NARAL Pro-Choice America
 
Wednesday, May 5th, 2004
10:01 am - Interactive March map - Share your stories and photos!
Interactive March MapEvery day since the March hundreds of Choice Action Network activists have sent us photos, stories and messages of support about this historic event. Click here to check out our March Map and see what your fellow pro-choice supporters from around the country have to say – and use it to share your experiences and stories with them, too!
Were you there? Be counted. (13 comments | comment on this)
Tuesday, April 27th, 2004
10:39 am - The March for Women's Lives is over, but we've only just begun…
Like everyone working on the March, my day started much too early on Sunday, April 25. By the time we got down to the Mall, everyone was tired. But as I stood there watching thousands of people walk down 14th street with signs and t-shirts and buttons, my energy was renewed. Most of the rest of the day was a blur of happy faces and passionate speeches.

One moment sticks out in my mind though. I was walking from one end of the Mall to the other, when a woman stopped me to ask where a specific tent was. I pointed her in the right direction, and we chatted for a minute. She told me that the thing that struck her most about the day was the makeup of the crowd. I agreed. There were people of every race, gender, and age. That wasn't surprising, but it was comforting. It's easy to feel isolated when you're fighting for something you believe in. But Sunday showed me - and hopefully everyone else - that we're not alone. If one in ten pro-choice Americans were at the March, that's over 10 million Americans who believe like I do in a woman's fundamental right to choice and privacy. As I stood talking to this woman that I'm sure I'll never see again, it hit me that we're all in this together. To coin a phrase, "the people united will never be defeated."

Please share your stories and experiences from the March. I hope it touched everyone's lives as much as it did mine. If you weren't able to make it to the March, click here to see our photo album. To add your story, click on the comment link below.

Jen Moseley
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Were you there? Be counted. (13 comments | comment on this)
Wednesday, April 21st, 2004
11:10 am - Cheney Speaks at Anti-Choice Event
Last night, Cheney gave a 10-minute speech at a National Right to Life Committee event and reaffirmed the administration's "staunch opposition" to a woman's right to choose. He also vowed that the administration would "confidently and vigorously" defend the unconstitutional "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban."

That's what we're up against, folks--that's why it's time for us to make our voices heard.

Cheney did get one thing right, though: he called the choice question a nonpartisan issue, saying, "It doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, male or female, black or white...north or south, east or west." And yes, he's right. His words describe quite accurately the broad and diverse coalition of people that will be descending on this city in just four days to stand up for a woman's right to choose and to have access to the full range of reproductive options. People are coming from ALL OVER this country to say, with a million voices united, that we are sick and tired of this administration's efforts to roll back our reproductive rights. Enough is enough! We're not going to stand for it anymore! WILL YOU BE THERE? If you haven't already, sign up NOW at http://www.prochoiceamerica.org and be counted--show the White House just how many people staunchly oppose their anti-choice policies.

And remember: this march is incredibly important, but building a strong, united, pro-choice movement that will continue to be vocal and organized long after April 25 is even MORE important. So even if you've signed up for the march already, take a second to sign up for NARAL Pro-Choice America's Choice Action Network at http://prochoiceaction.org/can/join.html?source=web_naral and BE A PART OF THAT MOVEMENT!

Sarah M.
Action Center Team Member

(read the AP article about Cheney's speech:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/04/20/national2054EDT0821.DTL )
Were you there? Be counted. (1 comment | comment on this)
Monday, April 19th, 2004
1:27 pm - Check out the Action Center in Newsweek and get in on the action!
Go to Newsweek's website to see two articles featuring NARAL, one of which with a picture of volunteers at our very own Pro-Choice Action Center! Click here for an article about how the Choice movement is attempting to mobilize young activists, particularly through the NARAL Pro-Choice Action Center and this very blog. There's also another internet-exclusive article featuring an interview with the President of NARAL Pro-Choice America here. So if you are reading this, come and get involved! Not only can you march and let the pro-choice majority be truly represented, you can also come into the Action Center and volunteer before the March, helping us make signs. And if you REALLY want to show the world that you may be young but your not apathetic to the current threats to reproductive freedom, you can volunteer the day of the march. We have day-of volunteer trainings the Saturday and Friday before the march...just email Vesta at vesta@prochoiceamerica.org so you can sign up! You get a free NARAL Pro-Choice America staff shirt AND you get make this exciting and important event possible, what more could you want?

Shannon
Action Center Intern
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Sunday, April 18th, 2004
6:23 pm
I spotted the NARAL office at 12th & F in Washington DC. I had been contributing for a number of years to NARAL via the Combined Federal Campaign. I believe absolutely in a woman's right to choose. I wanted to help the effort, and fortunately the opportunity was there. Of course there are people on the phones, and people canvassing on the streets, but I was looking for something low profile.
I stuffed envelopes, assembled packages for distribution at Congressional offices, and helped assemble a significant number of the 100,000 signs you will see at the march. But the most important part of my experience was meeting all the volunteers, a diverse collection of caring, committed people from all over the United States. It has bolstered my faith in today's young people. It is easy for the media to generalize, and say young people are airheads, but this is not the case. The ones I met are intelligent, articulate, and aware. One thing that has to change, is that most of the volunteers are women. Men need to be a larger part of the effort. The women who will suffer if abortion is made illegal, are the mothers, sisters, nieces, aunts, and friends of men! This is no more a women's issue than 3 Mile Island is a Pennsylvania issue. But I am convinced by seeing and talking to these volunteers, that they will not allow their rights to be taken away. They will not only march, but will work and vote to assure that they and their children and grandchildren will keep this right

Michael
Action Center Volunteer.
Were you there? Be counted. (3 comments | comment on this)
Friday, April 16th, 2004
1:20 pm - Spreading the word
Yesterday there was an article in the Washington Post about the March, and it mentioned the Action Center and gave our address--and it brought about 25 pro-choice activists to our door! People signed up to march, took stickers and flyers, and bought our cool pro-choice t-shirts. One woman who stopped by saw that we were assembling our signs and just took her coat off and got right to work!

Not only did this make for a very exciting, inspiring day at the Action Center, it was also a great reminder of how important it is to spread the word about the March. You might not be able to reach quite as many people as the Washington Post, but if you take five minutes out of your day to email five (or ten or twenty...) friends about the March, that's five more people to help build our pro-choice million. So tell your friends and neighbors and coworkers and relatives to march, and if you're in the DC area, bring them on in to the Action Center--we'll put you to work assembling signs and get you outfitted with all the gear you need to be a visible and fashionable pro-choice activist on the 25th and beyond.

We're at 1119 F Street, right across from Metro Center. And if you're not in DC yet (because we know you will be on the 25th!) you can get your gear at http://store.yahoo.com/prochoiceamerica/procgifandge.html


Sarah M.
Action Center Team Member

P.S. More encouraging news: the Nebraska trial on the Federal Abortion Ban concluded on a bad note for the government. Two of their own witnesses admitted that the ban would outlaw a range of safe and medically necessary procedures and that the ban, if enforced, would thus force doctors to violate the standard of care--AND that the civil penalties it provides against doctors would make it difficult to recruit new ob-gyns. The New York and California trials are expected to conclude next week. Regardless of the outcome, each of the three cases is likely to be appealed and could go all the way to the Supreme Court--reminding us once again how important the court is and how important it is to MARCH IN SUPPORT OF OUR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS!
Were you there? Be counted. (2 comments | comment on this)
Thursday, April 15th, 2004
10:42 am - It's your choice, not theirs!
Last night the sign assembly insanity began, as did my internship, here at the Action Center. Of the 25,000 signs we have to put together here at the Action Center, Wedneday night we made over 4,500 signs! The intensity was palpable as 30+ volunteers competed in a high stakes sign assembly contest, (well, recieving a free t-shirt may not seem like high stakes but in the grand scheme of things, the stakes are extremly high when it comes to the future of choice!). In the mere thirty minutes of the competition, over 1000 signs were made and the volunteers just kept on trucking right on past 9 p.m. Free pizza fueled the fury as teams of four assembled signs at lightning speed while gophers, like me, went around collecting completed signs and stacking them in the corner...everytime I got an armful of signs put away, there was another armful waiting! The Action Center certainly lived up to its name last night with all the productivity and action going on in here. There were reporters and assembly lines and paper cuts but it was shockingly fun! If you want to be a part of the fun and this historic march (and I know you do) contact Vesta at vesta@prochoiceamerica.org or call the Action Center at 202-737-0633.

Shannon
Action Center Volunteer turned Intern
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Monday, April 12th, 2004
6:13 pm - Pro-Choice Happy Hour!!!
I spent a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the beloved Action Center tabling outside! I got a great response, gave out lots of info...and all kinds of folks joined our March! The best part was hearing from folks that said they are coming with the moms, dads, brother and sisters from CA, AZ, NY---all over the country! After working here at the NARAL Pro-Choice America office all day, it's a welcome change of pace to get out their in the field and hear from folks that are coming to the March and are SO excited about it! The other thing I'm excited about is happy hour on Thursday...first, because it's a happy hour, second...because it's a pro-choice happy hour!

Jen
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Friday, April 9th, 2004
1:56 pm - T-shirts galore and March excitement
Things are so hectic and crazy around the office this week and things are just going to get busier. I am so excited about the March--all my friends from Ohio are coming down. I know it is unrealistic to expect to meet up with a group of ten people in a crowd of a million, but I am going to try to:). My anticipation for the March is so high, it has gotten to the point when one of my friends told me about an activity in May and I was like, "I can’t think about that--that is post-March."
A whole bunch of awesome March merchandise is now available online and coming in soon (check it out at http://store.yahoo.com/prochoiceamerica/procgifandge.html) and I am dealing with making sure the process goes smoothly. We have basically two or three days to get all these orders processed to make sure people will have shirts and buttons for the March. Talk about cutting it close. I am taking breaks from the hectic office by canvassing and going to various outreach events to get people marching. Yesterday the hill drop was really exciting and a nice change of pace, though it was exhausting. If you know me it is not surprising that so far my favorite activities have been the pro-choice happy hours and making such interesting friends:). There is nothing better than supporting a cause and having a blast doing it. Let's hope that is how the March goes!

Tyler
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Thursday, April 8th, 2004
9:07 pm - Action on the Hill!
Today we took a team of volunteers and staff over to the Hill to get Hill staffers jazzed about coming to the March. There are over 250 pro-choice friendly offices on the Hill, so you can imagine how many marchers that will be! In fact, one staffer went right onto the website, signed herself up, and started organizing a delegation for the office.

The staffers liked our stickers, but they LOVED the idea of coming to a happy hour for choice. April 15 will be our Countdown Party--Kate Michelman will be speaking, as well as Congressman Van Hollen. It's at Ozio's at 18th & M streets. Call the Action Center at 202-737-0633 for details.

Sarah & Lisa
Action Center Crew
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Wednesday, April 7th, 2004
4:02 pm - Our Moment In Time:

With 18 days until the March for Women's Lives it is amazing and so exciting to see how far we have come in just four short months. Having worked @ NARAL Pro-Choice America since September, much of what I have done through the course of my time here is coordinate and assist with grassroots efforts that started with simply telling people what the event was and who was sponsoring it. Hundreds of volunteers later, most people in D.C. know not only more about the March but more about what is at stake for women's reproductive health, both in the United States and abroad. People feel a part of a greater movement. I have even had people come up to me in class to tell me about the March!

Every little task that individuals are doing is adding up to a significant event that can and will change the course of history. Thank you to everyone who is planning to join and March, now is our moment in time!

Kate.

Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Tuesday, April 6th, 2004
8:13 pm - Another Sneak Attack on Choice
Did you guys hear about the latest anti-choice maneuver from the White House? And I'm actually not talking about the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" OR the federal abortion ban trials...you really have to keep your eye on these guys!

The administration has asked the FDA to change the warning label on condoms to stress that they do not necessarily prevent the spread of HPV, commonly known as genital warts. Here's what CNN has to say:

"On one side are scientists who believe that condoms should be promoted as a crucial line of defense against several STDs and cervical cancer. On the other are groups that advocate waiting for sex until marriage, and who see the dangers of HPV as an argument for their cause." (read the whole article at http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/04/02/condom.warning.ap/index.html )

Abstinence-only education doesn't work in our schools and it won't work in our drugstores either. It's not good science (in fact, the president of an international coalition that studies HPV says of the label-change effort, "It appalls me when I see scientific and medical studies being manipulated for a different agenda"). More importantly, it's not good policy. Trying to convince people not to use condoms accomplishes just that--it encourages people to have more unprotected sex. Hence, more unwanted pregnancies and the unchecked spread of STDs a heck of a lot more dangerous than genital warts.

So, yet another reason to march on April 25 (as if we didn't have enough already!): March for medical advice that's based on SCIENTIFIC FACT and not ideology, whether it's coming from a government warning label, a health teacher, or your own doctor or pharmacist.

Sarah M.
Action Center Team Member
Were you there? Be counted. (2 comments | comment on this)
Monday, April 5th, 2004
4:51 pm - Federal Abortion Ban Trials
Last week, as most of you probably know, three federal cases began challenging the federal abortion ban (Partial Birth Abortion bill). I've read some interesting info from the trials that I'd like to share with ya'll.

One of the doctors proved that second trimester abortions are rare and typically not a first choice-Dr. Amos Grunebaum, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine at New York Hospital with 30 years of experience, testified in the New York case that more than 95 percent of his patients who have second trimester abortions “really, really, really wanted to have a baby.”

Proving that Ashcroft's demands for women's private medical records was intrusive and unecessary last week, the Michigan hospital that had been ordered to disclose relevant patients’ records to the government revealed that in fact no records would be disclosed because none of the subpoenaed records were relevant to the case.

This is just some of the info that is beginning to come out in these trials. There is an interesting article at Time Magazine Online check it out if you have time.

Any thoughts on these recent developments?

Sara
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Saturday, April 3rd, 2004
12:49 pm - Confessions of a NARAL Volunteer
After a two day, Father-Daughter Bonding drive from Texas to Virginia, we decided to go into D.C. so I could "show him around"-as though I knew anymore than he did, I simply had one or two metro rides under my belt, and this meant to me I was our tour guide. I had always wanted to go see Ford's Theatre because, call me cheesy, but I think it is intense to stand places where historical figures have died, especially the good ones that represent massive steps forward in civil rights, like Lincoln. BUT as we stepped off at Metro Center, I saw a little corner storefront with an array of NARAL signs on the windows. This seemed kind of surreal in that the whole reason I moved to this side of the country-after a life as a total momma's girl who went to college an hour away from her parents and her childhood home-was just so that I could get involved with organizations like NARAL...I mean, I could name the non-profits I knew I was interested in on one hand and NARAL was definitely on the index finger and here it is, just growing out of the ground as a ride the up escalor out of the subway, my very fisrt jaunt into the city as a new Virginia resident! So my father and I crossed the street to investigate, I was hesitant to open the door, I didn't want to bust in unexpectantly on some kind of top secret NARAL meeting with them thinking I am an angry anti-choicer bursting in to spray them with red paint and spew angry rhetoric...they would mace me and the police would be called and NARAL would actually put a restraining order on me, making it very difficult for me to volunteer. In hindsight, they probably would not hold confidential meetings in an open storefront nor would they assume that anyone who walked in was an anti-choice terrorist, but i have a vivid imagination...nonetheless, I finally got over those irrational fears and stepped in- still cautiously, mind you- and I was greeted by Vesta who was a shining beacon of pro-choice activism, full of information and pamphlets and stickers and ways to get involved! And to my shock, my father has become super pro-choice and was all about buying me a t shirt to show his support for the cause...NARAL Action Center bringing families together! And this was the first day it was open! And so began my so-far brief (this was on Valentine's Day I believe) but delightful stint as a NARAL volunteer.
Read more...Collapse )
Shannon
NARAL Action Center Volunteer
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Friday, April 2nd, 2004
3:18 pm - Unborn Victims of Violence Act
Yesterday President Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, making a federal crime. The legislation defines an "unborn child" as a child in utero, which "means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." This establishes separate legal status for the fetus, no matter what stage of development, which is clearly a step towards overturning abortion rights.

Had the President truly cared about protecting victims of violence he could have accepted the amendment introduced by Dianne Feinstein. This amendment would have kept a harsher penalty for pregnant women without recognizing the fetus as a person. However in rejecting this amendment and signing the bill he went a step further to appeal to his conservative base and promote his agenda of limiting women’s rights to choose. Our president made no attempt to hide the fact that this legislation will erode abortion rights after stating that "[he] reaffirm[s] that the United States of America is building a culture of life."

Though the President alluded to the tragic Peterson case to justify the bill, the new law applies only to harm to a fetus as a result of a federal crime committed against the mother, such as a terrorist attack or drug-related shooting. This bill was not signed for the victims of a crime, and the photographs he took with Lacy Peterson’s family do not fool us. This is just another example of how the President intends to mislead the public in order to limit the rights he does not believe in. And it gives us yet another reason to March April 25th!

Lisa
March Action Center Crew
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Wednesday, March 31st, 2004
11:24 am - American University Mobilization Party
I hosted a March Mobilization Party on AU's campus last week. The party was great, and brought a lot of campus attention to the March. Sara Love, NARAL Pro-Choice America's Legal Director, spoke about the threats to choice and what exactly is going on in Congress and in the Courts to undermine the right to choose. We also showed a video about the history of NARAL and the pro-choice movement from 1973 through today. It gave everyone good background on the issue. After the speakers, I spoke a little about opportunities to help out with the March, such as volunteering at the Action Center and on the day of the March. As college students, we sometimes think that our voice will not be heard on issues we believe in. I planned this party to show just how important our age group is in the issue of choice. As we talked about at the party, this is in so many ways our issue. We are the age group who stands to have our rights threatened the most. By the end of the party, everyone was really excited about the March, and most importantly, was ready to go out and sign people up! If you also had a party, go to http://march.prochoiceamerica.org to post details on the house party map.
~Lucy Melcher, NARAL Pro-Choice America Intern
Were you there? Be counted. (1 comment | comment on this)
Saturday, March 27th, 2004
12:18 pm - Talking about Choice
I was recruiting marchers at an event the other night and I asked this guy if he would like to sign up for the March and he said "I would, but I'm not a woman." Well, as you can probably imagine, I responded vehemently--in fact I think I might have scared him a little bit. But he was kind enough to listen to me while I talked about the ways that choice is important to men as well as women. The choice movement isn't just about ensuring women have access to safe and legal abortion, it's also about ensuring that everyone has access to contraception. It's also about getting medically accurate sex ed in our schools--not telling kids that condoms don't work and the ONLY way to guard against pregnancy and STDs is to practice abstinence. And it's about privacy--not only in the sense that women should be allowed to make their own reproductive health decisions, but also, as we've seen recently, in the sense that private, confidential medical records shouldn't be opened in a courtroom! And ultimately it is about very basic human rights--the right to decide for yourself when and whether you will have a family, the right to make your own medical decisions in privacy and without interference from ideologues, the right to live your life according to your own religious and ethical beliefs and not your neighbor's. And whenever anyone in our society is denied those freedoms we are all cheapened.

I think people are often confused about what the choice movement is really about because of all the propaganda put out by anti-choice ideologues. The other day I had somebody ask me if abstinence is "an OK choice." OF COURSE IT IS!! And THAT'S ultimately what choice really means--your choice is YOUR CHOICE and should be respected. And THAT'S why a million of us are marching on Washington.

Sarah M.

P.S. That guy who thought choice was only a women's issue--he wound up signing up for the March! :)
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Thursday, March 25th, 2004
1:40 pm - Supreme Court Rally
Yesterday I attended a rally in front of the Supreme Court to support striking the words “Under God” from the pledge of allegiance. Almost everyone at the rally supported our cause and understood the urgency of marching.

This rally was a reminder that recent threats to choice are part of a larger problem. A particular belief system is being imposed on all citizens, regardless of whether they share those beliefs or not. The inclusion of “Under God” in our pledge of allegiance implies that our nation is unified in religious faith and that these beliefs should govern our lives. This idea often serves as a justification for the prohibition of comprehensive sex education, contraception and abortion rights. However our government is not a theocracy and we should not have to abide by someone else’s beliefs. We are standing up not only for reproductive rights but also for the our right to live in a democracy!

Lisa
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
Monday, March 22nd, 2004
5:53 pm - Men Marching and Volunteering
I was walking by the March Action Center this weekend and I thought I would poke my head in and see what was going on. It’s such a nice space! Lots of information on the March, free posters and stickers, even talking points on how to react when people challenge you for being pro-choice. Most importantly, they had tons of volunteer opportunities for people to get involved: everything from phone banking to working on mailings to canvassing people to sign them up for the March.

I’m reminded me that, as a man, it’s important for me to stand up for choice. The choice of whether or not to have a child is not one that I’ll ever have to make, but I would never want my sister or my cousins or my friends to have to face that difficult situation and not have every option available to them. That’s why it’s important to me that I go to the March. I’ll see you there!

Jeremy
Washington, D.C.
Were you there? Be counted. (comment on this)
3:06 pm - Anti-Choice Editorial from Texas
There's a really inflammatory anti-choice editorial in the Texas A&M student newspaper, The Battalion: http://www.thebatt.com/news/2004/03/22/Opinion/Opening.The.Casket.On.Abortion-637543.shtml
The author actually compares abortion to the murder of Emmett Till and the Holocaust!! Check out the editorial and let us know what you think. What would you say to this guy? Even better, say it to him! Pro-choice Texans, speak out! Write to the Battalion and let them hear a strong, pro-choice voice. We all know that the March is about letting the nation hear a million voices for women's rights, reproductive freedom, and privacy--but the movement can't begin and end on April 25. We need to speak out today, and tomorrow, and April 26, and April 27--pro-choice voices need to be heard every day!

It can be tough to respond to anti-choice encounters. If you're in the DC area (or you will be for the March), we have a brochure with talking points for those kinds of conversations, so feel free to stop by and pick one up. If you can't make it to F Street, check out http://www.prochoiceamerica.org and read some of our fact sheets and issue briefs. You can also find links to our state affiliates' websites if you want information on what's going on in your state.

Here are some key ideas to get you started on talking about choice:
First of all, focus on who decides: these are highly personal decisions, and we feel women should be free to make them without government interference.
We're pro-CHOICE, not pro-abortion. We believe women should have access to the full range of reproductive choices, including family planning, infertility treatments, healthy childbearing, abortion and adoption.
Attempts to restrict those choices or cut women off from any one of those options, particularly abortion, will have devastating effects on women's health and lives.

We'd love to hear what you guys have to say about speaking out for choice--how do you handle conversations with anti-choicers? Tell us a story! We're listening! :)

Sarah M.
Action Center Team Member
Were you there? Be counted. (2 comments | comment on this)

> previous 20 entries

top of page
Free Web Counters