NARAL President Kate Michelman Will Resign Next Year

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 22, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

NARAL President Kate Michelman Will Resign Next Year

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 22, 2003

Washington, DC ( — Kate Michelman, one of the most recognizable pro-abortion leaders, will be stepping down as president of NARAL next spring after heading the national abortion advocacy group for 18 years.

Michelman is staying on through the spring in order to lead a national pro-abortion march next April. A expose’ revealed that the AFSCME labor union will join NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the Feminist Majority Foundation in organizing the rally.

Michelman plans to leave the organization in order to care for her ill husband. She also says she wants to spend more time focusing on defeating President George. W. Bush in the 2004 elections.

"The next four years will almost certainly see at least two Supreme Court vacancies,” Michelman said. "If George W. Bush is allowed to fill those seats, it will mean the end of reproductive privacy and the end of Roe v. Wade (the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion). I intend to do everything I can to see that does not happen,” she said.

Pro-life groups often remember a Michelman gaffe in a February 1994 interview with a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, when she said, "We think abortion is a bad thing."

When later asked about the quote in a Congressional hearing, Michelman denied having said it. However, the interview was tape-recorded and the reporter stood by her story.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director of National Right to Life, said that NARAL, under Michelman’s direction, promoted extreme positions on pro-life legislation that "are rejected by overwhelming majorities of the American people in polls."

"However, the Democratic presidential candidates have fallen into line in support of Michelman’s extreme abortion agenda," Johnson added

Michelman’s abortion advocacy came about as a result of her own abortion in 1970.

She was a recently abandoned mother of three on welfare when she got pregnant. Outside of an illegal abortion, her only options, she claims, were to convince her estranged husband and a hospital to allow her to have one.

"It was a humiliating process that changed my life," she told the New York Times. "From then on I was personally and professionally dedicated to advancing the right of women to choose."

Yet her story was an inspiration for the leader of a women’s group that focuses on alleviating the reasons that lead some women to have abortions.

"More than any other abortion advocate, Kate Michelman served as an inspiration for me to do better for women," Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life, tells "Abandonment and lack of practical resources are our worst enemy. When you couple that with a lack of belief in the power and ingenuity of women, you get women giving up."

"Kate Michelman should have known that there were perfect strangers out there to help her and her children — and if her husband was unwilling to be a father there were attorneys that would have demanded child support or helped her through an adoption. I want her to know that we are still here for her," Foster added.

Despite Michelman’s efforts at NARAL, she admits pro-life advocates are gaining ground.

"Women face today as grave a threat as ever to their Constitutional right to personal privacy and to a choice," she said.

NARAL plans to launch a nationwide search for a new president. The NARAL-sponsored march will occur April 25.