NARAL Pro-Choice America About Our Bloggers Contact Us Disclaimer RSS Feed

Results tagged “Washington Post” from Blog for Choice

Where Are All the Pro-Choice Republicans?

|

This morning when I was reading The Washington Post, an op ed caught my eye.

It is written by Victoria Toensing, who was the deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration. She makes a powerful plea to other pro-choice Republicans to "leave the closet," as she puts it, and to announce themselves as proudly pro-choice.

As the president of a bipartisan organization, I could not agree more. We need more -- many more -- pro-choice Republicans at all levels of government. In fact, the Republican Party used to boast many fearless pro-choice champions. However, in the 2012 cycle, we were not able to endorse one pro-choice Republican for federal office.

I wanted to share her powerful piece, and hope you read and pass it along to your friends.

"Pro-choice Republicans go public"

Victoria Toensing, a Washington lawyer, was deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration.

I am a pro-choice Republican. We are not an endangered species. Since the Republican Party declared itself pro-life, most of us have been in the closet.

I appreciate that both viewpoints are sincerely held: Pro-choicers believe that the government should not intrude in such a private decision; pro-lifers believe that life begins at conception. I have supported each.

Raised Catholic, I accepted the church's doctrine that abortion was morally wrong. This was before Roe v. Wade, so in many states abortion was also illegal. A personal experience changed my view.

Please read the rest of the piece at The Washington Post.

Enhanced by Zemanta

We had a feeling this would happen.

Several recent news stories report that the anti-choice Republican presidential candidates' attacks on birth control are turning off women voters--even some women voters ordinarily inclined to vote Republican.

Well, whoudda thunk?

The New York Times published a profile this weekend of several centrist women voters. Several of them voted for John McCain in 2008, but they're outraged that frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are attacking birth control in the year 2012:

Last week Joyce Kimball, a retired secretary in Greenville, Ill., who voted for Mr. McCain in 2008, said she had recently become "fed up," adding that it was not out of the question for her to vote for a Democrat in November. "I'm looking to hear how the candidates propose to put people back to work, not what they think about contraception," she said. "I hope to God they stop talking about this."

Meanwhile, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll puts some numbers behind the stories.

By a margin of 55-30, respondents say Democrats care more than Republicans about issues that are especially important to women.

You may recall that we did our own polling last fall. It shows that another group of women voters (some of whom had voted for President Obama in 2008 but weren't squarely behind him for re-election) moved toward supporting the president when his positions on choice were compared to the extreme anti-choice positions of the candidates who are challenging him.

Given that 99 percent of American women use birth control at some point in their lives, attacking it is not a smart political move!

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Melinda Henneberger's piece in today's Washington Post repeats many of the misleading claims from anti-contraception groups regarding the Obama administration's decision to ensure millions of Americans have insurance coverage of contraception.

Here are rebuttals to some of her claims.

Henneberger's Claim About Discrimination: "The White House posted a blog item on its Web site that answers the criticism by pointing out that 'churches are exempt.' Yes, but church-run schools, hospitals and social service agencies are not. And that's where the feed-the-hungry work goes on."

She goes on to imply that people who provide such services will have to ask recipients about their religion: "As retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington has asked, are workers in soup kitchens supposed to start asking not 'Are you hungry?' but 'Are you Catholic?'"

Response: The new requirement specifically exempts churches and other houses of worship, but anti-contraception groups want to allow many other employers, including universities and hospitals, to refuse to cover birth control for women who work as nurses, custodians, professors, and administrative staff. Keep in mind, these institutions serve and employ people of many faiths.

So, in reality, Henneberger is the one proposing that these service agencies and institutions ignore the fact that patients and employees come from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, and that somehow their views or health-care needs are irrelevant.

Henneberger's Claim about Contraceptive Coverage: "The White House Web site also notes that 'no one will be forced to buy or use birth control.' No, just to give it away, as part of employee health packages.

It notes, too, that 'contraception is used by most women, 'Catholics included. Again, true but not remotely the issue, which is the religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment."

Response: Henneberger's claim implies that she knows the myriad of reasons why all women who happen to work at a religiously affiliated hospital or service agency might need contraception, including those whose doctors prescribe contraception for health reasons and not for pregnancy-prevention.

A recent story in The New York Times ("Ruling on Contraception Draws Battle Lines at Catholic Colleges," January 29, 2012) illustrates the dire consequences for women's health when institutions are allowed to block coverage of contraception:

One recent Georgetown law graduate, who asked not to be identified for reasons of medical privacy, said she had polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition for which her doctor prescribed birth control pills. She is gay and had no other reason to take the pills. Georgetown does not cover birth control for students, so she made sure her doctor noted the diagnosis on her prescription. Even so, coverage was denied several times. She finally gave up and paid out of pocket, more than $100 a month. After a few months she could no longer afford the pills. Within months she developed a large ovarian cyst that had to be removed surgically -- along with her ovary.

"If I want children, I'll need a fertility specialist because I have only one working ovary," she said.

Henneberger claims that the criticism of this new rule threatens the Affordable Care Act.

Actually, this woman's story from Georgetown is one of the key reasons the Obama administration's decision is a win for women. Now, women in this situation won't have to fight for insurance coverage of medication that could prevent them from having health-related complications in the future.

Enhanced by Zemanta

#Fail on Birth Control from The Washington Post

|

The fact-checking machine is broken at The Washington Post, as Michael Gerson's attack on birth-control coverage falsely claims that this coverage includes abortifacients. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Check out our facts on emergency contraception (Plan B® and others) and why Gerson is wrong to equate contraception with abortion.

It's curious that someone claiming to make a moral argument would mislead readers.

BTW, this is the second day in a row that the Post has run a piece attacking birth-control coverage. Check out our response to yesterday's column from E.J. Dionne.

The Post is not the only entity attacking contraception. Politicians in Congress are taking aim at coverage of birth control--and that's why we're galvanizing our supporters to tell Congress to stop any attempt to take away birth control coverage from women.

Enhanced by Zemanta

In today's Washington Post, E.J. Dionne criticizes the Obama administration's decision to ensure that nearly all women can get insurance coverage for contraception.

Mr. Dionne writes that "the bishops and the Catholic right invented the idea that the health law covers abortion," yet we're supposed to accept at face value this same group's claim that contraception is controversial among Catholics.

Contraception coverage is not controversial. Ninety-nine percent of women use contraception during their lifetimes, including 98 percent of Catholic women. The new rule will mean that millions of women who work as nurses, custodians, professors, and administrative staff at colleges and hospitals that currently oppose birth control will have the same health-care options as employees at other corporations.

In short, it means these women won't have to ask their boss for permission to get a plan that pays for birth control. A story in today's New York Times illustrates what could happen when institutions are allowed to block coverage of contraception:

One recent Georgetown law graduate, who asked not to be identified for reasons of medical privacy, said she had polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition for which her doctor prescribed birth control pills. She is gay and had no other reason to take the pills. Georgetown does not cover birth control for students, so she made sure her doctor noted the diagnosis on her prescription. Even so, coverage was denied several times. She finally gave up and paid out of pocket, more than $100 a month. After a few months she could no longer afford the pills. Within months she developed a large ovarian cyst that had to be removed surgically -- along with her ovary.

"If I want children, I'll need a fertility specialist because I have only one working ovary," she said.

The woman in this story needed contraception for non-reproductive reasons. Is that something the company she works for or her boss should know? What about her ability to make personal, private medical decisions with her doctor?

What's clear is that the Obama administration's decision allows women of all faiths and backgrounds to make decisions--like using contraception--that are best for them and their families.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pro-Choice Mitt Romney? That's So 2002!

|

The Washington Post is reporting today on a meeting Mitt Romney had with NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts in 2002.

Back then, when Romney was trying to get elected governor in a pro-choice state, he promised to be a "good voice in the [Republican] party" for women's freedom and privacy .

So, what happened after Gov. Romney took office?

  • He vetoed a bill giving rape survivors information about and timely access to emergency contraception. (Fortunately, the Massachusetts state legislature voted to override Gov. Romney's veto.)
  • He said the repeal of Roe v. Wade would "absolutely" be a good day for America.
  • He even voiced his support for a state constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception.

Find out more about Gov. Romney's record on choice, and judge for yourself whether he'd be a "good voice" for pro-choice Americans.

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some Must-Read Stories to Start Your Week

|

Sunday's Washington Post features a profile of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who now provides abortion care in the Washington, D.C.-area after his home state of Nebraska passed a far-reaching abortion ban last year

Even in Maryland, a pro-choice state, Dr. Carhart faces the threat of violence and intimidation for providing compassionate care to women who face emergencies later in pregnancy.

What brings women to see physicians like Dr. Carhart? Mother Jones has a story about one woman whose heart-breaking circumstances led her to choose abortion later in pregnancy

Dana Weinstein made the painful decision to end a wanted pregnancy after receiving a diagnosis of severe fetal anomaly. But the diagnosis came farther along in her pregnancy. She had to travel more than 1,500 miles from her home to find a doctor in Colorado who would provide her the care that she needed. There are very few doctors nationwide who can provide care to women facing circumstances similar to Dana's.

If an abortion ban like Nebraska's had been in place, Dana would not have been able to receive care at all. Unfortunately, when anti-choice politicians took over many state legislatures, even more states are trying to pass Nebraska copycat bans.

Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, and Oklahoma all passed copycat bans earlier this year, and Ohio passed a ban just last week.  

Many thanks to Dana for her bravery in sharing this deeply personal story, and to Dr. Carhart for providing care to women like Dana. Stories like these remind us that behind the heated rhetoric and inflammatory language, there's a real woman trying to decide what's best for her and her family. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Trend in the States: Biased-Counseling Laws

|

Many state governments require doctors to lie to patients about the dangers of abortion.

Government-mandated lies--sounds like something out of a movie, right? Unfortunately, this is real life for women in 32 states.

That's because in these states, anti-choice politicians have passed biased-counseling laws. Never heard of this kind of law? Here's how it works. When a woman seeks abortion care, her health-care provider counsels her about her options, and answers important questions she may have. But in some states, politicians--not doctors--decide what information she receives by requiring that doctors read a script to their patients. In many cases, this "medical" information has an overwhelming anti-choice bias and is simply not true.

Many of these anti-choice laws force doctors to perpetuate the myth that abortion causes mental-health problems like depression and that it can even lead to suicide. Imagine a woman you care about being subjected to this political rhetoric. 

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, Brenda Major looks more closely at this anti-choice strategy, and reiterates that there's no scientific evidence to back it up:

Rigorous U.S. scientific studies have not substantiated the claim that abortion, compared with its alternatives, causes an increased incidence of mental health problems. The same conclusion was reached in 2008 by an American Psychological Association task force, which I chaired, as well as by an independent team of scholars at Johns Hopkins University. As recently as September, Oregon State University researchers announced the results of a national study showing that teenagers who have an abortion are no more likely to become depressed or to have low self-esteem one year or five years later, compared with their peers who deliver.

Major has interesting explanations for some of the reasons the myth may persist. Her piece is worth the read.

What else do the biased-counseling laws dictate to doctors? Every state's law is a little different, but the goal of each is to dissuade women from accessing abortion care. Some require the medical professional to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer, another outright lie. In South Dakota, North Dakota and Missouri, women seeking information about pregnancy options must be told that life begins at conception, and that they are "destroying a separate and unique human being." Check out our website to learn more about anti-choice myths, and get the facts.

Just think of the women we know and care about. They could live in a state where they'd be subjected to this kind of anti-choice propaganda. These mandates put lawmakers in the room when they're talking to their doctor. Without a doubt, biased-counseling laws prove that politicians really do make crappy doctors

Does your state have an anti-choice biased-counseling or other anti-choice law? Check it out on our website, and let us know in the comments what you found.


Kudos to our colleagues at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for taking on anti-choice Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's latest attack on a woman's right to choose. 

Perhaps you read about it on the front page of today's Washington Post or saw Tarina Keene, executive director of the affiliate, on one of the morning shows. Listeners of public radio also heard Tarina. 

If Cuccinelli and his anti-choice allies prevail, 17 of Virginia's 21 abortion clinics could close. That's especially terrible because already 86 percent of Virginia counties don't have an abortion provider

 What Cuccinelli is trying to do is not an isolated incident. Even though abortion is one of the safest and most regulated medical procedures, the anti-choice movement has undertaken a campaign to impose unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers -- but not other medical professionals -- in an obvious attempt to drive doctors out of practice and make abortion care more expensive and difficult to obtain. 

 We call these laws "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers" or TRAP laws for short. Is your state one of the targets? Take a look at our fact sheets and state-by-state information

Stay tuned for more on this topic. We hear Cuccinelli loves to be in the news.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Today's Washington Post calls for the Senate to confirm Dawn Johnsen, President Obama's nominee for the the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC):

HERE ARE some facts about Dawn E. Johnsen, President Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC): She is a graduate of Yale Law School, spent roughly five years as legal director of the abortion rights group now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America, worked for the next five in the Clinton administration's OLC, has been a professor at the Indiana University School of Law since 1998 and has been an outspoken critic of the Bush Justice Department's legal justification for harsh interrogation techniques. In other words, Ms. Johnsen is undoubtedly qualified for the position, and she should be confirmed.

It's wonderful to have the support from WaPo... talk about a third-party endorsement!

You can take action (and then ask your friends to take action, too) in our action center to urge your senators to confirm Prof. Dawn Johnsen and Judge David Hamilton without delay.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr flickr
Donate Take Action
In Your State Share Your Story
Get email updates from NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Search the Blog
Featured Video
Most Recent Entries

 
Home