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Results tagged “Supreme Court” from Blog for Choice

Celebrating Women's History Month: The Legacy of Roe v. Wade

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As we wrap up Women's History Month, it's important to think about how far we have come in the fight for reproductive freedom, and remember the many gains for women that came as a result of Roe v. Wade.

Before Roe, women were often forced to choose between their families, and their educations or careers. The legalization of birth control and abortion allowed society to take great strides forward by ensuring that women have the power to make important choices about their futures.

Studies show that with access to family-planning services and contraception, women are better able to take care of themselves, support themselves financially, and pursue their aspirations.

With the many gains we've won for women, it can be easy to rest on our laurels or get distracted by smaller fights for women's freedom and privacy. Instead, we should turn our attention to the future we will create and what the legacy of Roe v. Wade will mean to the generations that come after us.

Young pro-choice activists from diverse backgrounds are making their voices heard all over the world. Women continue to gain ground in the military, on Capitol Hill, and in the corner offices of Fortune 500s and nonprofit organizations.

Unfortunately, we're still fighting to protect a basic right that the Supreme Court ruled on decades ago, a woman's right to choose.

The new generation has the power to protect and expand these essential rights for women. And the responsibility falls on us to change the current the conversation from one of gender politics to conversations about social equality and equal opportunity.

What do the next 40 years of Roe look like to you?

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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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Who got booed for naming an extreme anti-choice Justice Scalia as his "model Supreme Court justice?"

Why that would be Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

Sen. Brown has attempted to appear moderate to voters, and has even tried to mislead them by calling himself pro-choice. But his statement about Justice Scalia, combined with his voting record, reveal his true colors.

After all, it's no secret that Justice Scalia is extremely anti-choice. He recently made the news for calling Roe v. Wade "utterly idiotic."

Here's the full story:

Sen. Brown is running against Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for the Massachusetts Senate seat. During a recent debate, Sen. Brown was asked to name his model Supreme Court justice. He answered:

"Let me see here, that's a great question. I think Justice Scalia is a very good judge."

The response was promptly met with loud boos from the audience.

If you have friends who vote in Massachusetts, tell them to cast their votes for pro-choice Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. We cannot trust Sen. Scott Brown to protect women's freedom and privacy.

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

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The anti-choice leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives just can't help themselves.

They're like Captain Ahab and Wile E. Coyote combined with their mad obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

And even though the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the House will vote again tomorrow to repeal this landmark piece of legislation--the 31st attempt by the anti-choice House leadership to invalidate the law.

And just what are they voting to repeal?

  • Improving women's access to maternity care
  • Covering birth control without a copay
  • Allowing young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
  • Refusing to let insurance companies discriminate against women.

What planet are these people living on?

Instead of taking action to create jobs and grow our economy, anti-choice members of the House are voting to attack our health care--again.

Call your representative at 202-224-3121, and tell him or her that enough is enough: vote NO on this latest attack on health care.

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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare!

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Good news: this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare!

The law will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care.

It's a HUGE victory for American women!

A group of my NARAL Pro-Choice America colleagues was out on the Supreme Court steps this morning speaking out for Obamacare.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians in Congress are still trying to repeal the health-care law. In fact, less than an hour after the Supreme Court issued its ruling, anti-choice U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell went to the floor of the Senate to call for a repeal of the law.

That's why we must tell Congress that enough is enough: no more attacks on our health care.

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How the "Mad Men" Method of Birth Control Ended

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Lissy Moskowitz is the deputy director of policy at NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Today, we commemorate the 47th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the monumental 1965 Supreme Court case that recognized Americans' right to use birth control. The Griswold decision recognized a key aspect of the right to privacy: that individuals should be free from political interference regarding decisions as fundamental as whether to start a family.

Imagine life before Griswold, when married couples could be arrested for using birth control. Women relied on unsafe and ineffective methods like "Lysol douche" because it was illegal for companies to sell women contraceptives. Doctors faced criminal charges for receiving shipments of diaphragms from overseas countries. Clinical trials for the birth-control pill had to be conducted outside the country because laws in many states made it illegal to conduct studies for FDA approval on the medication. States like Massachusetts and Connecticut even banned the dissemination of information about contraception.

Now, despite the fact that it's 2012, some anti-contraception forces are intent on taking us back to the early 1960s. Since the 2010 elections, which put many right-wing extremists into office nationwide, politicians have launched an all-out war against birth control. At the federal level, they tried to defund Planned Parenthood and cancel the Title X program, the only federal program exclusively dedicated to family planning. In addition to repeated efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, anti-contraception senators backed an amendment that would have allowed any employer to deny contraceptive coverage to his employees for virtually any reason. And at the state level, last year states considered more than 20 bills trying to defund local family-planning providers.

Looking forward, threats to contraception continue to loom. No less than 24 lawsuits filed in opposition to the new contraceptive-coverage policy are pending in the courts. New groups - like Conscience Cause - have been formed to counter advances in access to birth control. And just this month, opponents of contraception have planned large-scale visibility events around the country dedicated to turning back the clock on women's reproductive health.

If these advocates had their way, they would take us back to a time that looks remarkably like the early 1960s, before Griswold. Health plans would no longer cover birth control because they could opt out for any reason. Employers could deny contraceptive coverage to their employees. And pharmacists could refuse to dispense prescription birth control.

Who would have thought that in the 21st century birth-control pills would be more controversial than they were in the time of "Mad Men?" To turn back the clock on women's access to birth control - one of the greatest public-health advancements in the past century - would be a huge setback for women.

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What Would Happen if States Could Outlaw Abortion?

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Are you okay with allowing nearly half of the states in the Union to ban abortion care?

The reason we're asking is that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee brought it up this week.

Anti-choice former Gov. Mitt Romney expressed his desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned:

I would love the Supreme Court to say, "Let's send this back to the states." Rather than having a federal mandate through Roe v. Wade, let the states again consider this issue state by state.

Sen. John McCain made a similar, "let the states decide" argument in 2008. It's an old line from anti-choice politicians.

It's no big deal if the Supreme Court overrules nearly 40 years of jurisprudence that says a woman has a fundamental, constitutional right to choose safe, legal abortion care, these politicians say. The issue would just go to the states.

But what would it mean if states got to consider the issue of a woman's right to choose, "state by state?"

It would mean very bad news for women throughout the nation.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned today, women could lose the right to legal abortion immediately in 17 states.

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Based on analysis of current state laws and the hostile legislative landscape, here is how it could happen:

Fifteen states have near-total bans on abortion already on the books that aren't in effect because they are unconstitutional. Bans in the following states may become enforceable if Roe falls: AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, LA, MA, MI, MS, NM, OK, UT, VT, WV, and WI.

Four states have laws that would impose near-total criminal bans on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (sometimes known as "trigger" bans): LA, MS, ND, and SD.

That brings the numbers of states where abortion becomes illegal to 17. (Louisiana and Mississippi are included in both groups.)

But we shouldn't stop there. Fifteen states currently have anti-choice legislatures and governors that would likely outlaw abortion if Roe falls: AL, AZ, GA, ID, LA, MI, MS, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, TX, UT, and WI.

Five of these states, GA, ID, NE, OH, and TX, are not in the two previous categories.

So, in total, there are 22 states where choice is at risk if Roe is overturned.

That's 44 percent of the states.

Put simply, overturning Roe v. Wade would mean that a woman's personal, private medical decisions would be up to guys like the gyno-governors, rather than a woman and her doctor.

Just something to consider the next time you hear Gov. Romney or other anti-choice politicians throw around the "let the states decide" line.

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

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Romney Calls for Overturning Roe v. Wade. Again.

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If there was any doubt that Mitt Romney would be an anti-choice president, that doubt should now be gone.

Last night, Gov. Romney went on ABC's "World News with Diane Sawyer" and reiterated his desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned:

I would love the Supreme Court to say, "Let's send this back to the states." Rather than having a federal mandate through Roe v. Wade, let the states again consider this issue state by state.

This is not the first time Gov. Romney has expressed his desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

I guess in Mitt's America, a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion care would depend on the whims of politicians in her state capital.

It would depend on guys like these.

And as president, Romney could appoint enough Supreme Court justices to make his dream of overturning Roe v. Wade a reality.

Maybe that's why yet another poll shows women just don't trust Gov. Romney.

And for very good reason.

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

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I just got back from the Supreme Court.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

This week, the justices are hearing arguments on challenges brought by private plaintiffs and state governments that want to overturn the health-care law that President Obama signed into law two years ago.

If they succeed, all of our work to make near-universal coverage of birth control for women a reality will be undone.

That's why hundreds of pro-choice Americans rallied in front of the Supreme Court this morning. We were there to protect our health care from extremists who want to take it away.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that women stand to lose a lot if the Court strikes down the law:

The attacks on the health-reform law are targeting women in the same way as the legislative attacks on contraception and ugly rhetoric that have made headlines in the last month. If the court strikes down this law, better coverage of prenatal care and contraceptives for millions of women could disappear. Insurance companies could go back to charging women more money for health-care services than men. That's why we must stand with President Obama and women across this country in supporting this important law.

The health-reform law is a big deal for millions of Americans.

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What Could Happen Under an Anti-Choice President?

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Ever heard a politician say, "It doesn't matter if Roe v. Wade is overturned--it'll just mean states get to decide"?

As the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, we'll likely hear that more than a few times--maybe even in Thursday's GOP debate in Iowa.

In a new piece on The Huffington Post, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, explains just what could happen if an anti-choice president appointed Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe.

It's bad-news bears.

See what Nancy has to say.

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Romney's Far-Right Right-Hand Man

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Last week, leading media organizations turned to NARAL Pro-Choice America for our analysis of 12 announced and potential Republican presidential candidates.

The big take-home: these candidates are all trying to outdo each other on who can be the most hostile to a woman's right to choose.

Now, ThinkProgress is reporting that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has selected Robert Bork as the co-chair of his campaign's "Justice Advisory Committee."

Who is Robert Bork?

Back in the '80s, he was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Americans quickly learned just how extreme Bork's views were: he had spoken out against civil rights, a woman's right to choose, the right to use birth control, and equal protection for women under the Constitution.

Fortunately, a bipartisan majority of senators voted to reject Robert Bork. If Bork had been confirmed to the Supreme Court, it's very possible that Roe v. Wade would have been overturned.

So, it's telling that this is a man Gov. Romney chooses to take his "justice advice" from.

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The Donald's Right to Privacy

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Donald Trump is considering a run for the presidency.

That could be the punchline right there, but wait: there's more!

In an interview yesterday, MSNBC's Savannah Guthrie asked Trump his opinion on the constitutional right to privacy:

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When it comes to understanding constitutional law, it seems The Donald is more of an apprentice than an expert. That's why he was "curious" about this line of questioning.

"Curious"? Really? Check out our fact sheet and you'll see why Savannah Guthrie would ask Donald Trump this question

One must wonder why the public (which overwhelmingly supports the right to privacy) would want to know what someone who is reportedly considering a run for the White House thinks about this. Could it be because the president nominates judges who rule on privacy-related cases? 

We say yes. 


One thing we know is that The Donald will keep talking--so come back here for more coverage of his answers to choice-related questions. 

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Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued the following statement on President Obama's selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to succeed retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court:

President Obama has selected a nominee with a sound record of legal accomplishment. We call on the Senate to give Solicitor General Kagan a fair hearing and look forward to learning more about her views on the right to privacy and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. President Obama recently reiterated his strong support for constitutional principles that protect women's rights. We will work to ensure Americans receive clear answers to questions regarding these principles as this nomination process moves forward.

Given the current composition of the court, we will assess Solicitor General Kagan's complete record on privacy and other relevant issues in the same way we did during Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation process. Unlike Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, each of whom had anti-choice records before coming to the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor articulated several times throughout her hearing that the constitutional right to privacy includes the right to choose, and thus we supported her nomination for a seat on the nation's highest court.

As we all know, the future of women's access to abortion hangs in the balance. The last two major choice-related cases were decided by a five-to-four margin, and retiring Justice John Paul Stevens is one of the Supreme Court's strongest supporters of the right to choose. His departure could create a vacuum on the Court, and our opponents are going to do everything in their power to obstruct the confirmation process.

Time to take action: Tell your senators that Solicitor General Kagan deserves a fair hearing that includes questions about Roe v. Wade.

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Today's Wall Street Journal included a story that made a rather overt argument that President Obama couldn't nominate anyone with a clear record on abortion for the Supreme Court because no recent nominees have had a record on this issue. I nearly spit out my coffee when I read the opening paragraph:

Recent Supreme Court nominees have come before the Senate with such slim records on abortion that their views were anybody's guess.

Hello? Anyone remember Samuel Alito (PDF)?

So, if you hear anyone repeat the false premise of this story, please feel free to share the information below that refutes this claim with fact, after fact, after fact.

During his career, Alito has professed his legal determination that the constitution does not include protection for a woman's right to choose; strategized on how to narrow the right to choose on the way to overturning the right entirely; equated common forms of birth control with abortion; and interpreted the "undue burden" standard in an abortion case so narrowly as to effectively ban abortion for an identifiable class of women.

Here are two PDFs that help clarify any remaining confusion:

President Obama has not yet named his nominee to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, but you can still take a moment to ask him to nominate a fair-minded individual who, like Justice Stevens and the majority of Americans, supports the constitutional right to privacy as reflected in Roe.

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As I mentioned on Friday, it was only hours after we said good riddance to anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) that we learned that Justice John Paul Stevens was set to announce his decision to retire from the Supreme Court. CNN.com reported on our statement, saying:

NARAL Pro-Choice America, the national abortion rights group, praised Justice John Paul Stevens' record Friday and implored President Obama to nominate a replacement who will also uphold abortion rights.

"Given the current composition of the court, we will assess the eventual nominee's complete record on privacy and other relevant issues in the same way we did during Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation process," NARAL President Nancy Keenan said in a statement.

"One thing is certain: opponents of women's freedom and privacy will use this vacancy on the court as an opportunity to further their attacks on nominees who have taken pro-choice positions," Keenan added. "America's pro-choice majority will fight back."

We can't thank Justice Stevens enough for his years of public service and respect for individual freedom. Without Supreme Court justices like Stevens who support the constitutional right to privacy, abortion would not be legal today.

Our anti-choice opponents are already using this vacancy to rally their base. Fox News hate-mongerer Glenn Beck sank to new lows when he told his listeners to expect President Obama to pick a "gay, handicapped, black woman, who's an immigrant." We know from past experience that the unfounded insults and personal attacks are only going to get worse.

We need to fight back against the anti-choice rallying cry, and that begins with President Obama. Join me in calling on President Obama to say no to the right wing. Let's send the president a strong message in support of a pro-choice nominee. Take action now.

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Stupak retires and then Justice John Paul Stevens does, too... what a busy, busy Friday.

Here is the statement from Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on the retirement of Justice Stevens:

"NARAL Pro-Choice America salutes Justice John Paul Stevens' commitment to public service. Stevens is among the strongest supporters of the right to choose currently serving on the Supreme Court, and his retirement serves as yet another stark reminder of the important role the Court plays in our everyday lives.

"Stevens consistently voted to uphold American liberties, as set forth in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. His record reflects a respect for individual freedom and opposition to political interference in our most personal, private decisions. Stevens' retirement now gives President Obama the opportunity to nominate a fair-minded individual who, like him and the majority of Americans, supports the constitutional right to privacy as reflected in Roe.

"The nine-member Court includes two Justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who have voted to overturn Roe, and two more members, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, whom President Bush appointed because he wanted Justices who reflected the Scalia-Thomas mold.

"Given the current composition of the Court, we will assess the eventual nominee's complete record on privacy and other relevant issues in the same way we did during Justice Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation process. Unlike Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, Justice Sotomayor articulated several times throughout her hearing that the constitutional right to privacy includes the right to choose, and thus we supported her nomination for a seat on the nation's highest court.

"One thing is certain: opponents of women's freedom and privacy will use this vacancy on the Court as an opportunity to further their attacks on nominees who have taken pro-choice positions. America's pro-choice majority will fight back.

"This vacancy could make choice an even more prominent issue in the 2010 mid-term congressional elections. Americans will be watching to make sure senators understand the need for a Justice who respects a woman's ability to make the personal, private decisions that are best for her and her family."

Want to learn more about Justice Stevens' decision on choice-related cases? Download this pdf. And, as always, you can read more about the Supreme Court's decisions on key cases related to reproductive rights, you can download this incredibly helpful information.

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Judge Sonia Sotomayor Confirmed!

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NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan hailed the U.S. Senate for voting to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the next associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. "Today's historic vote is a sign of progress for Americans who want a Supreme Court that values individual freedom and privacy," Keenan said.

Read our full release and leave some congratulatory words in the comments below!

As the Associated Press reported, today NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice New York announced their support for the Sotomayor nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court:

President Obama made a sound choice in nominating Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. From the beginning, we have said her nomination reflects the president's commitment to ensuring that justices have strong legal credentials and understand how the law affects everyday people's lives, including the need to keep politicians from interfering in our personal, private medical decisions.

As we outlined in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the fate of Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance, and the addition of President Bush's appointees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, has moved the court in a direction hostile to a woman's right to choose.

Within the context of this change in the court's makeup, we have examined Judge Sotomayor's responses to privacy-related questions. We are pleased that Judge Sotomayor expressed stronger support for the established constitutional right to privacy than either Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito, both of whom had anti-choice records before being nominated to their current positions. She also articulated several times throughout the hearing that the constitutional right to privacy includes the right to choose.

In addition, we took into consideration the significant and strong support her nomination has garnered from some of our most committed pro-choice allies in the Senate as well as President Obama's consistent record of support for Roe v. Wade and his established record of nominating to key posts individuals who share his principles.

After engaging in this especially deliberate and thoughtful process, we are pleased to have arrived at a position in support of President Obama's first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

UPDATE: Also today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) called on the Senate to confirm federal appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.   

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, released the following statement today on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court:

"President Obama has selected a nominee with a distinguished record of professional accomplishments as a judge, prosecutor, and community leader. This impressive personal biography signals that she possesses an understanding of how the law affects everyday people's lives. We are encouraged by the strong support she receives from her peers and other legal scholars and the fact that the Senate has twice confirmed her for federal judgeships. We look forward to learning more about Judge Sotomayor's views on the right to privacy and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision as the Senate's hearing process moves forward."

The full text of the release is here.

We have a winner!!

Earlier this week, NARAL Pro-Choice America launched the first-ever (that we know of) Twitter contest to name a pro-choice hashtag for the Supreme Court battle that's just around the corner. We received a bunch of submissions and the winner is...

#ProChoiceCourt submitted by @omjane!

So, if you're on Twitter, and you're tweeting about anything Supreme-Court related, be sure to include the new hashtag! We love audience participation!

And thanks to all of you that submitted ideas... it was a close competition, with lots of awesome suggestions!

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