Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day – October 9, 2017

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day

 

I am a proud American Indian woman. And today, I’m proud to be celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day.

At the National Action Center, in Washington, DC, we’ve joined cities and states across the nation observing Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. Columbus Day commemorates the so-called “discovery” of land already inhabited by native people. We’re proud to instead celebrate the lives of indigenous people, who have endured oppression and discrimination since Columbus first sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, I hope you’ll take a minute to reflect on just how far native people still need to go to achieve equality–especially women:

  • The wage gap is enormous. Native women are paid just 57 cents for every dollar paid to their white, male counterparts.
  • The threat of sexual violence is staggering. More than half of native women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime.

I hope you’ll take a minute to take action, too–even if it’s just by starting a conversation with a friend or a neighbor.

American Indian and other indigenous women are leading feminist change in their communities every day; but just as often, they are left out of serious discussions about policy change.

That needs to end now. Feminists know that we can’t separate our gender and racial identities–and that we’ll never move forward if we don’t work together.

For indigenous women’s lives,
(signature)
Gilda Yazzie
Vice President

Urgent Message to Democratic Leaders: You Can’t Have Economic Justice Without Reproductive Justice

The Democratic party, determined to win back the majority in the House of Representatives at any cost, is throwing its support behind anti-choice candidates.

Source: Urgent Message to Democratic Leaders: You Can’t Have Economic Justice Without Reproductive Justice | National Organization for Women

NOW Launches National Action Campaign

With women’s rights facing more severe threats than we have seen in decades, NOW is fighting back. We are standing up for the rights and well being of all women, in all our diversity and in all communities. We are showing up for our allies in Muslim communities, in immigrant communities, in LGBTQIA communities. We have a message for Donald Trump and every politician enabling his white male supremacist agenda: We are leading societal change and promoting feminist ideals — and you need to get out of our way.

I am thrilled to let you know that today we are launching NOW’s expanded National Action Program. This program encompasses five action campaigns that not only defend the gains we have made, but also work pro-actively to achieve real equality for women and girls.

  • Our campaign to Mobilize for Reproductive Justice will work to defeat Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and we will fight to defeat Trump’s Alternative Health Care Act (Trumpcare), which would defund Planned Parenthood, drastically cut maternity care coverage, and imperil access to birth control. We will also promote pro-active bills like the EACH Woman Act to guarantee full coverage of abortion care in all plans including Medicaid–thus permanently repealing the Hyde Amendment–and the Women’s Health Protection Act to stop states from using deceptive legislation to shutter abortion clinics.
  • Through our campaign to End the Sex Abuse to Prison Pipeline, we will urge the Title IX coordinators in middle and high schools around the country to ensure that students who are survivors of sexual assault receive the wraparound services they need in order to stay in school, recover from their trauma, and thrive. Survivors in far too many public schools, especially girls of color and LGBTQIA students, face penalties, punishment, and school pushout instead of the trauma-informed services they need.
  • Our campaign to Advance Voting Rights recognizes and responds to the impacts on women in communities targeted by right-wing voter suppression schemes. We will work with our allies in the civil and human rights communities to overturn measures like racial gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and voter purges. And we will work with our civic engagement allies to encourage women of color not only to vote, but also to run for public office and for leadership roles in their political parties.
  • Our renewed campaign to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment includes working for ratification of the 1972 ERA by three more states (to meet the constitutional requirement that three-fourths of the states ratify a proposed amendment), as well as supporting a start-over strategy for a new ERA, and engaging younger women and girls in the struggle for women’s constitutional equality. In this effort, NOW is committed to an inclusive and intersectional ERA interpretation that includes equitable access to all aspects of reproductive health care, and centers marginalized people including LGBTQIA individuals, immigrants, women of color, and women with disabilities.
  • Finally, our campaign to Protect Immigrant Rights will work with our allies in the immigrant rights community to oppose Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban and to stop the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s abusive raids, detentions, and deportations that tear families apart. We will in particular work to keep restaurant workers safe from abusive enforcement tactics, knowing that the restaurant industry employs over one million undocumented workers, second only to the construction industry.

NOW’s national action program will propose concrete actions our local chapters, state organizations, members and activists can take, as well as anyone in the general public interested in addressing such issues, along with resources and platforms for engagement. The program will also grow and evolve as we respond in very real-time to the harmful and discriminatory actions of Donald Trump’s administration.

As NOW members and leaders, your role is central to our success. The tools created by the NA Program are intended to be helpful for you as you engage your communities, and your representatives, both locally and nationally. We want to hear from you: your successes, your challenges. How can we better support and equip you to do this important work? This program will strive to increase engagement at all levels of NOW–from the local to the national–and to build unity among our thousands of dedicated grassroots activists across the country.

This is undeniably a challenging time for all of us. But we have been so inspired by the millions of people who have already stood up and committed themselves to resistance just in the last few months. Let’s build on this momentum and make sure this current administration knows we are here, we are watching them, and we are prepared to take the necessary action to defend our rights–and especially the rights of the most marginalized across this country.

“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”

Statement by NOW President Terry O’Neill endorsing the Women’s March on Washington

December 7, 2016

Washington, DC – The National Organization for Women proudly endorses the Women’s March on Washington. On January 21, 2017, we will join with activists from across the country in a historic and necessary affirmation that women’s rights are human rights. There is no better place for us to deliver this message than Washington, D.C. on the first day of the new administration.

Dedicated to intersectional grassroots organizing to lead societal change, NOW stands in unwavering solidarity with our sisters whose communities have been insulted, demonized and threatened in recent months, including communities of color, LGBTQIA people, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslims, people with disabilities, economically impoverished people, survivors of sexual assault, and those who seek–and the caring professionals who provide–safe, affordable abortion care and birth control.

NOW’s activists and leaders will be on the front lines with our sisters in the struggle, supporting their leadership We will not trade away the rights of one group of women for the advancement of another. We unite with all women who seek freedom and self-determination, and join hands with all of the great movements seeking equity, parity, empowerment, and justice. We will not submit, nor will we be intimidated. But we will keep moving forward.

Our task ahead will be difficult and often painful. But the Women’s March will set the tone for a new upwelling of grassroots activism, advocacy, and resistance. Women will never go back. Together, we will fight back!

For Press Inquiries Contact

M.E. Ficarra, press@now.org, (951) 547-1241

Central Oregon Coast NOW to Host Discussion in Recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 6 p.m., in recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host a community discussion on domestic violence in Lincoln County and the services provided by My Sister’s Place.  Leading the discussion will be Gillian Losh, Outreach Coordinator for My Sister’s Place.  The discussion will be held at Central Lincoln PUD Meeting Room, 2129 N Coast Hwy., Newport, OR.

gillian-losh

The discussion is especially timely in light of the recently released Oregon Women’s Foundation “Count Her In” Report (https://womensfoundationoforegon.org/uploads/CountHerInreport.pdf) on the status of women and girls in Oregon.  The research in support of the report found that over half of Oregon women and girls are survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.  This rate is one of the highest in the country.   

Members of the public is encouraged to attend.  Following the discussion Central Oregon Coast NOW will hold a short business meeting to elect officers for 2017.  For more information please email centraloregoncoastnow@gmail.com.  Website:  www.centraloregoncoastnow.com.

Supreme Court temporarily blocks Texas abortion law

By Sandhya Somashekhar June 29 at 5:35 PM

NOW members protesting in front of 5th Circuit Court of Appeals during 2015 NOW National Conference in New Orleans

NOW members protesting in front of 5th Circuit Court of Appeals during 2015 NOW National Conference in New Orleans


The Supreme Court barred Texas on Monday from implementing a law that would have forced more than half the state’s 19 abortion clinics to close their doors later this week.

The law, which was to take effect Wednesday, would require clinics to adhere to strict new physical standards and the doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

The court granted the reprieve after abortion rights groups requested an emergency stay, having unsuccessfully sought to have the law overturned. The stay will probably remain in place at least through the summer while the parties assemble a legal case and the court decides whether to take it up in the next term.

The court did not offer a reason for its 5-to-4 decision, and the law’s ultimate fate remains unclear. The court’s reliably conservative justices — Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. — dissented and would have let the law take effect.

The court hasn’t considered the abortion issue since 2007, when it upheld a federal ban on what some call “partial-birth” abortions. But a recent wave of state-level restrictions has put fresh pressure on the court to scrutinize limits placed on the procedure, which remains legal but is increasingly difficult to obtain in some states.

In particular, the court may be called upon to clarify what constitutes an “undue burden” on a woman seeking an abortion. The court set that standard for new state restrictions in 1992, when it refused to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationally.

The decision to temporarily block the Texas restrictions prompted a sigh of relief from abortion rights groups and clinic operators, who said they had been prepared for clinic closures across a broad swath of the state. They contend that the new state standards are medically unnecessary and that the law’s real purpose was to reduce access to abortion.

With the court’s decision Monday, they warned that their fight is not over.

“This Supreme Court decision is a temporary victory for Texans’ health and safety, but it only postpones a public health disaster,” Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said in a statement. “The reality is that Texans’ health and safety are still in jeopardy.”

Texas Republican leaders immediately criticized the decision, arguing that the new restrictions are intended to safeguard women’s health. Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who also sharply criticized the court’s decision last week legalizing same-sex marriage, said in a statement that the justices “just put Texas women in harm’s way.”

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) expressed confidence that the law would survive the legal challenge.

“Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality healthcare standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable — the unborn — and I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law,” he said in a statement.

The law in question is House Bill 2, a sweeping measure approved two years ago that instituted an array of abortion restrictions that activists say are already responsible for the closing of half the state’s abortion clinics. The provisions blocked Monday were the final parts of that law awaiting implementation.

Beginning Wednesday, doctors performing abortions would have been required to have special relationships with hospitals within 30 miles of their abortion clinics. Supporters of the “admitting-privileges rule” say it ensures that patients are able to receive lifesaving care in case their abortion goes awry.

Critics say these privileges are virtually impossible for many abortion providers to obtain, in part because abortions are so safe. Doctors who perform them are therefore generally unable to attain the minimum number of admissions most hospitals require to establish such a relationship.

Another part of the law would require abortion clinics to have the same equipment and facilities standards of outpatient surgical centers. Supporters of the law say imposing those standards would make such important changes as ensuring that hallways are wide enough for hospital gurneys.

But opponents of the law say such standards are not necessary, either for surgical abortions or for abortions induced by medication. Meanwhile, such upgrades would be impossible for many clinics, either financially or physically, abortion rights groups say — forcing them to shut down.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-temporarily-blocks-texas-abortion-law/2015/06/29/da4e8b1e-1e96-11e5-aeb9-a411a84c9d55_story.html

NOW VP Praises Supreme Court Victory: Marriage Equality in all States

Posted 06/26/2015 by Bonnie Grabenhoffer, VP – National Organization for Women (NOW)

Today is a historic day! The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. It is great day for same-sex couples and for the United States to finally recognize that all loving, committed couples have an equal right to marry. Same-sex couples and their families will now have the respect that their relationships deserve.

I am proud of the work NOW did to help achieve this victory. As early as 1995 NOW declared that “marriage is a fundamental right that must not be denied to same-sex couples.” In 2004 the NOW PAC felt so strongly about the importance of marriage equality that support for it became an endorsement criterion. And in that same year NOW passed a resolution elevating our work on marriage equality to a National Action Campaign. The national action campaign began with a focus on education – education of ourselves; candidates and elected officials; and the public. Several years later, we became involved in state legislative campaigns and ballot initiatives.

In 2011 NOW re-focused its efforts, working on marriage equality legislation and ballot initiatives. NOW activists worked hard to help achieve marriage equality in 9 states from 2011 to 2013 through state legislation and successful ballot initiatives in 2012. In other states NOW activists continued to work on education and building public support laying the foundation for further progress.

Since the Windsor Decision in June 2013, when the focus shifted to the courts, NOW’s Marriage Equality National Action Campaign also shifted its focus to demonstrating visible support for marriage equality.

These efforts all contributed to the historic victory that we celebrate today. I want to thank NOW activists for their courage in taking strong positions and for working so hard to make this day a reality.

http://now.org/blog/supreme-court-victory-marriage-equality-in-all-states/

NOW President Terry O’Neill: Love Triumphs Over Bigotry!

06.26.2015
Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill on Supreme Court’s Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Equality

Today the U.S. Supreme Court made history, recognizing in Obergefell v. Hodges the constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry. NOW chapters and activists who have worked tirelessly for years to achieve this amazing milestone are celebrating with their allies in the LGBTQIA community.

It is a great day when freedom, equality, inclusion — and above all, love — triumph over bigotry.

Even as we celebrate, we know that much remains to be done to guarantee full civil and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual individuals. NOW’s hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of activists and supporters around the country will continue to work to end violence and discrimination against LGBTQIA people in employment, housing and public accommodations.

NOW shares in the joy of the millions of same-sex couples whose loving, committed relationships will be fully recognized at last.

http://now.org/media-center/press-release/love-triumphs-over-bigotry/