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2019 EMILY winner: Claire Pullen

Claire PullenClaire, an EMILY's List Angel and as the Chair of Our Bodies Our Choices, provided exceptional leadership and strategic vision to the community campaign to decriminalise abortion in NSW. Previous reform attempts had failed for a range of reasons but Claire had the insight to see a critical gap: that people who are prochoice had no connection to their MPs who could exercise a vote in favour of a Bill. 

Key innovations and insights Claire bought to the campaign include: 

  • Assessing why previous setbacks happened
  • Analysing the marriage equality voluntary postal survey result and applying its lessons to the campaign
  • The ability to lobby across parties and factions to shift and hold MPs
  • A dedication to developing key Parliamentary and media relationships early
  • A clear digital voice and a digital-first strategy to reach new audiences and cross geographic divides

This fight took courage. The stakes were high and as one of the public faces of the campaign, there was risk of personal consequences. Claire was dedicated to ensuring an ethical and social justice  orientation within her committee and saw the sameness of other campaigns as a detriment. Her OBOC committee includes women of colour, women with disability, regional women, renters and mortgage holders, mums and step mums. All are trade unionists and women of childbearing age- a clear difference overall in their voice and depth of campaigning. 

EMILY's List supports pro-choice women to Parliament and it can be proud to have Claire as a member who campaigned so hard for such a historic win. She was mentioned several during parliamentary debate and rightly so. As the Bill’s co-sponsors said, she is a warrior woman. She is fearless. 

The 2019 EMILY is awarded to two outstanding women, Michelle O’Byrne and Claire Pullen