Results tagged “rape” 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:
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.
In today's Senate Armed Services committee hearing, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) defended rape and sexual assault that occurs in the military, saying:
"The young folks coming in to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23. Gee-whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. So, we've got to be very careful on our side."
Well, gee-whiz. So Sen. Chambliss is arguing that 26,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2012 is just a case of "boys will be boys."
What could be more offensive, to men and women alike, than claiming that rape and sexual assault are somehow natural?
It's this type of thinking that truly endangers our service members and blocks any semblance of true reform to end sexual assault in the military.
It makes a dismissive generalization about the experiences of survivors of sexual assault in and outside the military.
Reports have shown the reality of sexual assault in the military and the numbers truly speak for themselves.
Sen. Chambliss now joins Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin, and Wisconsin state Rep. Roger "some girls just rape easy" Rivard (R), in sharing some of the most egregious and dangerous positions about rape and sexual assault survivors. But then again, we shouldn't be shocked.
Boys will be boys, right?
We couldn't be happier that Congress put the needs of our servicewomen before personal agendas. It was the right thing to do.
This policy win would not have been possible without the leadership of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), who authored the repeal in the FY13 DoD bill.
NARAL Pro-Choice America has been working on this issue for more than 15 years, and we couldn't have achieved this important victory without your help.
We're also grateful to President Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. These leaders all voiced their support of the Shaheen amendment, and marked their commitment to rape survivors in the military.
We also can't forget the 98 senators who voted for the Fiscal Year 2013 Department of Defense (DoD) authorization bill containing the Shaheen amendment.
We hope Congress will keep fighting to make sexual assault in the military a thing of the past. Until that happens, it is good to know that politicians aren't turning their backs on servicewomen who find themselves in these tragic circumstances.
We're ready to say goodbye and good riddance to an anti-choice policy that's an injustice to women in the military.
Today, was a big step forward for the health and safety of women in the military. Members of the House and Senate have agreed to consider language and are expected to vote to lift the ban on servicewomen who survive sexual assault and become pregnant from using their military health plan to cover abortion care!
We're so close to a victory that will mean everything to the thousands of servicewomen who are raped every year. Finally, these women will be able to use their insurance plan for abortion care if they choose to. It's the right thing to do.
The next step will be for the full House and Senate to vote on the final language. We'll keep you posted!
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!
We need your help to end an egregious policy that impacts women in the military who have survived a rape.
We've been working hard to make sure that military women who are survivors of rape or incest can get abortion services covered using their military health insurance. Anti-choice law currently bans them from doing so, and they must pay the cost themselves.
The U.S. Senate is poised to lift this ban.
And today, pro-choice champion President Obama confirmed his administration's support for overturning the ban (see page four of this PDF).
We're so thankful that the person we call Mr. President stands with women, and especially with the women who dedicate their lives to serving our country.
We owe it to our servicewomen to make sure they can get the health services they need in the tragic case of sexual assault.
Help us end this horrible policy -- send a strong message to lawmakers.
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.
Will he try to backtrack on his extreme anti-choice positions, like his running mate Mitt Romney did this week?
We're not buying it from Romney and we won't let Ryan get away with it, either.
Pro-choice voters need to know about Rep. Ryan's extreme anti-choice record, and how bad he is for women's health and privacy.
- Rep. Ryan campaigned in support of State Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake), who made the outrageous comment that, "some girls rape easy." Update: Rep. Ryan withdrew his endorsement from State Rep. Rivard on October 11, just hours before his debate against Vice President Biden.
- He cosponsored "personhood" legislation that, if enacted, would outlaw abortion in almost all cases, even in cases of rape or incest.
- Rep. Ryan supported legislation that would force a woman to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, even if the doctor doesn't recommend it, and even if it's against the woman's will.
- He voted to refuse emergency abortion care to women who could otherwise die without it.
We can't emphasize it enough: the Romney-Ryan ticket is bad for women and their families.
On November 6, vote for the candidate who will continue to protect women's freedom and privacy: pro-choice President Barack Obama.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Last week, voters found out just how extreme anti-choice politicians really are.
Rep. Todd Akin justified banning abortion even for rape survivors because of his personal theory that not all rape is "legitimate." And then, the Republican Party released its platform calling for abortion to be banned even in cases of rape or incest.
When Rep. Ryan got the chance to comment, he exposed his blatant lack of compassion for rape survivors when he stated:
"I'm very proud of my pro-life record, and I've always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn't change the definition of life."
Are you kidding me?
This isn't the first time the Romney-Ryan ticket has taken a hard line on exceptions to abortion bans.
When asked "Would you have supported a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?" Mitt Romney answered, "Absolutely."
And just last year, Rep. Paul Ryan teamed with Rep. Todd Akin to cosponsor a "personhood" measure which, if passed and enacted into law, could outlaw abortion in almost all cases with no exceptions for rape or incest survivors.
What's more, Rep. Paul Ryan again joined Rep. Todd Akin to cosponsor a bill that would have redefined rape, allowing only survivors of "forcible" rape to access abortion services.
We will continue to spread the word about these anti-choice politicians, and hold them accountable for their voting history. On November 6, they'll answer for their actions.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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.
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.
Everyone is talking about Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) outrageous statement that abortion isn't necessary for survivors of "legitimate" rape. He said they rarely get pregnant because the "female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down."
The Romney-Ryan campaign tried to distance itself from the statement, but Rep. Ryan's (R-Wis.) record tells a very different story.
Rep. Paul Ryan cosponsored extreme "personhood" legislation that, if passed and enacted, would ban abortion in almost all cases, including rape or incest. And Mitt Romney supported the Mississippi "personhood" initiative that, if passed, would have done the same thing.
Last year, Rep. Ryan joined with Rep. Akin to cosponsor H.R. 3, a bill that could have effectively redefined "rape."
The original version of H.R. 3 would have blocked a woman's access to abortion coverage unless she was a survivor of "forcible rape." Really?! What's more, when given the chance to apologize for his offensive comment, Rep. Akin explained that when he said "legitimate" rape, he meant to say "forcible" rape.
Don't be fooled. Whatever Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) may have said about Rep. Akin's comments, those views mirror the values and agenda of the Romney-Ryan ticket.
In November, pro-choice voters will show Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan exactly how out of touch they are with America's priorities and values.
Remember Rep. Todd Akin? He's the guy who wants to ban emergency contraception, totally, for everyone.
This weekend, an interviewer asked Rep. Akin why he would not support a woman's right to choose abortion in cases of rape. Akin's shocking response?
"From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist."
You've got to see it for yourself.
Rep. Akin's pro-choice opponent, incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill, responded:
"As a woman and former prosecutor who handled hundreds of rape cases, I'm stunned by Rep Akin's comments about victims this morning. It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape. The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."
Rep. Akin's comments went viral.
After the tremendous backlash, Akin's campaign tried to backtrack on his outrageous comments.
But we're not buying it.
Rep. Akin showed his true colors with his comment, and we will continue to remind Missouri voters about the stark choice they have to make on November 6.
Sen. Claire McCaskill or Rep. Todd Akin?
For women, and the men who care about them, the choice is crystal clear.
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.
Nick and Kate are members of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department.
What's it to like to lobby on choice-related issues in an anti-choice-led House of Representatives?
Let us tell you about a recent experience that's likely to make your blood boil, even though it didn't make headlines.
"Abortion services" and "homeland security" are two phrases you probably never thought would appear in the same sentence. But anti-choice leaders in Congress never miss an opportunity to try to dismantle women's reproductive rights, and last week was no different. It took some doing, but they figured out a way to pick a fight over abortion policy in the legislation that funds America's homeland-security programs.
Last Wednesday, as the House Appropriations Committee finalized the 2013 Homeland Security spending bill, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) introduced an amendment to restrict access to abortion for women in immigration detention facilities.
Under current U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy, women in detention centers may only access abortion care in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. But Rep. Aderholt and his colleagues on the committee wanted to write that restriction into law with one important change: he offered an amendment to eliminate abortion access for incest survivors.
That's right, apparently anti-choice politicians believe that denying abortion care to incest survivors is a matter of national security.
Does this restriction on survivors of sexual violence sound familiar? Remember the "Stupak on Steroids" bill that tried to redefine rape last year? We're sensing a pattern...
The Aderholt measure stood out as an openly callous attempt to deny health care to women in tragic circumstances. ICE Director John Morton even denounced the proposed amendment as wholly unnecessary. Imagine a woman who endured the long and dangerous journey across the border, only to suffer sexual abuse at the hands of a family member. If approved, the original Aderholt measure would have denied that woman and victims like her the opportunity to decide how best to confront and heal from incidents of sexual violence.
The good news: pro-choice champions voiced strong opposition to this inflammatory proposal. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jim Moran (D-Va.), David Price (D-N.C.), and Steve Rothman (D-N.J.) spoke out against this latest affront in the ongoing War on Women.
The bad news: there just aren't enough votes in the anti-choice-dominated House of Representatives to defeat such efforts, so we lost this round. Although pro-choice members succeeded in adding an incest exception to the original measure, the Aderholt amendment ultimately passed on a party-line vote of 28-21.
The silver lining: the pro-choice-led Senate, not to mention our pro-choice president, both have the common sense to reject outrageous and dangerous proposals like this.
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!
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:
- She voted for the "rape-audits" bill;
- She voted to defund Planned Parenthood;
- She voted to eliminate all funding for the Title X family-planning program;
- She voted to dictate whether doctors and medical students can learn about providing abortion care;
- And she voted for a measure that could make it impossible for a woman even to talk with her doctor about medical abortion over the Internet or through videoconferencing.
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.
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!"
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.
Now the fight moves to the Senate.