WV FREE (WV Focus: Reproductive Education & Equality) was founded in 1989 as a coalition, by a group of “SHEROES” & “HEROES” from the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia (then and now the state’s only non-profit clinic that provides abortion), the WV-National Abortion Rights League (NARAL) and the WV Chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women. The women witnessed first-hand the urgency to address West Virginia’s high rate of unintended teen pregnancies, low infant birth weight, high infant mortality and late access to prenatal health care. The group also saw it as imperative to combat the growing fundamentalism in the state, and increasing power and influence of anti-choice factions that seek to disempower the women of West Virginia.
Since its inception, WV FREE has changed leadership in both the board of directors and staff. We have grown from an organization with no staff to a strong team of eight. We are a leader in West Virginia’s social justice employers. We are more stable and influential than ever before. Our network of members and supporters continues to grow every day and has now surpassed over 6,000 people statewide.