NAPW uses all of our legal cases and advocacy efforts as opportunities to empower local activists and women who are directly affected; to support grassroots and state-based organizations; and to mobilize grasstops advocates. NAPW does not drop in or fly over a state. We don’t litigate and leave, we litigate and build. As a result of our organizing efforts, even when we lose a case, we gain ground by strengthening our base of support and building strength for the next fight.

Grassroots and Grasstops

NAPW also knows that litigation and legal advocacy alone will not secure pregnant women’s civil and human rights. Such fundamental legal and cultural change requires building and supporting a connected, intersectional and empowered base of grassroots activists and grasstops advocates.

NAPW does this by:

  • Organizing conferences, rallies, protests, petitions, open letters, and amicus (friend of the court briefs) to demonstrate support not only for the 33% of women who will have an abortion over the course of their lifetimes but also the 84% of women who will get pregnant and give birth.
  • Recognizing, respecting, and supporting local and state-based grassroots activists, leaders and organizations and working to link them to national medical, public health, and social justice resources.
  • Nurturing new leadership, empowering women directly affected by punitive policies, and engaging new activists through internships, writing contests, and support to participate in base building and activist events.

Examples of NAPW organizing efforts include the rally featured in the documentary Bei Bei, that helped to win freedom for Bei Bei Shuai, a woman who attempted suicide while pregnant and was then arrested and charged with feticide and manslaughter. NAPW’s Executive Director was a featured speaker at the massive March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C. and in 2017, NAPW supporters at Marches for Women in Washington D.C. , New York City; Buffalo, NY; Indianapolis, IN; and Lexington, KY carried our "Knocked Up — Fight Back" signs and our message that nothing about being pregnant or the outcome of pregnancy should make women targets for punishment of any kind. NAPW’s organizing efforts helped to get a statue honoring the “father of gynecology” removed from East Harlem because this marker failed to acknowledge that the discoveries made were the result of surgery on enslaved Black women.

Take Root Conference

As part of our commitment to respecting and supporting activists everywhere, NAPW helped create and sustain the Take Root: Red State Perspectives on Reproductive Justice conference held annually from 2012-2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. Hundreds of people from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and other red states have gone to this event proving that there are reproductive health, rights, and justice activists everywhere in this country.

As a result of our ever growing network of local and national activists, we have won cases, defeated dangerous policies, and expanded participation in reproductive and social justice movements.