URGENT NEWS - FEBRUARY 09
From RFC Advisory Board member, Jan Nicolay, Co-Chair, SD Campaign for Healthy Families
The South Dakota State Health Committee just rejected Senate Bill 92, a measure that would have restricted access to abortion and would not have improved education or prevention programs in the state. Stopping SB 92 was a positive step, but there is still a chance a small group of legislators may try to force the bill out of committee since they are determined to re- ignite the divisive debate over abortion politics. Polling shows the people of South Dakota want constructive solutions, not restrictions.
Now their Legislature will consider Senate Bill 134, a measure that requires health insurance plans in South Dakota to include FDA-approved contraceptives as a part of any prescription drug plan. Providing insurance coverage for contraceptives would improve public health. It would also reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and, thereby, reduce the need for abortion.
Contact these legislators today and encourage them to support Senate Bill 134!
- More than 80,000 women in South Dakota are currently in need of contraception services and supplies.
- During these tough economic times, passing contraceptive equity legislation will improve public health and provide cost-savings for employers - all without spending a dime of taxpayer money.
- Improving access to contraception will prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion in South Dakota.
ELECTION 2008 NEWS
While Republicans were suffering loses all over the country, pro-choice Republicans were sailing through to re-election.
Let me add emphasize right upfront that we did re-elect all but one of our
pro-choice House members -- great legislators like Mark Kirk and Judy Biggert who won even though they ran in Obama's home state of Illinois...no small feat.....and Mike Castle who ran in Joe Biden's home state of Delaware.
Then there is also Charlie Dent in Pennsylvania, Rodney Frelinghuysen in New Jersey, Brian Bilbray and Mary Bono Mack in California.
All of these folks won in states the GOP lost. Only Shelley Moore Capito was re-elected in West Virginia which the GOP also won.
So the strength of our GOP pro-choice victories is even
While pro-choice Republicans lost one of our strongest allies, Chris Shays in CT -- we actually picked up 3 new pro-choice members in challenger races -- Leonard Lance in NJ, Lynn Jenkins in KS, and Steve Stivers in OH.
Most cheerful of all is the re-election of Senator Susan Collins of Maine after a very tough race.
But the best news of all....decisive ballot victories on all
4 state initiatives!!
Let's be clear about this -- the pro-choice side on each of these initiatives won!
Now our challenge is to build on these victories and take the GOP back to its roots of fighting government interference in our lives...
in the lives of both men and women!
Our membership asked that we concentrate on these issues even
to the detriment of diverting resources from candidates and our
efforts paid off:
California Proposition 4:
Parental notification - This measure would have amended the state constitution to require physicians to notify the parents or legal guardian of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before performing an abortion involving that minor.
The measure did not require that parent or guardian's actual consent in order to perform the abortion. Exceptions are provided in the cases of medical emergencies.
Also, an adult family may be notified instead if the minor fears abuse from the parent or guardian. Parents may also waive the notification requirement.
Colorado Amendment 48:
Fetus as Human Life from Moment of Conception
Fetus as Person - This measure would have amended the state constitution to define the term "person" to include "any human being from the moment of fertilization."
This definition would have applied to all aspects of the state constitution, including the provisions that ensure that no person has his or her life, liberty, or property taken away without due process of law. Thus, the measure would have essentially had the effect of banning abortion.
Michigan Proposition 2:
Pro-Stem Cell Research
Stem Cell Research - This measure would have amended the state constitution to permit human embryonic stem cell research with certain restrictions.
The embryos must have been created for fertility treatment purposes; they must have been otherwise discarded; and they
may not be used more than 14 days after cell division has begun.
South Dakota Initiative 11:
Abortion Ban - Deja vu all over again..
Abortion Ban defeated AGAIN - RFC worked on this in 2006 as well - This measure would have prohibited all abortions in the state except in cases where mother's life or health is at risk or in cases of rape or incest for pregnancies of less than 20 weeks.
A similar measure that did not include exceptions for rape or the health of the mother was on the ballot in 2006, but was rejected by voters 44 to 56 percent.
The GOP may have lost the Presidency to the Democrats but there were major wins for the GOP pro-choice majority in the Party!
Supreme Court Rejects Antis' Attempt
to Identify and Harass Pro-Choice Clinic Doctors
October 6th, 2008 -- On the first day of its new term, the Supreme Court rejects anti-choice activists third appeal to use "WANTED" posters to identify doctors who work in abortion clinics. RFC applauds the Court for protecting doctors who are just trying to
help women exercise their Constitutional right to choose.
Republicans for Choice make History at the 2008 Platform Hearings
Minneapolis, Minnesota August 26, 2008 -- Today the sub-committee on the Platform on Crime/Values considered historic language, suggested by Republicans For Choice, that the Party work with those who disagree on the Plank on abortion both within the Party and across party lines to find real positive and pro-active solutions to reduce abortion.
This is the first time any GOP Presidential campaign has worked with the pro-choice elements with whom they disagree to try and broaden the Party's position on abortion.
The McCain campaign did not control enough votes on the committee to stop them from stripping this historic language out of the Platform. But this is a step forward.
Platform Chair, Congressman Kevin McCarthy, did succeed in keeping some diversity and agree to disagree language elsewhere in the final draft to try and make Pro-Choice Republicans feel welcome in a Party with whom they have fundamental disagreements on how they view women's rights on this most personal and private decision.
New Abortion Ban Introduced in South Dakota -
Please Act Now
UNION PACIFIC DENIES COVERAGE TO WOMEN
VICTORY -- ERIC KEROACK IS GONE !
Yeah we won another one!!
Thank you to all the supporters of Republicans for Choice (RFC) who made their voices heard in the halls of Health and Human Services (HHS). Eric Keroack is gone!
On Thursday March 29th, 2007 Deputy Assistant Secretary for HHS' Office of Population Affairs, Eric Keroack, announced he will resign from the post due to action taken against his private Massachusetts medical practice by state Medicaid officials.
In November 2007 the Bush Administration appointed Keroack. Keroack was then Medical Director for A Woman's Concern , a "pregnancy-counseling organization." Unfortunately, this appointment does not require Senate confirmation.
Keroack advised HHS on issues including reproductive health and adolescent pregnancy. He oversaw $283 million in annual family planning grants HHS says are "designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons."
HHS spokespersons would not say what action had been taken by Massachusetts Medicaid officials.
HHS Assistant Secretary for Health John Agwunobi said that the agency "will move forward as expeditiously as possible to fill this position."
Republicans for Choice (RFC) is already calling upon the Bush Administration to appoint a legitimate, mainstream public health expert who supports family planning and access to birth control -- NOT an anti-choice advocate.
Physicans and Pharmacists Should Let their Positions on Abortion and Birth Control be
Rudy Giuliani Announces Opening of His GOP Presidential Candidate Exploratory Committee (click here for story)
2008 Republican National Convention
The 2008 Republican National Convention will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul Minnesota from September 1 until September 4, 2008.
The Delegates at this RNC Convention will choose and nominate the Republican Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates for the 2008 Presidential election.
WAY TO GO SOUTH DAKOTA (2006)
If you have friends or relatives who live in South Dakota....and are registered to vote...call or email them and urge them to vote to overturn the abortion ban.
Polls are indicating that this ban will be overturned by the voters...but we must make sure our supporters actually get out to vote!!
The overturn of this initiative will have a tremendous ripple affect in other states considering this kind of punishing total abortion ban. So anything you do today to insure this ban is defeated will be one of the most important actions you could take to help preserve a woman's right to choose.
We have sent several rounds of letters to voters in South Dakota; helped with absentee ballot mail and made phone calls to help identify and turn out our vote among Republicans.
Our Republican supporters in South Dakota understand that the basic principles of the GOP mandate that good Republicans would never uphold this ban. They trust the women of South Dakota to make their own decisions about this personal and private part of their lives.
We especially salute the strong leadership of Jan Nicolay, former GOP state representative and one of our original group of advisory members for Republicans for Choice. Her group South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families has led the way to what we anticipate will be an important victory.
VICTORY AT LAST ON PLAN B (2006)
Plan B is finally going over-the-counter!
Finally, after years of playing politics with science and down right foot-dragging, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted over-the-counter status to Plan B emergency contraception for women 18 and older.
This victory is the result of years of pressure from scientists, doctors, meetings, petition and letter-writing drives and phone calls with FDA officials by pro-choice activists like our group's leadership and calls and notes from thousands of Republicans for Choice supporters! We never gave up and now we have a well-earned victory over the forces of darkness who would keep women barefoot and pregnant without choice.
Thank you! The FDA has no business playing politics with women’s lives!
But as many RFC supporters have said, “There is still much work to be done.” RFC needs to keep the pressure on to build the case that younger teen girls also need this access to safe and legal contraception.
However, let’s all stop for a moment and celebrate this major victory. Tomorrow we will get back to work and redouble our efforts!
This is your victory as all RFC’s work is totally underwritten by its supporters.
See we do win ...it isn't all bad news.....................
Kansas Primary Election Removes Conservative Majority of Board of Education; Moderates Nominated That Support Changes to Strict Sex Education Policy
Conservative members of the Kansas Board of Education, which in June voted 6-4 to adopt a policy that requires sex education classes in public schools to emphasize an abstinence-until-marriage message, lost majority control of the board in the primary that just took place. NPR's "Talk of the Nation" reports (Conan, "Talk of the Nation," NPR, 8/2). The board's sex education policy requires that schools emphasize abstinence until marriage and also provide students with comprehensive, medically accurate information about contraception and sexually transmitted infections. The board for the past 20 years has had a policy requiring comprehensive sex education programs, but the guidelines were dropped when the board amended the rules for accrediting schools. The board last year began considering drafting new guidelines under which the sex education policy will be included. The new policy does not penalize school districts if they decline to follow the guidelines (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 6/16). Of the five seats open during the election, four were held by conservative Republican members, and moderate Republicans won the party's nomination for two of the seats, the New York Times reports. The moderate Republican winners pledged to reverse the sex education policy. Although the moderate Republicans will face Democratic opponents in November's general election, both the Republican and Democratic candidates are considered moderate, so at least six of the 10 board members taking office in January will be moderates, according to the Times (Davey/Blumenthal, New York Times, 8/3).
According to Nick Haines, executive producer of public affairs and news programming at KCPT Public Television, the primary election was a "good victory for moderate Republicans who felt embarrassed by the amount of national and international attention that has been focused on Kansas." He added that issues such as sex education and evolution "galvanized the moderates" to vote. However, Haines said that some residents consider the primary "just a short-term victory" for moderates and anticipate that conservatives might regain control in the next election ("Talk of the Nation," NPR, 8/2).
Pro-Choice Movement Makes Real Progress on Getting South Dakota Initiative on November Ballot
SOUTH DAKOTA BAN
OPEN LETTER TO ALL PRO-CHOICE ACTIVISTS
We think the proposed South Dakota abortion ban may be a real opportunity for us .
But to assure it helps and doesn't hurt the women of America , we need your help.
Ok you may be asking, have they lost their minds ? How can a total abortion ban, except to save the life of a mother be a good thing for us? Let us continue: click here for the full article.
Republicans for Choice, PAC would like to thank the eight Republican members of the US Senate who chose to buck the President and vote their conscience. Their vote to allow doctors overseas who receive UNFPA Funds to decide whether to discuss the sensitive issue of abortion with their patients took real courage.
Those Senator's are:
Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island
Senator Susan Collins of Maine
Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon**
Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine
Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania
Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska**
Senator John Warner of Virginia**
(Click on the name to send a special thank you email to the Senators)
These courageous men and women deserve our Thanks!
**We especially would like to highlight these members who do not always vote with our pro-choice members...they deserve a special thanks for standing with us).
OLD PRESS RELEASES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9th, 2006
Pro-Choice Movement Makes Real Progress on Getting South Dakota Initiative on November Ballot to Block Abortion Ban
Pro-choice advocates are well on their way to capturing enough signatures to get South Dakota’s Abortion Ban on the November ballot. The momentum is growing daily to block this Ban.
Republicans For Choice Chairman, Ann Stone, stated: “On June 19th we will launch Phase II of our own campaign to help remove this outrageous Ban once and for all. The Constitution guarantees women the right to choose. Abortion should never have been allowed to become a political issue to begin with.”
Groups like Republicans For Choice agree with Planned Parenthood that this Ban should be defeated at the polls before taking it to court.
Pro-choice advocates need to obtain 17,000 petition signatures in order to put the Abortion Ban issue on the ballot this November. More than 10,000 signatures have already been gathered thus far.
Ms. Stone says she feels confident pro-choice activists will have the signatures required to turn into the Secretary of State's office by June 19th to qualify their initiative to kill this Ban.
The law is slated to go into effect on July 1st if it does not qualify for the ballot. The antis are also working overtime to try to stop the petition initiative effort. They want the Ban to succeed so this case will eventually end up before the Supreme Court. This was the main reason for this Abortion Ban to begin with. The antis want to test out the new Bush-appointed Justices in the hope that it will help them overturn Roe v Wade before the Bush Administration leaves office.
Chairman Stone stated, “Come November, the GOP is going to feel the backlash from taking their marching orders from the minority in the Party. And in 2008, the antis most likely will lose their stranglehold on the Presidency. The lines have blurred between separation of church and state. And that is about to be corrected by those who are tired of the litmus tests, the discriminatory policies against women and the total disregard of representing all factions of the Party."
Abortion is a very controversial, very personal, decisive and private issue to people. The good citizens of South Dakota should have a right to decide the fate of this Abortion Ban. To force a woman or a girl who might be a victim of incest or rape to have a baby is cruel and inhumane. Anti-choice advocates told the Associated Press that the state legislature reflects the will of the people of South Dakota and the people spoke when they elected lawmakers who predominantly support a pro-life position on abortion. Ms. Stone stated, “if this were the case, then why have 10,000 people already signed a petition to put this important, controversial Ban on the ballot.”
The abortion Ban prohibits all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother and, in such cases, an abortion practitioner or doctor is required to do everything possible to save the baby's life as well.
An abortion ban similar to South Dakota’s passed through both houses in Mississippi. However, the two chambers couldn't agree on a final version because of a debate on rape and incest exceptions. It is no surprise that Mississippi would follow suit. It has long been defined as a very anti-choice state with regards to women.
Ms. Stone stated that even if the South Dakota Abortion Ban case makes it to the Supreme Court, she feels Roe v Wade will be upheld.
May 1, 2006 -- Stem Cell Research Advocates Want Help Removing Pro-Life Lawmakers in November who keep blocking Important Research
Palo Alto, CA -- Embryonic stem cell research advocates are tired of being forced to sit back and watch millions suffer while there is possible relief just on the horizon.
For too long anti-choice lawmakers who have worked to remove a woman’s right to choose are also the same individuals blocking the advancement of embryonic stem cell research.. Stem Cell Research advocates are hoping these men and women will be "held accountable" this November for opposing using taxpayer funds to pay for the research.
The Genetics Policy Institute is planning a June summit at Stanford University on stem cell research policy. The meeting is co-sponsored by Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, the biotech lobbying group, and is an attempt to get embryonic stem cell research advocates together to discuss how they can make this an issue in the upcoming elections.
Bernard Siegel, Executive Director of the Genetics Policy Institute, wants pro-life lawmakers to get a glimpse of what they can expect in the media-blitz panned against them this fall.
Siegal states: "Where delay is measured in human suffering and death, thoughtful people from around the world are demanding that stem cell research for cures proceed as rapidly as possible."
"Stem cell research is a key wedge issue and certain elected officials will likely be held accountable for denying patients' hope for cures."
Siegel hopes the summit will be a place to orchestrate strategy against pro-life candidates by showing their true colors as unconcerned with helping patients because they don't back the research.
"The Summit will empower the broad and rapidly expanding 'Pro-Cures Coalition' movement, which will play an absolutely pivotal role in the electoral process in 2006 and 2008," Siegel said.
In addition to the The Genetics Policy Institute, The Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University with co-host this event.
Klein, Chair of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, will give a presentation. His Institute plans to spend billions on embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.
April 10, 2006 - Attorney General in South Dakota declares Abortion Ban Donors'
Names Must Be Public Record.
According to the Aberdeen American News on April 10th, 2006 Republican South Dakota Attorney General, Larry Long, said that the names of donors and the amounts of their contributions to a state account set up to fund any potential court battles resulting from a state law that bans abortion in the state, except to save a woman's life, are required to be public record.
The law, signed last month by South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R), allows individuals and organizations to donate anonymously to a state legal fund in anticipation of a challenge to the abortion ban reaching the Supreme Court.
The Attorney General said that South Dakota law requires that if a state agency has to keep a document, the record of that item must be available for the public to read during normal business hours unless a specific state law requires that record remain confidential. He added that when a state receives money it must list the donor and the amount on a receipt.
Long further went on to say that because the law does not require the receipt of records to be confidential, they must be available to the public.
Commissioner of the State Bureau of Administration, Paul Kinsman, on Monday released records showing that as of Friday, April 7th, 148 donors had contributed a total of $11,181.95 to the fund thus far.
According, to the Aberdeen American News, these records include donors' names, states of residence and amount of donations.
These records do not include the names of pro-life groups who are doing their own independent campaigns to save this abortion ban.
July 20, 2005 - Republicans for Choice PAC reacts to the John Roberts Nomination
JULY 1, 2005 - The End of Women's Rights?
MAY 24, 2005 - John McCain Is The Real Majority Leader
AUGUST 27, 2004 - Coalition of Mainstream Republican Groups Condemn Rejection of Unity Plank
AUGUST 25, 2004 - Draft GOP Platform Language Divides Party --- Rejection of Unity Plank Sends Dangerous Message to Fair Minded Voters
AUGUST 16, 2004 - Coalition of Mainstream Republican Groups Calls for Party Unity Plank in GOP Platform
MAY 7, 2004 - Republicans For Choice is OUTRAGED at the FDA decision on Emergency Contraception!
APRIL 28, 2004 - SPECTER VICTORY IS A VICTORY FOR THE BIG TENT
APRIL 25, 2004 - We Marched and They Cheered!!
APRIL 23, 2004 - Yes, We Republicans Are Marching
"Are Antis winning the war?"
HUFFINGTON'S WITHDRAWAL SPURS LETTER TO EDITOR FROM RFC CHAIRMAN
12, 2003 - Chris Van Hollen, Can he fill Morella's Shoes?
1, 2002- "Republicans for Freedom: California GOP Chairman Supports
23, 2002 - " Not the right fight!"
9, 2001 - Senator Sprague endorsement
23, 2001 - "Will the GOP Leadership Get It Now?"
MAY 23, 2001 - "Jim, we need you!"
18, 2001 - "Jim Nicholson, Thanks for being a Bridge Builder"
18, 2001 - Pro-Choice Republicans Once Again Endorse Gale Norton
30.2000 - NO SEX FOR LOYAL REPUBLICANS
28, 2000 - THE BATTLES BEGUN
Republicans for Choice | 205 South Whiting Street, Suite #260 | Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 212-0890 | firstname.lastname@example.org
For Choice committee is a political action group and is not a part
of, or affiliated with, Planned Parenthood."