Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America has exciting news to share: We are charting a new path forward as Reproductive Freedom for All.
For the last 54 years, our organization and members have unapologetically helped lead the charge on both the state and national levels to protect and advance reproductive freedom through grassroots organizing, electoral change, and political advocacy.
Now, we are in a unique and pivotal moment for our movement and work. In the time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the American people have, at every turn, shown that they support reproductive freedom.
Seeing the horrific consequences of abortion bans, they’ve turned out at the ballot box to safeguard abortion access through ballot measures, they’ve elected leaders who champion their rights up and down the ballot, and they’ve shown up time and again to say that their reproductive freedom is not up for negotiation.
Even before the Court struck down Roe, 8 in 10 Americans supported the legal right to abortion. That includes voters in red, blue, and purple states — and people across the political and ideological spectrum.
Reproductive Freedom for All is a demand. It’s a call to action. And it’s a vision of the future we’re fighting for.
With this in mind, we knew we needed to mobilize those who are already with us and expand our base of support to those our organization wasn’t yet reaching, and that’s exactly what we’re doing to meet this moment.
We recognize that our big wins in the year since Dobbs have been delivered by a diverse, inclusive coalition of voters, bolstering our belief that those who are most impacted by abortion bans must be centered in our work to realize the future that we’re fighting for. That includes Black, Latina/o/x, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous people; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; people with disabilities, and other historically oppressed communities.
And as we have learned from our partners in the reproductive justice movement, the term “pro-choice” does not reflect the realities of those most affected by attacks on abortion access and reproductive freedom at large. For many—and especially for communities of color and others who are marginalized by our society’s institutions, there was never a choice.
Reproductive Freedom for All is an affirmation of our values that acknowledges that our fight won’t be won until reproductive freedom is truly a reality for each of us.
So while our core mission isn’t changing, our vision for how we get there is. Our more than 4 million members are fired up, and we want more of the growing numbers of Americans who support abortion access to join them so we can create a more powerful and diverse coalition.
We won’t just be expanding our organizing program, we’ll be reinvigorating it—with an emphasis on digital organizing—to further build the infrastructure needed to fuel our fight. We’ll be ramping up on both the state and national levels, continuing to mobilize our members to take action and do whatever it takes to protect, restore, and expand abortion rights and access.
Knowing that young people are the most affected by abortion bans and are the future of our movement, we’ll also be expanding our college campus organizing program, with an emphasis on community colleges, which we piloted in Michigan in 2022, to Nevada and Arizona.
We will continue to pioneer innovative research and drive cutting-edge messaging while leading the way when it comes to uncovering ways to reach these new audiences—who we know support us, but who don’t yet show up in our member rolls.
We’ll be on the ground floor alongside our partners in key electoral races in 2023 and 2024, working to ensure reproductive champions are elected from statehouses to the White House and that we protect and expand abortion rights and access through ballot measures.
And knowing that we cannot make true reproductive freedom a reality without protecting our democracy, we’ll continue to engage in these fights— from voting rights to court reform to filibuster reform. We understand that the systemic undermining of our democracy has impacted Black people, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and young people most, and we must strengthen our democracy for any of us to live our lives freely.
While our new name and promise to double down on our organizing work are exciting changes, we haven’t forgotten where we started.
Together, we’ve accomplished so much since abortion rights activists Pat Maginnis, Rowena Gurner, and Lana Phelan, the “Army of Three,” formed the precursor to our organization, and since NARAL’s founding as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws just a few years later in 1969.
That same year, trailblazer Shirley Chisolm was named our honorary co-president.
We were there in 1975 when NARAL National Executive Director Karen Mulhauser represented our organization at the first UN conference on the status of women in Mexico City.
In 1982, NARAL Executive Director Nanette Falkenberg helped lead our organization’s fight to elect leaders who could be counted on to champion our fundamental rights.
Then in 1987, we worked alongside our partners and played an instrumental role in defeating President Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
In 1991, while fighting the nomination of anti-abortion Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, NARAL President Kate Michelman testified before the Senate, publicly sharing her pre-Roe abortion story.
With Nancy Keenan at the helm, we helped send Barack Obama to the White House in 2008 and elect more than two dozen new members of Congress who would fight for abortion rights—and were right by the president’s side the next year when he repealed the anti-abortion Global Gag Rule.
And then in 2016, not only was NARAL President Ilyse Hogue a part of the Democratic Party’s platform and drafting committees, which called for the repeal of the Hyde and Helms Amendment, but she joined the DNC stage and made history when she shared her own abortion story.
With Mini Timmaraju, our current president, at the helm, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice by further implementing our Roadmap to Equity, a component of our organization’s strategic plan that outlines our commitments and lays out our steps forward as we continue to build an inclusive culture, cultivate staff engagement, and ensure transparency.
And in the midterms just last year, we mobilized like never before in the wake of the Dobbs decision and put a stop to the predicted “Red Wave,” making massive, important gains in places like Michigan, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
From pushing the Democratic Party to embrace reproductive freedom and abortion as a winning issue to unseating anti-abortion Democrats to working alongside our partners to push our champions in Congress to take up ending the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, we have refused to back down from our fight.
We’ve built and championed powerful statewide efforts alongside our partners to flip legislatures, block egregious abortion bans and restrictions, and expand abortion coverage and access.
We’ve pioneered and deployed ground-breaking messaging on reproductive freedom, launched a first-of-its-kind opposition research program, helped lead a coalition in opposition to the confirmation of extremist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and so much more.
We are so proud of the legacy we’ve built together at NARAL, and we’re excited about the opportunity this change will bring us to.
As we begin a new chapter, we know that our work is far from over.
Together, we are ready to build something bigger, something better, something more powerful, and something that includes and fights for all of us.
We hope you’ll join us.