Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Empowering women: Roe or pregnancy centers?

Excerpted from "'Roe v. Wade' about much more than abortion," by Kate Michelman (NARAL Pro-Choice America) and Carol Tracy (Women's Law Project), USA Today, January 22, 2013--Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, a milestone for women in America because this right to control our capacity to reproduce enhances our ability to participate fully in society. It helps ensure our privacy, our dignity and our health.

During the 2012 elections, women made their voices heard. In almost every instance where women's reproductive rights were on the ballot, freedom prevailed.

Last year, 19 states enacted 43 measures to limit abortion access. This was in addition to the 92 abortion restrictions enacted in 24 states in 2011. Twenty states restricted abortion coverage through the state health insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

Currently, contraception can be barred from employer-based insurance coverage in eight states, and abstinence-only education remains the norm in most of our country. This fight against contraception reveals the hypocrisy of the anti-abortion groups: Their concern isn't protecting the unborn fetus; it's about controlling women's choices.

Technically, the core protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade remain intact. However, those protections are eroding because of the constant onslaught by conservatives bent on undermining the rights of women. The goal of Roe v. Wade was to ensure a woman's right to control the most intimate aspect of her life. Without this right, women are unable to participate equally with men in the nation's social, political and economic life.


Jonathan ImbodyCMA Vice President for Govt. Relations Jonathan Imbody: “Abortion advocates contend that without abortion on demand, which the Supreme Court imposed on all states 40 years ago through Roe v. Wade, 'women are unable to participate equally with men in the nation's social, political and economic life.' That would be news, of course, to the millions of women who have had children while also making meaningful contributions to society, politics and professional enterprises.

"Meanwhile, women who face financial and personal challenges during pregnancy and after giving birth are receiving financial, medical and practical help plus emotional and spiritual support from pregnancy centers around the country, such as those overseen by our friends at CareNet and Heartbeat International.

"Unlike billion-dollar abortion enterprises like Planned Parenthood that get half a billion in tax dollars a year while performing nearly a million abortions in three years,[i] these pregnancy centers provide compassionate and life-changing services through charitable contributions, devoted staff and volunteers who demonstrate love in action. Women are able to 'participate equally with men' as the young fathers learn--through pregnancy centers' education, counseling and mentoring--to share in the responsibility and fulfillment of bringing a new life into the world.

"With such safety net resources and a life-affirming perspective, surely we can all--women, men and children--live and thrive together."

Medical pregnancy centers need physicians willing to volunteer as little as an hour per week to write orders, read ultrasounds and provide oversight to the nurse administering the medical services. To find a pregnancy center near you through a national pro-life organization:

[i] Based on Planned Parenthood’s annual report for fiscal year 2011-2012 showing that the organization has net assets exceeding $1.2 billion, received $542 million in taxpayer funding and performed 333,964 abortions during fiscal year 2011. Their previous annual reports show that the organization performed 329,445 abortions in 2010 and 332,278 abortions in 2009, bringing the total number of abortions in three years to nearly 1 million abortions.

CMA comments regarding ANPRM contraceptive Mandate
Questions for the record follow up for CMA testimony on contraception mandate
CMDA Ethics Statement: Abortion

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