2018 Conference Resolutions


WHEREAS, Congress first passed a ratification deadline of 1979 for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and later extended that deadline to 1982; and

WHEREAS, 37 states of the required 38 states have already ratified the ERA; and

WHEREAS, the current 115th Congress has before it, Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJ Res 5) and House Joint Resolution 53 (HJ Res 53) to repeal the arbitrary ratification deadlines for the ERA; and

WHEREAS, elimination of the ratification deadlines will reduce legal arguments against the ERA once it is ratified by all 38 states; and

WHEREAS, Congress accepted, after 203 years, the 27th amendment (Madison Amendment) on Congressional pay raises;

THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) work for the passage of HJ Res 53 and SJ Res 5 or their subsequent versions in future Congresses; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommit our support of the ERA; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW accomplish this by:

  •         targeting and helping the last state to ratify the ERA,
  •         working to elect those supportive of the ERA in Congress,
  •         opposing any Supreme Court nominee not supportive of rescinding the ratification deadline of the ERA; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW, its state and local chapters, and their members, will commit to prioritizing and working to ratify the ERA for ourselves, and future generations.

Submitted by Committee: Constitutional Equality and Emerging Issues

Co-chair: Terry Sanders



WHEREAS, National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes that the United States of America has a long-standing history of racial slavery, marginalization, and violence against women and persons of color, and systematic division of families of color for financial gain with the intent of creating destruction, and increasing the oppression of families of color; and

WHEREAS, a result of this long-standing history of racism, the current Trump Administration has created a policy, which purposefully separates migrant children from their parents, as well as prosecute the parents with federal crimes detaining them into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers; and

WHEREAS, civil and human rights such as the right to dignity and to not suffer inhumane treatment have been denied to these families at the hands of ICE officers, endangering migrant women and children through neglect, physical and sexual abuse and coercion without culturally responsive legal representation in their native languages; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that just under 3,000 migrant children have been intentionally separated from their families at borders and within migrant camps in the past 17 months; and

WHEREAS, NOW understands that because of these separations of children from their parents, these children face the detrimental impact of emotion, physical, and psychological trauma;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW adamantly stands against and in protest of the new immigrant policy, which criminalizes undocumented migrant adults and forces separation of migrant children from their parents; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demands the immediate injunction for the human rights abuses of ICE, including the return of the separated children to their parents as ordered by the federal court in Ms. L v ICE, therapy, immediate release of all nonviolent detainees and respectful protection to asylum seekers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, NOW supports justice organizations, immigrant rights workers, and all organizations that are advocating assertively, protecting these children and families, supporting the reunification of immigrant families of color; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will guide in advocating, lobbying, and integrating direct actions at our national and state levels; which call for our legislation to terminate this egregious immigration bill and reunify migrant parents and children in safe and livable environments within the United States of America.

Submitted by: Combatting Racism Issue Hearing

Christian Nunes, Chair of Combatting Racism National Committee, Phone: 602.435.1974



WHEREAS, an estimate of more than 5,000 fellow Americans have perished in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria; and

WHEREAS, an estimate of more than 400,000 Puerto Ricans have been compelled to leave their homeland and move to mainland United States (US), mostly to Florida; and

WHEREAS, an additional 114,000 to 213,000 individuals are expected to arrive on the mainland US in the next two years; and

WHEREAS, to date too many Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico are still without basic needs: potable water, food, medical supplies, electricity, etc.; and

WHEREAS, many Puerto Ricans who have arrived in the mainland US are without basic needs and services: housing, jobs, food, education, etc.; and

WHEREAS, America did not abandon residents of Houston, New Orleans, cities in Florida and other residents from tempest storms; and

WHEREAS, the US Government’s response has been shamefully inadequate or nonexistent before, during and after the horrendous disasters that have decimated Puerto Ricans and their homeland;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we must not abandon fellow Americans living in Puerto Rico and those who have escaped with their lives to mainland US; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW condemns the racially discriminatory actions of the Trump Administration in withholding adequate aid to the citizens of the US living in Puerto Rico and other US territories; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that equal resources be granted to the cities of the District of Columbia, US Territories, such as Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Protectorates of Micronesia to combat the damages caused by natural disasters as cities in the United States; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demands that more federal assistance and more resources be given to Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico and on mainland US until their living conditions are stable and until they are welcomed into existing communities with the services afforded all other Americans in dire need.

Submitted by petition

Via Arlene R Ustin



WHEREAS, in March 2018 in the state of California, a young African American male named Stephen Clark was added to the list of names of hundreds of people of color that were fatally shot without cause; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes that the United States of America has participated in criminal laws and enforcement of criminal laws that disproportionately profile persons of color due to discrimination and racial bias; and

WHEREAS, men and women of color have been subjected to harsher persecution and inhumane treatment in traffic stops by law enforcement for nonviolent crimes such as jaywalking, parking violations, and misdemeanor drug charges; and

WHEREAS, the use of excessive force has directly contributed to the deaths and injuries of over 1,000 persons of color in 2017, which outweighs the number of soldiers killed in action and victims of mass shooters; and

WHEREAS, our country’s racial bias has created unregulated avenues for local, regional, and national law enforcement departments to inflict excessive use of force and violence towards persons of color without consistent accountability for use of fatal or excessive force;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW supports a comprehensive analysis of law enforcement training and hiring requirements to assist in the proper vetting of law enforcement candidates; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, NOW supports increased police accountability in legislation and impartial oversight of law enforcement governing bodies to eradicate the excessive and racially motivated use of force targeted towards women, men, and youth of color; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will support organizations in solidarity by advocating for universal transparency and accountability practices in the vetting and hiring of law enforcement officers.

Submitted by: Petition

Christian Nunes, Chair of Combatting Racism National Committee



WHEREAS, National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes that the United States of America has a long-standing history with deep-rooted racial slavery, oppression, and violence against Persons of Color, to include, but not limited to African Americans/descendants of the African diaspora, Latino Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans/Indigenous Persons of America; and

WHEREAS, a product of historical and systematic racism has led to various states in America creating and glorifying confederate flags, statues, and monuments of American historical leaders who actively participated and/or glorified oppressive movements such as segregation and marginalization of Persons of Color in America, on public display at state and federal buildings; and

WHEREAS, The National Organization for Women (NOW) understands and acknowledges the historical context of these monuments, which have had intentional impact towards the oppression and marginalization of citizens, immigrants, and refugees living in the United States of America such as but not limited to racial trauma, discrimination, and racially motivated violence; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW supports the removal of Confederate flags, statues, and monuments from public places such as parks, buildings, and other facilities that glorify oppressive and racist historical leaders in American history; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW supports the movement of these statues to museums or other educational places where they can be displayed in a transparent context and serve for an educational purpose, which identifies the structural racism that co-exists with honoring American historical leaders deeply entrenched in racially violent and oppressive movements.

Submitted by: Combatting Racism Issue Hearing

Chair: Christian Nunes, Combatting Racism National Committee



WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States of America (US), in the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra case overturned the Freedom, Accountability Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act of 2015 (FACT Act); and

WHEREAS, crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are documented to engage in deceptive behavior, including in a 2006 House of Representatives report on CPCs, “False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers,” by United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Minority Staff Special Investigation Division, misleading patients about the nature of their services; and

WHEREAS, CPCs distribute misinformation regarding abortion risks and contraception; and

WHEREAS, CPCs are documented to engage in behavior that creates delays for individuals seeking abortion care; and

WHEREAS, it is important for the National Organization for Women (NOW) members and supporters to educate themselves and others about CPCs; and

WHEREAS, CPCs use faith-based sexist dogma to promote their anti-abortion agenda;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls to action its chapters, activists, leaders, members and supporters across the country to lobby any business that supports CPC’s to divest their support of these clinics that do not provide comprehensive, accurate information and services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW oppose any and all government funding of these fake clinics; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW members and supporters are encouraged to take actions to expose CPCs and to march and work in support of safe and legal abortion access.

Submitted through the Reproductive Rights and Health Care Issues Hearing



WHEREAS, violence against trans people is ever present, and life-threatening violence is at an all-time high; and

WHEREAS, we have a growing misunderstanding of gender identity;


WHEREAS, we have growing opposition from selected religious groups against LGBTQIA + individuals; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes the need for safe spaces for Trans, Gender non-conforming, and non-binary individuals;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW affirms that all NOW spaces–national, state and district chapters–are deeply committed to ensuring an inclusive, respectful, kind and safe environment for all LGBTQIA+ identifying people; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW develop a National Action Campaign regarding LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming and non-binary issues including; development and/or updates to the Gender Tool Kit; to include the spectrum of gender identities in video format; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that National should recommend to its chapters to review their bylaws to reflect inclusivity;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that National should revise the model bylaws to include current LQBTQIA+ issues and language.

Submitted by: LGBTQIA+ Issue Hearing

Chair of Hearing: Linda Mahoney



WHEREAS, The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is the largest publicly-supported medical research complex in the U.S., devotes comparatively meager funding toward health conditions and certain diseases that primarily affect women; and

WHEREAS, the NIH is negligent in researching health conditions and diseases that predominantly affect women, such as autoimmune illnesses, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, endometriosis, migraine headache and others, which causes a lack of proper diagnosis and effective treatments for these conditions and diseases; and

WHEREAS, many health care professionals, due to lack of research and education, are not knowledgeable and are ill-equipped to diagnose these illnesses, so that often persons have to search for months or years to get a useful diagnosis; and

WHEREAS, if these conditions and diseases were diagnosed in early stages, needless suffering and even deaths of patients could be reduced;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women educate its members and raise awareness about these conditions and diseases, including about the delays and misdiagnoses that are caused, in part, by sexism;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW supports the increase of culturally-responsive research on autoimmune disease in women of color, who are disproportionately misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage its chapters to contact the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration as well as medical schools, medical residency centers, and the American Medical Association to request that they support an increase in funding for research of these health conditions and diseases predominantly affecting women;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW activists urge scientists and medical professionals to avoid stereotypes and misconceptions about health conditions and diseases which predominantly affect women and which have caused doctors to believe women’s pain is “all in their heads”; also, to urge healthcare professionals to post accurate and up-to-date information on their websites; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage and offer directions for chapter leaders and members to contact their State elected officials and Congressional delegation to build support for hearings and legislation authorizing adequate funding for research to advance diagnosis and treatments of these health conditions and diseases that predominantly affect women.




WHEREAS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that Plan B pills should be over the counter in 2011; and

WHEREAS, condoms and Plan B prevent unwanted pregnancies; and

WHEREAS, it places an undue burden on consumers that pharmacies and grocery stores regularly place safe sex supplies out of reach of people who need them; and

WHEREAS, the same pharmacies place the Plan B medications in lockboxes so that women risk embarrassment at attempting to obtain the medications; and

WHEREAS, more than 100 countries already offer contraception over the counter – but the United States (U.S.) doesn’t, aside from the emergency contraceptive often known by the brand name Plan B; and

WHEREAS, an estimated 45 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of the United States vacancy potentially puts abortion and birth control access in jeopardy; and

WHEREAS, maternal death rates in the US are already too high, and the combination of some women being forced to carry an unintended pregnancy to term and likely delaying prenatal care and some women seeking abortions from unsafe providers could lead to even more women dying—particularly women of color and low-income women; and

WHEREAS, in October, the Trump administration issued an “interim final rule” that allows any employer, including large for-profit companies to immediately stop providing insurance coverage for birth control for religious or moral reasons; and

WHEREAS, Texas tried to exclude abortion providers from Medicaid during the Obama administration but courts blocked it from doing so; instead the state created its own program in 2013 and refused $35 million in federal Medicaid money to do it; and

WHEREAS, the Global Gag Rule limits education about abortion, birth control, and Contraception; and

WHEREAS, NOW acknowledges that women are capable of making decisions about if, when, and how they want to define their families; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls to action its chapters, activists, leaders, members and supporters across the country to lobby birth control, contraception and Plan B vendors to ensure they provide easy access to contraception, pregnancy prevention and safe sex supplies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls to action its chapters, activists, leaders, members and supporters across the country to work to elect progressive feminist candidates, especially people of color, to address the economic, racial, and social justice aspects of access to reproductive health care; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW calls to action its chapters, activists, leaders, members, and supporters across the country to fight to ensure education about abortion, birth control and contraception.

Submitted by Committee: Reproductive Rights and Healthcare

Co-Chair: Linda Tosti-Lane


WHEREAS Title IX applies to pre-k-12 campuses as well as college campuses and while 1 in 5 college-aged women are sexually assaulted, high schoolers report high numbers of assault and sexual violence, including sexual harassment, with trans students still at higher risk; and

WHEREAS Title IX applies to pre-k-12 campuses as it does all education levels, yet various education and political campaigns fail to address it, regardless of the investigations of pre-k-12 institutions currently underway by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and not counting the pre-k-12 survivors having been rejected their complaints. As of June 2018, There were 162 pre-k-12 schools under investigation by the OCR for mishandling sexual harassment and 137 for mishandling other forms of sexual violence; and

WHEREAS pre-k-12 survivors, like other survivors, face issues with trauma and knowledge of rights and how it affects our timeliness of filing OCR complaints within the given span of allotted time; and

WHEREAS younger pre-k-12 students face barriers in finding their Title IX guidance officer, and rates of sexual violence in high schools are only marginally lower and to face issues with hostile climates and retaliation from which they are protected under Title IX; and

WHEREAS pre-k-12 students face greater risk given that they face both students on student sexual violence and teacher on student sexual violence; and

WHEREAS ending sexual violence and sexual discrimination are priorities of NOW; and

WHEREAS pre-k-12 survivors face particular gaps in finding justice and advocacy. Child Advocacy Centers (CACS) do not educate or train staff in Title IX but deal with many Title IX challenges; and

WHEREAS there is very limited coordinated activity addressing PreK-12 sexual violence CACS do not communicate with state sexual violence coalitions or national organizations and state sexual violence coalitions which provide technical assistance, direct services and legal help to survivors often has an age limit which restricts minor survivors and the one organization that does address sexual violence for pre-k-12 students (Stop Sexual Assault in Schools) mainly addresses parents and teachers; and

WHEREAS National organizations who handle Title IX cases for college students often turn away minors and age limits are faced in dealing with survivors that alienate many minor survivors and pre-k-12 survivors do not face protections under the Clery Act; and

WHEREAS pre-k-12 Survivors are restricted by their knowledge of sexual violence and these definitions are provided by comprehensive sexual education and this is not provided to all students but it should provide age-appropriate information on reproductive rights and responsibilities as well as legal rights against sex discrimination; and

WHEREAS being minors, pre-k-12 survivors often face particular issues with expression and choice of action post-assault as they are subject to whether their parents and school officials believe them and minors do not know their rights to take their own action should these individuals not believe them; and

WHEREAS Title IX is under attack and the Trump administration has repealed some Title IX guidance documents that address and prevent sexual harassment and violence;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the resolution that NOW will continue our mission to end sexual violence, protect women and children, and upholding supporting the success of Title IX to end gender-based violence by formally recognizing pre-k-12 sexual violence as a threat to gender equity; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that thus forward, NOW will keep pre-k-12 survivors in mind in its actions, and fight for not only college-aged survivors of sexual violence but those of pre-k-12 institutions as well; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED NOW will continue to support sexual violence prevention work and encourage work with local school districts in knowing that this work affects students in primary and secondary schools; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED NOW will be an ally for these survivors, fighting for legislation that will uphold protections for students and speaking out on unfair rulings and injustices against these students; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW will continue to speak up for these survivors when they can’t defend themselves and provide a platform for those that can.

Submitted by: Violence Against Women Issue Hearing, Co-Chairs: Marion Wagner and Tricia Methner