Asian American and Pacific Islander Leaders For Reproductive Freedom
During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we’re highlighting the trailblazers in the AAPI community who are leading the way in the fight to protect and advance reproductive freedom for every body.
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow is a first-generation Korean immigrant whose migration experience deeply inspires and informs her work in championing social justice issues that impact AAPI communities at the intersection of race and gender. Choimorrow’s work leading federal policy campaigns in coalition with partner organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice America is informed and strengthened by her extensive local community organizing experience within the AAPI community. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum works to build a movement for social, political, and structural change for AAPI women and girls, whose experiences have largely gone unacknowledged and unaddressed by mainstream U.S. culture. AAPI women have refused to be silent about their intersecting identities and how racism, sexism, and hyper-sexualization harms their community.
Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) is the first Chinese American woman to be elected to Congress. She is a champion for reproductive freedom and serves as Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. As the lead sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would safeguard the federal right to abortion, Rep. Chu has led the work to protect the right to abortion care, free from bans, obstacles, and medically unnecessary restrictions. She has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Vice President Kamala Harris is the first Indian American, first Black American, and the first woman to hold the office, and has remained an unflinching supporter of reproductive freedom — as she has been throughout her career. As a newly-elected district attorney, she helped spearhead the opposition to the mandatory parental notification ballot initiative as the Bay Area Regional Chair for the No on 73 campaign. For her leadership in defending reproductive rights, she was awarded the Champion of Choice Award by NARAL Pro-Choice California. As a U.S. senator, Vice President Harris cosponsored legislation to protect and advance reproductive freedom, including the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), the Global HER Act, and the EACH Woman Act. Every year she served in the U.S. Senate, Harris earned a 100% voting record in NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Congressional Record on Reproductive Freedom.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju is the first woman of color and AAPI woman to lead the organization. She brings over 20 years of experience in reproductive rights, gender justice, and racial justice, and she’s leading NARAL into our next chapter on the frontlines of the fight for reproductive freedom. Mini Timmaraju has worn many hats in the progressive political movement, including serving as Chief of Staff to Representative Ami Bera M.D. (D, CA-7), leading women’s outreach on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and advising the Biden-Harris administration on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. As the National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, she managed legislative, advocacy and communications strategy for a coalition of 34 Asian Pacific American organizations.
When Mini Timmaraju came on as president, she laid out a vision for the future of NARAL that is rooted in a deep desire to build on our past successes, make our organization more equitable from the inside out, and bring a fresh perspective to every aspect of our work. We’ve seen that vision realized in many ways, and look forward to more in 2022 and beyond.
“The road ahead maybe be daunting, there’s no denying that. But while the stakes are high, so is the energy of this movement. And that fills me with so much hope for our future because together I know that we can and we will meet this moment and ensure that every body across this country has the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures.” —Mini Timmaraju
We must ensure reproductive freedom for every body. This AAPI Heritage Month, join us in signing the Abortion Solidarity Statement from NAPAWF.