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Interview with Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice President

Interview with Nancy Keenan, NARAL Pro-Choice President

If you don’t know about it already, you should. Anti-choice politicians are proposing a series of amendments to healthcare reform legislation in the eleventh hour before Congress leaves for a planned summer recess.

NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan was recently interviewed on what these amendments could mean to women’s health and access to healthcare coverage. When asked about who should be defining which services are covered under health insurance plans in the era of healthcare reform, Keenan states that NARAL (quite reasonably) supports an independent commission of experts:

We would advocate that experts make those determinations and those decisions, not politicians. And if you were to have a special committee, benefits as a broad discussion would be determined in that venue, versus in this kind of realm of politicians with their amendments trying to make determinations on their own. That’s the mistake we see when the politicians are trying to get involved versus experts making those decisions and determinations. …

I don’t think the issue of reproductive health care services should be treated differently from any other kind of benefit. It should all be treated under this umbrella of benefits by a professional committee. Don’t separate it out to begin with. And have the professionals determine what should be allowed, not necessarily the secretary of HHS.

The notion that politicians shouldn’t be making healthcare decisions may not come as a surprise  — you may have thought for years that these choices are best left up to doctors and their patients. And why not?

Unfortunately, an independent commission of professionals giving their insight on the structure of our future healthcare system doesn’t exist yet. In their place, the congressmembers who are proposing anti-choice amendments to healthcare reform are working hard to push through a new plan that could actually take healthcare away from women who are already covered under employer plans!

If this gets you as fired up as it does me, please add your name and personal comments to the petition letter to Congress.


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1:54PM PDT on Aug 5, 2009

Here's what I don't get. With pro-lifers, when you choose to get an abortion, you are a MURDERER! When you perform the abortion, you are a MURDERER! When you work in the clinic that performs abortions, you condone MURDER! Yet, you don't see it as MURDER when abortion clinics are bombed and people die, or when Doctors performing abortions are gunned down and killed, you see it as the right thing to do. Please tell me what the difference is, other than they don't think life a pro-lifer, therefor they have no rights.

10:21AM PDT on Aug 3, 2009

Hi Sandra,

Things have changed. We're giving all sort of right to women, albeit with some limits.

We gave women shoes, but they're hard to walk in and you sure as heck can't run away in them.

We gave women the right to vote, and a bunch of guys to vote for.

We gave you the right over your own bodies and reproductive organs, but you'll have to drive to Timbuktu to find a clinic and you'll have to wade through a bunch of picketting nutjobs to get services.

No; you're right. Not much has changed. :^)



4:38PM PDT on Aug 2, 2009

Nothing much has really changed for women in thousands of years....we have a population of popular vote of unthinking American's wanting to handle family planning. I was in a thrift store this week run by a Christian Church and it is about empty. Nothing there to really sustain a life for a life time. Living room and dining room furnature was available, but not
infant clothing, baby food, diapers, or anything to sleep in was available for question is how will a pregnant mother provide for her infant out of this thrift store? It will be on the tax payer and in California billions have been cut from the budget for medical for either mother or infant and for daily support? NOW TELL ME HOW THIS IS SUPPOSE TO WORK, AGAIN WITH CHRISTIANS IN CHARGE? I THINK THEY ARE MISSING THE OBVIOUS.

11:58AM PDT on Aug 1, 2009


Maybe we should all just chill, and let our conscienes be our guides. It might not benefit NARAL and Human Life, the staffers of which probably meet for drink after a long day of opening check-filled envelopes, while reveling at how riled up we get (the life's blood for folks in the association management game.)

If we simply respected one anothers choice, even while wishing they might choose differently, we would definitely better-serve the ideals of Christity/Theism and Humanism alike.

Only the Pro This and Thats would suffer.



11:25AM PDT on Aug 1, 2009

Ms. H, et al:

It's not immoral nor murder; you believe it is.

You're not nutjobs; I merely think you are nutjobs.

Opinion, not fact.

Now top the issue of whether abortion, choice, fetus-killing, etc., etc. is criminal in America. Nope. Plus the current tide in Ammerican politics is about as pro-choice, pro-abortion, kill-the-litte-guys-at-will as we have been for a very long time.

Sorry for the offensive description. My point is that calling it something and/or believing it immoral, murder, whatever, DOES NOT alter reality.

Rock on. But you may wish to say "I think" instead of "it is." You don't have to, but it would be more honest, and Godly (I think).

2:55AM PDT on Aug 1, 2009

Nancy H., you are taking apples and oranges and onions and garlic and shaking them all up in the same bag in an attempt to prove your point. I personally don't really care all that much about plant life, and things I try to grow always seems to die regardless. And the KKK has enough support from your group already to require the Matthew Shepard Act you fought against.

Whether or not the propaganda YOU adhere to against Planned Parenthood and how it originated in the past is accurate or not, the good it does today is while having to struggle against rabble rousers and attempts to thwart them. They see none of the good and only the abortion they oppose in any way they can. And I didn't need to read propaganda to be convinced of what is positive about family planning and prevention of disease, and pregnancy when that's best for all, including a potential unwanted baby! Where is your Christian faith to grieve for an unborn baby still safer in the arms of it's real Maker?

People who oppose the death penalty don't pine for murderers any more than you do for those babies and their mothers. I believe as strongly as you do that it is the killing that is wrong, and that you shouldn't have a choice about using it just for vengeance. But so far you get your right to kill against my belief. I will continue to fight to prevent your winning your fight to eliminate the rights others still have, too, despite your beliefs, as entitled to fight as you are.

10:59PM PDT on Jul 31, 2009

with your tax dollars than what is so wrong with supporting the KKK, same thing to me?!

10:55PM PDT on Jul 31, 2009

To all you anti pro lifers. a beating heart at 5 weeks is less important to you than plant life. When are YOU going to stop listening to the propaganda of Planned Parenthood? Have you read their history and how and WHY it was born? You think for a minute they care about a womans rights? It began because black women were having TOO many babies and your planned parenthood founder Margaret Sanger didn't want anymore black babies in this world, she called black women "HUMAN WEEDS" and who should never have been born, her SECRET was "we don't want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population" read about it and tell me if she really cared for womens health or was it white womens health she really cared about? It's all for the almighty dollar, read about and get your eyes opened, it's a multi billion dollar business and you know it. As an X feminist I can tell you woman's health has never been on the back burner, this is a ploy to get tax payers to pay for abortions they feel are wrong, so we have tolerance only if it is for abortion but not if a person doesn't want to spend their hard earned money on something they don't believe in? How about asking you to tithe to my church after all they are non profit to! Speaking about serial murders etc well if you can PINE for the welfare of a heinous murderer having to die for his crime and you could care less about a human being who is forming in a womens womb with a beating heart and want to keep an organization going w

9:46AM PDT on Jul 29, 2009

I edited this once and it combined the first too-long one and part of the edited one, and made me log in again. Sorry. the rest (I hope): Until we men can match these gallant, sweet and courageous ladies risk for risk and effort for effort, the decision can only rightly remain with them. If you so-called pro-lifers dislike the idea of abortion, quit pushing laws to delay it, quit blocking contraception, prophylaxis and education and get out of the way! What you do now is pure hypocrisy! ‘Pro-life’ states always offer the least help for children and poor parents, single or not. Primitive people had to wait for birth in the cases of those born badly crippled, or when the mother or the couple couldn't afford the effort or cost of another child, then expose or otherwise kill the child outright. The body takes care of it when the problems are something it can recognize; poverty isn't one of those; that takes a thinking being to see and choose. You and your narrow little idea of the God who created sex, orgasms, as well as natural abortion and extinctions do NOT belong in anyone else's bedroom; not per the bible, not per simple logic and reason, not by any conception of generosity, and not by the laws of survival.

Ian MacLeod
Activist PRN. Nonprofit, Nonpartisan, 501(C)(3) Corporation.
Progressive Political Activist.
Veteran, Disabled, Chronic Intractable Pain Patient, 25 years
Primum, non nocere!
Illegitimis non carborundum!

9:32AM PDT on Jul 29, 2009

This "baby murdering" line is pure BS with nothing to back it but emotional pseudo-logic. It has no religious backing in the bible at all. Leviticus is the only book to say anything. It mandates death for murder, but only a fine if a man causes a woman to abort. How much clearer can you get? This much: they don't hold funerals for aborted fetuses; they do for infants who die after birth. From a secular standpoint, as many as 50% of fertilized and implanted eggs abort spontaneously. Also, women ALWAYS stand the chance of dying when they carry it to term. If they live, at the least, their bodies are changed forever. Each time ages them somewhat, sometimes a lot. It takes about five years to recover fully. Men pay no such price. For us it's a matter of a little effort that's generally more than worth it alone, and then we can just walk off; women can't, and men do too damned often. This is utter cowardice and the worst kind of use of another human being. Regardless, she's stuck with the results and a lifetime of hard work and effort, not just eighteen years, as any parent will tell you.

This "baby murdering" line is pure BS with nothing to back it but emotional pseudo-logic. The bible, in Leviticus, mandates death for murder, but only a fine if a man causes a woman to abort. How much clearer can you get? This much: they don't hold funerals for aborted fetuses; they do for infants who die after birth. From a secular standpoint, as many as 50% of fertilized and implanted

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