Court Cases, Coronavirus and Commitment – Plus “The Vote”
It’s been a busy week. Last Friday, a federal judge ordered that all children being held in ICE detention centers for more than 20 days must be released by July 17. This story from NPR quotes U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of California’s “scathing order,” in which she describes the ICE-operated facilities as being “on fire.”
But we can do more than just get angry when we see stories like this. The Women’s Refugee Commission has posted some vital information on how we can help migrant children. Of course, the only humane solution, especially during a health pandemic, is to release all immigrant families from detention prisons, and NOW’s Unlock the Future campaign is demanding an end to the Trump Administration’s reprehensible treatment of immigrants, especially towards women and girls.
Another vitally important court decision came down from the U.S. Supreme Court in June Medical Services v. Russo, which struck down a Louisiana law that restricted access to abortion so drastically it would have forced all but one clinic in Louisiana to shut its doors. NOW had joined this case through an amicus brief, but we know that this narrow victory is far from the last word on the continuing threat to Roe v. Wade. As we said following the ruling: Today we celebrate, but tomorrow we march—and in November, we vote.
States like Louisiana, Texas and Alabama have been using the coronavirus as an excuse to advance an anti-abortion political agenda that is dangerous to women’s health. Here’s a current rundown of state actions to limit abortion access during the pandemic from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Have you heard about the exciting new PBS series, “And She Could Be Next” about how women of color are transforming our politics from the ground up?
“Filmed during the historic 2018 midterm elections, the series features organizers and candidates (including Rashida Tlaib and Stacey Abrams) as they fight for a truly reflective government, asking whether democracy can be preserved—and made stronger—by those most marginalized.”
Also on PBS, stream this episode of Great Performances, the theatrical presentation of Gloria: A Life, “a unique interpretation of feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s life told by an all-female cast starring Emmy Award winner Christine Lahti and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.”
On July 6, a PBS American Experience series, “The Vote”, re-tells the drama that took place leading up to the adoption of the 19th Amendment, recognizing women’s rights as citizens to vote. The resounding theme is “Women weren’t given the right to vote. We took it,” in the voice of women’s rights icon, Ellie Smeal. The series offers related features, like “Black Women’s 200 Year Fight for the Vote” and “Overcoming Barriers for Native American Voters.” Alice Paul and Ida B. Wells are also profiled.
Finally, I want to share with you this great new resource, “Justice in June,” which describes itself as “a starting place for individuals trying to become better allies.” We know that our commitment to racial justice and dismantling structural racism has never been more important than it is today.
So, keep working, keep improving and let’s stay focused as we look to November.