NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
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Choice News: Summer 2014

Check Out Our Endorsements for the August 6 Primary!

Ballots are arriving now for the August 5 Washington state primary election! This election season, refer to our endorsements to ensure that we can count on our elected officials to stand up for choice, and read on as we profile three of our endorsed candidates in this newsletter.

In the 30th: Shari Song Stands With Women, Mark Miloscia Stands With Hobby Lobby
 Shari Song stands with women
and families. She's even publicly
stood up for equal pay.

You might remember Mark Miloscia from back when he used to be an anti-choice

Democrat. Since then, he’s worked as a lobbyist for the Catholics (we aren’t making this up), and switched parties (sound familiar?) for the purpose of more comfortably opposing gay marriage and standing between women and our health care. Miloscia isn’t just anti-choice, he’s got a bad case of Hobby Lobby logic and actually opposes birth control.

Shari Song, Miloscia’s Democratic opponent, is a champion of women’s reproductive rights. Where others have privileged personal power over good policy our state needs, Song has proudly taken a stand for the issues that matter to women and families in Washington. She’s unapologetically pro-choice, she supports equal pay, and has advocated for access to quality education for Washington’s kids.

Over the past three years, we’ve seen lawmakers in Olympia waste time playing it safe at the expense of Washington women and families. And with a national political climate already hostile to women’s rights, we can’t afford to send an anti-choice, anti-gay politician to Olympia. We deserve a leader who truly reflects our pro-choice values. In the 30th legislative district, there’s only one candidate who fits the bill: Shari Song.

We Sincerely Believe It’s Time To Ban Steve O’Ban

 Tami Green gets it.
Steve O’Ban is sometimes called the face of the anti-choice movement in Olympia, and for good reason. O’Ban isn’t just anti-choice – he actually sponsored a work session on a bill that would have created special protections for discrimination on the basis of "sincerely held” religious beliefs. If that sounds familiar (in a bad way), that’s because it’s exactly the type of out-of-touch legislation that was used to justify the Hobby Lobby ruling, and could be used to support future decisions like it.

That’s all terrible enough, right? Well, O’Ban is also the lawyer in the Stormans case, representing pharmacists who want to refuse to stock emergency contraceptives. O’Ban’s track record is straight-up scary. It paints a clear picture of an extreme, out-of-touch agenda that puts ideology before people. It’s time to stop that agenda in its tracks.

It’s time to ban O’Ban.

We’ll do this by making sure that O’Ban’s opponent, Tami Green, is elected. Tami Green is a strong progressive we can count on to defend everyone’s right to the health care they need. While O’Ban is clearly very invested in controlling women’s health care, Tami Green actually knows what she’s talking about when it comes to health care – because she’s not just a progressive lawmaker, she’s also a registered nurse. Stop Steve O’Ban’s out-of-touch agenda. Vote Green.

Inaction on Choice? Inexcusable. In the 45th, Vote Isenhower!
Matt Isenhower is the real pro-choice
candidate in this race.

While anti-choice politicians put public health at risk and stall progressive change, lawmakers who are pro-choice in name only are also part of the problem. Sen. Andy Hill (R - 45) is one of these lawmakers. While ostensibly pro-choice, Hill has repeatedly failed to support proactive legislation or to prioritize women’s health.

He even told our activists who traveled all the way to Olympia to advocate for reproductive rights that his inaction was acceptable because things are worse in "places like Texas and North Dakota.”

But we don’t live in Texas or North Dakota. We live here.

And in a national political climate that already stigmatizes women’s health, inaction is inexcusable, especially in a state as proudly and historically pro-choice as ours.

Luckily, there’s an alternative to this do-nothing approach to women’s rights. Matt Isenhower, Hill’s opponent, is committed to advancing legislation that expands and protects women’s health care. He’s the real pro-choice candidate in this race. That’s why we’ve given him our sole endorsement, and it’s why you should vote for him if you live in the 45th. Because being truly pro-choice isn’t about having the right talking points – it’s about standing up for reproductive freedom and working to make a difference for women and girls in our state.

Passing it On: Introducing NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s First Class of Reproductive Freedom Fellows

This summer, we’re piloting a new program: Reproductive Freedom Fellows! The Fellowships train college students and recent graduates to take an active role in the political process and as well as to explore working in reproductive health policy and advocacy.

Our first class of fellows come from colleges and universities throughout the country and abroad, and are already taking an active role in NARAL’s electoral work leading up to this year’s election in November. They’ve brought fresh new energy and perspective to our field operations and have started honing their skills as organizers. They’re also helping our field team with canvassing, opposition research, and volunteer recruitment.

If you stop by the office this summer, you’ll see them around. And you might already know them from reading their analysis of reproductive rights in the news at our blog, or seeing them at events, where they’re helping out with our fundraising and community-building on top of everything else.

This year’s class of Reproductive Freedom Fellows has played an integral part in our work for reproductive rights. From their dedication to their issue knowledge to their ability to work as a team, we can’t imagine a better group of future organizers and policymakers to launch this new program.

 You can also find a list of local alternatives to Hobby Lobby here.
Fight Back Against Hobby Lobby: Vote Pro-Choice!

The Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby earlier this month left us furious and determined to push back. We believe strongly that women’s fundamental human rights should come before a corporation’s desire to deny basic health care and earned employment benefits. 

This reckless decision sets a dangerous precedent and codifies discrimination against women—it’s an egregious attack on our rights, and we are going to fight it.

So how do we do that? In Washington State, we do it by defeating candidates who use Hobby Lobby logic.

We do it by empowering pro-choice leaders to make the difference in key battles for reproductive health care. Because whether it’s working to protect abortion coverage as the Affordable Care Act is implemented, or defending the availability of best practices in reproductive health care in the face of an unprecedented number of mergers between Catholic-affiliated hospitals and secular health systems, we need courageous leaders who understand that access to basic health care isn’t revolutionary – it’s non-negotiable.

This isn’t that complicated – everyone deserves access to the health care that’s best for them. But time and again, we have been told that passing the Reproductive Parity Act—which would protect abortion coverage for women in our state—is unnecessary and not "worth the political capital.”

The Hobby Lobby decision shows that exactly the opposite is true. This year, we have the chance to retake the State Senate and transform our legislature into one that values good policy for women and families - not just power. Read on for a look into the three key races could tip the balance, check out our full list of endorsements, and remember – companies like Hobby Lobby and politicians who refuse to protect women’s health are counting on women and our allies to stay quiet. They don’t want us to have a say in what happens to our health care. So let’s speak up. Let’s get loud. Let’s vote.

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