, who authored a law in 2013 that expands access to safe abortion care in the Golden State.


This new law, which NARAL Pro-Choice California organized around to help pass, will increase the number of medical professionals, including midwives and nurses, who can provide early abortion care.

We honored Asm. Atkins in our 23rd edition of Who Decides? The Status of Reproductive Choice in the States for her amazing work protecting and expanding women's reproductive rights in California.

We know that the brave work of these pro-choice heroines would have been possible without contributions from pioneers and advocates of women's reproductive rights. That's why we'd like to recognize former Missouri state Sen. Harriet Woods for being a trailblazer in politics. Sen. Woods' political career spanned more than three decades. She served in the Missouri legislature with just a handful of women in the 1980s and went on to become the first, and so far the only, female Lieutenant Governor of Missouri.


Sen. Woods' loss in a tight race for U.S. Senate against incumbent John Danforth led to the creation of the pro-choice democratic non-profit EMILY's List. From 1991-1995, Sen. Woods served as the president of the Women's Political Caucus and continued her work fighting for women alongside NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri until she passed away in 2007.

As we recognize pro-choice heroines of the past we also look to the future and to up-and-coming pro-choice leaders who are just getting started on their paths to protecting women's freedom and privacy. New pro-choice supporters and activists pop up every day across the country. They're the ones who will lead the charge and make sure women continue to have access to comprehensive reproductive-health care and abortion access.

That's why we're also we recognizing NARAL Pro-Choice California PrivacyPAC-endorsed California state senate candidate Sandra Fluke.

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Fluke garnered national attention when she was denied the right to testify at the now-infamous all-male panel on birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Fluke has since dedicated her career to social justice and public advocacy. She recently attended NARAL Pro-Choice America's San Francisco Power of Choice Luncheon as a special guest and panelist.

We're so thankful to have pro-choice champions defending women's reproductive freedom in every state. These elected officials, along with countless others, work every day to make sure women have safe, legal, access to all of their reproductive options.

In honor of Women's History Month, we recognize and thank these elected officials for their service and for not backing down to anti-choice legislative attacks across the country.

One Year Later: Sandra Fluke's Moving Testimony on Birth Control


Ali Tweedt is a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's communications and online advocacy strategies department.

This time last year, I went to Capitol Hill to watch a hearing on the no-cost birth-control policy under the Affordable Care Act.

The only pro-choice witness who came to speak in support of the policy, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, was denied the chance to testify at anti-choice Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA) now-infamous all-male panel attacking contraceptive coverage.

Rep. Issa refused to let Sandra testify about the importance of no-cost birth control because she was "unqualified."

I was fortunate to attend that hearing, and I'll never forget the look of complete disbelief from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) as she walked out of the hearing in protest, demanding an answer to the obvious question:

"Where are the women?"

Pro-choice members of Congress made sure Sandra was not silenced. On February 23, 2012, they held their own hearing so that she could finally share her testimony. I remember sitting in that room captivated while listening to Sandra tell the stories of women whose lives depended on affordable birth control.

Sandra's testimony in support of birth-control coverage - and the personal attacks she endured because she dared to speak out on this critical issue - helped galvanize pro-choice Americans to fight back against the War on Women.

Rush Limbaugh sank to a new low when he called her a "slut" and a "prostitute." Despite his anti-choice attacks, Sandra Fluke became a household name as a champion for women's freedom and privacy by giving a voice to the many women who struggle to pay for birth control they desperately need:

"This is the message that not requiring coverage of contraception sends: a woman's reproductive-health care isn't a necessity, isn't a priority."

One year ago, Sandra Fluke took a stand in support of women's access to no-cost birth-control coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And today, we continue the fight to ensure that all women have access to the essential reproductive-health care that they deserve.


Stand up for the no-cost birth-control policy by taking action to protect women's health.

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On Sunday, 200 pro-choice women and men braved New York City's chilly temperatures and rainy weather and came out for the Third Annual Multi-Generational Brunch, hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America's Future Direction Committee.

Mothers, daughters, and granddaughters came to the event to stand up for their pro-choice values. Personal stories were the theme of the day, and each story shared was a reminder of two things: the importance of living out our personal beliefs, and the importance of making our voices heard. 

Roz Jonas (pictured with her daughter, Lauren) and Dana Weinstein moved guests to tears with their personal abortion stories.

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Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, presented Sandra Fluke with the Stand Up for Choice Award for her amazing work speaking out for birth control in the face of a panoply of personal attacks against her.

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Sandra shared with the audience the importance of every woman telling her story. All of the stories highlighted the importance of standing up and speaking out to make your pro-choice voice heard.

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Last month, Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law student, testified before Congress about the importance of birth control to women's health.

She continued to speak out for contraception even after right-wing talking heads made disgusting and misogynistic comments about her.

(Most recently, Sandra gave an interview with Fox31 Denver.)

Because of Sandra's courage, our Future Direction Committee is honoring her with the Stand Up for Choice Award at next month's Multi-Generational Brunch in New York City.

Here's what Amanda Hirsh, chair of the Future Direction Committee, had to say about Sandra:

We are thrilled to honor Sandra Fluke with the Stand Up For Choice Award at this year's multi-generational brunch. Attempts to silence voices like Sandra's have failed. Young leaders across the country are looking to Sandra as an inspiration. We have cheered for her as she eloquently outlined her support for contraceptive coverage, and we can't wait to commend her strength and perseverance in person.

NARAL Pro-Choice America's Future Direction Committee is made up of young professionals who represent the next generation of pro-choice leaders.

The brunch will be held Sunday, April 22 at noon at The University Club in Manhattan.

Get your tickets today, and come have brunch with Sandra on April 22.

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Romney and Santorum Fail Women Voters


Last week, Rush Limbaugh launched an on-air attack on Sandra Fluke, the law student who testified before Congress about the importance of birth control to women's health. Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute," and spent three days making disgusting and misogynistic comments about her.

Limbaugh's sponsors are jumping ship: already, more than 25 have abandoned his show, and the number looks to keep growing.

If ever there was a time to stand up for basic decency and against hate speech, this is it.

So what do presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have to say about the situation?

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Romney wouldn't call for Limbaugh to apologize and cowardly said "it's not the language I would have used."

Santorum brushed off the issue by saying, "an entertainer can be absurd."

Not the language you would have used? Then what sort of language would you have used, Mitt?

And, Rick, an all-male panel attacking women's access to contraception is absurd. Calling a woman who speaks out for women's health a "slut" and a "prostitute" is hateful and sickening.

These two men want to be president of the United States--the most powerful person in the world--and they can't even stand up to Rush Limbaugh?

Tell Mitt and Rick that they don't stand for women. Make sure they know that by refusing to denounce Limbaugh, they failed Sandra and all women who use birth control.

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

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Yesterday Rush Limbaugh threw insults at Sandra Fluke, the courageous law student who testified before Congress about the importance of birth control to women's health. Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute."

Progressives everywhere, including progressive leaders in Congress, called out Limbaugh for his inappropriate attack.

Limbaugh doubled down today with a rant in response to the criticism. He offered a deal to "feminazis" who support no-cost birth control: "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it... We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch." Listen for yourself:

Are you as outraged as we are? Sign your name to this petition calling on the local stations that carry Limbaugh's program to drop him from their lineup for his reprehensible remarks about women.

By the way, Rush, you don't scare us. We stand with Sandra Fluke and will continue to stand up to you and other anti-contraception extremists.

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

Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave Sandra Fluke the opportunity to finally give her testimony on the importance birth-control coverage to women.

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Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) joined Leader Pelosi. All of these lawmakers attended last week's hearing featuring 10 anti-contraception witnesses.

Sandra, a third-year student at Georgetown Law School, talked about the challenges that millions of women face paying for birth control, and why the new contraceptive-coverage policy is a win for women.

One key takeaway is that birth control protects women's health. One of Sandra's friends lost an ovary - and potentially her ability to have children in the future - when she was unable to pay for birth control after her insurance company refused to cover her prescription to treat polycystic ovary syndrome. Another woman Sandra knows takes birth control to prevent seizures. This woman struggles to afford her prescription, but the medication is critical to her health.

Sandra also reminded Congress that women shouldn't have to sacrifice getting the best education at a prestigious, religiously affiliated school that admits and employs people of all faiths in order to get the health care they need. Yet anti-contraception politicians are seeking to do this and more: allow corporations and institutions to deny a woman insurance coverage of birth control.

Don't worry - Sandra's testimony won't only be heard by these four pro-choice champions. Leader Pelosi promised to read it on the House floor so that all representatives can hear it.

Now that Sandra has shared her story with Congress, why not share yours? If you have a computer, camera, or phone with recording capabilities, then you can tell Congress why birth control is important to you!

Go to our coalition website for instructions and add your video to the voices of women everywhere who have already submitted theirs.

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Nancy Pelosi's Birth-Control Hearing


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

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is fighting back against the legislative attacks.

This morning, Leader Pelosi will give Sandra Fluke the opportunity to finally give her testimony in Congress. Sandra is the Georgetown Law Center student who was prepared to testify at a hearing last week about the importance of birth control to millions of women. But the committee's chairman refused to let her have a say, claiming that she was not "qualified" or "appropriate" for the hearing.

Unfortunately, anti-contraception lawmakers couldn't leave well enough alone. Instead, they initially refused to televise today's hearing.

Can women's contraceptive coverage become any more politicized?

Follow our tweets live from the hearing today. Even if you don't use Twitter, you can follow along by going to our Twitter feed.

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The Woman Rep. Issa Didn't Want You to Hear From


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

The picture says it all:

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Yesterday's congressional hearing on contraception, where not one woman was allowed to talk about the importance of birth control, sparked outrage. And eight of the ten anti-choice witnesses were men.

Who is the woman the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to let testify?

Let us introduce you to Sandra Fluke, who recorded this video:

It's, in a word, amazing. It shows pure courage to stand up for what's right and a determination to not allow members of Congress to bully or intimidate women.

Anti-contraception members of Congress didn't silence Sandra Fluke - don't let them silence you. We expect the U.S. Senate to vote on the Blunt amendment when they return from their recess next week. Help us stop this extreme attack on women's contraceptive coverage.

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