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National NOW Times >> Winter 2003/2004 >> Article

March for Women's Lives Will Make History

On Nov. 5, 2003, the day that George W. Bush signed the so-called 'Partial-Birth' Abortion Ban, NOW organized a large protest at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building.
On Nov. 5, 2003, the day that George W. Bush signed the so-called "Partial-Birth" Abortion Ban, NOW organized a large protest at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building. photo by Lisa Bennett
On April 25, 2004, women and men from across the country will march on Washington, D.C., to demand reproductive freedom. We will demonstrate the depth of support for these life-and-death issues, the passion of our convictions and the power that we hold. We will serve notice that the right-wing attack on our rights is over.

The title—"March for Women's Lives"—was revised from its earlier, longer name to convey the sense of urgency before us and to explain in no uncertain terms that this March is about the whole range of reproductive justice and freedom—which includes access to reproductive health and family planning services, the right to abortion, and the right of women to have children and make their own family formation decisions. The new name better reflects the broad agenda of this march and the huge diversity of co-sponsoring groups.

We are Marching for Women's Lives to demand political and social justice for women and girls regardless of their race, economic, religious, ethnic or cultural circumstances. This March is for young and older women, straight women and lesbians, sons and fathers, able and disabled, rich and poor—to stand side by side in a show of unity and determination to "never go back" and in fact, to move forward with full equality and reproductive justice for all.

NOW and the other five primary organizers of the March (Black Women's Health Imperative, Feminist Majority, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and Planned Parenthood) are committed to making the March for Women's Lives the largest demonstration ever in Washington, D.C. NOW President Kim Gandy and all of the national NOW officers have been traveling around the country for several months, speaking on college campuses and at community events to inspire local organizing and participation. NOW officers and field organizers have already been organizing in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and of course, Washington, D.C. In the coming weeks and months, we plan to expand the organizing tour to other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, West Virginia and more.

The March for Women's Lives is now one of the fastest growing sites on MeetUp.com—so if there's not a NOW chapter in your area, go to marchforwomen.meetup.com and sign up. Already over 570 organizations have signed on to co-sponsor the March for Women's Lives, and the list grows daily. The groups represent a wide range of women's, civil rights, labor, lesbian and gay, disability, people of color, campus and religious groups, as well as health clinics and service providers. Unprecedented numbers of people from all walks of life are expected to mobilize in Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard.

NOW needs the help of every member, every feminist, to make this a march that no one can ignore—not the media, not the Congress, not the president, and definitely not the people who think that women's lives and reproductive rights are not on the line. The March for Women's Lives will be a galvanizing event at a critical time in our country, and April 25 may be the day that we all look back on ans say "that's when we turned the corner" toward winning full reproductive rights for all women.

Visit www.now.org/march for more information and don't forget to sign up for our March email updates that will keep you informed on events, speakers and March activities. See you there!

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