Results tagged “abortion coverage” from Blog for Choice
Yesterday, we hosted our first ever pro-choice #AskNARAL Google Hangout featuring Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Vice President for Policy Donna Crane, and Political Director Erika West. The hangout was moderated by our Director of Public Affairs and recent honoree of Planned Parenthood's Defenders of Choice, Samantha Gordon.
In case you missed the opportunity to tune in, watch our hangout below:
Our friends and activists submitted so many fantastic questions to #AskNARAL about choice-related issues and our strategy to go on offense - we didn't have time to answer them all!
Here are few questions we didn't have a chance to address in our live hangout:
We're working to expose anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) for lying to and shaming women who are seeking accurate information about their full range of reproductive-health options. We recently held an online week of action in partnership with the Feminist Majority Foundation to call out CPCs and we worked with our affiliate NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota to hold a CPC accountable for distributing misinformation and lashing out at a pro-choice student organizer who criticized it in Minnesota. Several of our state affiliates have produced top-notch reports analyzing CPCs. Be sure to check out our Exposing Fake Clinics Tumblr and website for more information on CPCs.
#AskNARAL Do you expect abortion rate to drop now that birth control has no co-pay on health insurance plans?-- American Spirit (@Mearthe) February 10, 2014
We all share the goal of preventing unintended pregnancies and reducing the need for abortion. Studies show time and again that when women have access to contraception, the rates of unintended pregnancies, and therefore demand for abortion care, decreases.
As a movement, we all need to do a better job of empowering pro-choice individuals from all ethnic and economic backgrounds. One way we're working to increase diversity in the pro-choice movement is by helping to elect pro-choice men and women of color who can bring their unique experiences and knowledge of diverse communities into the political sphere. We will continue to highlight a diverse set of voices so that, together, we can enact pro-choice policies that help protect and expand reproductive rights in all communities.
Visit our state affiliates' pages to learn more about work in the states and how you can get involved in protecting choice in your community.
#AskNARAL how do we engage the lgbt community in this issue? Though it may not affect their lives personally, this issues are related, no?-- Lalita Russ (@lalitachiarra) February 10, 2014
All people should have the right to decide when, whether and with whom to have children, so our issues relate very closely. We support marriage equality and we will fight with our LGBT allies to ensure politicians stay out of our private lives and decisions.
#AskNARAL Is there an rough estimate of amount of taxpayer money spent defending unconstitutional anti-choice bills at the state level?-- American Spirit (@Mearthe) February 10, 2014
Check out a great article published last month that breaks down the cost of defending anti-choice measures for five states.
We're working on expanding reproductive access both at the state and federal levels. We've celebrated a pro-choice win in California, where the governor signed legislation that increases the number of medical professionals who can provide early abortion care. And states like New York and Washington are making women's health and equality part of their agenda this year by introducing measures to protect and expand women's access.
As an organization, we don't litigate, but we do work closely with groups that do, including our coalition partners, and we support many national and local initiatives to stop anti-choice attacks in the states and protect women's reproductive freedom across the country.
We can't thank you enough for making our #AskNARAL hangout a great success and for submitting so many important questions about choice.
Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R.7, which would take away abortion coverage from millions of American women.
Not only would H.R.7 permanently block abortion coverage for low-income women, civil servants, D.C. residents, and military women, it would also impose tax penalties on small businesses that choose private health plans with abortion coverage and effectively ban abortion coverage in the state health-insurance exchanges - a radical new restriction that could jeopardize the availability of private insurance coverage of abortion for all women in all private health plans nationwide.
Despite opposition from the public and pro-choice elected officials who trust women, anti-choice politicians advanced their extreme agenda to restrict women's reproductive freedom and passed this legislation in a 227-188 vote.
It's critical that we hold anti-choice members of Congress accountable for voting against reproductive rights and access to health care. Look below to see how your member of Congress voted on H.R.7, and then let them know what you think! If your lawmaker voted against H.R.7, send them a thank-you email, and if your lawmaker voted against H.R.7, tell them you're disappointed.
|Lawmakers who voted to pass H.R.7||Lawmakers who voted against H.R.7|
Rep. Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Andrews (D-NJ)
*Italicized names denote party crossovers
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R.7, an extreme anti-choice bill that would take away abortion coverage from millions of American women.
Thanks to a huge outcry from the public and pro-choice elected officials, anti-choice members of the House committee had already revised this bill to drop a provision that would have redefined rape. Last week, they revised the bill a second time to drop a provision that would have forced women to prove to the IRS that they'd been raped. Not only that, but they snuck in new provisions that have never been discussed or debated in committee.
As of today, here's what H.R.7 would do:
- Impose tax penalties on small businesses that offer abortion coverage in employee insurance plans.
- Ban abortion coverage entirely in the new health-insurance exchanges.
- Permanently ban abortion coverage for women who get their health care through the government, including servicewomen and low-income women.
- Require health plans to make biased, one-sided "disclosures" of abortion coverage.
You can learn more about the harmful effects of H.R.7 on our website.
If you are as outraged as we are about this, please share our graphic on Facebook so that we can get the word out far and wide about how anti-choice politicians will stop at nothing, including cheating, to block reproductive-health care for women and families who may need it the most.
We celebrated some great pro-choice wins in 2013, in large part because we have strong, pro-choice leaders who fight day in and day out for our rights. Here's our list of notable pro-choice state lawmakers to watch in 2014:
1) Texas gubernatorial candidate and State Sen. Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis gained pro-choice political stardom last summer when she filibustered extreme anti-choice legislation that could shut down almost 90 percent of reproductive-health clinics that provide abortion care across the state of Texas, force women to get an ultrasound before they can have an abortion, and ban abortion after 20 weeks. We know that exciting things await Wendy and her colleague, Texas state Sen. Leticia van de Putte, in 2014. And we look forward to seeing NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and these pro-choice champions make magic this year.
2) Texas State Sen. Leticia van de Putte
During Sen. Davis' filibuster, Leticia raised the roof when she called out her anti-choice colleagues in the Texas state Senate, asking, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?" If you haven't seen it yet, the video is pretty incredible. You can hear the literal roar of pro-choice activists who showed up in solidarity with Texas women.
3) Oklahoma State Rep. Doug Cox
Republican state Rep. Doug Cox, a practicing physician, is part of the pro-choice minority in the Oklahoma state legislature. He caught our attention last year when he reprimanded his Republican colleagues for attempting to restrict women's access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. He got even more vocal in an op-ed, Doug wrote, "What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman's life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?" How will Rep. Cox fight for women in 2014? We can't wait to see.
4) North Carolina State Rep. Alma Adams
Alma has fought for women and families for nearly three decades, and in 2013 she, along with NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, was a leader in the fight against the "motorcycle safety" bill that politicians used to sneak in a dangerous anti-choice provision. Alma spoke out about the extreme legislation: "It's about politics. It's not about women's health. It's not about safety...As a woman, I am personally insulted by the maneuvers around getting this bill to the floor. We've made a mockery of women's health and safety." We're grateful that Rep. Adams continues to speak out for women's health in North Carolina and we're sure 2014 will be no exception.
5) California State Assemblywoman Toni Atkins
Toni wrote the new law in California to increase the number of medical providers who can provide abortion care in California. You can watch Toni talk about her bill in this video. We, along with NARAL Pro-Choice California, couldn't be more grateful for Asm. Atkins' pro-choice initiative in California. We're excited to see even more from her in 2014.
6) Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer
In December 2013, the anti-choice Michigan legislature bypassed Gov. Rick Snyder's signature to ban insurance coverage for abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. While Sen. Gretchen Whitmer bravely spoke out against this extreme legislation that essentially demands women to purchase additional coverage if they need an abortion after a sexual assault, she revealed that she too was a rape survivor. Here's part of her statement: "This tells women that were raped and became pregnant that they should have thought ahead and planned for it. Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens' initiative. It's a special interest group's perverted dream come true." Abortion coverage may be law, but not to worry, pro-choice politicians in Michigan are already planning their next move in 2014. And we are sure state Sen. Whitmer will be critical to this campaign.
7) Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner
Pro-choice Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner is a loud and proud advocate for reproductive rights. When anti-choice politicians introduced a bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - that's before most women even realize they're pregnant - Nina countered those attacks by introducing her own bill. Nina's legislation exposed her colleague's extremism toward women by turning the tables and proposing a tongue-in-cheek requirement that men attend psychological counseling to prove they are fit to get insurance coverage for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications. Her legislation would also require doctors to inform male patients about all of the potential risks of Viagra in writing. Oh snap, Nina! We can't wait to watch NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Sen. Turner fight for women's reproductive rights in 2014!
It's that time of the year for giving thanks, and, for everyone in the pro-choice community, there is so much to be thankful for.
- We worked with NARAL Pro-Choice New Mexico and a coalition on the ground to defeat a ballot measure that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks in the city of Albuquerque - the first known on the municipal level. It was a victory for women's health.
- In Nebraska, a 16-year-old woman living in foster care was denied permission for an abortion because the judge deciding her case said it would "kill the child inside" her. That's when we sprang into action! We worked with a coalition of progressive partners to gather nearly 87,000 petition signatures to ask that Judge Peter Bataillon be sanctioned for putting his political beliefs above the rule of law and a young woman's welfare.
- 2013 was also the year of pro-choice Sen. Wendy Davis' (D-TX) epic filibuster against an anti-choice omnibus bill. We worked with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas to make sure that people heard about Wendy's brave stand that made her the face of women's reproductive freedom in Texas. Nearly 20,000 supporters thanked Wendy for protecting a woman's right to choose. You can see the card on our website!
- We also partnered with NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts to help elect pro-choice former Rep. Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate in June, and in November, we worked with our affiliate in Virginia to defeat anti-choice radical Ken Cuccinelli and elect pro-choice Terry McAuliffe governor.
- In California, we worked with NARAL Pro-Choice California to increase access to abortion for California women. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the legislation in October, improving access to early abortion care by allowing trained and qualified nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and physician assistants to provide care to women in their own communities.
- But our work reached beyond anti-choice attacks in the states. When anti-choice groups launched an attack on insurance coverage of abortion for congressional staffers, we led a coalition to protect the benefit during a comment period, submitting more than eight pro-choice comments for each anti-choice one received. We won the fight and the administration preserved the right for congressional staff to purchase abortion coverage in their health plans!
Out-of-state anti-choice groups tried to influence local politics by overwhelming Albuquerque residents with anti-abortion propaganda. They even handed out inappropriate leaflets to children on Halloween.
But through canvassing, phone banks and an ad campaign, we communicated to voters how important politicians out of women's most personal decisions. Voters showed up and shut down the later abortion ban, which just goes to show that abortion bans are completely out of touch with real women and families.
We couldn't be more grateful for your support that helped us achieve these and so many other victories in the past year. Thank you for trusting women and supporting choice. What are you thankful for?
On November 6, voters went to the polls and decidedly shut down some of the most extreme and anti-choice candidates who were outspoken in their opposition to abortion care for survivors of rape or incest.
From Rep. Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin to Richard Mourdock to John Koster, candidate after candidate who showed zero compassion for rape survivors was shown the door. Clearly, these extreme anti-choice positions are completely out of touch with American values.
While we won these important victories at the polls, we're working to achieve one more win to show that Americans don't dismiss sexual-assault survivors - we stand up for them.
Current law denies women in the military who become pregnant as a result of rape from using their military health-insurance plan to cover abortion care.
The U.S. Senate is pressing to right this wrong and is poised to adopt the Shaheen amendment that would reverse the ban. However, Speaker John Boehner and other anti-choice leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have blocked efforts to allow military women who are survivors of rape or incest to use their health-insurance plans to cover abortion services.
It's up to Boehner and the anti-choice majority in the House to stop putting politics before the health needs of servicewomen.
Stand with us and protect the rights and needs of our military women. Tell your lawmakers to support the Shaheen amendment and make sure that our servicewomen have access to the health services they need.
We're only 47 days away from the 2012 presidential election. That means we're all hands on deck encouraging pro-choice Americans to go to the polls on November 6 and vote for President Obama.
Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice America released its research on "Obama Defectors." These are women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but are currently not voting for him, weakly supporting him, or not voting at all in 2012.
Our election plan is all about microtargeting - using new technology to get the precise pro-choice women voters who we think will make all the difference for President Obama.
Here's what leading media organizations had to say about our plan:
"We think these 25 counties are the ones that are going to decide this election," NARAL Political Director Elizabeth Shipp said during a press briefing Wednesday.
NARAL President Nancy Keenan said her organization's "new and vigorous model" identifying these female voters could very well help get Obama re-elected. "Our job is to communicate with these voters about why they need to vote for [Obama]," she said.
On NARAL's campaign, Keenan said her organization worked with Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to identify 5.1 million women nationwide who are most likely to be Obama defectors who support abortion rights.
GQRR Vice President Drew Lieberman called the NARAL effort efficient, strategic and unique..."It puts them in a position to have a really meaningful impact on this election," he said.
NARAL Pro-Choice America plans to target pro-choice "Obama defector" women this election cycle to help secure a Barack Obama second term.
Their goal: To win over pro-choice female voters who voted for Obama in 2008 but are not planning to vote for him, do not plan to turn out, or are only weakly supporting him in 2012.
NARAL policy director Beth Shipp explained that a lot of the pro-choice shift away from Obama has nothing to do with abortion but rather the economy, which "still sucks" she noted.
"Those people are still pro-choice and if you talk to them about choice and relay to them how important it is this election and why their reproductive rights are at risk they can come back to the fold," Shipp said, recalling that past NARAL polling has shown that some pro-choicers will vote for a candidate based on his abortion stance alone.
This fall, there is going to be a relatively small group of women voters who may be very, very sick of hearing from NARAL Pro-Choice America by Election Day on Nov. 6. Like most of those involved in politics this election year, the abortion rights advocacy group says that women will determine the outcome of the contest on Nov. 6 between Democratic President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
But unlike most, the group has identified, by name and address, the thousands of women across the country that it thinks might make the difference - and it plans to go after their votes, and in a big way, but in small numbers - in many cases as few as 1,000 or 2,000 in an individual county.
Echoing the findings of political scientists, Naral said its research shows that many women who favor abortion rights will change their vote to support a pro-choice candidate, even if the U.S. economy is the issue that most concerns them this election year. And to convince them to do so, it plans to send 1.2 million pieces of mail, use volunteers to make telephone calls, use social media advertising and and buy commercial spots on cable television, targeting its spots to the specific voters in the individual counties.
We're confident that our Obama Defectors Model could make a huge difference in the upcoming election. Once we show pro-choice women voters just how anti-choice the Romney-Ryan ticket is, we can have a measurable impact in making sure President Obama is re-elected to a second term in the White House.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
As my colleague Thomas wrote recently, it's outrageous that women in the military who survive rape can't use their military health insurance to cover abortion care. That's out of step with current Medicaid law and with the federal government's health-insurance programs for civilians.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced an amendment to correct this unjust policy, and it will go to the full Senate for a vote soon.
The amendment is backed by many retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces. They joined with Sen. Shaheen today for a press conference to support it.
"It's time to end discrimination against our servicewomen and provide them with the same care women receive here at home. We salute Sen. Shaheen and these military leaders for speaking out for women serving our country. Protecting those who serve our country falls in line with our American values. It is a tragedy that this commonsense policy is continually subjected to political attacks."
On StandWithServicewomen.org, retired members of the military are speaking out in support of this amendment.
You can help, too. Take action now and tell your senators to support Sen. Shaheen's amendment.
The brave women in the military, who sacrifice so much for us, deserve our support.
signed into a law a measure banning insurance coverage of abortion care from the state's new health-insurance exchange.
Kasich's action means that states have thus far enacted a whopping 68 anti-choice measures in 2011.
Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said that anti-choice politicians in Columbus were clearly out of touch with Ohioans' values and priorities:
Politicians should never be allowed to limit the kinds of insurance benefits that women are allowed to purchase with their own money. All women deserve the same peace of mind that they can obtain the health care they need, regardless of where their insurance comes from. It is appalling that Governor Kasich signed this bill, which clearly violates the Ohio Constitution, into law. Surely there are better ways to spend taxpayer dollars than defending unconstitutional legislation in court.
But I guess Gov. Kasich and his anti-choice allies are what you'd call "constitutional conservatives": conserve the parts of the Constitution you like, ignore the parts you don't.
The health-reform law signed by President Obama in 2010 marks one of the biggest improvements in women's health in a generation.
At the same time, anti-choice Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) was able to insert into the legislation restrictions on abortion coverage that are discriminatory and unfair.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently considering how to implement a provision in the health-care law that imposes financial and administrative burdens on plans that offer, and for consumers who purchase, abortion coverage in the state health-care exchanges.
In fact, there is a real risk that abortion coverage could become so complicated in state exchanges that women could lose their access to it.
Imposing any additional administrative burdens on abortion coverage would be a major setback for women's health. That's why 34,826 Americans submitted comments urging HHS to protect women's access to abortion coverage in the new insurance exchanges.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that the Nelson restrictions could impose serious constraints on abortion coverage:
This provision may jeopardize private insurance coverage of abortion, coverage that most private insurers currently offer. These measures violate a principle on which we've been consistent and clear since the health-reform process started: women should not lose ground in the new health-care system.
No, they should not.
Thank you to the 34,826 Americans who spoke out. Together, we'll make sure that women in need of abortion care across America can continue to access these services and have them covered by their insurance plans.