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February 14, 2014 / Press Releases

Statement on TED Talks’ Controversial Abortion Policy

February 14, 2014

Less than 24 hours after TED’s policy towards abortion speakers was exposed in The Nation and a rapid response campaign by NARAL Pro-Choice America, TED Talks softened their position last night in the face of public outcry.

In response to this victory, Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, released the following statement:

“We are pleased that TED engaged with the many people who expressed confusion and outrage about their stated policy on abortion access and care as a topic for their influential talks. Their rationale as quoted in The Nation was misguided as a consensus of experts acknowledges the critical role reproductive freedom plays in attaining the values of human rights, social justice and equality.
We appreciate their acknowledgment that this is a blind spot on their part and that they are open to thoughtful discussions on this topic. We do believe that actions speak louder than words and we are committed to working with them to facilitate any number of thinkers, writers, and advocate to address this issue that affects one of every three women. While representatives for TED Talks have sought retroactively to clarify the statements made to Nation writer Jessica Valenti, the evidence shows that there is a glaring omission of this topic of fundamental concern to women and families despite many proposals put in front of them. We are committed to working with TED and their many audience members who have spoken up to make sure this changes.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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