By Dave Andrusko
Lisa Lerer, described as a “national political correspondent for The New York Times, covering campaigns, elections and political power,” wrote a piece today describing NARAL Pro-Choice America’s latest attempt to better position itself politically by changing its name, yet again:
Reproductive Freedom for All is the fourth name change for the organization, which started as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws in 1969. After Roe was decided in 1973, it became the National Abortion Rights Action League. Reproductive Rights was added to its name in 1993. Then, in 2003, the group became NARAL Pro-Choice America, a change that coincided with a multimillion-dollar effort to make abortion a central topic in the 2004 presidential election.
Whatever its name now is, we know that over the years it spends a boatload of money trying to figure out how to frame what it does—aborting helpless babies– in obscurities. Lerer begins
NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the country’s largest advocacy groups for abortion rights, announced on Wednesday that it had changed its name, a switch that illustrates the issue’s shifting politics after the Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights.
For decades, abortion rights activists cast their mission as a fight over health care and women’s rights. NARAL’s new name — Reproductive Freedom for All — is intended to align the group’s goals with a different argument: In the post-Roe era, the battle for abortion access is a fight for fundamental freedoms.
Its president feels “pro-choice” is “particularly dated” in a post-Roe era.
“Pro-choice” does not resonate with the moderate, younger and male voters who have become more engaged since the Supreme Court ended the nationwide right to abortion last year, said Mini Timmaraju, NARAL’s president. The group’s old name also failed, she said, to reflect the work of Black and Hispanic women long on the front lines of the fight for abortion access.
“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 Lerer. “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.”
Complementing the name change, as Lerer explains,
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.
A couple of observations.
The change to Reproductive Freedom for All is an admission that previous names not only failed but signaled the truth of what it actually promotes: killing unborn babies. With an even less honest admission of its stock and trade, the Abortion Lobby hopes that the public will fasten its attention on “freedom for all.”
Lerer keenly observes
The abortion rights movement has shifted its message from talking about abortion as health care to casting the legality of the procedure as an American liberty. It’s a message NARAL has been pushing since 2018, when an internal research project found the argument to be the most broadly persuasive.
So after spending millions and millions of dollars promoting the slogan “abortion as health care,” NARAL understood that the persuasive power of that mantra has largely run its course. Expanding the size of the Supreme Court and eliminating the filibuster are blunt instruments which pro-abortionists hide under “casting the legality of the procedure as an American liberty.”
Whether it calls itself the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, the National Abortion Rights Action League, NARAL Pro-Choice America, or Reproductive Freedom for All, its objective remains the same: facilitating and expanding the deaths of millions of unborn children.