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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 19, 2010

Anti-Choice Group Wants Its Hand-Picked Extremist in Charge of Panel that Oversees Women’s Health Programs

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called media reports of an extreme anti-choice group’s demand for control of a committee that oversee women’s health programs a sign of what’s to come in the new Congress.

According to Politico, the National Right to Life Committee specifically called for Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) to be given control over the Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over health-care reform, family-planning services, and other programs important to women’s health. Pitts gained notoriety during the health-reform debate as the coauthor of the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the health-reform bill, which would have effectively banned insurance coverage for abortion in the new health system if it had been incorporated into the final reform package.

“Putting Joe Pitts in charge of a committee that oversees women’s health programs is like putting Lindsay Lohan in charge of 'Celebrity Rehab.' It’s just ridiculous,” Keenan said. “Americans who support women’s freedom and privacy should take this as a wake-up call of what’s to come in this new Congress. Anti-choice politicians are taking their marching orders from extreme groups that oppose legal abortion and other reproductive-health care, including birth control.”

Keenan also said she was surprised to learn that the National Right to Life Committee has such harsh words for Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who is poised to take over as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Mr. Upton is no friend of the pro-choice community and has voted with Pitts on many extreme anti-choice measures,” Keenan said. “Mr. Upton has, on rare occasion, voted in favor of improving women’s access to birth control. Apparently the National Right to Life Committee considers support for birth control unacceptable.”

Keenan said NARAL Pro-Choice America has an online resource outlining the expected anti-choice attacks in the New Congress: http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/get-involved/issue-campaigns/speaker-boehner.html

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Contact:
Samantha Gordon, 202.973.3032


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