Kate Michelman

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Kate Michelman (born 4 August 1942) is an American political activist. She is best known for her support for the pro-choice movement in the United States of America and her role as co-chair for activist campaign WomenVotePA.


For nearly 20 years, Michelman served as president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, a pro-choice activist organization dedicated to repealing abortion laws and restrictions in the United States. Under her leadership from 1985 to 2004, NARAL Pro-Choice America catapulted into national spotlight and became the premier advocacy group for reproductive rights. She is a recognized expert on not only women's issues, but on grassroots organizing and strategic organizational development as NARAL Pro-Choice American has effectively transformed the political debate and positioned reproductive justice as an unequivocal human right.

Following her departure from NARAL, she worked as a political consultant and published her memoir, With Liberty and Justice for All: A Life Spent Protecting the Right to Choose, with Hudson Street Press in 2006.[1] She also testified against Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas at their confirmation hearings.[1] In 2003, Michelman was named on the PoliticsPA list of "Pennsylvania's Most Politically Powered Women."[2]

In 2012, she and Carol Tracy were selected to be co-chairs of WomenVotePA, a nonpartisan political campaign focused on raising women voter turnout in the state of Pennsylvania and making clear that women's health, economic security, and personal safety are at stake in every election.

Personal life[edit]

Michelman is married with several children. She left her career as a political consultant to care for one of her daughters, after her daughter was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident in 2002,[3] and for her husband, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.[3] Due to problems with their health insurance, Michelman's family faced large hospital bills, particularly after her husband fractured his hip in a fall. Michelman stated that because of her family's mounting health care bills, her family had "literally fallen from the middle-class to potentially having nothing."[4] Her husband's assisted living bills totaled $9,000 a month and Michelman was forced to cash in her I.R.A. to help pay for her daughter's health care costs.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Kate Michelman, The Public Face Of a Woman's Right to Privacy". The Washington Post. January 12, 2006. p. C01. 
  2. ^ "Pennsylvania's Most Politically Powerful Women". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2004-02-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "Kate Michelman's Blog". Kate Michelman's Official Website. 
  4. ^ "Famed Feminist Faces Medical Tragedies". National Public Radio. April 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21.