Levin and the Pro-Choice Lobby

by Erin Klitzke


          Sander Levin is the representative to the US House of Representatives from the 12TH Congressional district in Michigan.  He is a Democrat who has a record of voting against anti-abortion legislation.  Two groups that strongly support Levin are Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League.

          According to www.vote-smart.org, Levin in the past three years (1999-2001) has voted in step with what Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League want one hundred percent of the time.  Several pieces of legislation having to do with the topic of abortion have been voted on by the House of Representatives in the past three years.  One of the most important pieces of legislation was the bill to ban partial birth abortion.  Levin voted no on this issue.  He also voted against changing the wording of another bill so that the president could limit or deny funding to some family planning organizations because they offered "abortion services, counseling, or advocacy."[1]

          Planned Parenthood is an organization advocating the rights of an individual to "manage his or her fertility regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence."[2]  They provide health care services and educational programs as well as advocating research on the topic of reproductive health, advancement of the technology surrounding reproductive health, and "public policies which guarantee [fertility] rights and ensure access to [reproductive] services."[3]

          The National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) is a group that has similar beliefs to those of Planned Parenthood.  NARAL wants to protect a woman's privacy and to make the federal government cover abortion in its health care policies.  They also, however, are looking for "better access to more effective contraceptive options [than abortion] and better access to other kinds of reproductive health care and information."[4]

          In light of the ideals these two groups hold, the rating that Levin has in regards to this group make perfect sense.  If more issues along these veins come before Congress, Levin will undoubtedly vote in favor of protecting a woman's right to choose and advocate keeping abortion legal.

[1] www.vote-smart.org

[2] www.plannedparenthood.org

[3] Ibid.

[4] www.naral.org