19 July 2022
How does the overturning of Roe v. Wade demonstrate the control and devaluation of those who are and may be impacted by pregnancy? What is at risk beyond abortion rights and access in the United States, and what is the global impact of this decision, as precedent?
Today, we are deeply honored to be in conversation with Karen Mulhauser. She is the first National Executive Director of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America. From 1970-73, she trained family planning professionals in federally funded programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.
When she moved to Washington, DC in 1973, Karen was hired to open the DC office of NARAL and the following year, she was asked to be the Executive Director. In this position, she helped grow the membership 20-fold, started chapters throughout the country, and started the NARAL Foundation and political action committee. Her experiences, expertise and activism through these decades, including her recent (June and July 2022) testimony before the DC Council Committee on Government Operations and Facilities and the Committee on Housing and Executive Administration Joint Public Hearing on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Amendment Act of 2022, exemplifies her continued commitment to protecting the freedom to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy.
She has spoken poignantly to the United States never ratifying the United Nation’s Women’s Treaty, CEDAW, and advocacy for Washington, DC to be the next city to ratify the amendment, through the Cities for CEDAW campaign.
Karen, as other women, who have fought and advocated for these rights and freedom since the foundation of NARAL, are courageously sharing their personal stories of survivorship. Please join us for this very special episode.
Karen is the President of Mulhauser and Associates, and has been providing consulting services to nonprofit organizations, and candidates since 1988. She brings many years of leadership experience as a board member and nonprofit CEO. Before consulting, she was the Director of the Center for Education on Nuclear War, Citizens Against Nuclear War, and the National Abortion Rights Action League [NARAL].
She has been deeply committed to voluntary service throughout her life and has served on over 35 nonprofit boards. She is the Immediate President of the Antioch College Alumni Association, and as past Chair of UN Association of USA, she was committed to working with UNA chapters throughout the country to bring CEDAW legislation to municipal governments to bring a global treaty to the local level. CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, signed by President Carter in 1980 but has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate.
She served as Senior Advisor to Obama for America in 2007-2008 to help coordinate Women for. She started and was President of America’s Impact, a nonpartisan committee that identifies leaders with principled foreign policy positions and supports candidates for Congress. She has also started and coordinates a network of over 1,000 DC-area self-employed women.
A graduate of Antioch College in 1965 with graduate study at Tufts Medical School, she was trained as a biochemist and worked at Boston University and Albert Einstein Colleges of Medicine as a research associate before realizing she would rather work with people than with rats and rabbits. She taught high school chemistry and physics at the Cambridge School of Weston from 1967-1970, where she also created a course on the social responsibility of scientists for students committed to careers in the sciences, and she initiated sex education programs. From 1970-73, she trained family planning professionals in federally funded programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.
When she moved to Washington, DC in 1973, Karen was hired to open the DC office of NARAL and the following year, she was asked to be the Executive Director. In this position, she helped grow the membership 20-fold, started chapters throughout the country, started the NARAL Foundation and political action committee. When the cold war heated up in the early 1980s, she started and led two disarmament organizations and began her consulting business in 1988.
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