Abortion-rights group rebrands to Reproductive Freedom for All in post-Roe world

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BY KIMBERLEE KRUESI

NARAL Pro-Choice America, an influential abortion-rights group, announced Wednesday that it is changing its name to Reproductive Freedom for All.

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.

“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.

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.

Democratic-led states have largely fought to strengthen abortion access while Republican-led states have worked to restrict or outright ban it. Fifteen states ban abortion at all stages, most with some exceptions. Two others have banned it once cardiac activity can be detected, which is around six weeks.

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.

“Reproductive Freedom for All is a demand, a call to action, and a vision of the future we’re fighting for. Together, we’re going to make that vision come true,” Timmaraju said.

The group plans to connect abortion access with the need to protect individual freedoms heading into the 2024 election as abortion will be a key issue on the state level in legislative and ballot battles. Two years prior, abortion was critical in securing big midterm wins for Democrats. They held on to control in the Senate and supporters prevailed in all six states where the issue was on the ballot.

A measure to ensure abortion access is on the November ballot in Ohio after withstanding legal challenges. It would have faced a harder path if voters hadn’t rejected a measure in August that would have required at least 60% of the vote to amend the state constitution.

Measures on abortion are also expected to be on voters’ ballots in 2024 in ArizonaMarylandNew York and South Dakota where advocates are pushing to enshrine abortion protections in state constitutions.

Reproductive Freedom for All has gone through several name changes since it was founded in 1969 and launched as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.

The group became the National Abortion Rights Action League when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, and switched to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League 20 years later. By 2003, it became NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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