The mission of the National Abortion Federation is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women. Our work supports these three fundamental aspects of our mission:
NAF members include private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia.
Our Board has developed Ethical Principles for Abortion Care, which our members must follow.
Under Vicki Saporta’s direction, the National Abortion Federation has played a critical role in ensuring women’s access to safe, legal abortion care. Since taking the helm in 1995, Vicki has significantly increased NAF’s budget, staff, and membership, and created and expanded programs, thereby increasing NAF’s capacity to address critical needs.
Recognizing the need to address violence against abortion providers, Saporta expanded the security services NAF offers its members, successfully advocated to improve law enforcement response to clinic violence, and assisted clinics in improving their own security measures. These initiatives have resulted in a documented decrease in extreme violence against providers.
Saporta has broadened outreach to underserved women through expansion of NAF’s toll-free Hotline and direct assistance to women in overcoming obstacles to obtaining abortion care. The Hotline helps more than 100,000 women each year, most of whom would otherwise not be able to obtain the abortion care they need.
Saporta developed a public policy program that has brought abortion providers and their patients into the forefront of the public debate about abortion. This initiative has been instrumental in defeating attempts to restrict women’s access to abortion at the federal and state levels. Public policy makers and the media regularly turn to Saporta and NAF to learn the provider and patient perspectives on abortion issues. She has also spearheaded national public service advertising campaigns that educated millions of Americans about the safety and availability of abortion care.
Under Saporta’s guidance, NAF set the standards for quality abortion care in North America, and led the introduction of medical abortion (RU-486) in the U.S. NAF has also initiated an international medical education program to improve the quality of abortion care women receive in developing countries.
Major media outlets, federal and state legislators, national and international organizations, and the nation’s leading colleges and universities frequently call on Saporta for her expertise. She has testified before the United States Congress and state legislatures, and frequently presents at national and international conferences, colleges, and universities.
The media regularly turn to Saporta for her commentary on issues that affect a woman’s right to access safe, high quality abortion care. Saporta has appeared on all three major television networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS), as well as CNN, MSNBC, FOX News Channel, PBS, Court TV and C-SPAN. Her television appearances include Good Morning America, 60 Minutes II, Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Rachel Maddow Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Buchanan and Press, Hannity and Colmes, Cochran and Grace, and The Point with Greta Van Susteren. She has been the subject of feature articles in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Fortune.
Saporta currently serves on the Advisory Board of If/When/How and the Advisory Board of Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health. She has also served on the President’s Council of Cornell Women and the Advisory Council of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at her alma mater, Cornell University; on the District of Columbia Commission for Women; the Advisory Council of the Women’s Information Network; the Executive Committee of the National Council of Women’s Organizations; and the Board of Directors of URGE.
Prior to joining the pro-choice movement, Saporta had a distinguished career in the labor movement. She began as a representative for the Western Conference of Teamsters, and Saporta rose to become the first woman to serve as an organizing director for an international union. In her nearly twenty years with the Teamsters Union, she conducted hundreds of successful organizing campaigns in virtually all of the country’s geographic regions and economic sectors.
In 2015, Saporta received the ACLU’s highest honor, the Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty. Saporta was also a recipient of the Judge William B. Groat Alumni Award from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations for exceptional professional accomplishments and outstanding service to the School. She received the Karen Mulhauser Award for her invaluable contributions to the Women’s Information Network and her commitment to the advancement of pro-choice Democratic women. Saporta was also a recipient of the Choice USA Mentor of the Year Award in 2007. Additionally, Saporta was selected by Esquire magazine in 1985 as one of 116 individuals under forty “Who are Changing the Nation.”
Liz Banks, MSN, FNP-C
Lorie Chaiten, JD
Angel M. Foster, DPhil, MD, AM
Marji Gold, MD
Daniel Grossman, MD
Suzanne Morris, MD
Lisa Perriera, MD, MPH
Sarah Ward Prager, MD, MAS
Rolanda Ryan, RN, MHSA
Shelley Sella, MD
Elizabeth Talmont, MSN, NP
Cristina Villarreal Velásquez
Katie Watson, JD
Lori Williams, MSN/APN