Reproductive Justice – A Community Responsibility

Maryland NOW’s Reproducitve Justice
Task Force

NOW Member Phebe Wood is a feminist organizer from Kent County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She started organizing after attending a 2 day training camp in 2015. Beginning in Democratic politics with a focus on youth political engagement, she volunteered on numerous political campaigns, taught workshops to high school students on activism and gender parity, and eventually worked on the Jessie Colvin and Heather Mizeur congressional campaigns to unseat Andy Harris.

Over the past few years, she has transitioned to focusing on the Reproductive Justice movement, including training as an abortion counselor. Phebe became  involved with Maryland NOW last summer, when she joined the ERA Task Force. She is currently the ERA Task Force Team Lead on the Eastern Shore Van Tour project.

Today, Phebe’s work focuses mainly on abortion access, birth justice, and preventing gender based violence. 


The term “Reproductive Justice” (RJ) was coined in 1994 by a group of black women who recognized that the mainstream women’s rights movement of the time was not representing women of color. They founded a group called Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice and the RJ movement was born. 

Reproductive Justice means that all people have access to:

  • The right to control our own bodies and futures,
  • The right to have children,
  • The right to not have children and to terminate a pregnancy, and 
  • The right to raise the children we do have in safe and sustainable communities.


The Maryland Now Reproductive Justice Task Force’s mission is to make these principles a reality, in Maryland and beyond. We create change through education and outreach, political organizing, and direct community support. 

We understand that Reproductive Justice must be inclusive and expansive. We know that effective advocates for Reproductive Justice must be conscious of racial, economic, and gender justice. There is no Reproductive Justice while Black women are more than 3 times more likely to die in childbirth in Maryland. There is no Reproductive Justice when parents can’t access the resources they need to support their children. There is no Reproductive Justice when the vast majority of Queer and trans students hear anti-LGBTQ remarks. There is no Reproductive Justice when women and all other pregnancy-capable people are stripped of the ability to access dignified, respectful, and supportive abortion care if, when, and how they choose.

We believe that maintaining control over our reproductive lives through accessing sex education, contraception, fertility care, and abortion when and how we need them is a fundamental human right. We believe that pregnant people have a right to live their lives in full autonomy without being criminalized or stigmatized. We believe that abortion is an unalloyed good, and that people who seek and have abortions—including abortions at all gestational ages, and people who have multiple abortions—deserve to feel support and not shame.

 Abortion access is a community responsibility. Supporting marginalized parents, children, and pregnant people is a community responsibility. Ensuring that every person has full bodily autonomy is a community responsibility.