When Ilyse Hogue took the helm of NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2013, she knew she had a challenge ahead of her. Anti-choice lawmakers in states across the country were implementing sweeping restrictions meant to legislate abortion access out of existence and it was clear that they wouldn’t stop until they achieved their ultimate endgame of banning abortion completely. She got right to work, boldly pushing the national conversation around reproductive freedom and centering the ability to decide if, when, and how to raise a family as an issue fundamental to societal equity. Under her leadership, NARAL cemented its role as an organizing powerhouse—tripling its membership to 2.5 million people, advancing state and federal legislation to protect and expand abortion access, and fighting an unprecedented wave of abortion bans at the state level.
Understanding the importance of rejecting stigma around abortion care, Ilyse made history in 2016 when she shared her own abortion story on the national stage during the Democratic National Convention, explaining, “It’s not as simple as bad girls get abortions and good girls have families. We are the same women at different times in our lives – each making decisions that are the best for us.”
A lifelong activist and organizer, Ilyse is an expert in organizing and mobilizing grassroots support around social justice issues including reproductive freedom, climate change, and media reform. Her commentary has been featured in The Washington Post, HuffPost, The Nation, Cosmopolitan, and ELLE. She is a frequent guest in the media, appearing as a progressive pundit on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. Ilyse holds a Master of Science from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College.