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Results tagged “US House of Representatives” from Blog for Choice

Give Us a Break, Speaker Boehner


How's this for chutzpah?

John Boehner, the anti-choice speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and mastermind behind the War on Women, went on the House floor today to say...there is no War on Women:

And now, now we are going to have a fight over women's health. Give me a break. This is the latest plank in the so-called War on Women. Entirely created, entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain.

So, Mr. Speaker, I guess we all just imagined the last 16 months. I guess we all just imagined that:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives held more choice-related votes in 2011 than in any year since 2000.
  • The House voted to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Title X family-planning program. And Mitt Romney has vowed to do both of these things should he ever reach the White House.
  • Anti-choice lawmakers pushed the Blunt amendment, which could have allowed employers and corporations to block their employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control. Every Republican senator but one voted for this measure--and Gov. Romney voiced his support for it.
  • They held a House committee hearing with an all-male panel attacking birth control.
  • At the state level, these politicians enacted twice as many anti-choice laws in 2011 as they did in the previous year.

And I guess we imagined it when you said the "rape-audits" bill, which manipulates the tax code to advance anti-choice policies and could spur the IRS to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care, was one of your "highest legislative priorities"?

Speaker Boehner, you can't deny a War on Women that you started.

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What is the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives up to this morning?

Well, one key subcommittee is holding a hearing on corporations' right to refuse to cover women's prescription birth control.

Led by Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania (the infamous author of the "Let Women Die" bill), the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Heath is holding a hearing on the effect the health-reform law has on the so-called "conscience" of corporations.

The hearing focuses on the no-cost birth-control policy going into effect as a result of the health-reform law signed by President Obama in 2010.

Anti-choice lawmakers think employers who oppose contraception should be allowed to deny their employees a health plan that covers contraception. Ninety-eight percent of women--of all faiths and backgrounds--use birth control at some point in their lives.

NARAL Pro-Choice America believes that all women should have access to contraception coverage. That's why our organization submitted testimony to the subcommittee expressing our opposition to an expansive refusal clause.

The Huffington Post reported on anti-choice activists' concerted attack on birth-control coverage in a story titled, "The Men Behind the War on Women."

Follow the hearing now on Twitter, hashtag #bcrefusal.

And help us tell the White House that all women--regardless of their employer--should benefit from no-cost birth control.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann may be running for president, but she still collects your taxpayer dollars as a representative of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.

As an advocate for "smaller" government, she hasn't been the best about showing up for her day job: Rep. Bachmann has missed more than 150 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives since announcing her candidacy for president.

One thing that does make Rep. Bachmann beat a trail back to D.C.: introducing bills to take away a woman's ability to make private medical decisions with her doctor.

Last week, she introduced a bill that would mandate that medical professionals perform an ultrasound on any woman seeking abortion services, display the images, and then orally describe the images to the woman - even if she directly objects. It would also force the health-care provider to search for a fetal heartbeat before the woman is permitted to receive abortion care if she is at least eight weeks pregnant. Sadly, the proposal has no exception from this mandate for cases of rape, incest, or severe emotional distress.

I guess that's Michele Bachmann's idea of limited government.

Rep. Bachmann may have missed 150 votes, but she takes a break from campaigning to vote to interfere with women's freedom and privacy. Let's take a look at some of her votes this year:

Meanwhile, Herman Cain continues to garner attention--and not the good kind.

Just yesterday, while Mr. Cain was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press," moderator David Gregory asked him about a woman's right to choose. Spoiler alert: he's against it--even for survivors of rape and incest.

GREGORY: Exceptions for rape and incest?

CAIN: Not for rape and incest. Because if you look at rape and incest, the percentage of those instances is so minuscule that there are other options.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Glad to hear that Mr. Cain places such high importance on women's personal experiences!

Bachmann and Cain: two candidates who should make any pro-choice voter say, "Nein, nein, nein!"

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

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Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 251 to 172 to pass H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill.

Major news media organizations, including The Associated Press, CBS News, Politico, The Hill, The Washington Independent, and RH RealityCheck, turned to NARAL Pro-Choice America for analysis of how this bill would harm women's health.

H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life!

And it effectively would ban abortion coverage in state health-insurance exchanges, denying this coverage to millions of women.

Before the House voted on H.R.358, pro-choice Rep. Lois Capps of California proposed adding language that would have fixed the provision that allows hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care when a woman's life is in danger. But the House rejected her proposal by a vote of 173-249! It's no exaggeration to say that any member who voted "no" on this motion voted to allow a hospital to refuse emergency abortion care to a dying woman.

While Speaker John Boehner and the anti-choice House leadership wasted the American people's time with the seventh and eighth outrageous vote to attack women's freedom and privacy this year, many of our pro-choice champions spoke out on the House floor against this bill.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the pro-choice House minority leader, compiled some must-see videos of pro-choice representatives voicing their opposition to H.R.358.

A huge shout-out goes to Reps. Rob Andrews of New Jersey, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Lois Capps and Judy Chu of California, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joe Crowley of New York, Susan Davis of California, Diana DeGette of Colorado, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Ted Deutch of Florida, Donna Edwards of Maryland, Eliot Engel of New York, Janice Hahn of California, Alcee Hastings of Florida, Rush Holt of New Jersey, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Steve Israel of New York, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Barbara Lee of California, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Doris Matsui of California, Jim McDermott of Washington, Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Jim Moran of Virginia, Jerrold Nadler of New York, Frank Pallone of New Jersey, Nancy Pelosi of California, Mike Quigley and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Jackie Speier of California, Betty Sutton of Ohio, Mike Thompson of California, Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, Nydia Velázquez of New York, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and Henry Waxman and Lynn Woolsey of California.

How did your representative vote on the "Let Women Die" bill? We have the answer.

If your representative voted against this extreme attack, make sure to thank him or her for standing up for women's lives.

If your representative voted for the "Let Women Die" bill, he or she also needs to hear from you. Ask your member of Congress why waging a War on Women is more important than focusing on real priorities creating jobs.

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House Passes Seventh Anti-Choice Measure This Year



The U.S. House of Representatives just voted 251 to 172 to pass H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill.

H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life!

And, it effectively would ban abortion coverage in state health-insurance exchanges, denying this coverage to millions of women.

The House has now voted seven times this year to take away a woman's ability to make private medical decisions with her doctor.

Seven times!

Don't they know that there's a jobs crisis going on?

While the American people are wondering what their elected representatives are doing to create jobs, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the anti-choice House leadership are devoting their time to waging a War on Women.

How does this create jobs?

I'll give you a hint: it doesn't.

It does show that Speaker Boehner and his anti-choice cohorts are mind-bogglingly out of touch with the American people's values and priorities.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said today's vote was yet another reminder of how playing politics with women's health and privacy is more of a priority for Speaker Boehner than the nation's real, pressing challenges:

Americans are facing real challenges, yet House Speaker John Boehner is ignoring the public's call for Congress to focus on jobs. Instead, he is coming up with new ways to give politicians more control over our personal, private decisions. The House's attacks on women's freedom and privacy are out of touch with our nation's values and priorities.

The good news is that 172 of our allies stood strong, and the Obama administration issued a strongly worded statement opposing H.R.358.

The bad news is that Speaker Boehner and the anti-choice House leadership have given no indication that they're going to stop their attacks on women's freedom and privacy. In fact, waging a War on Women seems to be a much higher priority for them than, say, creating jobs.

But here's the best news: there's an election coming up in 2012. And politicians who ignore the American people's priorities are going to have a pretty tough time explaining that to their constituents.

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Attacking Choice: The New Jobs Agenda


Last fall, politicians campaigned on an agenda of creating jobs and growing our economy. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the anti-choice majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, said we needed to "be focused like a laser" on job growth.

So what have these politicians been up to? Let's look at the House's track record thus far in 2011.

In February, the House voted to eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood, a declaration of war on contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic health care that family-planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, provide to millions of American women and men each year.

Also in February, the House voted to eliminate all funding for Title X, the nation's only family-planning program.

In April, anti-choice lawmakers exacted as their price for keeping the government open a budget bill that bans Washington, D.C. from using its own, locally raised funds to cover abortion care for low-income women.

In May, the House passed H.R.3, the outrageous "rape-audits" bill. H.R.3 manipulates the tax code to advance anti-choice policies and could spur the IRS to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care.

Later in May, the House voted to dictate whether doctors and medical students can learn about providing abortion care.

And in June, the House passed a measure that could make it impossible for a woman even to talk with her doctor about medical abortion over the Internet or through videoconferencing.

Since January, the House has taken six votes that interfere with a woman's right to make personal, private medical decisions.

How many measures to create jobs has the House passed?


Looks like Rep. Cantor's laser is really focused on attacking women's freedom and privacy.

And the anti-choice House leadership is not done yet.

This week, the House is scheduled to vote on H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill. H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life!

The jobs agenda? Ha! That was so 2010.

Have you had it with these never-ending attacks? Tell your representative to put a STOP to this War on Women.

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Friday quiz time!

The employment figures for September came out today, and the numbers show that we've got some work to do. President Obama is traveling around the country urging Congress to take action to create jobs and grow our economy.

What is the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives doing?

If you guessed scheduling a vote on yet another bill that attacks women's freedom and privacy, then you'd be correct!

We've learned that the anti-choice House leadership plans to hold a vote next week on H.R.358, introduced by anti-choice Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).

You might remember this bill from earlier this year, when it was first introduced with language that would redefine rape and incest.

Public backlash forced sponsors to drop that provision from the bill, but, even without it, H.R.358 would still put women's health in serious jeopardy.

H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life!

And, it effectively would ban abortion-coverage in state health-insurance exchanges, denying this coverage to millions of women.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the House leadership dangerously out of touch with our nation's priorities:

As President Obama is urging Congress to focus on creating jobs, anti-choice House leaders are promising to move an extreme anti-choice agenda. It is unfathomable that the House will vote on a bill that, among other egregious provisions, would allow a hospital to refuse a woman life-saving, emergency abortion care even if she will die without it. House Speaker John Boehner and other anti-choice politicians do not have a mandate to attack women's freedom and privacy. Lawmakers who vote for this bill will be forced to answer why attacking a woman's right to choose, even in emergency situations where her life is at risk, has apparently become the new jobs agenda.

Why, indeed?

If you're outraged that the House leadership keeps attacking women's health again and again, let your representative know. Tell your member of Congress to STOP the War on Women on the House floor.

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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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On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.3, the extreme "rape-audits" bill

Yesterday, we took a closer look to see if the eight key representatives we were monitoring voted with Speaker Boehner or for women. All eight voted for this outrageous attack on women's freedom and privacy.

Some of the most offensive votes for the War on Women were by cast representatives who had touted their moderate credentials on the campaign trail in 2010--including some who even called themselves pro-choice!

Reps. Judy Biggert and Bob Dold of Illinois, Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen and Leonard Lance of New Jersey, and Rep. Richard Hanna of New York all underwent an "extreme makeover," and voted in lockstep with John Boehner and his anti-choice cohorts.


Rep. Hanna is quoted by the Utica Observer Dispatch as saying: "I support Roe v. Wade and don't think we need to make any changes in our approach to a woman's right to choose."


Rep. Biggert had even served in the past as a co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus!

So, let's review. These lawmakers had to run as pro-choice candidates in order to get elected in their swing districts. But once in office, they abandoned their promise to their constituents and voted to manipulate the tax code to advance an extreme anti-choice agenda.  

Do you live in one of these member's districts? Do you feel betrayed that your representative falsely claimed to be pro-choice? Make sure your lawmaker hears from you!

At the same time, Politico is reporting that 14 representatives who voted for the original Stupak abortion-coverage ban during the health-reform debate voted against this new "Stupak on Steroids" bill.

These 14 generally oppose a woman's right to choose, yet H.R.3's attacks on women and small businesses were so far-reaching that they had to vote no. Look at Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio's statement:

I've always supported the notion that taxpayer dollars should not go towards funding abortions. What I don't support is creating a new bureaucratic boondoggle that forces millions of private small businesses to waste amazing amounts of time going over the fine print of their health insurance policies because Republicans in Congress can't resist politicizing an issue that's already been laid to rest.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, remarked that, "the fact that 14 members of Congress who supported the Stupak amendment ultimately voted against H.R. 3 says a lot about how extreme Boehner's war on women has become."

Find out how your representative voted on H.R.3, the extreme "rape-audits" bill. 

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

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Your Logistical Guide to the April 7 Lobby Day


So, hopefully you're as psyched as I am for pro-choice lobby day on Thursday, April 7 in Washington, D.C.

With the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives ramping up its War on Women, the whole pro-choice movement is standing together and saying STOP. So if you haven't signed up yet, be sure to do so now!

We'll meet with our representatives--pro- and anti-choice members alike--to let them know what we, the people, think of these extreme, anti-choice attacks. It's going to be epic!

But now you're probably saying, "Thomas, I'm fired up and ready to go, but where do I go?"

Good question. Fortunately, we've got a pro-choice lobby day page up and ready to help you navigate.

We'll be meeting in the morning on Thursday, April 7 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building right next to the Capitol. 

We're also organizing buses from cities along the East Coast. Check out our lobby day page for signup information.

If you're taking Amtrak, Union Station is only a few blocks from the Capitol. 

If you're taking the Washington Metro, go to the Union Station stop on the Red line or Capitol South stop on the Blue and Orange lines.

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The war on contraception continues.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240 to 185 to eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood. This vote was a declaration of war on contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic health-care that family-planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, provide to millions of American women and men.

Before the vote, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, issued a challenge to so-called "moderate" representatives:

Politicians who campaigned on the promise of focusing on jobs and the economy need to be held accountable if, at the first possible opportunity, they join with John Boehner to launch a full-fledged war on contraception.

These six representatives failed the test: 

Rep. Chris Gibson of New York
Rep. Nan Hayworth of New York 
Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey
Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia
Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio

When push came to shove, each of them voted in lockstep with Boehner and the anti-choice House leadership, and against women's health. 

Independent voices in Congress? Willingness to stand up to the House leadership? Laser-like focus on jobs and the economy? 

Guess not.

Apparently, these alleged House "moderates" are more interested in taking away women's access to birth control and cancer screenings than in creating jobs or growing the economy. 

(Birth control for horses is a different story: the House voted unanimously to approve that!)

But you don't have to wait until 2012 to make your voice heard. Congress is recessing this week, and members are returning to their districts to meet with constituents. Let your representative know how outraged you are that the House voted to attack Planned Parenthood! 

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Birth Control for Horses, Not for Women


Which of these two would get birth control if the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives gets its way?

Horse and woman.JPG
Politico and RH Reality Check are reporting that anti-choice Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana has introduced an amendment to a spending bill that would promote contraception--for wild horses.

Ted Miller, communications director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the move would be ridiculous if the stakes weren't so high:

House members fighting to preserve a horse's right to birth control would be laughable, if they weren't trying to block women from accessing contraception at the exact same time. What's next? An amendment that would allow veterinarians to refuse to provide birth control to a horse if the vet is personally opposed to contraception?

(Well, doesn't giving birth control to wild horses just encourage them to be even wilder?)

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Anti-Choice Extremist Randall Terry: the Man Who Has Boehner's Ear


ThinkProgress is reporting that Randall Terry, an anti-choice extremist, recently met with the staff of Rep. John Boehner, the incoming speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the Boehner-led House, having a miles-long rap sheet calling for violence against abortion providers and their patients gets you an invitation to meet with the incoming speaker's staff. The Randall Terry meeting signifies that, when it comes to listening to the most extreme elements of the anti-choice movement, Boehner is all ears.

This is just the beginning. We're keeping tabs on how anti-choice groups are preparing to attack women's health and privacy.

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Attention Michigan residents: Rep. Stupak, he of the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts amendment "fame," is holding a townhall today.

Here are the details:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM (EST)
Bay de Noc Community College
Besse Center
2001 North Lincoln Rd
Escanaba, MI

(Map It)

From Rep. Stupak's press release:

U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) will host a town hall meeting in Escanaba on Wednesday, November 11, from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. (EST) at Bay de Noc Community College's Besse Center.  The meeting is open to the public and will provide an opportunity for constituents to ask Stupak questions on a range of issues, including health care and the economy.  Stupak will also provide an update on his work in Congress.

The Besse Center is located at 2001 North Lincoln Rd, Escanaba, Mich.


"This is an opportunity to speak with constituents, answer their questions, and address their concerns about the critical issues currently impacting Northern Michigan, including the health care bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this past weekend," Stupak said.  "I look forward to engaging in a respectful, civil dialogue on a broad range of issues.  I enjoy hearing from constituents and the ideas and feedback I receive at town hall meetings, and through the letters, emails, faxes and telephone calls to my offices is valuable to me personally and is critical to the work I do in Congress."


Out of respect for all those wishing to attend the town hall meeting only credentialed media will be permitted to record the event.  Signs, banners and posters will not be allowed inside the center.

If you live near Escanaba, Michigan... this would be a good opportunity for you to tell Rep. Stupak what you think about his anti-choice amendment.

And might I also suggest you sign our petition calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stand firm against a ban on abortion coverage for women in the new health system? Thanks!

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