CONGRATULATIONS TO NARAL ON 30 YEARS OF PRO-CHOICE ADVOCACY -- HON.
FORTNEY PETE STARK (Extensions of Remarks - February 02, 1999)
HON. FORTNEY PETE STARK
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1999
- Mr. STARK. Mr. Speaker, as the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights
Action League (NARAL) celebrates 30 years of pro-choice advocacy, those of us
dedicated to preserving a woman's right to choose know that the need for
pro-choice advocacy and activism is greater than ever.
- America recently commemorated the 25th anniversary of Roe v.
Wade, the Supreme Court decision that recognized the freedom to choose as
a fundamental right, while opponents of choice worked to put the private
decision about abortion into the hands of government. The anti-choice Congress
has pushed a wave of legislation requiring women to endure increasing
obstacles in order to exercise a right that should be non-negotiable.
Reproductive choice continues to be debated on the floor of the House on a
- NARAL has long been a fierce defender against infringements on the right
to choose. For thirty years, NARAL has worked to increase Title X funding for
federal family planning programs, promote contraceptive research and the
development of contraceptive options for women and men, to protect the right
of Medicaid-eligible women to make choices about their reproductive health,
and to ensure that women have safe access to reproductive health facilities by
condemning clinic violence and harassment.
- Pro-choice Members of Congress have never underestimated the powerful
impact of NARAL's message, that we all want to see abortion made less
necessary. NARAL tirelessly exposes the irony of the abortion debate--that the
strongest opponents of the right to choose also oppose programs promoting
comprehensive sex education and birth control, which actually reduce unplanned
pregnancies. Instead, anti-choice politicians would make access to family
planning options more difficult, more dangerous, more expensive and more
- We must continue to support legislation to help reduce the number of
unplanned pregnancies. Specifically, we must rededicate our efforts to require
that health insurance plans provide coverage for contraceptives to the same
extent that they provide coverage for other prescription drugs.
- Our job in Congress is to move our nation toward a reproductive health
care policy that promises to make abortion less necessary and protects the
right of Americans to do what they believe is best for their families. We
congratulate you on thirty years of advocacy, and look to NARAL for leadership
as the 106th Congress prepares to defend a woman's right to choose.