Ilyse Hogue, president of abortion rights group NARAL, appears to have made history at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, becoming what is by all accounts the first woman to share a personal story about having an abortion at the convention.
“I made the decision that was best for me — to have an abortion — and was able to get compassionate care at a clinic in my own community,” Hogue declared. “Now, years later, my husband and I are parents to two incredible children.”
NARAL told Fusion it was not aware of any other time when a speaker has shared the story of their abortion at the convention.
Hogue also called out Trump’s comments about women and Mike Pence’s record defunding Planned Parenthood.
“And the people who so loudly oppose abortion rights?” Hogue said. “Let me let you in on their dirty little secret. They’re not only against abortions. Many of these people are also fighting to restrict access to contraception and block common sense policies to support working moms. It’s not abortion that bothers them. It’s empowering women to live our own lives.”
Democrats have long danced around even using the word abortion. In the past, Democrats who led the charge to fund Planned Parenthood would often cite the statistic that abortions are just three percent of all the services provided. In 2012, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards spoke at the DNC and focused on Republicans’ efforts to slash funding for birth control instead.
This election year, Hillary Clinton has paved the way for more openness about abortion than ever in recent memory. On the campaign trail, Clinton has called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which dates back to 1976 and prohibits federal funds to go to low-income women who want abortions.
And in April, Clinton criticized debate moderators for not asking about women’s reproductive health, although she did not say the word abortion. “We've not had one question about a woman's right to make her own decisions about reproductive health care. Not one question,” Clinton said.