Maryland NOW Announces Plans for our 2024 Annual State Conference




Dateline: Silver Spring, Maryland, May, 2024 – The Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Women (N OW) has heard its members loud and clear. The political landscape for the next six months in our country is not at all reassuring to women concerned about their rights. The situation in our nice “blue” state isn’t all that good either. The Republicans are already smelling victory in Maryland’s open U.S. Senate seat race, and we have to work to make that NOT happen. The abortion amendment to our state constitution is a “must win” also. 

Our annual state conference is to be held on Saturday June 1 and will provide some opportunities for members and friends to hear an overview of the political landscape nationally and where Maryland fits in that picture. Our guests will include Cate Gormley, VP at Lake Research. She will give the conference a national context to Maryland’s role in November. She’ll be joined for discussion by Ellie Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, and Linda Berg, former PAC Director for the National Organization for Women. Holding the U.S. House and Senate puts Maryland in the national spotlight, but those political races are not everything in our focus. 

The Maryland Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment on the ballot in November will amend the Maryland State Constitution to include “the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one’s own pregnancy.” The Center for Reproductive Rights cites only “10 states in which high courts recognize that their state constitutions protect abortion rights and access…”  This ballot question will undoubtedly be approved in the more populated areas of our state, but in rural areas in Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore, we face a tougher sell. 

We are offering two afternoon panels for our members and friends, one of which will open discussion on both issues. Maryland has only one abortion care facility in Western Maryland and one on the Eastern Shore. We will hear from both clinics about how to develop messages that will help these areas successfully approve the amendment. 

Maryland NOW members are also very concerned about getting the ERA finally certified as a constitutional amendment. This panel will address simple and immediate actions people can take as individuals and organizations to join the national grassroots efforts to see the ERA published as the 28th Amendment this year. 

We are looking forward to sharing our conference day – speakers, conversation, networking –  with you all. Everyone is welcome – NOW members, visitors (NOW members who are from other states), and guests – everyone else!