Category: Updates

Election is a victory for choice

Barack Obama’s victory in yesterday’s presidential election was also a victory for choice. In addition, Colorado voters soundly defeated an anti-choice measure that defines life as beginning at conception. In South Dakota, an abortion ban was defeated that would have limited abortion to cases of rape and endangerment of a woman’s health. In California, a parental notification and waiting period proposition is set to fail as well.

Local election results are available here. Our endorsed candidates Elliot Engel, Nita Lowey, John Hall, Jeffery Klein, Andrea Stewart Cousins, Ruth Hassel-Thompson, Suzi Oppenheimer, J. Gary Pretlow, Amy Paulin, Adam Bradley, Sandra Galef, George Latimer, Richard Brodsky, Michael Spano, and Susan Capeci all won their elections.

Here’s a toast to choice and the next 4 years!

“Women’s Health”

Last night, Samantha Bee from the Daily Show, lambasted Sen. McCain’s sarcastic use of air quotes when using the term women’s health.

Watch the video here, the part where he speaks about abortion starts 3:00 into the clip. TIP: You can move the slider to 3:00 in the video player below.

For those of you who cannot watch the video, here are some quotes from the piece. They are meant to be sarcastic and show how John McCain’s views on abortion and women’s right’s are a farce.

“Thank you John McCain for finally exposing the seedy underbelly of the women’s ‘health’ scam. Let’s face it, women love abortions and will do anything to get one. The later, the better!”

“Reasonable people can disagree about abortion, but still agree on the unimportance of women’s health”

“John McCain has finally put the concerns of women where they belong, in derisive air quotes”.

“I’m sure if John McCain were raped and had a baby growing in his penis, he would want it publicly discussed at the same level of abstraction. Without concern for his specific ‘life’ or ‘penis’.”

Here is another great Samantha Bee video interviewing people at the Republican National Convention about the Palin family’s ability to make a choice regarding pregnancy that she is looking to take away from others.

Newsletter and Voting Guide

Here is the 2008 Voting Guide. This holds all the answers about the candidates-who is pro-choice and who’s not! Don’t be fooled. Read about McCain’s and Palin’s records and much more. Click here to download an Adobe PDF copy of our 2008 Voting Guide. Share it with your friends.

What’s at Stake on Nov. 4? EVERYTHING!

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Election 2008. With the presidential choice between Barack Obama and John McCain, and the election of the entire House and one-third of the Senate up for grabs, voters will be deciding the fate of this country for years to come. Women cannot afford a continuation of the Bush administration’s extremist ideology –and given his voting record, that is exactly what McCain will give us if elected president. Choice Matters has made its position clear. We are endorsing Barack Obama, and actively opposing John McCain.

At the end of the day, we know that it is not Choice Matters, the NRA, the DNC or the RNC who will decide the fate of our country. It will be you, the voter or the non-voter.

Remember, every time a person decides not to vote, those who vote have more power.

Obama and Sex Education

Barack Obama was recently criticized for his support of comprehensive sex education in an attack ad. The ad suggests that Obama wants to teach sex to kindergartners. In fact, Obama was supporting legislation that allowed schools to teach “age-appropriate” sex education to kindergartners such as warning young children about inappropriate touching and sexual predators. More on this topic here…

The truth is that McCain and Palin are the ones who are wrong on sex-ed. McCain supports abstinence-only sex education — a strategy that has been proven to not work!

Here is a great video about the reality of sex-education.

RH Reality Check: Abstinence-Only Vs. Comprehensive Sex Education from RH Reality Check on Vimeo.

Bush Administration’s Parting Gift

Working to ensure its anti-choice legacy, the Bush administration has proposed Health and Human Services regulations that could dramatically expand the legal right of health care providers, both institutions and individuals, to refuse to provide patients with services, information and referrals specifically regarding health care. The first draft of the measure defined contraception as abortion. The present version does not equate contraception with abortion, but it leaves open that possibility by failing to define key terms, including the words discrimination and abortion. (The devil is in the detail!)

The proposed rule could interfere with the enforcement of a myriad of health laws enacted to protect women, including laws that require health care providers to treat patients in need of emergency care. The rule could have a devastating impact on New York State. Although the State has been at the forefront of efforts to protect women’s access to contraception, the proposed regulation could jeopardize its ability to enforce laws such as requiring Emergency Contraception to be offered to sexual assault survivors in the Emergency Room law as well as enforcing its contraceptive equity law.

Federal and state law has traditionally balanced protections for individuals’ religious beliefs with patients’ need to access health care services. The proposed regulation seems designed to upset that careful balance and place the religious beliefs of medical institutions and professionals above the medical needs of patients.

Comments on the proposed rule are due by September 25 and a final regulation may be issued as soon as late October.

Please write to, with the subject line Provider Conscience Regulation and advise as many of your friends and family members to do the same. Below is a sample letter which you can customize for your use!

I am writing to urge you to stop efforts to block women’s access to basic reproductive health services. I understand that the proposed regulations that the Department of Health and Human Services released on August 21, 2008 expand existing law to allow more health care providers and institutions to refuse to provide needed care.

As written, the regulations could allow institutions and individuals — based on religious beliefs — to permit individuals to refuse to provide basic health care services, information and counseling. Moreover, they expand existing laws by permitting a wider range of health care professionals to refuse to provide even referrals for abortion services.

For years, federal law has carefully balanced protections for individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care. The proposed regulations appear to take patients’ health needs out of the equation. I urge you to restore this important balance and protect access to basic care for the millions of Americans who depend on federally funded health care services.

At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding access to important health services, not undermining existing protections or interfering in programs that have successfully provided services for years.

The Kindness of Strangers

John McCain’s favorite female literary character must be Blanch DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ A Street Car Named Desire as she epitomizes his entire economic plan for women.

McCain does not believe in legislation to protect women’s rights. Instead, as his record shows, he asks all women to live by the same life philosophy as broken, insecure, penniless, raped Blanch DuBois, who explained, “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers” to get by.

McCain claims to favor pay equity but opposed the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as recently as April 2008. Although he skipped the Fair Pay Act vote, he spoke out against it. According to McCain, “[women] need the education and training…,” but apparently not legal protection against pay discrimination.

According to a campaign aide, McCain claims to oppose all legislative mandates. (Wonder what McCain thinks of mandates like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 or the Nineteenth Amendment?)

McCain also opposes legislation requiring insurance plans that cover Viagra to also cover contraceptives. Enabling men to have sex but not helping women to protect against pregnancy must be a mandate issue for McCain.

In 2003 and 2005, McCain voted against measures that would have required insurance companies to cover birth control. McCain voted to reduce, eliminate or restrict health insurance programs for low-income children and pregnant women, a minimum of six times. In August 2007, McCain again voted against expanding coverage of SCHIP (the federal government State Children’s Health Insurance Program.).

Viagra, no birth control, more children, no insurance…must be a mandate thing.

In 2000, McCain voted against providing tax credits to small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees—women represent the largest growing sector of small business owners. He voted against a $3,000 tax credit to help seniors and their families cover long-term care—women statistically outlive their spouses and are the caregivers.

Twice McCain voted against measures that provided additional funding for home and community-based healthcare providers—a profession dominated by women; 18 times McCain voted to cut or restrict Medicare, and seven times to cut or restrict funding for Medicaid—poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, and the number of women living in poverty has increased disproportionately to the number of men over the past decade.

A spokesperson for McCain has said he will have the most women appointees of any president to date if he is elected—which is great, but…McCain does not believe in quotas so he won’t be “man-dating” parity for business or government.

McCain’s refusal to legislate forces American women to—quite literally—rely on the kindness of strangers. Without legislation, there are no guarantees, and McCain must know that.

McCain is no friend of choice

McCain’s moderate reputation and choice of a female running-mate doesn’t mean that he is a friend of choice.

His record in the Senate leaves no doubt. The National Right to Life Committee has supported McCain in every one of his Senate races.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America affirms that McCain has always been considered anti-choice.

“He voted against family planning, he voted against the freedom of access to clinic entrances — that was about violence against women in clinics,” Keenan says, adding, “He voted against funding for teen pregnancy-prevention programs, and making sure that abstinence only was medically accurate. This is very, very extreme.”

His running mate, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, is also strongly anti-choice.  She is a member of Feminists for Life and in 2002, when she was running for lieutenant governor, “Palin sent an e-mail to the anti-abortion Alaska Right to Life Board saying she was as ‘pro-life as any candidate can be’ and has ‘adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion.’”

Bush Administration Attempts to Redefine Forms of Contraception as a of Abortion

From the New York Times

The Bush administration is developing a regulation that would define abortion as “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation,” the New York Times reports. The draft proposal leaked to the Times also would require all recipients of aid from HHS to certify they will not refuse to hire health care workers who object to abortion and certain types of birth control.

According to the Times, to receive funding under any program administered by HHS, researchers, clinics, medical schools and hospitals would have to sign “written certifications” that they will not discriminate against people who object to abortion or certain contraception. The certification also would be required of state and local governments when allocating grants to hospitals and other institutions that have policies against providing abortions, the Times reports. The administration said it could discontinue federal aid to individuals or entities that discriminate against people who oppose abortion on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The leaked proposal — which circulated in HHS on Monday — said the new requirement is needed to guarantee that federal funds do not “support morally coercive or discriminatory practices or policies in violation of federal law.” The proposal also expresses concern about state laws that require hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape survivors who request it, according to the Times.

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt wrote that the “most troubling aspect of the proposed rules is the overly broad definition of ‘abortion,'” which would allow medical providers to classify common contraception as abortion and be allowed to refuse to provide it. “As a consequence, these draft regulations could disrupt state laws securing women’s access to birth control,” endanger federal programs such as Medicaid and Title X, as well as “undermine state laws that ensure survivors of sexual assault and rape receive emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms,” Clinton and Murray wrote. They added, “We strongly urge you to reconsider these regulations before they are released. We are extremely concerned by this proposal’s potential to affect millions of women’s reproductive health” (Clinton/Murray release, 7/16). You can read the letter here.