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Celebrating Ilyse Hogue’s One-Year Anniversary With NARAL Pro-Choice America

Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America president, joined us exactly one year ago, and wow, what a first year it’s been! Twenty-four states passed 53 anti-choice measures in 2013, and Ilyse is taking the battle for reproductive freedom head on. From tackling extreme anti-choice legislation and holding anti-choice politicians accountable, to helping elect pro-choice elected officials who campaigned on a woman’s right to choose, to taking the pro-choice fight into the states and expanding reproductive freedom, we’re going on offense.

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See what we’ve accomplished since Ilyse joined NARAL Pro-Choice America!

Shortly after Ilyse began her role as president, illegal back-alley abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania become national news for abusing women who came to him in desperation.

Ilyse spoke out against Gosnell, explaining that he preyed on these women because Pennsylvania and surrounding states that have extreme abortion restrictions force women to seek out care in unsafe places. She didn’t let the anti-choice movement use Gosnell to advance a message that legal abortion is dangerous.

In 2013, anti-choice state politicians kept up their attacks on women’s reproductive freedom,

like when North Dakota passed a six-week abortion ban and South Dakota worsened its mandatory delay law by forcing women to wait 12 hours before they get abortion care, excluding holidays.

Under Ilyse’s leadership, we mobilized our local supporters alongside our state affiliates to call out these extreme politicians for taking away our rights.

As anti-choice politicians felt the rising public backlash, they cheated and broke their own rules to pass extreme abortion restrictions.

In Ohio, they jammed anti-choice restrictions into the state budget, and in North Carolina they attached anti-abortion measures to a” motorcycle safety bill” of all things.

In Texas, Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibustered for 13 hours to stop a bill that would close down all but five of reproductive-health clinics throughout the state from getting passed...

but anti-choice members of the state legislature changed the rules to force it through to the governor’s desk.

In Nebraska, we rallied our activists after a judge denied a young women’s petition to have an abortion saying it would “kill the child inside” her.

Ilyse not only led the charge against anti-choice forces, she worked with pro-choice candidates so that we have more elected leaders who trust women.

We helped to elect pro-choice Ed Markey to the U.S. Senate where he ran against extreme anti-choice Gabriel Gomez in Massachusetts, holding a critical seat in the pro-choice column.

Ilyse is building strong relationships with established and up-and-coming pro-choice champions so that we can help them pass pro-choice legislation that expands reproductive-health care for women and families.

Having a pro-choice majority made all the difference in California, where Gov. Brown signed legislation to expand access to reproductive-health care by increasing the number of medical professionals who can provide early abortion care.

Ilyse also led a campaign to honor and celebrate pro-choice men, who are every bit a part of the pro-choice movement. We held our first annual Men For Choice event, and it was a great success!

And continuing our work to engage supporters over many generations, we launched our Choice Out Loud writing contest to encourage young authors across the nation to share their stories about what being pro-choice means to them.

We’ve been working our butts off under Ilyse’s leadership to expand women’s access to safe, legal abortion, and that’s exactly what we’re going to keep doing in 2014.

Ilyse is a great leader and so much fun to work with. She's shifted the focus of the organization to go on offense and hold anti-choice forces accountable for endangering women's health.

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