Woman holding a sign "My Body, My Choice

Post-Roe America

Six months after the extremist Supreme Court took away bodily autonomy for millions of Americans by overturning Roe v. Wade—we’re marking the 50th anniversary of Roe with a conversation about the ongoing battle for abortion rights in our country.


Abortion access typifies so many societal struggles about women’s place and power in our world. It says a lot about how we think of women’s roles in their own lives and in society. What’s really telling is how abortion is an emotional minefield that people use to manipulate others for their own gain. That’s why it’s been used as a powerful tool to hook people by the nose and lead them to political centers that strip away so many of their other rights.


Thirty years ago, I was marketing director at NARAL Pro-choice America and the battle for abortion rights was all about access and exposing violence in the anti-choice movement against doctors and clinics. Those were tough fights, but now it feels like we’re back at square one. 


Those days were awful. When I worked at Planned Parenthood in the 1990s, the anti-choice organizations had us in defensive mode on everything, but most especially late term abortions. They described a procedure almost correctly but with horrific and callously inaccurate details. We, the pro-choice movement, tried to correct the facts rather than address the emotions they were playing on. And we are still debating when abortion is acceptable rather than the right to have one.


Late term abortion was a key part of the right wing’s messaging in their 50-year battle to overturn Roe. And politically, they’ve been systematically chipping away at abortion rights since then: putting anti-choice zealots on school boards, city councils, state judiciaries, state legislatures, Congress…and most importantly, the Supreme Court. And at the same time, passing parental consent laws, blocking clinic access, setting up fake reproductive care centers, bombing clinics, and killing doctors. The bottom line: It worked.


Very true. Back in the 90s, Barbara Boxer and a small handful of women were the unabashed champions of reproductive rights. They never gave up rights for political gain and they never stopped fighting. But now, there’s a lot of real and dedicated support from many, many elected officials at federal, state, and local levels thanks to the work of a lot of organizations, but I think EMILY’s List can take a lot of the credit.


After my home state of Texas reversed its abortion access a billboard popped up along the highway I often drive: Right-Wing Women: You Lost Your Rights Too! I think that really summarizes this question that’s been running in my mind lately: how do you get to the point of convincing a woman to vote against her own interests?


What really infuriates me is the mis-named “pro-life” community. They’re all about protecting “life” in utero, but anti-choice Republicans have no plans to help people who are now forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will. They all voted against extending the Child Tax Credit in Congress; many Republican governors have refused federal Medicaid money; and they seem to believe that private social services and places of worship will help women who have no safety net.


Speaking of semantics, all of us seem to be much more comfortable saying the word abortion now. After Roe, in our personal lives, we didn’t really change the way we talked about abortion. We continued to speak of it in hushed tones among our closest friends. I think that’s why the Republicans seemed so gobsmacked when voters turned out to say—no way! And now we see that we should talk about abortion for what it is: a common medical procedure and a common decision that people make for a wide variety of reasons. And not the business of politicians.


I’ve seen first-hand how abortion saves lives, whether literally or figuratively, in the way of opportunities to create or provide a better life. And I’ve been led by many women’s example to be open about this whole conversation: so much of what fuels anti-choice debaters is this undeserved stigma that surrounds abortion that needs to be gone like yesterday.


My boss at Planned Parenthood asked women who were too young to remember life without Roe (like me) what made us so adamant about our support for abortion rights. I don’t know exactly why but it infuriated me that any man would tell any woman she had to have a baby. Alex, you’re much younger than me but you’re an abortion rights activist. What got you motivated to this issue?


I think it’s the same as what led me to intersectional feminism in general. When you believe women have the inherent right to make autonomous decisions about their lives, including their bodies, it’s pretty natural to be pro-choice. But what always fascinated me about this whole debate is how it’s really a philosophical struggle, beyond the obvious. I think that also continues to motivate me in this issue—as this Roe reversal shows, the pro-choice conversation is not outdated, nor over.


It’s hard to believe the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe ever thought holistically about women’s lives, and the real-world ramifications of their decision, and how so many areas of women’s lives are affected by it. Millions of women have been relegated to second-class citizenship, and the realities of miscarriage, for example—a devastating situation that is, medically speaking, the same as an abortion—will be compounded when state governments make grieving parents somehow prove they had a miscarriage and not an abortion.


Republicans, apparently, believed their own spin. They seemed genuinely shocked that people believe abortion is a fundamental right and that when it’s on the ballot, we will show up to vote.


As much as there is to despair, there is still hope, and we have to keep choosing hope. People’s lives literally depend on it. The ease of social media has brought this conversation to a new generation who, unfortunately, is coming of age just as their rights are being stripped away. But it empowers them to fight back. I’ve heard of networks of volunteers driving people to other states to have a safe abortion or mailing medication abortion pills. And I see more women becoming advocates, activists, and attorneys to fight the decisions right at the center where it’s happening. There is hope, and it’s because we’re creating it. I say let’s keep pushing—our daughters deserve to live in a world where this whole debate is an outdated relic of the past and not one they have to worry about any longer.


Yes, Republicans don’t fully get that the backlash from the Dobbs decision is only going to get stronger. EMILY’s List is such a powerful force for changing the face of our government to reflect all of America—and they’re the political organization to make Republicans pay for what they did. They give me hope for the future of abortion rights!

CCAH Spotlight – Katie Chambers

Setting the Stage

“Katie Chamber’s positive attitude is actually infectious” according to Kim Cubine, and her colleagues all agree. The tireless work ethic and upbeat attitude that she brings to her daily routine have made her an indispensable member of the CCAH family.

On top of her role as an Account Executive working with clients, she is also a member of the company’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Committee, a writer for the company blog, and a resource for five other CCAH employees through the company mentorship program. How on Earth did one person wind up with so much on their plate?

“I have a hard time saying no to things,” she says with a laugh. And while her sense of duty might belie an even greater desire for change, Katie’s work – both inside and outside the office – has made her the natural leader that we at CCAH are fortunate enough to work alongside. 

Making a Difference

When she’s not helping her clients to reach their organizational goals, Katie is an ardent supporter of causes outside of CCAH. She has served as a coach for Girls on the Run, an after-school program that helps reinforce the connection between emotional and physical health for young women. She also volunteers, organizes with, and raises funds for Be the Match, an organization that connects patients diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases with life-saving bone marrow and stem cell donors.

Most recently she’s found herself pounding the pavement with members of her community, demanding change to the systems of American policing. Her civic engagement is not so much a newfound passion as it is an extension of her upbringing. “When I was in middle school, my parents would reward me for good grades with trips to D.C., and we’d go to a Smithsonian … or I’d hang outside the Newseum waiting for politicians to sign autographs after they filmed This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

Katie’s political passions continued through college and into her first job after graduation, where she worked as a field organizer for a Senate campaign. After that campaign cycle ended, she wasn’t entirely sure where she would end up, until she connected with a family friend who knew of an opening at CCAH. Katie applied “despite not really knowing anything about the industry,” and when she was called in for an interview, began studying up on the ins-and-outs of direct marketing. 

Doing What Matters

It’s no surprise that during this year’s annual company awards ceremony, Katie was the recipient of the CCAH Spirit Award, which is given to an employee who exemplifies the passion for change that we work for each day. Her positive outlook and boundless enthusiasm are contagious, and it’s because of Katie, and colleagues like her, that CCAH can deliver for our clients.

Katie’s work at CCAH encompasses so much more than just her daily client interactions and management of their various campaigns. Her work on the company blog helps to keep CCAH visible within the direct marketing industry, a crucial task in the current age with so many business interactions moving from in-person to online.

Similarly, her work on the DEI committee helps to ensure that all of her CCAH colleagues stay visible within the structure of the company. When CCAH announced the inception of the DEI Committee, Katie saw it as a natural fit. She had, before the committee existed, been working with her supervisors and management to address what areas CCAH might better serve our growing roster of employees. “CCAH is a great place to work for me, and I just want to make sure that’s true for everyone here.”

AAPC Names Chrissy Hyre to 40 Under 40 List for 2020

Each year, the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) selects some of the best in our nation’s political business community to honor on their 40 Under 40 list, recognizing their leadership and innovation. This year CCAH is fortunate enough to have one of our own on that list – Ms. Chrissy Hyre.

Chrissy was nominated for the award by a fellow CCAH employee, Catherine Algieri. Chrissy and Catherine have been working together since 2018, when Chrissy was Catherine’s consultant for her work at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Catherine has since joined the CCAH team to head our new political digital program and, in her words, “realized I didn’t know the half of what Chrissy brings to the table.”

Chrissy’s work to expand the use of telemarketing programs in progressive political campaigns has helped her to make millions of voter contacts for candidates like Andrew Gillum for Governor and Kamala Harris for President, as well as for politically motivated organizations like Collective PAC and Citizen Action. She paved the way for peer-to-peer mobile platforms like Hustle and Get Thru to work with telemarketing firms and utilize live operators that would allow organizations and candidates to dramatically scale up their engagement efforts over SMS.

Chrissy wasn’t always planning on innovating the world of political fundraising; in college, she initially registered as a musical theatre major. The common thread between her aspirations as a thespian and her work now as a consultant? Vulnerability. According to Chrissy: “We ask our clients to put an incredible amount of trust in us … so we need to show up in a really authentic way to build those relationships.”

In that spirit, Chrissy’s work in the industry of political consulting has been nothing short of visionary. As an inventive team player, Chrissy has earned accolades from her clients, business contacts, and here at CCAH, where she was made a partner in March of this year. We are so glad that the AAPC has recognized her hard work by adding her to their 40 Under 40 list, and we look forward to honoring her future accomplishments. Congratulations, Chrissy!

Welcoming New Partners to the Fold

This Women’s History Month, we want to take a moment to celebrate some truly outstanding women making history here at CCAH.

When it comes to the question of whom I surround myself with, people often tout the benefits of surrounding yourself with those who are smarter than you, and while I think that is one key ingredient to success … I think it is more important, as the President of this company, that I am not only surrounded by smart people, but that I’m surrounded by individuals that share our collective vision for this company — a vision of where we want to go and what we want to accomplish this next decade. 

It’s critical that I surround myself with individuals that not only share our company’s vision, but those individuals who have been instrumental in getting us to where we are today — and in the continued success of this company. 

For many years, I have had the pleasure of working with the best there is.  Individuals that I consider trusted confidants, valuable sounding boards, innovative leaders, and — very importantly — friends.

So, it is my sincere honor to announce that we have four new Principals at CCAH!  Join me in congratulating the incredible women who have truly dedicated themselves to making a difference:

Chrissy Hyre, Susie DeCarlo, Brenna Holmes, and Lynn Waller.

Check out their bios on our Who We Are page to learn a bit more about each of these impressive ladies!