Pro-Choice Group President to Step Down in Spring

Article excerpt

Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America for 18 years, said yesterday she will step down next spring to care for her ailing husband.

She also plans to spend the next year working to defeat President Bush's re-election bid because of his stance against abortion rights.

"I made the decision to step down from the day-to-day work of running a large national organization so that I could both meet those family responsibilities and devote myself actively to the most urgent priority facing the pro-choice movement - electing a president who will protect our right to choose," Mrs. Michelman said yesterday.

"The next four years will almost certainly see at least two Supreme Court vacancies," Mrs. Michelman said. "If George W. Bush is allowed to fill those seats, it will mean the end of reproductive privacy and the end of Roe v. Wade. I intend to do everything I can to see that does not happen."

Roe v. Wade was the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that led to nationwide legalization of abortion. Mrs. Michelman is credited with coining the question that now defines the pro-choice movement: "Who decides? Politicians or women themselves?"

The Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, president and chief executive of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, praised Mrs. Michelman's dedication to abortion-rights advocacy.

"Kate has done everything in her power to make sure no other woman goes through what she went through as a young mother of three who, abandoned by her husband, finds she is pregnant and without resources," said Mr. …