Fierce Resistance: How NOW is Addressing Abortion Bans

Feminists across the country are watching with horror as immoral and unconstitutional restrictions on abortion are rolling out state-by-state. The National Organization for Women wants to answer some of their most pressing questions on stopping these bans:

How is NOW working to protect reproductive freedom?

NOW is a feminist grassroots activist organization that mobilizes its hundreds of thousands of supporters and hundreds of chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We host rallies, local marches, advocacy days, petitions and public awareness campaigns around the country. We also join in amicus briefs to lawsuits filed against abortion restrictions.

The NOW PAC (Political Action Committee) works tirelessly to increase the number of feminists elected to public office and support our incumbent friends. NOW PAC only endorses candidates running for federal office who are uncompromising in their support for reproductive justice, including abortion rights. Many NOW state organizations and chapters also have PACs to support state and local feminist candidates. Our activists volunteer, phone bank, canvas and rally throughout the nation in support of candidates who will uphold women’s rights.

How do you plan to build on the momentum surrounding the recent extremist bans in Georgia and Alabama?

NOW launched our own petition against the bans, which will be delivered to national and state lawmakers. Within just a couple of hours of launch we had several thousand signatures and that number is growing quickly. We recognize the hunger for action among our members and want to deliver that message, directly from our grassroots activists straight to lawmakers.

We’ve also launched a social media campaign to provide information to our members and supporters on  how to rise up against these bans.

NOW also has a long history of raising public awareness on these issues, with our President Toni Van Pelt appearing on television and in print outlets including the USA Today, Newsweek, VICE, Regional News Network and many more.

We also partner with other reproductive rights organizations in national actions campaigns like the #StopTheBans National Day of Action, petitions and legislative outreach.

Why aren’t you holding a national march?

While inspiring and momentous, national marches are also costly and time-consuming to organize. While we have led some of the largest marches in history, at the national level we are currently focusing our resources on the upcoming 2020 election and electing more progressive feminist candidates to office. We are encouraging our members to march to the polls in November!

What is the next step in fighting these laws?

Ensuring that we have progressive feminist lawmakers at the state and national levels is key to halting the tide of these types of restrictions on abortion. NOW PAC is endorsing candidates who are uncompromising on issues relating to reproductive rights. Additionally, our NOW members have historically volunteered for campaigns and voter mobilization efforts. And we encourage more progressive feminist candidates to run themselves!

How can I help support women’s right to legal, safe, affordable and accessible abortion care?

In addition to donating to NOW and other reproductive rights organizations, we encourage our members to donate to abortion funds that are helping women pay for reproductive health care. Beyond donating, we also offer a tip sheet of five ways to stand up for abortion rights.