To: NOW Activists
From: Patricia Ireland, Kim Gandy, Karen Johnson & Elizabeth Toledo
Subject: 25th Anniversary of Roe
Date: November 25, 1997
As you know, January 22, 1998 is the 25th Anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. We know that many of you already have planned actions and events to commemorate the Silver Anniversary of Roe. However, we have received requests for organizing materials and action ideas from several chapter and state activists. That's why we are writing to you today.
Abortion rights advocates will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Roe next January and throughout the entire year. NOW plans to mark the occasion by reminding folks that as we celebrate 25 years of legal abortion, we must recognize our losses as well and issue a call to action for abortion rights supporters everywhere.
From the Hyde Amendment to the Webster decision to the state D&X bans, our opponents have successfully used the legal system to limit women's access to abortion. From threats to clinic bombings to murder, anti-abortion terrorists are intent upon making abortion a right we cannot exercise. The 25th Anniversary of Roe will give us the opportunity to point out that our right to legal abortion is precarious.
25 YEARS AFTER ROE -- THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
If your chapter or state organization is planning a Roe Anniversary action, please include the 25 YEARS AFTER ROE -- THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES theme as part of your event. While we have included a camera-ready flier highlighting abortion rights setbacks of national significance, we encourage you to incorporate local and state losses into your statements and events. If your local clinic was ever bombed or your state legislature has passed an anti-abortion law, be sure to highlight the losses that hit closest to home.
Chipping away at Roe, opponents have eliminated all federal, and much state, funding of abortion and other reproductive health services. Currently, anti-abortion extremists are attempting to eliminate exceptions to protect the pregnant woman's health, in an effort to weaken Roe even further.
To facilitate your organizing efforts we have included a sample news release, a camera-ready flier, a list of suggested actions, a list of products available from the NOW Store and issue reports on Late Term Abortions and on Young Women and Abortion. Please be sure to make fund-raising, member recruitment and list-building a part of every action you undertake. And please send copies of sign-in lists, petitions and other lists to us here at the Action Center.
Additionally, we are in the process of producing a new abortion rights issues report. We anticipate that that report will be available to activists during the first week of January -- in time for your Roe events. When it is completed, you will be able to download the report from the Web site. Also available is the new video "Breaking the Abortion Deadlock: From Choice to Consent" produced by Eileen McDonaugh, author of the book with the same title. McDonaugh approaches the issue of women's bodily integrity from a new and controversial angle. (An article describing her argument is enclosed.) The video of a lecture by her is available for $10 (plus $2 for postage and handling). Please call Cindy Hanford at extension 719 here in the Action Center if you need a copy of the new issue report or the video.
If your chapter organizes an action or issues a news release, please let us know. We are compiling a list of all of the Roe actions planned across the country.
Thank you for all of your work in support of abortion rights. We wish you, your family and friends a happy, healthy holiday season.
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