In January, NOW chapters across the country commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion. Chapter vigils, pickets and educational programs emphasized that new laws which limit access to abortion are undermining Roe v. Wade. (See story about women's clinic bombing.)
In addition, chapters organized and raised funds so that people from all over the country could attend the Women of Color and Allies Summit. As this National NOW Times goes to press, chapters are planning Women-Friendly Workplace actions as part of Women's History Month (March).
The event was open to the public from Dec. 22 to Jan. 24, coinciding with the anniversaries of both Roe v. Wade and the Brookline clinic murders (Dec. 30, 1994).
Opening ceremonies raised money for NOW and included a forum entitled "25 Years and Counting: Next Steps in the Struggle for Reproductive Freedom." Chapter President Toni Troop; Eileen McDonagh, author of Breaking the Abortion Deadlock; Judy Norsigian, founder of the Boston Women's Health Book Collective (publishers of Our Bodies, Ourselves); and student organizer Elena Tate spoke about strategies to expand and secure women's access to reproductive health care.
The informational display panels of the exhibit are available for use throughout the year. Contact Greater Boston NOW at 617-232-1017 for details on bringing this exhibit to your chapter.
Raleigh (N.C.) NOW's annual Roe v. Wade march and rally drew over 100 abortion rights supporters to the state capitol grounds and received significant media coverage.
In addition to chapter activists Kathe Rauch, Kristi Reeves and N.C. NOW President Robin Davis, speakers included North Carolina Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Deborah Ross; state Senators Brad Miller and Eric Reeves; Patti Hammond from N.C. State University's student-run rape education group; and Mandy Carter, field director for the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and a member of Durham NOW. Singer Naomi Glasscock provided music.
Raleigh NOW members also gathered signatures for North Carolina NOW's
annual two-page newspaper signature ad which lists names of supporters
of the Roe v. Wade decision and calls for the availability of safe,
legal abortion to all women. Contributions for the ad help to pay for N.C.
Representatives from three Arizona NOW chapters protested against alleged ill-treatment of police families who have experienced domestic violence at the hands of Phoenix police officers. Members of East Valley NOW, Sun Cities Area NOW and Phoenix/Scottsdale NOW rallied and held signs outside the police station and city hall, demanding the accountability of Phoenix police.
Oscar Tihlman, president of the Arizona NAACP, spoke of the effects of police brutality on people of color. Folk singer Alix Dobkin sang about the effects of domestic violence on women. Vicilee Jacobs, a survivor of domestic violence, bravely spoke about twenty years of abuse from her officer ex-husband and the neglect and poor treatment her case received from the police department.
Lori Stormer, East Valley chapter co-coordinator and former NOW intern,
spoke of NOW's work to pass the Violence
Against Women Act in 1994 and our lobbying efforts to introduce a new
Violence Against Women Act this year. As a result of the rally, a police
chief agreed to meet with chapter leadership to discuss how the police
department can better serve battered women, especially partners of police
Called the "F-Word Campaign," the project includes writing articles
for newspapers about feminism and conducting surveys to gauge public opinion
about feminism before and after the campaign. The Madison NOW chapter and
Wisconsin State NOW are also developing similar campaigns.
As in national media markets, NOW emerged as the leading voice criticizing
the Promise Keepers and bringing to light their political agenda, their
message that women should be subservient to husbands and the racist and
homophobic roots of their movement.