Who We Are
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland is an advocate for reproductive health, rights, and justice. We work to ensure every individual has the freedom to decide if, when, how, and with whom to form one’s family. We honor pregnancy in all its complexity, and believe that each individual has the power to make personal decisions about one’s own life, body, and future. Abortion care will always be essential healthcare – but it is not the sole definition of reproductive freedom. There should be no barrier to accessing all the sexual and reproductive healthcare necessary to protect one’s fertility, plan a pregnancy, experience a healthy pregnancy, give birth, recover from a miscarriage or stillbirth, access abortion care, or conceive using reproductive technology. Reproductive freedom also calls for the social, economic, and political conditions which allow parenting with dignity, in good health, and in safety. Access to quality and affordable support services that are vital to healthy parenting influences decision-making about how large to grow one’s family through childbearing, or opening one’s home to foster care or adoption.
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland fights for reproductive freedom, which includes the right for every individual to live and create families free from violence and coercion. Our diverse movement intersects with many others that seek to eliminate racial, social, economic, political, and environmental oppression. In 2020 and moving forward, we stand firm in our commitment to dismantling institutions that perpetuate white supremacy, systemic violence, and discrimination, while uplifting historically disenfranchised and vulnerable communities, specifically the lives of Black, Brown, Indigenous, AANHPI, and all people of color, as well as low-income individuals, youth, individuals with disabilities, undocumented people, those who are incarcerated or detained, and/or individuals who self-identify as LGBTQIA+ throughout Maryland. We are committed to cultivating a transformative culture with MD NARAL’s staff, board, and membership that builds authentic relationships and centers the leadership and demands of impacted communities across our state. Together with our allies, we commit to building a future where reproductive freedom is strong and protected for all Marylanders.
Much of our work is done in coalition, with a focus on supporting direct service providers with technical assistance, advocacy, and policy support. We work in coalitions that are guided by the belief that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, income, ability, age, and immigration status, are deserving of comprehensive, affordable, and dignified reproductive healthcare; economic security; quality education; and safe working and living conditions; as well as public health and policy practices which improve their quality of life. Depending on the type of work and wishes of the campaign leaders, sometimes our affiliate plays a behind-the-scenes role while other times we are vocal leaders of advocacy campaign. Regardless, we are always mindful that our allyship is not co-opting the work of those already providing services or community-based programming. We state this in recognition that institutionalized racism, including in the nonprofit realm, has resulted in the physical, psychological and emotional violence and neglect of people of color and undocumented individuals.
What We Do
- We engage in outreach, policy research, and coalition building to identify issues that affect reproductive freedom.
- We create issue-specific campaigns to raise public awareness and organize allies to act.
- We strategize with local statewide allies, as well as national partners in the movement, about ways to advocate for change.
- We help develop legislation to advance reproductive health, rights, and justice, and lobby local and state elected officials to pass pro-choice measures or defeat anti-choice bills or ordinances.
- We organize Marylanders to make sure that lawmakers hear from the pro-choice people they represent.
- We connect what happens in Maryland, in Congress, and the courts with how it affects one’s ability to exercise sexual and reproductive rights.
- We educate Marylanders about important reproductive health issues and policies, learn from community members about which are particular priorities of importance, and offer support to existing allies and advocates seeking reform.
- NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland uses the political process to elect lawmakers who share our pro-choice values and defeat candidates who seek to undermine or strip away reproductive freedom.
What Is Reproductive Freedom?
There are three parts to our affiliate:
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland (MD NARAL)
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland is the policy and political arm of the reproductive freedom movement in our state. This is a membership organization, in which supporters can join by paying annual dues. Visit the PowerPoint from our December 2020 annual membership meeting to learn more here.
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Fund (The Fund)
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Fund is the research, outreach, and education arm of our movement. The Fund does not engage in direct political activities, but its work in the areas of policy research, organizing, coalition building, and leadership development complement and inform the advocacy strategies of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland. To learn more about current issue campaigns, visit here.
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Political Action Committee (PAC)
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC helps elect pro-choice champions into state and local offices by providing financial and in-kind campaign contributions to candidates who have been endorsed by members of the PAC.
For NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Fund, the 501(c)3 education arm, our mission is to support and protect, as a fundamental right and value, everybody’s freedom to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices through education, training, organizing, legal action, and public policy.
For NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, the 501(c)4 advocacy arm, our mission is to develop and sustain a constituency that uses the political process to guarantee everybody the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.