Under Vicki Saporta's direction, the National Abortion Federation has played a critical role in promoting and preserving safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. 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.
Saporta developed a public policy program that has brought abortion providers and the women they serve 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.
Under Saporta's guidance, NAF set the standard for quality abortion care in North America, led the introduction of medical abortion (RU-486) in the U.S., and educated 16,000 health care professionals in the administration of medical abortion. As a result, more than 575,000 women in America have safely exercised their ability to choose quality medical abortion care since 2000. NAF has also initiated an international medical education program to improve the quality of abortion care women receive in developing countries.
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 raising resources and overcoming obstacles to obtaining abortion care. She has also spearheaded national public service advertising campaigns that educated millions of Americans about the safety and availability of abortion.
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 lectures at conferences, colleges, and universities.
The media regularly turn to Saporta for her commentary on issues that affect a woman's right to access safe, quality abortion care. Saporta frequently appears 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 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, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Fortune.
Saporta currently serves on the Advisory Board of Law Students for Choice, the Advisory Council of the Women's Information Network, and the Steering Committee of the National Council of Women's Organizations. 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.
Prior to joining the pro-choice movement, Saporta had a distinguished career as a leader in the labor movement. She began her career 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.
Saporta was 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 also 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. She was included in the World Who's Who of Women in 1994/95. Saporta was also selected by Esquire magazine in 1985 as one of 116 individuals under forty "Who are Changing the Nation."