Ilyse Hogue
Jan 5, 2016 · 5 min read

5 Reasons Why NARAL Pro-Choice America Is Endorsing Hillary Clinton. Our Champion.

The 2016 primary season is upon us. Here at NARAL Pro-Choice America, the PAC Committee, the staff, and I — as president of the organization — have spent the last several months considering options on endorsing a candidate in what is the most important presidential race of our lifetimes for women and reproductive freedom. We talked with our members, we talked with candidates, and we looked at the landscape before us.

The Republican Party obviously offers us no options, although that hasn’t always been true,even in my lifetime. But in 2016, even though 7 in 10 Americans believe in legal access to abortion, today’s Republican presidential candidates are locked in a competition to see who can be the most brutal to women. If any of the Republican candidates are elected to the White House, it will be open season on the fundamental freedoms that allow women to be fully participating members of society.

Among the Democrats, we are happy to report that all three candidates for president have perfect voting records on reproductive rights. In an ordinary year, that would be enough to wait to endorse until the general.

But the bottom line is that 2016 is no ordinary year. Women’s reproductive rights and, by proxy, our freedom and equality, are under attack like never before in my lifetime. As a nation, we stand at a crossroads: in one direction, we forge ahead into a future where policies match what people need to thrive in our careers and our families; in the other, our collective destiny is sacrificed to the backwards vision of an extreme minority.

And while all of the Democratic presidential candidates are worthy allies, to travel the path into the future, we need more than an ally. We need a champion, and Hillary Clinton is that champion — for all of us.

Here are our top five reasons to rally around Hillary for president in 2016:

1. A proven priority.

No one has shown as much leadership as Hillary on challenges too often written off as “women’s issues.” At every stage of her career, she has established innovative programs to help women facing challenging circumstances, whether they be rape victims in the Deep South, low-income new mothers, or women’s rights advocates in developing countries. Hillary’s now-famous speech in Beijing in 1995, defying the Chinese authorities to declare “women’s rights are human rights,” is only the highest-profile example in a lifetime of making the plight of women her priority. Our opportunities have always been a core part of her vision for a better future for all.

2. Women are the economy, stupid.

Women expect to be in the workplace for our entire reproductive lives — both when we are not ready to parent and when we are growing our families. That makes being able to decide if and when to expand our families a foundational economic issue. Even if we had the best access to sex education and contraception, pregnancy anti-discrimination laws, and paid family leave — which is still a pipe dream in our country — unintended pregnancy remains a fact of life, and can represent a huge economic hardship. That’s why 6 in 10 women who seek abortion are mothers trying to do right by the families they already have. And with half of American households depending on a female breadwinner, there’s no such thing as economic security without reproductive freedom. Secretary Clinton understands the connection between economic advancement and gender equality better than anyone else running.

3. A woman’s place is in the White House.

There’s a common misperception that anti-choice activists and politicians want to end abortion. They do, but it’s only one piece of their greater goal. If it was really about abortion, they would join with us and fight for accurate sex education, full access to contraception and policies to support working moms. Instead, they fight against all of those things. The anti-choice ideology holds that women should be subservient. Anti-choice activists oppose a woman’s right to an abortion, because they understand that if women can’t control their own reproduction, everything else we aspire to moves further from reach. It’s hard to imagine a more definitive statement that that world is in the past — that women are full partners in our society, and they have full rights to live their own lives as only they see fit — than to elect a pro-choice woman to the highest office in the land.

4. Silence is surrender.

Silent support in the face of extreme opposition has led us to the crisis women now face in our country. Even Democrats who claim to champion women’s rights are too often unwilling to discuss the most basic and profound right of all — the right of a woman to make decisions about her own body, to decide whether and when to grow her family. And that silence has allowed an extreme minority to create our current crisis, where far too many women cannot access abortion when they need it. Abortion access has never been Hillary Clinton’s sole or even signature issue — her concerns and expertise range far too widely for that. But she has never left it out, never shied away from talking about it, because she knows that’s a sure way to lose a right we can’t afford to sacrifice.

5. The stakes are too high.

If our laws respected women, if our constitutional rights were secure, if every federal budget was not seen as one more opportunity to undermine our health care, any candidate who supported women’s reproductive rights would do. But today, at least 87 percent of counties in America have no abortion providers. Today, most American mothers are forced to return to work two weeks after childbirth, if they were lucky enough to keep their jobs in the first place. Today, our right to basic contraception is being challenged under the guise of religious liberty and the Supreme Court is considering whether or not to allow states to put all of their abortion providers out of business. Today, the status quo is crisis. But today, the country is hungry for a vision of what healthy, thriving families could look like, where women are empowered to lead productive lives, and where public policy and political rhetoric matches the real lives women lead every day in America. Hillary Clinton has that vision and gives us our best chance to get there.

We know Hillary will be the champion for women and a champion for all. Now, let’s elect her president and make history!

Check out a detailed history of Hillary’s record on NARAL’s website, and be sure to sign our petition to show you stand with her.

Ilyse Hogue

Written by

President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Proud Texan. Pastimes include #sharkweek & hound dogs. Love new ideas, so bring 'em.