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February 14, 2011

Challenge to New House Members: Where Do You Stand on the War on Contraception?

Pro-choice group calls out House members in moderate swing districts as first vote on reproductive rights comes this week

Washington D.C. – This week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his allies are expected to hold a vote on a bill to de-fund Title X, the nation’s domestic family-planning program. NARAL Pro-Choice America released a list of representatives who will be held accountable if they abandon their promise of a jobs agenda to start a war on contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic health-care that family-planning centers, including Planned Parenthood, provide to millions of American women and men.

“Politicians who campaigned on the promise of focusing on jobs and the economy need to be held accountable if, at the first possible opportunity, they join with John Boehner to launch a full-fledged war on contraception,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “It is the height of hypocrisy for anti-choice politicians to seek to abolish a program that helps prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion.  How many jobs will be generated by eliminating women’s access to birth control?”

Late last week, the House Appropriations Committee released a continuing resolution [C.R.], legislation designed to keep the federal government running through the remainder of the fiscal year, that eliminates all $327 million in funding for the Title X program.  A vote on the C.R. is expected this week.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is pushing a related attack, a proposal that would bar Planned Parenthood from providing family-planning services with Title X funds. 

In particular, NARAL Pro-Choice America is mobilizing its activists in the following districts where anti- or mixed-choice representatives replaced pro-choice members after the 2010 elections:

Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.)
Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.)
Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)

In addition to focusing on new members, NARAL Pro-Choice America is also increasing pressure on longer-serving anti-choice members, including Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), Charlie Dent (R-Penn.), Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J), Leonard Lance (R-N.J), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

“If these politicians choose to abandon the principles of their campaign to attack women’s access to contraception, NARAL Pro-Choice America will ensure that voters are aware of their misplaced priorities come November 2012,” Keenan said. “This is just the beginning of a long-term public-education campaign to hold members accountable for their actions.”

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