As a state-based advocacy organization dedicated to reproductive freedom, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland envisions a world where everyone can access abortion care safely, affordably, and locally without punishment, stigma, or judgment. Every day we wake up and work to uphold individuals’ right to make decisions in the best interest of their families and to have the resources they need to do so. We believe this is the only path to build thriving communities where all can live with dignity and equality.

Just a couple of months ago, we ended a challenging Maryland legislative session with some major wins for reproductive freedom. However; we must reconcile with the fact that for our nation, this was the worst legislative year for abortion access on record. We owe it to those who will be most impacted by the potential end of federal-based protections, to come together to form a united, collective front against the pending onslaught of state-based restrictions.

With major developments underway, we wanted to make sure you heard the following news from us:

On June 28, 2021, NARAL Pro-Choice America’s board of directors voted to fully nationalize the organization, by eliminating all 11 independent state affiliate organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland — a major change in the 50-year structure of the organization. We are disappointed by this decision, especially as it was made without our input, against our recommendations, and despite our joint opposition. We are troubled that a new DC-concentrated restructure will not leverage the success of state-based organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, who has worked with our trusted partners to lead the nation in advancing equitable reproductive health and rights policies, including increasing contraceptive access (2016, 2017, and 2021), furthering the rights of pregnant and parenting students (2017 and 2021), protecting the rights of the pregnant incarcerated (2018 and 2019), improving menstrual equity (2018 and 2021), and defeating all anti-abortion legislation introduced in the Maryland General Assembly.

While much remains to be decided, the bottom line is we are committed to continuing as a strong Maryland-based organization with the same dedication and vigilance in serving our communities for over 40 years. In fact, we believe this change will present us with new and limitless opportunities to meet the challenges ahead.

As we chart a new path forward, let’s remember what we’ve always known in Maryland: the people on the ground, in our communities, inform the work. Over the coming months, we will invite you to help us shape this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build something better, bolder, stronger, and more inclusive, to truly center most-impacted communities in Maryland. Because, together, our movement is greater than the sum of its individual parts. I see a future of abundance for NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland with even more collective impact, empowered to do more to support communities within and beyond our state borders.

This news may be bittersweet, but as I reflect on our accomplishments during my seventh year as Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, I am filled with gratitude, and cannot wait to embrace the challenges ahead with a Maryland-strong and sustained movement of the future.

Now more than ever we are requesting your continued partnership and support. While state affiliates of NARAL Pro-Choice America are independent organizations, we affiliates believe we are strongest when we work collaboratively, sharing resources, wisdom, and insights to further the fight for reproductive freedom. We strive to be state-based, grassroots organizations that are trusted, connected, and directly accountable to the people in our respective states.

To meet the challenges of this moment, the state affiliates are committed to working together as a supportive network, sharing ideas and resources as we work locally in our respective communities. Regardless of what the national entity decides to do, we will remain connected with other affiliates and are exploring legal pathways to do so.

We invite you to join with us by continuing to work with and/or donate to state organizations directly, such as NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland. The battle for reproductive rights has been and will continue to be in the states.  We need to keep Maryland strong.

While I am beginning this dialogue in writing, I am available to speak with you by phone at your convenience. Please feel free to also email me at diana@prochoicemd.org.

Peace, strength, liberty, & justice-

Diana Philip

Executive Director

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland (501(c)4)

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Fund (501(c)3)

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Political Action Committee (PAC)

(443) 869-2970 |  diana@prochoicemd.org

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