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Results tagged “incest” from Blog for Choice

The reproductive rights spotlight has been on Michigan. Anti-choice groups and politicians bypassed the governor and banned insurance coverage for abortion - even in cases of rape and incest.

Basically, ladies, that means that you're expected to anticipate your own sexual assault - or for your birth control to fail - and purchase additional insurance coverage for abortion care.

Repeat after me: no one plans for an unplanned pregnancy.

This law is so extreme that when politicians in the Michigan state legislature passed the measure last year, even anti-choice Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed it because he found it inappropriate to "tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she [needs] to select elective insurance coverage."

But Michigan Right to Life couldn't care less about women's health and well-being and they continued to push their extreme anti-choice agenda to make abortion more difficult to access. Anti-choice activists collected more than 300,000 signatures in order to bypass Gov. Snyder and put this measure before the legislature a second time. Nearly four percent of the state has decided the fate of all women in Michigan.

Many pro-choice Michigan politicians are outraged by this misogynistic legislation that specifically targets women and survivors of rape or sexual assault. Michigan state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer made sure people understood what it is all about: "This tells women who were raped ... 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."

As she cast her vote against the bill, Sen. Whitmer shared her own personal story of surviving sexual assault. You can watch it below:

Help us spread the world about how this extreme law in Michigan hurts all women and targets survivors of sexual assault in the most egregious way by sharing our graphic on Facebook.

Here's what the government is effectively saying:

Rape Insurane_small.png

Politicians in 22 states actually require you to buy additional coverage for abortion care. But good luck trying to actually buy it. There's little evidence they actually exist.

Changes under the Michigan law don't take effect until March, but with national upset and disgust over this horrific piece of legislation, it may not be the end of the story just yet. Stay tuned in 2014.

Last night, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, appeared on Current TV's "Viewpoint" with Eliot Spitzer to speak out against the extreme anti-choice agenda of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Nancy pointed out that women who currently support Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan need to know what is at stake for them if the Romney-Ryan ticket succeeds this November.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is working hard to draw that contrast between our pro-choice president and the anti-choice Romney-Ryan ticket.

Nancy reminded audiences of Rep. Paul Ryan's support for extreme "personhood" measures which, if passed and enacted into law, would effectively ban abortion in almost all cases, with no exception for rape or incest. Furthermore, "personhood" measures could also ban most common forms of birth control, and restrict fertility treatments.

Ryan also supports forced ultrasound legislation, like the bill that passed last year in Virginia, even when it's not medically necessary, and even if it's against a woman's will.

Discussing the Romney-Ryan agenda, Nancy stated:

"This is a radical extreme ticket. I think once the contrast is drawn between Romney-Ryan and President Obama, women are going to flock to President Obama knowing that he is standing with women and standing up for our privacy and our freedom."

We couldn't agree more! We are going to work hard to ensure that women, and their families know exactly what is at stake for them if they don't support President Obama, who fights for women and their right to choice, privacy, and freedom every day.

Women are outraged, and women will remember on November 6.

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

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Did you know that servicewomen who are survivors of rape or incest cannot get coverage for abortion care under their military health-insurance plans?

As awful as this sounds, it's true.

But in hopeful news, last week the Senate took a big step toward changing this unconscionable policy. The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment authored by pro-choice Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that would provide abortion coverage for military women who are pregnant as a result of sexual assault.

Retired military officials have joined a group called Stand Up for Servicewomen to fight this discriminatory policy. One retired army captain who belongs to this group called the Shaheen amendment an important step forward for women serving their country.

"Servicewomen promise to support and defend the Constitution and our country," said Cindy McNally, Chief Master Sergeant, US Air Force (Ret.). "It's unconscionable to turn our backs on them in their time of need. We owe it to them--and to ourselves--to get this one right."

A huge shout-out goes to Sen. Shaheen and our other consistent champions of choice on the committee:

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii)
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.)

Thanks to these senators for fighting for the women who fight for us.

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Standing Up for Women in the Military


Our servicewomen put their lives on the line for our rights, but they don't have same right to choose that we have at home.


Current law permits the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide abortion care at military facilities only in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

In the tragic cases of rape or incest, the servicewoman must bear the cost of the medical care herself, which means the restrictions on military women go even further than on civilian women.

Fortunately, pro-choice lawmakers are working to change this unfair policy.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced a measure that would repeal the law that blocks women from using their military insurance plan to cover abortion care if they survive a sexual assault.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Sen. Shaheen and other pro-choice leaders for standing up for our servicewomen:

Women in the military deserve the same reproductive -health care as women here at home. Anti-choice lawmakers are putting politics ahead of servicewomen's health and safety. These women are fighting for our freedom while being denied their own.

It's outrageous for women in the military who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault to be denied the right to the full range of reproductive-health care options.

Thank you, Sen. Shaheen!

Call on your senators to stand with our servicewomen by supporting the Shaheen amendment.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann may be running for president, but she still collects your taxpayer dollars as a representative of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.

As an advocate for "smaller" government, she hasn't been the best about showing up for her day job: Rep. Bachmann has missed more than 150 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives since announcing her candidacy for president.

One thing that does make Rep. Bachmann beat a trail back to D.C.: introducing bills to take away a woman's ability to make private medical decisions with her doctor.

Last week, she introduced a bill that would mandate that medical professionals perform an ultrasound on any woman seeking abortion services, display the images, and then orally describe the images to the woman - even if she directly objects. It would also force the health-care provider to search for a fetal heartbeat before the woman is permitted to receive abortion care if she is at least eight weeks pregnant. Sadly, the proposal has no exception from this mandate for cases of rape, incest, or severe emotional distress.

I guess that's Michele Bachmann's idea of limited government.

Rep. Bachmann may have missed 150 votes, but she takes a break from campaigning to vote to interfere with women's freedom and privacy. Let's take a look at some of her votes this year:

Meanwhile, Herman Cain continues to garner attention--and not the good kind.

Just yesterday, while Mr. Cain was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press," moderator David Gregory asked him about a woman's right to choose. Spoiler alert: he's against it--even for survivors of rape and incest.

GREGORY: Exceptions for rape and incest?

CAIN: Not for rape and incest. Because if you look at rape and incest, the percentage of those instances is so minuscule that there are other options.

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Glad to hear that Mr. Cain places such high importance on women's personal experiences!

Bachmann and Cain: two candidates who should make any pro-choice voter say, "Nein, nein, nein!"

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

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Two pro-choice lawmakers from my home state are sponsoring the MARCH Act--legislation that would lift the ban on abortion care for military women who are survivors of rape and incest.

Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York introduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will introduce the Senate version of the bill in the coming weeks.

The MARCH Act would end the discriminatory law that forces women in the military who become pregnant as a result of sexual assault to pay the bill if they choose abortion. 

Servicewomen are denied the right to have their health benefits cover abortion care in these tragic circumstances simply because of anti-choice politics. This ban adds insult to injury, and goes beyond the restrictions of the Hyde amendment

The legislation would also lift the ban that forbids doctors at military hospitals from providing abortion care, even if a woman pays for it herself.

Last month, Reps. Susan Davis of California, Robert Andrews of New Jersey, Diana DeGette of Colorado, Carolyn Maloney of New York, Loretta Sanchez of California, and Louise Slaughter of New York offered an amendment that would have allowed military health plans to cover abortion care for rape survivors. Yet, the anti-choice House leadership refused even to let this amendment go to the full House for a vote!

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that the MARCH Act will let Americans know where their lawmakers stand:

This bill will force anti-choice lawmakers to go on the record as to whether they believe that women who put their lives on the line for their country should face more obstacles than women stateside when it comes to making personal, private decisions.

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A politician in Indiana suggested that women might lie about being the survivor of rape or incest in order to access abortion care.

I wish I could say this was someone's idea of a sick April Fools' joke. Sadly, it's true. 

Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner argued on the floor of the state House that a rape or incest exception to a proposed abortion ban creates "a giant loophole." 

Why? According to Rep. Turner, because "someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they've been raped or there's incest."

Fortunately, state Rep. Linda Lawson was there to set the record straight on Rep. Turner's callous and outrageous suggestions:

Unfortunately, these extreme attacks on women's freedom and privacy are not confined to the Hoosier State.

Yesterday, the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would manipulate the tax code to advance an extreme anti-choice agenda. 

Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the committee's ranking member, said that taking action on an anti-choice attack was unprecedented for the Ways and Means Committee:

I cannot recall a time in my two decades on this Committee - and I have checked with a few others that served this Committee before me -- that we have devoted a full hearing and markup to [abortion]. I regret that it takes away our attention from our shared goals of job-creation and tax reform.  And I regret that this bill is overall just a tax increase on women.

Donna Crane, policy director at NARAL Pro-Choice America, told the Associated Press that the "rape-audits" provision "would be an alarming new responsibility for the IRS."

This War on Women has gone far enough! 

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Banding Together to Stop the Rape Audits


With the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives taking its War on Women to dangerous new extremes, the whole pro-choice movement is banding together

Under H.R.3, the extreme "Stupak on Steroids" bill, women could be forced to describe the traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted to an agent from the IRS. According to Mother Jones, the bill could "turn IRS agents into abortion cops."

And H.R.3 is not just fringe legislation that doesn't stand a chance of passing.  It takes 218 votes to pass anything in the House. Right now, H.R.3 has 221 co-sponsors. If a vote were held today, this bill would pass the House!

Americans have had enough of the War on Women and are calling on Speaker John Boehner and other anti-choice politicians to end these outrageous attacks on freedom and privacy.

Now through April 15, our progressive coalition is gathering signatures to send to Speaker Boehner by Tax Day. The message: Stop the rape audits.

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