Today marks the four-year anniversary of the murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
Dr. Tiller is an important figure for the pro-choice movement. His motto "Trust Women" has become a rallying cry for all of us who share his beliefs. And he refused to be intimidated by extreme anti-choice activists. Dr. Tiller was one of three doctors in the country that provided abortion service later in pregnancy, and that made him and his clinic the focus of anti-choice protests, harassment, and violence.
Ultimately, standing up for a woman's right to choose cost Dr. Tiller his life. He was murdered - in his church - by a radical anti-choice activist in 2009.
Since Dr. Tiller's death and the closure of his clinic in Wichita, women seeking access to abortion care in the area have been forced to drive more than 150 miles to visit an abortion clinic in Oklahoma City or Kansas City. That most certainly has made it more difficult and costly for many women to get the health care they need when they need it.
Thankfully in April, one of Dr. Tiller's former colleagues and director of the Trust Women Foundation, Julie Burkhart, re-opened Dr. Tiller's clinic, despite anti-choice efforts to keep the facility closed:
"First and foremost, we want to make sure that women who need to see us, want to come see us, are able to access care. We're looking at a few thousand women who now have to travel outside the area each year. Secondly, what it says is that no matter where you live in the United States of America, women will have access to reproductive health care."
Sadly, many abortion providers continue to live under constant threats of violence for providing necessary reproductive-health services.
Dr. Tiller gave his life to protect women from seeking unsafe abortion care, regardless of their circumstance. It's his courage that inspires so many of us to continue our work to protect and expand women's reproductive freedoms.
Anti-choice activists sometimes use the argument that abortion should be illegal because "irresponsible" women frequently use abortion care as birth control - which is offensive. The reality behind the way women access abortion is much more complicated.
The cost of first-trimester abortion services is roughly $500 - and the price tag can reach up to thousands of dollars if women are forced to delay care given the ever-increasing list of anti-choice restrictions.
But the costs don't stop there.
According to a new study, many women seeking abortion care must factor in all kinds of related expenses. There's the cost of taking time off of work, which if you don't get sick leave, means lost wages. Then there are child care costs. And many women have to travel great distances, so don't forget hotel and travel bills just to get to a clinic that offers abortion care - and some states only have one remaining abortion provider.
The sad truth is, many women who seek abortion care are low-income and need financial assistance to cover the cost of abortion. One-third of women will delay or forgo paying bills such as electricity, insurance, or car payments, food, and rent, to pay the full cost of abortion care.
The study found that women who received financial assistance from an abortion fund, partner, or family member considered it "life-saving" support.
But rather than support women who desperately need abortion care, anti-choice politicians have introduced restriction after restriction to block women from accessing abortion services.
Despite what the anti-choice movement would have you believe, the decision to access abortion care is not one that women take lightly in terms of their emotional and financial well-being.
Blocking access to abortion care doesn't actually change a woman's mind, but it can bar her from making the best, safest decision for herself and her family.
And women are forced to pay the price.
Today, anti-choice Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced that she will not seek reelection to Congress after she completes her current term.
Pro-choice people ougt to take note because Rep. Michele Bachmann has a notable record of anti-choice activism. And as a member of Congress, she has never cast a pro-choice vote.
Instead, Rep. Bachmann has voted repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood and she even introduced forced-ultrasound legislation.
During her failed campaign for president, Rep. Bachmann promised to go even farther to restrict women's access to reproductive-health care and abortion services, saying:
"I have a 100 percent pro-life voting record and will build on it in the White House."
Rep. Bachmann also took the "Pro-Life Pledge" of anti-choice organization SBA List in which she vowed to appoint judges who likely will overturn Roe v. Wade, to appoint cabinet and executive branch officials who invite political interference in the federal government's research process, and to defund Planned Parenthood.
Clearly, becoming the most extreme anti-choice president didn't work out too well for her.
But losing in the presidential primaries certainly didn't stop her from prioritizing her agenda. She recently pledged her support for anti-choice Rep. Trent Franks' (R-AZ) measure that proposes banning abortion after 20 weeks nationwide.
Rep. Bachmann's radical anti-choice agenda endangers women, so we're certainly not sad to see her go.
1 - Pence amendment to FY'08 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Act, H.R.3043, 7/19/07; Pence amendment to FY'10 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Act, H.R.3962, 11/7/09; Pence amendment to FY'11 Continuing Resolution, H.R.1, 2/23/11; Enrollment Resolution to FY'11 Continuing Resolution, H.Con.Res.36, 4/14/11.
2- Time, "The Next Abortion Battleground: Fetal Heartbeats," October 17, 2011.
3- LifeNews.com, "Pro-Life Rep. Michele Bachmann Officially Launches 2012 Bid," June 27, 2011, by Steven Ertelt (http://www.lifenews.com/2011/06/27/pro-life-rep-michele-bachmann-officially-launches-2012-bid/).
Radical anti-choice group Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List continues to shock and appall people when they learn about the organization's agenda to ban abortion nationwide.
Susan B. Anthony is best known for her work to strengthen women's rights, including suffrage, education, and even property ownership.
So when people hear that her name is being used to further an anti-woman agenda, they're usually outraged. It's probably safe to say Susan B. Anthony would be irate if she knew how SBA List is tarnishing her legacy and using her name to help elect anti-choice politicians.
According to Deborah Hughes, the president and CEO of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House:
"One of the most common quotes used [by SBA List] is 'I deplore the ... crime of child murder.' But if you read the quote in its context, it's talking about a prior editorial that was for the criminalization of abortion, and this article is essentially a rebuttal. It's actually making the point that we need to look at all the reasons why a woman might choose to have an abortion -- economic reasons, health reasons, pressure from family or society, fear about her ability to take care of the child -- and says we shouldn't criminalize the practice of abortion."
If that wasn't evidence enough, Ernestine Glossbrenner, a Susan B. Anthony biographer, said she was "furious" over SBA List's "hate literature," and the use of Anthony's name to elect anti-choice politicians who want to roll back women's reproductive freedom.
We've heard enough, and that's why we're calling them out!
Help us fight back against this egregious anti-choice organization. Take the pledge to stop SBA List and read our full report on their radical anti-choice agenda.
This blog post is part of a series that exposes SBA List's radical anti-choice agenda. Read our past posts on SBA List's support for a nationwide abortion ban, their support for outspoken anti-choice candidates in 2012, and their upcoming election strategy.
SBA List is a radical anti-choice group that is actively working to ban abortion nationwide and that supported some of the most outrageous candidates in the 2012 elections. We're working to expose their extreme agenda so that people know what an SBA List-endorsed candidate could do to women's rights.
So what are their plans for the next election cycle?
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List, has talked about their agenda to enact anti-choice provisions state by state:
"We've identified 12 strategic states where we believe the SBA List can advance the pro-life cause even further. In eight of these states, we're ready to launch field offices if we can raise the resources we need."
SBA List has set their sights on Virginia where they are going all-in to elect a radical anti-choice ally for governor: Ken Cuccinelli
SBA List has called this year's race for governor of Virginia their "proving ground" for an anti-choice takeover strategy in 2014, supporting candidates even former Republican lawmakers say are focused on "intruding into Virginian's personal lives."
SBA List-endorsed Ken Cuccinelli supports "personhood" bills that could not only outlaw abortion, but most common forms of birth control. He led the charge of state suits against Obamacare (and lost). He championed TRAP laws to close abortion clinics in Virginia. And, of course, he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
SBA List has lauded Cuccinelli's anti-choice efforts as "an extension of who he is." They even helped establish a terribly ironic group, "Women for Ken," whose members - we can only guess - don't believe in their own right to reproductive freedom and privacy.
Learning critical lessons from 2012, SBA List has established "Project Lifeline," a training program complete with practice techniques and online video lessons to teach politicians how to hide their own offensive positions on survivors of rape.
Voters weren't fooled the first time, and we certainly won't be fooled by SBA List's attempt to mislead women and trick them out of their own reproductive rights.
This blog post is part of a series that exposes SBA List's radical anti-choice agenda. Check back for our next post on SBA List's flagrant misuse of pro-woman activist's Susan B. Anthony's name.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
As we honor service members on Memorial Day, we especially recognize those who have endured sexual assault. It's time to end this grave injustice against women and men in the military who dedicate their lives to protecting our right to freedom and privacy.
The numbers are astonishing:
Please help us raise awareness about the sexual assault crisis in the military by sharing our graphic with your friends on Facebook:
The 2012 elections showed voters - finally - just how extreme many anti-choice candidates really are. What voters may not have realized is that several of them were backed by the anti-choice and deceptively named Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List.
In 2012 alone, SBA List supported nine anti-choice candidates who would block abortion access for survivors of rape.
You might remember Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin and Richard Mourdock who outrageously claimed that pregnancy resulting from rape is a "gift from God."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List, leapt to the defense of both men even when most of their party quickly unfriended them on Facebook. SBA List said, "Congressman Akin has been an excellent partner in the fight for the unborn." And in defending Mourdock's offensive statement, Dannefelser said, "we couldn't agree more."
Dannefelser also cheered the reelection of noted conservative zealots Michelle Bachman in Minnesota and Steve King in Iowa.
That's not all SBA List did in 2012. They kicked up their overall activities by endorsing in the presidential primary for the very first time. Unsurprisingly, they backed Rick Santorum - you know, the guy who said:
"One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be."
In the 2012 election cycle, SBA List also introduced a "pro-life" pledge for their endorsed candidates. Candidates who take the pledge promise to nominate anti-choice judicial nominees, select only "pro-life" people to key executive positions, and advance anti-choice legislation.
SBA List found out the hard way that voters don't want abortion to be banned - especially for rape survivors. So after the election, they launched a "training program" to teach anti-choice politicians how to hide their offensive views before elections and not talk about rape.
But we won't let SBA List hide anything about their extreme positions.
This blog post is part of a series that exposes SBA List's radical anti-choice agenda. Check back for our next post on the SBA List's support some of the most extreme anti-choice candidates in the 2013-2014 elections.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
The following piece "Susan B. Anthony List: The NRA of the Anti-Choice Movement?" by Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, is cross-posted from The Nation:
Every time an American woman walks into her polling place, she ought to give thanks to Susan B. Anthony, who wrote the constitutional amendment that allows her to vote. Anthony herself was arrested and convicted for the right we take for granted--that women are entitled to participate in our democratic process. Her advocacy for women extended to our education and even our right to own property. (She was also an early supporter of the temperance movement. No one's perfect.)
I'm certain Susan B. Anthony would be aghast if she knew that her name was being used by a group of anti-abortion extremists to drive an anti-women agenda and roll back the rights she fought so hard for. Anthony knew that caring for women's health was an important part of protecting their rights, which is why she opposed the criminalization of abortion. Since abortion was illegal in the nineteenth century, she knew the stakes. Women still sought abortions back then, but it was like playing Russian roulette with your life. There were horrible complications, infections, and many women ended up sterile. The unlucky ones died of botched abortions.
The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA) bears no resemblance to the legacy of the hero whose legacy has made all of our lives better. A new report from NARAL Pro-Choice America and American Bridge details the insidious goals of this so-called women's organization. They make no bones about their plans: their president, Marjorie Dannenfelser says, "When we started about 20 years ago, you would not put the pro-life movement and the NRA in the same category.... That's been my goal--to make this issue, which is so fundamental, have the strongest political arm they could possibly have. That's the direction I see this heading in."
They've got a big agenda: use the upcoming Virginia governor's race as a "proving ground" to drive their anti-choice fundamentalism in a dozen states and in the thirty-three Senate races in 2014. We've seen how they support the most radical candidates running the most out of touch campaigns. When the rest of America--including the vast majority of Republicans--was denouncing Todd Akin for his mystifying comments that a woman couldn't get pregnant from "legitimate rape," the SBA List stood by him. Dannefelser called him "an excellent partner" and reaffirmed her organization's support for his candidacy.
Richard Mourdock didn't deny that rape could result in pregnancy, but he did say those pregnancies were "something God intended to happen," and again SBA List stood by their man. They ran ads attacking his opponent, who now sits in the US Senate. Akin, of course, also lost.
They don't stop with candidates. When the Virginia legislature proposed a bill in 2012 that would require women who need an abortion to get an unnecessary, invasive transvaginal ultrasound, Dannefelser took to the airwaves to praise the measure. "Really, this is a matter of giving a woman more information that she needs to make a decision that's fully informed," Dannefelser told Chris Matthews about the procedure, which involves penetrating a woman with a wand to give her an ultrasound that only confirms what she already knows. (The law eventually passed without the transvaginal ultrasound requirement, although it still forces women to undergo a noninvasive ultrasound that is just as unnecessary.)
While SBA List is a fan of unnecessary ultrasounds, the organization does not like it when women have access to the healthcare they need. The organization asked Republican presidential candidates to sign a pledge to defund Planned Parenthood, which would deny women access to cancer screenings, prenatal care and even regular check-ups.
SBA List styles itself a feminist organization that works to elect more pro-life women to office. (In fact, they supported some of the most radically anti-choice male candidates in 2012.) But their real agenda is as fiercely anti-woman as Anthony herself was pro-woman.
See their work in this year's Virginia governor's race. They've committed a minimum of $1.5 million to help elect Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, an anti-abortion extremist in the mold of Akin and Mourdock. Six years ago, then-state legislator Cuccinelli sponsored the most extreme kind of personhood amendment, one that would ban many forms of birth control (not to mention miscarriages).
The Virginia governor race is a chance for SBA List to test strategies and messaging they can deploy nationwide in 2014, 2016 and beyond. Like most pro-life activists, they have focused their efforts on hiding the most extreme parts of their agenda and pursuing attacks on a woman's right to safe and legal abortion care piecemeal. They conceal their radical agenda as concern for women's health and safety. That's why our report on the record and activities of SBA List is so important; we need to expose them now for who they are, before they help elect more candidates that threaten our rights and our lives.
Defending guys who question rape? Pushing invasive and unnecessary medical procedures on women? Thinking they know better then we do about what works best for our lives? It is difficult to imagine a more insulting attack on Anthony's proud legacy.
Apparently, banning abortion for women in D.C. wasn't extreme enough.
The anti-choice zealots at the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List recently pledged their support for Rep. Trent Franks' (R-AZ) measure that has recently been expanded to ban abortion after 20 weeks nationwide.
This bill is so extreme, it has no exceptions for situations where continuing a pregnancy will place a woman's health or ability to have children in the future at risk.
Blocking access to abortion care or making it illegal doesn't actually change a woman's mind. But it could force her to seek out illegal and unsafe providers that could endanger her life - the terrible and tragic Gosnell case demonstrated as much.
Allowing women to make the best and most informed decisions about their own lives, however, doesn't fit in with SBA List's radical anti-choice agenda to do away with abortion, contraception, and even sex for purposes other than reproduction.
At the same time that SBA List is working with anti-choice politicians like Rep. Franks to pass this nationwide abortion ban, across the river in Virginia, the group is downplaying its extreme goals in order to help elect another ally to governor: Ken Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli supports "personhood" bills. He led the charge of state lawsuits against Obamacare (and lost). He championed TRAP laws to close abortion clinics in Virginia. And, of course, he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
We've partnered with Bridge Project to expose SBA List's support of right-wing, anti-choice candidates like this, including Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Richard Mourdock, who said that pregnancy from rape is "something God intended to happen."
Don't let this radical anti-choice group fly under the radar. Read our full report and sign the pledge to stop SBA List from taking the right to choose away from all women.
This blog post is part of a series that exposes SBA List's radical anti-choice agenda. Check back for our next post on the SBA List's support some of the most extreme anti-choice candidates in the 2012 elections.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and Bridge Project partnered to release a new report exposing the anti-choice, deceptively named Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List and its extreme agenda for the 2013 and 2014 election cycle.
First, let's cover the basics:
- SBA List was created to support and elect anti-choice politicians. The organization's top priorities are to defund Planned Parenthood and other essential family-planning programs, and enact extreme anti-choice legislation to ultimately ban abortion.
- SBA List promotes a radical anti-choice agenda. The group supports forced-ultrasound legislation, efforts to roll back access to birth control, and end abortion.
- The organization's president has been vocal about establishing SBA List as an anti-choice "political machine" comparable to the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Our report exposes SBA List's anti-woman agenda, examines key players, and unpacks its support for extreme anti-choice politicians, including Todd "legitimate rape" Akin and Richard "pregnancy from rape is a gift from God" Mourdock.
You can read the full report about this dangerous organization on our website.
This blog post is the first in an upcoming series that exposes SBA List's radical agenda. Check back for our next post on the SBA List's support for a nationwide 20-week abortion ban.
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