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August 24, 2020 / Press Releases

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue Denounces Inclusion of Anti-Choice Extremist Abby Johnson at the Republican National Convention


For Immediate Release: August 24, 2020

Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

Washington, DC — This week, the RNC will feature anti-choice extremist Abby Johnson as a speaker, showcasing how the Republican party wholeheartedly embraces peddlers of dangerous disinformation and promotes an agenda rooted in misogyny and racism to rile up Trump’s base. Johnson’s inclusion is the latest example of Republicans’ efforts to advance their wildly unpopular anti-choice agenda and exposes just how out of touch they are with the vast majority of Americans who support reproductive freedom.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response:

“For decades the Republican party has weaponized the issue of abortion to advance their broader agenda of power and control. Their elevation of anti-choice extremist Abby Johnson is just the latest example of a party that’s gone off the rails with its backwards values and dangerous goals. In the midst of a public health crisis, Trump and Republicans remain laser focused on pushing their radical agenda and spreading disinformation at the expense of the health and safety of millions of Americans. 

Instead of meeting this moment of national crisis with leadership, Republicans are choosing to uplift figures like Johnson who stoke the flames of racism, misogyny, and ideological extremism. This week’s events are just a preview of what we should expect out of another four years of Donald Trump, and illustrate the imperative of voting him out of office.” 

Over the last four years, Trump and the GOP have worked tirelessly to attack reproductive freedom and deploy disinformation, advancing their radical ideological agenda and undermining our democracy at every turn. If the RNC speaker lineup is any indication, we are likely to see a wide variety of vile untruths and offensive comments in all directions, including disinformation-ridden attacks on abortion — a tactic Trump and the Republican party deploy to rile up the radical anti-choice base to distract from their scandals and mismanagement. This hateful rhetoric and blatant disinformation stands in stark contrast to the views of the 77% of Americans who support the legal right to abortion. The vast majority of Americans, including even a majority of Republicans, believe that a woman should be free to make personal decisions about pregnancy with the support of those she loves and trusts, without politicians in Washington, DC and state capitals interfering.

Similar to Trump’s campaign rallies, which are proven breeding grounds for disinformation about abortion (e.g. North CarolinaSouth CarolinaColorado, and Dallas), the RNC is sure to be a hotbed of misleading and charged rhetoric. Trump and other extremists consistently draw from the anti-choice playbook by demonizing people who’ve had an abortion and using inflammatory language about abortion that defies medical expertise or bears little or no connection to reality. In covering Trump’s attacks on abortion, it’s critical to avoid inadvertently parroting right-wing talking points or facilitating the spread of disinformation. A new report released by NARAL in partnership with Global Strategy Group, “Accurate and Unbiased? A deep dive into how the media covers abortion in the US,” may be a useful resource. 

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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.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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