To our members, supporters and cross-movement allies,
Just over a month ago, we ended a historic legislative session with major victories, including measures that will regulate deceptive advertising practices by anti-choice CPCs, protect patient privacy, expand access to healthcare for state residents regardless of immigration status, and legislation that defines the doula profession and declares racism as a public health crisis.
While our state took steps to advance reproductive freedom, we continue to witness record-breaking numbers of anti-choice legislation filed or passed in statehouses across the country, while we also prepare for a conservative-majority Supreme Court slated to hear a case that may overturn or gut Roe v. Wade in 2022. 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, 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 Connecticut. This marks 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 and against our recommendation. We are troubled that a new DC-concentrated restructure will not leverage the success of state-based organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, who has worked with our trusted partners towards advancing bold, proactive reproductive health policies in the Nutmeg state.
While much remains to be decided, the bottom line is our team is committed to continuing as a strong Connecticut-based organization with the same values, board, and staff that have served our communities for over 4 decades. 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 Connecticut: progressive change happens at the local level. Our team will remain focused on our shared mission of building community in the fight to protect and expand reproductive freedom. 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 Connecticut. Together our movement is greater than the sum of its individual parts. I see a future of abundance for NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut with even more collective impact, empowered to do more to support communities within and beyond our state borders.
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.
This news may be bittersweet, but I truly believe in the legacy and future of our work in Connecticut. As I approach my 3 year anniversary with NARAL Pro-Choice Connectcut, I am incredibly grateful to be in this fight with each and every one of you, and look forward to shaping this next chapter together.
While we are beginning this dialogue in writing, please know you are welcome to reach out with any questions or feedback with our team. Thank you for everything.
Liz Gustafson, State Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut