American abortion group strives
By Paul Tuns
to improve image through name change
The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, the largest
pro-abortion lobbying outfit in the United States, is in the midst of
a multi-million-dollar makeover in an attempt to deflect thinking about
what women are actually choosing.
NARAL is running a television, radio and print advertising campaign
in an attempt to freshen the organization's image by changing its name
to NARAL Pro-Choice America.
President Kate Michelman said, "Through our name change, we are underscoring
that our country is pro-choice. It is the right name for this moment
But it seems that it is often time for a name change. According to
the New York Times, "This is the organization's fourth name since it
was established in 1969 as the National Association for the Repeal of
It is the first time it has moved away from the acronym NARAL. The
group became the National Abortion Rights Action League after the critical
1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, overturned many legal restrictions
on abortion. Reproductive Rights was added to its name in 1993."
Bernard Nathansan, an abortionist who co-founded NARAL but later "saw
the light" and became an outspoken pro-life activist, told WorldNetDaily,
""I remember laughing when we made those slogans up ... We were looking
for some sexy, catchy slogans to capture public opinion. They were very
cynical slogans then, just as all of these slogans today are very, very
Times also reported that Emory University legal historian David J. Garrow
said the organization was using its new name to put a greater emphasis
on choice, as opposed to abortion: "It's a free way of getting 'pro-choice'
into a news story, even if editors don't allow the words to be used
in the reporter's voice."
But pro-lifers point out that abortion proponents would rather have
the public think about abstract ideas on liberty than the reality of
the unborn child in the womb.
Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council, said, "They want
to isolate the rhetoric from the reality," but noted that abortion is
not like "choosing between chocolate and vanilla. We are talking about
the right to choose to kill an unborn child."
Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America, said, "Abortion
destroys human life at its most innocent and vulnerable level, and no
name change will ever change that fact."
Pro-life groups noted that the public is increasingly seeing past the
rhetoric, to the child. "Every parent and every grandparent who has
ever seen their child or grandchild in a sonogram understands what abortion
is and what it does," Rios said.
"As technology advances and allows us to see even more clearly inside
the womb, the pro-abortion lobbyists' ugly intent will be exposed and
their golden-ring adornment rendered irrelevant."
Furthermore, pro-life groups point to the hypocrisy of pro-abortion
groups promoting choice, when they vehemently oppose the right to mandated
informed choice for distressed pregnant mothers, the choice to not fund
elective abortions through taxes, the right of healthcare workers to
not be forced to act against their conscience, the public's right to
balanced information on the issue or the right of nations in the developing
world to accept desperately needed aid without abortion strings attached.
Just taking into consideration conscience rights for healthcare workers,
for instance, NARAL said in an April 2002 fact sheet that such rights
are better called refusal clauses, and claimed that they inhibit a woman's
right to access a broad range of reproductive and sexual services, including
abortion and contraception.
The document went on to say that, "Medicine - not religious ideology
- should determine medical decisions." NARAL opposes the choice of healthcare
workers to not participate in abortions or pharmacists to dispense contraception.
Critics say choice is a one-way street and that NARAL Pro Choice America
is only concerned about the choice that ends with a dead baby: abortio