NARAL Pro-Choice America About Our Bloggers Contact Us Disclaimer RSS Feed
House to Vote on Bill That Would Take Away Abortion Coverage for Millions of American Women

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R.7, an extreme anti-choice bill that would take away abortion coverage from millions of American women.

Thanks to a huge outcry from the public and pro-choice elected officials, anti-choice members of the House committee had already revised this bill to drop a provision that would have redefined rape. Last week, they revised the bill a second time to drop a provision that would have forced women to prove to the IRS that they'd been raped. Not only that, but they snuck in new provisions that have never been discussed or debated in committee.

We've seen anti-choice politicians in Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio cheat to force their extreme anti-choice agenda on the public. Now, they're using these same backhanded tactics in Congress!

As of today, here's what H.R.7 would do:

  • Impose tax penalties on small businesses that offer abortion coverage in employee insurance plans.
  • Ban abortion coverage entirely in the new health-insurance exchanges.
  • Permanently ban abortion coverage for women who get their health care through the government, including servicewomen and low-income women.
  • Require health plans to make biased, one-sided "disclosures" of abortion coverage.

You can learn more about the harmful effects of H.R.7 on our website.

If you are as outraged as we are about this, please share our graphic on Facebook so that we can get the word out far and wide about how anti-choice politicians will stop at nothing, including cheating, to block reproductive-health care for women and families who may need it the most.

HR7-bullets-final.jpg

Enhanced by Zemanta
Honoring Our "Who Decides?" Dedicatees

We're delighted to honor some notable state lawmakers who have fought back against extreme anti-choice legislation against all odds in the 23rd edition of our annual report Who Decides? The Status of Reproductive Rights in the States. These state lawmakers truly represent the pro-choice majority, and they champion women's reproductive rights in some states that may need them the most.

2014-who-decides-dedication.jpg

  • One honoree we're highlighting this year is Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis.
Sen. Davis' 13-hour filibuster of an extreme, anti-choice omnibus bill captivated the nation, and she quickly became the face of women's struggle to access safe, legal abortion, especially in states with extreme anti-choice legislatures, like Texas. Thanks to NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, we organized to support Sen. Davis' efforts to block the bill from going into effect and activated thousands of pro-choice Texans who will #StandWithWendy as she continues to fight for choice in 2014.

  • Another honoree in this year's edition of Who Decides? is North Carolina state Rep. Alma Adams.

Rep. Adams has spent nearly three decades fighting for women and families and, alongside NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, she helped lead the fight against the now-infamous "motorcycle safety" anti-abortion bill which the anti-choice North Carolina legislature rushed through at the last minute to bypass any opposition from pro-choice elected officials. Alma had this to say about the bill she tried to stop: "It's about politics. It's not about women's health. It's not about safety...As a woman, I am personally insulted by the maneuvers around getting this bill to the floor. We've made a mockery of women's health and safety."

  • Our final honoree is California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins.

Asm. Atkins authored the 2013 law that expands access to safe abortion care in the Golden State, which NARAL Pro-Choice California organized around to help pass. This new law will increase the number of medical professionals who can provide early abortion care like midwives and nurses. Now, women in parts of California where there are only a few doctors will have the ability to access abortion care from someone they know and trust.

Check out our latest edition of Who Decides? The Status of Reproductive Choice in the States for more information on choice-related laws in your state and learn about how state legislatures can have a deep impact on women's reproductive freedom.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Buffer-Zone Law that Protects Against Dangerous Anti-Choice Protesters

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear a challenge to a law that protects women seeking reproductive-health care in Massachusetts - including checkups, birth control, and abortion care - from enduring violence, and harassment by anti-choice protesters outside of reproductive-health clinics.

Massachusetts has a 35-foot buffer zone (the distance of two parking spaces) that blocks anti-choice protesters from approaching women accessing health care. But anti-choice forces are fighting the buffer zone so that they can get even closer when shaming and harassing women entering these clinics.

Anti-choice protesters often hover around reproductive-health care clinics within a certain distance to protest, picket, and hand out anti-choice propaganda to women walking into the clinic - regardless of whether they're at the clinic to get an abortion or not.

These protesters are anything but harmless. Their tactics include screaming, using threats, taking photos, and even spitting on patients. In some of the more extreme cases, anti-choice protesters have been deadly. Most recently, Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas was murdered in his church by an anti-choice protester in 2009.

We reached out to some of our allies who volunteer as clinic escorts. These courageous supporters walk women through mobs to make sure they can get health care safely. They told us what it's like to escort and sent us pictures - we so appreciate their willingness to share their experiences.

This history of violence, harassment, and ripping away patient privacy is why the Supreme Court must rule in favor of women's safety and uphold the buffer-zone law. Nobody should be subjected to harassment or violence when getting health care or making a deeply personal health decision.

Enhanced by Zemanta
7 Pro-Choice State Lawmakers to Watch in 2014

We celebrated some great pro-choice wins in 2013, in large part because we have strong, pro-choice leaders who fight day in and day out for our rights. Here's our list of notable pro-choice state lawmakers to watch in 2014:

1) Texas gubernatorial candidate and State Sen. Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis.jpg

Wendy Davis gained pro-choice political stardom last summer when she filibustered extreme anti-choice legislation that could shut down almost 90 percent of reproductive-health clinics that provide abortion care across the state of Texas, force women to get an ultrasound before they can have an abortion, and ban abortion after 20 weeks. We know that exciting things await Wendy and her colleague, Texas state Sen. Leticia van de Putte, in 2014. And we look forward to seeing NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and these pro-choice champions make magic this year.

2) Texas State Sen. Leticia van de Putte

Leticia-Van-de-Putte.jpg

During Sen. Davis' filibuster, Leticia raised the roof when she called out her anti-choice colleagues in the Texas state Senate, asking, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?" If you haven't seen it yet, the video is pretty incredible. You can hear the literal roar of pro-choice activists who showed up in solidarity with Texas women.

3) Oklahoma State Rep. Doug Cox

Cox, Doug.jpg

Republican state Rep. Doug Cox, a practicing physician, is part of the pro-choice minority in the Oklahoma state legislature. He caught our attention last year when he reprimanded his Republican colleagues for attempting to restrict women's access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. He got even more vocal in an op-ed, Doug wrote, "What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman's life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?" How will Rep. Cox fight for women in 2014? We can't wait to see.

4) North Carolina State Rep. Alma Adams

Alma Adams.jpg

Alma has fought for women and families for nearly three decades, and in 2013 she, along with NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, was a leader in the fight against the "motorcycle safety" bill that politicians used to sneak in a dangerous anti-choice provision. Alma spoke out about the extreme legislation: "It's about politics. It's not about women's health. It's not about safety...As a woman, I am personally insulted by the maneuvers around getting this bill to the floor. We've made a mockery of women's health and safety." We're grateful that Rep. Adams continues to speak out for women's health in North Carolina and we're sure 2014 will be no exception.

5) California State Assemblywoman Toni Atkins

Toni_AtkinsX390.jpg

Toni wrote the new law in California to increase the number of medical providers who can provide abortion care in California. You can watch Toni talk about her bill in this video. We, along with NARAL Pro-Choice California, couldn't be more grateful for Asm. Atkins' pro-choice initiative in California. We're excited to see even more from her in 2014.

6) Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer

whitmer-crop.jpg In December 2013, the anti-choice Michigan legislature bypassed Gov. Rick Snyder's signature to ban insurance coverage for abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. While Sen. Gretchen Whitmer bravely spoke out against this extreme legislation that essentially demands women to purchase additional coverage if they need an abortion after a sexual assault, she revealed that she too was a rape survivor. Here's part of her statement: "This tells women that were raped and became pregnant 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." Abortion coverage may be law, but not to worry, pro-choice politicians in Michigan are already planning their next move in 2014. And we are sure state Sen. Whitmer will be critical to this campaign.

7) Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner

Nina Turner.jpg

Pro-choice Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner is a loud and proud advocate for reproductive rights. When anti-choice politicians introduced a bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks - that's before most women even realize they're pregnant - Nina countered those attacks by introducing her own bill. Nina's legislation exposed her colleague's extremism toward women by turning the tables and proposing a tongue-in-cheek requirement that men attend psychological counseling to prove they are fit to get insurance coverage for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications. Her legislation would also require doctors to inform male patients about all of the potential risks of Viagra in writing. Oh snap, Nina! We can't wait to watch NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Sen. Turner fight for women's reproductive rights in 2014!

Anti-Choice Groups in Michigan Bypass Governor to Force Abortion-Coverage Ban

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.

Anti-Choice CPC Director Lashes Out at Pro-Choice Student

"Put on your big girl panties."

That's the response that was sent to a pro-choice student who wrote a letter to the editor telling his fellow students about anti-choice fake clinics known as "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs). These organizations - that often advertise themselves as comprehensive reproductive-health clinics - mislead and shame women to block them from choosing abortion and even birth control. Most people have never heard of a CPC.

Payne, a student organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, was inspired to write to his campus newspaper when he saw that a local CPC was advertising on his campus at St. Olaf College. Unbiased health care is an issue he's passionate about, so he wanted to warn his fellow students to steer clear of the center if they wanted unbiased and medically accurate information about their reproductive options.

Addressing him as "Ms. McMillan," the local CPC director wrote him a very hostile email that included this gem: "drop out of school and ask for a refund because clearly you've spent a lot of money on an education and you haven't learned a thing." And young women in crisis are supposed to turn to her organization for compassionate help and support? You've got to be kidding.

You can read the whole email below with our helpful annotations:

MN CPC email_small.jpg

The CPC's co-director even tried to work damage control. She submitted her own LTE in an effort to make the organization's mission "transparent" without addressing their anti-choice agenda. She writes, "We believe that women need to be empowered to make their own decisions and that they should have resources and support available regardless of their decisions." Unless, of course, their decision is to choose abortion.

It's completely unacceptable that anti-choice fake clinics continue to distribute biased and medically inaccurate information to women on college campuses, including lies like most sexually transmitted diseases just go away on their own, emergency contraception causes abortion, and women who put their careers first will regret not having a family, to name just a few.

Help us fight back against these anti-choice fake clinics - add your name to our petition to call on the director of the CPC to stop distributing materials that mislead and lie about health care.

Pro-Choice Wins Of 2013 As Told By The Muppets

All in all, 2013 was a great year for getting the word out about anti-choice efforts to limit access to reproductive-health care and for the pro-choice community coming together to protect women's reproductive freedom.

Despite these anti-choice attacks, we won many pro-choice victories for women's reproductive rights in 2013. Who better to help us celebrate these pro-choice wins than the Muppets?

Have a safe and happy holiday from NARAL Pro-Choice America!

Check out our Buzzfeed list here.

FBlike.gif

Craziest Anti-Abortion Statements Of 2013 As Told By Anchorman

2013 saw its fair share of attacks on women's reproductive freedom. Clearly these anti-choice politicians aren't heeding Ron Burgundy's advice to "Stay classy." We thought Burgundy and the rest of the KVWN Channel 4 News Team could help us deal with the most egregious statements on women's health and reproductive rights from 2013.

Remember, there's nothing classier than trusting women to make the best decision for their families and protecting the right to choose.

Check out our Buzzfeed list of the craziest anti-choice statements of 2013.

Dontknowwhat.gif

7 Bosses You Don't Want In Charge Of Your Birth Control

The Supreme Court announced that it would take up two cases concerning the no-cost birth-control policy that's part of the Affordable Care Act. We can all agree that medical decisions belong between you and your doctor, not your boss.

Yet, the bosses in these cases and dozens more have filed suits arguing that it's their right to deny their employees birth-control coverage. Totally ridiculous, right?

Check out our Buzzfeed list of seven bosses you would never want in charge of your reproductive-health care and access to birth control.

Mr-Burns-Saying-Excellent.gif

Enhanced by Zemanta
Turkey-Talk: When Choice Comes Up at Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving_small.jpgWho doesn't love Thanksgiving? So many things to look forward to: family, friends, and most importantly, food.

But sometimes at the Thanksgiving table we can't avoid those political discussions that go from awkward to even more awkward if curmudgeonly "Uncle Marv" won't stop running his mouth about how we need to pass a 20-week abortion ban.

Uncle Marv may not realize how dangerous an abortion ban can be for women's health, but luckily you're armed with the facts. That's why you can help educate Uncle Marv about why voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, resoundingly voted down a proposed 20-week ban.

Here are some quick facts about later abortion care and later abortion bans you can use at Thanksgiving:

  • Less than two percent of abortion care occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy .

  • And many of those women who do choose later abortion must make the heartbreaking decision to end a much-wanted pregnancy after a tragic diagnosis. Dana is one of these women. Later into her pregnancy, Dana found out that her pregnancy had a severe fetal anomaly and decided to end her pregnancy - the decision her and her husband felt was best for their family. You can even show Uncle Marv this video of Dana telling her story.

  • Many later abortion bans, including the failed ban in Albuquerque and those in a number of states, have no exceptions for survivors of rape or incest.

  • Anti-choice groups are actually trying to ban abortion outright, regardless of a woman's health or circumstances. Later abortion bans are just one way they're trying to do this.

Even in Congress, politicians like Sen. Lindsey Graham, who introduced a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks for women nationwide, are spending taxpayer dollars push a bill that endangers women's lives instead of fixing real problems like education, the economy, or climate change.

Hopefully, talking about the dangers that real women face if later abortion bans are passed will open up Uncle Marv's mind to consider facts he hadn't been aware of before. You may not agree on everything, but you can help him understand why defeating these bans is essential to protecting women's health and safety.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Enhanced by Zemanta
Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr flickr
Donate Take Action
In Your State Share Your Story
Get email updates from NARAL Pro-Choice America:
Search the Blog
Featured Video
Most Recent Entries

 
Home