NARAL president Ilyse Hogue on protecting choice and Colorado's role

Categories: News, Politics

Big photos and more below.
The 2014 elections may seem a long way off, but not to Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Hogue came to Colorado to speak at a weekend fundraiser for Colorado NARAL that attracted numerous political heavyweights. But she's sticking around today to meet with locally based activists, in order to strategize about races that won't be decided for more than a year. One reason, she says, is because NARAL hopes Colorado can set a nationwide example about protecting choice, especially in places where such rights are currently under siege.

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado's annual gala took place on Saturday evening at the Grand Hyatt, and attendees included representatives Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter, as well as Senator Michael Bennet, whose 2010 election has become something of a NARAL template for major elections.

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Ilyse Hogue speaking at an event earlier this month.
Hogue says taking part in the event was a "no brainer" not only because she wanted to show support for Colorado NARAL executive director Karen Middleton and her staff, but due to her view that "Colorado is such a critically important state for everything that goes down nationally. The rest of the nation looks to you guys to make the difference in presidential elections, but Colorado is also an innovative incubator of ideas.

"I've only been in my position for seven months, but I've been involved in progressive politics for a long time," she notes. "And it's my fondest hope that what comes from Colorado spreads across the country and ultimately impacts what's happening in Washington, D.C."

Of course, a recent Colorado political development with potentially far-reaching repercussions -- the recall of Pueblo Representative Angela Giron and Colorado Springs Senator John Morse -- didn't go the way Hogue had hoped. Even though the recall was motivated by gun legislation, not women's health matters, Colorado NARAL expended a considerable amount of effort, and some national resources, in support of Giron, attempting to paint her opponents as anti-choice -- but to no avail.

Even so, Hogue doesn't see a definitive link between these two issues.

"I'm a Texan by birth, so I'm very familiar with being in a pro-gun state," she points out. "And the sort of bedrock structure of choice -- to keep politicians out of the decisions of women and families -- is also part of the gun debate. So it was a loss, no doubt about it -- but it was also a bit of an anomaly, since it was a special election, and because of the short timeline, the opponents were never fully vetted in the public eye.

"If we'd had more time to get out the really out-of-step views of the opponents about reproductive choice and their support of personhood, we could have helped blunt some of the impact of the pro-gun lobby. So I don't see the recall as a bellwether for choice. Colorado remains one of our strongest pro-choice states in the country."

Continue for more of our interview with NARAL Pro-Choice American President Ilyse Hogue, including additional photos.

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Danny Gillam
Danny Gillam

And yet, somewhere in Boulder, there are people rallying for the protection of plants and animals. Somewhere, there are people getting arrested for disturbing turtle eggs, eagle eggs, or some other unborn animal. I agree absolutely with people being arrested for messing with unborn animals, because, in essence the unborn have a right to live. However, apparently there's nothing wrong at all with woman terminating their babies. Nothing at all.

Michael Sabin
Michael Sabin

Definitely, we will choose to re-call any politician who rams unnecessary legislation down our throats!!!

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

We are very balanced which keeps politicos off balance . WE aren't a purple state for nothing.

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

Pro Choice groups do just that Attempt to Educated. Douglas Cnty,conservative central forced their way into getting an "abstinence" grant And as we know today's young folks have self control that this will work!!! Perhaps if all those against sex education and who fail to educate their kids in this matter would stop and realize that both education and girls in sports are the biggest ways to avoid unwanted sexual issues.

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

The new Pope, Francis1 has stated ( paraphrase) the the Catholic Church needs to stop focusing soley on gays and abortions and work on the bigger picture. This is in essence, giving the Pro LIfers to tap dance enough to work to get the Pro Life vote. Watch them twist this. Planned Parenthood not only includes the bfs but the education level there should be in public schools.

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

I dont agree in initiating force against another for any reason so please do not use ad hominem rhetorical questions to insult my point of view. I think both sides should spend more time advocating for education and moral/community building programs and less time focusing on who gets to force the other side to follow their agenda. Abortion is a choice. I dont support using government (which equals force by threat of violence with a gun) to take that choice away from women but no mistake abortion is killing another human being and is something anyone who advocates for peace should want to find peaceful loving ways to eliminate.

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

so if a woman is raped, she should be forced to have that child? if a 11 year old girl gets raped, she should be forced to have that child? i would like to see "pro-life" groups advocating for more education and programs to build moral character and teach self responsibility in an effort to get the 1 in 4 rape percentage to go down for women...rather than demonizing women and wasting resources trying to ban womens right for choice.

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

Id like to see "pro-choice" groups advocating for more education and programs to build moral character and teach self responsibility in an effort to combat abortion by means of people not needing them in the 1st place. We need to stop acting like abortion (even though it may be a womens choice) is a normal acceptable part of society. It is a sign of our morals and value for human life or lack there of in this country and the only way to "fix" it is to raise awareness, and help foster self responsibility and moral character.

Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

I'm not sure which group of extremists I hate more: the ones encouraging abortion or the ones getting into people's private business.

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