New name. New look. Same commitment.
Today we are proud to announce that NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon is now a fully independent, community-based organization: Pro-Choice Oregon.
Last summer, we were surprised to be informed that NARAL Pro-Choice America’s board of directors had voted to end their affiliation with 11 state-based organizations, including ours. Following conversations with community partners, and after careful consideration by our staff and board members, today’s announcement of our new name and identity is an important and positive next step for our organization. This change will help ensure we can be more responsive to the unique needs of our communities and continue to lead our larger national movement during these unprecedented times.
No matter what, we will continue to hold the torch for our movement here in Oregon, steadfast in our committment to defend and expand abortion access for all people, across all intersections and identities. This new name is just the first of many changes we have planned to better reflect our values and center the people who still face barriers to reproductive care in Oregon. Looking forward, we also see a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build something even better.
Change is often bittersweet, and yet necessary for each of us to continue to evolve and meet new challenges. I was so honored to be selected as the first woman of color to lead this organization. And I am even more proud to know I will be just the first of many future leaders who will represent communities our movement has often left out, namely: Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, gender expansive, queer, low-income, disabled, immigrant, and young people.
Our new name and new identity are just the start of a quiet revolution that has been happening within many reproductive movement organizations, including ours. Our team is ready to embrace change, take an active role in dismantling oppression in all its forms, and prepared to build collective power to have a measurable and positive impact within our communities. We can’t wait to go on this journey with you.
To lead this change, we are forming a taskforce that will put community first, reflect the diversity of this state, and center the voices of those directly impacted by barriers to access. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be developing our long-term strategic plan. This strategic plan will be built on the strong foundation that all of you have played a role in shaping and will be driven by folks who are most impacted, ensuring we are best prepared to meet the unique challenges of today. (The voices from the communities mentioned above will be prioritized both in outreach and in compensation for their time. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in supporting these efforts.)
While we undergo this year of revisioning, please know that Pro-Choice Oregon will continue to endorse and support pro-choice champions to victory in the 2022 election. We will be here to fight any and all threats to abortion access in our state capitol, and we will continue to advocate and advance innovative and inclusive policies in school districts, city halls, counties, our courts, and in the highest levels of government.
After Texas Senate Bill 8, the future of abortion access may feel precarious, especially knowing we have a Supreme Court that has made it clear they intend to allow the dismantling of Roe v. Wade. But if I’m being honest with you, I’ve never had more hope.
We are the future of this movement. The work we do in Oregon continues to lead the nation, and with our local partners, we are doing more to center those who have faced historic inequities and lack of access to care (though more must be done). While things may be fraught in the Supreme Court, we are resilient and our commitment has never been stronger. And we won’t stop fighting until reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy exists for ALL people.
In solidarity and gratitude,