New NARAL Leader Poised To Stop 'Playing Defense,' Reclaim Repro Rights Agenda

February 19, 2013 — NARAL Pro-Choice America will stop "playing defense all the time" and work to create a more proactive abortion-rights movement, new NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in an interview with the Huffington Post.

"I think our biggest challenge and opportunity as a movement is to not play on [opponents'] field all the time, not respond to every crazy bill, but to start to reclaim what is essentially a debate about a medical procedure into a values-driven conversation about how women are treated in this society," Hogue said.

NARAL will counter the antiabortion-rights movement's strategy of "death by a thousand cuts" by pushing for a "bill of women's rights," as well as legislation in receptive states to expand abortion access, Hogue said. The idea behind the women's bill of rights is to expand the conversation beyond abortion to other areas of reproductive health and women's rights. "We're going [to] be here for you when you choose to have a child, whether that means you want fertility treatment to be able to have that child, or whether that means we can do a lot better for working mothers," she said.

With regard to NARAL's sway among younger advocates, Hogue said she does not plan to rebrand the organization or explicitly focus on appealing to a certain generation. "I see no reason why we can't ... honor the past, and find a way to make it relevant for young people today," she stated (Bassett, Huffington Post, 2/14).