With abortion rights under severe threat, 50 state campaign will focus on protecting and expanding access at the state level
For Immediate Release: January 22, 2019
On the 46th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, NARAL is launching a new major campaign called the “Reality of Roe” to educate Americans in all 50 states about the current threat to the legal right to abortion and reproductive freedom in their communities, and to mobilize its 2 million members to take action in support of protecting and expanding access. As the fate of Roe hangs in the balance, women’s access to safe and legal abortion will largely be determined at the state level. NARAL’s “Reality of Roe” campaign will work to secure policy victories where opportunities exist—especially as a result of electoral gains at the state level in the 2018 elections —and defend against major legislative threats.
Statement from NARAL President Ilyse Hogue:
“We launched the ‘Reality of Roe’ campaign because the fight to protect and expand access to abortion is urgent and is fundamentally about our freedom. This is our fight, and all of our futures are on the line. The rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade are fundamental to women’s ability to be equal partners in society, to determine our own destinies, and make the most personal decisions about our bodies, lives and health. For far too long, many women’s ability to actually access these rights has been subject to her zip code, income level, and race, and the time is now to change this reality for every single person in this country needing abortion care.
“Anti-choice politicians and the extreme, out-of-touch institutions that put them in power are hellbent on gutting Roe, and the U.S. Supreme Court is now tipped in their favor. In some states, laws are already dangerously restrictive and now, they stand ready to criminalize abortion completely, punishing women and providers as they do so.
“But 2019 holds real promise for progress. The same forces that helped us elect record gains in pro-choice legislators a few short months ago stand ready to fight back with all we have. More state legislatures can—and should—protect the right to abortion by enshrining the protections of Roe into law or repealing outdated and dangerous criminal penalties on abortion. Doing so will impact lives in those states, send a message to lawmakers across the country, and pave the way for other states to follow suit.
“We have seen first-hand that people jump into action once they understand how dire and immediate the threats to our rights are—and if the last election taught us anything, it’s that when we show up, we win. This is the fight NARAL’s 2 million members were made for.”
- In Nevada, a state that now has a new pro-choice governor and Democratic majorities in the Assembly and Senate, NARAL is focused on passing the pro-choice “Trust Nevada Women Act” that is the first proactive abortion bill to advance reproductive freedom in the state since Roe v. Wade.
- Massachusetts made significant progress last year repealing archaic laws that criminalized abortion, but has yet to codify the right to abortion in state law. So NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts and advocates are supporting legislation to enshrine and expand the rights of Roe in the state and repeal other dangerous restrictions still on the books.
- Thanks to new pro-choice gains in the New York state senate, there is now a pathway to get their state laws in line with their values. Gov. Cuomo and leaders in the legislature have reaffirmed their commitment to codify Roe and sign the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) at the start of session, and NARAL members are continuing their work to support passage of this landmark legislation.
- California has long been a leader on reproductive rights and it’s more important than ever for it to continue that legacy by passing the College Student Right to Access Act that would require all on-campus student health centers at public universities to offer medication abortion for students. NARAL is supporting this legislation alongside a broad coalition of organizations to make this a reality.
- Multiple court cases of laws that restrict reproductive freedom are on the verge of reaching the Supreme Court. For more information on the state of play, see here.
Through “Reality of Roe” NARAL will also continue fighting in places to hold the line against further attacks to prevent worse outcomes for women living in states where dangerous restrictions have already been passed. NARAL will continue to shine a light on the extreme ideology and hypocrisy of the anti-choice movement pushing their dangerous legislation on millions of women.
For more information, visit RealityofRoe.com.
Also, see here for Anna North’s story (“Roe v. Wade is at risk, but abortion rights groups see surprising opportunities for gains”) in Vox on the “Reality of Roe” campaign.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”