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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2009

Pro-Choice Americans Prevail in First-Ever Congressional Vote on So-Called "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"

Senate vote coincides with NARAL Pro-Choice America's effort to urge DNC chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to veto bill that would fund similar organizations

Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, hailed the Senate for resoundingly rejecting an amendment to a national-service bill that would have encouraged anti-choice organizations to apply for federal funding.

Last night's amendment offered by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), which failed by a vote of 41 to 56, would have made so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" explicitly eligible for federal funding for the first time ever. Many CPCs use deceptive, intimidating, and emotionally manipulative tactics to block women from learning the facts about, or choosing, legal abortion.

"We are pleased that the Senate opposed an anti-choice effort to turn a bill designed to encourage volunteerism and civic participation into a vehicle for anti-choice propaganda," Keenan said. "A majority of so-called 'crisis pregnancy centers' are not licensed medical facilities and do not have medically trained staff, although they purport to give comprehensive reproductive-health information. Instead, volunteers at CPCs often deprive women of the information necessary to make an informed decision about their health-care options. It would have been wrong for the Senate to legitimize these practices in any way."

The Senate's vote on a measure related to CPCs coincides with NARAL Pro-Choice America's efforts to urge Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who also serves as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to veto legislation in his state that would establish a "Choose Life" license plate that would direct funding to these organizations. Thus far, NARAL Pro-Choice America, in partnership with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, has channeled more than 14,000 messages from activists to the DNC urging Gov. Kaine to veto the measure.

"We hope the Senate vote against funding for organizations that use deceptive practices encourages Gov. Kaine to do the right thing for Virginia women and families," Keenan said. "During this time of economic crisis, when more and more of Virginia's women are losing health-care coverage, the Commonwealth should focus its efforts on supporting legitimate, comprehensive health-care options instead of CPCs whose missions have nothing to do with health care and everything to do with propaganda."

Gov. Kaine is considering the bill and is expected to act in a matter of days. For more information, please visit www.ProChoiceAmerica.org.

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Contact:
Samantha Gordon, 202.973.3032


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