Summary of Positions
Personal PAC believes that decisions about a woman's reproductive health are extremely private and are to be decided only by a woman and her conscience, her doctor and her God.
Access to safe, legal abortion is the only way to guarantee a woman's reproductive freedom and health. Abortion has been singled out as the only medical procedure to require unfair and unsafe restrictions. Restrictions on access put women's health and lives at risk.
Mandatory Waiting Periods
Personal PAC believes that mandatory waiting periods are dangerous and discriminatory.
This restriction, which requires a woman to wait 24 to 48 hours after signing a consent form, forces rural women to make at least two long journeys to the nearest provider. For low-income women this means having to miss work or school twice, posing a significant obstacle to the health care that she needs. Abortion is the only medical procedure in which this restriction is imposed.
Personal PAC is against the requirement of misinformed consent.
Misinformed consent is a state-mandated lecture of anti-abortion propaganda that must be given to a woman seeking an abortion. The lecture completely distorts the nature of the procedure, the alternatives and the side effects. Receiving this lecture is often humiliating for the woman, who already is facing a difficult decision. Much of the information given is not medically factual and is meant solely to dissuade her from having an abortion.
Teen Endangerment Laws
Personal PAC believes that parental notification and consent endangers the lives of young women.
Teen endangerment laws require teenagers to get consent from their parents or to give them notice prior to an abortion. When you are a teenage girl these two options are hardly distinguishable.
Teens from homes with healthy communication usually involve an adult family member in the abortion decision. However, notice and consent laws have horrifying consequences for teens from homes where there is violence, abuse, drug addiction, alcoholism, and where there is no parent even present. It is equally true for teens from stable homes who nonetheless attempt to self-induce abortion rather than tell a parent about the pregnancy.
Some states offer a judicial by-pass, but this option is a cruel hoax for an already fragile teen. Historically, some teens are so frightened they choose to have an illegal abortion.
Additionally, some teens' parents try to force a teenager to have an abortion against her will. This is a nightmare brought on by such laws, for both the teen and the health care provider.
Low-Income Women's Access
Personal PAC believes that abortion should be safe, legal and accessible to all women regardless of income.
When states prohibit public funding for abortion for women otherwise eligible for state assistance for general health care, low-income women have severely restricted access to safe options for reproductive health.
There are variations of these abortion laws that would allow funding if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest or if it would cause major harm to the health of the woman. These restrictions leave little choice for women who cannot afford an abortion. Some must forego paying rent and utilities and some desperate women even turn to drugs and prostitution to pay for the abortion.
Personal PAC believes that emergency contraception should be available immediately to women without a doctor's prescription.
Emergency contraception, a high dosage of birth control pills, stops conception from occurring. After failed birth control methods or unprotected sex, a woman can take emergency contraception. This would reduce her chances of becoming pregnant by 89% when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex.
Requiring a doctor's prescription is not the most effective way to help prevent unintended pregnancy. If a woman needs emergency contraception after a Friday or Saturday night she would have to wait, and hopefully get an appointment, to see her doctor on Monday, thus putting her outside of the 72 hour period.
Making emergency contraception available over-the-counter is a highly effective way to reduce the rate of abortion and unintended pregnancy.
Personal PAC supports Illinois' contraceptive equity law.
Other states do not require insurance companies to cover prescription contraceptives despite the fact that these same insurance plans cover other prescriptions, such as Viagra. With a contraceptive equity law, insurance companies that provide prescription coverage are required to cover FDA approved contraceptive prescriptions.
Emergency Room EC Mandates
Personal PAC believes that providing emergency contraception, or information about how to obtain emergency contraception, to sexual assault survivors in hospital emergency rooms is vital.
Most women are unaware of emergency contraception and would not know that option is available following a sexual assault. Not providing EC to women in the hospital emergency room adds gross insult to horrible injury.
Stem Cell Research
Personal PAC supports the important role that embryonic stem cells can play in potentially lifesaving medical research.
The anti-abortion movement has made a top political priority of preventing stem cell research in as many states as possible. They do so in order to establish as law that life begins at conception, and any use of post-conception material should be treated as murder and considered a felony.
Anti-abortion opposition to stem cell research, like opposition to abortion, is based solely on extremely narrow religious dogma, not on science or rational public policy.
Comprehensive Sexual Education
Personal PAC supports honest, age-appropriate, and medically accurate sexuality education that promotes abstinence and provides young people with the information they need to protect themselves.
Research shows that honest, medically accurate sexuality education works.
"Abstinence-only" programs aren't proven effective, and some studies even show that young people who go through these programs are less likely to use contraception and protect themselves when they become sexually active. Making matters worse, many of these "abstinence-only" programs include blatantly false and inaccurate information. There is overwhelming public support for honest sex education.