February 28, 2013 — In an interview with Politico, Ilyse Hogue, the new president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said she is calling for a more "dynamic" definition of "choice" that encompasses policies that enable women to decide "how and when and with whom they have a family." Although Hogue has yet to release the specifics of her agenda, she spoke with Politico last week about broadening the group's policy priorities.
Choice "will always be access to safe and legal abortion," Hogue said, adding, "But that's the beginning of the conversation." Ensuring women's reproductive rights also includes issues like access to fertility treatment for low-income women and universal paid family leave policies, "so that when you choose to become a parent you actually have the ability to do it," she said.
Hogue also pledged to move away from a primarily reactive response to antiabortion-rights legislation. NARAL intends to "put together a proactive agenda and do some offensive work," instead of "spending all of our time responding to crazier and crazier bills," she said.
State-level activism will be essential, she noted. States are "where we're seeing the most regressive legislation and where we see the opportunity to sort of shape the future," she said, adding, "It is our job to actually marshal that energy and turn it into a visible force that can't be denied by policymakers and then use that force as is appropriate to pass legislation and get ballot initiatives on the measure and elect pro-choice candidates" (Smith, Politico, 2/28).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership