Lobby Day and Roe Rally in Helena!

Lobby Day

Thursday, January 22, 8:00 am
Montana Capitol, Room 335

Talk to your legislators about supporting reproductive rights and health! We’ll train you on effectively lobbying your legislators and give you an inside briefing on current bills related to reproductive rights and health. After meeting with your legislators you will also have the opportunity to have lunch with pro-choice elected officials.

To attend Lobby Day, register with Lisa at mtnaral@mt.net.

Following our morning of lobbying, we’ll meet in the rotunda for our annual Roe Rally with the Montana Reproductive Rights Coalition.

Roe Rally

Thursday, January 22, 1:00 pm
Montana Capitol Rotunda

Join NARAL Pro-Choice Montana and the Montana Reproductive Rights Coalition to celebrate 36 years of Roe v. Wade!

Last year over 200 people attended the Roe Rally, and we used that energy to kick off a campaign to defeat an attempt to ban abortion in our state constitution. We need your energy and support to have a successful legislative session where we beat back attempts to restrict reproductive rights and advance access to health care, birth control, and sex education. This is a great way for you to show your support for reproductive rights and health in Montana and demonstrate the power of Montana’s pro-choice majority.

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Iranian-American student released on bail

iran1Esha Momeni, who was arrested October 15th for a traffic violation in Iran, has been released on bail:  Momeni’s parents have handed over the deed to their house in Iran in return for her release, though she has not yet been allowed to leave Iran.  Sources say that Hasan Hadad, the general deputy prosecutor for Tehran, still has every intention of charging Momeni with “propaganda against the state” for her part in the One Million Signature campaign – a group that is working to change laws in Iran which discriminate against women.

Montana’s Pro-Choice grade?

A-.

Not bad, considering that the nation as a whole earns a whopping D-.

What could we do better?

  • Montana currently upholds an unconstitutional counseling requirement that a woman may not receive an abortion until 24 hours after a physician (or physician’s agent) provides her with state-mandated information, including: physical and psychological risks of abortion, lists of adoption agencies, anatomical drawings of the “unborn child” at two-week gestational increments, and information regarding state-funded pre- and neo-natal care.
  • Montana also upholds a “parental notification” law, similar to that recently denied in California, that states that a young pregnant woman under the age of 18 cannot be granted an abortion until 48 hours after at least one parent has been notified of her intent by the physician or the physician’s agent.  State courts have held that this law is unconstitutional because it infringes, “without adequate justification, the privacy rights of pregnant young women who wish to terminate their pregnancies.” Wicklund v. State, No. ADV-97-671 (Mont. Dist. Ct. Feb. 12, 1999) (summary judgment), No. ADV-97-671 (Mont. Dist. Ct. Feb. 25, 1999) (permanent injunction), appeal filed, No. 99-311 (Mont. Apr. 15, 1999), appeal dismissed, (Mont. Nov. 29, 1999).  A young women can receive permission from a judge, but not until she has provided evidence that she has suffered from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse from one or both parents.

Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.”

President-Elect Obama

No Ten for Tennessee

This past election, South Dakota, Colorado, and California soundly defeated important anti-choice bills, but the Democratic sweep of the nation did not extend to Tennessee.

State Republicans, led by recently re-elected Knoxville Representative Stacey Campfield, are already attempting to resurrect the previously failed SJR127, an amendment that would “provide that nothing in the Constitution of Tennessee secures or protects right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion”, including pulling government subsidies from Planned Parenthood. The communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party, Bill Hobbs, is on board:

Planned Parenthood is the McDonalds of abortion – millions of babies slaughtered. It’s a moral shame that even one dime of taxpayer money goes to them. Now, thanks to some smart legislating by pro-life Republicans, the $1.5 million the state used to give to Planned Parenthood for various women’s health services (though not abortion, wink wink) may no longer flow into their bank account.

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Take the quiz

guttmacherHow much do you know about sexual and reproductive health? To find out, take the Guttmacher Institute’s annual pop quiz, developed by Guttmacher researchers and policy experts. Although the issues are in the news all the time, the facts are all too frequently misrepresented, and you may be surprised by what you learn…

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.

George Eliot