Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NARAL: Anti-choice lawmakers on the verge of hijacking health-care reform effort

September 2009

   From the desk of
    Kelli Conlin:

Kelli Conlin
Dear Jerin,
This September, concern about health care swept the nation. We've waited for reform for so long, but now anti-choice lawmakers are threatening to hijack that reform by trying to ban abortion coverage in the new system - leaving women worse off under the new plan than they already are. See our call to action to contact New York's congressional delegation.
This month we also experienced an exciting primary in New York, with pro-choice victories across the state. Congratulations to our friends and allies New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Long Island's Debi Rose, and Syracuse's Stephanie Miner. We're looking forward to the November 3 general election!
We also welcomed a new corps of activists to NARAL Pro-Choice New York this month. As anti-choice forces mobilize around the annual "40 Days for Life" campaign, we're elated to welcome our own groundswell of pro-choice activists, ready to defend women's health and rights across New York.
We're excited about our pro-choice victories and ready to combat the challenges head-on. As always, thanks for your support in advocating for the women of New York.

For Choice,
Kelli Conlin
Kelli Conlin

 Health-Care Update
Anti-choice lawmakers are on the verge of hijacking the health-care reform effort. As they stand now, the bills leave the Hyde amendment in place - so disappointingly, no federal funds will pay for abortion in a reformed system, except in extremely narrow circumstances. But because pro-choice forces don't have a numerical majority in Congress, the bill's authors agreed to a further compromise: in each health plan, federal money will be segregated so that none pays for abortion care.

But for virulent anti-choice activists and their congressional allies, compromise is not good enough. They are trying to ban abortion coverage completely in the new system, leaving women who currently have abortion coverage even worse off.

We've compromised plenty - we'd have wanted a complete reversal of the Hyde amendment, but we settled because we care about the whole health-reform effort. But the other side will settle for nothing less than a complete ban of abortion in the new system - meaning women could actually LOSE coverage.

This is not what we had in mind when we envisioned health-care reform. Sadly, the momentum in Congress seems to be on the side of restricting women's coverage. Now is the time for you to contact members of the New York delegation. Contact Sens. Charles Schumer (202-224-6542) and Kirsten Gillibrand (202-224-4451) today and tell them that women must not be left worse off under health-care reform than we are today.

    New York State Primary Victories
NY vote buttonAfter such a historic 2008 election, it would have been tempting to sit back and relax this year. But since we know that change is also local, we geared up again and got active in municipal races across the state.
NARAL Pro-Choice New York is proud to have endorsed New York City Council Speaker and long-time champion of women's health Christine Quinn. We also worked hard for Debi Rose, who ousted anti-choice incumbent Ken Mitchell on the North Shore of Staten Island. We knocked on doors, called voters, and raised awareness about where the candidates stand on reproductive rights issues.
Upstate, congrats to endorsed candidate Stephanie Miner, who won a four-way Democratic Primary, taking her one step closer to becoming the first woman ever elected Mayor of Syracuse!
On to November 3 and the general election, where we will bring home pro-choice victories from Brooklyn to Buffalo!
    Welcoming New Activsists
NY new activistsWelcome to the more than 30 new activists in NARAL Pro-Choice New York's Activist Leadership Circle. Members of the Circle meet monthly to discuss current reproductive health issues, conduct activist efforts, and develop new advocacy initiatives and campaigns. 
These core activists are students, health-care providers, lawyers, non-profit professionals, artists, and long-time advocates, hailing from all across New York City. After completing a series of activist training sessions this month, the group has already canvassed for the City Council primary campaigns of Debi Rose and Christine Quinn. And we've only just begun…
Want to get involved with the Activist Leadership Circle or find out about our many volunteer opportunities? Contact our Community Organizer at
    It's National Sex-Ed Week of Action!
There is more than enough of the wrong kind of "sex education" out there – like the new website Sense & Sexuality just launched by the anti-feminist organization Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute. Gems on this site include: "Having more than five oral sex partners has been associated with throat cancer" and "No vaccine prevents a broken heart." Yes, it says that.
National Sex-Ed Week of Action couldn't come at a better time. Because young people don't need lies and scare tactics, but accurate, effective information, on October 13 NARAL Pro-Choice New York and our partners at the Sex Ed Alliance of New York City (SEANYC) will host Sex Education in the City, a community forum and panel discussion to address the lack of comprehensive sex education in New York City.
Come and find out how you can help ensure that all students in NYC get the facts they deserve. 
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