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Results tagged “war on women” from Blog for Choice

And Now for Something Completely Different

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Today is my last day at NARAL Pro-Choice America, and this is my last entry here at Blog for Choice.

In the two years that I've been here, we've had some amazing moments: we rallied to restore sanity on the National Mall because politicians really do make crappy doctors.

When anti-choice forces took over the U.S. House of Representatives and seemingly could do nothing but attack choice, we responded with force and resolve, time and again.

We fought for no-cost birth control, and when President Obama came under fire from anti-contraception extremists, we had his back. And in less than three weeks, insurance coverage of birth control without a copay will become a reality.

From dressing up as Lady Liberty to knocking on John Boehner's door to making some very bad puns, there's never been a dull day at NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Now, our focus is turned to making sure President Obama is re-elected this November. We need a pro-choice president in the White House to protect our access to health care and put a stop to the War on Women.

Stay tuned to Blog for Choice to find out more ways you can get involved.

My time as a writer for Blog for Choice ends today, but my belief in the values of freedom and privacy continues.

Blog on!

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

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Tell me if this sounds familiar.

This afternoon, a key subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a hearing on an anti-choice bill. The bill in question was introduced by anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, who's also the subcommittee's chairman.

When a pro-choice elected woman requested to testify at the hearing, Rep. Franks told her NO.

What am I talking about?

Is it the all-male birth-control panel that excluded Sandra Fluke?

Is it a hearing on the "Arrest Grandma Act"?

Nope. It's a brand-new attack on women's freedom and privacy that combines some of the "greatest hits" of the past three months.

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Rep. Franks is pushing a bill to ban abortion care at 20 weeks in Washington, D.C., without consideration for the woman's situation, including cases of rape, incest, or fetal anomaly.

(Hear one family's tragic story that makes clear just how cruel this sort of law really is.)

Why does a representative from Arizona get to do this?

Because the District of Columbia is not a state, and opponents of choice have long used it as their anti-choice proving ground. Rep. Franks' bill is a top priority of the anti-choice National Right to Life Committee and continues the anti-choice legacy of undermining home rule in Washington, D.C.

And the pro-choice woman who wanted to testify at the hearing? That's Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, whom D.C. citizens elected with 89 percent of the vote.

Rep. Norton is not allowed to vote on the House floor, and now, thanks to Rep. Franks, she's not allowed to speak out on a bill that will affect the women in her district, either.

Rep. Franks, by the way, got exactly zero percent of the vote in D.C., since he's from Arizona. But I guess he thinks he knows what's best for D.C. women.

Tell your representative enough is enough: stop the War on D.C. Women.

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The War on Women Goes Global

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Anti-choice politicians took control of the U.S. House of Representatives 16 months ago, and they've been waging a War on Women ever since.

Defunding Planned Parenthood? Check. Rape audits? Check. An all-male panel attacking birth control? Yep, they did that, too.

But now you might be thinking, "These politicians have spent so much time attacking American women's freedom and privacy. But what about women overseas? Does no one think about them?"

Well, worry no more. The War on Women has gone global.

Today, a key House subcommittee will mark up its annual spending bill, which means it's a great opportunity for anti-choice politicians to make it harder for the world's poorest women to get birth control.

Here are some things to look for:

  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): The UNFPA provides birth control and other crucial reproductive-health services (but not abortion care) to the world's poorest women. The U.S. contribution to the UNFPA prevents 2 million unintended pregnancies a year. Look for anti-choice lawmakers to try to block the U.S. from giving any money to this initiative.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): USAID family-planning programs benefit women and families worldwide, resulting in fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer women dying in childbirth. Anti-choice lawmakers want to slash USAID's family-planning budget by over $100 million.
  • Global Gag Rule: The global gag rule was a policy anti-choice presidents had in place that barred USAID funds from going to any organization that provides abortion care, or even took a public pro-choice position. (That's why it was called the "gag rule.") President Obama repealed this outrageous policy his first week in office. Now, anti-choice politicians are trying to bring it back.

So, there you have it. Women of the world: you're welcome.

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Remember Tom Corbett?

He's the anti-choice governor of Pennsylvania who had this to say about women who don't want a forced ultrasound:

I don't know how you make anybody watch. You just have to close your eyes.

Think Gov. Corbett might want to "clarify" or walk back those remarks?

Nope.

Here he is doubling down:

And, of course, Gov. Corbett is a huge supporter of Mitt Romney.

Ever wonder what sort of anti-choice policies Romney would push as president?

Just...close your eyes.

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

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Woman Up?

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Anti-choice politicians have a problem.

They spent the last 16 months waging a War on Women, and now--crazily enough!--they're seeing that women voters just don't like what they're doing.

So do they:

a) Stop waging their War on Women.

or
b) Pretend that the War on Women never existed in the first place, and come up with a new slogan to try to paper over the fact that they made attacking women's freedom and privacy one of their "highest legislative priorities."

Congratulations to everyone who picked answer b!

Meet "Woman Up!"

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Get it? It's kinda like "man up!" except it's for women.

"Woman Up" is the bright, new idea of the same anti-choice leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives who are leading the charge to wage the War on Women: Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Here's a recap of all the "womaning up" these guys have done since taking power:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives held more choice-related votes in 2011 than in any year since 2000.
  • The House voted to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Title X family-planning program. And Mitt Romney has vowed to do both of these things should he ever reach the White House.
  • Anti-choice lawmakers pushed the Blunt amendment, which could have allowed employers and corporations to block their employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control. Every Republican senator but one voted for this measure--and Gov. Romney voiced his support for it.
  • They held a House committee hearing with an all-male panel attacking birth control.
  • At the state level, these politicians enacted twice as many anti-choice laws in 2011 as they did in the previous year.

Hey, guys--it's not what you say, it's what you do that counts.

Tell Speaker Boehner and the leading anti-choice politicians that if they really want to "woman up," then they better stop their War on Women.

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

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Uniting Against the War on Women

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While anti-choice politicians were busy pretending they'd never heard of their War on Women, Americans throughout the country came together to stop it.

Our state affiliates in Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin participated in rallies in their communities on Saturday.

And NARAL Pro-Choice America's own Samantha Gordon went down to Tallahassee, Fla. to join together with pro-choice activists there.


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It's a pretty stark contrast: blustering anti-choice politicians on one side, and pro-choice people power on the other!

Your Weekend in the War on Women

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How do you know that anti-choice politicians are waging a War on Women?

Because they have to keep denying that the War on Women is real.

On Friday, anti-choice House Speaker John Boehner claimed the War on Women that he started was "entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain."

Then, there was yesterday's clash on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Alex Castellanos, a former Romney campaign strategist, told Rachel Maddow there was no War on Women. Then he spent three minutes making huffy faces while she explained that there was.

You have to see it to believe it:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And speaking of the Romney campaign, here's a video roundup showcasing some of the anti-choice former governor's "greatest hits" on women's rights.

But, of course, there is no War on Women, right?

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

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Give Us a Break, Speaker Boehner

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How's this for chutzpah?

John Boehner, the anti-choice speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and mastermind behind the War on Women, went on the House floor today to say...there is no War on Women:

And now, now we are going to have a fight over women's health. Give me a break. This is the latest plank in the so-called War on Women. Entirely created, entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain.

So, Mr. Speaker, I guess we all just imagined the last 16 months. I guess we all just imagined that:

  • The U.S. House of Representatives held more choice-related votes in 2011 than in any year since 2000.
  • The House voted to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate the Title X family-planning program. And Mitt Romney has vowed to do both of these things should he ever reach the White House.
  • Anti-choice lawmakers pushed the Blunt amendment, which could have allowed employers and corporations to block their employees from getting insurance coverage of birth control. Every Republican senator but one voted for this measure--and Gov. Romney voiced his support for it.
  • They held a House committee hearing with an all-male panel attacking birth control.
  • At the state level, these politicians enacted twice as many anti-choice laws in 2011 as they did in the previous year.

And I guess we imagined it when you said the "rape-audits" bill, which manipulates the tax code to advance anti-choice policies and could spur the IRS to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care, was one of your "highest legislative priorities"?

Speaker Boehner, you can't deny a War on Women that you started.

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Some Good News Out of New Hampshire

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Last week, I told you that members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, led by anti-choice Speaker William O'Brien, had been busy, busy beavers pushing a slew of anti-choice bills.

Well, now some good news: the state Senate put the brakes on O'Brien's anti-choice agenda and rejected two bills that would have restricted women's access to reproductive-health care.

Elizabeth Hager, chairwoman of NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire PAC, said the Senate's votes were a clear sign that New Hampshirites are fed up with attacks on choice:

Today's votes are a clear rejection of the foolish crusade Speaker O'Brien has led this legislative session to restrict women's reproductive healthcare.

Like the majority of New Hampshire voters, we believe medical decisions should be made between a patient and her doctor, without governmental interference--and we're glad to see the New Hampshire state Senate agrees!

This legislative session has been marred by attacks on women's health and privacy, but today's votes signify a return to the Granite State's long, proud tradition of trusting women to make their own personal, private healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors, family, and faith.

Bravo, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire, for leading the fight to defeat these bad bills.

As we celebrate this victory, it's important to remember to stay on guard. Speaker O'Brien and his anti-choice cronies aren't done pushing their anti-choice agenda.

You can monitor the latest from the Granite State on Twitter by following the hashtag #EndOBriensFoolishness.

NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire will be ready to respond whenever attacks on choice arise.

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NH House Passes Three Anti-Choice Bills in a Month

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Wonder what New Hampshire's House of Representatives has been up to over the past month?

If you said it passed one or two bills restricting a woman's right to choose, sorry--you're underestimating the anti-choice politicians in the Granite State.

In the past month, the New Hampshire House has passed three anti-choice bills.

These bills will now go on to the state Senate, which is under anti-choice control.

NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire has been leading the fight against these bills, and will mobilize to try to defeat them in the Senate.

The Granite State is a perfect example of how just one election can have devastating consequences for women's health. In 2011, New Hampshire received a grade of A- in our Who Decides? report. The Granite State had a history of strong bipartisan support for the right to choose.

In 2012, after anti-choice extremists spent a year pushing their agenda in both houses of the legislature, New Hampshire's Who Decides? grade fell to a B-.

And with a flurry of attacks on women's freedom and privacy, New Hampshire's grade on protecting pro-choice values could fall even further.

Fortunately, New Hampshire has a pro-choice governor, John Lynch. Last year, Gov. Lynch vetoed a dangerous parental-involvement mandate.

Unfortunately, anti-choice lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate were able to override the governor's veto and enact a law endangering young women's health and safety anyway.

New Hampshirites are fed up with attacks on choice, and politicians pushing this extreme agenda are in for some serious trouble come this November.

Changing the New Hampshire legislature is an example of how we can end the War on Women, state by state.

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Put this one in the "huh?" column.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, dismisses the notion that anti-choice politicians in his party are waging a War on Women:

If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars. It's a fiction.

A fiction, eh? That's not what's happening in Congress.

Let's recall what anti-choice Republicans in Congress have been up to lately:

These are facts, Mr. Priebus.

It's also a fact that women voters are noticing these attacks, and are rallying around President Obama.

Mr. Priebus, please stop politicizing women's health--and, please, leave the poor caterpillars out of it.

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

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Time for Congress to Answer Constituents' Questions

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The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are on recess for the next two weeks.

That means your lawmakers are back in their states and/or districts and ready to hear from you!

If your lawmaker has been standing up against the War on Women, congratulations! Thank him or her for standing up for women's health.

But what about those politicians who have spent their time in Washington launching attacks on women's freedom and privacy?

Here are some questions you can ask them:

  1. Should bosses and corporations be allowed to deny their employees insurance coverage of birth control?
  2. Should politicians who don't have medical licenses get to overrule the medical decisions women make with their doctors?
  3. Presidential candidates like Mitt Romney want to defund family-planning programs and clinics, including Planned Parenthood. Do you?

A lot of politicians in Washington have been saying yes to all three questions. Now, it's time to hold them accountable!

If you see that your member of Congress is holding a public event and he or she has been part of the War on Women, show up and ask one of our questions.

Then let us know how it went by emailing Field@ProChoiceAmerica.org.

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

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Happy International Women's Day!

So what did the anti-choice leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives do to honor women today?

If you guessed "held a hearing on yet another legislative attack on women's health," then you're absolutely correct.

This morning, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), a.k.a. the "Arrest Grandma" Act.

This bill would make it a federal crime for anyone other than a parent--say, a loving grandmother or clergy member--to accompany a young woman out of state for abortion care. It also would force doctors to impose a parental-notice requirement on young women from out of state--under the threat of fines and prison sentences.

The Very Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale spoke out against the bill.

She told the story of one young woman who came from an abusive home and was pregnant as the result of rape. Unable to turn to her parents for support, she turned to Rev. Ragsdale for help in seeking abortion care.

Under the "Arrest Grandma" Act, young women in similar situations could find themselves unable to turn to any trusted adult.

"Please don't outlaw the very help we want our children to have," Rev. Ragsdale pleaded.

The subcommittee's chairman, anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), responded by saying he hoped his daughter never met anyone with Rev. Ragsdale's philosophy.

Happy International Women's Day to you, too, Trent.

Fortunately, there were several pro-choice champions on the subcommittee to stand up for basic decency. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) all spoke out against this latest episode in the War on Women.

Anti-choice politicians sure have some crazy priorities: they follow up a month of outlandish attacks on women's health with a bill that could throw grandmothers and clergy members in prison.

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From all-male panels attacking birth control to mandatory ultrasounds, anti-choice politicians have spent the last month taking their War on Women straight through the absurd-o-sphere. Along the way, they've become a national laughingstock on the Internet and late-night comedy shows.

You'd think these guys would know when to stop digging.

Nope.

This week, anti-choice politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives will hold yet another hearing on a choice-related issue. This time, it's on a bill called the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), a.k.a. the "Arrest Grandma" Act.

This bill would make it a federal crime for anyone other than a parent--say, a loving grandmother or clergy member--to accompany a young woman out of state for abortion care. It also would force doctors to impose a parental-notice requirement on young women from out of state - under the threat of fines and prison sentences.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, spelled out how extreme the "Arrest Grandma" Act is:

We believe that loving parents should be involved when their daughter faces an unintended pregnancy and thankfully, most do. But in some tragic circumstances, young women cannot involve their parents because they come from homes where physical and emotional abuse are present or their pregnancies are the result of incest.

Under this bill, a grandmother could be prosecuted for accompanying her granddaughter to a doctor in another state --even if that doctor is closest to the young woman's home. Ministers helping a young woman in their congregation would face similar threats. This bill is not a solution; it is a callous example of government intrusion into tragic family circumstances.

So there you have it: instead of focusing on the nation's real priorities--creating jobs or growing our economy, for instance--anti-choice politicians follow up a month of outlandish attacks on women's health with a bill that could throw grandmothers in prison.

Keep digging, guys. Keep digging.

The War on Women: the Infographic

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2011 was an intense year of attacks on women's freedom and privacy.

Anti-choice politicians ignored the American people's call to focus on jobs and the economy, and instead made attacking a woman's right to make personal, private medical decisions one of their "highest legislative priorities."

The U.S. House of Representatives held more choice-related votes in 2011 than in any year since 2000, and states enacted 69 anti-choice measures--one shy of the record number, 70, established in 1999.

Just how bad was 2011 for attacks on women? We thought we'd give you the rundown on the year in the form of an infographic--but be warned: this info is indeed graphic.

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What's worse, the very same politicians behind the War on Women are ready to resume the attacks here in Washington, D.C. and in state legislatures throughout the country.

It's up to us to spread the word--right now--about the War on Women. The more people who know about all the ways that politicians in Congress and the states interfered in women's personal, private health-care decisions in 2011, the better chance we have of stopping these attacks in 2012.

Do you think that it's wrong for politicians to interfere in women's personal, private medical decisions?

Then let the world know! Share this infographic with your friends. Post it on your Facebook wall, Tweet it, and email it far and wide.

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Happy 2012!

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Happy New Year!

One year ago today, I wrote my first post here on BlogForChoice--and oh, what a year it's been! As we ring in 2012, let's take a look back at the highs and lows of 2011.

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Last January, an anti-choice majority took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Led by Speaker John Boehner, these politicians campaigned on a platform of creating jobs and growing our economy. But, once in office, they made attacking a woman's right to choose one of their "highest legislative priorities."

They pushed to redefine rape. (Public outcry forced them to drop this measure.) Then, they voted to approve a bill that manipulates the tax code to advance anti-choice policies and could spur the Internal Revenue Service to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care.

Then, they voted to approve a measure that could make it impossible for a woman to talk with her doctor about medical abortion over the Internet. Then, they voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life!

You get the picture. Anti-choice politicians pulled a bait and switch on the American people, and spent 2011 waging a War on Women.

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Then, there's the other story of 2011: the story of pro-choice Americans who stood up and said, "Enough!"

They said "enough" in Mississippi, where voters overwhelmingly rejected a dangerous and far-reaching "personhood" measure.

They said "enough" to unaffordable birth control (one in three American women struggles with its high cost), and won a no-cost birth-control benefit under the health-reform law.

And it's this pro-choice energy we'll take into 2012, as we work to fight back against the War on Women and elect pro-choice candidates up and down the ticket this November.

In fact, we're already working. In two days, caucus-goers in Iowa will vote in the first contest of the 2012 presidential election. Learn more about the extreme records of the anti-choice Republicans vying to replace President Obama.

Yes, 2012 will be a busy year--but that's a good thing. When it comes to protecting a woman's right to make private medical decisions with her doctor, there's never a day off.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy 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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Pennsylvania Governor Signs Anti-Choice Bill

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Call it the winter of 69.

Anti-choice Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett just signed a new anti-choice bill into law, bringing the number of anti-choice measures enacted in the states in 2011 to 69.

The measure Gov. Corbett signed is a TRAP law, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. It subjects abortion providers to unnecessary and burdensome regulations that other medical professionals don't have to follow.

Despite the outcome, we were proud to work with allies in the Keystone State to counter this measure. More than 800 of our activists called on Gov. Corbett to veto the bill. Apparently, listening to the public is not in vogue this season.

The enactment of Pennsylvania's TRAP law comes just two days after anti-choice Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a ban on insurance coverage of abortion care from the state's new health-insurance exchange.

We knew Pennsylvania could never let Ohio have the last word.

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The Romney Run-around Continues

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Last night, at the final Republican presidential debate of 2011, former Gov. Mitt Romney fielded a question about how he flip-flopped on the issue of choice.

Romney has answered the question about his flip-flop on many occasions; now, he needs to articulate why he has endorsed multiple extreme efforts to allow politicians to interfere in a woman's personal, private decisions.

So, here are three different $10,000 questions for the governor:

  • In October, you told Gov. Huckabee that you "absolutely" supported a state constitutional amendment to define life at conception, similar to Initiative 26, Mississippi's failed "personhood" measure.

    Such a measure would ban abortion care without exception: even in cases of rape or incest, and even when a woman's life or health is in danger. It could also outlaw in vitro fertilization and some of the most common methods of birth control.

    However, after Mississippi voters overwhelming rejected Initiative 26, your campaign tried to re-explain your endorsement of a "human-life amendment" that would have established the beginning of life at conception.

    Why are you supporting measures that voters in one of the most conservative states in the Union found too extreme?

  • This year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two radical attacks on a woman's right to choose: H.R.3, the "Stupak on Steroids" bill, and H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill. Both bills effectively would ban private coverage of abortion care in health-insurance exchanges. (A large majority of private plans currently offer such coverage.) H.R.358 would also allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care even when it's necessary to save a woman's life.

    President Obama signaled his intention to veto both bills if they should ever reach his desk.

    As president, would you sign H.R.3, the "Stupak on Steroids" bill, or H.R.358, the "Let Women Die" bill?

  • Gov. Romney, last month you proposed eliminating the Title X program, the nation's only dedicated family-planning program. Millions of Americans rely on Title X 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?

Gov. Romney is good at hemming and hawing, but Americans want to know how he would answer these big questions.

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

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2011 was an intense year for the pro-choice community. Anti-choice politicians and commentators ignored the American people's call for to focus on jobs and the economy, and spent the year waging a War on Women.

At the same time, many great champions of choice countered these attacks by standing up and speaking out about our values.

Now, it's time to pick a winner for our Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame!

Vote for your pick before midnight EST tomorrow night.

And check back here on Blog For Choice--we'll announce the winners on Monday, December 19.

Newt Gingrich: The War on Women, Throwback Edition

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A lot of things from the '90s were cool. (Tamagotchis, Air Jordans, Clueless.) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is not one of those things.

Now that some polls have Gingrich leading the race for the Republican nomination for president, we thought it was time to dust off the old VHS tapes and take a look at Gingrich's bad record on choice.

When he was in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Gingrich masterminded some of the biggest attacks on women's freedom and privacy--attacks that provided the blueprint for the current anti-choice House leadership's War on Women:

  • As a U.S. representative, Gingrich voted anti-choice 72 times--out of 74 opportunities.
  • He voted 10 times to bar Washington, D.C. from using its own locally raised tax dollars to provide abortion care to low-income women.
  • He voted to eliminate Title X, the nation's family-planning program. This is the same attack that the House advanced in 2011.
The more things change...

We need to make sure Newt Gingrich and his War on Women, Throwback Edition, never get anywhere near the White House!

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

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