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Breakfast of Pro-Choice Champions!

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On Sunday, hundreds of pro-choice bloggers and activists took to the Internet to share the ways in which they planned to help elect pro-choice champions this year.

This morning, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC took one key step toward making 2012 a year of pro-choice victories at the polls.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC is proud to endorse 20 of the greatest champions of choice in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

From California:

Rep. Lois Capps 
Rep. Judy Chu 
Rep. Barbara Lee 
Rep. Nancy Pelosi 
Rep. Jackie Speier 
Rep. Henry Waxman

From Colorado:

Rep. Diana DeGette

From Connecticut:

Rep. Rosa DeLauro

From Florida:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

From Illinois:

Rep. Mike Quigley 
Rep. Jan Schakowsky

From Maryland:

Rep. Donna Edwards 
Rep. Steny Hoyer

From my home state of New York:

Rep. Joe Crowley 
Rep. Steve Israel 
Rep. Nita Lowey 
Rep. Carolyn Maloney 
Rep. Jerry Nadler 
Rep. Louise Slaughter

From Wisconsin:

Rep. Gwen Moore

These 20 pro-choice heroes have consistently stood up against the anti-choice House leadership's War on Women.

In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC proudly endorses two other pro-choice champions from the House who will take their support of women's freedom and privacy to the U.S. Senate:

Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Rep. Shelley Berkley of Nevada

Here's what Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said at a breakfast honoring these pro-choice leaders:

Our priority is to elect pro-choice champions and defeat opponents of women's freedom and privacy. We are prepared for campaign battle in 2012 and will mobilize our one million member activists in support of candidates who will stand with our allies in countering legislative attacks on a woman's right to choose.

Twenty-two pro-choice champions, and 22 more ways we'll stop the War on Women in 2012.

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

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Hey you! Yes, you. The one that's registered to vote in Pennsylvania. Today is election day and we need you to make sure you go to the polls and vote for pro-choice Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate.

If you're unsure of where you should vote, or how late your poll is open, check out the Pennsylvania Department of State's online voting information and resource center. They have all the information you need.

Let's go Joe!
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A couple of important updates to start the week.First, NARAL Pro-Choice America's statement on Rep. Bart Stupak's retirement:

"Despite our profound disagreement over a woman's right to choose, all of us at NARAL Pro-Choice America wish Congressman Stupak all the best in his retirement. However, it has to be said that we are not sad to see him go.

"Mr. Stupak would have faced a difficult re-election fight given his role in nearly defeating health-care reform because of his narrow extreme anti-choice agenda. Our activists have been energetically and enthusiastically assisting our efforts to unseat Bart Stupak. Today, they are more inspired than ever to help Connie Saltonstall win in November.

"Bart Stupak's retirement should serve as a warning to anti-choice politicians - regardless of their party affiliation - who use women's reproductive rights as a bargaining chip in the political process.

You can read the full release here.

As if Friday wasn't busy enough with the Justice Stevens and Rep. Stupak retirements, before the day was over, Prof. Dawn Johnsen decided to withdraw her name from consideration as President Obama's nominee to lead the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. Here's NARAL Pro-Choice America's statement:

"It is a sad day for our democracy when political obstruction in the U.S. Senate prevents an eminently qualified individual like Prof. Johnsen from serving in a pivotal position at the Department of Justice.

"The American people have grown tired of seeing senators, particularly Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), put their rigid ideological agenda before the common good. Even though Prof. Johnsen had the bipartisan support of her home-state senators, many right-wing organizations and their allies in the Senate relentlessly attacked and distorted her record.

"NARAL Pro-Choice America and our supporters were proud to stand behind Prof. Johnsen as she withstood these attacks. Without a doubt, she will continue to distinguish herself as one of our country's most respected legal scholars."

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, today announced their respective endorsements of Connie Saltonstall, who is challenging anti-choice incumbent Rep. Bart Stupak in the Democratic primary in Michigan's 1st Congressional District:

"We are proud to put the support of our PAC behind Connie Saltonstall in this pivotal primary race," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "The voters in Michigan's 1st District are looking for an alternative to Bart Stupak. For years, he has attacked women's freedom and privacy and, for the last several months, seized the national spotlight as he held health care reform hostage to his anti-choice political views. The clock is ticking on Mr. Stupak's '15 minutes of fame.' We will work to put an end to Mr. Stupak's divisiveness and replace him with a leader like Connie, who represents Michigan's mainstream values."

Read the full release here.

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A woman from New Hampshire - who is clearly very smart, if we may say so - wrote a letter to the editor of the Concord Monitor in which she mentioned NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidates Rep. Paul Hodes and Ann McLane Kuster:

Want to help Obama? Elect Kuster, Hodes
Marie Daniels, Bow

For nearly two years millions of us worked to get a Democrat in the Oval Office. We knocked on doors and called strangers despite being a little shy about it. We learned how easily a glue stick seals an envelope and left lots of microwavable dinners for our kids. We brought food to campaign offices and drove people to polls.

Some of us crossed party lines for the first time. We felt inspired to hope for something better and made it happen with our money, time and votes.

We gave Barack Obama the presidency and now watch as the party of "No" thwarts every effort - trashing initiatives but then happily posing for ribbon cuttings in their respective states. We ignore the absurdity of the "Keep your government hands of my Medicare" signs and cringe at Sarah Palin consulting her palm, inventing death panels and chirping about "that hopey changy thing."

If we want Obama to be the kind of change agent we thought he could be, we need to be the kind of inspired citizens we were back then. If we want that change we hoped for, we need to send Obama people to help him. We need to help Annie McLane Kuster (endorsed by NARAL and Emily's list) and Paul Hodes. We need to send them $5 or $50. If we can't give money, we need to give our time. If we can't do that, we need to give them our votes and talk to our friends about giving theirs. We need to be the change we wanted, and want, to see.

We wanted to share it with you a couple of reasons:

  1. We (obviously) endorsed both Hodes and Kuster - so we think they are both awesome and would make excellent additions to the Senate and House, respectively!
  2. It's proactive.
  3. It is a good way to show there are people out there who dealing with frustration in their own, creative ways.

How are you working through your frustration with health reform and your desire for change? Let us know in the comment section.

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Choice News Round-Up: October 9, 2009

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There was a ton of news this week that we wanted to make sure you were aware of. So here are some recaps from across the states, and in NARAL Pro-Choice America's own back yard.

Empire State of Mind: NARAL Pro-Choice America is beyond pleased to announce that Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, will be a special guest at this year's Power of Choice Luncheon in New York City on Wednesday, October 14. She will join Emmy Award-winning actress Susan Saint James Ebersol, nationally-syndicated and Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Cynthia Tucker and playwright, journalist, and author Cindy Cooper who is on hand to receive the Anne E. Fisher Champion of Choice award. Tickets are still available, so register online today!

Ok, so What's a Breastival?
: In collaboration with the Youth Organizing Working Group, NARAL Pro-Choice America tabled at American University's "Breastival," a tabling fair focusing on breast-cancer awareness and other key health issues. We participated in honor of October being sex-education month. In just a few hours we collected more than 150 signatures for our sex-ed petition!  We are very excited to add these to the efforts to the work of activists around the nation in honor of sex-ed month.

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC Makes Some First-Round Endorsements
: Sen. Chris Dodd joined Rep. Paul Hodes as one of the NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC's endorsements for U.S. Senate candidates. The Hartford Courant and a blogger at Blue Hampshire covered these endorsements. More news to come on the endorsement front, so keep your eyes and ears open for more.

Allyson Hagen Shuts Down the So-Called "Personhood" Amendment in Billings Gazette LTE
: Allyson Hagen, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, wrote an incredibly compelling LTE to the Billings Gazette about the so-called "personhood" initiative that's making the rounds in Montana. She outlines Montana's history of valuing privacy and electing pro-choice leaders. She calls this proposed amendment what it is: a back-door attempt to ban abortion and take away women's privacy. It's a must read.

Over in the Old Line State
(yes - we're talking about Maryland now): Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake introduced the Limited Service Pregnancy Centers Disclaimers Bill that would require so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" to disclose that they do not provide or refer for abortion or birth control. NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Executive Director Jenny Blasdell wrote a great blog post about this for RH Reality Check - so be sure to give it a read.

We've Got Massachusetts on Our Mind
... and for good reason. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts just released some new research that shows a decline in access to abortion care in Massachusetts. In the report, they document the current status of access to abortion care across the Commonwealth and note significant changes since 2002. The full report is available for download here (it's a PDF).

 

Is it just me, or is there truly nothing better than a good NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsement in the morning? It's a great way to start the day and head into the weekend, for sure.

Today's announcement is all about NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC 's endorsement of pro-choice superstar Rep. Paul Hodes from the great state of New Hampshire! Long-time readers of this blog might remember that I am a huge fan of New Hampshire. Anyway, here are some quotes about the endorsement:

Rep. Paul Hodes: "I am honored to receive the endorsement from NARAL Pro-Choice America. I have worked for and believe in the fundamental right of women to make medical decisions without the fear of government intervention. I will be a Senator who stands up to those that would work to criminalize women and their doctors and I will always fight to protect the rights that Roe v. Wade guarantees to every woman."

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America: "Rep. Hodes has a distinguished record of protecting and defending a woman's right to choose. Most recently, Rep. Hodes played an important role in working to eliminate funding for dangerous and deceptive 'abstinence-only' programs. He's worked hard to answer the public's call to move away from these failed Bush-backed policies that have put our teens at risk. We are confident that, as a senator, Rep. Hodes will continue to stand up for women's freedom and privacy and keep up New Hampshire's tradition of strong pro-choice advocates, such as Gov. John Lynch, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. Rep. Hodes' candidacy marks a great opportunity to add to the list of pro-choice senators."

You can read our full announcement here, and if you're feeling generous, head on over to the Hodes for Senate web site to get involved and contribute!

Hodes.JPG

With the spotlight on the Sotomayor hearings in Washington, we didn't want readers to forget that there's a special election in California's 32nd Congressional District.

(You might remember that the seat became vacant after the U.S. Senate confirmed former pro-choice Rep. Hilda Solis to serve as President Obama's Secretary of Labor.)

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC proudly endorses Judy Chu in this special election.

Nancy Keenan gave the following reasons for pro-choice voters to go to the polls:

Judy Chu has a long record of protecting and defending a woman's right to choose and will be an outstanding advocate for the mainstream values of California's 32nd District...Chu will stand up for women's freedom and privacy in the same California tradition as Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and other prominent pro-choice leaders from the Golden State.

Are you a Californian and are unsure if you live in the 32nd District? Check out this map and learn more about Judy Chu.

Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC announced its endorsement of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the special primary election slated for September 2010:

"As a dedicated supporter of women's health and rights, I am honored to receive the early endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America for my election to the United States Senate," Sen. Gillibrand said. "I congratulate Nancy Keenan and the entire organization for their tremendous efforts to elect pro-choice leaders and protect pro-choice values. We have done a lot of great work together, but we have a whole lot more work to do to protect reproductive rights in this country and ensure privacy and freedom for women."

Keenan said NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC contributed $5,000 to Sen. Gillibrand's campaign. She also pledged to mobilize the organization's 63,113 member activists in support of Sen. Gillibrand, whom the PAC endorsed in previous campaigns for the U.S. House in New York's 20th District.

"Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is a rising star among pro-choice leaders in the Senate," Keenan said. "We are proud to continue the partnership we started in 2006 when Sen. Gillibrand first won a tough race for the House. She is a resilient campaigner whose fully pro-choice voting record reflects an unwavering commitment to the values of freedom and privacy. We are proud to stand with Sen. Gillibrand and pledge to rally thousands of our member activists behind her in the same way she has stood up for a woman's right to choose."

Jonathan Martin, covering Ben Smith's blog over at Politico, already reported on our endorsement.

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