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Read about our 2017 successes.

NIRH’s Recent Successes:

Public Campaign on the Criminalization of Abortion: How Much Time

Since 2008, NIRH has engaged in an ongoing campaign to inform supporters about the threat posed by anti-abortion movement to criminalize women who access abortion care.

In 2016, in an attempt to educate the public about the Republican National Committee (RNC) platform’s implications for women who have abortions, NIRH launched an aggressive, multi-platform advocacy campaign asking a critical question that anti-abortion activists have refused to reckon with: “If abortion is made illegal, how much time will a woman serve?”

NIRH ran billboards across Cleveland during the Republican National Convention to inform attendees and the public about the dangerous implications of outlawing abortion […]

Passing a Clinic Protection Law in Columbus, OH

In June 2016, the Columbus, OH City Council unanimously passed the “Healthcare Workers and Patient Protection Ordinance.” The measure establishes a 15-foot zone around clinics, within which there are enhanced penalties for engaging in “disorderly conduct.” This ordinance also prohibits obstruction of clinic entrances and premises, and prohibits conduct within the buffer zone that “places another person in reasonable fear of physical harm, or attempts to do the same.” Councilmember Elizabeth Brown sponsored the ordinance, and the introductory text cites “the disturbing trend of increasing threats of violence and vandalism” at reproductive health care facilities as the explanation for the […]

Prohibiting the Shackling of Pregnant Incarcerated Women in MA

In 2016, NIRH supported the implementation of new laws in Massachusetts designed to prohibit the shackling of pregnant incarcerated women and improve the treatment of pregnant women in prison overall with our partners Prisoners’ Legal Services and the Prison Birth Project. They engaged in public education, media outreach, advocacy with executive branch officials, and research, and ultimately published a thorough report about the first year of the law’s implementation.

Documenting the problems with implementation of this new law led to the law’s original sponsor introducing new legislation to address those issues and close other gaps also identified by Prison Birth Project […]

Raising Awareness of the Movement to Criminalize Women for their Abortions

NIRH President Andrea Miller has been an outspoken advocate against the laws that criminalize women for their abortion decisions. She has emerged as one of the leaders in the field ringing the alarm bell about politicians’ threats to shame, pressure, and ultimately punish women who end their pregnancies.

See her op-ed in TIME magazine.

To read more about our work on decriminalizing abortion, click here.

Exposing the Anti-Choice Agenda through a Google Chrome Extension

Tired of seeing the fraught term “pro-life” used ubiquitously and incorrectly, we conceived of this Google Chrome extension to shift the language of the discussion towards a more accurate framework. When downloaded, this Google Chrome extension will change any instance of “pro-life” to “anti-choice,” revealing the phrase for what it is: an attempt to stop women from having control over their bodies, their futures, and their lives.

Those who stand against a woman’s right to decide what is best for her own body prop themselves up as righteous saviors using a problematic framework of rhetoric and religion. The term “pro-life” is inaccurate […]

Public Opinion Research – Proactively Engaging Voters on Abortion Access

7 in 10 voters want a woman’s experience having an abortion to be safe, legal, and respectful of a women’s decision.

Conventional wisdom frequently suggests the public is deeply divided on abortion and, at least tacitly, approves of the kinds of restrictions states have passed to limit a woman’s access to it.

From 2015 – 2017, NIRH has conducted qualitative and quantitative research — including focus groups in ten states across the country and two nationwide polls — to harness voters’ latent support for abortion access.

This research found that voters are not aware of the trend of […]

Public Opinion Research – Connecting the Dots: Abortion Access and Financial Stability in Virginia

In June 2015, NIRH commissioned non-partisan research organization PerryUndem Research/Communication to poll Virginia voters about their views on the connections, if any, among reproductive decisions, including abortion rights, women’s equality, and financial stability. (See the full polling memo)

We found that most Virginia voters agree that there is a link between access to abortion and women’s financial stability and equality. In addition to support for proactive abortion policies, large majorities of Virginia voters also agreed with the economic proposals included in the proposed Virginia Women’s Equality Agenda, such as stronger laws to ensure equal pay for equal work, making sure all workers get a minimum number […]

Passing a Resolution to Support Abortion Coverage for Low-Income Women in Cook County, IL

With support from the National Institute, the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU of Illinois and the Chicago Abortion Fund undertook an education and advocacy effort that led to the passage of a county resolution calling for access to abortion coverage for low-income women.

Cook County Board of Commissioners resolution
ACLU of Illinois press release
The need for a resolution in Cook County
Cook County Commissioners Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s Week in Review on the resolution
Testimony from Lorie Chaiten, ACLU of Illinois

SisterReach Releases First Report in Tennessee to Center the Voices of People of Color on Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Tennessee’s abstinence-only education policies are harmful to communities across the state, and that is especially clear in Shelby County, where STI rates are much higher than the national average and rising. One of Tennessee’s laws, known as the “Gateway Sexual Activity” law, forbids individuals or organizations from discussing “non-abstinence as an appropriate or acceptable behavior” and enables parents to sue institutions for damages if they feel the school has done so. Fearful of the law’s implications, the Shelby County School Board responded to this policy by making their sex education “opt in.” As a result, very few students in Shelby […]

Passing a Clinic Protection Law in Pittsburgh, PA

In 2005, the city of Pittsburgh passed an ordinance that created a 15-foot fixed buffer zone and an 8-foot floating zone around abortion clinics. However, a court ruled in 2009 while either option would be constitutional on its own, the city could not enforce both zones simultaneously. After discussion with
key stakeholders, Pittsburgh elected to keep the fixed zone in place. After the McCullen v. Coakley decision, protestors in Pittsburgh filed a new challenge against the buffer zone ordinance, but in March 2015, a federal judge upheld the zone, holding that the ruling in McCullen did not impact the
constitutionality of Pittsburgh’s law.

Read about the anti-choice challenge to […]