Category: Updates

Baucus Healthcare Bill Hurts Women and Families

Advocates for women’s health care have been meeting with congressional representatives around the country to advocate for affordable comprehensive health care reform. We here at Choice Matters have arranged many of these meetings in New York.

Despite our hard work, and the support of many in the New York delegation, a terrible bill has emerged from the Senate Finance Committee–aptly named the Baucus Bill after the chairman who is pushing it through.

Below is a summary* of things fundamentally wrong with the Baucus Bill.

NOW WE NEED YOU! CONTACT YOUR SENATORS, especially if they are members of the Senate Finance Committee, and demand that the Baucus Bill be amended in the Senate Finance Committee mark-up meetings next week. (Scroll down for a list of members of the Finance Committee.)

If your Senator is not a member of the Senate Finance Committee, ask him or her to contact Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus to oppose this bill in its current form.

The deadline for submitting amendments is tomorrow, Friday September 18, at 5 p.m. Eastern time, so we must act quickly!

(*Thank you to Raising Women’s Voices for providing this summary.)

“The people of New York will especially be shortchanged by the Finance Committee’s legislation, as would other regions with a high cost of living. By cutting the cost of the bill, this version reduces subsidies for working families to buy insurance, something which may still work in Montana, but it certainly will not help people living in New York.”
–Rep. Eliot Engel, 9/16/09

The Summary

The long-awaited Senate Finance Committee health reform bill has finally emerged from the anti-democratic and painfully extended negotiation process created by Committee Chair Max Baucus of Montana. The Baucus bill is bad for women and bad for our families in many ways.

What’s wrong with the bill? Compared to the bills produced earlier in the summer by four other Congressional committees (three in the House and one in the Senate), the Baucus bill fails to make health insurance affordable for women and our families. It sacrifices important features of the other proposals, such as the public plan option, in what appears to have been an unsuccessful attempt to woo Republicans. Not a single Republican came forward to support the Baucus plan, and several prominent Democrats (including Senators Rockefeller and Wyden, both of whom are on the Finance Committee) have already criticized the proposal.

We strongly oppose the bill as it stands today and are calling on Senators to amend and improve it in the Finance Committee mark up next week and on the floor of the Senate. Key problems to be addressed include:

  1. The bill imposes politics and ideology on what should be a purely medical decision – the question about what services an insurance plan will cover. It singles out abortion for special exclusions, rather than treating it like other medical care. The Baucus bill adopts language that was developed as a compromise by the House Energy and Commerce Committee (the so-called Capps amendment) to stave off worse anti-choice amendments. Reproductive health services are basic health care for women, and we urge the Finance Committee members to follow the lead of their colleagues on the Senate HELP Committee by passing legislation that puts the decisions about which services will be covered by insurance in the hands of medical experts and consumers who will make their decisions based on medical standards of care and scientific/medical evidence, not politics or ideology.
  2. The bill fails to make health insurance affordable for low- and moderate-income people. It would mandate that everybody buy health insurance, and impose sizeable penalties on those who don’t, but it doesn’t make it possible for people to actually afford the insurance. According to The Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a family of three earning about $55,000 – three times the federal poverty level – would be expected to pay as much as 13 percent of its income for health insurance premiums. That’s roughly $7,100 a year. It compares with costs of about $5,500 under the House bill, and $4,300 in the Senate health committee bill. A three-person family earning about $27,500 would have to pay 5.5 percent of its income, a premium of about $1,570. That compares with $824 a year in the House legislation, and $275 under the Senate health committee proposal. In addition, the bill does not set a reasonable limit on the amount of out-of-pocket costs that an insurance company can charge, over and above the price of the premium.
  3. The bill allows and even encourages insurance companies and employers to continue practices that are particularly damaging to women. It allows insurance companies to charge older people up to five times as much as younger people. The House bill allowed only a 2 to 1 ratio. Women, who live longer on average than men, are more likely to bear the costs of this age rating. Moreover, the bill creates a disincentive for employers to hire low-income workers and especially low-income, single parents – the vast majority of whom are women.
  4. The bill fails to ensure that all residents receive equal access to health coverage. We believe that health reform should give legal immigrants access to affordable coverage in the same way that it does for as American citizens. Legal immigrants should have access to tax credits through the exchange, should be eligible for Medicaid without a waiting period and should not be subject to excessive verification requirements. In addition, we oppose efforts to bar people, regardless of immigration status, from using their own funds to buy health insurance through the exchange.
  5. The bill does not establish a health insurance system that will provide a full range of choices to consumers, lower costs and make insurance companies accountable. The Baucus bill does not include a public insurance option, but instead provides a government-subsidized monopoly for private insurers. A robust public health insurance option would effectively compete with private insurers, giving people meaningful choice in their insurance purchasing decisions, helping to control costs and bringing greater accountability to the insurance industry. The co-op proposal included in the Baucus bill will not meet these objectives.

Senate Finance Committee members



Senate contact info here.

Is being a woman a pre-existing condition?

Check out this post from Think Progress.

  • In seven states plus the District of Columbia, “getting beaten up by your spouse is a pre-existing condition.”
  • According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 14 states have a requirement for maternity care
  • Many insurers consider a Caesarean-section pregnancy a pre-existing condition and refuse to cover women who have had the procedure.

We have no words.

WCLA-Choice Matters Endorses Alfreda Williams

There are two Democratic candidates running in the September 15th Primary for the open District 8 seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, but only one of them is pro-choice.

WCLA-Choice Matters interviewed both Alfreda Williams and Karen Wompa prior to making endorsements. Both candidates described themselves as pro-choice, but only Williams truly is. The Board of Directors unanimously agreed to endorse Alfreda Williams because she unequivocally supports choice and reproductive health care. Karen Wompa was determined to be anti-choice due to her responses during her interview.

How We Endorse

WCLA – Choice Matters’ endorsements are made by its Board of Directors. Endorsements are determined case by case. To be considered for endorsement, candidates must complete and return WCLA – Choice Matters’ questionnaire and participate in an interview if requested.

Endorsement is considered only for those who unequivocally support:

  • access to abortion and contraception for all women, unimpeded by laws, restrictions, or regulation;
  • strict confidentiality for all reproductive health care;
  • coverage by public and private insurance of abortion and contraception.

Just simply calling yourself pro-choice is not enough for us. In the past, so-called pro-choice elected officials have gone on to support legislation that would weaken Roe v Wade or make it more difficult for Westchester women to have access to the reproductive rights that they deserve.

We stand by our endorsement of Alfreda Williams in the September 15th Democratic Primary and in the General Election.

WCLA-Choice Matters Board

August 28th – Join Us – Walk for the Health Care Women Need

Together We Walk – United We Stand – For Health Care Reform

As we in the pro-choice community know all too well, access to safe, legal reproductive health care is essential to the health and well-being of all women.

On Saturday, August 29th, join with others from across Westchester and New York City who are dedicated to improving access to women’s health services across the lifespan, including to comprehensive reproductive health care.

Saturday, August 29th at Noon!
Women’s Walk
12 pm – Kick off

Roosevelt Hospital
(10th Ave at 59th St)

2 pm Converge with other activists from all over NYC for our Times Square Rally
Speakers include:
House Ways and Means Chair Charles Rangel of Harlem and
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan

Walk for the health care women need. See you there!

To Join or co-sponsor The Women’s Walk, contact: INFO@RAISINGWOMENSVOICES.NET

Or for more information email Choice Matters at

Participating Women’s Health Organizations
Choices in Childbirth*Community Healthcare Network*Crime Victims Treatment Center/Roosevelt Hospital*Gynuity Health Projects*NARAL Pro-Choice NY*National Institute for Reproductive Health*National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health*New Space for Women’s Health*New York Civil Liberties Union*NOW – NYC*NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault*Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health*Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund*Pro-Choice Public Education Project*Public Health Association of NYC*Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need*Reproductive Health Access Project*The Women’s City Club of New York*WCLA-Choice Matters


Tell the New York Senate to Stop Playing Politics with Women’s Health-
Tell Her/Him to Support the Reproductive Health Act, Senate Bill # S5808

Call Your Senator Today!!!

To find your senator and her/his contact information
And Sign The Petition

What is the Reproductive Health Act?
The Reproductive Health Act guarantees a woman’s right to control her reproductive health; ensures that a woman will be able to have an abortion if her health is endangered; treats the regulation of abortion as an issue of public health and medical practice, rather than as a potential crime; and guarantees everyone the right to use or refuse contraception.

The Reproductive Health Act takes abortion out of the penal code, and regulates it as a matter of public health and medical practice.

The Reproductive Health Act protects the fundamental right of a woman and her doctor – not politicians – to make private medical decisions.

The Reproductive Health Act is sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.

Why Does the Current Law Need to be Changed?In 1970, New York decriminalized abortion, three years before Roe v. Wade. It was one of the first states to do so. The law was visionary then, but today it is outdated and confusing. Current law does not contain the foundations upon which Roe was decided, including the fundamental right of women to make private medical decisions, nor does it take into account how abortion care is now provided.

The current law must be changed because under New York State’s present law, family planning and abortion are still treated as crimes in our statute books. Doctors should not have to fear prosecution because of the type of medicine they practice.

It also lacks protections if a woman’s health is endangered.

Furthermore, the current law is like icing on a cake; it has never been incorporated into NYS law, i.e. the batter. With one swift motion, it could be wiped away, and New York will be left with abortion being a crime as described in the penal code.

To learn more watch this video:

Dr. George Tiller’s Murder: A Call To Action

Dr. George Tiller-a husband, father to 4, grandfather to 10-was murdered Sunday while ushering at his Wichita, Kansas church.

Why Tiller?
Dr. Tiller was an abortionist. He was one of the few people courageous enough to perform third trimester abortions. Dr. Tiller’s patients were generally women who had desperately wanted their pregnancies but, either because the fetuses they were carrying were not viable or because their own health had been placed in serious jeopardy by their pregnancies, sought these terminations.

A soft-spoken man, Dr. Tiller risked his life daily to provide high-quality health care to women. He cared deeply about his patients, their rights, and their lives. He considered his work to be his calling, caring for women in their time of need.

Dr. Tiller was a hero-a true good guy. In 1998, Dr. Tiller made headlines by helping a 12-year-old Michigan girl who had been raped by her brother, taken into custody by the prosecutor thereby effectively delaying a termination beyond the legal limit in Michigan, and then was temporarily blocked from leaving the state by the judge. Her parents were finally able to get her to Dr. Tiller in her 27th week.

Dr. Tiller refused to be intimidated by the anti-abortion rights extremists who bombed his clinic in 1986, shot him in both arms in 1993, harassed him with frivolous investigations and prosecutions (cases in which he was acquitted), and targeted him daily.

We are saddened by the loss of a man who cared for so many women and who did not quit even when his life was endangered. Thank you, Dr. Tiller, for all you have done for us.

The Anti-Abortion Rights Strategy
The goal of violence against abortion providers is intimidation. Knock out other existing as well as potential abortionists by scaring the daylights out of them. This technique is not new. They used it aggressively in the 1990’s, when President Bill Clinton, our last pro-choice president, was in office. There was a five-fold increase in violence against abortion providers and clinics during those years. Despite public displays decrying this brutality, violent terrorist cells like Operation Rescue have been inciting horrific acts of violence. Now they are aided by the Bill O’Reily’s and the Rush Limbaugh’s of TV and web fame.

Anti-choice fanatics recognize that they are not able to stop women from getting abortions-legal or otherwise. So the next best thing is to get rid of providers, either by murder or intimidation, thus rendering the phrase, “safe, legal and rare” meaningless. Killing abortion providers, bombing clinics, and photographing patients as they enter or exit clinics and then placing their faces on the web have all been strategies employed by these extremists.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
This is a time of choice:
We can either sit around and feel deeply saddened over the loss of Dr. Tiller,
We can get up and say, “We won’t take it anymore.”

Step One
Let’s organize and support the candidates who support us.
That’s what we do here at WCLA – Choice Matters, and have been doing since 1972.
We get pro-choice candidates elected, and keep them elected-candidates who will protect our rights; who are not scared to speak out; who don’t hide behind the present-day catch-phrase, decreasing the number of unintended pregnancies to decrease the number of abortions, rather than speaking directly about abortion.

It is the job of the people we vote for to do our bidding or to get out of office. There is no middle ground.

The anti-abortion rights zealots terrorize with violence. We must use the voting booth as our weapon of choice. (You’ll be happily surprised to see what an effective weapon the vote can be.)

Laws, when passed and enforced by pro-choice individuals, can and do make abortion providers safer.

Step Two
Pass the Women’s Reproductive Health Act.
Right now, before the end of June, here in New York State, we must pass the Women’s Reproductive Health Act. It was sponsored by Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins during the last state Senate session.

Call your state senators and demand that they support this bill.
Find your elected officials
To learn more about the Women’s Reproductive Health Act, watch this video

Step Three
Judge Sotomayor is President Obama’s US Supreme Court nominee. Problem: we do not know her position on abortion, and Judge Sotomayor has made three judicial decisions that favored anti-choice groups.

Roe v. Wade and abortion rights are far too important to leave to chance! Too much is at risk. Sotomayor could throw the entire court into the anti-choice column.

As the blog A Candid World, A Short Series about Sotomayor wrote, “In today’s judicial confirmation battles, there’s really only one subject that matters: abortion. Justice Souter’s confirmation taught the right not to simply trust a nominee to vote the preferred way on the issue, and Democrats ought to have learned the same lesson.”

Tell your US senators that we must know where US Supreme Court nominee Judge Sotomayor stands on abortion rights.
Find your elected officials

Dr. George Tiller Murdered

Dr. George Tiller, husband, father to 4, gradfather to 10, was shot and killed yesterday while ushering at his Wichita, Kansas church.

Dr. Tiller has been a target of the extreme anti-abortionists for decades. He survived an attempt on his life in 1993. Pulic figures such as Bill O’Reilly have been all but calling for his murder as Dr. Tiller was one of the remaining physicians in the USA to perform late-term abortions for women carrying fetuses with severe birth defects or for health reasons of the mother.

We are saddened by the loss of a man who cared for so many women who did not quit even when his life was endangered. Thank you Dr. Tiller for all you have done for us.

US Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor – Is She Pro-Choice?

President Obama has just done one of the most important acts, perhaps the most important act, a president can do. He has nominated someone to the US Supreme Court – a position for which there are no term limits, other than death.

As the GOP was sure they would oppose whomever Obama might nominate, the Democrats were equally confident they’d be cheering.

Well, today the announcement came and constituents of neither party should have any clue how they feel.

We know very little if anything about nominee Federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s position on abortion and reproductive rights.

As A Candid World, A Short Series about Sotomayor; Abortion wrote, “In today’s judicial confirmation battles, there’s really only one subject that matters: abortion. Justice Souter’s confirmation taught the right not to simply trust a nominee to vote the preferred way on the issue, and Democrats ought to have learned the same lesson.”  

Reproductive rights groups should be very nervous because even Steven Ertelt, editor of  anti-choice, does not have any concrete problems with her and sees no reason that Republican senators will oppose her.

Sotomayor has not directly issued any rulings on abortion rights but has been involved in three cases:
1. Center for Reproductive Law & Policy v. Bush, 304 F.3d 183 The plaintiff was a public interest organization that challenged the “Mexico City Policy,” a.k.a. the “global gag rule” and its provisions that denied  U.S. aid to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that informed about or performed abortions.  Sotomayor authored the opinion which dismissed the case for lack of standing.

The anti-choice group Americans United for Life was pleased with the decision.

2. Port Washington Teachers’ Association v. Board of Education, 478 F.3d 494 (2d Cir. 2007). was the second case. Teachers challenged a school district policy which was trying to get teachers to report student pregnancies to the student’s parents.  The case was dismissed for lack of standing because the policy was considered voluntary and thus no consequences could befall teachers who did not adhere to it.

3.  Amnesty America v. Town of West Hartford was the third case. The anti-choice demonstrators argued that police had used excessive force against them at a demonstration. Sotomayor, the sole author of the decision, found in favor of the anti-choice group and against the police.

Not surprisingly, anti-choice groups applauded each of these decisions.

After eight long years of a right wing administration that worked tirelessly to strip women of their independence and right to privacy, we cannot risk a mistake by President Obama.

There is an old line from The Odd Couple: “When you assume you make an ass of u and me.” We cannot afford to ass-u-me.

 Knowing that she is a woman and an hispanic woman at that, is not enough. We need to know that she is a woman’s  woman.

Obama’s First 100 Days

Yesterday was President Obama’s 100th day in office. He made the following comments regarding his pro-choice position:

“The reason I’m pro-choice is because I don’t think women take that — that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day. And I think they are in a better position to make these decisions ultimately than members of Congress or a president of the United States, in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their clergy.

So — so that has been my consistent position. The other thing that I said consistently during the campaign is I would like to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that result in women feeling compelled to get an abortion, or at least considering getting an abortion, particularly if we can reduce the number of teen pregnancies, which has started to spike up again.

And so I’ve got a task force within the Domestic Policy Council in the West Wing of the White House that is working with groups both in the pro-choice camp and in the pro-life camp, to see if we can arrive at some consensus on that.

Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not highest legislative priority. I believe that women should have the right to choose. But I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on. And that’s — that’s where I’m going to focus.”

First off, we wish he wouldn’t use the term pro-life. Pro-life is not the opposite of pro-choice.  The use of the term pro-life implies that we are pro-death. The opposite of pro-choice is anti-choice. The use of the term pro-life is a political capitulation to abortion-rights opponents.

And while his middle-of-the-road approach sounds like the voice of reason, there is a lack of acknowledgment of the fact that the same groups that oppose abortion also oppose birth control and education that teaches people how to prevent pregnancy.

  • Anti-choice forces believe in abstinence-only education because they claim that contraception is ineffective. They grossly distort the effectiveness rates of condoms to try scare teens into celibacy. When the teens do have sex, they are unprotected — which only results in more teen pregnancies and more abortions.
  • Anti-choice forces distribute the mis-information that Plan B emergency contraception is an abortafacient and work to pass legislation that makes it harder to get. Confusion about Plan B plus limited access results in more unintended pregnancy and more abortions.
  • Anti-choice forces are currently, actively, working to allow pharmacists the right to refuse to dispense contraception.
  • Anti-choice forces oppose efforts to help impoverished women around the world understand how to use birth control and to provide funding for birth control, which results in unsafe abortions, poverty and and maternal deaths.

At this point Choice Matters spends more time and effort on expanding access to Plan B, supporting real sex-education, and preventing unwanted pregnancies than we do protecting abortion rights.  We work daily to reduce the abortion rate by fighting to implement policies that help to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Anti-choicers tell women to abstain or to suffer the consequences. That’s not pro-life–it’s anti-sex and anti-woman.

Abortion is a Blessing.

On March 30th, Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale was appointed to the position of  president of Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, MA. Ragsdale–an outspoken advocate of abortion rights–was the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees and will begin her duties on July 1, 2009.

Below is an interesting speech Ragsdale gave in 2007 in which she describes abortion as a blessing. It’s refreshing and wonderful to hear a person of faith speak openly about her support of abortion.

Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale’s remarks:
Birmingham, AL
July 21, 2007

“Well Operation Save America came, they saw, they harassed, and they annoyed; but they did not close the clinic. The clinic stayed open, no patients were turned away, and the doors never closed. We remain victorious. And that victory is a good thing – but, make no mistake, even though OSA has gone home; our work is not done.

If we were to leave this park and discover that clinic violence had become a thing of the past, never to plague us again, that would be a very good thing, indeed; but, still, our work would not be done.

If we were to find that, while we were here, Congress had acted to insure that abortion would always be legal, that would be a very good thing; but our work would not be done.

If we were suddenly to find a host of trained providers, insuring access in every city, town, village, and military base throughout the world, that would be a very good thing; but our work would not be done.

When every woman has everything she needs to make an informed, thoughtful choice, and to act upon it, we will be very close; but, still, our work will not be done.

As long as women, acting as responsible moral agents, taking responsibility for their own lives and for those who depend on them, have to contend with guilt and shame, have judgment and contempt heaped upon them, rather than the support and respect they deserve, our work is not done.

How will we know when our work is done? I suspect we’ll know it when we see it. But let me give you some sure indicators that it isn’t done yet:

– When doctors and pharmacists try to opt out of providing medical care, claiming it’s an act of conscience, our work is not done.

Let me say a bit more about that, because the religious community has long been an advocate of taking principled stands of conscience – even when such stands require civil disobedience. We’ve supported conscientious objectors, the Underground Railroad, freedom riders, sanctuary seekers, and anti-apartheid protestors. We support people who put their freedom and safety at risk for principles they believe in.

But let’s be clear, there’s a world of difference between those who engage in such civil disobedience, and pay the price, and doctors and pharmacists who insist that the rest of the world reorder itself to protect their consciences – that others pay the price for their principles.

This isn’t particularly complicated. If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military or become a police officer. If you have qualms about animal experimentation, think hard before choosing to go into medical research. And, if you’re not prepared to provide the full range of reproductive health care (or prescriptions) to any woman who needs it then don’t go into obstetrics and gynecology, or internal or emergency medicine, or pharmacology. Choose another field! We’ll respect your consciences when you begin to take responsibility for them.

– Here’s another sign. Did you notice the arguments that were being shouted at us in front of the clinic? They’ve been trying for years, and seem to be pushing especially hard now, to position themselves as feminists – supporters of women. You heard them – yelling that they understand that it’s all men’s fault. That men must do better at supporting women and children so that women, presumably, won’t feel the need to abort. They yelled that they understood that the women going into the clinic had been hurt by men and were reacting to that pain and betrayal. They pledged to help men be more responsible so that women wouldn’t want abortions.

Let me tell you something. Any argument that puts men alone at the center – for good or for bad — any discussion of women’s reproductive health that ends up being all about men, is not feminism. Nor, for that matter, is it Christian, or reflective of any God I recognize. And as long as anyone can even imagine such an argument, our work is not done.

– And while we’re at it, as long as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States can argue, as Justice Kennedy recently did, that women are not capable of making our own informed moral decisions, that we need men to help us so that we won’t make mistakes that we later regret; as long as a Supreme Court Justice can deny the moral agency of women simply because we are women – and can do it without being laughed off the public stage forever – our work is not done. What has happened to us that he could even think he could get away with publishing such an opinion? Our work most certainly is not done.

– Finally, the last sign I want to identify relates to my fellow clergy. Too often even those who support us can be heard talking about abortion as a tragedy. Let’s be very clear about this:

When a woman finds herself pregnant due to violence and chooses an abortion, it is the violence that is the tragedy; the abortion is a blessing.

When a woman finds that the fetus she is carrying has anomalies incompatible with life, that it will not live and that she requires an abortion – often a late-term abortion – to protect her life, her health, or her fertility, it is the shattering of her hopes and dreams for that pregnancy that is the tragedy; the abortion is a blessing.

When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

Thank you for allowing me to join you in that work for a few days here in Alabama. God bless you all.”