May 1, 2018
Contact: Katherine Schneider | 949.929.7245|

Gala Luncheon Brings Together Top Philanthropists, Civic Leaders, Elected Officials and Celebrities

NEW YORK, NY – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund hosted its annual Champions of Choice luncheon today honoring Whoopi Goldberg, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and film producer and owner of Carolines on Broadway Caroline Hirsch with the distinguished Champion of Choice award in recognition of their steadfast commitment to reproductive freedom.

Held each spring in support of NIRH and NIRH Action Fund, Champions of Choice is New York’s premier reproductive health and rights fundraiser, honoring outspoken individuals including advocates, health care providers, elected officials and cultural icons who have used their influence to advance reproductive freedom. The event brought together eminent humanitarians, civic leaders, elected officials and celebrities of every industry to commend individuals who have taken concrete steps to protect and expand reproductive health, rights and justice. Notable attendees include Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, CEO and President of WIN Christine Quinn, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Secretary to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Melissa DeRosa, Commissioner Julie Menin, Council Member Keith Power, Council Member Carlina Rivera, Comedian Lizz Winstead and many others.

The following are quotes from Andrea Miller and each of today’s honorees:

Champions of Choice is an opportunity to tell the full story for a year that has seen unprecedented activism across the country. And the brave champions we’re honoring today have been leaders in this fight. They understand that this issue is about more than medical procedures. It’s about freedom, autonomy, and opportunity,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “I want to thank Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Caroline Hirsch for their fearless leadership and look forward to joining with them in the year ahead to make a real difference in the lives and health of women and families across the country.”

“The resistance has now become the next great affirmative movement for justice and equality in America, and that makes the work of NIRH more important than ever,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “The federal government has been taken over by anti-choice and anti-women extremists. We need to reimagine the pro-choice movement and build a stronger, louder movement for women’s freedom and equality than we’ve ever seen. Movement politics is not the politics of accommodation, it is the politics of perseverance.”

“As a human being it is our right to look after each other. We must say to people ‘listen you don’t have to agree with me, but you cannot block me’,” said Whoopi Goldberg. “That’s the fight. I will allow you to have the feelings you have, but I will not let you stop me from doing what I need to do for my family.”

“Despite all of the recent attempts to strip away women’s rights in this country – the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) continues to push forward from the ground up to counter this troubling trend,” Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the iconic NY comedy venue Carolines on Broadway, and executive producer of Ask for Jane. “My film Ask for Jane, examines the brave work of past leaders who helped more than 11,000 women safely end their pregnancies before abortion was legalized. I am incredibly humbled to be recognized as a ‘Champion of Choice’ by today’s leaders who make sure the past will never repeat itself – NIRH – and to support their mission of advancing and protecting women’s reproductive freedom.”

To view photos from today’s event, please click here.  Photos from Champions of Choice should be attributed to: Hechler Photographers.

About the National Institute for Reproductive Health and the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund

The National Institute for Reproductive Health builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund conducts non-partisan issue advocacy and electoral engagement to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice across the country.

Using a partnership model, we provide state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to directly impact the reproductive health and lives of women across the country. Each year, NIRH works in at least 20 states and more than a dozen localities; to date, NIRH has partnered with more than 150 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 39 states and 56 localities across the country. 

At the national level, NIRH engages in groundbreaking public opinion research, proactive policy initiatives, and innovative advocacy campaigns to shape a new national conversation about reproductive freedom.