Seemingly Insurmountable Challenges, Our Unprecedented Victories & the On-going War on Women

Why, after electing a pro-choice president to a second term, increasing the number of pro-choice elected officials in Congress and in Albany, and electing an historic number of pro-choice women to office in Washington, does it still feel like 1965?

Despite predictions to the contrary, the economy was not the only issue considered by voters on Election Day. Women’s rights were front and center in our minds. For the past decade, the electorate has been confronted by a real war on women, one that has truly impacted our economic independence and our rights. Unbelievably, we are once again negotiating the terms by which women are allowed access to contraceptives, not to mention abortion. Not since the Griswold v. Connecticut decision (1965), in which the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot deny married couples* access to contraception, have we been subject to such an invasion of our “right to privacy”, a right the High Court found within the U.S. Constitution. This was the first presidential election in U.S. history that determined whether access to contraception would be significantly increased or dramatically decreased. On Tuesday, November 6th, we used our ballots to respond.

Our support for pro-choice candidates resulted in unprecedented victories. We elected our endorsed candidates at all levels of government, sending a record number of pro-choice women to Washington. Ninety-one percent of the candidates WCLA – Choice Matters endorsed, won!

Choice Matters is particularly proud of our victories in two races: the 37th NYS Senate District where George Latimer was victorious, despite being outspent by historic proportions in a state senate race; and in the 93rd NYS Assembly District where David Buchwald defeated an anti-choice incumbent. We were told we didn’t stand a chance, but guess what – we won! As Latimer’s campaign manager told me, “We couldn’t have done it without you!”

But, despite our wins, the majority of the representatives in the United States Congress and in the New York State Senate are anti-choice. And dozens of statehouses across the country remain poised to pass anti-woman legislation. The election may be over but the battle is not. Choice Matters needs you to help us keep New York moving in the right direction.

Right here in New York, Assemblyman Katz, 94 A.D., promises the first bill introduced in Albany this legislative session will be one to defund Planned Parenthood. New York’s anti-choice Senate refuses to even bring the Reproductive Health Act up for a vote. In Congress, the big budget fight is being led by former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, famous for his view that “rape is just another method of conception”, who believes this is their best chance to cut the federal family-planning program and take away cancer screenings, maternity care, and affordable birth control from millions of women and families.

Here in Westchester, anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities. Surrounding himself with seven anti-choice legislators, all of whom voted against safe clinic access, Rob Astorino has brought the War on Women and our Families home to Westchester–and his seven allies are helping him target the most vulnerable. They have cut funding for childcare and afterschool programs that would have enabled women to work; and four of them even voted to cut transportation for seniors. Astorino’s 2013 budget cuts $3 million in county funding to three neighborhood health centers. (For more, read our Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget.)

Choice Matters is calling on you to help us with our next big challenge. We need to educate Westchester voters about this County Executive and his own personal war on women. Westchester deserves a pro-choice leader who will work to build up our county and its infrastructure, not one who puts politics before the welfare of the county, incorporating his extreme ideology into all of his governmental policies. The battle begins now.

I think you agree with me when I say politics has no place in our fundamental reproductive rights. Make a gift to Choice Matters to support our work.

Choice Matters has been standing strong since 1972! That’s 40 years! Using Choice Matters’ ProChoice IDEA – Identification, Education and Activation, we have interviewed hundreds of thousands of female voters, identified those who are pro-choice, and added them to our database. We do this every single week in each and every year. It is this amazing database that made us victorious in the 37th NYS Senatorial District and the 93rd NYS Assembly District this year!

Your support makes it possible for us to send everyone in our database our ProChoice voting guide newsletter which informs the public about Choice, elected officials’ reproductive rights actions, challengers’ positions, and our critical endorsements. This voting guide newsletter scares some candidates and elected officials and rewards others because it holds them accountable for their actions.

Your generous contribution of $25, $100, $250 or more will help Choice Matters’ ProChoice IDEA campaign continue to identify and educate households across the county and state.

Choice Matters is a mighty pro-choice organization with a proven strategy. That’s because you, our donors, have given us extraordinary support for 40 years. We hope you will continue to do so. Your contribution — for as much as you can afford — will help make a difference. No contribution is too small, or too large as every dollar truly counts. Please email or mail your contribution today. (Click here!)

Supporting Choice Matters is the most valuable action an advocate for Choice can take. Thank you!

* (Eisenstadt v. Baird, 1972, extended the right to single people.)

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