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Late Friday night, congressional leaders and the White House reached a budget agreement that keeps the government running.

Anti-choice leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives had threatened to shut down the U.S. government if their demands to defund Planned Parenthood and the Title X family-planning program were not met. 


This entire process has exposed just how far the anti-choice House leadership is willing to go to attack women's freedom and privacy. They are even willing to take our country to the brink of a government shutdown over issues that are unrelated to the budget deficit or other fiscal matters.

The good news from the budget deal is that funding for Planned Parenthood and other family-planning programs was saved. 

Special thanks go out to President Obama, pro-choice leaders in Congress, and, especially, the thousands pro-choice of Americans who lobbied their lawmakers on Thursday to stop the War on Women

It was your efforts that stopped a handful of anti-choice extremists from taking away millions of Americans' access to affordable contraceptive services, cancer screenings, and other basic health care.


NARAL Pro-Choice America worked hard to get this dangerous and unfair ban repealed in 2009. Now, Congress is back to telling D.C. taxpayers what they can and can't spend their own money on! 

Washington, D.C.'s elected officials expressed their outrage that D.C. women's health continues to be a target for anti-choice attacks. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray and other local leaders will be at a rally to protest the D.C. abortion ban. 

Meet outside the Hart Senate Office Building at 2nd & Constitution Avenues N.E. at 5 p.m. today to get your voices heard. Thanks to our friends at DC Vote for helping to organize this event.

We'll fight to change the choice-related composition of the House of Representatives so that we can repeal this discriminatory measure again.
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Making the Rounds

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I just got back from putting some democracy into action!

I went with some colleagues to visit pro-choice representatives' offices in the Longworth House Office Building. We brought petitions signed by their constituents thanking these champions for their commitment to a woman's right to choose.

We visited the office of Rep. Jim McDermott, who represents the seventh House district of Washington. We let his staff know that 1,906 people in his district had taken action calling for an end to the War on Women. That's the highest action-taking House district in the country.

We also visited the office of Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who represents the seventh House district of Arizona--and got a huge and awesome surprise. As we were thanking his staff, the representative himself came out of his office and thanked us for standing up for a woman's right to choose!

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It felt great to meet directly with our pro-choice lawmakers and let them know that we appreciate all they do.

Pro-choice people power! Together, we can stop the War on Women.

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Last month, while the U.S. House of Representatives debated cutting all funding for Planned Parenthood health centers, anti-choice Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey launched into a tirade over abortion.

Rep. Jackie Speier of California stood up to his anti-choice distortions by sharing her own, deeply personal story

Well yesterday, Rep. Speier joined hundreds of our pro-choice activists for a lobby-day mobilization call. She reminded all of us that this debate is not about abstract legislative deals. The policies behind the anti-choice attacks will have a negative effect on our sisters, our cousins, our friends, our neighbors--the women important to us.

Rep. Speier urged pro-choice Americans to come to Washington D.C. on April 7 for pro-choice lobby day to help stop the repeated attacks on our rights.

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In addition to hearing Rep. Speier's inspiring comments, participants also heard from Ted Miller, communications director at NARAL Pro-Choice America; Donna Crane, our policy director; and Elizabeth Shipp, our political director. 

Donna shared how the attacks we see now compare to the far-right's 35-year strategy to roll back our rights, and how women's lives would change for the worse. Elizabeth provided critical details about lobby day, including times.

To listen to the call and hear Rep. Speier's inspiring story and NARAL Pro-Choice America's speakers, right click this link and select "Save Target As..." to download and save it. 

We need to show Speaker Boehner that we are not going to stand for defunding Planned Parenthood. We are not going to stand for allowing hospitals to let women die at emergency rooms. We are not going to stand for forcing even more trauma on rape and incest survivors.

It is these attacks that compel us to unite in Washington on April 7. Join us to STOP the War on Women.

Thank you to Rep. Jackie Speier and all of the activists who joined us on this call. If you couldn't make it, we hope you listen to the call.

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Tell Us Why You're Coming to Lobby Day

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Pro-choice Americans from across the country will be gathering in Washington, D.C. on April 7 to STOP the War on Women.


Maybe there was a time when you visited a family-planning health center, such as Planned Parenthood, for basic health care, like a mammogram, birth-control counseling, or a Pap test.


Perhaps you or your spouse or partner relied on your insurance to cover abortion care, and you strongly oppose how House Speaker John Boehner and his allies want to take this option away from women. 


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Today, the U.S. Senate stood up to the anti-choice U.S. House of Representatives' leadership's War on Women


At the same time, the anti-choice House leadership is ratcheting up its War on Women. Next week, a key subcommittee will hold a hearing on H.R.3, the dangerous "Stupak on Steroids" bill. This bill manipulates the tax code to advance an extreme anti-choice agenda. The "Stupak on Steroids" bill now has 219 co-sponsors, enough votes to pass the House.


We commend fair-minded senators for rejecting the anti-choice House leadership's efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle the nation's family-planning centers. Unfortunately, the Senate action coincides with a War on Women in the House that continues to escalate. This extreme and far-reaching agenda is a wake-up call to Americans, who are realizing just how much time and energy anti-choice lawmakers are willing to expend attacking a woman's right to choose instead of focusing on the jobs agenda that they promised Americans.

 

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The fight to save reproductive-health care is moving to the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. House of Representatives already voted to eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood and the Title X program--a declaration of war on contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic health-care that family-planning centers provide to millions of American women and men each year. 

This week, the Senate could vote on whether to do the same. America's pro-choice majority is fired up, and we're telling our lawmakers to stop this extreme agenda. Already, more than 66,000 of our activists have called on their senators to say "no" to the War on Contraception. 

NARAL Pro-Choice America and our network of state affiliates are mobilizing pro-choice Americans at events across the country to send our senators a message: we're counting on you to stop the anti-choice House leadership's War on Contraception from advancing. 


Last night, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts volunteers gathered letters, emails, video messages, and personal stories from across the commonwealth to let Sen. Scott Brown know that Bay Staters need community health centers such as Planned Parenthood.

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts will deliver the messages directly to Sen. Brown's office in downtown Boston today. Massachusetts voters are paying attention to the upcoming vote, and will hold Sen. Brown accountable in 2012 if he doesn't stand up for women's health. 

Aspen from Webster, Mass. shared her story about a time she needed Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood provided me with a supportive environment and education regarding birth control and other protective and preventative services that I did not (and perhaps could not) receive from other sources - including my primary care provider at the time. Because of Planned Parenthood I remain healthy, protected, and the master of my own body and my future. Defunding PP would counter-productive, irresponsible, and absolutely dangerous. There is nothing that could replace PP as effectively, and there are few institutions as important in the fight to reduce unwanted pregnancies (and thus abortions), and to provide all women with the services they need.

In Chicago, the Illinois Choice Action Team delivered petitions to Sen. Mark Kirk letting him know that Illinoisans won't stand for attacks on Planned Parenthood and Title X family-planning programs. 

We're also making sure that some of our pro-choice champions know that we've got their backs. 

NARAL Pro-Choice Montana delivered letters to Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester yesterday, thanking them for their leadership in standing up for family-planning programs. The senators' strong support for Planned Parenthood and Title X stands in stark contrast with Rep. Denny Rehberg, Montana's lone House member, who voted for the War on Contraception. 

NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota is joining with coalition partners today to thank Sen. Tim Johnson for his support of family planning.

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia mobilized coalition partners to thank Sen. Mark Warner for supporting Title X.

NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin delivered letters to Sen. Herb Kohl thanking him for his support. 

Kudos to courageous women like Aspen, our affiliates, and everyone speaking out against the War on Contraception at events around the country. 


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Reps. Moore and Speier shared deeply personal stories about times when they relied on the reproductive-health services that organizations such as Planned Parenthood provide:


Kudos to Reps. Speier and Moore for sharing their stories, and to the hosts of The View for inviting them on the show.


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Fortunately, many pro-choice champions in the House stood up against this war on contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic health care that family-planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, provide to millions of American women and men. They deserve our recognition and thanks. 

Special thanks to Rep. Jackie Speier of California for bravely sharing her own story. Rep. Speier will appear on ABC's The View tomorrow to talk about her experience. 


Thanks to Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, who pointed out that these attacks fall disproportionately on low-income women and women of color. She said that the anti-choice leadership's attempt to eliminate family-planning funding showed "utter contempt for poor women and poor children."


Thank you to other pro-choice representatives who stood up to defend women's health care against the anti-choice onslaught, including Rep. Lois Capps of California, Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, Rep. Judy Chu of California, Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Rep. Susan Davis of California, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, Rep. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, D.C., Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, Rep. Jessie Jackson, Jr. of Illinois, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Rep. Barbara Lee of California, Reps. Nita Lowey and Carolyn Maloney of New York, Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, Rep. José Serrano of New York, Rep. Betty Sutton of Ohio, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, Rep. Henry Waxman of California, Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont and Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California.

We rely on them and other champions of choice to stand up for our right to make personal, private medical decisions.


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They Defunded Planned Parenthood, So What Can You Do?

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

These same anti-choice politicians are also pushing ahead with the extreme "Stupak on Steroids" agenda, one of the farthest-reaching assaults on women's freedom and privacy that we've seen in years. 


Do these attacks on women's health make you mad as hell? Well, you can do something about it!

Congress is on recess this week, and members are at home in their districts to listen to constituents. Visit your member's district office and tell him or her that you oppose the "Stupak on Steroids" agenda!

If your representative is pro-choice, your support will help him or her stand strong against these dangerous attacks. If your legislator is on the fence about this anti-choice legislation, he or she needs to get the facts from a constituent, like you, who will hold him or her accountable. And if your legislator is anti-choice, he or she needs to know that voting against a woman's right to choose will always come at a political cost.


If you want to bring your voice to your lawmakers in Washington, D.C., join us for Pro-Choice Lobby Day on Thursday, April 7!

America's pro-choice majority is fired up and ready to go tell our lawmakers to stop the dangerous "Stupak on Steroids" agenda. We'll provide training and organize lobby visits with members of Congress from your state.

Politicians who campaigned on an agenda of jobs and the economy are now focused on defunding Planned Parenthood and attacking a woman's ability to make personal, private medical decisions. 

It's time that they heard from the American people about what we think of their backwards priorities! 

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The war on contraception continues.

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

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

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

These six representatives failed the test: 

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

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

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

Guess not.

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

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

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


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Rep. Jackie Speier Stands Up to War on Contraception

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The anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives continues to wage its war against contraception.

Late last night, the House debated an amendment introduced by anti-choice Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana that would eliminate all funding for Planned Parenthood

The same people who promised a jobs agenda are now focused on blocking women's access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic health care that family-planning centers, such as Planned Parenthood, provide to millions of American women and men.

Rep. Jackie Speier of California stood up to anti-choice distortions by sharing her own story


Thank you, Rep. Speier, for your bravery in sharing this deeply personal story.

Check back with Blog For Choice as more pro-choice representatives speak out against the war on contraception. Here's what Reps. Mike Quigley of Illinois and Louise Slaughter of New York are saying. 


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Birth Control for Horses, Not for Women

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

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


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

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

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


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