KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

NARAL President Stepping Down

Nancy Keenan tells The Washington Post that it is important for younger women to take on the challenge of defending abortion.

Reuters: Head Of Abortion-Rights Group NARAL To Leave
Nancy Keenan will step down as head of the abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America at the end of the year, a change she said on Thursday was timed to coincide with the rise of a new generation voters. Keenan, 60, who has led NARAL for nearly eight years, has chosen not to renew her contract, which expires at the end of December (Crawley, 5/10).

The Washington Post: NARAL President Nancy Keenan To Step Down
The 60-year-old Keenan said she is leaving out of concern for the future of the pro-choice movement — and thinks she could be holding it back. In recent years, Keenan has worried about an "intensity gap" on abortion rights among millennials, which the group considers to be the generation of Americans born between 1980 and 1991. While most young, antiabortion voters see abortion as a crucial political issue, NARAL's own internal research does not find similar passion among abortion-rights supporters. If the pro-choice movement is to successfully defend abortion rights, Keenan contends, it needs more young people in leadership roles, including hers (Kliff, 5/10). 

Politico: NARAL President Leaving At End Of Year
Keenan's decision comes as abortion opponents have stepped up their attacks at the federal and state levels. NARAL warned in a report earlier this year that the anti-abortion activity, in the form of various restrictions being considered by Congress and state legislatures, reached its highest level in years in 2011 and was likely to continue throughout 2012 (Nather, 5/10).

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