First, thank you for your dedication to our movement and commitment to supporting our small, but mighty, statewide affiliate for Maryland reproductive rights.
It has been a tough several years in our movement with a two-term Republican governor, the Trump/Pence Administration, a pandemic, and now a Mississippi abortion ban case is pending before an anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court – a real threat to the legacy and the spirit of the Roe v. Wade ruling.
However, thanks to you and our team of staff members, board directors, interns, and volunteers, we have accomplished incredible work in both protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice in Maryland.
During my time as executive director, we have drafted eleven original pieces of legislation for consideration by the Maryland General Assembly, with six passing into law, and two new ones being introduced next session. The scope of our programming tripled to encompass eight issue campaigns. We convened ground-breaking projects, such as Reproductive Justice Inside, the Access Team Initiative, and the Maryland Abortion Access Alliance. There is a now an abundance of materials and resources offered online, such as an abortion provider directory and ways to fund abortion care. Our new office in Baltimore has provided capacity and support to other groups dedicated to the cause, such as the Baltimore Abortion Fund, the Baltimore Doula Project, and the Reproductive Health Equity Alliance of Maryland. With the creation of the Jonathan Shurberg Policy & Legal Research Intern Program, over 125 interns have been given opportunities to hone their skills and talents to help ensure a new generation of trained movement leaders prepared to mobilize against various types of anti-choice threats.
You may have seen the announcements that NARAL Pro-Choice America has decided they no longer wish to have state affiliates. I don’t want you to worry for even a second. We are still here doing the work, and we have your back. Regardless of the changes ahead, I promise you that we remain committed to fighting to expand access to abortion care in Maryland and maintain a firewall of protection no matter what happens to Roe v. Wade. I appreciate your partnership as we navigate the changing landscape of our state’s movement. In the coming months, we’ll share more information as it becomes available, and we’ll solicit your input.
It is with a pang of sadness that I announce my departure as executive director.
It has been an honor to serve you, the patients, and the providers.
It has been an honor to fight alongside allies, advocates, and partners in our movement, as well as in other progressive movements which intersect with our own.
It has been an honor to work with elected officials, candidates, and their dedicated staff members who understand all that is at stake in our movement.
I will miss my staff, interns, and affiliate siblings.
Next month, I will begin a new adventure with a national coalition based in DC dedicated to voting rights and strengthening democracy. All voices must be heard.
As a traditionally white-led reproductive rights nonprofit, we have had our fair share of challenges in realizing programming and organizational goals towards diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. As the boards of directors begin the search for a new executive director, I wish them the very best and thank them in advance for their dedication in keeping all of these factors in mind during the process, and ask our allies for their continued support.
Your commitment to reproductive freedom inspires me. Knowing that I can count on you makes me believe that our movement in Maryland can only become stronger and better. The fight for reproductive rights is in the states. Investments must be made. My most recent blog on this topic was just published.
Please keep giving your time, resources, and energy locally.
Keep Maryland strong!
Peace, strength, liberty, & justice-