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Call No.: MC 659
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts (Organization)
Title: Records of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, 1972-2008
Quantity: 59.57 linear feet (107 + 1/2 file boxes, 11 folio+ boxes) plus 3 oversize folders, 2 supersize folders, 9 photograph folders, 2 negative folders, 2 objects, electronic records.)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Board records, financial documents, and correspondence of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Massachusetts affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Audiovisual Collection (DVD-105, T-128, Vt-92).
Donors: NARAL Pro-Choice MassachusettsAccession number: 82-M192, 88-M34, 88-M94, 89-M44, 93-M102, 94-M82, 96-M113, 97-M157, 2000-M130, 2002-M95, 2005-M5, 2007-M138, 2008-M109Processed by: Cat Lea HolbrookThe following items have been removed from the collection:
- Audiotapes [T-128] and videotapes [Vt-244] were removed and will be cataloged separately.
- Some NARAL Pro-Choice America printed material was transferred to the NARAL Pro-Choice America Records at the Schlesinger Library
The Massachusetts Organization for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (MORAL) was incorporated on September 11, 1972, as the Massachusetts state affiliate for National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL). MORAL was a non-profit, political organization whose purpose was to develop and sustain a constituency which utilized the political process to protect a woman's right to a legal abortion. A membership organization, the members elected the board of directors. The board consisted of a president, vice president or vice presidents, treasurer, clerk, and a number of other members specified by the board. Board members were nominated by the nominating committee or by members during the annual meeting. Between 1972 and 1977, MORAL engaged primarily in lobbying, educational activities, and letter writing. In 1978, MORAL created and developed the organizing model that became the core of the NARAL Field Program. The model, which was based on community organizing techniques, was designed to turn politically inactive pro-choice people into voters, campaign contributors, and campaign workers. Two examples of techniques used in the model are area teams and house meetings. Area teams functioned across the state as localized versions of the state-wide organizing committee, political committee, media committee, and the events committee. By the late 1980s, MORAL had eight area teams around Massachusetts: Jamaica Plain, Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville, Cape Cod, and Hampshire County. House meetings were used to educate the membership about threats to abortion rights and about NARAL's plan for building a powerful organization to counter these threats. The host would invite pro-choice family, friends, and co-workers to his or her home for refreshments and to listen to a MORAL speaker. The speaker would "rap" (have an informal discussion) about pro-choice issues, pro-choice candidates, legislative issues, and why MORAL needed more volunteers and supporters to continue their work. People often became members, volunteers, or donors at a house meeting. These organizing strategies grew the MORAL base from 200 to 3,500 members and the staff from one paid employee to ten in three years. In 1981, MORAL was designated the Eastern United States site for NARAL's Affiliate Development Program (ADP). The ADP site was responsible for hiring, training, and supervising organizers from key states in the Eastern United States.In 1979, MORAL became a three tiered organization, MORAL, Incorporated; MORAL Political Action Committee (PAC); and MORAL Foundation. MORAL, Incorporated directed the lobbying and organizing of members and volunteers. MORAL PAC was founded to support the election of pro-choice candidates to state office. It was a volunteer organization which only employed organizers for a few months each statewide election year. Donations made to the MORAL PAC went directly to aid in the election of endorsed pro-choice candidates, giving them financial and in-kind contributions such as campaign volunteers. The political committee and MORAL PAC were responsible for choosing the candidates which MORAL would endorse. They made endorsements in statewide elections if there was a contested race with pro-choice versus anti-choice candidates, or if there was a pro-choice incumbent with pro-choice challengers. Before being endorsed, each candidate was sent a questionnaire to answer, and was then interviewed by MORAL and MORAL PAC staff to ascertain if they met the criteria required by MORAL for endorsement. The MORAL Foundation was created as a non-profit organization to educate the public on the abortion issue and the democratic process. Initially, the MORAL Foundation had one paid staff member who worked from home. Donations made to the Foundation were tax-deductible and directly supported political skills training and the development of print and media educational materials.MORAL changed its name to Mass Choice in 1984, highlighting its commitment to the concept of choice, not just abortion rights. In 1985, along with NARAL, Mass Choice sponsored a state wide "Speak Out," entitled "A Call to Action." Over 1,000 women and men shared their personal pro-choice stories and opinions in order to support a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion. In 1986, Mass Choice had four staff members, 12 board members, and 5,000 members. Mass Choice changed its name again in 1996 to Mass NARAL, as did many other state affiliates, to clarify its relationship to NARAL. When NARAL became NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2003, Mass NARAL followed, becoming NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. The organization has been influential in the passage of several pro-choice bills in the Massachusetts legislature. In 2000, the Buffer Zone Bill established a fixed "buffer zone" of 18 feet around the entrances and driveways of reproductive health facilities in Massachusetts. This bill was updated in 2007, to provide a "buffer zone" of 35 feet. In 2003, the Emergency Contraception bill was passed, enabling pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill. For more information see the NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts web site, http://www.prochoicemass.org.
The collection is arranged in nine series:
- Series I. Administration, 1972-2007, n.d. (#1.1-17.21, 110F+B.1-110F+B.3, E.1)
- Series II. Director's files, 1980-2006, n.d. (#18.1-53.4 110F+B.4-110F+B.13, PD.1-PD.3)
- Series III. Committees, 1976-2005, n.d. (#53.5-66.7, 110F+B.14-110F+B.19, PD.4)
- Series IV. Financial records, 1976-2006, n.d. (#66.8-90.5, 110F+B.20-118F+B.12, OD.1-OD.2, SD.2, PD.5-PD.6 )
- Series V. Membership, mailings, publications, and publicity, 1972-2008, n.d. (#90.6-94.13m, 118F+B.13, PD.7-PD.9)
- Series VI. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Foundation, 1978-1993, n.d. (#94.14-97.15, 118F+B.14-119F+B.1)
- Series VII. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Political Action Committee (PAC), 1978-2002, n.d. (#97.16-101.15, 119F+B.2-119F+B.4)
- Series VIII. Coalitions, 1980-2004, n.d. (#101.16-108.9, 119F+B.5-119F+B.6)
- Series IX. Oversized and memorabilia, 1978-1998, n.d. (#109F+B.1-109F+B.8, 119F+B.7-119F+B.8, OD.3, SD.1, Mem.1+-Mem.2)
The records of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts contain by-laws; minutes of annual meetings, correspondence, e-mails, mailings, and other material related to annual meetings; minutes, correspondence, and mailings to and from the board of directors and the executive committee; reports and some correspondence of the executive director; minutes, mailings, and correspondence of various committees; financial and membership records; mailings; and printed material. Printed material includes documents that were produced for mass distribution by NARAL, Mass Choice, political candidates, and others, and can consist of form letters, flyers, press releases, training materials, campaign reports, information sheets, membership drives, etc. When the bulk of the collection was donated to the Schlesinger Library, the organization was called Mass Choice. Therefore, throughout the text within the finding aid, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is referred to as Mass Choice. Original folder headings were maintained; titles in brackets were created by the archivist.Series I, ADMINISTRATION,1972-2007, n.d. (#1.1-17.21, 110F+B.1-110F+B.3, E.1), contains minutes, agendas, financial reports, e-mails, general operation files, personnel files, by-laws, and incorporation documents. The series is arranged in five subseries.Subseries A, Annual meetings, 1990-2000 (#1.1-1.20), includes handouts from the annual meetings, materials from the planning committee, and registration information. The subseries is arranged chronologically.Subseries B, Board of directors, 1977-1994, n.d. (#1.21-8.3, 110F+B.1-110F+B.2), includes letters and e-mails between board members, Mass Choice, and donors; printed material; and financial records. Board members consisted of volunteers, former staff, donors, the chair of PAC, and other members of Mass Choice. Board members were expected to join committees, participate in policy making decisions, support fundraising events, and hire the executive director. Many files in this subseries belonged to Robin Ault (d. 1994), a long-time volunteer of Mass Choice; he served on the board of directors, the organizing committee, several auction committees, and was the Newton Area team leader. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries C, Personnel files, 1977-2001, n.d. (#8.4-11.7), includes performance reviews, recommendations, salary information, reports, memoranda, letters of understanding, letters of resignation, letters of termination, calendars, job descriptions, and meeting notes. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries D, General files, 1972-2006, n.d. (#11.8-14.15, 110F+B.3, E.1), includes by-laws, copies of the incorporation documents, materials from non-fund-raising events sponsored by Mass Choice, as well as general office files, letters and e-mails, and administrative records. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts' web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection (WAX). The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries E, NARAL Pro-Choice America, 1978-2007 (#14.16-17.21), includes letters, e-mails, reports, and other materials exchanged by NARAL and Mass Choice. Silent No More / A Call to Action was organized as a counterattack to the anti-abortion film The Silent Scream. A collection of 40,000 letters gathered from women in every state were read in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1985. The Mass Choice Silent No More / A Call to Action campaign included not only letters from women revealing their individual stories of abortion, but also letters from men and women sharing the stories of friends and family. Mass Choice also collected general letters of support from people who were pro-choice during Silent No More / A Call to Action. The subseries is arranged alphabetically. Some printed material was transferred to the NARAL Pro-Choice America Records at the Schlesinger Library.Series II, DIRECTOR'S FILES,1980-2006, n.d. (#18.1-53.4), contains letters, e-mails, memoranda, reports, and other files of Laura Brown, Joyce Cunha, Erica Foldy, Marisa Howard, Melissa Kogut, and Pamela Nourse. The series is arranged in six subseries.Subseries A, Laura Brown, 2003-2006 (#18.1-18.12), contains meeting notes, printed material, e-mails, minutes, and volunteer lists. Laura Brown was organizing director at Mass Choice from 2003 to 2006. Organizers were responsible for volunteer and membership recruitment, motivating members to develop and use political skills, plan and conduct training for volunteers, and coordinate phonebanks for fund raisers and other events. In 2003, the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was celebrated by holding "Choice Conversations" which functioned as house meetings. Groups gathered at someone's home for an informal discussion on reproductive rights. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries B, Joyce Cunha, 1980-2000, n.d. (#18.13-40.16, 110F+B.4-110F+B.10, PD.1-PD.3), includes memoranda, meeting minutes and agendas, meeting notes, clippings, reports, printed material, correspondence, and candidate questionnaires. Joyce Cunha began her career at Mass Choice in 1985. She served in many roles at Mass Choice from staff, to associate director, and finally as executive director. As associate director, she was responsible for supervising staff, membership recruitment, leadership development, donor gatherings and grassroots fundraising events. Cunha also was on the staff of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts PAC. She was executive director of Mass Choice from 1993 to 1995. As executive director, Cunha was responsible for direct mailings; telemarketing; grants and major donor contributions; lobbying and political strategy; staff supervision; and the media spokesperson. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries C, Erica Foldy, 1986-2002 (#40.17-42.21, 110F+B.11-110F+B.12), includes meeting minutes and agendas, meeting notes, volunteer lists, printed material, e-mails, and evaluations. Erica Foldy held several positions at Mass Choice as field director, training director, and finally as director of the Mass Choice Foundation. As training director, she helped found the Training Institute in 1989. The Training Institute served to strengthen the internal training of staff and board members, as well as to provide training for other organizations and electoral campaigns. The Training Institute held training workshops on many levels, including speakers, trainers, candidates, and campaign workers. Foldy coordinated the training and educational events of the Foundation, developed written materials for the Foundation and for Mass Choice, and acted as media spokesperson. Foldy also worked with the Foundation board of directors to increase its budget. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries D, Marisa Howard, 1991-2005, n.d. (#43.1-47.19), includes surveys, printed material, meeting notes, reports, e-mails, and memoranda. Marisa Howard was organizing director and reproductive health care access program director at Mass Choice. Howard was responsible for maintaining and developing the GAIN Access committee, co-managing the medical advisory committee, working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to support the statewide Emergency Contraception Network, and mobilize student planning actions. GAIN Access (Grassroots Action is Needed for Access) was launched in 1999 to raise public awareness of the need for accessible reproductive health services, including abortion and emergency contraception, and to work directly with communities, hospitals, and providers to eliminate barriers to access. Founded in 2001 by the Mass Choice Foundation and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Family Planning Program, the Massachusetts Emergency Contraception Network (MECN) was a coalition of reproductive rights organizations, medical providers, pharmacists, community organizations, and government agencies working to increase access to and awareness of emergency contraception (EC) in order to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. Between 2000 and 2003, GAIN Access and the Massachusetts Emergency Contraception Network conducted phone and written surveys with health centers, hospitals, and student health centers. During the phone surveys with health care workers the GAIN Access staff used various scenarios, posing as different types of clients to gauge the facility's reaction to emergency contraception requests. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries E, Melissa Kogut, 1985-2006, n.d. (#47.20-51.17, 110F+B.13), includes meeting notes, printed material, meeting minutes and agendas, reports, memoranda, and membership lists. Melissa Kogut joined the Mass Choice staff in 1988 as an organizer and was responsible for membership recruitment, leadership development, grassroots fundraising, donor gatherings and legislative work. Organizers were responsible for volunteer and membership recruitment, motivating members to develop and use political skills, plan and conduct training for volunteers, and coordinate phonebanks for fund raisers and other events. She served as executive director from 1995 to 2007. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries F, Pamela Nourse, 1985-1993, n.d. (#51.18-53.4), includes memoranda, meeting notes, and printed material. Pamela Nourse was executive director from 1985 to 1993. As executive director Nourse was responsible for direct mailings, telemarketing, planning and implementation of Mass Choice's organizing, fundraising, political and administrative goals. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Series III, COMMITTEES,1976-2005, n.d. (#53.5-66.7, 110F+B.14-110F+B.19, SD.1, PD.4), contains letters, e-mails, meeting minutes and agendas, and other materials. The series is arranged in three subseries.Subseries A, Organizing committee, 1978-2005, n.d. (#53.5-61.11, 109F+B.1, 110F+B.14-110F+B.19, PD.4), includes the letters, e-mails, meeting documents, and other materials produced by committee members, area teams, trainers, district coordinators, and organizers. The organizing committee was responsible for house meetings, recruitment of volunteers, volunteer training, and legislative work. The committee also developed political and fundraising strategies at the local level by cultivating and maintaining area teams and acted as liaisons between area team members and the main office. House meeting "raps" (informal discussions) were also used during phone banks to recruit new members. Later the term "scripts" was used instead. The area teams were responsible for organizing phone banks, literature distribution, and college campus contacts. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries B, Political committee, 1979-2000, n.d. (#61.12-63.14, 63.24), includes the letters, e-mails, meeting documents, and other materials produced by committee members, volunteers, candidates, and trainers. The political committee researched, targeted, and met with potential candidates to be endorsed by Mass Choice and Mass Choice PAC. The committee also helped plan the political skills workshops. Members of the political committee served on the board of the PAC. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries C, Other committees, 1976-2005, n.d. (#63.15-63.23, 64.1-66.7), includes the letters, e-mails, reports, and other materials. The administration committee consisted of a chairperson elected by the board, a president, and other members who were either appointed by the chairperson, or were board members who had volunteered. The Executive director of Mass Choice was also on the committee. The administration committee could nominate members to the board of directors. The fundraising committee (see also Series IV, Financial Records) planned the events held by Mass Choice such as the annual auction and Chocolate Madness. In 1993, Mass Choice developed the diversity committee by having a series of meetings with women of color to discuss reproductive rights issues, and to solicit their ideas and suggestions on the Mass Choice program. In 1994, the diversity task force was created, consisting of activists form communities of color, as well as Mass Choice board members. Their goals were to serve as a working group to generate strategies and ideas to involved people of color at all levels of Mass Choice, and to establish ongoing communications and collaborations with leaders and activists in communities of color. The media committee was responsible for cultivating press contacts, designing press releases, and developing media skills. The media activist was to function as the single contact person on news releases, story ideas, and program proposals. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Series IV, FINANCIAL RECORDS,1976-2006, n.d. (#66.8-90.5, 110F+B.20-118F+B.12, OD.1-OD.2, SD.2, PD.5-PD.6),contains financial reports, budgets, memoranda, correspondence, donor lists, e-mails, contracts, and other materials. The series is arranged in three subseries.Subseries A, Audits, budgets, and bank statements, 1979-1998 (#66.8-68.12, 110F+B.20-114F+B.9, OD.1-OD.2), includes internal audits, check registers, financial records and reports, donor information, and annual expenses. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries B, Fundraising, 1976-2003, n.d. (#68.13-87.9, 114F+B.10-118F+B.7, PD.5-PD.6), includes letters, e-mails, memoranda, meeting notes, promotional material, mailings, committee reports and minutes, and lists of donors, members, and volunteers. During the 1980s and 1990s Mass Choice held several fund raisers every year, the two biggest being the annual auction and Chocolate Madness. The annual auction featured items such as weekends away around New England, spa packages, jewelry, arts and crafts, and signed books. In 1990, the tag line was "Come make your bid for choice!" The Chocolate Madness festival featured chocolate desserts of all types from around Boston. The judges were often restaurant owners, food critics, pro-choice elected officials, radio celebrities, and other pro-choice advocates from around New England. In 1998, 300 pro-choice supporters gathered in Brookline to sample 30 different desserts. In 2010, that number doubled to 600. Additional material received on floppy disks will be reformatted at some future date. The subseries is arranged alphabetically and then chronologically.Subseries C, General, 1981-2006, n.d. (#87.10-90.5, 118F+B.8-118F+B.12, SD.2), includes general financial information, employee names, letters, e-mails, reports, memoranda, and other material. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Series V, MEMBERSHIP, MAILINGS, PUBLICATIONS, AND PUBLICITY, 1972-2008, n.d. (#90.6-94.13m, 118F+B.13, PD.7-PD.9), includes member and donor information, direct mail samples, and reports produced by Mass Choice. The direct mailings were often membership appeals, legislative alerts, candidate reports, calls to action, and volunteer opportunities. Printing invoices (#92.11-92.16, 93.1, 93.16-93.20) reflect the number of mailings and publications produced for Mass Choice members, board members, pro-choice advocates, volunteers, and donors. Several of Mass Choice's publications are held separately by the Schlesinger Library, and therefore do not appear in this series. These are: MORAL Newsletter: Report from the Constitutional Defense Project, Your Choice, Choice, Voice of Choice, and Choice Newsfile. These publications may be located by searching in the HOLLIS catalog. The series is arranged alphabetically.Series VI, NARAL PRO-CHOICE MASSACHUSETTS FOUNDATION,1978-1993, n.d. (#94.14-97.15, 118F+B.14-119F+B.1), includes letters, memoranda, meeting materials, reports, and other materials. Mass Choice Foundation was formed as a 501 c(3) organization so donors could claim donations as tax deductions. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Foundation is the educational and training arm of Mass Choice. The Foundation also provides skills training for activists and grassroots campaigners; and community education programs such as house meetings. Mass Choice Foundation is able to give grants to Mass Choice and to other organizations which make proposals to present educational information about the abortion issue. The Executive Director of Mass Choice is the Director of Mass Choice Foundation. Board members often consist of former board members of Mass Choice. The series is arranged in two subseries.Subseries A, Administration and board, 1978-1993, n.d. (#94.14-97.15), includes letters, reports, meeting materials, and other documents produced by Mass Choice Foundation, and board members. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.Subseries B, Financial records, 1979-1993 (#95.12-97.15, 118F+B.14-119F+B.1), includes reports, donor correspondence and information, and other financial records produced by the Foundation and its board members.Series VII, NARAL PRO-CHOICE MASSACHUSETTS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (PAC),1978-2002, n.d. (#97.16-101.15, 119F+B.2-119F+B.4), includes letters, e-mails, reports, and other materials produced by the PAC, board members, volunteers, trainers, and candidates. The series includes the PAC's files on political candidates in both Massachusetts and national campaigns. Mass Choice PAC was created in 1979 to organize volunteers and funds for specific pro-choice candidates, targeting critical state-level races and publishing pro-choice candidate lists. The candidates chosen were pro-choice, and had to support abortion rights including public funding and repealing the restrictions on a teenager's access to abortion. The PAC's board of directors often consisted of members of Mass Choice's political committee. Its board chair sits on the board of Mass Choice. The Common Sense Campaign was formed in 1984 to organized political action specifically for ballot questions. The series is arranged alphabetically.Series VIII, COALITIONS,1980-2004, n.d. (#101.16-108.9, 119F+B.5-119F+B.6), includes the materials of pro-choice organizations around Massachusetts that Mass Choice helped found, joined, or supported. See also files in Director's Files (#33.6-33.8, 48.5-49.16). The Coalition for Choice was formed in 1984 "to educate the public and block legislative approval of a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution and other attempts to restrict abortion rights." The Campaign for Choice was first organized to defeat the proposed 1986 Massachusetts anti-abortion constitutional amendment and functioned as a political action committee for the Coalition for Choice. The Commonwealth Coalition is a group of organizations and unions working together to increase the ranks of progressive, pro-labor lawmakers in Massachusetts. The series is arranged alphabetically.Series IX, OVERSIZED AND MEMORABILIA,1978-1998, n.d. (#109F+B.1-109F+B.8, 119F+B.7-119F+B.8, OD.3, SD.1, Mem.1+-Mem.2), includes the oversized material and memorabilia removed from throughout the collection. The series is arranged in two subseries.Subseries A, Oversized, 1978-1998 (#109F+B.1-109F+B.8, 119F+B.7-119F+B.8, OD.3, SD.1), includes oversized items removed from throughout the collection.Subseries B, Memorabilia, n.d. (#Mem.1+-Mem.2), contains a banner, rubber stamp.A selection of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].