FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 30, 2023
CONTACT: [email protected]
Andrea Miller trailblazed transformative state and local reproductive freedom policies like the first ever city-based abortion funding initiative in the United States.
New York, NY – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and its Action Fund (NIRH AF) are mourning the sudden passing of its president, Andrea Miller. Miller served at the helm of NIRH and NIRH AF for 12 years, establishing a stronghold in nationwide advocacy campaigns that focus on expansive and proactive reproductive freedom policies at the state and local levels.
Miller’s legacy spans more than three decades across the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement. Under her leadership, NIRH supported partners in establishing the first ever city-based abortion funding initiative in New York City with more than a dozen other cities that followed in the wake of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case that ended Roe v. Wade. Recently, Miller shared in Elle how the early days of her career staffing Kathryn Kolbert, the lead attorney for the Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, shaped her personal and professional perspectives on abortion rights policies for the decades to follow. Miller’s career highlights included co-founding the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), serving as president of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts (now known as Reproductive Equity Now), and leading NIRH and NIRH AF.
Miller will be remembered for her deep commitment to equity and justice values, which continues to be core to NIRH’s mission. Her untimely passing came amidst the organization’s post-Roe programming including ongoing work dedicated to challenging the movement-wide status quo on abortion policies — pushing for expansive thinking around abortion access at all points in pregnancy. There was never a thought too bold nor was there an idea impossible to achieve throughout Miller’s lifelong work to advance equitable and just reproductive freedom policies in communities across the country.
Statement from the National Institue for Reproductive Health and its Action Fund:
“The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and its Action Fund (NIRH AF) are grieving the sudden passing of our trailblazing leader, Andrea Miller, whose work leaves a lasting legacy on our beloved reproductive health, rights, and justice movement. We know that Andrea’s lifelong commitment to reproductive freedom including abortion touched the professional and personal lives of so many people inside and outside of our organization, who join us in mourning this enormous loss.
“NIRH’s deep work on proactive state and local policies, which centers the most marginalized communities historically excluded from reproductive health protections, was Andrea’s visionary response to decades of attacks on our most fundamental rights and freedoms. Spanning more than three decades, Andrea’s work helped shape public narratives and policy victories in landmark moments in the reproductive rights movement, from the Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to increased availability of emergency contraception; to the enactment of the country’s first city-based abortion-funding initiatives; to a response to the fall of Roe v. Wade that would ensure that — this time — we would leave no one behind.
“Throughout her long tenure of leadership, Andrea kept her foot on the gas pedal, seeing many opportunities to do things differently and fearlessly challenging the status quo on abortion rights policies. She stood at the helm of this organization and publicly demanded just and equitable frameworks that would ensure that everyone can determine the course of their reproductive and family lives with dignity and joy. May her righteous indignation and unrelenting determination for all people to experience abortion equity live on through each of us across reproductive health, rights, and justice work.
“As the staff of NIRH, we will deeply miss her mentorship, her willingness to listen, debate, and strategize closely with us, and who she was to each of us as a colleague. Andrea was an avid biker, an arts and music buff, an adventurous traveler, a passionate animal lover, and a devoted friend who built deep and lasting relationships across decades and long distances. She was fiercely proud of her roots in the upper Midwest, including Minnesota, Nebraska, and North Dakota. We’ll miss her sense of humor, her unique turns of phrase, and the stories she shared of growing up with her beloved family and her early years of activism at Columbia University and beyond.
“There are no words that can adequately capture the impact Andrea made on communities across this country. On behalf of NIRH staff, Board, supporters, and partners, we are offering these words in memorial to Andrea Miller, our president, leader, friend, sister, mentor, and colleague.”
Statement from NIRH board chair, Abby Schumer and NIRH Action Fund board chair, Daniel Gonzalez:
“As board chairs, as well as friends of Andrea’s, we are heartbroken by her passing, and we are deeply committed to carrying on her legacy and ensuring the continued success of the NIRH and its Action Fund. Andrea was a visionary leader who built a strong team around her. The boards have the utmost confidence in the senior leadership and staff to continue the work and fighting forward in Andrea’s honor. We have convened a special committee that is working closely with staff to name an interim president and ensure a smooth leadership transition.”
Andrea is survived by her mother, Madeline Simon; her father and stepmother, Ron Miller and Marguerite Vey-Miller; her sisters Maureen Hunt, Nicole Bottsford-Miller, and Monica Miller; her brothers in-law, Dan Hunt and Justin Bottsford-Miller; and her niece, Leina Hunt and nephew, Charlie Hunt. Our hearts are with her loved ones in this difficult time.
Arrangements to honor Andrea’s life and legacy will be forthcoming.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to protect and advance equitable access to reproductive health care. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom is harder to tear apart.