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Results tagged “United States Senate” from Blog for Choice

Victory! Last night, voters in Massachusetts elected pro-choice Ed Markey (D) to the Senate!

Ed Markey will now join other pro-choice champions like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) in the Senate, and keep our count at 41 reliable pro-choice votes!

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, applauded the win:

"It's clear that Sen.-elect Ed Markey's strong pro-choice position was the key issue in this campaign. His steadfast support of a woman's right to choose reflects the values of the majority of Americans who continue to support Roe v. Wade."

Help us celebrate and share our graphic with your friends on Facebook:

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Why We Must Elect Rep. Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate


Elizabeth Shipp is political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

There's an exciting special election coming up in Massachusetts that will make a big difference in women's lives.

Now that John Kerry is Secretary of State, voters in the Bay State are going to have to decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate.

While we handed anti-choice lawmakers significant losses in the 2012 election cycle, it hasn't stopped the anti-choice politicians who remain from continuing their attacks on women's reproductive rights. That's why we must ensure the Senate continues to serve as the firewall against an agenda that categorically undermines women's access to abortion and even birth control.

The next senator from Massachusetts will have a chance to cast a lot of votes on choice, and that's why I'm so proud that our PAC has endorsed pro-choice Rep. Ed Markey. Rep. Markey is the only candidate in this race who women can trust to defend their reproductive rights.

Here are the top things you need to know about Rep. Markey:


Rep. Markey voted against the Stupak amendment. Although it was ultimately stopped in the Senate (thank you, firewall!), the U.S. House of Representatives disappointed women across the country by voting to ban abortion coverage in Obamacare. Rep. Markey stood firm against the attack.

Rep. Markey opposed attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. Remember when Speaker John Boehner was ready to shut the government down in order to defund Planned Parenthood? It was a terrible day when the House voted to take away women's access to cancer screenings and birth control at their local Planned Parenthood. Fortunately, Rep. Markey would have none of that.

Rep. Markey said "no" to the War on Women in Congress. When I say that Speaker Boehner did all that he could to restrict women's access to abortion and birth control in 2011, I'm not exaggerating. That is the year the House voted eight times on choice-related bills. Rep. Markey voted against every single one.

Rep. Markey supports Obamacare. In addition to his pro-choice record, Rep. Markey is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, which will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care.

Rep. Markey is proudly pro-choice. When we announced our PAC's endorsement of his campaign, he said, "I am proud to have NARAL Pro-Choice America endorse my candidacy. I strongly support a woman's right to choose and believe women should have access to the full range of reproductive health care choices. With reproductive rights under constant attack, women across the country and in Massachusetts need a champion on these issues in the Senate. I've spent three decades fighting for women's freedom of choice, and I will continue this track record if elected to the Senate."

There's no question about it. Voters who want someone in the Senate who's going to keep fighting to protect women's right to safe, legal abortion, improve women's access to birth control, and fund honest sex education for young people need to vote for Ed Markey on April 30.

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

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Senate Race Watch: Nevada


Shelley Berkley.jpgWe're keeping a close eye on the Senate race in Nevada.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidate Rep. Shelley Berkley is in a very tight race against anti-choice incumbent Sen. Dean Heller.

Rep. Berkley is a champion for women's reproductive health and privacy, and we're proud to stand with her in the upcoming election.

Rep. Berkley's opponent Sen. Dean Heller believes that politicians should make women's private health-care decisions for them.

  • Sen. Heller voted twice to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • He voted for a bill that would essentially eliminate insurance coverage of abortion in the new health-care system.
  • Sen. Heller also supported the Blunt amendment which, if passed and enacted into law, would have allowed corporations and insurance companies to refuse to cover birth control and other essential health benefits, including maternity care, HIV/AIDS treatment, and cancer screenings.

Sen. Heller's anti-choice policies are out of touch with the values of Nevada voters.

The Silver State needs a pro-choice leader who will protect women's freedom and privacy and oppose policies that gamble with women's health.

If you have friends in Nevada, make sure they vote for pro-choice Senate candidate Shelley Berkley on November 6.

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

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Senate Race Watch: Montana


While everyone is waiting with bated breath for the presidential election, we aren't forgetting the importance of the U.S. Senate elections.

The Senate is critical in the fight to defend the right to choose, so we must protect every senator who fights for women's freedom and privacy. Right now, there are only 40 reliably pro-choice votes in that chamber. It takes 41 to block bad legislation.

Back in 2006, NARAL Pro-Choice America's PAC was thrilled to endorse Montana Sen. Jon Tester for election. We're excited to stand with him again in 2012 as he runs for re-election!

NK_phonebank_Tester_MT.jpgNancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, joined volunteers to make calls in support of Sen. Jon Tester!

Sen. Tester has proven to be a pro-choice leader time and again. He's voted against defunding Planned Parenthood which would deny millions of Americans access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic medical care.

He also voted against a spending bill that would cut funding for contraception and cancer screenings, and eliminate family-planning programs for the world's poorest women.

Right now, Sen. Tester is locked in a tight race against an anti-choice opponent Rep. Denny Rehberg (R). Rep. Rehberg has a terrible record on choice.

In 2011, Rep. Rehberg voted twice to defund Planned Parenthood. He also voted to allow hospitals to deny emergency abortion care to women who could die without it.

These extreme anti-choice policies are completely out of touch with the needs and values of Montana women.

This race is personal for NARAL Pro-Choice America. When our own Nancy Keenan ran for Congress in 2000, she was narrowly defeated by Rehberg.

If you have friends in Montana, urge them to vote for the pro-choice candidate who will fight for women's freedom and privacy: Sen. Jon Tester.

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

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Today, a key committee of the U.S. Senate was a supposed to consider a bill to give Washington, D.C. greater autonomy over its own budget.

But, the committee won't get a chance to because of...Sen. Rand Paul.

The junior senator from the commonwealth of Kentucky filed several amendments to the D.C. budget bill, including one that would permanently ban the District from using its own money to pay for abortion care for low-income women. Sen. Paul's anti-choice antics helped derail the entire bill.

This comes a day after the senator stuck a "personhood" amendment into a flood-insurance bill - delaying action just as hurricane season heats up.

Now, you may be thinking, for a guy who's supposed to be all libertarian and states' rights-y, this behavior sure looks like big-government overreach.

Here's what Sen. Paul had to say for himself, "We don't have [control] over the states, but we do for D.C."

So, there you have it: Sen. Rand Paul, or "why Congress can't get anything done."

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PA Quarter.jpg Do you live in Pennsylvania? Then you must be planning on voting pro-choice in your state's congressional primaries next Tuesday, April 24.

Well, we've got your one-stop shop to find out where all the candidates stand on a woman's right to choose!

It's the NARAL Pro-Choice America primary voter guide.

You can get the scoop on all the candidates--Republican and Democratic--for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. You can find out which candidates received an endorsement from NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC, and learn important information about how and where to vote.

Our primary voter guide makes it easy to vote pro-choice down the line!

Don't live in Pennsylvania? Don't worry. We'll be updating our voter guide as each state holds its primaries.

The voter guide makes it easy to vote pro-choice in every race, in every state.

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

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NARAL Affiliates Take to the Hill


After a weekend getting fired up to STOP the War on Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America's state affiliates went to Capitol Hill yesterday to meet with members of Congress from their states. They visited nearly 50 offices in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives!

NARAL Pro-Choice California staff had the opportunity to meet with pro-choice hero Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.).

They thanked Rep. Chu for being one of the leading voices against the War on Women. They also had the chance to talk with her about the dangers of anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) that mislead and deceive women.

And today, Rep. Chu signed on as a cosponsor to the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act!

This bill would stop CPCs from using false or misleading advertising to lure women into their storefront operations.

Staff from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas went to the office of pro-choice Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) to let him know that pro-choice Texans have got his back.

This kind of pro-choice visibility adds to our day-to-day communication with our allies on the Hill. We have channeled more than 550,000 messages to Congress opposing the War on Women--so lawmakers know the NARAL family has backup.

It's also important that our allies know we're holding Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his anti-choice cohorts in the House leadership accountable. These politicians claim to want less government interference in our lives, but it seems what they really want is government that's just small enough to fit in your bedroom or inside your medicine cabinet.

Kudos to our state affiliates for meeting with senators and representatives from their states.

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Sen. Kyl Eats His Words, But the War on Women Goes On


Last week, anti-choice Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona created an uproar (and the wildly popular Twitter hashtag #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement) when he falsely claimed on the floor of the U.S. Senate that abortion care is "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." When the senator was called out on his lies, his staff declared that the "remark was not intended to be a factual statement..."

Poof! Gone! Move along, folks, nothing to see here. Apparently, the playground rule of "no take-backs" doesn't apply to anti-choice Sen. Kyl.

Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians' War on Women will not disappear so easily.

H.R.3, the extreme "rape-audits" bill, could get a floor vote in the U.S. House of Representatives as soon as Congress comes back into session in May. This is the bill that could spur the Internal Revenue Service to audit survivors of sexual assault who choose abortion care.

And right now, H.R.3 has 227 co-sponsors. This means that if a vote were held today, this bill would pass the House!

Speaker John Boehner is determined to move these attacks forward, and it's up to us to stop him. Tell your member of Congress that the War on Women must end today.

Congress is on recess for the rest of the month, which means that members are back in their districts listening to what we, the people, have to say.

One way you can get the message across is by writing a letter to the editor of your local paper today. (Our tool makes it easy.)

Congressional offices read letters to the editor every day. If your member of Congress is anti-choice, he or she needs to know that there are constituents who are outraged by this War on Women. And if your member of Congress is pro-choice, it's all the more reason to thank him or her for doing the right thing. 

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His right to choose toilets, that is. When it comes to a woman's right to choose abortion care, Sen. Paul is against that--even if the woman has been raped or is the survivor of incest.

The senator's exchange with Kathleen Hogan, a Department of Energy official, was so bizarre that we're sharing it here with you for full effect:

So, if we understand Sen. Paul, he essentially says that women should have greater rights at the appliance store than in their doctor's office, where they will make profoundly personal decisions. 

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A Little Sunshine from the Sunshine State


If we gave away Emmys, Rep. Kendrick Meek's new ad, in which he touts his pro-choice values, would win hands down. As you know, Rep. Meek is the NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidate in the three-way Senate race in Florida. It's a positive, forward-looking ad, so check it out

By the way, one of Rep. Meek's opponents, Charlie Crist, tried to challenge Meek's assertion that he is the only pro-choice candidate in the race. To catch up readers, Crist is the Independent candidate in this race and so he's trying to convince moderate voters that he's moderate on choice. Sorry, Charlie, your "reinvention" ain't going to fly, especially when you're all over YouTube describing yourself as "pro-life." Just sayin'. 

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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Hey you! Yes, you. The one that's registered to vote in Pennsylvania. Today is election day and we need you to make sure you go to the polls and vote for pro-choice Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate.

If you're unsure of where you should vote, or how late your poll is open, check out the Pennsylvania Department of State's online voting information and resource center. They have all the information you need.

Let's go Joe!
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As reported in the Associated Press, today NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed and contributed $5,000 to Rep. Joe Sestak's primary bid against incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania. Said Nancy Keenan:

We are proud to put our organization's support behind Joe Sestak. Joe Sestak will be a strong voice for women's freedom and privacy in the U.S. Senate. Many Pennsylvanians are under the impression that Arlen Specter might be a reliable pro-choice voice, but his record says otherwise. Pennsylvanians deserve a senator who considers being pro-choice a position of conviction, rather than a position of convenience. This race is at a critical juncture, with many primary voters still undecided. We want pro-choice voters in the Democratic primary to know that, without question, Joe Sestak is the candidate who is best positioned to defeat an anti-choice opponent in the November general election.

In the interview with the Associated Press, Elizabeth Shipp, political director for NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that Sestak consistently votes in line with NARAL Pro-Choice America's beliefs while Specter tends to vote in line with NARAL Pro-Choice America on a matter of "convenience, rather than conviction."

Upon receiving news of the NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsement, Sestak said:

Coming from a family of six sisters, I firmly believe in women's rights and equality. I am grateful for NARAL Pro-Choice America's support, and I will continue to champion women's rights as the next Senator from Pennsylvania.

Read our full release and be sure to spread the word to your friends and family in Pennsylvania! Primary day is Tuesday, May 18!

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NARAL Pro-Choice America *hearts* Kendrick Meek and So Should You!


Elizabeth Shipp is the Political Director for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

In today's toxic political environment, it's sometimes hard to get excited about elections. With all the attacks and counter-attacks going on between the candidates and the parties, you wonder if anyone running for office deserves your support, right? Well, for pro-choice Floridians there's someone who will make you feel good about supporting his candidacy and he's giving you an easy (and almost free) way to do it.

Representative Kendrick Meek is running in the Democratic primary for the open U.S. Senate seat being vacated by anti-choice Republican Senator Mel Martinez. Kendrick Meek is pro-choice and has the congressional voting record to prove it. So, already, we here at NARAL Pro-Choice America are already excited about his senate race. Score one for Rep. Meek.

But, we also appreciate that Kendrick Meek is working to earn every supporter by doing something unheard of in previous U.S. Senate races in the state. Instead of just paying a fee to get his name on the ballot, Kendrick and his campaign team are traveling all over the state, collecting petition signatures from Florida voters. He needs to collect more than 100,000 signatures by noon on March 29 to qualify for the ballot and he's well on his way from what we've read. However, every signature counts and every signature sends a strong message to the folks who think campaign victories can simply be bought and paid for with a credit card. (Yes, Marco Rubio, I'm talking about you and your penchant for charging personal items to the taxpayers and Republican Party of Florida!)

There's one more reason we think Kendrick Meek is the best choice for the U.S. Senate. He's not afraid to talk about his pro-choice values - even in front of difficult audiences. At a Christian Family Coalition event, Rep. Meek explained that he was pro-choice to a crowd that would probably never be described as pro-choice. At that event, Kendrick Meek said, "Yes, I am pro-choice, but there are other issues that have to be addressed," he said. "I want you to understand that running for the United States Senate, I am running to be your senator, I am not running to be your pastor or your rabbi or whatever it may be."

The reporter covering the event noted that the line received no applause from the crowd. However, I can tell you that at NARAL Pro-Choice America, we cheered loudly enough for all of them.

If you live in Florida, here's what you can do to help. Go to the Meek campaign's website, download a petition, sign it and mail it to the campaign in time for all the petitions to be delivered by noon on March 29. And while you're at it, ask your friends and family in Florida to sign the petition, too. Let's send a strong message that Florida is proudly pro-choice and proudly supporting Kendrick Meek!

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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Florida is a big state. Have you seen it? It's huge. Certainly bigger than my home state of Maryland (Go Terps!). Florida is also a very important state for myriad political reasons. Florida Recount, anyone?

Florida also has a very important U.S. Senate election coming up in November, where pro-choice Rep. Kendrick Meek - endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC - will face anti-choice Crist or Rubio.

However, in order to get on the ballot, Meek needs to gather signatures. Never heard of that before? That's because it's never been done by a U.S. Senate candidate in Florida before. I think that's truly inspiring because it means that Meek will actually earn a spot on the ballot, instead of paying a fee for that right. In other words, it's entirely up to the people of Florida, which is how it should be. Read more on his web site.

The deadline for submitting petitions is noon on March 29, 2010.

Who wouldn't want to take part in a historic petition drive? I'm kinda jealous I don't live in Florida.

But no matter, I'm just going to make sure all my Floridian friends take a moment to visit the Meek web site, download a petition, and put Kendrick Meek on the ballot. I really hope you'll do the same. We can't miss out on this opportunity to take an anti-choice seat and turn it into a pro-choice seat!

If you have any questions, please call 305-655-3213 or 1-877-FL-4-MEEK (1-877-354-6335).

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


With visions of turkey/Tofurkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie dancing in your head, I'm sure politics is the furthest thing from your mind right now.

But I know how those big family Thanksgiving dinners sometimes go. So when Uncle Vernon corners you into a debate about coverage for abortion in the health-reform bills, we've totally got your back. Check out our health-care reform page for all the info you need including background on the issue, our press releases with takes on the House and Senate bills, and recent articles. While you're there, take a sec to write to your senators- tell them to stop the ban on insurance coverage for abortion in the new health-care system.

If most of your family and friends are more progressive than Uncle Vernon, download and print our new petition for them to sign, and help them get involved!

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend, and we'll see you on Monday!

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Did you hear the latest from the mouth of Rep. Bart Stupak? In an article in the Detroit News, Rep. Stupak actually said:

"We are in contact with senators to make sure our language holds. The other side is playing with fire," added Stupak.

This guy is unbelievable, and here at NARAL Pro-Choice America, we're doing everything we can to make sure that his threat does not go unanswered.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, has appeared on multiple news programs this week to outline NARAL Pro-Choice America's efforts to stop the Senate from adding the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts language (as passed in the House) to its health-reform bill.

Here's a quick highlight reel of Nancy's appearances on "Andrea Mitchell Reports," MSNBC's "Dr. Nancy," "Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan," and HLN's "The Joy Behar Show:"

You can also view the entire clip of the segment she did on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews:"

But wait! There's more! If you're into podcasts and NPR - and who isn't? - then you should definitely check out Nancy's spot on Talk of the Nation.

Finally, we have a new microsite that we're really excited for you to check out. It's called:

While you're there, be sure to sign our petition asking Sen. Reid to stand firm against attempts to attack women's access to insurance coverage for abortion.

At the time we published this blog post, we were at 35,786 signatures and counting... so be sure to check out the site and add your name to the petition!

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I'm sure you're as shocked as I am... but did you know that the madness described below has been going on since... oh April?! Yep, April. Nancy was blogging about it on Huffington Post and right here on our blog. The health-care reform and the Sotomayor confirmation drowned out the anti-choice objections, but only temporarily. So please, read the language below - excerpted from an email alert we sent out - and then take action. We need all the help we can get!

Right-wing senators are blocking Judge David Hamilton's confirmation to a position on the federal court because he has issued pro-choice rulings.

We can't let anti-choice politicians win this fight.

The Senate could take action as early as tomorrow. Help us confirm this highly qualified nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals -- please contact your senators today.

The right wing has turned Judge Hamilton's nomination into a circus. He's widely respected, earning praise from the New York Times editorial board and garnering the bipartisan support of his homestate senators.

But anti-choice senators boycotted Hamilton's first committee hearing, and anti-choice Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma has threatened to filibuster him.

Their stall tactics have worked! Judge Hamilton is President Obama's very first nominee to the federal courts, but his nomination has been held up since June.

We need to urge the Senate to bring Judge David Hamilton's nomination to a floor vote. Even if you have contacted your senators before in favor of Judge Hamilton, please send them an email again.

After you take action, please forward this blog post to your friends and ask them to get involved.

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