Blog of Rights


Join Us in D.C. to Protect Abortion Coverage in Health Care Reform

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 6:08pm
On November 17, I asked if you were angry about the Stupak amendment to the House health care reform bill. Well it's clear that you are. So far, over 27,000 of you have signed our petition to President Obama and congressional leadership urging them to stand up for reproductive health care and ensure that the anti-choice Stupak amendment is not included in any final health care reform bill.
Tell the Senate to Protect Abortion Care

Tell the Senate to Protect Abortion Care

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 6:22pm

Angry yet? You should be. As you’ve probably heard by now, on November 7, the House passed its health care reform bill. The problem? It also passed an onerous amendment sponsored by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) that prohibits anyone who participates in the health insurance Exchange and receives federal subsidies from purchasing a plan that covers abortion except in the case of rape or incest or to save the woman’s life. Anyone receiving a federal subsidy who wants abortion coverage would have to purchase a separate abortion rider covering only abortion.

Will Health Care Reform Protect Your Reproductive Rights?

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 6:19pm

Well, many of us thought this day would never come: the House of Representatives is finally prepared to vote on the Affordable Health Care for America Act. It's hard to understate the historic nature of this particular vote. President Roosevelt…

Thinking Twice: The Catch of the Biometric Bargaining Chip

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 1:01pm

Reform is in the air, and immigration reform will likely follow health care reform on the Congressional to-do list. While this could be great news, it seems like we will be asked to swallow just about anything, including mandatory electronic employment…

Oversight FAIL

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 5:56pm

Last Friday marked the release of a report on the President's Surveillance Program (PSP), the report that those of us in the surveillance policy world have been waiting for with bated breath since, well, the FISA Amendments Act passed last summer…

25 Percent Would If They Could

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:57pm

Twenty-five. That's the percent of women who say they would've obtained a Medicaid-funded abortion if they had the option, but instead carried their pregnancies to term. According to a new Guttmacher report released yesterday, many of these women…

Reproductive Freedom 100 Days into the Obama Administration

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:26pm

(Originally posted on Feministing.)

It's only been 100 days, but already reproductive freedom has come a long way. The first 100 days of the Obama administration have brought us more victories than we had in the eight years of the previous administration, and now seems like a good time to recognize and celebrate our success.

On his first Friday in office, President Obama rescinded the Global Gag Rule, restoring U.S. funding to international organizations that use their own, non-U.S. dollars to provide, refer for, and/or advocate for safe and legal abortion in their countries. This decision will both increase women's access to desperately needed family planning services, such as contraceptives, HIV-AIDS prevention, and maternal care; and reaffirm the United States' commitment to free speech and democratic participation.

At the same time, President Obama committed to reinvesting in the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, which is widely considered the best delivery system for international family planning funds worldwide. Also in the international realm, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been vocal in her support for reproductive health care and family planning services abroad and at home and has made it clear that reproductive freedom will be an important tenet of U.S. foreign policy.

Since When Is Racial Profiling Just?

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 5:06pm

At an April 2 hearing by two House Judiciary Committee subcommittees entitled "The Public Safety and Civil Rights Implications of State and Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws," Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) raced through a rapid tangled and convoluted litany of immigration laws. His bottom line? Racial profiling is a good thing.

Both he and Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) used scare tactics to justify profiling, conflating undocumented immigrants and terrorists, invoking 9/11, and telling stories of immigrant criminals. Of course, the facts just don't support their conclusions. In fact, immigrant men are five times less likely to be incarcerated than native-born men.

It was a while before we were able to hear the witnesses rebut King and Smith's opening arguments. The committee recessed for over an hour for votes. During that time, we discovered what a rock star witness the ACLU helped bring to the hearing. Julio Cesar Mora, a 19-year-old citizen from Avondale, Virginia, fielded rapid-fire questions in English and Spanish from journalists for nearly the entire recess.

Julio Cesar Mora answered questions from the media.

Support President Obama's Rescission of the Health Care Denial Rule

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 4:39pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

What would you do if you went to your doctor to ask about ways of preventing pregnancy and your doctor neglected to mention birth control pills, IUDs, or other forms of contraception? What if a clinic receptionist…

Time for REAL Solutions

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 5:42pm

Most people think of March 17 as a time to drink green beer and listen to bagpipes. Inside the Beltway, we think of March 17 as the day of the Irish Prime Minister's annual meeting with the President and address to Congress. But, this year, we celebrated something besides St. Patrick's Day on March 17. This past Tuesday, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) re-introduced the Responsible Education About Life (REAL) Act (S.611/HR 1551), a bill designed to create the first ever federal funding stream to provide age-appropriate, medically-accurate, comprehensive sexuality education.

Advocates who were trying to attend the REAL news conference had to run from one door of the U.S. Capitol to another because the heightened security, due to the Irish Prime Minister's visit, meant that certain passageways were closed. It took us a little longer to get there, but our difficulty accessing the event did not dampen the spirit in the room or the turn out.

Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. Lee, against a backdrop of advocates and students, addressed a standing-room-only crowd. Rep. Lee punnily emphasized the importance of "being for REAL about sex ed." A few minutes later, Sen. Lautenberg stressed the morality — yes, I said morality — of giving teens REAL facts that they can use to keep themselves healthy, make responsible decisions about whether to have sex, and protect themselves when they do choose to become sexually active.

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