The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

NARAL Pro-Choice America Activates Nationwide Pledge to Stand Up to John Boehner houses mobilizing effort to fight against new speaker’s anti-choice agenda


NARAL Pro-Choice America is urging the country's pro-choice majority
to take an oath to protect women's reproductive freedom and privacy as
Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who has said he wants to be the most
"pro-life speaker in history," is sworn in as the speaker of the U.S.
House of Representatives.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that,
although political observers universally agree that last November's
elections were about the economy and jobs, Boehner is set to the launch
the fiercest attacks on a woman's right to choose in decades.

"Today marks the beginning of the Boehner Bait and Switch. Boehner
and other like-minded politicians campaigned on limiting the role of
government in our lives, yet their actions prove otherwise. They want to
shrink government to be just small enough to fit inside our bedrooms
and our medicine cabinets," Keenan said. "Americans did not give Boehner
and his cronies a mandate to interfere in our personal, private
decisions. We will turn the Boehner Bait and Switch into the Boehner
Backlash, as the new speaker learns that his anti-choice agenda is out
of step with our country's values and priorities."

Keenan also said that, in addition to next week's vote to repeal the
health-reform law, Boehner also scheduled a vote on a separate
resolution urging committees to make changes to health-care laws, which
could include a Stupak-like ban on abortion coverage.

NARAL Pro-Choice America's microsite,,
is a one-stop resource where fair-minded Americans may download a
pro-choice oath and share it with friends. The site also includes a map
that will display the hometowns of individuals who take the pledge. In
addition, the organization is advertising the site through ads on
Facebook and Google. The site also outlines how Boehner and his allies
intend to ban insurance coverage for abortion care and cut funding for
family-planning services, including birth control and cancer screenings.


Background: Boehner's Hostility Toward Women's Freedom and Privacy

Since first joining Congress in 1991, Rep. John Boehner has cast 142 votes on abortion and other reproductive-rights issues.
All 142 were anti-choice, including votes against improving women's
access to birth control, providing protections from violence for
abortion providers and their patients, and allowing funding for abortion
services for rape and incest survivors.

Boehner would like Americans to believe that his agenda will focus on the economy and thus will not include attacks on a woman's right to choose. But that's not what he's telling the anti-choice crowd. His actions and words say it all.

Key Points: Boehner's Anti-Choice Activism

In June 2009, Boehner told the National Right to Life Committee that when "life takes a backseat to other priorities--personal comfort, economics--freedom is diminished." (Boehner included this speech among the five speeches that form his "Pillars of a Majority.")

Boehner recently told one anti-choice activist that he wants be known as "the most pro-life speaker" in our nation's history.

Shortly after the 2010 elections, Boehner's chief of staff met with anti-choice people, including Randall Terry, the notorious founder of Operation Rescue,
who, after Dr. George Tiller was murdered inside his Kansas church in
May 2009, referred to the abortion provider as a "mass murderer" and
said that, "horrifically, he reaped what he sowed."

Boehner's lieutenants made sure they capitulated to the demands from
the National Right to Life Committee and Americans United for Life, both
of which called for Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) to be put in charge of the
Energy and Commerce health subcommittee, which oversees multiple
programs important to women's freedom and privacy
. Pitts, who
co-authored the infamous Stupak-Pitts amendment during the health-reform
debate, will now oversee multiple programs that affect women's health,
from family-planning services to the health-reform law.

In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice America also compiled the choice-related composition of Congress.

For more information, please visit

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.