Results tagged “birthcontrol” from Blog for Choice
Emma Weinstein-Levey is the press intern at NARAL Pro-Choice America
Picture this: Your best friend calls you. She and her boyfriend practiced safe sex last night, but the condom broke. She's freaking out and doesn't know what to do. She isn't on birth control, she can't afford an unplanned pregnancy and isn't ready to become a parent, and she's afraid to tell her parents.
You tell her not to worry because she can get emergency contraception at her local pharmacy. Your friend and her boyfriend go to the pharmacy together and pick up some emergency contraception (EC) or Plan B®. Without the fear of unplanned pregnancy, she can go on with her life.
This is how it should be, right? Accidents happen, even when you're careful. So it makes sense that there should be a backup method available for when things don't go according to plan.
Sadly, that's just not the reality. Women often face shame and judgment when they try to buy Plan B® from the pharmacy, and some pharmacists refuse to sell Plan B® altogether!
Medical professionals agree that emergency contraception should be available to all women, but it's currently only available without a prescription to women over 17.
A federal judge ruled that emergency contraception should be available over-the-counter without age restrictions. But since then, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice have made matters more complicated by prioritizing politics over science.
The struggle for wider availability of emergency contraception is an integral part of choice. EC empowers young women (and men!) to take charge of their reproductive health and allows them to decide when, how, and with whom to start a family.
That's the definition of reproductive freedom.
Today, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, stopped by "NOW with Alex Wagner" on MSNBC to talk about continued efforts to block access to emergency contraception:
"I'm sympathetic to the idea that we all want our kids to come talk to us if they get into trouble. Unfortunately, that's not the job of the administration right now. The real question is whether we're going to have the science-based policy that we were promised by this administration. What we know and what's got this judge so up in arms is that Plan B and other 'morning-after' pills are safe. They've been tested extensively. They're safe for all women."
Elizabeth Smart caught the nation's attention when she was kidnapped for nine months. She survived horrible trauma - and is now working to protect and educate children about violent and sexual crimes.
When she spoke at a forum on human trafficking, Smart shared that she "felt so dirty and so filthy" after being raped by her kidnapper. She attributes feeling worthless to growing up with "abstinence-only" programs:
"I thought, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.' And that's how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value."
Dangerous "abstinence-only" programs withhold information about reproductive health and often tell students that birth control, including condoms, is ineffective for preventing pregnancy or protecting against STDs. Even worse, these programs use shame to dissuade teens from having sex, and often use comparisons like the "chewed gum" metaphor to make them feel bad for becoming sexually active.
Clearly, shaming teens has consequences. That's why Elizabeth is speaking out through her foundation to send the message that "you will always have value and nothing can change that."
Even now, anti-choice politicians across the country are fighting to defund and block comprehensive sex-education programs that help teens protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and disease and give them the confidence to make the decisions that are right for them.
We're grateful for Smart's courage to speak openly about such a personal chapter in her life. And we hope that her message will not be lost on deaf anti-choice ears in Congress and in state legislatures across the country.
Check out our graphic and share it with your friends on Facebook:
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, debated Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, on "PBS NewsHour." They talked about anti-choice legislative attacks in the states and the trial of Kermit Gosnell. Here are a few of Ilyse's points - be sure to watch the whole interview:
"We are already seeing a number of court cases, including ones that Americans United for Life, I think, support, that go far beyond Roe, far beyond women's ability to decide about abortion with their doctors.
[Anti-choice groups] are supporting rollbacks of contraception. They actually have model legislation on their website that would limit IVF, as we have seen in the "personhood" amendment. This is a radical agenda and this is the antithesis of common sense. Americans believe that women and their families and their doctors can make these personal decisions, not meddling politicians."
I recently heard Katelyn Campbell's inspiring story, and just had to share it with you.
Katelyn is a high school student in West Virginia. Her school recently hosted an "abstinence-only" program that that lied to students about birth control and denies them the information they need to stay healthy. The presenter, Pam Stenzel, says taking birth control can lead to becoming "sterile or dead." Her program is truly outrageous.
Katelyn fought back against these lies. She talked with the local newspaper, and even went on CNN.
How did the school principal George Aulenbacher respond? He tried to shut her down. Katelyn says Aulenbacher called her into his office to berate her and threatened to call her future college to tell them she has "bad character" and is a "backstabber."
But Katelyn didn't back down. She knows, like we do, that teens need accurate information about abstinence and birth control so that they can make the responsible decisions that are right for them. After all, one in four teen girls in the U.S. has an STD, and one third of young women will become pregnant before they're 20 years old.
So here's a big high five to Katelyn, and all the other young people like her who are standing up for their rights!
Today, staff and volunteers of NARAL Pro-Choice America joined Planned Parenthood and National Women's Law Center to deliver your comments in support of no-cost birth control to the Department of Health and Human Services. Together, we submitted more than 338,000 comments!
Hundreds of thousands of pro-choice activists submitted comments about why no-cost birth control is essential for women across the country who may otherwise not be able to afford it.
Access to birth control is so important because the ability to control when, how, and with whom to start a family empowers women to chart their own courses and achieve their goals in life. That's why we love the no-cost birth control benefit under Obamacare!
But we know that most Americans support the no-cost birth control policy and we're making our pro-choice voices heard!
Because when women have access to birth control they have the power to choose their futures.
We're more than half-way through Women's History Month and our celebration is far from over!
This week, we're focusing on the legalization of birth control and how deeply it impacted the lives of women across the country.
But first, a quick history lesson.
In the 1965 landmark case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that birth control should be legal for married couples.
In 1972, the Supreme Court took one step further and ruled that unmarried couples, as well as married couples, have the right to use contraception - effectively legalizing birth control across the country.
Access to birth control is essential for millions of women and their families. The ability to control when, how, and with whom to start a family empowers women to chart their own courses and achieve their goals in life.
That's why we're fully supportive of the no-cost birth-control benefit under Obamacare. Because when women have access to birth control they have the power to choose their futures.
Join the celebration of Women's History Month and the huge positive impact birth control has on the lives of women and their families by sharing our graphic on Facebook.
A version of this post appeared on the National Conference for Media Reform website. If you'd like to join Ilyse at the conference, visit http://conference.freepress.net/ncmr-2013 and click register now. Use the promo code 10-NCMR for a 10% discount.
International Women's Day is the opportunity to stand in solidarity with women around the world and reflect on how - in far too many places - women are still treated as second-class citizens. But after the elections in 2012, we must also look closer to home. "Legitimate rape," Rush Limbaugh's "slut-shaming" of women who use birth control, and fights about whether women should...umm...maybe get paid the same as a dude doing the same job and it dominated the political debate. The catch phrase "War on Women" was used to describe the climate caught fire. Most women I know were left shaking their heads and wondering how we ended up living in an episode of "Mad Men."
Unfortunately, we weren't on TV. It was 2012 and the 4th Estate - that much vaunted protector of truth and justice - was letting us down in a big way.
Eighty-one percent of quotes about abortion in major media outlets came from men. Seventy-five percent of comments about birth control came from the same half of the population that has never had to decide between an IUD and the pill. Amazingly, though the "War on Women" tagline turned up non-ironically in almost every media outlet, women's voices accounted for a small fraction of the total represented on Sunday public affairs shows and in America's top newspapers. What the media failed to report was when and how men managed to gain such an intimate understanding of what it's like to be a gal juggling work and family demands in a down economy while also having to worry about her ability to control her reproductive health.
Women's issues dominated the campaign season so completely that in another universe, the facts about the gender gap in election coverage would be reversed and men would be scratching their heads wondering how to find their way back onto the headlines. The good news is that women writers and female-identified blogs boomed to provide a space for women to share their genuine experiences and be a part of the conversation. I can't wait to be in Denver at the Media Reform Conference to share some tragic-comedy from the past election cycle and have a conversation about how we support and build channels to be able to speak for ourselves. Together, we can put women's voices front and center where they belong. I hope you'll join me.
Did you tune in last night for pro-choice President Barack Obama's State of the Union address?
The president outlined a pro-women strategy that included urging the House to pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and an increase in the minimum wage, which would greatly help women and families.
Soon after he concluded his speech, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered their responses on behalf of the factions of the Republican party.
Want to know where these guys stand on choice?
Sen. Rubio certainly isn't shy about his extreme anti-choice views. He's called for the overturn of Roe v. Wade saying, "The right to life is a fundamental one that trumps virtually any other right I can imagine."
He also supported legislation that would allow bosses to deny their employees birth-control coverage under Obamacare. He even cast a vote against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act yesterday.
And in case there was any question about his position, Sen. Rubio began his response to the State of the Union address by restating his anti-choice views.
Sen. Rand Paul also responded to the State of the Union address, and while he didn't touch on the state of women's reproductive freedom, we haven't forgotten his extreme anti-choice record.
Remember that time Sen. Paul tried to sneak a "personhood" amendment into a flood-insurance bill? And how could we forget when he threatened to permanently ban the District of Columbia from using its own funds to pay for abortion care for low-income women?
We're shaking our heads over here. These anti-choice politicians clearly didn't get the memo that the majority of Americans do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
We trust that President Obama will continue to protect a woman's fundamental right to make decisions regarding her reproductive health. And I think we can all agree with his closing statement:
"This country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story."
It's that time of year again, and we're here to announce the winners of our annual Hall of Fame and Shame contest!
We tallied your votes, and this year's winner of NARAL Pro-Choice America's Hall of Fame is: President Barack Obama!
From securing no-cost birth-control coverage, to battling out anti-choice presidential candidate Mitt Romney for re-election, to standing with survivors of rape in the military, it's been a big year for our pro-choice president.
We thank President Obama for his hard work protecting women's access to abortion and birth control.
We know that for every pro-choice superstar, there's an anti-choice extremist trying to take away women's reproductive-health care. And that person is the newest member of our anti-choice annual Hall of Shame: Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).
You may remember Akin's famous gaffe about "legitimate rape," which set off a chain reaction of outrageous comments from other extreme anti-choice candidates.
The backlash from Rep. Akin's comment just goes to show that when politicians try to get between a woman and her doctor, pro-choice voters will find a way to legitimately shut that whole thing down.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Hall of Fame and Shame contest!
There are plenty of reasons we should all be thankful that the medical community created emergency contraception (EC) (aka the "morning-after" pill).
I learned about it just after it became available from a good friend, who told me she took it after a condom broke during sex. Several other friends have told me similar stories since. I also think it's great that women who can't take daily hormonal birth-control pills may be able to use EC as a backup to their non-hormonal contraception of choice. And, of course, it's vital that women who are raped can get EC at a hospital. I can't imagine how horrible it would be for a rape survivor to worry about a possible pregnancy on top of the trauma she experienced from the rape itself.
While I haven't used the "morning-after" pill, I'm glad it's there for me if I ever need it. Today, EC is available to women aged 17 and older without a prescription. That means you just have to go up to the pharmacist and ask for it. Since EC is most effective up to five days after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, being able to get it without a prescription at pharmacies helps women get the medication quickly. In my opinion, that's pretty amazing. It allows women like me to take control over their own reproductive health, without needing to make an appointment at a clinic or with their doctor. Younger women still need to get a prescription and then find a pharmacist to fill it--sometimes facing barriers to timely access.
No one should be made to feel embarrassed for taking control of their own bodies and their own lives. If you've used EC, or are just grateful it exists in case you need it, you're not alone. Really, if you've had any kind of experience with any kind of reproductive-health care, you're not alone. Hundreds of women have shared their stories with us. After you read some, maybe you'll be inspired to share your own story, too.
President Obama's win on November 6 means that implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue. That includes one of our favorite provisions, the no-cost birth-control policy. Under this policy, all FDA-approved methods of contraception will be covered without a copay for newly issued insurance plans going forward.
Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, is one of many organizations that objects to the policy. It sued to deny birth-control coverage to its employees based on the employers' personal beliefs.
Early last week, a federal judge ruled that Hobby Lobby must comply with the birth-control policy. While this is promising for the future of the policy, Hobby Lobby has already appealed the decision.
Perhaps Hobby Lobby forgot that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration got it right: women, not their bosses, should make the health-care decisions that are best for them.
Mitt Romney's running-mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), may not have won the vice presidency, but he was re-elected to his House of Representatives seat in the 113th Congress. Now he has the chance to take his anti-choice agenda to the big budget fight that starts this week.
This is Paul Ryan's next best chance to cut funding for social safety net programs, like the federal family-planning program that provides cancer screenings, maternity care, and affordable birth control for millions of women and families.
You would think that after last week's elections lawmakers like Ryan would have gotten the message that Americans are tired of their legislative attacks on abortion and birth control.
Stand with us to protect the programs that women and families need the most. Make sure your lawmakers know that you don't agree with these attacks on women's health and privacy.
We hope you tune in for the final presidential debate!
The candidates will discuss foreign policy tonight. "So what does that have to do with a woman's right to choose?" you might ask.
Many people might not realize that the person in the White House has power over how funding is allocated to family-planning programs overseas.
In his first week in office, pro-choice President Obama rescinded the global gag rule. This anti-choice policy cancels U.S. family-planning funds to many overseas health centers and denies the world's poorest women birth control.
President Obama also refunded the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which former President Bush defunded for seven years. The UNFPA's mission is: "to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect."
Mitt Romney has threatened to reinstate the global gag rule. He also picked a running mate who has repeatedly voted against international family-planning programs.
On November 6, voters will remember that foreign policy is very much a women's issue.
And we'll be voting for the pro-choice candidate who believes that women overseas should have access to critical health care: President Barack Obama.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Did you hear Mitt Romney lie about contraception during this week's presidential debate?
Romney's lies don't stop there. The next day, Romney's campaign released an ad that claims he's moderate on abortion and birth control.
Come on, Mitt, really? You think we're buying this?
Mitt Romney has a lot of explaining to do because the list of his anti-choice threats is longer than Felix Baumgartner's jump from space.
- He vows to eliminate Obamacare, and with it, the no-cost birth-control policy.
- Romney wants to let bosses deny their employees a health-care plan that covers birth control.
- He threatens to defund Planned Parenthood and said, "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." This plan would cut off access to birth control and breast-cancer screenings for millions of women.
- Romney threatened to cancel Title X family-planning programs, which provide essential health care to millions of low-income women.
- Romney supports policies that would outlaw abortion in almost all cases, even in cases of rape, incest or when a woman's health is in danger.
- Romney promised to appoint Supreme Court justices that would support overturning Roe v. Wade.
We're not going to let Romney get away with lying to women and their families.
Right now, our own ad that tells voters the truth about Mitt Romney's anti-choice agenda is running in Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
We know that when voters learn the truth about Mitt Romney's anti-choice position, they'll be that much more likely to vote for our pro-choice president, Barack Obama.
This is why we're making a huge effort to reach "Obama defectors," pro-choice women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but are not yet committed to voting for him again. Clearly, these are the very same women who Romney is trying to reach.
This election is more important than ever. We don't want a president who lies about supporting the right to choose, but then turns around and promises to defund Planned Parenthood.
That's why we're heading to the polls on November 6 to re-elect our pro-choice champion, President Barack Obama!
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
We have fantastic news!
This study comes as millions of women are starting to see the benefits of no-cost birth control under the Affordable Care Act - aka Obamacare.
These positive results further demonstrate the benefits of no-cost birth control. It is one of the greatest advancements for women in a generation! It makes sense right? When birth control is affordable, you'd think that more women will use it and, therefore, avoid unintended pregnancy altogether.
But wait - there are still plenty of politicians who are living in another century and want to make it harder for women to get birth control. The U.S. House of Representatives has voted more than 30 times to repeal the health-care law.
And Mitt Romney is one of the biggest opponents of no-cost birth control and Obamacare. He's threatened to repeal it on "day one."
That is why it is so important for us to keep the Romney-Ryan ticket far, far away from the White House. If we don't re-elect pro-choice President Obama on November 6, we could be saying good-bye to near-universal birth-control coverage for women.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Don't forget to tune into the presidential debate tonight!
Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama will answer questions about the economy, health care, and the role of government.
Have you heard Mitt Romney's campaign claim that women don't care about birth control, and that birth control isn't an economic issue?
The thing is, birth control is an economic issue. And President Obama understands that.
We created this graphic to highlight the stark difference between these two candidates when it comes to making birth control affordable. Many women will no longer have to take out their wallet when they pick up their birth-control prescription at the pharmacy thanks to President Obama's no-cost birth control policy. If Mitt Romney's elected? He's threatened to take away this great preventive benefit.
We'll be live tweeting the debate tonight, so be sure to follow @NARAL for updates.
Yesterday was a big day for anti-choice extremist Rep. Todd Akin, the candidate for U.S. Senate who said that pregnancies from "legitimate rape" rarely happen.
However, the deadline has come and gone. And Akin is still in the race!
Now it's up to us to get the word out to Missouri voters about Akin's extreme beliefs.
If his comments about "legitimate rape" weren't offensive enough, he also said that he believes that emergency contraception should be banned.
If you have friends who vote in Missouri, get the word out. Tell them to cast their vote to re-elect Sen. Claire McCaskill. Akin cannot be trusted to protect our rights - let alone understand basic biology.
We're only 41 days away from the election!
Don't forget to tune in to the first presidential debate next week on October 3.
Jim Lehrer, the debate moderator, has already announced the topics of the debate. He will ask President Obama and Mitt Romney about two topics we think are of the utmost importance to pro-choice voters: health care and whether the government should meddle with a woman's private medical decisions.
We are all too familiar with Romney's attempts to dodge or deny his own anti-choice statements, but pro-choice voters are not going to let him get away with that!
Here are some questions Mr. Romney needs to answer about his extreme anti-choice position, as well as the policies he would establish if elected:
- Gov. Romney, you have threatened on numerous occasions to repeal the health-care law. The law - which we too like to call Obamacare - helps women in so many ways . It means near-universal coverage of maternity and prenatal care for women, insurance coverage of contraception without a copay, and an end to allowing insurance companies to discriminate by charging women more than men. These are all provisions broadly supported by the American people. Why would you reinstate discrimination against women in the insurance market and drive up costs for women's health-care services?
- Gov. Romney, you have said that you'd eliminate the Title X family-planning program because it is "not absolutely essential." Title X is the nation's only dedicated family-planning program. Millions of Americans rely on it for birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care. How do you propose that these Americans get access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care they need once you've eliminated Title X?
- When it comes to women's freedom and privacy, politicians in your party, including your running mate, have supported policies that would put government in the examining room with women. For example, right now there is a bill in Congress that would force a woman to undergo an ultrasound before she can receive abortion care, even if her doctor doesn't recommend it and even if it is against the woman's will. Women deserve to know how you'd govern on these issues. As president, would you sign a forced-ultrasound bill?
We're not going to let Mitt Romney shy away from his anti-choice position. We're holding him accountable! And so will voters on November 6.
There's only one candidate we can trust with women's freedom and privacy, and that's pro-choice President Barack Obama.
It seems like everyone is running away from their anti-choice record these days.
When his Democratic challenger, Christie Vilsack, brought up his extreme position, Rep. King insisted,
"If I were opposed to it, I would have introduced a bill. I mean, look at my history. I have had 16 years out there. I don't know why they have to make things up."
Rep. Steve King has an extreme anti-contraception voting record. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
- This is the guy who thinks states should be able to ban birth control, but not foie gras.
- Since coming to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003, Rep. King has voted six times to defund, block or restrict family-planning programs.
- Rep. King also cosponsored H.R.1179 - the House counterpart to the infamous Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to deny coverage of birth control to employees for virtually any reason.
- And just last year, Rep. King made these extreme comments on the House floor regarding the Affordable Care Act and the no-cost birth control mandate :
"Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That's not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate down below the replacement rate, we are a dying civilization."
Rep. King is trying to appear moderate on birth control, but we're not fooled. Nice try, Rep. King, but your extreme anti-contraception record speaks for itself.