Results tagged “Texas” from Blog for Choice
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?
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.
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.
These laws force a woman to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care--even if she doesn't want one and even if her doctor recommends against it.
Such intrusive government mandates would be humorously absurd if they weren't so serious.
Now, here is your opportunity to say thank you.
Garry Trudeau's comic strip reaches hundreds of thousands of readers, so join us in commending him for focusing on this egregious attack on women's freedom and privacy.
Mandatory-ultrasound laws have gotten a lot of attention of late.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed one of these intrusive measures into law last week. And a mandatory-ultrasound law was allowed to go into effect in Texas in January, when a temporary stay was overturned by the courts.
Now, Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" is taking on this attack on women's freedom and privacy.
Each "Doonesbury" this week will be about Texas' mandatory-ultrasound law. But not everyone will get to see it in their hometown paper--apparently, the topic was too controversial for some publications.
Here at Blog for Choice, we believe a comic strip that draws attention to intrusive government mandates should be shared far and wide.
Keep checking back here every day this week for more "Doonesbury"!
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, went on Fox News (yes--that Fox News) this weekend.
She was there to speak out against Texas' new law forcing a woman seeking abortion care in the Lone Star State to undergo an ultrasound and view the image--even if she does not want to, and even if her doctor does not recommend it.
Thanks, Nancy, for being fearless in speaking out for women's freedom and privacy.
Last year, anti-choice Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law a bill forcing a woman seeking abortion care in the Lone Star State to undergo an ultrasound and view the image--even if she does not want to, and even if her doctor does not recommend it.
Instead of a woman and her doctor deciding whether an ultrasound is right for her, politicians in Austin have made that decision for them.
And just this week, a federal court in Texas ruled that this new mandate on women could be enforced even while the courts continue to review whether the law is constitutional.
Who wrote the court's opinion allowing Texas' mandatory ultrasound law to go into effect?
That would be Judge Edith Jones.
The name Edith Jones not setting off any alarm bells? Let's step into the DeLorean for a moment, and take a trip to the land of anti-choice court decisions of years gone by.
First stop: 1985. (One year before I was born.) President Reagan appoints the ultra-conservative Jones to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She takes office just days before her 36th birthday. Remember, federal judges serve for life.
Next: 1990. Justice William J. Brennan--one of the U.S. Supreme Court's greatest champions of a woman's constitutional right to privacy--retires. President George H.W. Bush considers nominating Judge Jones to replace him. Instead, he nominates David Souter.
1992. In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Supreme Court rules 5-4 to uphold Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion. Justice Souter votes to preserve the key principles of Roe v. Wade. If Edith Jones had been on the court instead, it is very likely that the case would have gone the other way, and that Roe v. Wade would have been overturned.
1993. Judge Jones votes to uphold Mississippi's dangerous parental-consent mandate, which requires a young woman seeking abortion care to receive permission from both parents--:even if she comes from a home where there is physical or emotional abuse. She said Mississippi's mandate "helps to safeguard the interests of both parents and the family unit."
2004. In McCorvey v. Hill, Judge Jones expresses her desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned: "One may fervently hope that the Court will someday acknowledge such developments and re-evaluate Roe and Casey accordingly."
The Philadelphia Inquirer called Judge Jones' opinion "perhaps the strongest official assault on Roe from a sitting federal judge, and the boldest abortion statement by a potential high court nominee."
2005. There are two vacancies on the Supreme Court. Once again, Jones makes the short list of potential nominees. In the end, President George W. Bush appoints John Roberts and Samuel Alito--both of whom vote to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, a law that criminalizes safe abortion procedures.
Back to the future--and beyond. Judge Jones continues her anti-choice activism from the bench. She will serve as a federal judge for as long as she wants to.
The lesson of this long, strange, Edith Jones trip? The president's power to nominate judges to the federal courts matters--a lot.
Federal judges can determine who gets to make a woman's most personal, private medical decisions: the woman herself in consultation with her doctor, or politicians and bureaucrats whom she's never met and who don't know (or care) about her circumstances.
Edith Jones is an unfortunate example of an anti-choice judge appointed by an anti-choice president who will continue to rule on women's reproductive lives for a very long time.
And the next president could nominate enough Supreme Court justices to determine the future of Roe v. Wade and women's constitutional right to choose for decades to come.
So, when the governor holds up Texas as a model for what America might look like under a Perry presidency, we're right to be alarmed.
NPR has a new story on the state of health care in the Lone Star State, and the numbers are pretty ugly--especially for women's health care:
- More than a quarter of Texans lack health insurance--that's the highest rate in the nation.
- For hundreds of thousands of Texan women, family-planning clinics are their only provider of cancer screenings, Pap smears, and other basic health care.
- These same family-planning clinics are under siege from Gov. Perry and his anti-choice allies in the legislature.
- This year, an estimated 300,000 women will lose access to family-planning services due to Gov. Perry's budget cuts.
- More than $8 million that was cut from the family-planning budget will now be re-funneled to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) that mislead and deceive women.
One anti-choice Texas legislator, Rep. Wayne Christian, said it was their goal to wage a war on birth control:
Well of course this is a war on birth control and abortions and everything, that's what family planning is supposed to be about. They're sitting here, referring women out to receive abortions. Those are the clinics, including Planned Parenthood, we were targeting.
Just consider this a special sneak preview of an America under President Perry's control.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared his candidacy for president on Saturday, and Americans are quickly learning more about him.
One thing we've learned is that he's extremely hostile to a woman's right to choose. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, wrote a post here on Blog for Choice highlighting the governor's record on choice. (Hint: it's bad.)
Now we're starting to learn about his anti-choice ties. Only four days into his campaign, and Gov. Perry has agreed to co-chair a gala for Americans United for Life (AUL), according to The American Independent.
AUL is a notorious and radical anti-choice lobbying organization that develops model legislation that's been pivotal in the War on Women. Last year, the AUL showcased Perry's praise for the group's annual report on anti-choice legislation in the states:
This year's AUL legal guide, Defending Life 2010, provides a valuable resource for prolife leaders. This state-by-state scorecard of progress in the effort to defend life lets elected officials, grassroots activists and citizens know exactly where we are on our shared priority. I am proud that the report reflects the sweeping reforms we have enacted in Texas, saving thousands of lives in the process. This is not a book you leave on the shelf to collect dust. This information is ammunition in a fight that is far from over. I know you will find this guide informative and useful as you continue to promote and protect life in your state.
Texas has received an F in our Who Decides? report since Gov. Perry has been in office. So clearly, he has spent a good portion of his time in office taking away a woman's right to choose.
One more thing we've learned about Gov. Perry: whatever he does, he does it big. So when he says he'll push an anti-choice platform, we'd better believe he means it.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) is expected to announce his candidacy for president this weekend.
Perry is Texas' longest-serving governor, having succeeded George W. Bush in 2000, and his nascent campaign is getting a ton of attention. But what do we really know about Rick Perry?
Well, my staff and I have been working to answer that question, sifting through voting records and other material as several individuals declared their intention to run for president. This is part of our work to connect the personal with the political. How a candidate voted on choice or what actions he or she took as governor tell us a lot about what he or she would do if elected president.
In this spirit, we recently analyzed the records of Gov. Perry and 11 other announced and potential GOP presidential candidates.
Gov. Perry's choice-related actions as governor of Texas are dominated by anti-choice positions.
So, what kind of effect do these laws have on women's freedom and privacy?
Many of the laws he signed inject political interference into women's private decision-making. Gov. Perry signed into law a measure that would require women to receive a state-mandated lecture that includes medically inaccurate information before they can access abortion care. He then signed additional legislation amending the law to force some women to make two trips to the provider before receiving abortion care.
Just this year, Gov. Perry signed into law a bill requiring that a woman seeking abortion care undergo an ultrasound--even if she does not want one, and even if her doctor does not recommend it.
He's taken strong stances in support of anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs). One law he helped to enact established "choose life" license plates, which allocate funding for CPCs. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has been a leader in documenting how CPCs often mislead, misinform, harass, and intimidate women. A recent investigation found that several CPCs in Texas had racked up numerous safety and privacy violations.
And how's this for supporting anti-choice ideology? Gov. Perry signed a proclamation declaring April 2009 "Abortion Recovery Awareness Month" in Texas. The proclamation claims that abortion "often leads to lasting emotional and mental health problems for the mother..." Perry is not alone in the primary field, as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also signed a similar proclamation in his state. This proclamation uses recycled and inflammatory anti-choice rhetoric that's out of step with sound science. Just check out the studies that have examined the wide range of complex experiences and feelings women have regarding abortion.
We have talked a lot about our concerns with Gov. Perry's record, but I assure you that we report the good and the bad. Gov. Perry has taken a couple of pro-choice actions. For example, Gov. Perry signed into law a measure that improves sex education for young people. And in 2003, he enacted a law ensuring that health plans that cover prescription medication also cover birth control. However, Perry effectively reversed this law two years later when he signed into law a measure allowing insurers to offer two health plans to employers--one plan that guarantees coverage of all mandated services, including contraception, and another that does not.
It would be interesting for reporters surrounding him in South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa to ask him his thoughts on the Department of Health and Human Services' recent decision to accept medical experts' recommendation that insurance plans cover contraception without an additional copay.
A handful of pro-choice actions aside, the prospect of President Perry should make us very worried. He has made inflammatory statements indicating how he would govern as an anti-choice president, calling Roe v. Wade "a shameful footnote in our nation's history books" and "a stark reminder that our culture and our country are still in peril."
Let's not forget that the president has tremendous influence over reproductive-health policy in the United States. How much influence? See our publication, The Powers of the President: Reproductive Freedom and Choice.
As the 2012 campaign heats up, NARAL Pro-Choice America will continue to be your source for analysis of Gov. Perry and the other announced and potential Republican candidates.
For now, as the media hoopla surrounds Gov. Perry, we encourage Americans who value freedom and privacy to share this information with friends and family. It's never too early to take a look at the record of someone who wants to live in the White House.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com