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National NOW Times >> Spring, 2001 >> Article


WHEREAS, George W. Bush and his supporters in Congress have declared war on women’s rights, especially abortion rights and reproductive freedom; and

WHEREAS, even before he took his oath of office, Bush’s Cabinet nominees shattered any hope that he might keep his campaign promise of “compassionate conservatism;” and

WHEREAS, President Bush’s first executive order eliminated international family planning funding to organizations that offer abortion counseling or lobby their own governments in favor of abortion rights, putting at risk the health and lives of women around the world; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who often has been the fifth vote in support of legal abortion, reportedly will retire at the end of this term; and

WHEREAS, at least one other Supreme Court justice could also retire; and

WHEREAS, with the Senate’s confirmation of John Ashcroft, the standards for appointments have been lowered, so right-wing ideologues like Orrin Hatch could be portrayed as moderate and then could more likely be confirmed; and

WHEREAS, anti-abortion forces in the House have introduced a bill to limit the availability of RU-486, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has indicated that he is inclined to revisit the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of RU-486; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration is committed to a series of actions and strategies that limit reproductive freedoms, such as eliminating life saving stem cell research, criminalizing abortion providers, limiting the availability of birth control, and denying full and fair reproductive health education in schools; and

WHEREAS, these threats to safe, legal abortion are the greatest we have faced since the first Bush administration; and

WHEREAS, the anti-choice climate in Washington, D.C., escalates attacks on the local level;

WHEREAS, the right to bodily integrity is the most basic of human rights; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush was not elected by a majority of voters and therefore, does not serve with a mandate; and

WHEREAS, the majority of people support keeping abortion safe and legal; and

WHEREAS we must avert the tragedy of becoming the generations who both won and lost the right to privacy including birth control and abortion; and

WHEREAS, we cannot and must not risk a generation of women’s lives and opportunities without reproductive rights; and

WHEREAS, Bush’s appointment as President constitutes a state of emergency, and emergency times call for emergency measures;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) declare a state of emergency and pledge our resources, our total commitment and our lives to saving women’s reproductive rights, the right to privacy, Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an emergency national zap action be held in Washington DC on April 22, 2001 to kick off the state of emergency campaign, targeting the United States Senate to save abortion rights and reproductive freedom, and to stop the packing of the U.S. Supreme Court with nominees who do not support the right to have an abortion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW activists be encouraged to organize lobby events at district offices during the U.S. Senate’s spring recess from April 7 to April 22; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW activists be encouraged to organize actions at federal courthouses in their regions in the event of a supreme court vacancy. Such demonstrations shall demand that all U.S. Supreme Court nominees pledge to uphold Roe and that the Senate reject or filibuster the nomination unless the nominees agree to uphold the Roe v. Wade decision; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that creative actions, including nonviolent civil disobedience, marches into the Capitol Building and street theatre be organized to continue to build momentum to save the court; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that activists once again take up the symbol of coat hangers to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the reproductive freedom and abortion rights of all women, and that this campaign be ongoing until we boot Bush out of the White House and elect a critical mass of progressive, feminist politicians to the House and the Senate.

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