ACLU in American Civil Liberties Union

On Welfare & Poverty: Critical to let immigrants receive public assistance

Summary by Maine ACLU: This critical law allows some immigrants, including asylum seekers who are not allowed to work, to receive General Assistance for up to two years. This means hundreds of new Mainers will still be able to pay the rent and buy food for their families, regardless of where they were born.Summary by Bangor Daily News: The proposal originally sought to eliminate General Assistance benefits for certain immigrants but was amended to allow the benefits to continue for up to 24 months. General Assistance provides emergency aid for housing, medicine and other basic needs. "My bill was amended to do the exact opposite of what it originally was supposed to do," said Sen. Eric Brakey. "I've been vocally opposed to it going into place."

Legislative outcome:Passed Senate 29-5-1, Roll Call #305, on Jun/18/15; Passed House 81-63-7, Roll Call #334, on Jun/22/15; Enacted Jul/7/15 without signature from Gov. LePage

Source: ACLU review of Maine legislative voting records: LD 369

On Abortion: Fetal rights don't override a woman's privacy right

HB 227: Requires every physician who attempts to terminate a pregnancy to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of a human infant who has been born alive [compared with] any other child born alive at the same gestational age.

ACLU rationale to vote NO: No state interest described by fetal rights advocates has enough force to override a woman's fundamental rights of privacy, bodily integrity, and self-determination, until the child is brought forth from the woman's body. [Advocates] have tried to build support for the notion that the fetus has legal rights independent of the woman carrying it in her womb. Although this concept is sometimes put forward in very sympathetic contexts, it is laced with risks for women's rights.

Legislative Outcome:12/28/19 referred to House Committee for Courts of Justice; died in committee 02/11/20

Source: ACLU on Virginia legislative voting record HB 227 Feb 11, 2020

On Immigration: Opposed requiring local police to enforce immigration laws

SB1156: Policies prohibited that restrict enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Opinion by ACLU 5/22/19: ACLU-VA opposes SB1156, the so-called anti-sanctuary bill, because it is unnecessary legislation that will make our streets less safe. A combination of the Dillon Rule and existing state mandates make the existence of a sanctuary locality a legal impossibility in the Commonwealth.

Veto message from Gov.Northam: This bill would send a clear message to people across this Commonwealth that law enforcement officials are to be feared and avoided rather than trusted and engaged. The safety of our communities requires that all people, whether they are documented or not, feel comfortable reporting criminal activity and cooperating with local law enforcement investigations.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 51-47-1 on Feb/19/19; Passed Senate 21-19-0 on Jan/17/19; Vetoed by Gov. Northam on Mar/19/19.

Source: ACLU voting recommendation on Virginia voting record SB1156 May 22, 2019

On Abortion: Oppose abortion restrictions based on sex, race, disability

Prohibit an abortion if the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion, in whole or in part, because of an unborn child's sex, race, color, national origin, or disability.

Analysis by ACLU / Associated Press: In asking a judge to block the new Kentucky law, the ACLU argued that it removes a woman's right to an abortion if the state "disapproves of her reason" for the procedure. The suit was filed on behalf of EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, the only abortion clinic in Kentucky. The ACLU's challenge is part of a broader lawsuit also challenging another new Kentucky law that would mostly ban abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected--as early as six weeks into pregnancy. ACLU attorneys said the heartbeat bill would prohibit 90% of abortions in Kentucky.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 67-25-8 on Feb/26/19; Passed Senate 32-4-1 on Mar/13/19; Signed by Governor Matt Bevin on Mar/19/19.

Source: A.P. on ACLU analysis of Kentucky voting records HB5 Mar 19, 2019

On Immigration: No national emergency for a border wall

The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."

The ACLU will argue that President Trump's use of emergency powers to evade Congressional funding restrictions is unprecedented and that 10 U.S.C.  2808, the emergency power that Trump has invoked, cannot be used to build a border wall. Congress restricted the use of that power to military construction projects, like overseas military airfields in wartime, that "are necessary to support" the emergency use of armed forces.

Source: ACLU "Proclamation 9844" voting recommendation Feb 15, 2019

On Abortion: Apply health equity: barriers affect low-income minorities

Legislative Summary: HB3391: Reproductive Health Equity Act: Requires health benefit plan coverage of specified health care services, drugs, devices, products & procedures related to reproductive health. Allows exemption for plans sold to religious employers. [Enacted Aug/15/17].

ACLU analysis: Restrictions on reproductive health care can have profoundly harmful effects on our health and well-being, particularly for those who already face significant barriers to accessing high-quality care, such as low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, young women, survivors of domestic violence, and transgender and gender-nonconforming people. The Reproductive Health Equity Act ensures that Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity or type of insurance, have access to the full range of preventive reproductive health services, including family planning, abortion, and postpartum care.

Source: ACLU analysis of Oregon H 3700 voting records Aug 15, 2017

On War & Peace: Unconstitutional for Trump to bomb Syria

Following the April 4 chemical attack, the president expressed his concerns about the humanitarian crisis: "Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children--even beautiful babies," and then launched cruise missiles. There is no doubt that that the use of chemical weapons against civilians in northern Syria was illegal and immoral. However, the ACLU objected to President Trump unilaterally launching strikes without advance congressional authorization. The Constitution is clear that only Congress can declare war and authorize the use of our armed forces, absent an emergency need to stop a sudden attack. And because the United Nations Security Council did not authorize the action, the strikes also violated the United Nations Charter.
Source: ACLU 2017 voting recommendation on hiring freeze Apr 4, 2017

On Immigration: Muslim ban cannot be reworked to be constitutional

On the Muslim ban: [The Trump administration's original January 2017 executive order reduces to 50,000 the annual number of refugees allowed from 7 Muslim countries, and zero from Syria. The March 2017 order replaced the list of 7 countries with Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, & Yemen, for 90 days]. The director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project had this reaction:

"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, Pres. Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people. The changes the Trump administration has made completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind. and only strengthen the case against his unconstitutional executive orders."

Source: ACLU 2017 voting records of Trump Administration Mar 6, 2017

On Drugs: Drug prohibition means corruption, not an end to drug use

During the Civil War, morphine (an opium derivative and cousin of heroin) was found to have pain-killing properties and soon became the main ingredient in several patent medicines. In the late 19th century, marijuana and cocaine were put to various medicinal uses--marijuana to treat migraines; cocaine for chronic fatigue.

At the turn of the century, many drugs were made illegal when a mood of temperance swept the nation. In 1914, Congress banned opiates and cocaine. Alcohol prohibition quickly followed. That did not mean, however, an end to drug use. It meant that, suddenly, people were arrested and jailed for doing what they had previously done without government interference. Prohibition also meant the emergence of a black market, operated by criminals & marked by violence.

In 1933, because of concern over widespread organized crime & police corruption, alcohol prohibition was repealed. Meanwhile, federal prohibition of heroin and cocaine remained.

Source: ACLU 2017 voting recommendation on opioid crisis Feb 17, 2017

On Drugs: A "drug free America" is not realistic; repeal prohibition

People in almost all cultures, in every era, have used psychoactive drugs. Native South Americans take coca-breaks the way we, in this country, take coffee-breaks. Native North Americans use peyote and tobacco in their religious ceremonies the way Europeans use wine. Alcohol is the drug of choice in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, while many Muslim countries tolerate the use of opium and marijuana.

A "drug free America" is not a realistic goal, and by criminally banning psychoactive drugs the government has ceded all control of potentially dangerous substances to criminals. Instead of trying to stamp out all drug use, our government should focus on reducing drug abuse and prohibition-generated crime. This requires a fundamental change in public policy: repeal of criminal prohibition and the creation of a reasonable regulatory system.

Source: ACLU 2017 voting recommendation on opioid crisis Feb 17, 2017

On Technology: Access to broadband services for lower income families

The ACLU, a co-chair of the Leadership Conference Media Task Force, joined this letter to the FCC Chairman in response to his decisions to revoke the Lifeline Broadband Provider designations for nine providers. The ACLU has long supported expansion of the Lifeline program, which provides access to phone and broadband services for lower income families. The letter opposes Chairman Pai's new efforts to scale back implementation, and urges the FCC to resume the designation process immediately.

Letter to FCC chairman from 15 Senators: We write to express how deeply troubled we are that one of your first actions as FCC Chairman has been to undermine the Lifeline program and make it more difficult for low-income people to access affordable broadband. Lifeline is a critical tool for closing the digital divide. By statute, the FCC has an obligation to ensure "consumers in all regions of the country, including low-income consumers" have access to "advanced telecommunications."

Source: ACLU 2017 voting recommendation on Lifeline Broadband Feb 10, 2017

On Foreign Policy: Injustice of Gitmo is costing us a fortune

The ACLU has repeatedly stated that the prison at Guantanamo Bay is an affront to American values and the rule of law. But we have also learned--thanks to a report by former Defense Secretary Hagel--that detention at Guantanamo breaks the budget as much as it is wrong. This unnecessary spending comes at a time when budgets are shrinking and even the most vital programs for veterans, service members, and their families are subject to painful cuts. The injustice of Guantanamo is costing us a fortune.
Source: ACLU voting recommendation on Guantanamo Bay Feb 2, 2017

On Principles & Values: FOIA request for Trump's Emoluments conflicts of interest

We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Freedom of information requests are our democracy's X-ray and they will be vitally important to expose and curb the abuses of a president who believes the rules don't apply to him and his family.

The sheer number of potential ethical issues facing our new president is sobering. Bipartisan ethics experts have raised alarm bells about Trump's many business interests across the globe. He's reportedly in millions of dollars in debt to foreign countries or entities, including China. He faces mounds of civil lawsuits, with more on the way. Indeed, some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.

Source: ACLU 2017 voting recommendation on Emoluments Clause Jan 19, 2017

On Abortion: Let doctors tell truth: drug-induced abortion not reversible

Legislative Summary: SB1318: Prohibits any health care exchange operating in Arizona from providing coverage for abortions, except in cases of rape & incest. Requires a physician to inform the woman of the possible reversal of a medication abortion.

Analysis by The Guardian (6/4/15):Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, [and others] are challenging SB1318, which requires doctors to tell women having a drug-induced abortion that the procedure is reversible, advice regarded by most medical experts as wrong and misleading. The lawsuit argues that compelling doctors to provide this information against their best medical judgement, with "extreme consequences" for non-compliance, is a violation of their first amendment rights.

Legislative Outcome:Passed House 33-24-3 on Mar/23/15; Passed Senate 18-11-1 on Mar/25/15; Signed by Gov. Ducey on Mar/30/15. A federal district court found in favor of the ACLU and overturned SB1316 on July 23, 2016.

Source: The Guardian/ACLU analysis of Arizona voting record SB1318 Jul 23, 2016

On Crime: Black Lives Matter and police don't need special protection

LA Gov. Edwards signed a bill that makes targeting a police officer a hate crime. Passage of such bills at the state level is a top priority for a national organization called Blue Lives Matter, which was formed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

[Two Louisiana shootings were captured on video, on which] "police killed a black man who was minding his own business," says the director of ACLU-LA. But it was the civil rights of police officers that Edwards was concerned about in May, as if theirs were being routinely violated. "I'm not aware of any evidence that police officers have been victimized that would justify giving them special protection," the ACLU director said.

The new law places police officers, firefighters, and EMTs under protection from hate crimes. Laws similar to the one in Louisiana have been proposed in KY, TN, and IL. In Washington, lawmakers introduced a "Thin Blue Line Act," which would strengthen penalties for attacks on law enforcement.

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on BLM Jul 7, 2016

On Civil Rights: Religious objections to GLBT services same as 1960s racism

We see today claims to a right to discriminate--by refusing to provide services to LGBT people--based on religious objections. For example: wedding service providers closing their doors to same-sex couples planning their weddings. While the situations may differ, one thing remains the same: Religion is being used as an excuse to discriminate.

Claiming a right to discriminate in the name of religion is not new. In the 1960s, we saw objections to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. In those cases, we recognized that requiring integration was not about violating religious liberty; it was about ensuring fairness. It's no different today.

Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to impose those beliefs on others.

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on RFRA vs LGBT May 11, 2016

On Government Reform: Neighborhood districting increases minority representation

ACLU argument in favor of AB 182: The California Voting Rights Act empowers citizens to challenge unlawful vote dilution in local at-large election systems where racially polarized voting exists. AB 182 extends these protections to single- member district systems & provides clearer guidance for judges on how to design appropriate remedies to ensure that jurisdictions do not continue to dilute the voices & votes of protected communities. veto analysis:Gov. Brown said that existing laws "already ensure that the voting strength of minority communities is not diluted." The 2002 law allows minority groups to challenge at-large (city-wide) elections, increasing the likelihood of control by a white majority. [Since 2002] over 100 local governments switched to district elections.˙The [new] law could challenge district lines if intended to dilute minority votes.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 26-14-0; Passed Assembly 53-24-3; Vetoed on 10/10/15.

Source: ACLU on California voting record AB 182 Sep 22, 2015

On Civil Rights: First Amendment doesn't include right to turn away LGBT

The House of Representatives, as well as leading anti-LGBT organizations, are pushing a bill--disingenuously titled the First Amendment Defense Act--that would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples. While this bill does nothing to protect individuals' rights under the First Amendment, its parade of horribles would:
Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on FADA Jul 20, 2015

On Homeland Security: USA Freedom Act should be first small step of more reforms

The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013, which itself left many serious surveillance abuses untouched. We were a vocal critic of its shortcomings and supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform. This includes:
Source: ACLU 2015 voting recommendation on USA Freedom Act Jun 3, 2015

On Abortion: Funding abortion avoids discrimination against poor women

We urge Members of the House of Representatives to vote against H.R. 7, the so-called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015." The legislation is broad and deeply troubling and the ACLU opposes it [because] H.R. 7 would make discriminatory restrictions that harm women's health permanent law.

The bill singles out and excludes abortion from a host of programs that fulfill the government's obligation to provide health care to certain populations. Women who rely on the government for their health care do not have access to a health care service readily available to women of means and women with private insurance.

The government should not discriminate in this way. It should not use its power of the purse to intrude on a woman's decision whether to carry to term or to terminate her pregnancy and selectively withhold benefits because she seeks to exercise her right of reproductive choice in a manner the government disfavors.

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on HR7 Jan 22, 2015

On Immigration: No-Fly list against Muslims is unconstitutional

Muslim communities in the U.S. have faced a disturbing wave of bigotry and outright hostility, including vicious rhetoric from presidential candidates. Some of the issues we've specifically focused on include:
Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on Muslim Ban Nov 14, 2014

On Government Reform: Congressional term limits are unconstitutional

In U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (May 22, 1995), the Court effectively ended the movement to enact term limits for Congress on a state-by-state basis. In a lengthy majority opinion written by Justice Stevens, the Court held that the qualifications for Congress established in the Constitution itself were "fixed" and could not be amended by the states without a constitutional amendment. The Court's opinion rested heavily on history and the Court's concept of federalism. (The dissent had a very different view of federalism and the result it commanded in this case.) In a critical passage, Justice Stevens wrote that the notion of congressional term limits violates the "fundamental principle of our representative democracy 'that the people should chose whom they please to govern them.'" The ACLU submitted an amicus brief arguing that congressional term limits were unconstitutional under the Qualifications Clause.
Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on US Term Limits Nov 7, 2014

On Education: End suspension of students for willful defiance of authority

Legislative Summary: AB420: This bill would eliminate the authority to suspend a pupil in kindergarten or grades 1 to 3, and the authority to recommend for expulsion a pupil in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, for disrupting school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of those school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties.

Analysis by ACLU of Northern California, Oct 20, 2014: Gov. Brown signed AB 420 which will eliminate the most extreme uses of harsh discipline under the category of "willful defiance." Gov. Brown's signature on AB420 represents a huge step forward for students in California. The enactment of AB 420 places our state at the front of the pack: we are leading in making meaningful advancements in civil liberties as other states turn in the opposition direction.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 24-8-8 on Aug/19/14; Passed Assembly 62-16-1 on Aug/21/14; Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sep/27/14

Source: ACLU of Northern California: analysis of voting record AB420 Oct 20, 2014

On Government Reform: Don't require "complete" ID on absentee ballots

SB 205 revises the law regarding the mailing of absent voter's ballots, permitting election boards to discard votes cast where an absentee ballot identification envelope is "incomplete," in addition to the current language of "insufficient."

ACLU-Ohio opinion on this bill: While SB 205 does make some positive improvements for voters with disabilities, it fails on several fronts to make voting easier for Ohioans. One of the most concerning aspects of SB 205 is the addition of the word "incomplete" in reference to a voter's absentee ballot identification envelope. Giving discretion to a few election officials to define exactly what this word means is likely to result in more ballots not being counted. Additionally, this language is overly broad and could violate federal law. The ACLU encourages the legislature to steer away from creating a "race to the bottom" by limiting ballot access of voters and contemplate more constructive ways to improve the absentee ballot process.

Source: ACLU commentary on Ohio legislative voting records: SB 205 Feb 21, 2014

On Government Reform: Keep "Golden Week" for registration and early voting

SB 238 shortens the early, in-person voting period by eliminating the week-long window where voters may simultaneously register to vote and cast an early in-person ballot (otherwise known as "Golden Week")

ACLU-Ohio opinion on this bill: SB 238 moves Ohio election administration in the wrong direction. Eliminating "Golden Week" and shortening the early voting period will needlessly complicate the voting process and place additional burdens on voters. Voters with disabilities, seniors, the homeless, new residents, people with a lack of transportation, among many others, have utilized Golden Week as a flexible way to register & vote simultaneously. While the bill's sponsors may point to concerns over possible voting irregularities, there is almost no evidence to justify those fears. Rather than seeking to curtail the ability of voters to cast their ballot more easily, Ohio's legislators should strive to provide a fair, flexible and secure system that benefits all voters.

Source: ACLU commentary on Ohio legislative voting records: SB 238 Feb 21, 2014

On Homeland Security: Require a warrant to get location info from cell phones

LD415: An Act To Require a Warrant To Obtain the Location Information of a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device

Veto message:This bill simply goes too far. To obtain location data on a cell phone currently, police obtain a court order. This allows them to access historic--not real-time--location data. Many crimes would not have been solved if this law had been in place.

Summary by the ACLU: "We are thrilled that the legislature recognized the importance of protecting Mainers' privacy and stepped up to make sure this bill became law," said the Executive Director of the ACLU of Maine. "As technologies advance, it's important that the law keeps up. With these warrant requirements in place, privacy protections in Maine are among the strongest in the nation."

Legislative outcome:Vetoed by Gov. LePage 7/8/13; Override Passed House 125-17-9, Roll Call #442 on 7/9; Passed Senate 22-11-2, Roll Call #369 on 7/9.

Source: ACLU on Maine legislative voting records: LD415 Jul 9, 2013

On Drugs: Drug testing for welfare is ineffective and unconstitutional

Drug testing welfare recipients as a condition of eligibility is a policy that is scientifically, fiscally, and constitutionally unsound. The 1996 Welfare Reform Act authorized--but did not require--states to impose mandatory drug testing as a condition of eligibility. No states currently [do so because]:
Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on Welfare Weed Mar 2, 2012

On Immigration: Let DREAMers join military, whether legal or not

The DREAM Act promotes fundamental fairness for young people by allowing access to affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities, regardless of immigration status, and would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school.

The US has dropped from first in the world in our number of college graduates to ninth, which has had a dramatic impact on our country's economy. The DREAM Act could result in billions of dollars in additional tax revenue from tapping the potential of DREAM-eligible students and future service personnel.

Since September 11, 2001, more than 69,000 immigrants have earned citizenship while serving, and more than 125 who entered military service after that date have made the ultimate sacrifice in war by giving their lives for this nation.

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on DREAMers Jun 28, 2011

On Government Reform: Requiring voter ID means disenfranchisement

Excerpts from HB 934:If a voter has a religious objection to being photographed [such as Amish populations], a valid-without-photo ID card will serve as photo ID. ID documents must be unexpired, except for military ID's, which do not designate an expiration date. The Commonwealth shall disseminate information to the public regarding the ID requirements, including the availability of ID cards other than driver licenses.

ACLU Analysis: "A vote for this bill is a vote to disenfranchise U.S. citizens," said the legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. "Research indicates that as much as 11 percent of U.S. citizens do not have government-issued photo identification. But they have the right to vote. Why is the State House afraid of the voters?"

Legislative outcome: Bill passed House, 108-88-7 on June 23, 2011; State Rep. Jim Christiana voted YEA; bill passed Senate, 26-23-1, on March 7, 2012; signed by Governor Tom Corbett on March 12, 2012

Source: ACLU analysis: Pennsylvania legislative voting record: HB934 Jun 23, 2011

On Education: Oppose private and religious school voucher programs

The ACLU urges Congress to oppose the Scholarships for Opportunity Results (SOAR) Act, legislation to restart and expand Washington DC's failed private and religious school voucher pilot program. Originally started as a five-year pilot program in 2004, making it the nation's first and only federally-funded private and religious school voucher program, the DC voucher program should not be reauthorized or expanded.

Under the federal voucher pilot program, funds were provided to schools even though they infuse their curricular materials with specific religious content and even though they are not covered by many of the nation's civil rights statutes that would otherwise protect students against discrimination. Additionally, each of the congressionally-mandated studies to explore the pilot program concluded that the voucher program had no significant effect on the academic achievement of students who used vouchers, including targeted students from "schools in need of improvement."

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on SOAR Mar 29, 2011

On Abortion: Oppose new fees & inspections for abortion clinics

HB171: This bill amends provisions of the Health Care Facility Licensing and Inspection Act in relation to abortion clinics.

ACLU-Utah case to vote NO: H.B. 171 unfairly subjects Utah's three existing women's health clinics which offer abortions to twice a year inspections and higher government fees. Placing unnecessary regulations on physicians and the clinics in which they practice is bad public policy that stifles the doctor-patient relationship.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 47-25-3 on Mar/7/11; Passed Senate 22-6-1 on Mar/9/11; State Sen. Ben McAdams voted NO; Signed by Governor Gary Herbert on Mar/22/11

Source: ACLU-Utah on Utah legislative voting records HB171 Mar 26, 2011

On Abortion: Title X is effective but needs much more funding

Almost 17 million women need publicly supported contraceptive care. Many of these women rely on Title X to provide high-quality family planning services and other preventive health care they could otherwise not afford and would not get. Title X is a vital part of our nation's public health infrastructure, serving over 5 million low-income women and men at 4,500 clinics nationwide. Title X services help women and men to plan the number and timing of their pregnancies, thereby helping to prevent approximately one million unintended pregnancies, nearly half of which would end in abortion.

A government review of Title X family planning services confirms that the program serves a unique and valuable purpose, is cost-effective, and is effectively managed. However, current funding is inadequate. Had Title X funding kept up with inflation it would now be funded at nearly $700 million. We ask that Title X be funded at $375 million, which is $92 million above its current funding level.

Source: ACLU voting recommendation on Planned Parenthood Jan 1, 2007

On Crime: VAWA is effective in reducing domestic violence and stalking

The ACLU stated its support of the reauthorization of VAWA in a July 27, 2005 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Violence Against Women Act: "VAWA is one of the most effective pieces of legislation enacted to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It has dramatically improved the law enforcement response to violence against women and has provided critical services necessary to support women & children in their struggle to overcome abusive situations."
Source: ACLU voting recommendation on VAWA Jul 27, 2005

The above quotations are from ACLU congressional voting recommendations.
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Page last updated: Aug 26, 2021