Feminism is the radical view that women are people, too.
ERA legislation fell just 3 states short of ratification in 1982.
In 2015, just a few states are introducing ratification legislation, and one of them is
North Carolina. Get Involved!
The U.S. Congress designated August 26
as “Women’s Equality Day.”
The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls,
Learn more here.
Tell Congress Equal Means Equal
Please help strengthen the message by joining your voice with ours to demand #ERANOW!
learn more here.
Planned Parenthood Leader Speaks After Tragedy: 'We Will Rebuild, No Matter What'
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart says she and her staff will not be cowed by Friday's deadly shooting
BY DAVID S. COHEN December 2, 2015
...Cowart is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the Planned Parenthood affiliate that covers Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and southern Nevada – and which was the site of the gruesome anti-abortion attack in Colorado Springs last week.
The shooting, which took the lives of police officer Garrett Swasey, Iraq War veteran Ke'arre Stewart and stay-at-home mother Jennifer Markovsky, happened amid an environment of hostility, violence and hateful rhetoric directed at abortion providers
throughout the country. Despite this environment, abortion clinics, like the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, have offered compassionate medical care to women who need it, thanks to individuals like Cowart and her staff. Rolling Stone recently spoke to Cowart about Friday's shooting and its aftermath... read interview
The bravest speech of the legislative session
by Clayton Henkel April 24, 2015
NC Policy Watch
The NC House passed legislation Thursday tripling the state’s mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortion care to 72 hours. Rep. Tricia Cotham shared her own story of a physician-assisted miscarriage, as she told the chamber that politicians have no place inserting themselves in a deeply personal decision between a woman and her doctor. Click here to hear Cotham’s full remarks.
NC House approves three-day abortion waiting period
By Laura Leslie April 23, 2015 WRAL
On a party-line vote, state House lawmakers voted Thursday to extend the waiting period for an abortion in North Carolina from 24 to 72 hours. Supporters say the change will allow a woman seeking an abortion more time to consider her pre-procedure consultation with the physician before making her decision. But opponents say it's a medically unnecessary delaying tactic that disrespects the woman's right to control her own body. House Bill 465 would also require doctors who perform an abortion during the last two weeks allowed by law to send ultrasounds, measurements and all other information to the state Department of Health and Human Services...
The legislation now moves to the Senate, where it's expected to pass easily. read article
Proposed abortion changes would have devastating impact on women’s healthcare
by Michelle Brown
NC Policy Watch
House Bill 465 is a new anti-abortion bill proposed earlier this month in the North Carolina House. It is a broad, sweeping bill that aims to increase waiting periods for women seeking abortion and to limit the type of health care professionals who can perform the procedure. Perhaps the most dangerous piece of the bill involves a clause that would ban abortions from being performed at UNC and ECU hospitals. If this bill becomes law, it would gravely threaten not only access to reproductive services for the women of North Carolina, but the education and training of medical students and residents across our state. read article
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 4/6/15 MSNBC
NC lawmakers push sweeping anti-abortion bill
Rachel Maddow reports on how lawmakers in North Carolina are pushing a bill that could prevent doctors from receiving hands-on abortion training as part of their education. watch video
- also see -
Push for gender-equity amendment returns to NC
GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press/Citizen Times April 20, 2015
...women were back at the General Assembly last week, convinced the ratification fight isn't over. They quietly held circular green "ERA YES" signs outside the office of the chairman of a House judiciary panel, which has held onto a ratification bill for more than a month. They want the bill and a similar measure in the Senate acted upon favorably... Those seeking to revive ERA [say] that unequal pay persists even with laws on the books, pregnant women can get treated unfairly at work and civil claims of gender-based violence have been limited. ERA would make gender bias claims subject to the high constitutional scrutiny as race bias claims receive, said Marena Groll of Durham, coordinator of North Carolina4ERA. The ratification effort has been revived in North Carolina as Republicans took over the General Assembly. GOP lawmakers have passed laws on abortion, taxes and education that opponents say hurt women. read article
The ERA is not dead
...and we need to keep talking about it, why?
Update submitted by Marena Groll of NC4ERA, June 13, 2014:
In North Carolina this year, ERA NC House Bill 166 did not make crossover. However, NC Senate Bill 184 is exempt from the crossover deadline. It remains viable to be sent to the House if the Senate passes it. It had its first reading in the Senate in March, but was sent to Senate Rules and Operations where it sits unheard now.
A protest was held on June 3 outside the door of the Chair of Rules and Operations, Sen. Tom Apodaca. He is refusing to schedule the bill to be heard. More direct actions including letter writing campaigns are being planned. The bill could still be heard during short session next year as well. NC4ERA will be continuing efforts to educate the public as an ongoing activity through both sessions.
NC4ERA was pleased to recommend Madison Kimrey as a speaker for ERA S184 at the Women's Rights Rally on June 10th as a part of the Forward Together/Moral Monday Movement. See her fantastic speech here. There have been numerous other public events held by NC4ERA and NC NOW. For more info on these groups and thier activities, go to nc4era.org
Reasons We Need To Fight To Have The ERA In The Constitution
by Rachel Shippee Jun 25, 2015 Elite Daily
Meryl Streep is writing letters to every member of Congress... But, she’s not the only one who needs to fight for the ERA. First introduced into Congress in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was written by suffragist leader Alice Paul. Since that year, and every subsequent year, it has been reintroduced in every session of Congress. It was finally passed in 1972 with the required two-thirds majority, but only received 35 of the 38 necessary state ratifications.
So why do we need the ERA?
1. In 2001, an Opinion Research Corporation survey shows 72 percent of US adults believe the Constitution already guaranteed the equal rights of women and men. This simply is not true...
2. This legal remedy against sex discrimination for both women and men would create a “clearer and stricter judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination...”
3. The ratification would shift the burden of proof from victims to offenders in sex discrimination cases. It would require offenders to prove they did not violate the Constitution.
4. Full legal recognition of equality between the sexes would protect possible rollbacks in women’s rights advancements...
5. With the current rationale of VAWA, women survivors of violence cannot take their cases to the federal court when taking legal action...
6. Equal means equal. An amendment would guarantee women’s rights by the government with no room for debate...
7. Even Notorious RBG would choose the ERA because “it means that women are people equal in status before the law.” She wants the new generation of feminists to support this Amendment and continue actively creating social change...
8. Ultimately, the impact would be best seen at the legal level, and hopefully change the tone of such proceedings when handling sex discrimination cases. This specific language in the Constitution would influence the tone of legal reasoning and likely produce a cumulative positive effect over time.
read full article
You Want To Pay Me Less? ‘You Can Kiss My Bottom Line’
June 11, 2015 by Kimberley Johnson
Voting rights activist Madison Kimrey delivered another powerful speech at a Moral Mondays Women’s Rights gathering in North Carolina yesterday. Kimrey pulled no punches – and that’s what we love about her – when she suggested that any employer who wants to pay her less than a man for the same work, can kiss her bottom line. The young activist focused on a variety of issues concerning women including reproductive rights, equal pay and violence against women. Watch video/read full speech text
Boosting the economy through equity in pay
NC Justice Center April 21, 2015
Wages have rightly been front and center in the discussion of North Carolina’s economic recovery that officially began in 2009 but failed to deliver improved well-being to all in the state. Women, in particular, continue to face ongoing barriers to both an economic recovery as well as equal pay in the workplace... It is important to note that the difference in earnings for women and men persists, even when accounting for differences in occupations and other factors. In fact, a recent analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau on median wages in 342 occupations found that just nine occupations saw women earning more than men. Analysis of wages by educational attainment also points to the lack of wage equity for the typical female worker who has the same level of education as their male equivalent. ..Finally, the wage difference for men and women is far greater for women of color. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), Latina and African-American women in North Carolina earn just half and two-thirds of white men’s median earnings, respectively.
Closing the earnings difference by gender, according to the IWPR, will not happen under current trends until 2058 for the nation. For North Carolina, the difference in earnings between women and men will not close until 2064. That translates into 60 years of underperformance in the state economy. With lower earnings, women contribute less to the economy in the form of purchases and investments than otherwise would be possible given their work and productivity. Women are also more likely to face economic hardship, through living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet when they are the sole breadwinner. read article
North Carolina Legislators Consider ‘Fetal Harm’ Bill Criminalizing Pregnancy
by Nina Liss-Schultz March 26, 2015
North Carolina legislators are moving forward with a proposal to criminalize pregnancy and allow charges to be brought against pregnant people who engage in behavior deemed risky for the fetus. The bill, SB 297, states that a woman may be prosecuted for assault for illegally using narcotics while pregnant, or if the baby “is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drugs.”
... a coalition of reproductive justice and drug policy reform advocates sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice to renounce enhanced criminalization. “Rather than suggest that punishment is an appropriate response to pregnant women and drug use, the DOJ should have policy consistent with positions taken by leading medical experts and organizations,” the letter states. “These groups unanimously recognize that threats of arrest and punishment do not protect children, but do increase risks of harm to maternal, fetal and child health by deterring women from seeking prenatal care and speaking openly about their health problems.” read article
Women's History Month!
Presidential Proclamation here
Black, queer, feminist, erased from history: Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of
BRITTNEY COOPER FEB 18, 2015 Salon
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is this Supreme Court's liberal hero, but her work sits on the shoulders of Dr. Pauli Murray read article
Equal Rights Amendment to Be Introduced Next Week in North Carolina House by Representative Carla Cunningham
For the first time since 1982, equality without regard to gender leads the women's agenda as the state considers regulatory issues limiting access to reproductive health care, fair wages, and educational opportunities
Edited by: Christopher Simmons
Feb. 24, 2015 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE)
Ninety-two years after the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced, North Carolina Rep. Carla Cunningham says she is ready to bring it back to life, according to the Asheville Chapter of the National Organization for Women. Cunningham (D, Mecklenburg) announced at a North Carolina Women United gathering Monday night, which included Asheville NOW leaders, that the Amendment would be introduced in the N.C. House. Sen. Terry Van Duyn (D, Buncombe) said she will introduce it into the N.C. Senate.
"...We will get it done," Cunningham said. "I believe 2016 is going to be the year of the woman. I believe we will get it done." read article
Making the guarantee of Roe v. Wade a reality for all
1/21/2015 by Suzanne Buckley NC Policy Watch
Thursday January 22 is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in which the Court established ... the constitutional right ... to choose whether to end a pregnancy... At NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, we believe that ... each of us must be able to make our own decisions about pregnancy and parenting... we need solutions to improve all aspects of our health. But across the country and closer to home, politicians are creating new barriers that often make abortion services unaffordable or unavailable. Politicians in our state have used ...regulations [that] do nothing to make abortion safer or help a woman with her decision—they only serve to make accessing abortion care and other basic reproductive health care services more costly and difficult for the most vulnerable in our state. For too many women and families in our state, Roe simply is not a reality.
...It’s time to secure reproductive justice for all and to stop the terrible inequities that restrict reproductive health options, including abortion care...we need solutions that improve health and improve a woman’s ability to make the best reproductive health decisions ...there has also never been a better time to change the conversation about abortion, access to health care, paid family leave, and other reproductive justice issues... we must start a new conversation... Indeed, this conversation already has started in crowds at Moral Monday rallies, on campuses across the state, [etc.] The bottom line: If the guarantee of Roe v. Wade is to ever have real meaning for all the women of North Carolina, we must continue to lift our voices and speak out in support of our vision for reproductive health, rights and justice in our state. read article
The Secret History of Women in the Senate
By LIZA MUNDY January/
Kay Hagan just wanted to swim. It was late 2008, and the Democrat was newly arrived on Capitol Hill as North Carolina’s junior senator-elect. But Hagan was told that the Senate pool was males-only. Why? Because some of the male senators liked to swim naked. It took an intervention by Senator Chuck Schumer, head of the Rules Committee, to put a stop to the practice, but even then “it was a fight,” remembers pollster Celinda Lake, who heard about the incident when the pool revolt was the talk among Washington women...
In the entire history of the United States Senate, a mere 44 women have served. Ever. Those few who have were elected to a club they were never meant to join, and their history in the chamber is marked by sexism both spectacular and small.
Participate in Government or Someone Else Will Do It For You
January 5, 2015 by Jennifer Ferris
I read the other day that when Sally Ride prepared to launch into space, she was contacted by (male) scientists wondering how many tampons to send up with her. Unconvinced by her answer, they packed 100. For a 7-day mission. Similarly, in 2013, members of the North Carolina General Assembly wanted to protect women. So they passed a bill about motorcycle safety, onto which they tacked some language about abortion clinics. The problem in both these cases is that when women aren’t represented in the decision-making process, men do not hesitate to fill the decision-making vacuum. And often, they fill it poorly. Any 5-year-old can tell you that having decisions made on one’s behalf is not an ideal situation. And while, for the 5-year-old, ceding decision-making authority probably yields fine results, for women it’s historically been disastrous.
Women AdvaNCe is kicking off a year-long campaign to connect YOU with your elected officials.
International Women’s Day 2015: The shameful statistics that show why it is still important
We still have a long way to go in the mission for gender equality
06 March 2015 Independent UK
International Women’s Day -- ... this year’s theme is 'make it happen', a theme aimed at encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women. And we do need to make it happen; in the workplaces where women still earn less than men; in the offices where women are rarely promoted; in the countries where women are regularly sexually abused and forced into marriage, and for the girls who are still forced to undergo female genital mutilation. Here are just a few of the many reasons why we still need International Women’s Day more than a century after it was launched... read article
WNC women call for passage of Equal Rights Amendment
March 3, 2015
...State Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, is co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate. "It's hard to imagine this is something that should even be debated," he said. "It is so far beyond comprehension that we are actually debating that women deserve equal rights in 2015."
...Congress passed the ERA in the early 1970s, but after 10 years of lobbying, the amendment fell three states short of ratification. At the 1982 deadline, the ERA had been ratified by 35 states — just short of the 3/4needed to add it to the Constitution. Lawmakers have since reintroduced the ERA in every session of Congress to no avail. Polls continually show bipartisan, widespread support for constitutional protection of women's rights, but the Supreme Court has denied claims of sex discrimination by women, said Neuwirth, who published the book "Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now" this year. "The law is insufficient,"
State Rep. Carla Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg, is a primary sponsor of the bill in the House. "I believe 2016 is going to be the year of the women," she said. "Even though we are starting the push now, we know it probably won't happen this time, but at least it is on the minds of women across the state." read article
Adopt the ERA resolution at your precinct meeting: See/download PDF here.
Resolution How-to here
GOP lawmakers look to tighten abortion rules as Democrats protest
January 29, 2015 By Matthew Burns and Laura Leslie WRAL
Republican legislative leaders say they plan to file further legislation to regulate abortion this year, even as abortion-rights groups called on them to keep their hands off rules proposed by state regulators for North Carolina abortion clinics. "I'm sure there will be a pro-life bill this year," said House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam, R-Wake.
The state Department of Health and Human Services last month released rules for clinics drafted under a 2013 law that proposed major changes to the state's abortion laws. Several Democratic lawmakers said Thursday that they fear social conservatives dissatisfied with the result will now try to step in and upend the rule-making process by offering stricter regulations. Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, said DHHS consulted with medical experts for months in crafting the new rules, which he said will help protect the health and safety of women seeking abortions. "Now, in the 13th hour of the process, several Republican members appear ready to pull the plug out from the feet of everyone involved, including the secretary of health and human services and their governor," Glazier said at a news conference. read article
House GOP drops debate on abortion bill
January 22, 2015 Al Jazeera
House Republicans have abruptly dropped plans to debate a bill banning virtually all late-term abortions after objections from GOP women and other lawmakers left them short of votes. The decision was embarrassing for Republican leaders eager to display a united, GOP-led Congress. ...Republican leaders had planned to push the legislation through the House on Thursday. But after meeting repeatedly with female lawmakers and others who were unhappy with the measure, they decided late Wednesday to postpone that debate indefinitely. Thursday's vote had been timed to coincide with the annual March for Life, when anti-abortion protesters stream to Washington to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade...
Instead, the House will debate legislation banning taxpayer funding for abortion — a prohibition that is already largely in effect. The divisiveness over the measure comes as Republicans, looking ahead to the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, hope to increase their support from women. read story
Jimmy Carter: Global Women's Issues Represent 'Worst Human Rights Abuse On Earth'
HuffPost Live | By Chris Branch 01/13/2015
Former President Jimmy Carter is a dedicated figure in the fight for women's rights. In a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday, Carter re-emphasized the importance of a global commitment.
"I think the worst human rights abuse on Earth is the horrible persecution and deprivation of equal rights of women and girls," Carter told host Marc Lamont Hill. Carter's book A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, published in 2014, "describes the horrendous abuse that women do suffer in this country and around the world," he told HuffPost Live. read/watch video
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY SAYS TOO MANY WOMEN IN COLLEGE IS DRIVING CAMPUS SEXUAL VIOLENCE
BY MAYA DUSENBERY Jan 7, 2015 Feministing
...In a new article on World Net Daily, Schlafly proposes that the disproportionate number of women at colleges these days is driving sexual assault on campus... The gender imbalance,
Schlafly argues, gives men power to dictate the terms of the social scene, which “results in more casual hook-ups that are dead-end encounters with no future and no real romantic relationships.” ...Schlafly goes one step farther ...by saying the gender imbalance on campus not only drives “casual” sex that women hate deep down but also sexual assaults. Actually, that’s a bit of an assumption, because Schlafly doesn’t talk about sexual assault, violence, or rape at all. Instead, the problem of campus sexual assault that’s garnered national media and governmental attention recently is vaguely alluded to as “various sex scandals.” read article
In case you missed it (or just read again):
Open Letter to Phyllis Schlafly From 12 Year-Old Madison Kimrey
- and -
Phyllis Schlafly Claims Women Paid The Same As Men Won't Find Husbands
Appeals court strikes down NC abortion provision
December 22, 2014 By Matthew Burns WRAL
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday declared as unconstitutional a North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before she can have an abortion. The decision upholds a lower-court ruling from January and likely will send the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a similar law in Texas, and spokeswoman Noelle Talley said the North Carolina Attorney General's Office plans to petition the high court to take up the cases to resolve the different rulings. read article
YOUNG, PREGNANT, AND AT WORK
by Kelsey Ryland, URGE Law & Policy Fellow
November 19, 2014 URGE
(Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equality)
The Supreme Court will hear the case of Peggy Young v. United Parcel Service (UPS) on December 3. Kadijah wrote about the case for us, but in short: Ms. Young, a pregnant UPS employee, was instructed by her doctor to request light duty, but UPS refused to accommodate her request. UPS routinely accommodates other workers with injuries or other limitations. The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act should protect workers in this situation, but two lower courts have supported UPS. Now the Supreme Court will hear the case and determine whether or not the Pregnancy Discrimination Act has enough force to protect pregnant workers.
...There is little reason to believe that the Supreme Court will rule to protect the rights of pregnant workers in the Young v. UPS case. Advocates are building support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in order to ensure that if the Supreme Court won’t protect the economic security of young and pregnant workers, we will. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) would ensure that workers no longer endure what Ms. Young experienced. The Act mandates that a pregnant worker must receive reasonable accommodations from their employer. A pregnant worker cannot be forced to accept an accommodation that they do not want. A pregnant employee cannot be required to take leave if a reasonable accommodation is available. No one can be denied an employment opportunity because they would require an accommodation due to their pregnancy. The protections included in the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act matter to young people and workers of all ages, because our economic security and ability to provide for our families depends on our ability to keep our jobs and maintain healthy pregnancies. read post
If you want to show your support for the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, sign our petition to Congress!
Pregnant, and No Civil Rights
By LYNN M. PALTROW and JEANNE FLAVIN
NOV. 7, 2014
With the success of Republicans in the midterm elections and the passage of Tennessee’s anti-abortion amendment, we can expect ongoing efforts to ban abortion and advance the “personhood” rights of fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses. But it is not just those who support abortion rights who have reason to worry. Anti-abortion measures pose a risk to all pregnant women, including those who want to be pregnant. Such laws are increasingly being used as the basis for arresting women who have no intention of ending a pregnancy and for preventing women from making their own decisions about how they will give birth.
...These are not isolated or rare cases. Last year, we published a peer-reviewed study
documenting 413 arrests or equivalent actions depriving pregnant women of their physical liberty ... Since 2005, we have identified an additional 380 cases, with more arrests occurring every week. This significant increase coincides with what the Guttmacher Institute describes as a “seismic shift” in the number of states with laws hostile to abortion rights.
The principle at the heart of contemporary efforts to end legal abortion is that fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses are persons or at least have separate rights that must be protected by the state...Many of the pregnant women subjected to this mistreatment are themselves profoundly opposed to abortion...
If we want to end these unjust and inhumane arrests and forced interventions on pregnant women, we need to stop focusing only on the abortion issue and start working to protect the personhood of pregnant women. We should be able to work across the spectrum of opinion about abortion to unite in the defense of one basic principle: that at no point in her pregnancy should a woman lose her civil and human rights. read article
LEGISLATIVE REPORT CARD 2013
This is a Report Card on the 2013 Long Session of the NC General Assembly reflects legislative priorities that are key to promoting women’s equality. read report
NC Women United (NCWU) is a coalition of progressive organizations and individuals committed to advancing public policies that support the full economic, legal and social equality of women. April 30, 2014
Hearing allows public to weigh in on revised NC abortion clinic regulations
by By Craig Jarvis, The News & Observer via insurancenewsnet.com Dec. 19, 2014
A long-awaited rewrite of North Carolina's abortion clinic regulations was praised and criticized by activists on both sides of the controversy at a public hearing on Friday, setting the stage for a likely repeat of the debate in the state legislature next year. About 80 people attended the hour-long hearing on the Dorothea Dix Hospital grounds where the state Department of Health and Human Services, which prepared the proposed rules, is headquartered. Nearly all of those were abortion-rights advocates from a handful of groups that organized the turnout, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL-Pro Choice affiliates. Those groups had opposed revising the regulations because they feared the real intent was to impose standards that were unjustified and impossible to meet.
But they were largely satisfied with the proposal written by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's administration, while the conservative forces that pushed for stronger regulations -- the N.C. Values Coalition and the N.C. Family Policy Council -- were disappointed... Ultimately, the General Assembly will take final action, probably next year.
DHHS releases proposed abortion clinic rules
Dec. 1, 2014 By Laura Leslie WRAL
North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services on Monday released its proposal for tighter rules for abortion clinics...
DHHS has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Dec. 19. The agency will accept public comments on the draft rule until Jan. 30, 2015. After that, if it's officially approved by the agency, it goes to the state Rules Review Commission. If it wins approval there, it would take effect April 1, 2015. However, under the state's rule-making statute, state lawmakers have the power to rewrite the rule themselves if 10 people submit objections in writing. “We believe it’s critical that this rule-making process not be politicized by the same political interests and lawmakers that sought to eliminate access to abortion care in the first place,” said NARAL Pro-Choice NC director Suzanne Buckley. read article
Women Who Work
November 30, 2014
If Peggy Young, who was a driver for United Parcel Service, had had an accident that limited her ability to lift heavy packages, or even lost her license because of driving while intoxicated, U.P.S. would have allowed her to go on “light duty” or assigned her another type of work. But Ms. Young got pregnant. When her doctors told her not to lift packages over 20 pounds to avoid jeopardizing the pregnancy, U.P.S. refused to accommodate her and effectively compelled her to go on unpaid medical leave.
Her case, which has implications for millions of American women and their families, will be argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. It is an opportunity for the court to strike a blow against discriminatory treatment and the resulting economic harm that are too often imposed on women who get pregnant — as the vast majority of women entering the work force eventually do. read article
Durham Dem Woman, Marena Groll:
Ms. Smith goes to Washington
Marena Groll Sept. 03, 2014 Onslow Times
...On September 13th, as we approach Constitution Day, I’ll be in Washington, DC getting my Ms. Smith on. We have some unfinished business with Mr. Smith’s democracy. It’s my honor to guest speak alongside other feminists on the grounds of our Capitol as we seek equality for women...
In 1982, in a move unbefitting our nation, and raising eyebrows across the world, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), although on the verge of finally passing, was denied. It continues to be. There is still no legal recourse for women comparable to the 14th Amendment to protect the progress they have made since Mr. Smith went to Washington... When the selective religious interests of a hot gun-gluing, scrapbook- making store are constitutionally favored over the very life-breath of flesh and blood women, you’re in a critical fight for equal access to the constitution...
Come to Washington, D.C. to advocate for the ERA. Join the “We Are Woman” Constitutional Day of Action and Rally, on September 12th and 13th on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. You can find all the information you need to plan to attend and will have an opportunity to join a forum to network transportation at http://rallyhub.wearewoman.us/.
Planned Parenthood Ad Hits GOP Candidates On OTC Birth Control
by Laura Bassett
09/12/2014 Huffington Post
In its first TV ad buy of the 2014 cycle, Planned Parenthood's political arm is warning voters in North Carolina and Colorado that Republican Senate candidates' support for over-the-counter birth control is not what it seems... Most Republican candidates, including Tillis and Gardner, oppose a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires most employers to cover contraception in their health insurance plans. But in an effort to woo women voters, four Republican Senate candidates -- Tillis, Gardner, Ed Gillespie in Virginia and Mike McFadden in Minnesota -- have recently touted their support for over-the-counter birth control as an alternative to mandatory insurance coverage of the pill... While Planned Parenthood and doctors' groups agree that birth control pills should be available without a prescription, they do not see the plan as a worthy substitute for insurance coverage of contraception. read article/watch video
What Is a ‘Women’s Issue’? Women of Color Challenge the Prevailing Narrative
by Emma Akpan August 5, 2014
Reality Check (See MM in this article at StoryOfAmerica / YouTube)
Last summer, in response to an onslaught of attacks on abortion and contraceptive access by the North Carolina General Assembly, activists behind the Moral Mondays demonstrations
decided to dedicate an upcoming protest to women’s issues... it fell two days after the George Zimmerman verdict. A man who had killed a 17-year-old Black child would walk free and the country was in mourning. So women also spoke out against gun violence, racial profiling, and held moments of silence for Trayvon Martin…
After this Moral Monday, something happened that shows how much work we still need to do in the women’s movement around race. An email …went out expressing concern about the direction the event took. It complained that the focus seemed to be on Trayvon Martin and racial profiling. “This was about women’s issues,” the writer said. To me, this felt like a slap in the face. What are “women’s issues,” exactly? All too often, when women of color are concerned about things outside of what appears to be the predominant white woman’s agenda, those things aren’t considered “women’s issues.” We cannot tell women of color what issues are important to them. Implying that the grief of losing Trayvon Martin is not a women’s issue erases the experience of Black mothers across the United States. Facing stark realities, Black mothers have to raise their sons with mistrust of the police and constantly remind them how to avoid violence and arrest.
Lived experiences define the activism of women of color...White women must learn about and respect the diversity of [their] lived experiences... In my experience, many white women in North Carolina put blinders on when it comes to the work women of color are already doing, perhaps because we aren’t doing it with them. When women of color are not joining with predominantly or historically white organizations, ...are gathering on issues other than contraceptives or abortion, then white women often try to reach out to us and fold us into their movement...
Luckily leaders in the women’s movement in North Carolina have begun to recognize the deep and racist problems...Yes, contraceptive coverage and abortion is important for reproductive justice, but couple those restrictions with dangerous gun laws, poor reporting of domestic violence, and racism, and a woman of color faces far more barriers in life than choosing when and how she raises a child. In fact, these barriers directly influence our reproductive decisions. They cannot be separated. It is important for white-led movements to avoid simple “outreach” to women of color and instead collaborate with us, and learn about the work we are already doing. In order to build a strong, inclusive women’s movement that will empower all women in North Carolina, all women have to be included in both the planning and executing of all actions. We cannot call ourselves inclusive if we leave important voices out. read article
Sen. Reid tees up bill to reverse Hobby Lobby
By Ramsey Cox
July 14, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up the first procedural vote on a bill that would reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows some employers to deny birth control coverage for women. “After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women's access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said while introducing the bill last week.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that companies, such as Hobby Lobby, don’t have to provide their employees birth control coverage as mandated under ObamaCare. The 5-4 decision stated that the mandate violated the religious liberties of employers who don’t believe in the use of contraceptives... “The U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives,” said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a lead co-sponsor of the bill. “My common-sense proposal will keep women's private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn't be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.” read article
Female justices issue searing dissent over new contraceptive case
By Irin Carmon MSNBC
The fierce disagreements dividing the Supreme Court over this week’s Hobby Lobby decision were laid bare Thursday in a searing dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said the justices’ decision in a separate contraceptive case “undermines confidence in this institution.” The dissent was signed by all three female justices.
“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” wrote Sotomayor. “Not so today.”
...At issue is the “accommodation” the Obama administration worked out for religiously-identified non-profits: Sign a form certifying your objection, and the insurer will provide the coverage directly, without the objecting organization having to pay. ... Alito claimed that because the nonprofit accommodation exists, that means the government has other ways to get women access to contraception that respects religious liberty. Yet only a few days later, he ruled that the nonprofit accommodation – again, signing a form – is also a violation of religious liberty.
... Sotomayor wrote, “...thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened … does not make it so...Not every sincerely felt ‘burden’ is a ‘substantial’ one, and it is for courts, not litigants, to identify which are.” ...She added, “The Court’s actions in this case create unnecessary costs and layers of bureaucracy, and they ignore a simple truth: The Government must be allowed to handle the basic tasks of public administration in a manner that comports with common sense.” read article
SCOTUS sides with Hobby Lobby on birth control
By JENNIFER HABERKORN
and JOSH GERSTEIN
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on Monday that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare.
...The court’s four liberal justices called it a decision of “startling breadth” and said that it allows companies to “opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.” ...The majority decision could open the door to other closely held corporations seeking to withhold coverage for other medical procedures at odds with firm religious beliefs. It marks the first time that the Supreme Court has allowed companies the ability to declare a religious belief — a decision that could reverberate far past the Affordable Care Act to other laws and issues.
...The Obama administration and women’s health groups have warned that if they lost in the Supreme Court, the ruling could have much broader health coverage implications. If a company can skirt the contraception requirement, what’s to prevent another employer from objecting to providing access to vaccines or blood transfusions on religious grounds, they asked. ...Ginsburg and the dissenters sharply disagreed “...In no way does the dissent ‘tell the plaintiffs that their beliefs are flawed,” she wrote. “Right or wrong in this domain is a judgment no Member of this Court...is authorized or equipped to make. What the Court must decide is not ‘the plausibility of a religious claim…’ but whether accommodating that claim risks depriving others of rights accorded them by the laws of the United States.”
...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to try to restore the contraception coverage.“If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will,” Reid said in a statement. “We will continue to fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room.” read article
Good information for talking with potential women voters--
NC Justice Center Fact Sheet:
Wrong Choices for NC on Women:
Tar Heel women continue to deal with elevated levels of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty compared to men–despite having higher education levels. Rather than enacting policies that increase women’s economic security, state lawmakers have pursued policies that fall particularly hard on low-income women and their families... Read and print PDF here
Charlotte airport rejects 'issue' ads focusing on women's rights
By Jerry Klein on Thu, Aug 7, 2014
... Charlotte-Douglas International Airport...refused to accept advertising from a national women’s advocacy group that wanted to install billboards reminding viewers of policy decisions in North Carolina that hurt women and families. UltraViolet, an online community of over 550,000 women and men who “take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media,” included both Charlotte and Raleigh in a national campaign designed to welcome tourists and natives with a reminder that women are still, in 2014, paid less than men and that many still can’t access adequate reproductive health care and paid family medical leave... Not taking no for an answer, UltraViolet plans to rent nearby space for their billboards... read article
ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVISTS DELIVER BROKEN COOKIES TO GOV. MCCRORY
By Heather Waliga Thursday, July 24, 2014 WTVD
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina members delivered a box of broken cookies to the Governor's Mansion Thursday morning to mark the upcoming anniversary of the controversial abortion law. The women's reproductive rights group said the gesture is a symbol of Gov. McCrory's broken campaign promises not to support restrictions on access to abortion care.
"The Governor has said that this law doesn't do anything to restrict access to abortion care, and that's just not true, " said Suzanne Buckley, NARAL Pro-Choice NC, Exec. Director. Last July, Gov. McCrory signed into law Senate Bill 353.
One day later, he delivered a plate of cookies to angry protestors rallying against the move outside his residence... read/watch video
Reproductive rights advocates to deliver broken cookies to Governor’s Mansion Thursday
JULY 23, 2014 BY LUCY BUTCHER
Pro-choice activists plan to deliver broken cookies to the Governor’s Mansion Thursday morning at 11 a.m. to mark the one-year anniversary of Governor Pat McCrory breaking his 2012 campaign promise not to enact further restrictions on abortion access. Last July, McCrory signed abortion omnibus/motorcycle safety bill SB 353 into law. The next day, McCrory famously delivered a plate of cookies to reproductive rights advocates protesting outside the Governor’s Mansion instead of meeting with them to discuss their concerns.
The move didn’t play well with voters. In August, a Public Policy Polling poll showed McCrory’s approval rating drop into the 30s for the first time, with 57% of voters finding ‘cookie-gate’ inappropriate.
From the NARAL press release:
Governor McCrory’s signing of Senate Bill 353 (also known as the “Motorcycle Abortion” bill) came less than one year after promising North Carolina voters in a televised debate that he would not sign any restrictions on abortion access if voters elected him governor. read article
Women are “done talking”
– ERA now
by Marena Groll July 08, 2014 Onslow Times
...Hobby Lobby pleaded that the contraceptive insurance mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) substantially burdened its exercise of religion. Therefore, using the protection of the RFRA, Hobby Lobby maintained the contraceptive laws had to be justified by a “compelling governmental interest.” Moreover, the government had to be using the “least restrictive” measures possible to fulfill the intent of the laws which in this instance was to protect the healthcare of women. This is known as “strict scrutiny” examination.
...The E.R.A. would secure strict scrutiny. Brewing is a revitalized battle for women’s rights the likes of which this nation has not seen since 1982 when the E.R.A. was narrowly defeated by similar political and theological right wing conservatism evident now in our politicized Supreme Court.
Roberta W. Francis, Co-Chair of the E.R.A. Task Force, National Council of Women’s Organization observes that “The ERA would provide a strong legal defense against a rollback of the significant advances in women’s rights made in the past 50 years. Without it, Congress can weaken or replace existing laws on women’s rights, and judicial precedents on issues of gender equality can be eroded or ignored by reactionary courts responding to a conservative political agenda.” read column
NOW President: We Will Politicize Hobby Lobby Decision
June 30, 2014 Real Clear Politics
TERRY O'NEILL, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: I think actually what we need to do is revive the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution. Ronan, I don't think for a moment that Hobby Lobby could have been decided the way it was or the buffer zone case the Supreme Court announced on Thursday. That would not have been possible if we had women's equality enshrined in the constitution. read article/watch video
More on Hobby Lobby--
also read Mother Jones: The 8 Best Lines From Ginsburg's Dissent on the Hobby Lobby Contraception Decision
The Raw Story: George Takei: What if Hobby Lobby was run by Muslims imposing Sharia law on workers?
"You are not alone"
BY CAP ACTION WAR ROOM
JUNE 24, 2014
The Quotes That Capture The White House Summit On Working Families... The President, Vice President, First Lady, and Dr. Biden all came together to participate in the White House Summit on Working Families, the first public event they have all taken part in since the second Inauguration. The Summit, co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress and the Department of Labor, was focused on elevating the ongoing national conversation about making workplaces work for everyone and ensuring that women have a fair shot to help their families succeed. Here are some of the quotes that capture the ideas, discussion, and takeaways from the summit: read
Abortion Waiting Periods Are an Insult to Women
05/20/2014 Ian Reifowitz
Do right-wingers believe women need extra time to think about important decisions because they are: a) emotional, b) easily distracted, or c) old-fashioned dumb. Oh, you think it's all of the above? Could be. Specifically, I'm thinking about what happened this week in the Show Me State.
Missouri's state legislature passed a bill requiring a woman to wait 72 hours from the time of her initial medical consultation to have an abortion (current law mandates a 24-hour waiting period)... this particular bill is part of a larger push in many states to chip -- or more like hammer -- away at reproductive freedom (South Dakota and Utah already have 72-hour waiting periods, for example). This isn't even the only anti-choice bill to get passed this week in one of our states. These laws are a travesty and a tragedy for the people who end up unable to exercise the most basic of rights, control over their own bodies, because of the unnecessary obstacles placed in front of them.
What I want to focus on here is the incredible condescension toward women expressed by supporters of these kinds of bills. read column
Pay Gap Is Because of Gender, Not Jobs
APRIL 23, 2014 by Claire Cain Miller
New York Times
Are women paid less than men because they choose to be, by gravitating to lower-paying jobs like teaching and social work? That is what some Republicans who voted down the equal pay bill this month would have you believe. “There’s a disparity not because female engineers are making less than male engineers at the same company with comparable experience,” the Republican National Committee said this month. “The disparity exists because a female social worker makes less than a male engineer.”
But a majority of the pay gap between men and women actually comes from differences within occupations, not between them — and widens in the highest-paying ones like business, law and medicine, according to data from Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University labor economist and a leading scholar on women and the economy. read article
Equal Pay Day: We Can do Better!
April 8, 2014 by Tori Taylor Women AdvaNCe
Today, on Equal Pay Day, women are joining together to build momentum behind the push for equal pay in our country. While it took decades to see progress, there is significant support for this issue in 2014 from people across America, and from The White House. Take a look at how far we’ve come: read article
Steinem: Society's not post-feminist
Apr. 15, 2014
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem spoke to a packed 1,600-seat Duke Chapel on a rainy Tuesday night. She talked about connections and how “we are linked, we are not ranked.”
Steinem recently turned 80... After 50, the person you resemble is more the girl you were at 9 or 10, she said, who knows what she wants and what she thinks. Saying “you’re not the boss of me” is part of every liberation movement in the world,..
Steinem told the audience that the idea that U.S. society today is post-feminist and post-racist couldn’t be further from the truth. This is a revolution and evolution that has barely begun, she said. Steinem also talked about violence and how it is connected to everything else in life... also talked about higher education being underfunded by state legislatures, equal pay for women, and attributing value to work like caregiving, and offering tax deductions for it. “The single most important thing is understanding we are not crazy, the system is crazy,” she said. read article
Watch Gloria's talk here:
How Politicians Are Making Safe Abortions Nearly Inaccessible in the South
JILL FILIPOVIC MAY 22, 2014 Cosmopolitan
Is it unduly burdensome to have to travel 300 miles to obtain a simple, incredibly common medical procedure? To have to cross state lines?
That's the question American courts are set to address as anti-abortion groups double down on their strategy of restricting abortion to the point of total inaccessibility. The Louisiana State Legislature just passed a bill that may shutter most of the state’s abortion clinics and in turn force women to drive for hours to legally terminate a pregnancy. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal indicated he will sign the bill into law. read article
Energizing the 70 Percent
05/20/2014 by Fran Moreland Johns
Depending on which poll you read, anywhere from 55 percent to 70 percent of the people of these United States believe that abortion should be safe and legal. At the high end of that percentage are those who believe Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land. How, then, could we be where we are? Today, more than half of the states have restrictions that effectively deny many women access to safe and legal abortion, never mind the Constitution. read article
NARAL successfully lobbies Google to take down ‘deceptive’ pregnancy center ads
BY HAYLEY TSUKAYAMA April 28, 2014
Google is removing Web search ads for some "crisis pregnancy centers," after an investigation by NARAL Pro-Choice America found evidence that the ads violate Google's policy against deceptive advertising... According to an analysis by NARAL, 79 percent of the crisis pregnancy centers that advertised on Google indicated that they provided medical services such as abortions, when, in fact, they are focused on counseling services and on providing information about alternatives to abortion.
According to the advocacy group, which presented its findings to Google after monitoring the ads, the crisis pregnancy centers intentionally used false and misleading language on ads that appeared when users searched for "abortion clinic." read article
Op-Ed: Abortion Endures as a Political Tripwire
APRIL 15, 2014 Thomas B. Edsall
Why is there such a difference in the durability of two foundational issues of American conservatism: gay marriage and abortion?... gay marriage had roughly a 20-year half-life. Compare that with abortion.
Medically induced termination of pregnancy became a major source of political contention on Jan. 22, 1973, the day the Supreme Court issued its 7-2 decision in Roe v Wade... Today, 41 years later, the abortion battle continues unabated... Despite..trends and survey findings, Republican-controlled statehouses continue to press for new restrictions on abortion.
Nationally, the Republican Party with its strong anti-abortion contingent could be headed toward a major victory this coming November... In terms of the 2016 presidential election, according to many analysts, a Republican take-over of the White House is entirely possible, which could give the party complete control of the federal government.
In that event, the drive to restrict abortion — perhaps, initially, incrementally — may well re-emerge... With all of their demographic problems, the question is, how much can Republicans afford to fool around with this particular kind of political dynamite? read article
Female Supreme Court Justices Hammer Birth Control Challengers
SAHIL KAPUR – MARCH 25, 2014, 12:37 PM
Talking Points Memo
In a sharply divided Supreme Court, women led the charge Tuesday in aggressively questioning the challengers of the rule under Obamacare that for-profit employers' health plans cover contraceptives for female employees at no extra cost, which the suing business owners say violates their religious liberty. The first salvo came from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who swiftly jumped in to question the challengers' lawyer if any employer can get an exemption from a general law that they claim a religious objection to...
The most forceful was Justice Elena Kagan, who repeatedly asked aggressive questions throughout the 90-minute argument about the legal dangers of exempting certain entities from laws on the basis of religion... Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also asked several deeply skeptical questions about the business owners' argument that the mandate runs afoul of [1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act] RFRA.
But the outcome was difficult to predict as conservative-leaning justices appeared broadly sympathetic to the arguments put forth by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood...
[Justice Elena Kagan also said a ruling against the mandate would directly harm women. "Congress has made a judgment and Congress has given a statutory entitlement and that entitlement is to women and includes contraceptive coverage," she said. "And when the employer says, no, I don't want to give that, that woman is quite directly, quite tangibly harmed."
Outside the court, amid snow showers, women's health activists from Planned Parenthood and elsewhere held signs and chanted in support of the birth control rule. read article
USA Today: Supreme Court seeks compromise in contraception case
Kay Hagan believes that women should have access to contraception coverage
Jimmy Carter: Violence Against Women Is The Most Pervasive Human Rights Violation In The World
BY TARA CULP-RESSLER ON MARCH 24, 2014
Former President Jimmy Carter is issuing a call to action to end the abuse and subjugation of women, which he refers to as the “worst and most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on Earth.”
Carter issued his strong statements about gender equality in a recent interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. The former president is currently doing media appearances to promote a new book, A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, which discusses the issue of women’s victimization around the world. read article
Are you One of the 90,000 NC Women Living on the Edge?
March 19, 2014 by Jennifer Ferris
What does $7.25 an hour buy here in the Tarheel State? According to most research: not enough... Almost 90,000 women make $7.25 an hour in North Carolina... But even the women who are lucky enough to work 40 hours a week never make ends meet. MIT recently debuted a poverty calculator that helps figure the hourly rate needed to support a family in each state... It turns out that a North Carolinian mother of two needs to earn at least $2,600 a month to keep the lights on without outside help. Right now, a minimum wage earner working full time makes $1,250 a month– that’s a $1,300-plus shortfall.
So how do our minimum wage moms get by? Each month more than 1.7 million North Carolinians are able to eat because of food stamps... In 2013, lawmakers cut millions of dollars from that program... These moms also rely on Medicaid...mothers who are working and are not pregnant are often ineligible for coverage since North Carolina chose not to expand Medicaid to reach our working poor.
...President Obama has called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to help bridge the gap of workers in need. An NC mom working full-time at $10.10 an hour would earn $1,750 a month. Her monthly shortfall...would amount to a more manageable $850. This could be overcome by having a roommate, sharing some child care expenses, or relying modestly on SNAP benefits. The woman making $10.10 an hour no longer faces an existence where she makes less than half of what she needs to get by...
NC Speaker of the House Thom Tillis has even said that the minimum wage is a “dangerous idea,” and that he would be in favor letting the free market set employee pay... It’s time we place the cost of doing business squarely on businesses, and start requiring them to pay their employees a living wage– instead of relying on the state to pick up the slack. read article
ILYSE HOGUE ON "THE DAILY SHOW"
NARAL president, Ilyse Hogue, was a guest on "The Daily Show." We face hypocrisy every day, but this interview reveals a new twist on a double standard on reproductive health care that you’ve probably never heard of before. You just have to watch for yourself. watch video 3-12-14
State agency denies abortion politics played role in suspending Asheville women’s clinic
Written by Jon Elliston March 19, 2014
Carolina Public Press’ recent report on state government documents regarding last summer’s suspension of Femcare, Western North Carolina’s only abortion clinic, drew a response from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services yesterday. In it, a DHHS spokesperson again denied that political motives were behind the suspension.
The March 13 article, “Documents disclose political, PR pressures surrounding Asheville abortion clinic’s suspension,” detailed findings in internal records from both DHHS and the office of Gov. Pat McCrory. It showed how key legislators involved in new state legislation tightening restrictions on abortions pressed the department for details about Femcare’s inspection history. It also showed how the McCrory administration mounted a publicity push surrounding the suspension. Last week, state Rep. Susan Fisher, a Buncombe County Democrat, told WLOS that CPP’s report on the documents “solidifies my belief that politics were at play in the closure of Femcare.” read article
Steps We Must Take to Improve Pay 04/08/2014
by Sandra Fluke
It has been more than 50 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, yet women still don't earn equal pay for equal work... A significant gender pay gap still persists, which is why we cannot be passive as we acknowledge Equal Pay Day. This year, Equal Pay Day is April 8th, which represents how far into 2014 women must work to earn what men did in 2013... read article
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Temporarily Blocks Arizona Medication Abortion Rules
by Jessica Mason Pieklo
RH Reality Check April 2, 2014
The temporary, emergency order will stay in place through Monday while the federal appeals court considers advocates' request to block regulations they claim threatens access to medication abortions statewide.
On Wednesday, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a temporary emergency injunction blocking a lower court’s order that allows severe new restrictions on medication abortions from taking effect in Arizona.
.... “Arizona women should not be denied their constitutional rights or their ability to get critical health care from the medical professionals they trust while this unconstitutional law continues to make its way through the courts,” said David Brown, staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights.. read article
“Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”
Happy 80th Birthday Gloria!
read: 25 Reasons we love Gloria Steinem on her 80th birthday.
Video: What You Need to Know About the Supreme Court Birth Control Cases
Washington Post: Here's what you need to know about the Hobby Lobby case
Video: SilverRibbon TrustWomen: Another Quote from the Madhapper's Tea Party - Birth Control
HBO and The Shriver Report Present “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert”
platform The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From The Brink in partnership with Center For American Progress,
PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK: THE LIFE & TIMES OF KATRINA GILBERT offers a deeply personal, unvarnished and moving story of Katrina Gilbert, a single mom of three, struggling to get ahead but constantly getting knocked back by a system that almost seems designed to see her fail.
Watch, more info
From the Pink Toy Aisle to the Paycheck Fairness Act
March 18, 2014
BY SABINE SCHOENBACH Women AdvaNCe
...Blue and pink toy aisles would lose a lot of their power if there wasn’t such a persistent economic disparity waiting for our girls when they grow up and join the workforce...
There are lots of ways to measure gender inequality, but equal pay is one of the easiest to understand and track. Women in America make up almost half of the labor force. Women act as co-breadwinners or sole breadwinners in four out of ten families. Women receive more college and graduate degrees than men, but women still earn less than men. Women of color earn a lot less than white men... Research has found that sex and race discrimination contributes to the wage gap, but subtler and more culturally ingrained factors are also at play. There has been little progress in gender integration of work, and women remain overrepresented in low-wage occupations – in our state, for example, women make up 55 percent of minimum wage workers. But even when men and women work in the exact same jobs, a 2012 study found that women’s median earnings continue to be less than men’s...
Perhaps the link between the toy aisle and women’s economic opportunity will help drive home the point that equal pay and equal opportunity isn’t a women’s issue, but a societal one. Equal pay would strengthen the economy. If women had received equal pay in 2012, the US economy would have produced $447.6 billion of additional income. That kind of money would help put food on the table for many, many families. read article
WATCH: Front-Runner in GOP Senate Primary Says Planned Parenthood Wants to Kill Newborns
By Tim Murphy Wed Mar. 12, 2014 Mother Jones
According to North Carolina GOP Senate candidate Greg Brannon, Planned Parenthood has a secret plan to legalize the killing of newborn babies as old as three months. Brannon, a Rand Paul-backed obstetrician who is a front-runner for the GOP nomination, made the allegations at a November fundraiser for Hand of Hope, a chain of crisis pregnancy centers he operates in North Carolina...
Brannon's statement appears to be based on testimony given last year by a lobbyist for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. Asked how the organization's physicians would respond if a baby were born alive during an abortion, the lobbyist appeared confused and said she'd have to check. But in a follow-up statement, Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, unambiguously rejected the notion: "In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the legislators ever happened, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant." read article/watch video
The Reproductive Politics of Living on the Brink
By Heidi Williamson February 26, 2014
Center for American Progress
Released last month, The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink detailed the economic realities for American women seeking to balance family and work life...
The polling results from The Shriver Report were very telling: Women need more time to improve their quality of life—time to further their education, advance their careers, take care of their health, and give care to relatives. The policy recommendation from the poll that women most strongly supported is paid leave to use for illness or to take care of a family member. But for working women, and particularly working mothers, controlling one’s fertility is at the heart of having time to do many of the things that improve the economic circumstances for her family. Because a woman’s socioeconomic status directly impacts her ability to control her personal and professional future, controlling the timing and spacing of having children is a critical economic issue, especially for women living in or near poverty. read article
Abortion-rights advocates deliver clinic rules petition to Wos
by Craig Jarvis on February 11, 2014 N&O
Abortion-rights supporters on Tuesday delivered a petition with 1,700 signatures calling on the state’s health agency to put women’s health over politics when it drafts proposed new regulations for abortion clinics. NARAL Pro-Choice N.C. organized the petition drive, staking out a defiant stance against Gov. Pat McCrory and Republicans in the General Assembly for passing a law last year requiring new rules for the clinics. The petition is addressed to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos.
“Secretary Wos has a duty to make sure that the rulemaking process is about women’s health and safety – not Gov. McCrory’s political agenda,” executive director Suzanne Buckley said in a news release. “If the governor’s administration chooses to put politics first, the consequences for North Carolina women will be devastating. Because of their political agenda, thousands of women and families could lose access to safe and affordable preventative care.”
...DHHS reported to the legislature in December that it is beginning to write a draft of the rules... Rep. Paul “Skip” Stam, an Apex Republican, told attendees at a rally in Raleigh they should push for stronger regulations once the draft rules are made public. DHHS hasn’t estimated when that might happen... Ultimately, it is likely that the regulations will return to the General Assembly for approval. read article
Mr Smith takes on Roe in Washington
Jan 28th 2014 by S.M. The Economist
REPUBLICANS these days tend to unite around two things: opposing abortion and rejecting Obamacare. It is fitting, then, that among the first items on the House agenda in 2014 is H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The bill attacks both targets in one tidy package by reinforcing existing laws against federal funding of abortion and undermining a central provision of the Affordable Care Act. H.R. 7, introduced by Chris Smith of New Jersey ... is unlikely to go anywhere, as it faces insurmountable
opposition in the Senate and in the White House... Mr Smith has an unambiguous endgame. Last week ... announced to the crowd of several hundred thousand pro-life demonstrators that... Your generation will end abortion." The House bill—along with hundreds of new state-level regulations
adopted over the past few years—is intended as another step toward that goal...
The challenge Mr Smith’s bill poses to Obamacare is premised on a badly contorted interpretation of what counts as the expenditure of taxpayer funds... To give a tax break to an organisation is not the same as supporting it with taxpayer funds. Using Mr Smith’s logic, millions of Americans are unwittingly ... paying for communion wafers, subsidising bacchanalian Purim carnivals, footing the bill for Jehovah’s Witnesses’ teachings against blood transfusions and financing Hajj pilgrimages to Mecca. But of course American taxpayers are not really doing any of these things. read article
North Carolina Governor Opposes Challenging Abortion Ruling
Wants to Avoid Costly Fight, Since Court Judgment Leaves Other Aspects of 2011 Law Intact
Associated Press Jan. 25, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C.—North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory opposes a court fight to reverse a federal judge's ruling invalidating part of a state law that would have required abortion providers to describe a pre-procedure ultrasound's image to every patient, the Republican governor's office said on Saturday. Mr. McCrory's office issued a statement quoting him as saying he doesn't think costly and extended litigation is worthwhile to restore one provision of the law passed in 2011. The court ruling didn't bar other parts of the law requiring that women receive information about the physician at least 24 hours before an abortion...
Attorney General Roy Cooper hasn't said whether the state's attorneys would appeal the Jan. 17 ruling by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles. Mr. Cooper, a Democrat, was elected independently of Mr. McCrory.
North Carolina's Republican-led General Assembly last year gave itself the authority to defend laws it passed if Mr. Cooper fails to fully defend them in court. read article
January 22 is the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that said that ending a pregnancy is a constitutional right.
Read the NARAL Pro-Choice 2014 report:
Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States
Federal court strikes down North Carolina ultrasound abortion requirement
By Arturo Garcia Jan. 17, 2014 The Raw Story
A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Friday that a North Carolina state law requiring women to undergo ultrasound treatments before having an abortion is unconstitutional, the Carolina Mercury reported. Judge Catherine C. Eagles wrote in her ruling that the law, approved by the state General Assembly in 2011, “is an effort by the state to require health care providers to deliver information in support of the state’s philosophic and social position discouraging abortion and encouraging childbirth, it is content-based, and it is not sufficiently narrowly tailored to survive strict scrutiny.” read article
The Seven Most Common Lies About Abortion
By LAUREN RANKIN | Feb 26, 2014
Chances are, you know someone who has had an abortion. Statistically, it's a near-certainty: In the U.S., one in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45. But despite how incredibly common abortion is, it remains mired in stigma and misinformation. Much of what we may think we know about this subject is actually outright lies told by abortion opponents to dissuade women out of seeking safe and legal abortion care.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), which are fake clinics run by opponents of abortion, are well-known for lying to clients in order to convince them not to seek abortion care. But the lies told within the walls of CPCs aren't just contained there; they are part and parcel of the anti-abortion movement in the U.S. For a movement that so fervently claims that "truth is on our side," they seem perfectly willing to proliferate blatant lies about abortion. Here are a select few of the most common and pervasive of those lies.
How Many of These Early Black Feminists Do You Know?
February 19, 2014
by Anita Little
Though not always recognized, black women have always made forays into the feminist dialogue to ensure black women and girls don’t remain an afterthought. In celebration of Black History Month, here are 11 early black feminists, in no particular order—some you’ve learned about and some you probably haven’t. read
Appeals court: NC cannot offer only anti-abortion plates
Feb. 11, 2014 WRAL
A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a 2012 court ruling that North Carolina's decision to issue special anti-abortion license plates is unconstitutional because the state doesn't offer similar plates supporting abortion rights. In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the proposed "Choose Life" plates represent "blatant viewpoint discrimination squarely at odds with the First Amendment."
The decision upholds a December 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge James Fox in Raleigh, which came 13 months after he blocked the state from issuing the plates while a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union was pending.
North Carolina lawmakers authorized the "Choose Life" plate in 2011, with a portion of the proceeds from sales of the plates earmarked for a nonprofit that supports crisis pregnancy centers... Meanwhile, lawmakers defeated various amendments to the bill that created the "Choose Life" plate that would have also authorized plates that would have stated “Trust Women. Respect Choice” or “Respect Choice.” read article
State to appeal rejection of abortion ultrasound law
Feb. 7, 2014 WRAL
Attorney General Roy Cooper said Friday that the state will appeal a federal judge's ruling striking down a North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before she can have an abortion.
“While I oppose laws like this that force the state into women’s medical decisions, the state will appeal this ruling because legitimate constitutional questions remain that should be decided by a higher court," Cooper said in a statement. "It is the duty of the Office of Attorney General to defend state laws, regardless of whether I agree with them.” read article
Obama: Low minimum wage affects women
By BYRON TAU | 1/28/14
President Barack Obama linked his call to raise the minimum wage to better gender equality. “Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job,” Obama said, according to prepared remarks. Obama added: “Because I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds.” read article
NARAL Pro-Choice America
January 22, 2014
Today is the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade! We created this graphic because 70% of Americans support the principles of Roe, and we need to show anti-choice politicians around the country that we won’t be silent while they work to take away our reproductive rights.
go to Facebook page
To fight poverty, start with women
By Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist
January 13, 2014
(CNN) -- There's a coming showdown between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of income inequality. President Obama has called it the "defining issue of our time." ...50 years after Johnson declared war on poverty, an astonishing new report by Maria Shriver paints a bleak picture of today's barren economic landscape for 42 million women and 28 million children... Maria Shriver's report, "A Woman's Nation Pushes Back From the Brink," describes a much-changed nation in which poverty wears a different face. On the one hand, it is indisputable that women have made much progress. A majority of women are now family breadwinners, and they hold more college degrees than men. Women have also made gains in reaching the highest levels in business and politics. But these benchmarks mask a disturbing reality: Too many women are one missed paycheck, one illness, one hospital visit or car breakdown away from economic disaster. read article
Get the report:
A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From The Brink--A Study by Maria Shriver in partnership with Center For American Progress
What Do Threats To Roe V. Wade And Domestic Violence Have In Common? Patriarchy.
1.22.14 The Daily Beast
On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the same backwards mindset threatening a woman’s right to abortion is also behind a sudden uptick in domestic violence. ...The political vilification of women’s bodies and their self-determination known as the Republican “War on Women” likely didn’t cause the increase in domestic violence. Scholars and police attribute the increase in intimate partner violence to the overall downturn in the economy. And yet especially in the context of reactionary backlash against the advances women over the last 40 years, the increase in domestic violence seems to fit with an overall backlash aimed at putting women in their places economically, culturally and politically.
The simultaneous attacks on women’s bodies in legislatures and homes across America are an ominous reminder that the political repression of women goes hand-in-hand with personal subjugation and vice versa. Make no mistake about it, the push to constrain women’s reproductive choices was never entirely about the moral conundrums about whether life begins at conception and when a fetus can be considered viable... read article
Let’s Resolve to Do Better in 2014
December 30, 2013 by SABINE SCHOENBACH
...in the Center for American Progress’ State of Women in America report – an examination of how women are faring across the states in categories of economic security, leadership and health--Unfortunately, women in North Carolina did not make it into the top ten. Not even close. At the low rank of 39, we barely escaped being in the Top Ten Worst States for Women.
Here are some of the data points that gave us a grade of “D-“ from the report on our state:
read article with data points
The Year in Kick-Ass Feminism
The Daily Beast
DEC 30, 2013 4:45 AM - BY SALLY KOHN
If 2012 was the year of the “War on Women,” 2013 was the year of the “Movement Against Mansplaining.” Sadly for conservatives, their anti-uterine tirades did not lead to a litany of new laws restricting women’s rights. It did lead to a revived generation of fierce and fervent feminists. When Beyoncé joins your choir, you know you’re winning. [Here is] re-cap of the 2013 explosion of frothy feminism—and what it means for the future of culture and politics—through three trends. read article
10 women who shaped 2013
By Frida Ghitis December 26, 2013
(CNN) -- The women of the year helped bring the economy back from the brink, worked against tyranny, and championed equality, education and justice. Most of all, they helped open our eyes to how much remains to be done. read article
Rep. Ellmers calls Affordable Care Act a ‘war on women’
BY RENEE SCHOOF
December 7, 2013
News & Obverser
The Affordable Care Act is an example of a “war on women,” U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina said Saturday in the Republicans’ weekly address. ...Ellmers said that the cancellations of some insurance policies showed that “the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family. Not only that, they are making you pay more – usually much more – and in many cases, taking away the doctor you’ve been seeing for years.” She added: “If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this health care law...”
Her criticism of the health care law as a “war on women” comes just days after it was revealed that the Republican Party has been holding tutoring classes to help its lawmakers facing female challengers next year on ways to campaign against them without making offensive and politically damaging remarks. read article
Abortion Foes Would Let Women Sue Clinics Over Regulation
By Esmé E. Deprez Dec 9, 2013 Bloomberg
A group that helped states write legislation for a record number of abortion restrictions since 2011 is expanding its toolkit with proposals to let patients and their families sue clinics to enforce those rules. Templates with the new strategy for use by lawmakers will appear in the 2014 edition of “Defending Life,” a handbook by Americans United for Life. ...Its goal is to prompt a court challenge that would provide an opportunity for the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade... read article
Supreme Court to review contraceptive coverage mandate in health-care law
By Robert Barnes Washington Post
November 26, 2013
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider a new challenge to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and decide whether employers with religious objections may refuse to provide their workers with mandated insurance coverage for contraceptives.
The cases accepted by the court offer complex questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers, along with an issue the court has not yet confronted: whether secular, for-profit corporations are excepted by the Constitution or federal statute from complying with a law because of their owners’ religious beliefs. read article
Also see:Everything you need to know about the Supreme Court birth control case
Opinion: N.C. law deserves fate court gave Oklahoma’s
Nov. 17, 2013
North Carolina lawmakers arrogantly turned a deaf ear this summer to thousands of women and others protesting abortion laws severely limiting access to clinics and invading women’s privacy. Maybe the U.S. Supreme Court can get their attention. Last week, the high court let stand a lower court's ruling in Oklahoma striking down a major abortion regulation in that state. The law is very similar to one North Carolina passed in 2011 and that a federal judge temporarily blocked soon after...
Experts say last week’s ruling and another pro-choice ruling a week earlier signal that high court justices are skeptical of state actions that severely limit access to a legal procedure, put an unfair burden on women and infringe on their rights. read editorial
At Last! Congressional Democrats To Introduce Pro-Choice ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’
by DEBORAH MONTESANO NOV. 13, 2013 Addicting Info
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced at a news conference on Wednesday that he will introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act in the Senate. The action is being undertaken by pro-choice members in both houses of Congress. According to a prior press release from the senator’s office, the law’s intent is to “protect a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion.” The Women’s Health Protection Act is aimed at states like Texas and Wisconsin that try to “curtail reproductive health services for women.” It is at the state level that a fierce battle is being fought by Republicans who, in the words of Sen. Blumenthal, have passed a “cascading increase of measures” to put obstacles in the way of women’s rights. read article
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Women’s crisis centers worried about state money
11/13/2013 by Sarah Ovaska
NC Policy Watch
Directors for North Carolina’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs are worried future funding may face restrictions under the McCrory Administration, leaving the non-profits with less ability to cover overhead costs.
The N.C. Council for Women, housed under the N.C. Department of Administration, has traditionally been a steady source of flexible state funding for programs that address violence against women. This month, the advocacy agency awarded $7.7 million in state funds to 239 women’s crisis centers and non-profits around the state. But council staff also sent word in September, several months after grants proposals had been submitted, that it “strongly recommended” agencies only use 20 percent of the grant money for overhead costs [which] rattled service providers because other streams of funding, including federal money from the Violence Against Women Act, can only be used in work that directly aids battered or abused women. read article
What the Texas Decision Means for North Carolina Women
November 1, 2013
It’s Time to Put Women’s Health First
Last night, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted anti-choice Texas attorney general Greg Abbott’s request that will allow Texas’ new admitting privileges requirement to go into effect immediately. Local abortion providers estimate that the law will close up to 15 women’s health centers. As a result, many women will be denied access to a wide range of reproductive health care, including preventive services like cancer screenings and prenatal care.
This decision comes as North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) sets out to create new restrictions on women’s health centers in North Carolina that may include admitting privileges like the ones in Texas. read post
Women and North Carolina GOP Lose Upon Implementation of New State Abortion Restrictions
Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor, Chapel Hill, N.C.; attorney, Tin Fulton Walker Owen
Today North Carolina's new oppressive anti-choice law goes into effect and no North Carolina woman is safer or healthier because of it. But the biggest loser of all may be North Carolina's Gov. Pat McCrory, who violated a clear campaign promise when he signed the legislation into law. read column
MAP: Women’s Uneven Progress In The 50 States
BY ALAN PYKE ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
The country’s future well-being is directly linked to the ability of American women to get a fair shot in economic, health, and leadership terms. From the persistent wage gap to the state- and city-level fights for better work and family policies, much work remains to be done--and there are wide variations within the country in just how much work remains, as a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows.
“Mapping the State of Women in America” grades each of the 50 states using 14 economic factors, 9 measures of women’s access to leadership roles, and 13 health factors. The resulting interactive map illustrates the vast differences in women’s access to a level playing field across the country. read/see map
5 Reasons Women’s Health Supporters Had A Great 2013
BuzzFeed December 23, 2013
We made some amazing strides for women’s health and rights this year, and none of them would have been possible without our incredible supporters. So as we say goodbye to 2013, here’s a little something to celebrate the highlights—and say thanks for everything you do. view post
Watch Video from Wifey:
How the Media Failed Women in 2013
Wifey is a curated video network for women. We explore the interweb far and wide to gather video that tickles us pink, makes us think or moves us — then we put it out there for you! 12/5/13
Sojourner Truth—influential abolitionist and women’s rights advocate—died Nov. 26, 1883. She is often recognized for her “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
See more at:
National Women's History Museum
Sign The Petition
Secretary Wos, Put Women's Health First!I believe it’s time for government officials to stop playing politics with women’s health. Secretary Wos, your job is to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians, not to promote a political agenda. At a time when North Carolinians access to healthcare is being severely restricted, I’m asking you to put health first when writing new rules for women’s health centers. sign here
NARAL, Nov. 21, 2013
How Blue States Could Push Back For Abortion Rights
BY NORA CAPLAN-BRICKER NOVEMBER 13, 2013
Wednesday, a group of legislators introduced a different kind of abortion bill into the U.S. Senate. The Women’s Health Protection Act would outlaw all regulations on abortion that “are more burdensome than those restrictions imposed on medically comparable procedures, … do not significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services, and … make abortion services more difficult to access.” In layman’s terms, it would make all of the nearly 200 laws impeding abortion rights that have been enacted at the state level since 2011 illegal. “Enough is enough,” said Representative Judy Chu at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “We’ve been playing defense far too long. It’s time to stop playing Whac-A-Mole in each state. We need to provide a national response in fighting this.” read article
Your Girlfriend Rachel Maddow Explores the Attacks on Roe V. Wade
by MADELEINE DAVIES
Nov. 14, 2013 Jezebel
Last night on The Rachel Maddow Show, your host/girlfriend explored how anti-abortion activists are attempting to chip away at abortion rights through state legislation and good news! It isn't entirely grim this time. Yesterday, the Supreme Court rejected Oklahoma's draconian abortion-ultrasound law that would force women who are seeking to terminate a pregnancy to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound and examine the ultrasound photo with her doctor before having the procedure. Thankfully, the Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional and as an assault on Roe v. Wade.
Unfortunately (it's not all good news, sorry), Maddow points out that there are several states (Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin, for example) with similar laws that are still infringing on women's reproductive rights. read article/watch video
BREAKING: Supreme Court Dismisses Major Attack On Abortion Rights
BY IAN MILLHISER
NOVEMBER 4, 2013 Think Progress
In an important, if likely temporary, victory for abortion rights, the Supreme Court took a major abortion case off its docket on Monday. The Court’s brief order does not explain the justices’ reason for doing so...Nevertheless, it is likely that the justices decided ... it made sense to wait to decide an important question regarding the ability of states to restrict the use of medication abortions, in Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice ...
In the short term, Monday’s order means that a conservative Supreme Court that’s shown considerable eagerness to restrict abortion rights in the past will not decide a major abortion case. In the medium term, however, the question of medication abortions is likely to be in front of the justices again very soon. read article
From NARAL, Sept. 5, 2013:
Don't miss out on our amazing "Politicians Make Crappy Doctors" T-Shirts! They are both stylish and sassy, the perfect thing to wear to a protest and/or a Fall BBQ:)
Make a Donation Today of $35 or more to support NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
and as a Thank You, you'll receive a "Politicians Make Crappy Doctors" T-Shirt! Your donation will directly fund our efforts to keep abortion safe and legal, and to keep politicians like Governor McCrory out of women’s personal decisions.
Congratulations to Gloria Steinem !
She has been selected to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Aug. 08, 2013
President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients
Anti-choice leaders in the House of Representatives are trying to use the impending debt ceiling crisis to push through their bill outlawing abortion nationwide after 20 weeks. Not cool, GOP!
Take Action NOW: Tell your member of Congress now to leave attacks on reproductive rights out of the debt ceiling fight.
Sept. 26, 2013
Why Do Women Have Abortions After 20 Weeks, Anyway?
Sept. 26, 2013 By EMILY DERUY CBS News
...Psychologist Dr. Julie Bindeman has always been pro-choice about abortion. But she remembers feeling relieved when she got married that she wouldn’t have to worry about making that decision personally...Then, a 20-week ultrasound ...revealed enlarged brain ventricles and the possibility of anencephaly, which essentially translates to “no brain.” The best case scenario, doctors told the couple, was that the baby (a boy, the ultrasound had revealed) would have the mental capabilities of a two-month-old.
..."This has nothing to do with politics," Bindeman said of her decision to have the two abortions. "This has to do with the choices that my husband and I needed to make."
But a slew of politicians, many of them Tea Party candidates swept into office during the 2010 election cycle, beg to differ. read article
ABC News Goes Pink
Sept. 29, 2013
ABC News is going pink for October to raise awareness about breast cancer, a disease that affects one in eight American women...More people are surviving breast cancer, but the disease continues to kill more than 40,000 American women each year.
...education is just one part of our month-long series. We'll also bring you inspiring stories from breast cancer survivors ...We'll spotlight some of the lingering consequences of breast cancer and its treatments, like early menopause, infertility and secondary cancers, as well as the psychological impact on loved ones.
Click here for more from ABC News Goes Pink
The Truth About Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Picture this: You're scared that you might be pregnant. You see an ad for a free pregnancy test and counseling. You call the number and make an appointment. You're told that birth control is the same as abortion and that if you have an abortion, you will probably get breast cancer. You're vulnerable, scared, and confused. You have walked into a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC), and you have been lied to and manipulated. You deserve the truth: comprehensive, unbiased, factual, and medically accurate information.
Learn more about CPCs in our state
From NARAL: This is only the beginning.
Last Monday, after a long fight against anti-choice Senate Bill 353 (in all its forms,) Governor McCrory abandoned his campaign promise and signed into law a set of sweeping abortion restrictions...It’s been an exhausting, frustrating and at times infuriating summer, but together we have started something great...This is not the end, but rather just the beginning. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be unveiling our campaign to hold accountable those lawmakers who have turned their backs on North Carolina women and families. We look forward to sharing these plans with you and continuing our work together in the weeks and months to come. read full statement
Spurred By Anti-Choice Lawmakers, North Carolina’s Health Department Cracks Down On Abortion Clinics
BY TARA CULP-RESSLER AUGUST 5, 2013
North Carolina health officials have closed three abortion clinics in the state over the past three months, citing safety violations. But an outside review of the health department’s records shows that those same types of violations didn’t lead to clinic suspensions in the past--causing some speculation that state lawmakers’ recent crusade against abortion is influencing health officials’ work. read article
Abortion law breaks McCrory promise
By Mark Binker
WRAL July 29, 3013
During an Oct. 24, 2012, debate, WRAL News reporter Laura Leslie asked soon-to-be Gov. Pat McCrory the following: "If you are elected governor, what further restrictions on abortion would you agree to sign?"
McCrory's one-word reply: "None."
So when McCrory signed a package of changes to the state's abortion laws Monday, did he break that campaign pledge?
...Given the absolute nature of his promise, by signing Senate Bill 353, he broke that promise. read article
Whither the abortion bill?
By Mark Binker
WRAL July 25, 2013
Hey--remember that abortion bill? The one that the Senate rolled out just before July 4 that sparked all the protests and national media attention. It still hasn't passed...the bill has sat in the Senate Rules Committee for the better part of two weeks with little sign of movement...
Asked when specifically the bill might be heard, Berger repeated, "before we leave."
That opens the intriguing possibility that one of the most high-profile, controversial bills of the session could pass – if it passes – in the wee hours of the morning when very few people are watching the process. read article
Abortion: Let me get this straight
JULY 15, 2013
Here’s the text of my comments on the House floor on July 11, 2013.
Out of a purported concern for women’s health, and in light of the constitutional rule of Roe v. Wade, and an ostensible genuflect to the outcry over the process and substance of the Senate bill, the majority, in what it portrays as an admirable exercise of legislative restraint, abstains from passing a bill eliminating abortion access outright. Because, after all, that would have meant a direct constitutional confrontation it was sure to lose. So this bill emerges from yet another rewrite by moonlight to the early morning sun yesterday under the intriguing and wholly non-transparent title of the “Motorcycle Safety Act” with some minimal changes in wording, but as Rep. Ruth Samuelson conceded, “the same intent” as the widely criticized Senate bill.
McCrory says he would sign House version of abortion bill
By Mark Binker July 12, 2013
"If the General Assembly sends me the Senate-approved bill (HB 695), I will veto it. If I get the House-passed bill (SB 353), I'll sign it," McCrory said in a statement issued by his press office.
That logic doesn't pass muster with critics of the bill.
"The governor made a campaign promise in October not to support any restrictions on abortion in our state. By signing this bill, Gov. McCrory would be going back on his campaign promise and sending a message that he can't be trusted to stick to his word," said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
Planned Parenthood, which operates a network of women's health clinics, also took issue with McCrory's decision. "Gov. McCrory is wrong – and worse, he’s not listening to his constituents," said Melissa Reed, Vice President of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Health Systems. "Thousands of North Carolinians have descended on Raleigh...telling their legislators and the Governor that they would not stand for legislation that would hurt women and could dramatically restrict access to safe, legal abortion."
House approves new restrictions on NC abortion clinics
By Matthew Burns and Laura Leslie
July 11, 2013
The state House on Thursday approved a proposal to add regulations to the operations of North Carolina abortion clinics.
The House voted 74-41 in favor of the bill, which now returns to the Senate for a final vote before going to Gov. Pat McCrory. read story
DHHS calls for more study of abortion restrictions
By Matthew Burns and Laura Leslie
July 9, 2013
Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos urged lawmakers Tuesday to slow down on a break-neck effort to adopt new restrictions on North Carolina abortion clinics, saying some of the provisions need more study while others need to be clarified. In an unusual move, the House Health and Human Services Committee held a two-hour public hearing Tuesday on House Bill 695...Wos acknowledged that regulations for abortion clinics need to be updated, saying that they haven't been changed since 1995. But said also noted that DHHS lacks the resources to inspect the clinics more than one every three to five years..."(The bill) won't decrease the need for abortion care. It will only make it less safe," said Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina...read article/see video of hearing
Wearing pink, opponents of abortion restrictions join 'Moral Monday' effort
News & Observer July 8, 2013
By Anne Blythe and John Frank
Demonstrators gathered at the North Carolina Legislative Building as they have for 10 Mondays now, but many women wore pink this week to protest what they described as an assault on women’s rights and access to health care. read article
Senate votes to restrict abortion as women yell 'shame
July 3, 2013 N&O
By Lynn Bonner and Craig Jarvis
The Senate, after a long debate ...approved a bill that would restrict abortions by stepping up requirements for clinics and doctors. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 29-12 as opponents filled the gallery above and hundreds more waited outside. The bill now goes to the House.
After the vote, people in the hall began chanting, “Shame, shame, shame.” A woman in the gallery who yelled “Shame on you” was arrested...
“This is an atrocious, shameful bill,” said Sen. Earline Parmon, a Winston-Salem Democrat. “It’s about dictating to women about very personal medical decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor. This is going to cause more back-alley abortions whether you want to admit it or not.”
...the surprise Senate vote Tuesday night [added] more restrictions on surgical and medical abortions. The provisions, tacked onto an unrelated bill about Islamic law, requires abortion clinics to meet standards similar to those for outpatient surgery clinics. It also requires doctors to be present when women take pills that induce abortions.
The bill’s supporters say it’s about safety, but opponents said the real reason is to restrict abortions. A legislative staff member said only one abortion clinic in the state would meet the new licensing standards. A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood said she knew of none. read article
Tighter abortion restrictions clear Senate
WRAL By Laura Leslie and Matthew Burns
July 3, 2013
With the gallery packed by abortion rights supporters and a protest waged outside the Legislative Building, the state Senate on Wednesday gave its blessing to a series of abortion restrictions.
The bill, which originally prohibited the recognition of foreign law, such as Islamic Sharia law, in family courts, was overhauled Tuesday with little public notice and converted into an omnibus bill titled the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act by adding the contents of various anti-abortion legislation pending in the General Assembly.
Senators voted 29-12 to approve House Bill 695, which now returns to the House for a final vote on the changes.
Shouts of "shame, shame, shame" rained down on the Senate after the vote. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who oversees the Senate, ordered police to clear people from the gallery before senators adjourned.
Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, called the Senate action "a surreptitious attack on the rights of North Carolina women."
“This package of anti-women bills--so unpopular they needed to be hidden from the public to have a chance at becoming law--could close all but one clinic in the state," Buckley said in a statement. "We’re outraged that this dangerous package of bills was kept from public scrutiny. We will continue to sound the alarm and fight this bill in the House." read article
Click here for NARAL's easy call or email the Governor page...and spread the word
Abortion regulations heading to McCrory
By Mark Binker WRAL July 25, 2013
The state Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill that imposes new regulations and restrictions on abortion providers.
Senators voted 32-13 Thursday evening, sending the measure to Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who has said he will sign the measure as it was passed.
NARAL Pro-Choice NC Appalled by Passage of Sneak Attack Act In The NC House
Anti-choice omnibus bill SB 353 passes 74- 41.
July 11, 2013
..."We are appalled but not surprised that the House has passed SB 353 in a largely party-line vote... This bill will severely limit women’s access to safe and legal abortion care to the detriment of North Carolina women. The sponsors of SB 353 have shown an utter disregard for women’s health and safety, continuously putting anti-choice political ideology over fair process and democracy,” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
"Now, all eyes are on the Governor. He made a campaign promise to voters back in October that he would not support any further restrictions on access to safe and legal abortion care in our state, and we are going to hold him to his word. If the Governor wants to be known as a man of character, he will veto this bill. North Carolinians are watching and they will remember this in 2016,” said Buckley.... "The women’s health advocates and reproductive rights supporters ...will not be silenced by empty promises or word-games, and they will be ready to hold their lawmakers accountable,” she said. read full release
Abortion bill hurting NC Republicans
July 16, 2013
North Carolinians are very angry about the abortion bill that's been working its way through the General Assembly...and now their anger toward state government is really being directed toward Governor Pat McCrory.
For the first time since taking office we find that McCrory has a negative approval rating this month. Only 40% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove... read poll result article
McCrory plans to veto abortion bill unless changes made
By Derek Medlin July 10, 2013
Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday that he will veto a House bill designed to adopt new restrictions on abortion clinics unless significant changes are made to the legislation prior to its passage by the House...
Suzanne Buckley, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, said in a statement Wednesday that the group is "encouraged" by McCrory's statement. ... "The thousands of messages sent to Gov. McCrory through our campaign have had a significant impact," Buckley said in a statement. "But the fight is far from over. We will continue to fight House Bill 695 to protect access to safe and legal abortion care in North Carolina." read article
NC House rushes forward new abortion bill without notice
July 10, 2013
Hours after Gov. Pat McCrory issued a veto threat for a controversial abortion bill, House Republicans -- acting without public notice -- took a bill about motorcycle safety and inserted abortion language.
The new bill -- S353 -- represents tweaks to the version that passed the Senate last week but still includes some of that version's contentious language.
NC's proposed abortion bill slows down a notch
July 9, 2013 by COREY LOWENSTEIN
The momentum behind the contentious abortion bill the Senate rapidly approved last week slowed in the House on Tuesday, where the state’s public health regulators told lawmakers they have serious questions about the proposed law.
As a result, House and Senate authors of the legislation agreed to try to work out concerns with the state Department of Health and Human Services. Rep. Ruth Samuelson, a Republican from Charlotte, said she hoped the questions could be resolved this week and a bill sent to the governor before the legislature leaves this summer. read article
New York Times View:
Repairing the Damage, Before Roe
By WALDO L. FIELDING, M.D.
Published: June 3, 2008
With the Supreme Court becoming more conservative, many people who support women’s right to choose an abortion fear that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that gave them that right, is in danger of being swept aside.
When such fears arise, we often hear about the pre-Roe “bad old days.” Yet there are few physicians today who can relate to them from personal experience. I can. read post
GOP ambush on abortion rights continues apace MSNBC July 3, 2013
Rachel Maddow reports on the latest Republican sneak attack on women's reproductive rights with North Carolina Republicans adding anti-abortion measures to an unrelated bill, and wonders if they'll take advantage of the holiday's distraction to pass the bill into law while voters aren't looking. watch video
With HB695, The NC Senate voted to severely limit a woman's access to safe and legal abortion and attempt to SHUT DOWN Planned Parenthood.
HB695 has been placed on the House's Health and Human Services Committee agenda for Tuesday July 9th and could potentially be up for a vote later that day when the full House convenes for session.
Wear Pink and Purple and stand on Jones St. in Raleigh on Tuesday Morning to attend events by NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina and Planned Parenthood of Central NC. We need to turn out as many people as possible! Let's show them again that we are watching, and we will not let this pass without speaking out!
A crowd shouts "shame shame shame" as law enforcement officers stand outside the Legislative building after the Senate gave its approval to a series of abortion restrictions Wednesday July 3, 2013. The bill, when originally introduced prohibited the recognition of foreign law, such as Islamic Sharia law, in family courts, was changed Tuesday with little public notice and the new bill titled the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act, added anti-abortion legislation. Senators voted 29-12 to approve House Bill 695. CHUCK LIDDY
Senate tacks sweeping abortion legislation onto Sharia law bill
WRAL By Mark Binker July 2, 2013
Senators on Tuesday tacked a suite of new restrictions and regulations pertaining to abortion clinics onto a bill dealing with the application of foreign laws in North Carolina family courts.
The measure was unveiled unexpectedly during an unusual late-day committee meeting. It combines several bills in different stages of the legislative process into one omnibus measure.
..."They're doing it quietly on Fourth of July weekend because they've seen what's going on in Texas and know that women will turn out," Melissa Reed, vice president of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems said, referring to the protests surrounding a similar bill in Texas. She said Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights advocates had no idea the measure would be taken up Tuesday. read article
see WRAL video discussion
Huffington Post: North Carolina Abortion Bill: State Senate Votes On Restrictive Measure
Rachel Maddow: NC Senator Nesbitt busts GOP for sneak attack in war on women
Read more on the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act
Texas Abortion Bill Filibustered By State Senator Wendy Davis Is Dead
Huffington Post 06/26/2013
The Texas anti-abortion bill, which threatened to close nearly all of the abortion clinics in the state and prompted an 11-hour filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), is dead, The Austin American-Statesman reported.
Lawmakers had to vote on Senate Bill 5 before the special session's end at 12 a.m. local time. However, more than 400 protesters halted the proceedings 15 minutes before the roll call could be completed with what they called "a people's filibuster,"The Associated Press reported. read/watch video reports
Susan B. Anthony and the crime of voting
June 18, 2013
It was 140 years ago today--June 18, 1873--that Susan B. Anthony was convicted of breaking the law. Her crime: voting in the 1872 U.S. presidential election.
...from Anthony’s perspective women’s suffrage was already enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states with no gender specification
...having made a logical argument based on the Constitution, Anthony’s voter registration was accepted and she went on to cast a straight-ticket ballot for the Republican Party four days later.
Seven months after that, she was in a courtroom for a two-day trial... found guilty of voting and ordered to pay a $100 fine. Anthony swore she would never pay the fine, and indeed she did not, calling the case “the greatest judicial outrage history has ever recorded.”
That outrage brought the issue of women’s suffrage to nationwide attention and helped pave the way for the 19th Amendment...14 years after her death. full story
Plan to deny women prenatal care deals double blow to reproductive health care
6/6/2013 by Paige Johnson, NC Policy Watch
The North Carolina Senate’s move to deny pregnant women Medicaid coverage for prenatal care betrays a shocking lack of compassion. It also shows a willful ignorance of the tremendous strides our state has made in improving healthy birth outcomes for moms and infants.
Moreover, the move suggests our legislators care more about fast-tracking their political agenda than thinking through the unintended consequences of denying thousands of North Carolinians health care.
One such consequence is that reducing Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women will automatically lower the income eligibility for our state’s successful Be Smart Family Planning program that provides no-cost birth control, STD testing and life-saving cancer screening to tens of thousands of women and men in our state every year. read article
The State of Things:
The Fight Over Abortion In North Carolina
By SHAWN WEN AND FRANK STASIO
May 28, 2013
Host Frank Stasio speaks to a panel of experts to discuss the fight over abortion legislation in North Carolina. listen to broadcast
Holding Gov. McCrory to His Campaign Promise
by Suzanne Buckley, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina May 13, 2013
In the final debate of the 2012 North Carolina gubernatorial campaign, Pat McCrory made a promise to North Carolina voters that he would not support any new restrictions on abortion access. He said it right there, on television, for everybody to see. McCrory won the election weeks later, and we vowed to hold him to his words...
As these bills fly through the legislature, we are counting on Governor McCrory to stand up to the anti-choice leadership in the legislature and make good on his campaign promise. And we’re using our new She Decides online advocacy campaign to hold him to his word. In the last two weeks alone, over 1,000 North Carolinians have contacted the governor through our site--and encouraged others to do the same. read article
Supreme Court Stays Out Of Planned Parenthood Funding Case
By CHARLES WILSON 05/28/13
Indiana will likely stop defending a law that stripped Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case Tuesday...Indiana is among more than a dozen states that have enacted or considered laws to prevent taxpayers' money from funding organizations that provide abortion.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 23 that the law targeting Planned Parenthood went too far because it denied women the right to choose their own medical providers...The law aimed to deny Planned Parenthood funds from the joint federal-state Medicaid health program for the poor that are used for general health services including cancer screening. read article
General Assembly continues assault on women's rights
NC May 17, 2013
By Jaymes Powell Jr.
Freedom to vote, go to school and control over their own bodies: all rights women had to fight for while many men tried to limit their access to them. Today, North Carolina Republicans are trying to diminish all three of these hard earned rights through reactionary legislation, women’s groups and Democrats say. read statement
The Fight Against HB730
May 16, 2013
Yesterday was an eventful day for Planned Parenthood. We fought hard against HB 730 and even wore 1960's attire to illustrate that lawmakers are working to take
us back in time to the days when women faced even more barriers to health care than they do now.
The bill was debated on the House floor late last night and your emails, calls and yes- the costumes- paid off! An amendment to remove the provision allowing any employer to deny birth control coverage passed! This is a great victory for NC women.
Donning vintage outfits from the 1960s, a group of North Carolina women sent the message to state lawmakers on Wednesday that while they enjoy watching AMC's "Mad Men," they don't want to live in an episode of it.
The costumed protest, organized by Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, took place at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill that would allow employers and pharmacists to refuse to cover or dispense contraception for moral reasons. If passed, the law would violate President Barack Obama's contraception mandate, which requires employers to cover birth control at no cost to women, and would effectively reverse a 14-year-old state law requiring all employers who cover other prescription drugs to also cover contraception. read article
May 8, 2013
By Ruth Marcus--Washington Post Writers Group
As a mom, I can’t help but cringe.
As a thinking adult, I can’t help but reconsider.
I’m referring to the continuing controversy over making emergency contraceptives available, without a prescription, to...girls as young as 11.
...The parent who does not want her teenage daughter pregnant should be relieved, not squeamish, at the thought of the drug available over the counter.
As John Jenkins, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of New Drugs, has observed, there is no “age group where the benefit of preventing unplanned pregnancies and abortion is more important and more compelling.”
...I understand--I empathize--with parental concerns about Plan B. Yet this debate isn’t about the government coming between parents and children, or society condoning teen sex. It’s about preventing teen pregnancy.
Women AdvaNCe was founded in 2012 by Laura B. Edwards, a political activist and philanthropist, troubled by the lack of data-driven, factual messaging on women issues in North Carolina. Despite the fact that, according to Global Media Monitoring Project, women make up 52 percent of the population in NC, nearly 80 percent of major news articles fail to focus on women-specific content. This gap, coupled with the rising tide of attacks on women’s rights in NC, motivated Laura to create a new organization that delivers thoughtful content and builds a supportive community that empowers women and enables women leaders to further the cause of full equality...Women AdvaNCe is a non-partisan educational institute... visit site
By PAM BELLUCK and MICHAEL D. SHEAR
May 1, 2013
The Obama administration moved Wednesday to keep girls under 15 from having over-the-counter access to morning-after pills, as the Justice Department filed a notice to appeal a judge’s order that would make the drug available without a prescription for girls and women of all ages. read article
By Ian Millhiser, Josh Israel and Sy Mukherjee
May 2, 2013
Women in full-time year-round jobs earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Yet, at a town hall earlier this week, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) claimed that Congress has done enough to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. Indeed, she justified her vote against legislation intended to prevent employers from dodging federal equal pay law with an excuse similar to the National Rifle Association’s explanation for why we do not need any more gun laws--we just need to enforce the ones we have... So when Ayotte voted against this bill, she stood up for employer’s rights to make completely irrational judgments about how much a female worker should be paid, and their right to retaliate against employees who are trying to figure out if they are being treated fairly. read article, watch video
By Mark Binker
May 7, 2013
Doctors could be sued if they perform an abortion on a woman who sought the procedure because of the sex of her baby under a bill that cleared the House on a 79-40 vote Tuesday
...opponents...pilloried the measure, saying that it was aimed at scaring doctors who might perform abortions rather than targeting any real problem. Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, said...this measure would allow any number of people, including the child's father and fellow medical providers, to sue...Ross also said she believed the bill could lead to racial profiling, point to discussion in the committee about Asian cultures where the practice is believed to be more common. read article
Apr 26, 2013
President Obama has done more for women's health than any president in history and has stood with Planned Parenthood time and again, when it's mattered most. watch video
By: Andy Mattison, News14
Hundreds of women gathered on the Halifax Mall Wednesday to rally against new legislation they feel would put unnecessary restrictions on abortion practices.
Dozens of shoes were laid out on the mall Wednesday to prove a point.
"You don't walk in a woman's shoes. You don't know what she's going through. So don't try to legislate her health decisions," said Paige Johnson with Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina...read article
by Sabine Schoenbach
On the heels of International Women’s Day--which was celebrated last Friday, March 8th to honor and celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women--two new reports highlight the status of women and girls in North Carolina. Both deliver important messages that are at once sobering and hopeful and both are worth your time to explore. read article
See PDF reports:
The Status of Women in North Carolina
The Status of Girls
By Laura Leslie
A bill filed Wednesday would require doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a restriction that abortion-rights supporters say could close clinics across North Carolina...Sponsor Sen. Warren Daniel, R-Burke, said the goal is patient safety.
"We just to make sure that, if we're having abortion procedures in North Carolina, they're as safe as any other type of surgery. I think it's reasonable," Daniel said.
Melissa Reed, vice president for public policy for Planned Parenthood, said abortions are already very safe. "It's really not about patient safety. This is strictly politics," Reed said. "It's an attempt to make it impossible for women to access abortion." read article
Fifty years ago, when Pres. John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, he attacked "the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job." While the act prohibits arbitrary discrimination in women's pay, President Kennedy's hope that the practice would end has not been realized. Instead, women today continue to receive less than 80 percent of the wages that men receive for doing the same job... read commentary
For all that's been written about the passionate and courageous women who have led the march to gender equality throughout history, often overlooked are the men who have marched (and continue to march) at our sides. ...the number of men willing to step forward and take a public stand on behalf of women's rights -- to speak out, to raise awareness -- is simply smaller than the coalition of women that has been forming and reforming for centuries. read and view slideshow
The North Dakota State Senate passed two anti-abortion bills on Friday that would be the first laws of their kind in the United States and would ban most abortions in the state. One bill would prevent women from having abortions as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, and the other bans abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome..."North Dakota politicians are now leading what appears to be a nationwide competition among anti-choice extremists to see who can do the most to strip women of their dignity and autonomy and endanger their lives," said Nancy Northup. read story
The first abortion bill of the session has been filed. Senate Bill 132 would require that students be taught that abortion can cause premature births in subsequent pregnancies.
Whether that’s true or not is a matter of some dispute among medical professionals, and a committee of the state Child Fatality Task Force heard from doctors on both sides in November. ...The bill’s sponsors are Sen. Warren Daniel of Morganton, Sen. Jerry Tillman of Archdale, and Sen. Shirley Randleman of Wilkesboro, all Republicans.
The bill would require school health education include information about how pre-term births can be prevented, and include a statement that abortion is one cause... read full article
Ahead of a vote on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill, the Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican alternative that would have stripped out protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence, removed a key protection for Native American women and shifted the overall focus of VAWA away from women and more toward men. read article
Sen. Kay Hagan today said the Violence Against Women Act has run into opposition in the House of Representatives... Last year was the first year that Congress didn’t reauthorize the legislation since it was passed in 1994. The VAWA provides federal funds for services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and for prosecution of rapists.
She said that the legislation “provides a lifeline for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.” It funds crisis centers and shelters and 911. It also includes a provision that Hagan sponsored --funds to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault among health care providers.
Jan 18, 2013
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
It's been 40 years since Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in this country.
Forty years of protecting every woman's fundamental right to make the most personal medical decisions.
Forty years of ensuring that abortion remains a safe and legal procedure for a woman to consider, if she needs it.
And, it's been 40 years of facing a vocal minority of politicians and others who continue to insist on interfering with a woman's decisions about her own health.
That's why, as the 40th anniversary approaches on Tuesday, those of us who trust women, who value their health and rights, have something to say — and we hope you'll join us: Roe is here for good.
Roe is here for the good it has done for our mothers and grandmothers, and every woman who fought for the right to make her own health care decisions. We will not give up what they fought so hard and suffered so long to achieve.
Roe is here for the good it does me and women nationwide. We won't allow a small band of politicians and out-of-touch activists to interfere with a woman's personal health care decisions. We won't allow lawmakers to stand between women and their doctors.
Roe is here for the good of our daughters, who deserve to live in a world that respects their decisions and their rights. They are counting on us to protect their health, to move forward and never turn back. We won't return them to the world that generations of women before them left behind. We will secure their right to make their own decisions today, so they don't have to fight for them tomorrow.
To celebrate this milestone, we wanted to share the amazing impact this landmark decision has had on the lives of women. Take a look at all of the good Roe has done over the last 40 years, and then take a minute to recommit to making sure it stays here for good.
Thank you for standing with us today to honor this important anniversary, and every day.
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Recalling the world before Roe v Wade
Jan. 16, 2013 @ 06:03 PM
By Neil Offen
It was 40 years ago that Roe v Wade legalized abortion. It was 30 years ago that Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, which provides abortions and a wide range of other medical services, began its operations.
And while the organization and women’s reproductive rights might seem under siege today, speakers said Wednesday, it’s important to remember what the situation was like before.
“After 40 years, a lot of people have forgotten what kind of world we had to live in without abortion,” State Rep. Deborah Ross told more than 200 supporters gathered at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.
“We need to remember what a deplorable effect not having legal abortion wrought on women and their doctors. We need to remember the horrible situation they were in. That is why we are pro-choice.”
Ross was the keynote speaker at Planned Parenthood’s annual Champions of Choice breakfast. Like a number of other speakers, she acknowledged that the organization and the issues it champions are facing difficult circumstances.
The last session of the legislature voted to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds. It also passed the Women’s Right to Know Act, which requires several new stipulations which must be met and carried out before a woman can receive an abortion.
“Last year’s legislature was the worst on record for women in N.C. history,” said Paige Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s vice president for external affairs. “And as brutal as the last session was, the next one promises to be even harder.”
Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, who received Planned Parenthood’s Bertha “B” Holt Award for legislative courage and leadership at the breakfast, said she and like-minded representatives “tried to get their [colleagues] to see reason in this. But those people came in with their minds made up.”
But Ross noted nevertheless “how far we have come from those depths” before Roe v Wade became the law of the land.
Now, she said, “things ebb and flow. The [legislative majority] will overplay their hands and we will be back.”
In the meantime, Ross added, “we need to remind people that not all women are the same but all women do need to be respected. We respect women who terminate their pregnancies, but we also respect women who carry their pregnancies to term. And we respect that child, and we want to make sure that child has healthcare, good housing and a chance for success. That’s what being pro-choice is about.”
Mike Woodard, just elected to the state Senate, acknowledged that changing the situation would be an uphill struggle. “But we’re going to let our voices be heard,” he said.
It’s 2012 and close to four years after the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law. Surely, the gender wage gap has been closed, right? Wrong.
Even with moves toward equalizing pay between men and women, men still make almost 20% more than women in nearly all industries. This is despite the fact that women receive the same education, with the same tuition price tags and levels of debt upon graduation. The only major differences are that there are more ladies in college and they have better average GPAs to boot. The benefits of paying women their fair share include increasing the GDP while reducing the poverty rates for families.
Check out this infographic to see what else the gender wage gap affects.
January 30, 2013
Wake County's Deborah Ross of the NC House was the speaker at this morning's Lillian's List Legislative Breakfast in Raleigh. The theme for the day was Recharge, Recommit, and Reclaim North Carolina. Deborah's best line in her speech was, "why don't they want to let Grandma vote?" She told us 65% of the voters who do not have photo ID are senior citizen women!
Beverly Perdue got the Courage Award for using that red stamp that said VETO.
At the end we sent our female legislators off to the General Assembly with "fired up, ready to go" cheers.
Democratic Women of Durham County (DWDC), PO Box 377, Durham, NC 27702 email@example.com webmaster