At critical time for reproductive rights, Indian-American appointed head of largest pro-choice organization

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NARAL Pro Choice America announcing Mini Timmaraju as next President. Nov. 4, 2021. Photo: Twitter @NARAL

Mini Timmaraju, a seasoned Democratic political activist, and advisor on campaigns of President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, has been appointed the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, the largest organization that advocates for reproductive freedom nationwide and in development aid to other countries.

The NARAL Pro Choice America Board made the announcement on Diwali day, Nov. 4, 2021. Timmaraju will join the organization on November 15, 2021. She becomes the first women of color to lead the organization.

Founded in 1969, NARAL Pro-Choice America has a more than 2.5 million members, and is the oldest membership organization dedicated to fighting for abortion access.

Timmaraju will be facing strong headwinds and challenges as she leads NARAL has to step up its game in the face of challenges in the Supreme Court. The  constitutional right to abortion “is in unprecedented jeopardy as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in less than a month,” NARAL said in its press release.

“I could not be more honored to step into this role, with so much at stake for the freedom to decide,” Timmaraju is quoted saying in the press release. “I’ve long admired NARAL Pro-Choice America as a political powerhouse that builds power at the state and national level and reaches key constituencies,” she added.

“Right now, it is imperative that we elect champions for reproductive freedom and hold accountable those who are trying to roll back abortion access, while centering the communities who bear the brunt of the anti-choice movement’s cruel attacks on reproductive freedom,” Timmaraju said.

On Nov. 1, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two separate cases about Texas’ abortion ban, “which remains in effect, rendering Roe essentially meaningless in the second largest state in the country,” the organization pointed out.

Timmaraju, a first-generation immigrant from India who grew up and spent the formative years of her career in Texas, “brings a wealth of experience in electoral politics and public service,” noted NARAL.

She advised the Biden-Harris administration on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and served as National Women’s Vote Director for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

“Mini has a proven track record of building and leading high-impact campaigns and coalitions fighting for reproductive rights, gender justice, and racial justice and is an expert on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said NARAL. The Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade could come before the 2022 midterm elections.

The search for the new president was co-chaired by NARAL board members Karen Finney and Joanna Spilker.

NARAL’s previous president, Ilyse Hogue, stepped down in May 2021, after leading the organization for eight years.

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