The Emergency Action for Women’s Lives, hosted by the National Organization for Women, drew thousands of women, men, and children to Washington DC this weekend in support of abortion rights (see for yourself!). The Feminist Majority participated in the action, with over 40 Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances represented. The action included a highly successful rally, where representatives from such diverse organizations as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the National Abortion Federation, and the National Black Women’s Health Project spoke to an enthusiastic crowd about the importance of abortion access, the horrors already faced by women around the world under the global gag rule and parental consent, and the failure of anti-abortion politicians to provide adequate policies for women and children. Speakers included Patricia Ireland of NOW, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and abortion provider Dr. James Pendergraft. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal riled the crowd to their feet with a powerful speech about the importance of saving Roe v. Wade, and about our most promising strategy for doing so: “Filibuster! Filibuster! Filibuster!” Smeal, backed by the cheering crowd, assured President George W. Bush that “we will not be the generation who both won and lost Roe v. Wade.”
Action participants then marched in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and down to the mall, chanting along the way: “Not the church, not the state, Women must decide their fate!” and “2-4-6-8 watch out who he nominates!” The event ended on the mall with a reproductive health fair, where participating organizations like Advocates for Youth and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health provided educational materials and action opportunities to activists.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .