For Immediate Release: August 11, 2020
Washington, DC — NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement today after Vice President Joe Biden announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential race:
“Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Joe Biden not only form a historic ticket, but will also be the perfect ticket to beat Trump in November. Sen. Harris is a tremendous leader who throughout her career has understood how central the freedom to make our own decisions about our own families is to surviving and thriving in this country.
Especially during a pandemic and unprecedented economic and social uncertainty, voters want leadership that focuses on fact-driven policy—not an administration consumed with pushing its own ideological agenda. Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris’ commitment to our fundamental rights will be critical to turning out the vote. As a Black woman who has broken barrier after barrier in her career, we know that Sen. Harris brings tremendous strength to this campaign and will galvanize voters who are gravely concerned about the crisis in reproductive freedom we face.
Americans are struggling. They are looking for compassion and conviction in their leaders, instead of the cruelty and cronyism that has defined the Trump administration. Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris have shown that they listen to women and families and support policies to help us get ahead—not to grind an ideological ax that is about maintaining control. With our rights and our freedoms under relentless assault by Donald Trump and Mike Pence, our 2.5 million members are ready to mobilize and fight for a better future by electing Biden and Sen. Harris in November.”
Sen. Harris has earned a 100% voting record in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Choice every year she has served in the U.S. Senate. She has cosponsored critical legislation to protect and advance reproductive freedom, including the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) to protect our right to access abortion care free from medically unnecessary restrictions and bans, the Global HER Act to expand access to reproductive healthcare internationally by permanently ending the global gag rule, and the EACH Woman Act to block racist bans on abortion coverage like the Hyde Amendment once and for all.
NARAL Pro-Choice America was proud to endorse Vice President Biden last month, and his decision to run alongside Sen. Harris further underscores how deeply he understands what’s at stake when it comes to our fundamental rights and what it will take to win this November. Vice President Biden has outlined his commitment to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom and vowed to safeguard Roe v. Wade, only appoint judges who will respect Roe, support the end of racist and discriminatory abortion coverage bans like the Hyde Amendment, and use executive action to protect and expand access to abortion and contraception, including reversing Trump’s global and domestic gag rules. These commitments are critical given the threat Donald Trump poses to reproductive freedom and the values our nation holds dear.
Trump, Pence, and their enablers have worked tirelessly over the last four years to attack reproductive freedom and deploy disinformation to advance their radical ideological agenda and undermine our democracy. Trump was elected thanks in part to a boost from the Radical Right and he has held up his end of the bargain by pushing policies to roll back abortion access and stacking the federal judiciary with judges hostile to reproductive freedom and social progress—including Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
With an eye to anti-choice, anti-freedom extremists’ rampant use of disinformation about abortion to mislead and rile up voters, NARAL has done groundbreaking work to inoculate against and counter these attacks on reproductive freedom. And with our fundamental rights on the line, NARAL has embarked on its largest-ever electoral program for the 2020 election to reach 3.6 million voters in key states. NARAL plans to invest $34.7 million toward an integrated organizing, communications, digital, and political program designed to win races up and down the ballot, from statehouses to the White House. Key to NARAL’s strategy is reaching, persuading, and mobilizing key voter segments including soft-partisan persuadable women voters, and low-propensity, reproductive freedom voters who are motivated by Trump and Republicans’ commitment to ending Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women.
Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, joined other leading progressive organizations and leaders to counter the prevalence of sexism and misogyny in the lead-up to the announcement of the Democratic vice presidential nominee. That included a joint letter calling on media outlets to be intentional in their coverage of the Democratic nominee for vice president to avoid perpetuating racist and sexist tropes and stereotypes. NARAL also contributed to a newly released media guide from Ultraviolet that provides guidance to reporters on how to avoid sexist coverage.
The stakes are high—but NARAL Pro-Choice America was made for this moment. We know that abortion is front and center in 2020: 77% of Americans support the legal right to abortion and polling confirms reproductive freedom is a major issue for Democratic and Independent voters. Along with our 2.5 million members across every state and every congressional district in the country, we are mobilizing to make sure Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris take back the White House this November, and to help elect candidates up and down the ballot who will fight to ensure that every body can make their own decisions about their lives and their futures, free from political interference.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked 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. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power, and freedom. 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.”