Kate Michelman – USA

Linked with Naral Pro-Choice America,

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

In 2005, Kate Michelman announced that she was stepping down as president of Naral Pro-Choice America in order to help elect a pro-choice president of the USA. Under her leadership, Naral has become the nation’s premier reproductive rights group. Kate’s more than 20 years of advocacy have led to legalization of abortion and access to birth control information and devices. As she educates women about their bodies, Kate also awakens in them their right to autonomy and their right to live in a peaceful world, inspiring countless young women to join the struggle worldwide for women’s rights … She says: “I decided that one of the most important ways I could contribute to healthier children and families was to empower women to bring children into the world under circumstances of their own choosing” … (1000peacewomen 1/2).

Kate Michelman (born 1942) is an American political activist known for her involvement in the pro-choice movement. She served as president of NARAL from 1985 to 2004, and testified against Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in their respective confirmation hearings. She wrote her memoirs in With Liberty and Justice for All: A Life Spent Protecting the Right to Choose (2006). (wikipedia).

Her Bio also on the Harry Walker Agency; and on Source Watch.

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Kate Michelman – USA

She works for Naral Pro-Choice America.

Listen her video: Kate Michelman and Cate Edwards – Women’s Forum Webcast, 23 min, Nov 11, 2007.

Kate Michelman, The Public Face Of a Woman’s Right to Privacy, January 12, 2006.

Find her and her publications on think/exist.com with her quotes; on amazon; on Harry Walker Agency Inc.; on Google Video-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

She says also: … “They threaten women’s rights to reproductive freedom and choice. And they threaten the practice of medicine because they criminalize the doctor’s work” … and: “Bush uses often the slogan of compassionate conservative to describe himself. But it hardly describes the record he has compiled as governor when it comes to ensuring women’s reproductive health and rights. Last year alone, Governor Bush signed seven measures restricting rights, adding to the 11 provisions enacted in previous years” … (full text).

Fmr. NARAL Head Kate Michelman on Alito and Her Own Pre-Roe v Wade Experience Getting an Abortion and Consent From the Husband Who Abandoned Her, January 09, 2006.

Long ‘Roe’ to Hoe, By Frances Kissling & Kate Michelman, January 17, 2008.

And she says: … “The question I have been asking myself is how do we best bring America together in shared purpose, prosperity and, especially, equality. Barack Obama is also calling our nation to the greatness that we all want but that we’re uncertain we can still achieve. Many who had given up on politics are re-engaging. Many who had grown tolerant of the intolerable are now ready to demand more ­ and not just from themselves but others” … (full text, 3 Nov 2008).

She writes: … Senator Obama is not just prepared to lead ­ as our beloved Teddy and Caroline Kennedy have said, he is prepared to lead in a way different than we have seen for decades. Not out in front with us behind him, but rather with us beside him. And that difference is all the difference. That difference separates just any president from a great president; and right now, we need a great president. Barack Obama will be that great president. He will bring us all together. And together, we will change our country. During these past many years, we have lost the sense of what we could do together, who we could be, what was possible. That’s changing. And Barack Obama is the one changing that. With him, greatness is again within reach. (full text).

… But Kate Michelman, president of the pro-choice lobbying group, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, says that since winning control of Congress in 1994, Republicans have voted 81 times to restrict abortion rights, winning all but 10 of those votes. Pro-choice activists accuse the Republican Party of using its hold on Congress and many state legislatures to erode women’s right to abortions. According to the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League, in 1997 alone 31 states adopted laws limiting abortion rights … (full text).

She writes also: … It was 1970 – the year Roe came to court. I was a young mother with three daughters under the ages of five. My life was my family. Then one day my husband left. I was terrified. Suddenly I was alone in my responsibility to my children. I was a homemaker with no money, no job, no car. I was quickly forced onto welfare. Then – almost immediately after my husband left – I found I was pregnant. I was devastated. Physically, financially, emotionally – I couldn’t care for another child. Like most women, I never expected to even consider an abortion. I was a Catholic woman. Abortion was illegal. It was shrouded in shame and wrapped in danger. I couldn’t discuss abortion with my mother, my sister or my friends – let alone my priest. I had to struggle with the moral and ethical questions alone – to debate my obligations to my children against my responsibility to the developing life inside me. In the end, I chose my children. I chose abortion … (full text).

(1000peacewomen 2/2): … “We cannot, and we must not, shy away from discussing this as a moral issue. We should welcome that debate. Unless women can control our own bodies, we are unequal – and equality is a moral issue. Restrictions on abortion discriminate most harshly against women with the least power – and discrimination is a moral issue. Regulations on pregnancy insert government into the most intimate areas of our lives – and personal privacy is a moral issue.”

Kate began understanding the deep connections between a woman’s freedom to control her body and the quality of life she can create for herself and her children when she was a director of early childhood services at South Central Community Action in south central Pennsylvania. “That was rewarding work,” she told the National Press Club at an address in January 12, 2004. “There is nothing quite as satisfying as plopping down on the floor at work so a gaggle of kids can pile into your lap for story time.” As she worked with young families, often headed by single mothers, she saw the lasting consequences of poor environments on children.
“I decided that one of the most important ways I could contribute to healthier children and stronger families was to empower women to bring children into the world under circumstances of their own choosing,” she said.

Her education, drive, and compassion have allowed her to influence the lives of thousands of women. Her empathy also comes from personal understanding. In 1970, she was abandoned by her husband and left to care for her three young daughters alone. Shortly after her husband left, she discovered she was pregnant.

Raised in a Catholic family, her decision to abort was a lonely one, and made at a time when abortion was illegal except when a mother’s health or life were at stake. Even though the law interpreted the exception broadly, it required Kate to appear before an all-male hospital review panel to obtain permission for the abortion on the grounds that she was unstable and incapable of raising another child. The board granted her request – provided that her ex-husband also agreed. As she waited to get permission for the abortion, she carried with her the name and phone number of an illegal abortionist. Because her ex-husband agreed to the abortion, was performed legally.

“”For me, the seeds of activism were planted in my own searing, humiliating experience with a pre-Roe abortion,” she remembers.

In speeches, Kate is likely to ask her audiences three central questions: First, “Under what circumstances do we bring children into the world – and who makes the decision?” Second, “Should children be born by choice or under the heavy hand of government compulsion?” And third, “Should women be equal, contributing partners in society, or should they be held captive to their reproductive function for the entirety of their childbearing years? “In short, who decides? Women or government?”

Although the reproductive rights that Kate and NARAL have struggled to secure are taken for granted by many young people, Kate is the first to declare that these rights are at risk. Today’s laws reflect nearly 400 state restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, imposed by governors and state legislatures. Kate works in an environment in which the current president has become the only one in the nation’s history to make abortion a federal crime. A former executive director of Tri-County Planned Parenthood in Harrisburg, Penn., Kate has been on the front lines of a battle that often becomes dangerous. Although many of the country’s leaders seek to reverse freedoms granted by Roe v. Wade, Kate’s tireless message is that all men, women, and children benefit when women are free.

Kate’s influence has been well cited. In 1998, Vanity Fair named her one of America’s 200 most Influential Women and a year earlier named NARAL as one of the most influential special interest groups in Washington D.C. In 1994, Fortune Magazine named NARAL one of the top ten advocacy groups in America.

“Kate has been such a powerful and effective defender of women’s rights over the last several decades. She leads an organization that stands up for a woman’s right to choose. Kate Michelman has been at the forefront of this battle for 18 years. She became involved in this issue accidentally. Like many of the most effective political leaders, she did not set out to make a name for herself as an advocate. Instead she was compelled to get involved. And she has led this cause valiantly.” (Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on the31st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade) … (on 1000peacewomen).

links:

Abortion help & information services, UK;

unplaned pregnancy;

Feminist Majority Foundation;

Christian Coalition of America;

American Civil Liberties Union;

Pathfinder International;

Abortion on wikipedia;

Google searches on abortion:

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