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What? Another name change for NARAL Pro-Choice American?

by | Dec 26, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

My excuse for not catching the latest name-change is that the abortion group now known as “Reproductive Justice for All” changes so often it makes your head spin. Originally known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then the National Abortion Rights Action League [NARAL] then the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, it morphed into NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2003 before settling in on its latest incarnation.

The newest iteration became official, I learned today, on September 20, 2023, according to Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press. “The rebrand was needed to better reflect how people think about abortion access little more than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court revoked the constitutional right to the procedure, according to the advocacy organization,” Kruesi wrote. “The fight for abortion rights and access is at a critical moment. With the coalition of Americans who support reproductive freedom growing by the day, our leadership identified a clearer and more inclusive path forward to mobilize this new and expanded base of support,’ said Mini Timmaraju, president of the group, in a statement.”

In truth what that means is that abortion groups have expanded their outreach to include issues that have zero to do with abortion and lots and lots to do with potentially adding new members. The AP’s Kruesi explains this in a typically evasive manner:

For decades, abortion-rights advocates used the term “pro-choice” while pushing for policies protecting reproductive rights and women’s health services. But when the nation’s highest court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, supporters and opponents of abortion rights scrambled to adjust their messaging in a country where individual states now determine abortion laws.

Lisa Lerer of the New York Times is much more blunt:

“NARAL is incredibly resonant for the political world, but we’re not necessarily in the business anymore of just winning political opinion within elected officials and policymakers,” Ms. Timmaraju told the Times. “We are now in a much bigger fight for the heart and soul of the American people and those are folks who are brand-new to the abortion debate.”

According to Lerer

Along with the new name, the group plans to increase its focus on state organizing and to adopt a broader approach, joining causes like eliminating the Senate filibuster, supporting voting rights and expanding the Supreme Court.

So how does the new name fit the changing environment? Kruesi writes elliptically

Reproductive Freedom for All reflects that abortion restrictions are just another form of the government intruding on individual freedom — an argument activists have increasingly focused on over the past year, the group said.

Get it? The one thing that the pro-abortion heavyweights have learned is the further away their name moves away from telling people what they actually do—kill millions and millions of helpless unborn babies—the better off they are. “Reproductive Freedom for All” is gauzy enough to persuade some people that that they are not the awful people they truly, truly are.

Categories: NARAL