Iowa Women's Archives
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa



RECORDS, 1990-2001
1.25 linear feet
and audiovisual materials


Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
E-mail the Iowa Women's Archives

Please cite materials from this collection as follows:
National Abortion Rights Action League of Iowa Records, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.


Collection Overview

The papers (donor no. 780) were donated by Susy Robinette in 2001.
The papers are open for research
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa. 
Three videocassettes (V350-V352) shelved in videocassette collection.
In Box 4.
Processed by:
Kate Stewart, 2006. [NARALofIowa.doc]


The National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws was founded in 1969. NARAL of Iowa was a branch of this national organization that supported Tom Harkin in his 1990 campaign for U.S. senator and started the annual fundraiser Chocolate for Choice. In 1991 the Iowa legislature considered a bill requiring parental notification for teenagers seeking abortions, which NARAL of Iowa helped defeat in 1993. In April of 1992, NARAL of Iowa members participated in the March for Women’s Lives rally in Washington, D.C. That year NARAL of Iowa also held a rally at the state capitol in Des Moines protesting the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Later activities of NARAL of Iowa included the “Let’s Put Women Back into the Picture” campaign, a 21st anniversary celebration of Roe v. Wade, and campaigns against abortion clinic violence. NARAL of Iowa worked closely with local chapters of the National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood.

NARAL changed its name twice after its founding, but kept the same acronym. After the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the group became the National Abortion Rights Action League, and in 1993, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.


Scope and Content Note

The National Abortion Rights Action League of Iowa records date from 1990 to 2001 and measure 1.25 linear feet. The bulk of the collection consists of albums, administrative notebooks and printed materials.

The Albums (1990-1995) contain photographs, newspaper clippings, event pamphlets and flyers, newsletters, and mailings. Many of the photographs and newspaper clippings are about local rallies and events promoting abortion rights. The Board of Directors Notebooks (1990-1996) consist of two administrative binders with staff lists and directories, job descriptions, by-laws, mission statements, agendas and meeting minutes, monthly reports, and treasurer’s reports. The Printed Materials (1996-2001) include one local pamphlet, the 1996 Report on Reproductive Services and Education in the State of Iowa. The rest of the publications in this series were produced by the national NARAL organization and NARAL of Oregon. They cover statistics, women’s personal stories of abortion, sex education, fake clinics, emergency contraception for rape survivors, reproductive services for women of color, state-by-state reviews, and national campaigns.  

The Artifacts (1995-1998) include buttons, stickers, a tote bag, a plaque for “Outstanding Volunteer Run Organization,” and a signed photograph of Rob Reiner for a fundraiser auction. The Videocassettes (undated) include Lincoln’s Living Legacy, which describes the 1963 March on Washington and its impact on future marches, including the 1992 March for Women’s Lives. NARAL Promoting Reproductive Choice includes four commercials titled “I Believe,” “Diver,” “Bike” and “My Body.” The last video, NARAL Tribute to Justice Harry Blackmun describes Blackmun’s role in the Roe v. Wade decision with interviews from many people who knew him personally.

Related Collections

Mary C. Neuhauser
The topical files contain items on local abortion laws in the early 1990s, including correspondence and publications from NARAL.

Box List

Box 1                  
Box 2                  
  Board of Directors Notebooks        
Box 3                  
  Printed Materials        
    1996 Report on Reproductive Services and Education in the state of Iowa
Achieving Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Your Community’s Schools, 1999
America’s Health Held Hostage: How Politics is Paralyzing Medical Advances, 1997
Choices: Women Speak Out About Abortion, 1997
Emergency Contraception for Rape Survivors: Legislative Toolkit, undated
Faces of Freedom: Building an American Movement for Reproductive Freedom and Choice, 1999-2000
In Our Own Words: Collected Recollections in Honor of Roe v. Wade, 1998
Project Stop the Abortion Ban, undated
Real Voices: The Journeys of 17 Oregonians Before and After Roe vs. Wade, undated
The Reproductive Rights and Health of Women of Color, 2000
Reshaping Reproductive Health: A State-by-State Examination of Family Planning Under Medicaid Managed Care, 2000
Teens in Crisis: A Comprehensive Strategy to Protect Adolescent Health, 1998
Unmasking Fake Clinics, 2000
Who Decides? A State-by-State Review of Abortion and Reproductive Rights, 2001
Box 4                  
  Videocassettes [shelved in the videocassette collection]
    Lincoln’s Living Legacy (VHS, 8 minutes) [V350]
NARAL Promoting Reproductive Choice (VHS, 4 minutes) [V351]
NARAL Tribute to Justice Harry Blackmun (VHS, 11 minutes) [V352]
    Auction materials, 1998
Buttons and Stickers
Plaque, 1995 [shelved in plaque case]
Tote bag


general information | history and mission | collections | reference services | news and events | home

For more information about this collection contact the Iowa Women's Archives.

Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City IA 52242.
Copyright © 2005. The University of Iowa. All rights reserved.
Please send comments to:

This page created January 2007.