The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), a non-partisan grass-roots political organization was founded in 1969. It educates Americans, helps elect pro-choice candidates, and works for policies that enable women and men to make responsible decisions about sexuality, contraception, pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion.
The North Dakota Chapter of NARAL began in Fargo in the early 1980s, when it formed a board and began having regular meetings. However, due to diminishing funds, the chapter soon decided to elect a president instead of a paid director. Lynn Gifford served as its first president. During her term, Fargo Women's Health was embroiled in controversy. Anti-abortionists chained themselves to radiators, laid down on the clinic driveway, and noisily disrupted the clinic's work. So much of the chapter’s regular monthly meetings were taken up with the clinic's legal battles and legislation that it was unable to complete the original paperwork needed for the national organization.
The National Abortion Rights Action League continued to extend the deadlines, but in the early 1990s, finally asked the North Dakota Chapter to disaffiliate. Activists in North Dakota were few, and it was too difficult to maintain the organization with little support. After disbandment, the Chapter's treasury was distributed to the Women's Network of the Red River Valley, the YWCA Shelter, and to the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.
The NARAL records are arranged alphabetically by folder title, then chronologically. Most materials are from the early 1990s. A significant amount concerns the political sphere, with files on individual North Dakota congressmen, elections and conventions, election questionnaires, endorsement/support questionnaires and voter's guides.
The collection also contains information on the North Dakota chapter, its members, meeting information, and minutes (1990-1994). Included are pamphlets, correspondence, newspaper clippings, Planned Parenthood Newsletters (1989-1992), Reproductive Rights Publications (1989-1992), and Washington Memo Newsletters (1992-1994).