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National NOW Times >> Spring 2010

In This Issue

2010 National NOW Conference in Boston this July
NOW will set off some fireworks of its own over the Fourth of July weekend, when we hold our annual conference in Boston, Mass. The 2010 National NOW Conference, July 2-4, will include a summit on health and body image issues, which inspired this year's theme, "Loving Our Bodies, Changing the World."

Signed CEDAW Petitions taken to the White House

Action VP Erin Matson (second from left) and NOW interns bring signed CEDAW petitions to the White House. You can still sign the petition at www.ratifywomen.org.

Ratify Women Campaign Launches
Both at home and around the world, much remains to be done to advance women's basic human rights. The CEDAW Women's Rights Treaty, formally known as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, has been ratified by 185 countries, including all industrialized nations -- with the exception of the United States.

Women Pay Steep Price for Benefits of Health Care Reform
Although Republican lawmakers did all they could to derail health care reform (including using the abortion issue as a political football) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finally passed after a grueling process of deal making and compromises.

Anti-Abortion Terrorism Threatens Lives, Women's Rights
On April 1, Scott Roeder was sentenced to life in jail for the deliberate killing of Dr. George Tiller last year. Judge Warren Wilbert handed down the strictest sentence possible, ensuring that Roeder will not be eligible for parole for more than 50 years.

NOW Calls for End to Shackling of Pregnant Incarcerated Women
Restraining pregnant women with shackles is an alarming trend in U.S. prisons. Only six states have laws expressly condemning the practice. In 2008, NOW Foundation joined the American Medical Women's Association and other allies in filing a brief in support of Shawanna Nelson, who brought suit against the prison system after being shackled during labor and delivery, and NOW's National Combating Racism Advisory Committee continues to work on the cutting-edge of this issue.

Meet the New National NOW Officers
NOW members elected new leadership at last year's national conference. Led by President Terry O'Neill, this team of officers is dedicated to engaging the grassroots of NOW and pushing the boundaries of feminist activism. We asked the officers to choose their top experiences since taking office. Read what they had to say.

Hate Crimes Expansion Covers Gender, Orientation, Disability
It doesn't seem possible, but after more than 20 years of NOW advocating for the addition of a criminal prohibition against gender-based hate crimes, it is finally federal law. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), signed into law on Oct. 28, 2009, expands existing federal statutes to encompass criminal prohibitions against bias-motivated crimes based on a victim's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

Welfare Reauthorization Opens Door to Real Reform
Later this year Congress will consider reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, presenting an important opportunity to bring about welfare reform that truly helps poor women and their families.

Proposed Amendments to National NOW Bylaws
Delegates will vote on the following proposed bylaws amendments on July 4 at the 2010 National NOW Conference in Boston.

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