ADDENDUM NOW ISSUES POLICY MANUAL 1997 – July 2018

NOW Issues Policy Manual

Addendum 1997 – July 2018

The following is a comprehensive addendum to the Issues Policy Manual for the National Organization for Women. This addendum runs from 1997 through the present. For policies adopted prior to 1997, please see the original Issues Policy Manual (1966-1996). The conference-adopted policy is identified by the year of adoption in bold type; policy adopted by the National Board is identified by the month and year of adoption.

This addendum contains the following categories:

Affirmative Action 3

Child Abuse 5

Child Care 8

Declaration of Sentiments 9

Disability Rights 12

Domestic Relations/Family Law 21

Economic Justice/Employment 27

Education 53

ERA 57

Environment 66

Feminist History/Tributes 67

Global Feminism/US Foreign Policy 73

Health/Health Care 91

Human Rights 113

Immigrant Women/Immigrants 117

Incarceration/Law Enforcement 125

Judges/Courts 137

LGBT Rights 141

Media/Communications 154

Military 162

Politics/Elections 167

Racial & Ethnic Diversity 188

Religion 207

Reproductive Freedom 212

Sexual Harassment 235

Sports 239

Violence against Women 242

War/Peace/Disarmament 261

Young Feminists 267

 

Questions regarding the formatting and accessibility of the policy manual may be directed to online@now.org

The policy manual is available on the chapter leadership website (password-protected) at  https://now.org/for-now-leaders/

RACIAL INCLUSION ACTION PLAN NOW

2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a herstory of passing multiple resolutions on racial diversity and immigration but not fully implementing them for varied reasons;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Combating Racism Ad Hoc Committee and the board committee on Ending Racism create a tool kit, by the 2012 National Conference, which will emphasize racial and ethnic inclusion, immigration issues, and the dismantling of white privilege, and include, at minimum:   

  • the three articles that were recently distributed to the NOW National Board — i.e., Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Latoya Peterson’s On Being Feminism’s ‘Ms. Nigga,’ and Hepshiba’s White Privilege Diary Series #1 — White Feminist Privilege in Organizations; and
  • a model racial inclusion plan that contains cultural communication dynamics education; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW hold a diversity-inclusion-themed national conference in 2014 and explore the provision of conference scholarship funds to ensure the attendance of economically disadvantaged feminists of color.

WOMEN’S AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

4/01

WHEREAS, white women have been the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action programs that open doors in education, employment and contracting which were previously closed to women; and

WHEREAS, the low number of tenured female professors and the low number of women enrolled and earning degrees in math, science and computer science demonstrates the need for continued outreach and recruitment of women in these fields; and

WHEREAS, women-owned businesses are awarded only a minute portion of public contracts; and

WHEREAS, many business organizations such as the National Business Round Table, the National Association of Manufacturers, and unions recognize the benefits that affirmative action programs and policies bring to business by building a diverse workforce; and

WHEREAS, millions of older women and women with disabilities now live below the poverty level because they have been denied equal opportunity and pay equity; and

WHEREAS, women still suffer from being deprived of economic opportunity and equity; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women activists across the nation must be prepared to combat the assault on affirmative action exemplified by national campaigns of distortion and misrepresentation, led by Ward Connerly and others, which have succeeded in eliminating affirmative action in some states;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW continue its work with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and other organizations to strategize new ways to work together to preserve and protect affirmative action and counteract threats to it.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

1999

WHEREAS, an anti-affirmative action climate is growing nationally; and

WHEREAS, affirmative action policies have played an important role in breaking down barriers to equal opportunity and equal employment; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of support for Affirmative Action Programs and is against discrimination based on race and gender; and

WHEREAS, all city, county, and state entities are required to file Title VI Assurance Plans; and

WHEREAS, the federally-required Disparity Reports on government contracts show discrepancies disproportionately benefiting white males; and

WHEREAS, these reports are available to all people in all cities, counties and states

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) be urged to promote the creation of a commission to look at these reports and their corresponding issues; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, as an alternative, chapters be encouraged to establish ad hoc groups to work in coalition with other community organizations to gather and review this data in order to judge the feasibility of filing a complaint with the appropriate agencies (EEOC, Federal Attorney General) on behalf of women.

ADDRESS SEXUAL VIOLENCE AS A PROBLEM ON PREK-12 CAMPUSES & BRIDGE GAPS FOR MINORS

07/2018

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

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

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

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

WHEREAS prek-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 prek-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 prek-12 survivors do not face protections under the Clery Act; and

WHEREAS prek-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, prek-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 prek-12 sexual violence as a threat to gender equity; and

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

NOW TO DENOUNCE SO-CALLED PARENTAL ALIENATION (SYNDROME)

2006

WHEREAS, the term Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) was created by the psychiatrist, Richard Gardner.  It is used as a tactic in courts by litigating attorneys as a defense strategy for batterers and sexual predators that purports to explain a child’s estrangement from one parent, or explains away allegations against the estranged parent of abuse/sex abuse of a child, by blaming the protective parent; and

WHEREAS, there are no data to support PAS; and

WHEREAS, mothers are primarily pathologized and blamed for interfering with their children’s attachment to their fathers and PAS is used by many evaluators and courts to discount children’s fears in hostile and psychologically abusive situations as a form of entrapment, keeping the child from the protective parent; and

WHEREAS, abuse is continued via the court system thru a series of ruthless assaults from all angles strategically planned over time by an abuser, his criminal-divorce-personal injury attorneys and PAS therapists to fully discredit, blame and control a protective parent with the sole purpose of hiding abuse, infidelity, finances and to “win” possession of the child(ren), while proponents of PAS profit; and

WHEREAS, as documented in the PBS film, Breaking The Silence, The Children’s Stories there are epidemic levels of abuse and dysfunction in our court system where espoused judges repeat Richard Gardner’s unsubstantiated doctrine and make binding recommendations in conjunction with PAS therapists and PAS attorneys; and

WHEREAS,  the newly revised, 2006 edition of “Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide,” published by The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, includes a strong statement condemning the use of PAS which it calls a “discredited” syndrome that favors child abusers in custody determinations;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) denounces Parental Alienation Syndrome and recommends that any professional whose mission involves the protection of the rights of women and children denounce its use as unethical, unconstitutional, and dangerous.

ADDRESSING SEXUAL ABUSE BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY

2002

WHEREAS, many members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy—its priests, bishops, and cardinals—have committed numerous grievous acts of sexual abuse against women, men and children with callous disregard for the victims; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has engaged in a pattern of cover-ups that involve the awarding of vast sums of hush money and moving priests and bishops from parish to parish and diocese to diocese to avoid detection or scandal; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s heinous acts of sexual abuse and violence and pattern of cover-ups have occurred not only in the United States but worldwide in many countries of Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and Asia, as well as in Australia; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s outrageous and hypocritical behavior has even included the impregnation of young nuns and the arrangement of illegal botched abortions for these nuns, as well as, in at least one instance, the performance of the funeral mass for a victim by the perpetrator, as reported by nuns in various countries of Africa; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has proclaimed for itself a higher moral authority and on the basis of that moral authority has influenced public policy to restrict access (with callous disregard for the pain, suffering, and death of countless people) to all methods of effective family planning, birth control, and abortion and to cut off access to condoms despite the horrific AIDS pandemic; and

WHEREAS, some 40% of sexual abuse cases caused by the hierarchy are thrown out of court because of the statute of limitations; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has lobbied to narrow the statute of limitations state by state; and

WHEREAS, these acts involve criminal behavior and the irresponsible spending of vast amounts of charitable monies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) commends the Boston Globe for its courageous coverage of Cardinal Bernard Law and the scandal in Boston, which helped to expose to all Americans these heinous acts and patterns of wrongful behavior, as well as the courageous attorneys, especially Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, MN, who have not only litigated against church officials on behalf of victims of church abuse but also filed RICO [racketeering] lawsuits against the hierarchy, including the Vatican; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW commends the various state and county prosecutors who are pursuing perpetrators of these criminal acts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for political leaders to take a courageous stand by initiating hearings at the local, state, and national levels to determine if any of the billions of dollars of public monies that have been awarded to the Roman Catholic church or other religious institutions for charitable activities on behalf of orphans, foster care, adoption, child care, health care, and other social services have been used for hush money, cover-up, or other illicit activities in connection with this abusive and criminal behavior; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to extend or eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitation in sexual abuse cases, especially those involving minors, so that both perpetrators and institutions are brought to justice and the laws of our states and nation protect victims in both civil and criminal cases; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW oppose secrecy agreements in settlements in these cases which protect the perpetrator and the institution engaged in the cover-up, as against public policy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that members of the clergy should be legally mandated to report incidents of sexual abuse to police or appropriate public authorities.

PROMOTE CHILDCARE/EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND PAID LEAVE 2002

WHEREAS, childcare and early childhood education programs are important social responsibilities and need to be broadly supported by traditional sources of tax revenues and with provision of services through an accountable system of public control; and

WHEREAS, there exists a decades-old crisis in the availability of affordable, high-quality childcare/early childhood education (ECE) programs, and government officials have failed to allocate sufficient funding to subsidize the high costs of care and instruction; and

WHEREAS, because a majority of parents—even those with children under six—are now in the paid workforce, the need for services is acute and the demand for after-school care, summer programs, and also evening and early morning care has increased; and

WHEREAS, parents who would like to obtain leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act are not able to do so because they must take the leave without pay; and

WHEREAS, studies show that early childhood education beginning at least at age three for disadvantaged children is essential to their learning-readiness at kindergarten and first grade and that universal pre-K programs will assist these children to become productive adults and will reduce poverty; and

WHEREAS, the challenges include low pay and frequent turnover of childcare workers; lack of access by workers to training and education; lack of high quality, enforceable health and safety standards; and inadequate tax base of inner cities and rural areas to support comprehensive programs of childcare and early childhood education;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) seek external funding to initiate a national campaign to 1) make early childhood education programs universally available through our public education systems in all states and the District of Columbia, 2) pass legislation that would require the federal government to assist states and local school districts in expanding the public systems to offer ECE and full-day kindergarten and 3) increase federal funding, with state and local contributions, to allocate at least $25 billion in additional funds annually for the Childcare and Block Grant Development program, Head Start, Infant Head Start, and Social Service block grants;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for legislation providing government-assisted benefits in the form of refundable tax credits for parents who stay home to care for children or sick relatives; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW continue to work for passage of legislation to increase pay and expand training opportunities for childcare workers and for expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act to lower the threshold to 25 employees per affected business, to increase covered leave time, and to require that states incorporate the FMLA in their Unemployment Compensation (UI) programs so that workers taking leave may continue to receive part of their salaries.  

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE 1999

WHEREAS, it is an accepted fact that high quality early childhood education and child care are critical to the development and success of young children; and

WHEREAS, high quality early childhood education and child care educators are traditionally underpaid and under-appreciated in their roles as mentors of our nation’s children; and

WHEREAS, complete and comprehensive high quality early childhood education and child care should be a right for all children in this country;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call for publicly-funded, high quality early childhood education and child care in all communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage chapters to raise the issues of public funding and minimum standards for high quality early childhood education and child care programs with all elected officials and candidates in their communities to raise both awareness and create action on the issues; and

 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call for the implementation of a livable minimum standard of wages for high quality early childhood educators and child care workers, particularly in federally-funded programs.

1998 DECLARATION OF SENTIMENTS OF THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN

On this twelfth day of July, 1998, the delegates of the National Organization for Women gather in convention on the one hundred and fiftieth year of the women’s rights movement.

We bring passion, anger, hope, love, and perseverance to create this vision for the future:

We envision a world where women’s equality and women’s empowerment to determine our own destinies is a reality;

We envision a world where women have equal representation in all decision-making structures of our societies;

We envision a world where social and economic justice exist, where all people have the food, housing, clothing, health care and education they need;

We envision a world where there is recognition and respect for each person’s intrinsic worth as well as the rich diverity of the various groups among us;

We envision a world where non-violence is the established order; We envision a world where patriarchal culture and male dominance no longer oppress us or our earth;

We envision a world where women and girls are heard, valued and respected.

Our movement, encompassing many issues and many strategies, directs our love for humanity into action that spans the world and unites women.

But our future requires us to know our past.

One hundred fifty years ago the women’s rights movement grew out of the fight to abolish slavery.  Angered by their exclusi,on from leadership and public speaking at abolitionist conventions and inspired by the power of the Iroquois women, a small dedicated group of women and men built a movement.  After its inception, the movement as fractured by race. Our history is full of struggle against common bonds of oppression and a painful reality of separation. Nevertheless, these activists created a political force that achieved revolutionary change.  They won property rights for married women; opened the doors of higher education for women; and garnered suffrage in 1920.

In 1923, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the historic Seneca Falls convention, feminists led the demand for constitutional equality for women to win full justice under the law in order to end economic, educational, and political inequality.

Our foremothers — the first wave of feminists — ran underground railroads, lobbied, marched, and picketed.  They were jailed and force fed, lynched and raped. But they prevailed. They started with a handful of activists, and today, the feminist movement involves millions of people every day.

Standing on their shoulders, we launched the National Organization for Women in 1966, the largest and strongest orgnization of feminists in the world today.   A devoutly grassroots, action-oriented organization, we have sued, boycotted, picketed, lobbied, demonstrated, marched, and engaged in non-violent civil disobedience.  We have on in the courts and in the legislatures; and we have negotiated with the largest corporations in the world, inning unparalleled rights for women.

The National Organization for Women and our modern day movement have profoundly changed the lives of women, men, and children.  We have raised public consciousness about the plight of women to such an extent that today the majority of people support equality for women.  

In the past 32 years, women have advanced farther than in any previous generation.  Yet still, we do not have full equality.

We have moved more feminists than ever before into positions of power in all of the institutions that shape our society.  We have achieved some measure of power to effect change in these institutions from within, yet still, we are far from full equality in decision-making.  We demand an equal share of power in our families and religions, in law, science and technology, the arts and humanities, sports, education, the trades and professions, labor and mnagement, the media, corporations and small businesses as well as government.  In no sphere of life should women be silenced, underrepresented, or devalued.

Today, we reaffirm our demand for Constitutional equality for women and girls.  Simultaneously, we are working with sister organizations to develop and pass a national women’s equality act for the twenty-first century.  And we participate in and advance a global movement for women and demand that the United States join the overwhelming majority of nations of the world in ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women without reservations, declarations, or understandings that would weaken this commitment.

We reaffirm our commitment to the power of grassroots activism, to a multi-issue, multi-tactical strategy.

We are committed to a feminist ideology and reaffirm our historic commitment to gaining equality for women, assuring safe, legal and accessible abortion and full reproductive freedom, combating racism, stopping violence against women, ending bigotry and discrimination based on sexual orientation and on color, ethnicity, national origin, women’s status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status.

We will not trade off the rights of one woman for the advancement of another.  We will not be divided. We will unite with all women who seek freedom and join hands with all of the great movements of our time and all time, seeking equality, empowerment, and justice.

We commit to continue the mentoring, training, and leadership development of young and new activists of all ages who will continue our struggle.  We will work to invoke enthusiasm for our goals and to expand ownership in this movement for current and future generations.

We commit to continue building a mass movement where we are leaders, not followers, of public opinion.  We will continue to move feminist ideals into the mainstream thought, and we will build our media and new technologycapabilities to control our own image and message.

 How long and hard a struggle it was to win the right for women to vote. Today, we fight the same reactionary forces: the perversion of religion to subjugate women; corporate greed that seeks to exploit women and children as a cheap labor force; and their apologists in public office who seek to do through law what terrorists seek to accomplish through bullets and bombs.  We will not submit, nor will we be intimidated. But we will keep moving forward.

Those who carried the struggle for women’s suffrage through to its end were not there at the start; those who started the struggle did not live to see the victory.  Like those strong feminist activists, we will not let ourselves be dispirited or discouraged. Even when progress seems most elusive, we will maintain our conviction that the work itself is important.  For it is the work that enriches our lives; it is the work that unites us; it is the work that will propel us into the next century. We know that our struggle has made a difference, and we reaffirm our faith that itwill continue to make a difference for women’s lives.

Today, we dedicate ourselves to the sheer joy of moving forward and fighting back.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES 2012

WHEREAS, while all women and girls are at some risk of experiencing violence or abuse, this violence occurs more frequently in the lives of women and girls with disabilities, and researchers attribute this heightened vulnerability to the complex intersection of disability with gender, poverty, isolation, reliance on others for support, discrimination and stereotypes that they are dependent and asexual — all issues that restrict their violence awareness, safety-promoting behavior and access to resources; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are more likely to experience physical and sexual violence and to arrive at adulthood having already been sexually assaulted as girls than are their non-disabled peers; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are less likely to receive sex education or participate in personal safety or abuse awareness programs, and they are often socialized to be compliant or have a disability that may impede their ability to assess situations of risk, resulting in their not knowing that what they are experiencing is abuse or a crime; and

WHEREAS, predators often specifically target women with disabilities because of their vulnerabilities and the perception that this puts abusers at lower risk of discovery; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities experience disability-specific forms of violence, such as withholding, damaging or removing medical equipment and/or communication devices; physical, emotional and social neglect; unwanted sexual touching during dressing and bathing; financial exploitation and abuse by caregivers — situations that have no analog among non-disabled women; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are also more likely than their sisters without disabilities to experience multiple forms of violence, violence of greater severity, and violence that continues for a longer period of time, but when they reach out for assistance to heal they are met with little to no support, resistance and insensitivity by law enforcement, social services and the healthcare systems;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue supporting reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), including specific recognition that women with disabilities are more likely to be survivors of sexual, domestic and stalking violence than are their non-disabled sisters and that VAWA should promote the need for barrier-free and inclusive services by rape crisis centers, domestic violence service providers, law enforcement and related healthcare systems; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge collaboration between its District Rights ad hoc Committee, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and OVW’s Disability Program grantees to develop a simple, effective guide that includes training for evaluating and enhancing the accessibility and inclusivity of services and supports offered by publicly funded rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs and shelters; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local chapters to engage their publicly funded, local and statewide rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs and shelters in a dialogue around eliminating barriers to and increasing access for women and girls with disabilities who are survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, through the use of the previously mentioned guide; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate and lobby all states and the District of Columbia to ensure that all services, law enforcement and healthcare systems involved in supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking are barrier-free and inclusive of women and girls with disabilities.

ENSURING INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES IN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE WOMEN’S PROGRAMMING 2011

WHEREAS, the June 9, 2011, report of the World Health Organization and the World Bank titled “World Report on Disability” indicates that, worldwide, the prevalence of disability has dramatically increased from 10 to 15 percent of the population, which is about one billion people and includes an increased estimate of the proportion that are women and girls with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer have engaged in vigorous efforts to advance the rights of women and girls in the areas of health, including sexual and reproductive health and maternal mortality, education, economic development, anti-trafficking, and conflict and post-conflict environments; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are rarely included in such efforts and, if included, their participation is rarely part of the media coverage of such efforts; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are more often subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, and the numbers of women with disabilities increases as a result of conflict, necessitating their inclusion in programs addressing sexual and gender-based violence and anti-trafficking programs, especially in regions of conflict;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) advocate that the U.S. Department of State (DOS) do the following:

  • Address concerns of women and girls with disabilities in migrant and refugee policy and programming; and
  • Include women and girls with disabilities in anti-trafficking programs, making it understood that women and girls with disabilities are often victims and that disabilities often result from trafficking; and
  • Include women and girls with disabilities in programs addressing economic empowerment of women, such as micro-finance, leadership skill development, mentoring programs, and economic skills workshops; and
  • Include images of women and girls with disabilities in the DOS multimedia activities; and
  • Include women and girls with disabilities and their organizations in meetings with women’s groups held during country visits by the Secretary of State and the Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues; and
  • Ensure that issues of concern to women and girls with disabilities be included in DOS’ multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, Commission on the Status of Women, Human Rights Council, and at other international and regional multilateral organizations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW advocate that the DOS collaborate with both Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judith E. Heumann and with organizations representing women and girls with disabilities to take vigorous and targeted efforts to increase the number of women and girls with disabilities who participate in educational exchange programs, with a goal of at least 10 percent of such participants; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Disability Rights Committee, in collaboration with the NOW Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Committee, and in consultation with the National NOW officers, draft a letter to the Secretary of State and other appropriate individuals to advocate for the issues elaborated in this resolution.

LOVE YOUR BODY AND WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES  2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Love Your Body Day campaign, poster contest, and event activities are examples of the kind of activism that changes the quality of life for women and girls throughout our nation; and

WHEREAS, NOW seeks to be inclusive of women and girls of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and abilities, including women with either visible or invisible cognitive, mental and/or physical disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the primary intersection of Feminist Studies and Disability Studies is a focus on the body, which determines both whether you are a woman or are disabled; and

WHEREAS, both beauty and disability tend to be things you are considered either to be born with or without, and they are also equally considered to be things that can be “fixed” or “improved” with surgery; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities face two separate, but related, pressures for surgery — the same pressure to have cosmetic surgery to “beautify” themselves as experienced by women without disabilities and the pressure of reconstructive surgery to “normalize” their bodies (for example with cochlear implants); and

WHEREAS, this pressure to conform to an external standard of both a normal body and a beautiful one doubles the pressure felt by women with disabilities to conform to these standards and/or face the same feelings of self-rejection and self-hatred women without disabilities face as they compare themselves to a standard of beauty defined by some men and the media; and

WHEREAS, these feelings of self-rejection and self-hatred often limit or impair women from garnering the internal strength built on self-acceptance and self-love that empowers women to move beyond the limits and expectations that society has often placed upon them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s “Love Your Body” Campaign incorporate ads of women and girls with disabilities within their offensive and positive ads shown on the Love Your Body Campaign section of the NOW website. The LYB Campaign should also include women and girls with disabilities in the graphic images and messages of the LYB Poster Contest by reaching out to artists with disabilities to submit contest entries; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that feminist and disability activists be encouraged to find and submit negative ads and images of women and girls with disabilities to be considered for addition to NOW’s Media Hall of Shame; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local chapters to host Love Your Body events that include or focus on women and girls with disabilities by providing additional suggested activities on the “What Can I Do” part of the Love Your Body website; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee of NOW working together with the NOW National Action Center to address these specific additions to the Love Your Body Campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Love Your Body Campaign be enhanced by including issues that women and girls with disabilities also face around loving their bodies so that it emphasizes and honors the fact that all women and girls are perfect just as they are.

HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES 2009                         

WHEREAS, in 1993, the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed the Single-Payer Health Care resolution, but the resolution did not mention problems that women with disabilities have obtaining health care; and

WHEREAS, people with disabilities are in particular need of single-payer, universal health care, which will place their health needs above the profit motive of insurance companies, which often deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions or drop them from insurance because of their conditions; and

WHEREAS, applying for Social Security disability is a particularly onerous process, which may take years, is regularly denied, and can be disastrous for women who have no other means of support; and                                                                                                                            

WHEREAS, people with disabilities have particular health care needs that are often incredibly expensive, andtheir health or lives may be endangered due to lack of health care; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities often cannot access health care either due to lack of accessible medical facilities or lack of sensitivity toward medical or reproductive issues of women with disabilities; and                                      

WHEREAS, comprehensive health care is needed to level the playing field and make health care accessible and affordable for all women, including women with disabilities;                 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW include women with disabilities in the advocacy for single-payer health care or health care reform with a public option; and                          

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW include women with disabilities in their single-payer health care or public option talking points; and                                                    

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW push for a reasonable time to appear before a Social Security judge; and                                                                

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage chapters and at-large members to include women with disabilities in their advocacy for single-payer health care or health care reform with a public option.

COMMUNITY CHOICE ACT

2/09

WHEREAS, over 25 million women in the United States have some type of disability. This includes sensory, physical, mental, or self-care limitations plus limitations in going outside the home and employment; and

WHEREAS, there are over 1 million women living in nursing homes in the United States—including 5.3 percent of the population of women over age 65—and 24 percent of women in the United States either live in nursing homes or are women with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, current Medicaid rules encourage placing women with self-care limitations into nursing homes and discourage providing home care services that will allow women to stay in their homes and communities. Over 65% of long-term-care Medicaid dollars are spent on nursing homes, and less than 35% are spent on community care services; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities overwhelmingly prefer to receive services in the most integrated setting possible and to stay in their own homes so that they can retain more control over their lives and their bodies by having  the choice to remain in their own homes; and

WHEREAS, women who remain in their own homes are more likely to become or remain employed and live well-rounded, satisfying lives than women who are forced to live in nursing homes; and

WHEREAS, community services are less expensive on average than institutional services, and a 2005 study found that home care reduces costs by 37%; and

WHEREAS, June 22, 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court “Olmstead” decision, which forbids segregating people with disabilities in institutional settings, and mandates that persons with disabilities receive services in the “most integrated” setting; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has long-standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and is on record in support of the rights of women with disabilities and has an uncompromising investment in working to protect the rights of people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, legislation like the Community Choice Act requires each state to have at least a minimal Medicaid-funded personal assistance program so that all U.S. citizens with disabilities can choose to live in their own homes, establishes a national program of community-based attendant services and supports for people with disabilities, allows Medicaid money to follow the person, and allows eligible persons to choose where they want to receive services and care,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will encourage the United States Congress to pass, and President Obama to sign, the Community Choice Act or equivalent legislation, and will support efforts of other organizations to encourage the passage of this bill; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee of NOW will work together with the NOW National Action Center and the disability community to advocate for the passage of legislation like the Community Choice Act, and full implementation of the Olmstead decision.

BACKLOG OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

2008

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a continuing commitment to the rights of people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, in 1985, NOW first called for modernizing Social Security in order to resolve all Social Security inequities; and

WHEREAS, it is a travesty that the Social Security Administration has a three-year backlog in processing disability claims and has a high rate of initial denial of claims;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW membership be informed of this problem by the National Action Center in a regular leadership mailing, in the National NOW Times (NNT), and by other means with the assistance of the Disability Rights ad hoc committee; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center and NOW members be encouraged to pressure Congress and the federal government to reduce the Social Security claims backlog.

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

2007

WHEREAS, there are an estimated 300 million women with disabilities worldwide, with 240 million of them living in developing countries, who are disabled as a result of mental, physical or sensory impairment. No matter which part of the world they are in, their lives are often limited by physical and/or social barriers; and

WHEREAS, the consequences of disablement are particularly serious for women, because disabled women are discriminated against on double grounds: gender and disability. Therefore, they have less access to essential services such as health care, education and vocational rehabilitation; and

WHEREAS, disabled persons often suffer from discrimination, because of prejudice or ignorance, and also may lack access to essential services; and

WHEREAS, while the United Nation’s CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) establishes a worldwide commitment to combat discrimination against women and girls, there are few references to women with disabilities. This leaves women with disabilities invisible to many countries who are signatories to CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is on record in support of the rights of women with disabilities globally and has an uncompromising investment in working to protect the rights of people with disabilities and to dismantle ableism; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s long-standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and NOW’s historic purpose include full participation, independence, and diversity for all, including people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, in December 2006, the United Nations adopted a Convention on the Protection and

Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities and this Convention has been signed by numerous countries and the Convention includes an article (Article 6) that provides that State Parties:

 

  • “recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject to multiple discrimination, and in this regard, shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all their human rights and fundamental freedoms;” and
  • “take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development, advancement and empowerment of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of the human rights and fundamental freedoms set out in the present Convention.”

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will encourage the United States to sign and ratify this Convention and will support efforts of other organizations to encourage the ratification of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities without any reservations, declarations or understandings (RDUs) as a vehicle to improve the rights of women and girls with disabilities in the U.S. and globally; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee of NOW will work together with the NOW National Action Center to advocate for this Convention’s ratification by the United States.

WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES ACTIVIST STRATEGY CAUCUS

2005

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has an uncompromising commitment to protecting the rights of people with disabilities and to dismantle ableism; and

WHEREAS, disability rights issues are at the forefront of political debate in terms of federal judicial appointments, states’ rights, civil rights law enforcement and legislation, health care and other issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW must remain on the cutting edge of the disability rights movement; and

WHEREAS, NOW has long standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and NOW’s historic purpose includes full participation, independence, and diversity for all, including people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1978 “Provision for Disabled Persons” supports equal opportunity for all; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1985 “Elimination of Work Disincentives for Women with Disabilities” committed NOW to work for legislation to achieve economic equality and psychological independence; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1987 “Campaign to Free Sharon Kowalski” mandated that NOW develop actions to confront “-isms” such as handicapism (now known as ableism); and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1995 “Disability Rights Education” resolution called for the education of our membership on disability rights issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 2002 “Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum” resolution called on NOW to hold such a Forum which was successfully held in October 2003; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes the essential need for continued dialog on strategies to eliminate the double-pronged discrimination experienced by women with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, both feminists with disabilities and feminists without current disabilities share similar issues with similar strategies, as well as different issues and different strategies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW embark on a formal discussion among NOW activists with and without disabilities, disability rights activists and others; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW sponsor a one-day “Women with Disabilities Feminist Activist Strategy Caucus” to foster discussion among and bring together NOW activists with and without disabilities to develop new NOW strategies for action to fully integrate issues of women with disabilities into our feminist work on domestic violence, child custody, health care, equality in employment and education, lesbian rights, body image, reproductive and abortion rights and all feminist issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each Region in NOW shall be represented in this Caucus; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee work closely with NOW’s National Officers to organize this Caucus; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this Caucus be held preferably preceding, but no later than, October 2006, the date and location to be determined by the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee and the National NOW Officers.

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN’S REAFFIRMATION OF INCLUSION

1/05

WHEREAS,  the philosophy of NOW is to oppose any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status and has a stated policy that it will not trade the rights of one group over another; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s statement of purpose states that women must be brought into full participation in the mainstream of American society, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men; and

WHEREAS, the purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

WHEREAS, no person who subscribes to NOW’s purpose shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within the organization; and

WHEREAS, NOW is an organization whose membership includes diverse language, culture, ethnic and racial groups,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms the organization’s commitment to the inclusion of and respect for all NOW members in all of its activities, meetings, and debates with all rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded to NOW members; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board of Directors reiterates its commitment to a feminist ideology and reaffirms our historic commitment to gaining equality for all women regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Action Center will send this resolution to the NOW leadership, publish it in the National NOW Times, communicate it through other means, and encourage discussion on this reaffirmation at all levels of NOW.  

LEADERSHIP FOR THE 21st CENTURY

A PLENARY SESSION FOR THE 2003 NATIONAL NOW CONFERENCE

1/03

Because NOW sees and values leadership in all its diversity, we move that the 2003 National conference include a plenary session devoted to leadership in the 21st Century that includes a panel of NOW leaders — representing age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

The Inter-generational and Diversity Board Committees and related CICs (Young Feminist, Diversity, Disability) will be an integral part of planning the plenary session and selecting its speakers.

There will also be a follow-up workshop to spark a dialogue about how we use issues of inter-generational, diversity and disability perspectives to strengthen NOW leadership for today and the future.

WOMEN AND DISABILITY ALLIES FORUM

2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has an uncompromising investment in working to protect the rights of people with disabilities and to dismantle ableism; and

WHEREAS, NOW must remain on the cutting edge of the disability rights movement; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s long standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and NOW’s historic purpose includes full participation, independence, and diversity for all, including people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1978 “Provision for Disabled Persons” supports equal opportunity for all; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1985 “Elimination of Work Disincentives for Women with Disabilities” (who face double discrimination) committed NOW to work for legislation to achieve economic equality and psychological independence; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1987 “Campaign to Free Sharon Kowalski” mandated that NOW develop actions to confront “-isms” such as handicapism (now known as able-ism); and

WHEREAS, NOW passed a “Disability Rights Education” resolution in 1995 calling for the education of our membership on disability rights issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes the essential need for continued dialog on issues of sex, disability, ableism, and feminism in order to work together on issues of mutual concern and to successfully move forward in the new century; and

WHEREAS, both feminists with disabilities and feminists without current disabilities share concerns on issues, such as reproductive rights, about which they may disagree when it comes to strategy; and

WHEREAS, there is recognition of the need and desire for discussion which crosses boundaries of disability and ableism;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) and/or the NOW Foundation embark on a formal discussion among feminists with disabilities, disability rights activists and others; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW and/or the NOW Foundation jointly or independently sponsor a “Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum” to foster the discussion among and to bring together women living with disabilities, disability rights activists, abortion rights activists, other feminists, and supportive allies from across the country to discuss ableism, feminism, abortion rights issues, reproductive rights including the right to have sex and have and raise children, and other issues of mutual concern to the feminist and disability rights movements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this forum will celebrate our commonality, share our ideas, and create a framework to ensure the value, vision, and inclusion of women with disabilities in NOW; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) work closely with the National Officers to organize this forum; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this forum be held preferably preceding, but no later than December 2002, the date and location to be determined by the Disability Rights CIC and the National Officers.

ENVISIONING DISABILITY RIGHTS

1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) long standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and NOW’s historic purpose includes full participation, independence, and diversity for all, including people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1978 “Provision for Disabled Persons” supports equal opportunity for all; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1985 “Elimination of Work Disincentives for Women with Disabilities” (who face double discrimination) committed NOW to work for legislation to achieve economic equality and psychological independence; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s 1987 “Campaign to Free Sharon Kowalski” proclaimed that no one should be denied access or freedom of association, and supported Sharon’s request that persons with disabilities have the choice to remain in their own homes rather than be institutionalized; and

WHEREAS, this resolution proclaimed that the medical and legal system would rather declare a person helpless mentally and physically than deal with the facts of that case; and

WHEREAS, it also mandates that NOW develop actions to confront “-isms” such as handicapism (now known as able-ism) so women can receive proper medical/mental/health care; and

WHEREAS, the medical, legal, and Medicaid/Medicare systems unnecessarily institutionalize and segregate more than 2 million people with disabilities, both young and old, rather than allowing their full participation and inclusion in society; and

WHEREAS, nursing homes and other institutions cost taxpayers an average of $35,000 annually; and

WHEREAS, home- and community-based services, such as attendant services cost on average

$8,000 per year and allow for independence, freedom of association, and full participation; and

WHEREAS, legislation such as  HR2020 (known as M-CASA) has been introduced in Congress to eliminate this institutional bias and segregation and allow real choice in health care and attendant services in one’s own home and community; and

WHEREAS, disability is part of life and living;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit itself to further outreach to the disability rights community by developing a brochure for distribution to leading disability rights organizations and to NOW chapters and states to aid in membership recruitment; and

BE  IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support and advocate for the passage of HR2020 and similar legislation to envision disability rights in order to reduce able-ism by removing the institutional bias, increasing equal opportunities, and eliminating work disincentives while providing quality health care for more individuals.

NOW TO DENOUNCE SO-CALLED PARENTAL ALIENATION (SYNDROME)

2006

WHEREAS, the term Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) was created by the psychiatrist Richard Gardner.  It is used as a tactic in courts by litigating attorneys as a defense strategy for batterers and sexual predators that purports to explain a child’s estrangement from one parent, or explains away allegations against the estranged parent of abuse/sex abuse of child, by blaming the protective parent; and

WHEREAS, there are no data to support PAS; and

WHEREAS, mothers are primarily pathologized and blamed for interfering with their children’s attachment to their fathers and PAS is used by many evaluators and courts to discount children’s fears in hostile and psychologically abusive situations as a form of entrapment, keeping the child from the protective parent; and

WHEREAS, abuse is continued via the court system thru a series of ruthless assaults from all angles strategically planned over time by an abuser, his criminal-divorce-personal injury attorneys and PAS therapists to fully discredit, blame and control a protective parent with the sole purpose of hiding abuse, infidelity, finances and to “win” possession of the child(ren), while proponents of PAS profit; and

WHEREAS, as documented in the PBS film, Breaking The Silence, The Children’s Stories there are epidemic levels of abuse and dysfunction in our courts system where espoused judges repeat Richard Gardner’s unsubstantiated doctrine and make binding recommendations in conjunction with PAS therapists and PAS attorneys; and

WHEREAS,  the newly revised, 2006 edition of “Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide,” published by The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges,includes a strong statement condemning the use of PAS which it calls a “discredited” syndrome that favors child abusers in custody determinations;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) denounces Parental Alienation Syndrome and recommends that any professional whose mission involves the protection of the rights of women and children denounce its use as unethical, unconstitutional, and dangerous.

FAMILY LAW AD HOC COMMITTEE PROPOSAL FOR NATIONAL ACTION

12/05

WHEREAS, there is a national crisis for women and their children in the family law courts, which is affirmed by experts and leaders in the women’s movement, is supported by research, and verified by women in every state who report injustice in their family law cases, especially battered mothers trying to protect their children from abusive fathers who aggressively litigate against them, using family court to stalk, harass, punish and impoverish their former partners and children; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes the crisis for women and their children in family law courts and passed a resolution to create the Family Law Ad Hoc Committee (?the Committee”) to advise the NOW Board on actions to take to address discrimination against women in family courts; and

WHEREAS, NOW is on the cutting edge of the progressive movement and the leader in taking on the issues that profoundly affect women’s ability to be in equal participation with men in all aspects of society; and

WHEREAS, NOW leaders have become part of the forefront of the movement for mothers’ rights in family court and have networked with experts and leaders in the field, and NOW President Kim Gandy has appointed members to the Committee who are also experts, there is ample access to extremely useful information on the issue; and

WHEREAS, getting and distributing information is always a first step in advocacy, and giving chapters tools is the best way to mobilize NOW members around an issue; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Action Center has the resources in place to get information to people through its website, and to its chapters through Action Packets,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center devote space on its website for information that the Committee provides (in electronic form), with approval of the National Officers, including sample and model legislation, legislative testimony, articles, research studies, legal briefs and cases, links, strategies for approaching and persuading legislators/officials, media strategies and sample press releases; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Committee also provide the National NOW Action Center with items to help inform and mobilize chapters on the issue of mothers’ and family law, so that the National NOW Action Center can include this information in an Action Packet to send out to all NOW chapters that receive Action Packets; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will use any reasonable opportunities to promote the web pages and Action Packets, for example, by mentioning them in newsletters, media interviews, speeches and in meetings.    

NOW VALUES MOTHERS’ AND CAREGIVERS’ ECONOMIC RIGHTS

2005

WHEREAS, the landmark National Organization for Women (NOW) resolution “Homemaker’s Bill of Rights: Economic Recognition for Homemakers” (1978), which called for the acknowledgement of unpaid mothering and caregiving work as a valuable part of our nation’s economy, remains largely unfulfilled in state and national legislation nearly thirty years after its passage; and

WHEREAS, U.S. society’s underlying bias against mothers’ and caregivers’ work, whether or not it is performed in conjunction with paid or waged labor, remains institutionalized within the U.S. Government and standard employment practices; and

WHEREAS, in addition to the care of children, our swiftly aging nation is putting women, our traditional caregivers, into an even more tenuous economic position as the unpaid work of eldercare becomes more commonplace; and

WHEREAS, the anti-caregiving movement within conservative politics seeks to roll back entitlements such as Social Security Insurance and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and to further restrict access to public assistance benefits, forcing even greater numbers of women into poverty; and

WHEREAS, the current national discussion over the role of our mothers and caregivers is being led by corporate-owned media and right-wing ideologues; and

WHEREAS, it would benefit both NOW and the nation’s mother and caregiver population to build a feminist mothers and caregivers constituency within NOW to promote active resistance to political forces currently in opposition to the women’s movement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW educate the public on this issue, build coalitions with feminist activist groups that advocate for mothers’ and caregivers’ economic rights and lobby for appropriate federal and state legislation to create programs such as quality universal childcare, Social Security and tax credits for caregivers, and paid family medical leave insurance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state chapters to form Mothers’ and Caregivers’ Economic Rights Task Forces; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage local chapters to form feminist mothering and caregivers programs to recruit women who might not otherwise become members and to develop strong community support for our organization; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board form a regionally representative ad hoc committee comprised of chapter, state and national activists and experts that will work with the Board and the national officers to develop online resources and action kits, including talking points, programming ideas, media resources, and other materials.

NATIONAL AD HOC COMMITTEE TO WORK ON FAMILY LAW ISSUES

1/05

WHEREAS, national NOW has several ad hoc committees to work on special issues of importance to women in matters of justice and equality; and

WHEREAS, the misuse of federal spending and judicial abuse constitutes a lack of justice and equality; and                                                                                                       

WHEREAS, an increasing problem is occurring due to the Department of Heath and Human Services’ (HHS) aggressive effort to divert even more money from TANF programs, which serve families (especially women and children), and marriage promotion and fatherhood initiatives have been substituted; and

WHEREAS, NOW routinely receives communication from women who have been subjected to gender bias and adversely treated by the family courts; numerous studies, both past and present confirm this to be true; and

WHEREAS, past NOW resolutions call for the creation of an activist organizing kit, a questionnaire to capture evidence from women’s court experiences and a grassroots court watch program among other actions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW form a national ad hoc committee to work and to further advise the NOW National Board of systematic changes or harmful legislation that adversely impacts women in the family court system and impedes justice and equality in the courtroom.

ACTION ON FAMILY LAW

2001

WHE

REAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to justice for women and children; and

WHEREAS, there is a well-organized fathers-rights movement that is negatively affecting the judicial and legislative process regarding family law; and

WHEREAS, across the nation the majority of calls to chapters are regarding divorce and custody issues; and

WHEREAS, women are reporting gender bias, denial of due process, incompetence, corruption, and fraud in the family law and domestic courts; and

WHEREAS, restrictive laws and court orders that force women into mandatory mediation, whereby the mediator’s decree becomes the order of the court contrary to the wishes of the parties with no recourse to judicial review, deprives women of their due process rights; and

WHEREAS, women are being deprived of economic fairness by the failure of courts to enforce financial discovery; and

WHEREAS, because it is in the best interest of children to ensure their stability and continuity of care, there should be a rebuttable presumption that the primary caregiver of the children should be awarded custody;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW place increased emphasis on this national family law crisis; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW create an activist organizing kit that will include a questionnaire to capture evidence from women’s court experiences and a grassroots court watch program; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW release the results of the questionnaire and the court watch program at a national speak out where women give testimony regarding their experience in the courts with divorce, spousal support, property division, child support, child custody, family violence, and abuse.

OPPOSING REGRESSIVE DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAWS

12/00

WHEREAS, a backlash has grown against tough enforcement of child support orders and aggressive collection of past due support payments and this has resulted in activism by extremist, misogynist men’s custody (or so-called men’s rights) groups; and

WHEREAS, men’s custody activists are promoting public policies and legislation that would underwrite their activities with taxpayer monies, their true agenda being one of aiding men to reduce or avoid paying child support through extensive litigation to gain custody (despite documented evidence of abuse in many cases) and to overturn progressive laws promoting equality and protection of women; and

WHEREAS, men’s custody activists and their allies from right-wing religious political organizations frequently cite faulty social science research to support false claims blaming an array of social ills on “fatherlessness” – even claiming incredibly that marriage prevents domestic violence and keeps women and children from being poor; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of respected social science research concludes that it is the presence of loving, nurturing care-givers in a stable family situation that is also free of serious conflict or abuse that are the most important factors in rearing healthy, well-adjusted children; and that domestic violence and sexual abuse are pervasive problems that frequently lead to divorce; and

WHEREAS, these groups disseminate fallacious information to state legislatures and Congress in support of such regressive laws and policies as fault-based divorce, presumptive joint custody, covenant marriage, out-of-wedlock birth penalties for poor women, marriage bonuses to state welfare-to work programs, privatization of child support collection and many other bad ideas; and

WHEREAS, men’s custody activists, right-wing religious political groups and their friends in Congress have proposed that poor women and men be pressured into marriage, regardless of significant risks of increased violence to women and children and the continuing scarcity in many communities of jobs that pay wages sufficient to sustain families – the objective of such initiatives being to cease government expenditures for welfare, child support enforcement, food stamps, housing assistance and other necessary low income assistance programs; and,

WHEREAS, such developments are part of a more profound and dangerous trend against equal rights for women, against balanced power relationships between the sexes, against effective efforts to reduce domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse and against progressive reforms in marriage and divorce to better protect women and children;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW opposes the efforts of men’s custody groups and right-wing groups to force marriage, make divorce more difficult and to adopt domestic relations laws that make women captive in unhappy or abusive marriages; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW opposes sexist laws and application of laws that place unfair burdens on women who are non-custodial parents; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW goes on record supporting laws that deny child custody to abusers and will assist state and local NOW chapters who commit to work to enact such laws in their states.

ADOPT FAMILY LAW AND CUSTODY AS PRIORITY ACTIONS IN NOW

1999

WHEREAS, an overwhelming number of communications are received by the National Organization for Women(NOW) at the chapter, state and national levels from women who complain of injustice in family law courts, especially in cases involving domestic violence and child custody; and

WHEREAS, women lose custody of their children, despite being good mothers, despite a lack of involvement of the father with the children, and regardless of a history of being the primary caregiver; and

WHEREAS, a growing number of women who sue for child support experience a retaliatory suit for child custody; and

WHEREAS, many women who try to leave abusive husbands find a divorce court is a place where the abuse is allowed to continue, as abusers use custody to retain control over them and their children; and

WHEREAS, the growing so-called “fathers’ rights” legal industry is using custody suits as a lever to lower child support; custody awards are all too often distorted by anti-woman bias, money and politics; and

WHEREAS so-called “fathers’ rights” groups are connected nationally and in many states and areas have undue influence in the courts, political parties and the halls of legislature, and their strategies are replicated and modeled throughout the states, while women facing divorce and custody fights are isolated and alone and often lack sufficient funds to afford the legal battles currently necessary to be successful; and

WHEREAS endorsements of judicial candidates are even more effective than for legislative races because people have less information and NOW has such high credibility; and

WHEREAS, taking action against such gender bias is well-suited to the organizing and lobbying abilities, and fighting for justice for women involved in custody suits and divorce has been found to be a hot issue for NOW chapter organizing, membership recruitment, and public awareness of NOW’s issues;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW adopt a policy which expresses the suggestions of current feminist research and writing, including 1) a call to fully fund and implement judicial education regarding domestic violence, 2) a demand for meaningful judicial accountability and performance reviews of elected and appointed judges, 3) a model for selection and pre-selection of candidates for elected and appointed judicial posts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all chapter and state NOW PACs be urged to include judges and judicial candidates in their endorsement and support process and that chapters be encouraged to enable women and organize around this issue, using seminars on divorce, custody, finance, domestic violence, etc, as well as public forums, hearings and court watches; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recognize family law and custody as crucial and urgent action and organizing issues in the lives of women and children; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National  Action Center assist state and local NOW chapters to advocate for reform, in ways including, but not limited to: 1) compiling model legislation, sample testimony, available research, etc.; 2) aggressively speaking out about this issue to other organizations, the public, and the press; 3) assist NOW units active on this issue to establish contact with each other; 4) create a membership/organizing brochure on these issues; 5) collect, organize and report on relevant information from chapters; 6) work with lawyers’ organizations, particularly women lawyers, to encourage increased pro-bono representation for women who cannot afford private counsel in custody issues; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a Conference Implementation Committee be formed to oversee and assist in the implementation of this and other related resolutions.

TAPESTRY OF POLYGAMY

1999

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the world leader in fighting for the rights of women and their children for over 30 years; and

WHEREAS, the “Tapestry of Polygamy” is pioneering in the effort to disseminate the information and the realities of the practice of polygamy; and

WHEREAS, the “Tapestry of Polygamy” focuses on assisting those wishing to flee from the bondage of polygamy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW in alliance with the “Tapestry of Polygamy” disseminate information on the abuses of polygamy to the general public and legislators; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW advocate to end the human rights’ violations due to polygamy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW recognizes and supports the “Tapestry of Polygamy” in its ongoing effort to educate the public and government officials on the needs of families exiting this lifestyle.

7/98

As child support, child custody and other family issues are of primary concern to many NOW members, NOW again emphasizes its commitment to these very important issues.  

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT EFFORTS TO PREVENT HIGH COST PREDATORY LENDING 2017

WHEREAS, NOW commends the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its director, Richard Cordray, for their efforts to fight against predatory loan products such as payday loans and car title loans that have forced and held women and communities of color, among others, into the debt trap; and

WHEREAS, many short term, small dollar loans, including payday loans, tend to be associated with exorbitant interest rates and other high-cost, wealth-stripping fees. Typical interest rates for these loans exceed 300 percent; and

WHEREAS, most payday borrowers make less than $30,000 a year and nearly half default on a payday loan — compared to only 3 percent of standard bank loan borrowers — despite the fact that most of those who default actually pay fees in excess of the original principal. Payday loans trap people in cycles of debt that drain local economies and result in a cascade of financial consequences, such as increased overdraft fees, delayed medical care, and even bankruptcy; and

WHEREAS, studies have repeatedly shown that the wealth-stripping effects of predatory lending practices have a disproportionate impact on women, families of color, and low-wealth families, robbing households of wages and savings that could otherwise be reinvested into wealth-building and into local neighborhoods and communities; and

WHEREAS, women make up roughly sixty percent of all payday loan customers. Payday loan use is even higher among single mothers. Payday loans are primarily used to pay for household expenses – expenses that tend to be the responsibility of women; and

WHEREAS, short term, small dollar lenders including payday and car title lenders collect over $8 billion in penalties and fees from borrowers on an annual basis; and

WHEREAS, many high-cost, small-dollar lenders do not assess a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, considering both income and expenses, and in fact intentionally rely on the unaffordability of these loans to extract huge profits from borrowers stuck in the debt trap cycle; and

WHEREAS, women overwhelmingly support strengthening regulation of payday loans. Seventy-two percent of women say that passing additional regulation of the payday lending industry is important to them. Seventy-five percent of women support the CFPB’s proposal to regulate payday lenders; and

WHEREAS, subsequent to extensive research of payday lending practices, the CFPB is currently engaged in the rulemaking process for rules that have the potential to end the debt trap created by unaffordable high-cost, small-dollar loans by ensuring that lenders require that borrowers have an ability to repay their loans; and

WHEREAS, NOW strongly condemns abusive, predatory, wealth-stripping lending practices in all forms, particularly those that disproportionately target women, communities of color and low-wealth families;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, NOW supports efforts by the CFPB to rein in the abusive, further-impoverishing  practices of predatory lenders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW supports adoption of strong rules to protect consumers across the country, requiring high-cost, small-dollar lenders to ensure loans are affordable when considering borrowers’ income and expenses, and to ensure the loans can be repaid without refinancing or defaulting; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, NOW supports state legislaton to end predatory loan debt traps establishing an interest rate cap of 36% or less to protect against triple-digit interest rate loans; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourages the CFPB (www.consumerfinance.gov) to adopt rules that encompass tactics used by predatory lenders to evade regulation.

CAMPAIGN FOR A $15 MINIMUM WAGE

2015

Whereas, closing the wage gap and achieving the economic empowerment of women is one of the priority issues of the National Organization for Woman, and

Whereas, NOW’s activism, has moved pay equity forward in the nearly half-century since our founding, and

Whereas the “15 NOW” Campaign for a $15-an hour minimum wage fights for livable wages and justice for all, and

Whereas the largest group of workers who earn minimum wages are women, and

Whereas in 2013, the very first “15 Now” ordinance was passed, raising the minimum wage to $15 and doubling the wages and living standards for those who are covered, and

Whereas strengthening NOW’s alliances with the “15 Now” campaign will build membership and effectiveness at the grassroots levels as we moved toward the 2016 elections,

Now therefore be it resolved, that the National Organization for Women work with the “15 NOW” campaign to raise the minimum wage to not less than $15 an hour at all levels of government, and

Be it further resolved that NOW recommend to the NOW/PAC that any candidate running for office must support an increase in the minimum wage and improvements in working conditions such as scheduling policies to receive both the support and endorsement of NOW/PAC.  

FAIR WAGES AND TREATMENT FOR TIPPED WORKERS

2013

WHEREAS, the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 per hour, or 30% of the federal minimum wage for non-tipped workers; and

WHEREAS, according to the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), restaurants are the fastest growing U.S. industry with the worst gender wage gap; and

WHEREAS, employees in the restaurant industry are less than 1% unionized, and unions would help to elevate the status of restaurant workers; and

WHEREAS, the vast majority of restaurant workers have no paid sick days and thus are forced to work while ill, potentially risking the health of their customers and co-workers; and

WHEREAS, sexual harassment is rampant and widely known but rarely reported in the restaurant industry;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls on Congress and state legislatures to enact living wage legislation with tipped workers to be guaranteed at least 70 percent of the federal minimum wage, as well as other wage-elevating legislation like the proposed federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (S. 460), and that the minimum wage increase proportionately with increases in the cost of living on an annual basis, and that increases in the wage be based on the full Consumer Price Index (CPI) not just the core CPI which excludes food and energy so that all future wage increases shall reflect the full cost of price inflation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW push to pass paid sick day legislation at the state and federal levels for all workers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to make the media aware of the significant impact on women and people of color, who are disproportionately affected by depressed wages and hostile workplaces in the restaurant industry; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW chapters are encouraged to work in coalitions in their own states and local communities to push back against such inhumane treatment.

PRESERVING AND PROMOTING UNION JOBS AND UNION-MADE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

2013

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of supporting the working woman and recognizes the harm to sisters all over the world when companies do not assure workers’ rights, safe working conditions, health benefits, and livable wages; and

WHEREAS, union labels, shop cards, store cards, and service-buttons are hallmarks of high quality and are the best indicator of jobs that pay well, provide good benefits, and respect the right of workers to join a union; and

WHEREAS, union and nonunion families alike “look for the union label” when they shop precisely because they want to support strong and solid job growth in the United States, promote fair and humane global trade practices and purchase the best products and services in the world; and

WHEREAS, national tax and trade policies have caused our trade deficit to surge to a record- setting level leading to massive job loss in a wide range of sectors and the severe erosion of our manufacturing base; and

WHEREAS, due to these flawed trade policies, even products such as the American flag are often imported from countries that employ prison and child labor and deny workers their basic human rights;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the delegates to the NOW Conference reaffirm their commitment to buy union-made products and services and to look for the union label; and

BE IF FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW strive to use only American-made products or fair-trade products and services from organizations and companies that do not commit business practices that can be conceived by NOW as anti-union, anti-women, or anti-equality; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirms its commitment to working women by striving to ensure that major purchases of products and services are consistent with a pro-woman, pro-labor, and pro-equality agenda.

CHALLENGING WALMART’S DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES

2013

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has declared Walmart to be a Merchant of Shame; and

WHEREAS, NOW is currently engaged in various actions to challenge Walmart’s discriminatory practices; andWHEREAS, a past union action against J.P. Stevens & Company that involved a campaign to urge members to purchase single shares of J.P. Stevens stock proved successful;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that National NOW adopt a similar campaign to urge members to purchase single shares of Walmart Stock; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW members who are shareholders in Walmart be encouraged to attend shareholder meetings and participate in the voting process in order to influence the corporation’s policies affecting women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW coordinate this shareholder action to challenge Walmart’s discriminatory practices.

NOW ENDORSES THE 21st CENTURY FULL EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ACT, H.R. 4277

2012

WHEREAS, according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), women have made modest job gains during the economic recovery, even though heavy job losses in the public sector have contributed to a weaker employment picture for women, who lost 348,000 public sector jobs over the course of the recovery, offsetting their private sector job gains by 38.2 percent; and

WHEREAS, according to the NWLC and the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women hold 29.4 percent of private sector jobs gained during the recovery, and just 22.5 percent of all jobs added between June 2009 and May 2012, which represents 41 percent of the jobs they lost during the recession, while men have regained 44 percent of their lost jobs; and

WHEREAS, steep cuts in local and state governments have resulted in a significant loss of jobs for women working as public school teachers, social workers, medical professionals, and child care professionals; and

WHEREAS, President Barack Obama has consistently demonstrated a sincere commitment to help provide jobs for women by advocating for increased federal funding to states in order to maintain the optimal number of public sector jobs for women who are providing critically important services for children, women, families, seniors, and the disabled; and

WHEREAS, there is a significant percentage of households in the U.S. in which the woman is an essential breadwinner in order for a family to survive economically, and due to the recession, there are scores of single women-headed households across the nation in which the breadwinners are out of work and in urgent need of employment now in order to take care of their families’ most basic survival needs; and

WHEREAS, we are in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, and there is an urgent need for the federal government to take a major role in direct job creation so that 14 million unemployed workers can find work, and another 14 million who are working part time or have given up looking for work can find meaningful employment at a livable wage; and

WHEREAS, Rep. John Conyers, (D-MI) has introduced federal legislation, H.R. 4277, “The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act,” a 21st Century “new New Deal” that would provide job training and employment opportunities for millions of unemployed men and women in the U.S. who wish to become gainfully employed; and

WHEREAS, under H.R. 4277, the federal government would train, hire, and pay unemployed women right now to become employed in a manner to promote employment diversity, pay equity and enhanced professional credentials;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) hereby officially endorse H.R. 4277, “The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act,” so that women can be put back to work now, and encourage other grassroots civil-society organizations to also endorse this legislation, which must be passed with all deliberate speed to assure employment for all who want to work–especially women.

BENEFIT IMPROVEMENTS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY

2011

WHEREAS, the average amount of Social Security retirement income for women is $11,377 per year, as compared to $14,822 for men — the difference being due to women taking time out of the paid workforce to raise children and care for ill relatives and to wage discrimination; and

WHEREAS, 46 percent of all single women over 65 receiving Social Security benefits rely on Social Security for more than 90 percent of their income, and a significant proportion of women of color rely exclusively on Social Security for their retirement income; and  

WHEREAS, sex-based wage discrimination results in loss of income and reduced savings for women, ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to more than a million dollars lost over a working career; and

WHEREAS, due to disappearing pensions, unemployment among older workers, declining household income, increasing health care costs, reduced home values, and reduced value of investments after the financial meltdown, seniors are becoming more reliant on Social Security for retirement income; and

WHEREAS, modest changes to financing Social Security — such as raising the cap on taxable income (above $106,800) or slightly increasing the payroll tax rate — can finance benefit improvements and assure Social Security funding for the long term;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) urge that benefits under Social Security be significantly improved to assure that all workers who have paid into the system have sufficient income and not fall into poverty and that the Special Minimum for lifetime low-income workers be raised; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge that caregiver credits under Social Security be provided so that women do not lose Social Security income when they take time out of the paid workforce, and that eligibility for spousal benefits be lowered from 10 years of marriage to seven to reflect current demographics; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge that benefits for same-sex couples be provided; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW urge that benefits for disabled widows/widowers be raised to 100 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit and that the survivor’s benefit should be raised to 75 percent of the couple’s joint benefits, capped at the maximum earner’s benefit; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge that the age of eligibility for full retirement be lowered — not increased; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for legislation and policy that reflect all of the above noted improvements to Social Security.

“MEDICARE FOR ALL” IS THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM

2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has endorsed single-payer health care in 1993 and in 2009, and the fight to make health care a right for all people continues even after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which expands the role of private health insurance, while limiting women’s access to reproductive health care; and

WHEREAS, women continue to pay more for health insurance, while earning less, and women spend more time than men providing unpaid care to elderly, disabled, or sick family members; and

WHEREAS, congressional proposals connected to the national budget debate seek to cut, privatize, or eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and any health benefits derived from the Social Security Act — changes that will most heavily impact women; and

WHEREAS, expanding Medicare to everyone and eliminating the role of the private health insurance industry would save $400 billion a year, enough to extend comprehensive health care, including vision, hearing and dental coverage and all reproductive health care, to all of the uninsured and underinsured; and

WHEREAS, Vermont has passed a law that intends to make health care a human right for all Vermonters by implementing a single-payer program in the state, and various states continue to advocate for passage of single-payer health care as a means of pushing for national single-payer health care; and  

WHEREAS, hundreds of organizations, local, national and international unions, cities, towns, and school boards have endorsed single-payer health care, and polls continue to show that the majority of physicians, nurses, and the public support single-payer “Medicare for All” as the solution to our health care crisis;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW continue to advocate for a “Medicare for All,” single-payer health care system as the solution to our health and fiscal crisis and oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and any health benefits derived from the Social Security Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW  participate in the activities around Medicare’s anniversary in July 2011 to build support for Medicare as the solution, not the problem, to our health care and fiscal woes; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support single-payer health care legislation on the state and national levels, including Senator Sanders’ American Health Security Act of 2011 (S 915) and the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676), as well as legislation that supports granting the necessary federal waivers for states to implement single-payer health care.

HYDE AND SEEK-REPEAL THE HYDE AMENDMENT

2010

WHEREAS, United States Congress has renewed the Hyde Amendment in various forms since 1976, enacted in reaction to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade; and

WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment undermines women’s rights by discriminating against low-income women, prohibiting federal funding of abortion for the 12 million women of reproductive age who are served by Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, by prohibiting Medicaid funding of reproductive health insurance for low-income women, except in the cases of rape, incest or life-threatening situations, many women face late-term abortions or illegal, dangerous abortions due to the time required to find funds to pay for the abortion; and

WHEREAS, at times, the ban has been extended to prohibit funding for groups like Native Americans, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, low-income residents of Washington, D.C., federal prisoners, military personnel and their dependents, and disabled women who rely on Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, the major health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was used by Democratic leaders to gain votes from abortion opponents by including provisions similar to the Hyde Amendment that further restrict coverage for the millions of women who seek insurance under the new Act; and

WHEREAS, other legislation, such as the ban on federal funds for abortions enacted by the Children’s Health Initiative Program (CHIP), which serves girls 19 and younger, has gone into effect to discriminate against women; and

WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment has effectively politicized and stigmatized the legal practice of abortion and obstructed women’s constitutional right to control their reproductive lives;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue strongly to oppose the Hyde Amendment and any related legislative provisions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Board of NOW is hereby instructed to develop a long-term strategy with other allied organizations for the defeat of the Hyde Amendment and that the grassroots level of NOW be urged to take action in an aggressive campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment and to restore coverage for abortion care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

NOW MUST MAKE WELFARE REFORM A PRIORITY

2010

WHEREAS, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, set to expire in September 2010, is intended to be the principal federal safety net for impoverished families; and

WHEREAS, the current economic recession has resulted in a greater overall need-up to a 25% increase-for government assistance, with approximately 36 million people requiring some form of help to survive, while paradoxically, TANF benefits have decreased and the need for food stamps has increased, revealing a gap in support that many families desperately need; and

WHEREAS, women in poverty perform the bulk of caretaking duties for children, the disabled, and the elderly and are expected to perform these duties with little to no assistance in addition to maintaining and seeking employment as mandated to receive TANF benefits, and many of these women have timed out of the TANF system after a short five-year period yet still cannot find full-time work because of caretaking duties or disabled status; and

WHEREAS, women of color are hit disproportionately hard by poverty and difficulties in obtaining employment due to lack of job availability, accessible transportation, and child or dependent care; and

WHEREAS, TANF does not respond adequately and sensitively to women who are further burdened by domestic or sexual violence, and, indeed, family violence has the effect of increasing women’s poverty; and

WHEREAS, state budget pressures are further compromising the public welfare system by reducing funding and therefore hindering the system’s responsiveness during times of great economic need; and

WHEREAS, the TANF program currently attempts to promote marriage in a manner that disrespects and devalues so-called “nontraditional” families and does so by diverting millions in funds that otherwise would be disbursed to individuals who require them to survive; and

WHEREAS, minimum-wage jobs into which TANF recipients are pushed are nowhere near adequate in terms of providing a livable, sustainable wage to lift women and families out of poverty; and

WHEREAS, the TANF program has been rendered ineffective by chronic underfunding, severe and disproportionate sanctions for issues such as being late for work, and insufficient support components, such as cash assistance, job-training that prepares recipients for wage-earning work, and education;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW activists will lobby Congress to ensure that fundamental welfare reform happens and that it will include vital components, including, but not limited to, expanded educational opportunities for recipients leading to living-wage jobs, subsidized child and dependent care, funding for and access to adequate transportation, cash assistance, a new definition of “work” that includes full- or part-time care for young children, and protection of immigrant women; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that welfare reform must include the availability of confidential screening and services for women and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence, substance abuse, and physical and/or mental disabilities, and that welfare must respect and value all families regardless of citizenship status and not cater to antiquated and inappropriate ideas of what a family “should” look like or be comprised of; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will make welfare reform a major priority to ensure impoverished families are not pushed even deeper into despair.

TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE GULF COAST DISASTER

2010

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast oil spill has already had cataclysmic economic, environmental and public health impacts; and

WHEREAS, British Petroleum (BP), by acknowledgement of responsibility for this cataclysm, has pledged to create a fund of $20 billion to be used to mitigate this disaster; and

WHEREAS, insufficient information has been made public detailing the terms and conditions for disbursement of these funds, leaving those affected by the disaster unsure which, if any, public health impacts, economic impacts, or environmental impacts will qualify for financial remuneration or by what criteria eligibility will be determined; and

WHEREAS, lawmakers, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, have called for active surveillance of Gulf Coast recovery workers’ health, and a number of cleanup responders on the Gulf Coast have been reporting vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness – complaints that are eerily reminiscent of illnesses reported by first responders in the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks; and

WHEREAS, many small and woman-owned businesses in the Gulf Coast region may need professional assistance in preparing and presenting claims for compensation from the BP oil spill fund; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that the claims process and demographic information about the claimants and awardees of compensation from the fund be made publicly available, particularly as pertains to the health and status of women in the Gulf area;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call upon all agencies of the federal government and the administrator of the BP oil spill fund to make publicly available demographic information-including breakdowns by gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location, and all other categories-relevant to the transparency and accountability of the process for remediation and remuneration from the effects of the oil spill; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demand that all appropriate agencies of the federal government and BP undertake active surveillance of the effects of the oil spill; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that in order to ameliorate the harm caused by the oil spill, NOW demand that these agencies and BP make this information available to the public.

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE IS AN ECONOMIC JUSTICE ISSUE

2009             

WHEREAS, the lack of single-payer health care in the United States is a critically important issue of economic justice for women and their families that affects many economic issues in their lives, and women pay more for health insurance while making less money than men; and

WHEREAS, the lack of single-payer health care leads to unemployment and underemployment because employers do not want to pay health insurance benefits and thus either do not hire workers or hire a high percentage of temporary or part-time workers to avoid paying benefits; and

WHEREAS, many people are tied to jobs in order to keep their health insurance; and

WHEREAS, the largest percentage of people who file bankruptcy do so because of a health care crisis;

WHEREAS, various states have been actively working on passage of single-payer legislation as a vehicle for passage of single-payer on the national level;                                                   

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) chapters be encouraged to participate in the July 30, 2009, National Day of Action, arranged and promoted by the coalition of single-payer health care organizations, to advocate for comprehensive, single-payer health care, as well as continuing their calls to Congress until single-payer health care is passed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s talking points on the need for single-payer health care include information on how the lack of a single-payer system affects employment and everyone’s general economic status and that this is an issue of economic justice, as well as health care access; and                                                                                                                                   

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will advocate for passage of state single-payer legislation as another means of the passage of single-payer on the national level;                                  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW’s media campaign for single-payer health care include information on economic justice.

BACKLOG OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

2008

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a continuing commitment to the rights of people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, in 1985, NOW first called for modernizing Social Security in order to resolve all Social Security inequities; and

WHEREAS, it is a travesty that the Social Security Administration has a three-year backlog in processing disability claims and has a high rate of initial denial of claims;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW membership be informed of this problem by the National Action Center in a regular leadership mailing, in the National NOW Times (NNT), and by other means with the assistance of the Disability Rights ad hoc committee; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center and NOW members be encouraged to pressure Congress and the federal government to reduce the Social Security claims backlog.

HEALTHCARE FUNDING CRISIS

2008

WHEREAS, since 1993, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has advocated that single-payer healthcare cover the full range of women’s healthcare needs throughout their lives; and

WHEREAS, access to quality healthcare in the United States has markedly deteriorated for many decades—under Democratic and Republican administrations alike—and is inferior now to access to quality healthcare in almost all other industrialized countries; and

WHEREAS, the spiraling military budget has resulted in a projected 30.9% cut in social services block grants for 2009, while the U.S. military budget is larger than that of all other countries in the world combined, and the $720,000,000 spent every day on the war in Iraq would be enough to supply one year’s health insurance for 423,529 children; and

WHEREAS, some financially strapped states are reducing both eligibility and funding for State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) and Medicaid, causing approximately 1.5 million people to lose coverage over the past five years;

WHEREAS, decisions about the choice and duration of medical treatments have been usurped by the insurance industry from the healthcare providers and patients who should be making those decisions; and

WHEREAS, tens of millions of full-time workers are uninsured, while those with insurance are saddled with increasingly high premiums, deductibles, and co-payments; and

WHEREAS, this decline in healthcare delivery has had a disproportionate impact upon populations of color—over two-thirds of the uninsured being nonwhite, and hospital closings occurring disproportionately in urban communities—and single-parent families headed by women—37.5% of the uninsured being families with less than $10,000 annual income—thereby resulting in a pattern that is both racist and sexist; and

WHEREAS, while both major political parties now acknowledge the need to address the healthcare crisis, both continue to place the burden of healthcare on those unable to afford it;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW make universal single-payer healthcare, including comprehensive coverage of all women’s healthcare needs, a major campaign issue;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call for universal single-payer healthcare to be financed by a drastic cut in the Pentagon’s bloated share of the national budget.

UNITED STATES TENNIS ASSOCIATION DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES

2006

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in 1966, in part, to end discrimination in the workplace; an

WHEREAS, NOW has received numerous complaints against the United States Tennis Association (USTA), alleging that the USTA discriminates against its employee tennis umpires — including umpires Sande French, Cecil Hollins and Dudley Gayle — on the basis of sex, race, age and retaliation and that such complaints have received both national and international media coverage; and

WHEREAS, many of the allegations of discrimination are supported by sworn witness statements; and

WHEREAS, a USTA sectional President acknowledges in writing much of the alleged discrimination in tennis; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls upon New York State Attorney General Elliott Spitzer; the City of New York (including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Commissioner/Chair of the Human Rights Commission Patricia L. Gatling) and the USTA President Franklin R. Johnson to immediately and fully investigate the aforementioned claims of discrimination, report the results back to NOW and the public and take appropriate action to eliminate such alleged unlawful activity; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to organizations with the similar goal of eliminating discrimination, such as the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the NAACP and AARP, to consider passage of consistent resolutions.

MOBILIZING TO CLOSE THE WAGE GAP – ECONOMIC JUSTICE FOR WOMEN

2006

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of working to end discrimination against women in the workplace. Moreover, the issue of economic justice for women and children is a NOW priority; and

WHEREAS, a young woman who graduates from high school this year and goes straight to work at $20,000 a year will make $700,000 less than a young man graduating with her over her lifetime; a young woman who graduates from college into a $30,000 starting salary will make $1.2 million less than a young man getting his diploma in line right behind her over her lifetime; and a young woman who gets a degree in business, medicine or law and graduates into a $70,000 starting salary will make $2 million less than a young man at her side over her lifetime; and

WHEREAS, most women suffer from the wage gap with 2004 Census data showing women’s median annual earnings were $0.76 per dollar earned by men and the gap was worse for women of color revealing African-American women earn only 69 cents for every dollar a man earns and Hispanic women earn only 58 cents to the male dollar and these women are less likely to work in professional and managerial jobs; and

WHEREAS, twenty-eight percent of single mothers with children live below the poverty level in the United States. Moreover, there is a lack of economic security for older women who have spent years doing low paid work as caregivers for which little or no Social Security taxes were paid and who eventually find themselves without economic resources due to the wage gap; and

WHEREAS, the wage gap is the result of a variety of forms of sex discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination in hiring, promotion and pay, sexual harassment, occupational segregation, bias against mothers, and other ways in which women workers and women’s work are undervalued; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes all women have the right to achieve economic freedom with the support of, but without interference or coercion from the government and the budgets that have been passed by the Bush Administration have resulted in a wider wage gap between classes, increasing the feminization of poverty; and

WHEREAS, Women Are Getting Even (WAGE) Clubs use a set of tools originally developed by Dr. Evelyn Murphy, a PhD economist, which brings women together to discuss the challenges they have in the workplace and to take action to achieve economic justice; and

WHEREAS, WAGE Clubs enable NOW to bring together our members, other women, and other organizations interested in furthering equality in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, WAGE Clubs give women the educational tools and resources they need to fight back and obtain economic justice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW and its chapters work with the WAGE Project to end discrimination against women in the workplace; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW take action on Women’s Equal Pay Day to raise awareness of the discrimination women face in the workplace and actions that can be taken to end such discrimination; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW be strongly urged to include informative articles in National NOW publications on how to start a NOW WAGE Club; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will work with its chapters to encourage the start of at least one NOW WAGE Club in every state by including information on NOW WAGE Clubs on the National NOW website, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW invite allied organizations, including women of color and women with disabilities, to convene an Economic Justice Summit in 2008 in order to strategize and implement NOW’s ongoing economic justice campaign.

ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN DISASTER PLANNING AND RESPONSE
IN THE UNITED STATES

9/05

WHEREAS, the statement of purpose of the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls for equal rights and responsibilities including freedom from discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability or parenthood; and

WHEREAS, the United States recently experienced Hurricane Katrina which killed hundreds of people, displaced thousands of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi residents, and caused billions of dollars in property damage; and

WHEREAS, the federal government response was grossly incompetent, led by Bush’s FEMA and Homeland Security political appointees whose primary focus heretofore seemed to be the allocation of federal pork; and

WHEREAS, numerous sources have reported that Hurricane Katrina has had its greatest effect on women, people of color, lower income households and families, the elderly, children, ill and infirm individuals, and people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the immense tragedy experienced on the Gulf Coast exposed long standing discrimination and segregation practices in U.S. culture; and

WHEREAS, there was no evacuation plan for the people of New Orleans who did not own cars and could not afford to obtain transportation to leave; and

WHEREAS, buses reserved by FEMA were held outside the city of New Orleans in the white suburbs of Jefferson Parish and were not allowed by FEMA to enter New Orleans to rescue people from the Superdome or the Convention Center because it was “too dangerous;”

WHEREAS, rescue boats were not allowed to enter low-income, flooded, mostly African-American areas because it was ‘too dangerous;” and

WHEREAS, low-income patients at the public Charity Hospital were not rescued for several days and were finally carried by dedicated hospital workers down pitch-dark stairways to nearby Tulane Hospital’s helicopter pad, only to be left (some to die) while richer, less critically ill, private patients from Tulane and Methodist hospitals were rescued first; and

WHEREAS, the Jefferson Parish sheriffs and City of Gretna police used armed officers to stop hundreds of mostly-black evacuees from escaping the flood waters by crossing over the Crescent City Connection Bridge into Gretna, which is part of Jefferson Parish; and

WHEREAS, for several days, low income people, mostly black people, were not rescued from the Superdome or the Convention Center and many needlessly suffered and died; and

WHEREAS, bodies of the dead were not treated with dignity and were left untouched for weeks, and we still do not have a count or identification of the dead; and

WHEREAS, the Coast Guard heroically rescued people from rooftops in many cases only to place them on a highway bypass, with no further rescue for days and with virtually no provisions; and

WHEREAS, the relocation process has led to the separation of families, and has brought comparisons to the disintegration of families and communities during the Middle Passage of the slave trade; and

WHEREAS, the current administration is attempting to use this tragedy as an avenue for imposing long-time right-wing goals, such as the suspension of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act requiring the payment of the prevailing wage in federal contracts, the imposition of private school vouchers, and the undermining of environmental regulations; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has announced a huge spending program to restore New Orleans and the Gulf Region without any plan, and is already handing out huge no-bid contracts to their “fat cat” political cronies — the first such no-bid contract of $500 million went to Halliburton; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has repeatedly cut funds requested by the Corps of Engineers for urgently needed levee projects in New Orleans, which could have prevented much of the post-Katrina havoc; and

WHEREAS, the government’s slow response and failure to deploy adequate personnel and resources contributed to the lack of personal safety and numerous accounts of physical, sexual and psychological violence particularly to women and children,

WHEREAS, the reopening of predominantly white areas of New Orleans, combined with the mass relocation of African-American residents to other parts of the nation is a form of “ethnic cleansing”; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW denounces these racist and classist policies and actions;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls for immediate and effective action by the federal government to address the needs of those who have suffered from Hurricane Katrina, including but not limited to: reuniting family members, and providing housing, food, healthcare, counseling, employment, job training and education;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls on Congress to establish an independent commission to review the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina and make recommendations for the handling of future catastrophes, and that said commission include proportionate representation of female and male residents from the affected areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls on Congress to establish an independent oversight commission for the rebuilding efforts, eliminate no-bid contracts, give priority to contractors from the region, especially minority and women-owned businesses, require preferential hiring of local labor at a the pre-Katrina prevailing wage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW urges its members and supporters to take action as states, chapters, and individuals by:

  1. Communicating to their congressional delegation the importance of establishing these independent commissions and for significant oversight by Congress;
  1. Participating with state and local officials regarding emergency response plans;
  1. Staying informed of the process and progress of this situation and letting your elected officials know of your concerns; and
  1. Recruiting, nominating and supporting candidates who are firmly committed to eliminating discrimination in all forms.

NOW VALUES MOTHERS’ AND CAREGIVERS’ ECONOMIC RIGHTS

2005

WHEREAS, the landmark National Organization for Women (NOW) resolution “Homemaker’s Bill of Rights: Economic Recognition for Homemakers” (1978), which called for the acknowledgement of unpaid mothering and caregiving work as a valuable part of our nation’s economy, remains largely unfulfilled in state and national legislation nearly thirty years after its passage; and

WHEREAS, U.S. society’s underlying bias against mothers’ and caregivers’ work, whether or not it is performed in conjunction with paid or waged labor, remains institutionalized within the U.S. Government and standard employment practices; and

WHEREAS, in addition to the care of children, our swiftly aging nation is putting women, our traditional caregivers, into an even more tenuous economic position as the unpaid work of eldercare becomes more commonplace; and

WHEREAS, the anti-caregiving movement within conservative politics seeks to roll back entitlements such as Social Security Insurance and the Family and Medical Leave Act, and to further restrict access to public assistance benefits, forcing even greater numbers of women into poverty; and

WHEREAS, the current national discussion over the role of our mothers and caregivers is being led by corporate-owned media and right-wing ideologues; and

WHEREAS, it would benefit both NOW and the nation’s mother and caregiver population to build a feminist mothers and caregivers constituency within NOW to promote active resistance to political forces currently in opposition to the women’s movement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW educate the public on this issue, build coalitions with feminist activist groups that advocate for mothers’ and caregivers’ economic rights and lobby for appropriate federal and state legislation to create programs such as quality universal childcare, Social Security and tax credits for caregivers, and paid family medical leave insurance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state chapters to form Mothers’ and Caregivers’ Economic Rights Task Forces; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage local chapters to form feminist mothering and caregivers programs to recruit women who might not otherwise become members and to develop strong community support for our organization; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board form a regionally representative ad hoc committee comprised of chapter, state and national activists and experts that will work with the Board and the national officers to develop online resources and action kits, including talking points, programming ideas, media resources, and other materials.

SUPPORT “FAIRNESS: THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 2004”

9/04

WHEREAS, the court decisions of Buckhannon and Barnes v. Gorman make it extremely difficult for victims of discrimination to be reimbursed for their attorney’s fees, litigation costs, or full damages, even if the lawsuit is won; and

WHEREAS, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 placed arbitrary caps on the amount of damages victims of intentional discrimination can receive regardless of how large their financial, emotional, or physical loss, allowing large offenders to be relieved from taking full responsibility for their actions; and

WHEREAS, the decision in Barnes v Gorman eliminates punitive damages for discrimination against persons with disabilities, regardless of how intentional or extreme the discrimination; and

WHEREAS, recent Supreme Court rulings such as Alexander v. Sandoval redefine Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, creating narrow definitions behind the right to sue and intentional discrimination, extending the ruling to gender discrimination and the barring of retaliation lawsuits, while allowing employers to penalize those who wish to file suit; and

WHEREAS, the ruling of Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District creates an abnormally high standard for proving discrimination in sexual harassment suits, forcing victims to prove that administrators had “actual notice of” the harassment; in addition using the ruling to restrict damages for harassment based on race, color, and national origin, creating an atmosphere that encourages schools to avoid receiving knowledge of harassment; and

WHEREAS, the cases of Circuit City v. Adams and Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corporation allow employers to require their employees to give up their right to sue as a term of employment, and instead enter binding arbitration where there is no requirement that the resolution abide by civil rights laws; and

WHEREAS, state employees can no longer sue for money damages for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act such as the denial of overtime pay, leaving employees vulnerable to employer abuse of federal labor laws; and

WHEREAS, a Supreme Court ruling has declared that undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive pay back for violations of National Labor Relations Act, allowing employers to exploit and abuse undocumented laborers; and

WHEREAS, the proposed law addresses many other aspects of employment discrimination and unfair practices and directs that the federal government collect employment data that would assist the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in better enforcement of federal pay discrimination laws; and

WHEREAS, that the FAIRNESS Act would correct many of the disparities in current employment law and deficiencies in its enforcement, while addressing aspects of court rulings in discrimination cases that have unfairly increased the burden of proof on plaintiffs and placed additional restrictions that limit employee rights,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women endorse and work for adoption of “FAIRNESS: The Civil Rights Act of 2004,” promoting it as a legislative priority for all organizations and individuals working towards social and economic equality.

RECOGNITION OF NOW’S COMMITMENT TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING

2004

WHEREAS, the lack of safe, decent, and affordable housing affects over 95 million people in the United States; and

WHEREAS, women are in the greatest need, heading over 59 percent of the 5.3 million families with “worst case” housing needs; and

WHEREAS, women are disproportionately affected by federal housing assistance programs; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to equality for low-income women, women of color, and women with disabilities, women who disproportionately face barriers to safe, decent, and affordable housing; and

WHEREAS, affordable housing is often the solution most desperately needed by women who are trying to escape violent domestic situations; and

WHEREAS, studies have shown that stable and affordable housing contributes substantially to family health and children’s education; and

WHEREAS, the 1998 Declaration of Sentiments of the National Organization for Women calls for access to housing for all;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW further develop and coordinate a multifaceted campaign, focused on but not limited to, protecting and increasing funding for the housing voucher program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and protecting and increasing funding for HUD affordable housing projects in state and local jurisdictions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign may include any or all of the following: petition and post card drives, action kits, leafleting, lobbying locally and in Washington, D.C., a demonstration in D.C., electronic organizing by list serve and web site, and activist seminars at all levels of NOW; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center devote a prominent section on its web site to affordable housing, including affordable housing fact sheets, links to research and other resources, and action ideas for chapters and states.

EXPAND AND STRENGTHEN SOCIAL INSURANCE SYSTEM

1/03

WHEREAS, the present systems of social insurance through Social Security, Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI), and Medicare— which provide income to tens of millions of retirees, workers, and their dependents for retirement security, disability assistance, and assistance to dependent survivors of deceased or disabled workers—have greatly reduced poverty in the United States; and

WHEREAS, privatization of Social Security amounts to a massive scam requiring workers to risk their income in the stock market, enriching Wall Street brokerages with billions of dollars in fees and requiring trillions of tax dollars to subsidize the transfer, while providing no guarantee of earnings to individual investors, making dependents more vulnerable, and offering no provision for assistance to the disabled; and

WHEREAS, assertions about near-term insolvency are false; financing of the Social Security system is sound for at least the next 40 years, and with minor adjustments, it can be solvent for many more decades and even improved to provide better retirement and disability coverage for millions of workers and their families; and

WHEREAS, women constitute the vast majority of Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries, and while both programs have reduced older women’s poverty rates and improved health care access, more improvements must be made to address 1) the penalties incurred due to women’s care-giving years out of the paid workforce, 2) the special needs of widows, divorced women, persons with disabilities, and very elderly women due to lower lifetime earnings, exhaustion of savings, higher out-of-pocket medical expenses, and chronic, long-term health conditions, 3) needless bureaucratic hurdles under SSI that negatively impact poor disabled women, and 4) same sex partners are denied equitable benefits;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) urge Congress and the administration to improve and extend the long-term financing of Social Security through a number of system adjustments, including but not limited to, removing the cap on taxable earnings and credit them for benefit calculations, making the payroll tax rate structure progressive to allocate the burden more fairly, increasing slightly the payroll tax rate on employees and employers, allowing for a higher proportion of collective investment in U.S. bonds and Treasury notes, and providing for other means to increase revenue to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge Congress to address in legislation relief for women, lower income earners, same-sex partners and disabled persons by providing a credit for care-giving; extending social security benefits to same-sex partners; removing the penalty for years out of the paid workforce; reducing the requirement for spousal benefit eligibility to seven years of marriage; improving Medicare coverage, making it available to retired persons under 65 years of age; establishing a comprehensive prescription drug assistance program through cost controls and a fair method of workers’ tax contributions to fund such a program; and considering public-supported long-term care assistance and other such programs as may meet the needs of an aging population; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge Congress to reject all efforts to convert Social Security to a system of private investment accounts, reject efforts to revamp Medicare as a voucher plan, and reject efforts to establish a inadequately financed, limited prescription drug plan.

2/02

The NOW Board commends Ronnie Podolefsky for her stellar work on behalf of working women in her defense of JoDee Flockhart in Flockhart v. IBP. The NOW Board commends Roxanne Conlin for her stellar work on behalf of working women in her defense of JoDee Flockhart in Flockhart v. IBP. Moved that JoDee Flockhart be considered for a Woman of Courage award.

2/02

Moved that the Executive Committee be authorized to name Wal-Mart a Merchant of Shame after first contacting the company to see if NOW could meet with them to discuss the issues.

REDUCE THE POVERTY, NOT JUST THE ROLL

2002

WHEREAS, the 1996 version of so-called “welfare reform,” Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), contained punitive measures burdening women and their families and has failed to address the core causes of poverty; and

WHEREAS, while states’ welfare rolls have declined in the past five years, incomes of poor families, in general,have not increased to a level that allows families to cover vital expenses such as food, housing, health care services, transportation, and child care; and

 WHEREAS, poverty’s causes include systematic discrimination and exploitation of low-income workers as well as a lack of: (1) adequate education and training; (2) fair opportunities for non-discriminatory jobs that pay a living wage; (3) quality, affordable child care and other supports such as transportation, affordable housing, and health insurance;  (4) services for persons with barriers to self-sufficiency such as family violence, disability, and substance abuse; and

WHEREAS, the TANF-reauthorization proposals now before Congress make TANF even harsher than the 1996 law and fail to provide adequate funding for a successful anti-poverty effort. Instead, they divert hundreds of millions of dollars from already underfunded programs for TANF families to (1) so-called “healthy marriage” promotion schemes, which may discriminate against non-traditional families and may pressure women into entering into or remaining in abusive relationships, and (2) programs for low-income, non-custodial fathers (fatherhood initiatives), which should not be funded at the expense of low-income parents and children served by or eligible for TANF; and

WHEREAS, Congress is now preparing to reauthorize TANF with even harsher provisions, ignoring the lessons learned from poor families’ experiences since 1996;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call on Congress to include the following provisions, at a minimum, in TANF reauthorization:

  1. Ending lifetime limitations on TANF benefits and removing of caps on education and training;
  1.   Full childcare funding for every eligible family, increasing federal funding to a level of at least $17 billion for the five years;
  2. Maintaining the work requirement at 30 hours per week and counting as work a recipient’s participation in educational programs (including vocational, post-secondary, GED, ESL and literacy programs) as well as in other activities that help overcome barriers such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and physical and mental impairment;  
  3. Rejecting efforts to divert money from already underfunded TANF programs serving families to marriage promotion and fatherhood initiatives;
  1. Making the family violence option a permanent, mandatory requirement for states;
  2. Immediately restoring TANF benefits and food stamps to legal immigrants and their dependents;
  1. Encouraging states to ensure that families’ incomes equal at least 120 percent of the poverty level before halting cash assistance, in order to produce family economic stability.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW chapters be urged to raise the level of action on this issue by immediately and repeatedly contacting members of Congress.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE AFTER 9/11/2001

11/01

WHEREAS, the devastating economic fallout from the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 is having a disparate economic impact on women; and

WHEREAS, the billions of dollars going into the resulting military action significantly reduce financial resources available for domestic programs; and

WHEREAS, the unemployment rate has climbed to the highest level in five years, disproportionately affecting women, especially female heads of household; and

WHEREAS, the regressive immigration policies and methods now being used in the name of combating terrorism impact the rights and lives of immigrant women, making them even more hidden;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW continue to bring to light economic injustices to women in this country and abroad, especially in light of the impact of these events; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to increase broader knowledge and understanding of the military action’s economic impact on women by expanding documentation available to members, such as the Economic Stimulus Plan Talking Points, and including sources for all facts and statistics; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demand an end to corporate welfare that benefits the wealthy at theexpense of workers and their families; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW fight to stop the Congress and state legislatures from allowing working class and poor women to fall even further behind as a result of the lost attention and resources diverted to military spending, losing any economic gains that have been made; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW remain vigilant in preserving domestic programs that improve the lives of women, addressing such issues as ending violence against women, ending poverty, improving access to quality health care, and other positive domestic programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW combat the collapse of the safety net by pushing for expansion of unemployment and social security and elimination of welfare time limits, rather than punitive restrictions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW chapters be vigilant and actively involved in the budget process at the local, state and national level.   

SEPTEMBER 2001 WORLD BANK/IMF PROTEST

9/01

WHEREAS, the World Bank/IMF sets distribution and cultivation of resources to all nations; and

WHEREAS, by dictating global monetary policy which disproportionately affects women, particularly in developing countries as the majority of the world’s poor are women and girls; and

WHEREAS, people who have spoken out against these policies have been suppressed, brutally attacked, tortured and murdered by governments hosting World Bank/IMF meetings; and

WHEREAS, the brutality continues to escalate while freedom of information, speech and assembly have been suppressed; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement in the District of Columbia has already started the tactics of suppression by notifying businesses of block closures, limited access to offices, setting up checkpoints and the closure of a major private university, forcing students out of their dorm facilities preceding and during the World Bank/IMF meeting September 28-29, 2001,  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the National Organization for Women (NOW) support NOW members who engage in non-violent protests of the policies of the World Bank/IMF by:

  • Calling upon District of Columbia law enforcement to uphold the founding principles of our democracy by respecting the rights of free speech, press and assembly;
  • Making available NOW’s non-violent civil disobedience guidelines to NOW members;
  • Investigating signing onto the lawsuit already filed by World Bank/IMF protest organizers;
  • Informing NOW’s membership that courageous NOW protestors risked arrest and bodily harm while engaged in non-violent protest;   
  • Making efforts to request or secure pro bono legal assistance to those NOW activists protesting on behalf of NOW and NOW issues within the parameters of the NOW civil disobedience guidelines;
  • Calling for state and local NOW mobilizations in support of any NOW members who engaged in non-violent protest at the September 29-30 World Bank/IMF protest and who were detained against their wills.  

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT PAY EQUITY NOW! PETITION

2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of supporting pay equity and comparable worth; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania NOW, Inc. worked with the International Wages for Housework Campaign and the Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) to issue the Pay Equity Now! petition, which the National NOW Board supported; and

WHEREAS, the petition complements and updates current NOW policy by exposing and opposing US opposition to pay equity in all international agreements, thus extending NOW support to show international solidarity; and

WHEREAS, the Pay Equity Now! petition (also translated into Spanish) suggests:

WHEREAS the US government opposes pay equity – equal pay for work of equal value – in national policy and international agreements (i.e. the ILO Convention, CEDAW, and the Beijing Platform for Action); and  

WHEREAS in the US, the richest, most powerful nation on earth, women’s average pay has dropped from 76% in 1992 to 73% of men’s wages, 62.6% for Black women, 53.1% for Latina women; and

WHEREAS women are often segregated in caring and service work for low pay, much like the housework they are expected to do for no pay at home; and

WHEREAS closing the wage gap between women and men cannot be achieved without revaluing the responsibilities and skills women use in their work compared to what men use in theirs;

WHEREAS underpaying women is a massive subsidy to employers that is both sexist and racist;

WHEREAS by opposing pay equity in international forums, the US government encourages multinational corporations to underpay women everywhere in the global economy; and  

WHEREAS the US – the only wealthy country where women get no paid maternity benefits or leave – also opposes international agreements which call for other financial benefits for women, including paid breastfeeding breaks; and  

WHEREAS all women, particularly mothers, who do the vital but unpaid job of caring for children and/or other dependents, are penalized by getting the lowest pay when they go out to work and are discriminated against in such areas as pensions, health care, and social security credits, among others; and

WHEREAS pay equity is a major step toward revaluing all women’s work, raising all women’s wages and status, and establishing all women’s entitlements;

THEREFORE we the undersigned demand that all branches of the US government stand with women, the vast majority of whom are overworked and underpaid, and 1) withdraw all objections to – and actively endorse – pay equity and maternity care provisions for all women; 2) Sign, ratify and implement provisions in international conventions entitling women to the pay and benefits they have earned many times over. ; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the 2001 NOW Conference meeting in Philadelphia endorse the Pay Equity Now! petition; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that National NOW 1) distribute to all its branches the petition with its accompanying fact sheet and a cover note to be submitted by the petition coordinator; and 2) include an article about the petition in the National NOW Times; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that local/state NOW branches are recommended to circulate the petition to their members to sign; they can also sign online at www.payequity.net; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that local, state, and national NOW and their members seek in other ways to distribute and promote the petition and press the US for pay equity now!

UNIVERSAL LIVING WAGE

2001

WHEREAS, according to the last two Conference of Mayors reports, the federal minimum wage is insufficient to afford anyone housing in any major city in America; and

WHEREAS, two-thirds of the 11.8 million minimum-wage workers in the United States are women; and

WHEREAS, women make up three-fifths of all adults living in poverty, and 35 percent of all female-headed households are below poverty in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the 2000 Conference of Mayors Report described the minimum wage as the most significant contributing factor to homelessness today; and

WHEREAS, there are 2 million homeless citizens in this country; and

WHEREAS, in its 1998 survey of 30 American cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness; and

WHEREAS, homeless minimum-wage workers have, for no other reason than because they are homeless, become the specific target of hate crimes; and

WHEREAS, their ability to work themselves off the streets of America would remove them as targets of these hate crimes; and

WHEREAS, a universal living wage formula which is indexed to the local cost of housing throughout the United States would ensure that any 40-hour-per-week minimum-wage worker can afford housing; and

WHEREAS, a universal living wage formula can end homelessness for fully one third of America’s homeless citizens and prevent homelessness for all minimum wage workers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women endorses and fully supports the replacement of the federal minimum wage with a universal living wage formula which ensures that a 40 hour a week, minimum wage worker can afford at least an efficiency apartment anywhere in the United States.

RAPE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARE NOT “WORK-RELATED INJURIES”

2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) launched the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign in 1999 to provide women workplaces free of sexual harassment and violence; and

WHEREAS, the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign is an ongoing priority of NOW; and

WHEREAS, the workplace is the scene of one million violent crimes per year where an average of 13,000 rapes per year have occurred between 1987 and 1992; and

WHEREAS, homicide is the most frequent cause of fatal injury of women at work and of those killed, 17% were killed by people known to them, including intimate partners or relatives; and

WHEREAS, three-fourths of employed battered women report being harassed by their batterers in person or by phone while on the job; and

 WHEREAS, employers often fail to provide adequate security and protection from attacks by strangers, intimate partners, or coworkers; sixty-five percent of workers say their companies offer no training on workplace violence and employers often fail to respond to concerns raised by employees about workplace security; and

WHEREAS, some employers are using state Workers’ Compensation laws to avoid liability for their negligence when it results in sexual assault or domestic violence being perpetrated in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, Workers’ Compensation laws were intended to protect employees from work-related injuries or conditions of employment, and rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence are neither work-related injuries nor conditions of employment; and

WHEREAS, many state Workers’ Compensation systems are inadequate because the systems may only compensates victims for medical expenses and lost wages and cannot address the full range of damages suffered by victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and

WHEREAS, being forced to go through the Workers’ Compensation system can bar employees from filing civil lawsuits until their cases are adjudicated by a Workers’ Compensation board, which can take up to seven years in some states; and

WHEREAS, state courts have upheld the misuse of Workers’ Compensation as a shield for employer liability in such circumstances; and

WHEREAS, this is part of a nationwide trend to deny us access to courts through such mechanisms as mandatory arbitration of employment disputes and mandatory mediation in divorce;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW oppose the abuse of Workers’ Compensation law to deny victims of violence in the workplace access to the courts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW educate chapters and encourage them to work with local labor unions, employers’ groups, and anti-violence organizations to end this misuse of Workers’ Compensation law; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW develop and make available to chapters resource materials on this issue, including model legislation such as that proposed in New York State, clarifying that Workers’ Compensation was not intended to act as a shield to employers whose negligence results in workplace violence.

MARCH FOR ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS 2002

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to fighting for the right to economic human rights for all; and

WHEREAS, the United States is the richest country in the world; and

WHEREAS, the United States has the highest rate of poverty of any industrial country; and

WHEREAS, this year is the five-year lifetime limit on federal funding for welfare benefits; and

WHEREAS, women are disproportionately affected by welfare reform;

 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support, and through press releases and statements describe our reasons for supporting, the actions of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW endorse and support the March for Economic Human Rights at the 2002 Winter Olympics on February 8, 2002, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW send members of its leadership to march along with poor and homeless families from across the country.

RECOGNITION OF NOW’S COMMITMENT TO ECONOMIC JUSTICE 2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has repeatedly taken clear stands on the wide range of economic justice issues affecting women, from the cement floor to glass ceiling; and

WHEREAS, NOW has passed resolutions on welfare reform, livable wage, comparable worth, pay equity, and other economic justice issues in the past; and

WHEREAS, NOW has steadfastly and repeatedly taken action on economic justice issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW has already created a poverty and welfare CIC [Conference Implementation Committee]; and

WHEREAS, NOW has begun important work studying how economic issues affect women globally through our participation in and sponsorship of the World March of Women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW make economic justice a core priority issue.

12/00

Moved that NOW name the U.S. Post Office a “Merchant of Shame.”

MOVING MINIMUM WAGE TO A LIVABLE WAGE

2000

WHEREAS, the current minimum wage of $5.15 per hour is woefully inadequate as a livable wage; and

WHEREAS, raising the minimum wage by $1.00 an hour spread over a three-year period, as currently proposed by the Republican majority in Congress, will not help this situation; and

WHEREAS, studies of minimum adequate living standards point to a wage of $9.00 an hour or more as a minimum livable wage; and

WHEREAS, the indexing of social security benefits has been a big factor in raising elderly women out of poverty; and

WHEREAS, a majority of people earning the minimum wage are women who are in need of increased earnings;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW reconfirm the importance of increasing the minimum wage and communicate that to our legislators; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW object to the inadequacy of the proposed $1 increase spread over three years and push for a more substantial increase to achieve a livable wage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work in coalition with other groups to establish a livable indexed wage.

RESOLUTION TO ENDORSE THE MARCH FOR ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS

2000

WHEREAS, increasing numbers of poor people in the United States are being denied their basic human rights to housing, food, education, health care, jobs at living wages, and economic security; and

WHEREAS, the majority of people who live in poverty are women and their children; and

WHEREAS, these conditions will worsen as millions more are cut off from receiving public assistance this year and experience the tragic effects of welfare “reform”; and

WHEREAS, in response to these conditions, the poor in the United States are organizing and fighting for the human right to a full and dignified life and to create a world without poverty; and

 WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is determined to take bold steps to eradicate the poverty and violence that plagues women; and

WHEREAS, both the Republican and Democratic elected officials and parties are responsible for the economic misery experienced by women and children in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign are holding the March for Economic Human Rights to protest these conditions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW endorse the March for Economic Human Rights on July 31 in Philadelphia, the opening day of the Republican National Convention, as a step toward making poverty at home visible; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW also support anti-poverty protest activities around the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in August 2000 as we build toward the World March of Women 2000 to end violence and poverty to be held on October 15, 2000.

RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT9/99

WHEREAS, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO (FLOC), is organizing the migrant farm workers who harvest the crop for the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. of Mt. Olive, North Carolina, and over 2,000 of these workers have signed union authorization cards; and

WHEREAS, the only way these workers can improve their lives and achieve the dignity they deserve is to win union representation and negotiate a fair contract; and

WHEREAS, FLOC’s organizing drive is supported by over 60 organizations such as the national AFL-CIO, the National Council of Churches, the National Farm Worker Ministry, the North Carolina AFL-CIO, the North Carolina Council of Churches, and local organizations and churches across the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, Mt. Olive Co. CEO, William Bryan, as a leader in this industry has the ability to recognize FLOC and bargain a contract to improve the lives (for decent wages and healthier working conditions) of the workers who harvest his crops, but to date he has steadfastly refused to do so; and

WHEREAS, the only recourse left these workers is to appeal to the American peoples’ spirit of fairness and justice,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women supports FLOC in its efforts to organize a union among North Carolina farm workers and farm workers across the U.S., in order to bring a greater measure of justice and dignity to those women, men and children who work in the agricultural industry.  

COMPARABLE WORTH/PAY EQUITY

7/99

WHEREAS, many of the jobs traditionally held by women are paid less than jobs traditionally held by men; and

WHEREAS, many of the jobs traditionally held by women require skills and training equivalent to the skills and training for jobs traditionally held by men; for example, bookkeeping compared with truck driving, or data entry compared with welding; and

WHEREAS,  the AFL-CIO is launching a major campaign to pass federal and state pay equity bills; and

WHEREAS, there have been some attempts in state legislatures to equalize pay with no success;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) undertake a campaign to bring comparable worth/pay equity to the forefront as an economic issue; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center review pending legislation and enter into educational and lobbying efforts to bring an end to this economically unfair situation

WOMEN-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE AND CAMPUS CAMPAIGN DETROIT EDISON MERCHANT OF SHAME

1999

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) abhors and refuses to tolerate sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind; and

WHEREAS, NOW has created a Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign to identify corporations who do not have policies and procedures in place to protect and eliminate workplace abuses; and

WHEREAS, a class action suit against Detroit Edison, Michigan, has been pending since December, 1998; and

WHEREAS, NOW has attempted to address workplace abuses with Detroit Edison to no avail;

WHEREAS, with the deregulation of the industry, the people of Detroit and across the nation now have the opportunity to raise their voices against discrimination.  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that in keeping with the Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign, NOW immediately adds Detroit Edison to the Merchants of Shame list; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the designation of Detroit Edison as a MERCHANT OF SHAME be strategically announced to take full advantage of media coverage and publicity and that this announcement be used to continue to build the overall Women-Friendly Workplace and Campus Campaign.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourages the National Action Center and all chapters to take direct action in addressing workplace abuses to resolve this pending class action suit, and to further develop and implement women-friendly workplace policies that will protect all employees at Detroit Edison and all other corporations; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW monitor Detroit Edison to insure there is no retaliation against those who act on pending complaints or bring forward actions.

THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

1999

WHEREAS, the ongoing “war on drugs and crime” legacy of the Reagan/Bush era has severely and adversely impacted the lives of women and children; and

WHEREAS, the continuing expansion of law enforcement, correctional, and prison systems has proliferated into exploitative employment and capital ventures, hence, creating a viable “industrial complex” similar to the military-industrial complex; and

WHEREAS, the increase of public resources allocated to the expansion of this complex in the name of public safety, estimated at a cost of over $40 billion annually by the year 2000, occurs at the expense of other vital social priorities, including education, health care, and violence prevention; and

WHEREAS, current statistics indicate: 1) over 70% of those in prison are non-violent offenders; 2) people of color, in particular African-Americans, are nearly 10 times as likely to live under some form of criminal justice system control and authority; 3) in the last decade, the female prison population has increased 276%; 4) 78% of women in prison are mothers; 5) the  rate of African-American women under criminal justice control is over twice as much as the increase of white women under criminal justice control or authority; and

WHEREAS, “tough on crime” public debate concerning the issues of safety, law and order, and crime and punishment continues to be largely dominated by patriarchal and capitalist interests invested in expensive, draconian, and divisive policies versus “smart on crime” policies that are humane, cost-effective and demonstrated measures that account for the larger social, economic, and racial factors which exist in society; and

WHEREAS, it is crucial that NOW act to prevent the broader victims’ rights movement from being co-opted by similar right-wing based interests that perpetuate a focus on increased sanctions for offenders at the expense of needed support for the victims of crime, safe alternatives to incarceration, and viable rehabilitative programs;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes that the expansion and privatization of this “prison industrial complex” disproportionately consumes public resources that could be allocated to other social, education, and health needs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW include partners in the prison industrial complex as candidates for the Merchants of Shame initiative; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW identify interested NOW members to compile relevant research and findings related to the impact of prison privatization, “tough on crime” policies, and the budgetary impact of the expanding prison-industrial complex on women and children which identifies opportunities for building coalitions, and promotes “smart on crime” debate and solutions.

EXPANSION OF THE WOMEN-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN

7/98

WHEREAS, on March 8, 1997, the National Organization for Women (NOW) launched the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign, a major effort to end sexual harassment and other workplaces abuses and to pressure designated “Merchants of Shame” to change their policies.   

WHEREAS, the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign has since succeeded in strengthening the rights of women in the workplace and achieved major victories for workers facing race and sex discrimination at large corporations such as Mitsubishi and Smith Barney/Solomon Brothers, and further more has succeeded in persuading the NASD to eliminate its requirements of mandatory arbitration in employment discrimination complaints;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW expand the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign to include:

  • Letter-writing campaigns by every chapter in the country to garner support for and achieve passage of the bill introduced by Congress member Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), and re-introduced by her co-sponsor Congress member Edward J. Markey (D-MA), called the Civil Rights Procedures Protection Act (H.R. 983), which amends seven federal laws to make it clear that employers cannot restrict access to the courts or anti-discrimination agencies through the use of mandatory arbitration as a condition of hire;
  • A call by NOW for all State NOW organizations to review the performance of their state anti-discrimination agencies to see if untenable backlogs exist or cases are dismissed without due process;
  • A call for actions to be held by NOW chapters to protest inappropriately low EEOC staffing levels;
  • And National NOW work with Illinois NOW and Chicago NOW to add Ford Motor Company to the Merchant of Shame list.

 CALL FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

4/98

WHEREAS, sexual harassment is a far reaching and pervasive problem in our country; and

WHEREAS, laws are on the books to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace and educationalinstitutions; and

WHEREAS, the Jones vs. Clinton case and subsequent dismissal has raised this issue to front page news, kitchen table conversations and in every workplace in the nation; and

WHEREAS, NOW has been and continues to work on the elimination of sexual harassment and the strong support for the enactment and implementation of sexual harassment law;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED hat as part of NOW’s Women Friendly Workplace Campaign we call on President Clinton and the Executive Branch, and all members of the Legislative Branch to take the Women Friendly Workplace Elimination of Sexual Harassment Campaign Pledge as well as the following:

– Emergency increase in EEOC funding

– President Clinton immediately issue a Executive Order and, if necessary, change EEOC regulations to strengthen protections for women in the workplace.

– More diverse and representative judicial appointments, and training and education

– Clarification of workers comp law and stopping the use of this legislation to treat rape and sexual assault as a workplace injury

– Call on the corporate community to adopt a pledge to eliminate sexual harassment

– Strengthening state laws

11/97

Moved that the NOW Action Center:

  1. a) launch an investigation into the employment practices of United Airlines,
  2. b) write a letter for Ireland’s signature putting the company on notice that we are investigating their company and requesting a meeting with their officials regarding the practices, and
  3. c) for the Executive Committee to report the results to the February 98 board meeting and make arecommendation for further action.

WOMEN-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN RESOLUTION UPDATE

11/97WHEREAS the National Organization for Women’s Women-Friendly Workplace campaign successfully continues to expose the barriers faced by women in the paid workforce; and

WHEREAS the National Association of Securities Dealers’ (NASD) decision to amend its policy to eliminate the mandatory arbitration of employment discrimination complaints was — at least in part — the result of NOW’s public pressure campaign; and

WHEREAS the NASD’s new policy cannot take effect unless and until the Securities and Exchange Commission approves the policy change; and

WHEREAS NOW activists are anxious to continue to build and expand this campaign.  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that chapter and state activists be encouraged to continue their efforts on this campaign in 1998 by organizing Women-Friendly Workplace actions to celebrate International Women’s Day (March), Mothers’ Day (May) and Women’s Equality Day (August); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW target the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public pressure campaign — including demonstrations at regional SEC offices — to encourage immediate action to end the mandatory arbitration of employment discrimination claims in the securities industry; and

 BE IT URTHER RESOLVED that the NOW Action Center work in coordination with the Young Feminist CIC to develop an action organizing kit for a Women-Friendly Campus component to expand the campaign and raise awareness of — and activism around — workplace and other feminist issues on campuses across the country; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NOW Action Center will provide organizing materials to chapter and state activists to facilitate their ongoing work on this campaign.  

SINGLE PARENT/DISPLACED HOMEMAKER/SEX EQUITY FUNDING

1997

WHEREAS, the way out of poverty for many women is gainful employment; and

WHEREAS, one of the ways many women access employment training is through Carl Perkins Vocational Education Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker/Sex Equity Funding; and

WHEREAS, that funding is in jeopardy as part of a continuing attack on affirmative action and poor women;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) both nationally and locally conduct a membership and media blitz to inform members of this funding issue; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each chapter be supplied with a fact sheet, sample letters, talking points, and resource telephone numbers concerning this issue; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Action Center take immediate action to monitor the committee hearings and political action regarding this issue.

CREATION OF POVERTY/WELFARE CIC

1997

WHEREAS, Congress and President Clinton repealed the safety net, forcing many women and children into deeper poverty in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been working in coalition with  local and national groups to fight back against this backlash; and

WHEREAS, the underlying causes and many net effects of poverty are related to all the issues NOW works on;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create a Poverty/Welfare Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) and appoint its members at the next National Board meeting; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the CIC develop working relationships with other organizations similarly committed to advocating for full employment and universal living incomes as a permanent solution to ending poverty; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the CIC develop an educational campaign including the creation and distribution of relevant materials and activist trainings and because poverty and welfare issues are of immediate and pressing concern to all women, NOW continue to hold these issues at the forefront of all National NOW events and conferences.

WOMEN FRIENDLY WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES

4/97

WHEREAS NOW is committed to continuing to build the momentum of the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign, and

WHEREAS the struggle faced by women at Smith Barney and women at Mitsubishi is emblematic of the difficulties faced by too many women whether in executive offices or on shop floors; and

WHEREAS these plaintiffs need NOW’s support and visibility brought to their struggle.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW chapters and states hold actions in conjunction with Mother’s Day to rekindle attention on the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign specifically focusing on Mitsubishi and Smith Barney.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these actions include but are not limited to informational pickets, letter writing campaigns and the declaration of Mitsubishi as a Merchant of Shame.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW subunits continue to distribute the employer’s and consumer’s pledges in the communities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW explore the usefulness of purchasing Mitsubishi and Smith Barney stock and examine the idea of creating a “Take Stock in Women Campaign” with the idea of activists buying one share of these stocks in order to raise the level of pressure on these publicly traded companies by becoming vocal and active stockholders.  

BE IT RESOLVED that NOW turn up the heat on Mitsubishi and Smith Barney through actions on or around Mother’s Day and we investigate other creative ways to maintain the visibility and pressure on the Merchants of Shame.  

WOMEN-FRIENDLY WORKPLACE CAMPAIGN

2/97

WHEREAS the National Organization for Women (NOW) hears from women across the country who face sexual and racial harassment, sex and race discrimination and sexual assault in their workplaces; and

WHEREAS NOW is committed to ending all oppression including but not limited to discrimination based on gender, race, age, size, marital and family status, disability, pregnancy and sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS NOW also is committed to liveable wages and pay equity for all people; and

WHEREAS homicide is the number one cause of death for women in the workplace; and

 WHEREAS recent cases highlighted by the media demonstrate that the problems of harassment, discrimination and violence affect women in all fields — from assembly lines to boardrooms to classrooms; and

WHEREAS NOW projects aimed at addressing workplace issues — such as the national Mitsubishi campaign and New York City NOW’s Saks Fifth Avenue campaign — have had or continue to have a significant, positive impact; and

WHEREAS despite some progress, an overwhelming number of women continue to face some form of

harassment or discrimination in the marketplace, workforce and government as consumers or clients.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW will kick-off the Women-Friendly Workplace Campaign on March 8, 1997 — International Women’s Day — with media events to be organized by NOW chapter activists across the country to announce the campaign and to introduce the consumers’ pledge and the employers’ pledge; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the purpose of the Women-Friendly Workplace Campaign is to encourage employers — through education, public pressure and consumer education — to take action to provide safe workplaces free of sexual and racial harassment, sexual assault and sex and race discrimination; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW chapter activists be encouraged to organize May Day Actions on May 1-4, 1997 to speak-out against harassment, assault and discrimination in their communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW chapter activists be encouraged to organize Women-Friendly Workplace actions as part of their Women’s Equality Day celebrations on August 23-26, 1997; an

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NOW Action Center establish a Speak-Out Line for women who want to report their experiences with harassment, discrimination and assault in the workplace, marketplace and government to be heard and counted, so that we can document the severity of the problem; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Action Center will develop and distribute Women-Friendly Workplace organizing kits to NOW chapter and state organizations and will publicize the campaign in the next issue of the National NOW Times and on the NOW Web Page.  

NOW OPPOSES STEREOTYPING TOYS

2013

WHEREAS, the inquiry from fast food restaurants employees of “boy toy or girl toy” or, “is (child’s meal)for a boy or for a girl?” not only sets the stage for sexism but furnishes it with stereotypical, gender-specific toys; and

WHEREAS, impressionable youth are exposed to sexism at a very young age; and

WHEREAS, this is counter to the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) stance of eliminating gender discrimination; and

WHEREAS, the inquiry about gender-specific toys can negatively impact our youth by isolating those who do not fall into the category of fast food restaurants’ gender stereotype

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will support an action campaign to eliminate the request of gender-specific toys at fast food restaurants’ by petition to fast food restaurants and a social media campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW opposes the stereotyping of gender- specific toys for our youth.

USING TITLE IX ACTION NETWORKS TO HELP END SEX DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION

2011

WHEREAS, the 1972 Title IX law prohibiting sex discrimination in education programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance has helped advance educational equality, but overt and subtle sex­based inequalities persist and must be eliminated by systematic and vigorous implementation of Title IX and related laws; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of support for full implementation of Title IX and related governmental actions to advance gender equality in and through education to build a feminist future and to end sex discrimination and related sex segregation and sex stereotyping; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has been reducing its efforts to end sex discrimination by proposing to eliminate the 1974 Women’s Educational Equity Act and the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering program; and

WHEREAS, despite our requests, the Obama administration has not rescinded the 2006 Bush administration Department of Education Title IX regulation that allows public K-12 non­vocational schools to establish single-sex schools and classes without the adequate protections against sex discrimination included in the 1975 Title IX regulations used by other federal agencies; and

WHEREAS, educators and students are often not aware of Title IX protections against sex discrimination, such as: 1) the Office for Civil Rights guidance on how Title IX can be used to protect students from sexual harassment and bullying related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (real and perceived) and 2) the Title IX regulations requiring each recipient organization to designate “at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out Title IX responsibilities”;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) reassert its 2002 position for the government “to enhance rather than weaken the Title IX regulations and the enforcement of Title IX’s promise of education equality,” which includes maintaining, expanding, and updating support for federal programs and activities, such as the Women’s Educational Equity Act, the Civil Rights Act Title IV, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Gender Equity programs, and programs to increase gender equality in career and technical education in the Departments of Education and Labor; and

BE IT FURTHER  RESOLVED, that NOW support the establishment of Title IX Action Networks at the national, state and local levels, which use Title IX activists to work with the Title IX coordinators in order to continue the enhancement of Title IX implementation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the Obama administration rescind the 2006 Department of Education Title IX regulation that weakens prohibitions against discriminatory sex segregation in publicly-supported non-vocational K-12 schools.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN U.S. SCHOOLS 2005

WHEREAS, over 340,000 students in grades K through 12 in the public schools of 22 states are paddled annually, and of this number, it is estimated that 75,000 are females; and

WHEREAS, women in high school may be subject to school paddlings even after having attained the age of legal adulthood; and

WHEREAS, the great majority of school corporal punishment is designated and administered by male administrators and teachers; and

WHEREAS, school paddling has an ample history of inflicting severe bruising, intense and/or long-lasting pain and, in some cases, debilitating injury; and

WHEREAS, the availability of civil action over injurious school corporal punishment is increasingly impeded by states’ passage of specialized “teacher protection” immunity laws; and

WHEREAS, the modern-day prospect of unwanted, widespread, prurient attention to victims via corporal punishment-themed adult websites may inhibit parents from seeking redress for their injured child for fear of the publicity such complaints could generate; and

WHEREAS, corporal punishment legitimizes violence and aggression as a method of problem solving by precisely those adults the student is expected to emulate, thus encouraging his/her own use of or submission to violence and aggression; and

WHEREAS, in the overwhelming majority of cases, battering husbands and battered wives were routinely exposed to corporal punishment when they were children, either receiving it, witnessing it or both; and

WHEREAS, the legitimacy of principals spanking students is at odds with prevailing sexual harassment codes, which bar employers from spanking employees; and

WHEREAS, school paddling violates Title IX insofar as girls and boys are impacted differently, because, unlike boys, girls would have to reveal intimate personal information in order to avoid the chance of this punishment being unfairly compounded by menstrual discomfort; and

WHEREAS, corporal punishment carries unique psychological hazards since it makes the body a direct transmitter of condemnation; and

WHEREAS, the physical assault of persons incapable of protecting themselves is antithetical to feminist and democratic values;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) oppose the use of corporal punishment in U.S. schools and all other institutions, public and private, where children are cared for and educated

TITLE IX: THE PLAYING FIELD ISN’T LEVEL YET 2002

WHEREAS, June 23, 2002, marks the 30th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibiting sex discrimination in education; and

WHEREAS, girls and women have made great strides in achieving educational equality since the enactment of Title IX; and  

WHEREAS, despite these gains, girls and women continue to face inequality at all levels of education as detailed in the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education’s report, “Title IX at 30: Report Card on Gender Equity;” and

WHEREAS, women’s and girls’ athletics programs continue to receive fewer resources than men’s and boys’; vocational and technical programs continue to be highly sex-segregated and to steer students into sex-stereotyped occupations (e.g., girls to cosmetology, boys to computer science); sexual harassment continues at colleges, high schools, middle schools and even elementary schools; and women and girls of color as well as women and girls with disabilities continue to face multiple barriers to equality in their schools, colleges and universities; and

WHEREAS, because private enforcement of Title IX is prohibitively expensive, targets of discrimination must, as a practical matter, rely on the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to investigate and take legal action against schools that discriminate; and

WHEREAS, the 10 OCR regions around the country have shown significant disparity in their levels of Title IX enforcement; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has already indicated its hostility to Title IX by pushing for a return to sex-segregated schools with the justification that boys can’t concentrate if girls are in the room and girls can’t become leaders in coeducational settings, and has emboldened right-wing opponents of Title IX to intensify their pressure to dismantle the gains we have made for educational equality;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls on the Bush administration, in particular the Department of Education, to stop its assault on Title IX, and to enhance rather than weaken the Title IX regulations and the enforcement of Title IX’s promise of educational equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call on OCR to step up enforcement of Title IX in each of its regional offices; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW chapter and state activists are encouraged to call their local school boards asking for the name of the school board’s chief Title IX enforcement officer as well as copies of Title IX compliance reports, and to file complaints with OCR if the reports show violations of Title IX; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center devote a prominent section on its web site to Title IX, including information such as how to file a Title IX complaint with OCR, Title IX fact sheets, links to research and other resources, and action ideas for chapters and states.

TITLE IX – STANDING UP TO THE BACKLASH 1999

WHEREAS, Title IX was passed by Congress in 1972 prohibiting sex discrimination in any educational program or activity at any educational institution that is a recipient of federal funds; and

WHEREAS, Title IX prohibits all forms of sex discrimination including sexual harassment, discrimination in admissions and counseling, discrimination against married or pregnant students, etc.; and

WHEREAS, in 1971, only 1 in 27 girls participated in high school sports and, as a result of Title IX in 1998, 1 in 3 girls participated in high school sports (boys’ participation has remained constant at 1 in 2); and

WHEREAS, there is a direct connection between Title IX and the gold medal success of the USA women’s teams at the most recent Olympic games, the success of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Women’s World Cup Soccer; and

WHEREAS, California NOW filed suit against the 19-campus California State University system in 1993, resulting in a five year consent decree increasing athletic opportunities for women, and filed Title IX complaints against the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles in December 1998: and

WHEREAS, a few schools have decided to drop a small number of men’s teams instead of examining the inflated budgets of the men’s basketball and football teams (including such expenses as hotel rooms the night before home games); and

WHEREAS, there is now an organized effort to challenge the implementation of Title IX, including the Stephen Neal, et al. v California State University lawsuit brought because the university put a cap on the men’s wrestling team, eliminating the opportunity of seven male participants. This lawsuit seeks to remove prong one, “proportionality”, from the three-prong test used by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to measure effective accommodation of interests and abilities, the “exclusion of revenue-generating sports from a calculus of comparative gender opportunities,” and the allowing of private donations earmarked for a particular sport;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) sign on to an amicus brief prepared by the National Women’s Law Center opposing the preliminary injunction granted on February 22, 1999; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW challenges this backlash against Title IX with:

1) INFORMATION:  such as an article in the National NOW Times and briefing materials in a chapter mailing; and

2) ACTION:  such as the Title IX project approved by the NOW Board in February 1999; and

3)  ACTION:  such as Title IX projects by local chapters and state reviewing Title IX compliance at the high school and community college level; and

4) ACTION:  such as commending Allstate Insurance for its ads run before and during Women’s World Cup Soccer showing a multi-cultural group of girls joyfully competing in the sport – affirming that girls’ sports’ participation is important; and  

5) ACTION:  such as challenging the unequal pay that will be received by the U.S. women’s soccer team.  If the U.S. wins, each woman will get a $12,500 bonus from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) – as compared to $380,000 that would have gone to the men, had they won last summer.  USSF Secretary General Hank Steinbrecher blames the FIFA – soccer’s world governing body – for passing through bonus money for men but not for women.

SINGLE PARENT/DISPLACED HOMEMAKER/SEX EQUITY FUNDING 1997

WHEREAS, the way out of poverty for many women is gainful employment; and

WHEREAS, one of the ways many women access employment training is through Carl Perkins Vocational Education Single Parent/Displaced Homemaker/Sex Equity Funding; and

WHEREAS, that funding is in jeopardy as part of a continuing attack on affirmative action and poor women;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) both nationally and locally conduct a membership and media blitz to inform members of this funding issue; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each chapter be supplied with a fact sheet, sample letters, talking points, and resource telephone numbers concerning this issue; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Action Center take immediate action to monitor the committee hearings and political action regarding this issue.

WOMEN FRIENDLY CAMPUSES 1997

WHEREAS, harassment and discrimination are pervasive at educational institutions; and

WHEREAS, students’ workplaces are on educational campuses; and

WHEREAS, these students will later enter the workforce;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women initiate a nationwide Women Friendly Campuses Campaign complementary to the Women Friendly Workplace Campaign; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that National Organization for Women (NOW) chapters be encouraged to facilitate consciousness raising to support, mentor, and help students take action to create women friendly schools and campuses for all students.

 RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT PASSAGE OF THE CONGRESSIONAL JOINT RESOLUTIONS TO REPEAL THE ARBITRARY RATIFICATION DEADLINES FOR THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT

07/2018

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

RATIFY THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: 2017-2018 NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAM RESOLUTION 2017

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) National Action Program (NA Program) includes a campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (ERA); and

WHEREAS, the text of the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex;” and

WHEREAS, this campaign has mobilized activists online and on the ground to support both the three-state and start-over strategies as well as state-level ERAs; and

WHEREAS, Nevada became the 36th State to ratify the ERA, underscoring growing momentum to be capitalized on along the road to constitutional gender equity; and

WHEREAS, ratification efforts continue in ERA target states such as Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina, and Florida, and state-level ERA legislation is moving forward in Maine, Louisiana, and Delaware; and  

WHEREAS, 72% of individuals think that the ERA is already an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and many feminist activists are not aware of efforts to ratify the ERA; and

WHEREAS, the continuation of ERA advocacy relies on the unification of feminist activists of diverse social and cultural identities: sex, age, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, nationality, gender, and other axes of identity;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will include in its 2017-18 NA Program the continuation of its campaign to “Ratify the ERA;” and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign will include working with state NOW organizations and other allied organizations in their efforts to ratify the national ERA and/or to pass a state-level ERA; mobilizing for passage of legislation in Congress supportive of the three-state and start-over strategies; and the use of digital advocacy such as NOW’s “Visions for Equality” awareness-raising microsite to uplift storytelling and increase the number of younger online activists who know the status of the national ERA and support its ratification; and

BE IT  FURTHER RESOLVED, NOW will promote diverse and intersectional interpretations of constitutional equality that reflect the many lived experiences of those of diverse social and cultural identities: age, race, class, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion, ability, nationality, gender, and other axes of identity in the United States; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urges the NOW PAC and state and local NOW PACs to recruit, endorse, and work to elect progressive feminist candidates, especially women of color, who will make it a top priority to address the ratification of the ERA.

RESOLUTION TO ENDORSE CITIES FOR CEDAW CAMPAIGN 2017

WHEREAS, because Women’s Rights are Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) is a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world which obligates those countries that have ratified or acceded to it to take “all appropriate measures” to ensure the full development and advancement of women in all spheres—political participation, education, employment, health care, housing, economic, personal and community safety, social, legal, marriage and family relations; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has passed numerous Resolutions of support calling for the U.S. government to Ratify CEDAW, outlined NOW member campaigns and calls to action in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, but the United States (U.S.) has neither ratified nor acceded to CEDAW  – one of only 4 nations out of 193 – and appears very unlikely to do so; and

WHEREAS, diverse feminist leadership in the United States led by the nearly 200 organizational-member CEDAW Task Force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Cities for CEDAW Campaign have determined that a U.S. Cities strategy to pass Ordinances at local levels with grassroots campaigns results in the implementation of comprehensive women’s human rights contained in CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, more than 25 communities across the U.S. have passed Ordinances or Resolutions as Cities for CEDAW, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, Louisville, Honolulu, Miami-Dade County, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati; plus more than 40 cities located in such diverse states such as North Carolina, Maine, New York, Illinois and Montana are in the process of exploring becoming a City for CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, becoming a City for CEDAW requires 1) a gender analysis of city departments and operations (such as policies, programs and budgets) that address barriers to the full equality for women and girls, 2) an oversight body to monitor the implementation of a local CEDAW Ordinance and 3) funding to support the implementation of the principles of CEDAW – assuring that our RIGHTS are REAL; and

WHEREAS, support of the Cities for CEDAW Campaign fully incorporates a women’s human rights framework and gender equality will complement and strengthen the campaigns for U.S. Constitutional Equality with the Ratification of an Equal Rights Amendment; and

WHEREAS, because NOW maintains Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) consultative status with the United Nations, supports a NOW Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Task Force, ensuring exchanges of local and global strategies and best practices will strengthen Cities for CEDAW implementation;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW endorse the Cities for CEDAW Campaign which is a grassroots movement joined by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/New York, the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, the Women’s InterCultural Network, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors whose 2014 Resolution calls for support of 100 Cities to adopt Ordinances for CEDAW; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,  that NOW encourage NOW chapters to explore Cities for CEDAW campaigns in their communities or support existing Cities for CEDAW Ordinances/Resolutions using the existing toolkit and other resources developed by the Cities for CEDAW Campaign (www.citiesforcedaw.org); and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Task Force work in collaboration with the Action Center and state and chapter NOW leadership to implement this Resolution.

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: VISIONS FOR EQUALITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

2016

WHEREAS, ninety-three years after the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first introduced in Congress, women and gender minorities are still not granted equal rights in the United States constitution. Although existing laws attempt to protect all people from discrimination, there is no substitute to the comprehensive rights that would be guaranteed by the ERA; and

WHEREAS, Until we achieve ERA ratification, women and gender minorities across all social and cultural backgrounds will be forced to continue fighting long, burdensome political and legal battles to ensure that their rights are legally equal to the rights automatically held by cis-gender men, especially those who are white, heterosexual and abled; and

WHEREAS, reviving the fight for the ERA relies on the unification of feminist activists of diverse social and cultural identities: age, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, ability, nationality, gender, and other axes of identity; and

WHEREAS, the fight for constitutional equality is not one size-fits-all, and community focused activism is critical to unifying activists in the push for ratification in state legislatures; and

WHEREAS, because the U.S. Senate has passed the military draft for women, we should use that as leverage to demand the ERA;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) will include in its 2016-17 Strategic Action Program the creation of an awareness campaign to expand the national conversation about constitutional equality and increase the number of people–particularly young people– who know the status of the national ERA and support its ratification; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that through this awareness campaign, NOW will promote diverse and intersectional interpretations of constitutional equality that reflect the many lived experiences of gender minorities in the United States; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the 2016-2017 Strategic Action Program will pursue ERA ratification through activism at the national level and in the states, with both  congressional resolution approaches and with both a start-over strategy and with a three-state strategy focus; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED,  that a key goal of NOW’s awareness campaign will be to inspire feminist activists to ultimately push for ratification in state legislatures of the federal ERA and promote the development of state-level ERAs.

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT RESOLUTION 2014

3/14

WHEREAS, Code Pink and San Francisco NOW are participating in the ERA Walk Across the United States by Katrina’s Dream activist Helene de Boissiere, whopledges to walk from the Golden Gate Bridge across the span of the United States on foot, with the goal of calling an ERA protest, and personally occupying the White House fence by March 8, 2015, until the ERA becomes part of the United States Constitution,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW hereby endorses the Equal Rights Amendment related public awareness efforts of Katrina’s Dream activist Helene de Boissiere in her ERA walk, and the ERA protests at the White House in Washington, DC on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2015.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we recommend that the NOW membership and the state and local chapters consider participating in some portion of either the walk or ERA protest at the White House on International Women’s Day, March 2, 2015.

ERA RESOLUTION 2013

WHEREAS, constitutional equality for women is a core issue for the National Organization for Women (NOW) and discrimination based on sex is a violation of human rights; and

WHERE AS, NOW is supporting both the 3-state strategy and a Congressional strategy to begin anew on an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); and

WHEREAS, Congressional leaders for women’s equality believe it is necessary to support both strategies; and

WHEREAS, both methods provide unique advantages; and

WHEREAS, NOW continues to support ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, The Women’s Treaty) by the U.S. Senate;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirms that we continue to work on several strategies that educate the public about the need to win constitutional equality for women; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW create an “ERA Educate to Advocate Campaign” and actively pursue opportunities to obtain media attention to bring the movement to ratify the ERA and CEDAW (The Women’s Treaty) into the national conversation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we recommend to the NOW/PAC and the state and local PACs that they score candidates on their support for an ERA on the 3-state strategy, a Congressional strategy to begin anew on an Equal Rights Amendment, and CEDAW (The Women’s Treaty), in considering whether or not to endorse a political candidate.

REMOVING THE TIME LIMIT FROM THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT 2012

WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ensures that women will have equal rights under the U.S. Constitution, and the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports the advancement of women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, the ERA would need only three more states for ratification, and strong ERA advocacy organizations have arisen in the 15 states yet to ratify; and

WHEREAS, legal opinions support the conclusion that “the Constitution imposes no time limit for ratification of amendments,” and passage of the Madison Amendment 203 years after it was first proposed supports the determination that Congress can choose any time frame for deciding amendments; and

WHEREAS, Senator Ben Cardin and Representative Tammy Baldwin have introduced resolutions in Congress — SJ Res. 39 and HJ Res. 47 — to remove the time limit for the ratification of the ERA; and

WHEREAS, NOW has repeatedly called for the ratification of the ERA;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW call upon all members of the U.S. House and Senate to co-sponsor, support, and pass into law SJ Res. 39 and HJ Res. 47 so the ratification of the ERA shall be achieved upon the affirmative vote of three states; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW mobilize all of its chapters and provide non-monetary resources to support these efforts, including grassroots and legislative strategies in support of SJ Res. 39 and HJ Res. 47 and rapid ratification of the ERA.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that nothing in this resolution rescinds the final resolved clause of the resolutiontitled “Equal

Rights Amendment” adopted at the 2009 National NOW Conference, which states “BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW pursue grassroots and legislative strategies in support of both the three-state and the 38-state strategies.”

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT 2009            

WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) ensures that women will have equal rights under the Constitution, and the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports the advancement of women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, the 2008 election resulted in the historic victory of a president who represents the advancement of all Americans; and

WHEREAS, the only permanent right women explicitly have in the Constitution is the right to vote, and rights not supported by the Constitution can be undermined in legislatures and courts, where women are nderrepresented; and

WHEREAS, women still have far to go to achieve equality under the law and have not achieved equal pay for equal work, which would be guaranteed by the ERA; and

WHEREAS, the ERA, introduced in 1972, needs only three more states for passage, and strong ERA advocacy organizations have arisen in the 15 states yet to ratify; and

WHEREAS, legal opinions support the conclusion that “the Constitution imposes no time limit for ratification of amendments,” and passage of the Madison Amendment 203 years after it was first proposed supports the determination that Congress can choose any time frame for deciding amendments; and

WHEREAS, a strong campaign to pass the ERA by either strategy can reinvigorate NOW and its state chapters, positively impacting other efforts for women’s rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW take advantage of this moment in history to support strategies to ratify the ERA; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW mobilize all of its chapters and provide non-monetary resources to support these efforts, such as inclusion in newsletters, press releases, chapter education projects, and the like; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW pursue grassroots and legislative strategies in support of both the three-state and the 38-state strategies.

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN AND NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO RATIFY CEDAW 2009

WHEREAS, as of April 26, 2009, 186 countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the international treaty calling for basic human rights for women; and

WHEREAS, Qatar ratified CEDAW in April 2009 without any reservations to the treaty, leaving only seven nations (including the United States, Iran, Sudan and Somalia) that have failed to ratify it; and

WHEREAS, nations that ratify this treaty commit themselves to take concrete action to improve the status of women and end discrimination against them; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW was favorably voted out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee twice-once in 1994 and once in 2002-with 96 cities, counties, and states in the U.S. passing resolutions calling on the Senate to ratify CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, the NOW Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Ad Hoc Committee has identified CEDAW as long overdue for ratification by the U.S. Senate; and

WHEREAS, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced a resolution in January 2009 with 121 co-sponsors, urging immediate Senate action on the treaty; and

WHEREAS, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Foreign Relations subcommittee overseeing global women’s issues, has announced that she will lead an effort seeking ratification of CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have long been advocates for ratifying CEDAW, and President Obama supports ratification of CEDAW;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW vigorously advocate for ratification of CEDAW without the addition of harmful reservations, understandings and declarations (RUDs); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call on the Justice Department to reject the RUDs previously under consideration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW launch a national campaign with chapters and activists throughout the country taking action to urge their U.S. Senators to ratify a “clean” version of CEDAW and urge the Obama Administration to play a leadership role in getting the Senate to do so; and                                                                                                                                 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign include use of newer forms of technology to expand the reach of our message through the media and the blogosphere; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW declare March 8, 2010, a national day of action and work with the Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Ad Hoc Committee to organize rallies in various cities across the country to put pressure on the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW, and activists will be called on to lobby their U.S. Senators urging them to push for immediate ratification of CEDAW.

REVISION TO CONSTITUTIONAL EQUALITY AMENDMENT

9/04

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) proposed “working draft” language for a Constitutional Equality Amendment (CEA) in 1995; and

WHEREAS, we want to protect women’s rights to make a full range of reproductive choices,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the wording of the working draft language of CEA, Section 3 be amended to include the words “continuation or” so that Section 3 reads, “This article prohibits pregnancy discrimination and guarantees the absolute right of a woman to make her own reproductive decisions including the continuation or termination of pregnancy.”

REVISION TO CONSTITUTIONAL EQUALITY AMENDMENT

1/03

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) proposed the Constitutional Equality Amendment (CEA) in 1995; and

WHEREAS, we want to protect women’s rights to have or not have children,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we revise the wording of CEA, Section 3 to include the words “continuation or” so that Section 3 reads, “This article prohibits pregnancy discrimination and guarantees the absolute right of a woman to make her own reproductive decisions including the continuation or termination of pregnancy.”

RATIFICATION OF CEDAW TREATY AND PROMOTION OF LOCAL CEDAWS

2002

WHEREAS, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is the only international agreement that comprehensively addresses the full equality of women in all areas; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 but still has not been ratified by the United States because the Senate has failed to act, leaving this country alone in this position among industrialized countries and in the company of Afghanistan, Iran, and Somalia; and

WHEREAS, ratification of CEDAW and full implementation of its principles without any limiting “reservations, declarations and understandings” will improve the economic status of women, make progress toward the elimination of violence against women, and advance the equal treatment of women in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the city of San Francisco has adopted an ordinance patterned after CEDAW that commits the city to “work toward integrating gender equity and human rights principles into all of its operations, including policy, program and budgetary decision-making,” and similar efforts are underway in other cities; and

WHEREAS, the composition of the U. S. Senate Foreign Relations committee has changed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue to urge the United States Senate to immediately act to ratify CEDAW and implement its principles without limiting reservations, declarations, and understandings; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW chapters be urged to renew efforts to schedule meetings with their senators while they are in their home states to encourage those senators to support ratification of CEDAW; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW take additional steps to encourage chapter efforts to promote the enactment of local CEDAW-type ordinances and that the National Action Center make information about local CEDAWs available to interested chapters.

12/00

Moved “that NOW focus globally on the immediate passage of CEDAW and meet immediately with Department of State officials to ensure a future administration cannot reverse a recommendation to approve CEDAW; that NOW implement an all-out attempt to pass CEDAW in the Senate during the period January 4, 2001 – January 20, 2001 or, if not possible, during the 2001-2003 session; and further that NOW get the word out to all of its chapters to target their Senators and Democratic leadership (Senator Daschle, Senator Reid of Nevada and Senator Biden).”

TOWARD CONSTITUTIONAL EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS 2000

WHEREAS, NOW has as its major purpose the commitment to equality for women; and

WHEREAS, we have an increasing awareness of the globalization and interconnection of women world-wide and their struggles for equality; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) establishes a worldwide commitment to combat discrimination against women and girls; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW obligates those countries that ratify it to take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women and girls in the wide-ranging spheres of politics, education, employment, and economics; social, legal, marital, and family relations; and health care, specifically reproductive health care; and

 WHEREAS, 165 countries of the world have ratified CEDAW and the U.S. is the only remaining industrial nation that has not ratified it along with a small minority of countries including Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia; and

WHEREAS, Jesse Helms, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has single-handily blocked consideration and action on CEDAW in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and

WHEREAS, the ratification of a treaty requires only a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate and the President’s signature; and

WHEREAS, under the U.S. system of government, a treaty is stronger legally in federal court than an act of Congress and a level just under the U.S. Constitution itself; and

WHEREAS, U.S. ratification would not only help women and girls in this country, but also cause other countries to take CEDAW and its implementation more seriously; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW is currently burdened with reservations, declarations and understandings (RDUs) which substantially weaken its effectiveness.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit to a strategy toward ratification of CEDAW without any reservations, declarations or understandings (RDUs) as a vehicle to improve the status of women and girls legally in the U.S.; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this project be built as a massive public education campaign on the ongoing need for constitutional equality; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW launch this effort by adding the ratification of CEDAW, with no reservations, declarations and understandings (RDUs) as a major goal of the World March of Women to be held in Washington, DC on October 15, 2000; thus showing the need for equality for women in the United States and globally.

ACHIEVE THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT FOR ALL UNITED STATES WOMEN

2000

WHEREAS, the United States Constitution still fails to guarantee equal rights and equal justice to female citizens, to their continuing serious detriment, just because they are women, not men: and

WHEREAS, the “classic” Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) (“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”), because it has already overcome the arduous difficulties of being passed by both houses of Congress and achieving ratification by 35 of the required 38 states, provides the best, and perhaps only, opportunity to correct that wrong and achieve that vital guarantee soon; and

WHEREAS, work for and achievement of that bedrock constitutional guarantee for women will neither conflict with, nor handicap, efforts toward other feminist goals such as reproductive rights and rights based on sexual orientation and race/color/ethnicity, and the ERA will in fact protect female members of every group from any laws and/or court decisions that discriminate against them relative to male members of the same group;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support efforts to achieve ratification of a constitutional equal rights amendment.

NATIONAL WOMEN’S EQUALITY ACT

7/98

WHEREAS, the 1848 Declaration of Human Sentiments included “we insist that women have all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States;” and

WHEREAS, women of today still have not gained full political, legal, economic, social and educational  equality; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is on record as supporting a Constitutional Equality Amendment; and

WHEREAS, the principle of equality for women is an integral component of the NOW Vision Summit, 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW participate in the exploration, discussion and possible drafting of a federal statute guaranteeing women full equality under the law, such as the National Women’s Equality Act of the 21st Century.

RATIFICATION OF CEDAW TREATY 1997

WHEREAS, the people and the government of the U.S. support the promotion and protection of human rights, and women’s rights should not be separated or different from men’s; and

WHEREAS, President Clinton has made ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” (CEDAW) a top priority; and

WHEREAS, upon ratification by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. would gain a seat on this U.N. committee;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women undertake a campaign through state and local Chapters to press for this treaty to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.   

2/97

Moved that the language of the priority issue “Equal Rights Amendment” be replaced with the terms “Constitutional Equality.”

TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE GULF COAST DISASTER

2010

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast oil spill has already had cataclysmic economic, environmental and public health impacts; and

WHEREAS, British Petroleum (BP), by acknowledgement of responsibility for this cataclysm, has pledged to create a fund of $20 billion to be used to mitigate this disaster; and

WHEREAS, insufficient information has beemade public detailing the terms and conditions for disbursement of these funds, leaving those affected by the disaster unsure which, if any, public health impacts, economic impacts, or environmental impacts will qualify for financial remuneration or by what criteria eligibility will be determined; and

WHEREAS, lawmakers, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, have called for active surveillance of Gulf Coast recovery workers’ health, and a number of cleanup responders on the Gulf Coast have been reporting vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness – complaints that are eerily reminiscent of illnesses reported by first responders in the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks; and

WHEREAS, many small and woman-owned businesses in the Gulf Coast region may need professional assistance in preparing and presenting claims for compensation from the BP oil spill fund; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that the claims process and demographic information about the claimants and awardees of compensation from the fund be made publicly available, particularly as pertains to the health and status of women in the Gulf area;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call upon all agencies of the federal government and the administrator of the BP oil spill fund to make publicly available demographic information-including breakdowns by gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location, and all other categories-relevant to the transparency and accountability of the process for remediation and remuneration from the effects of the oil spill; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demand that all appropriate agencies of the federal government and BP undertake active surveillance of the effects of the oil spill; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that in order to ameliorate the harm caused by the oil spill, NOW demand that these agencies and BP make this information available to the public

10/14

HONOR OUR FOREMOTHERS MEMORIAL

WHEREAS, constitutional equality for women is a core issue for the National Organization for Women (NOW) and discrimination based on sex is a violation of human rights; and

WHEREAS, the suffrage movement was the largest nonviolent social revolution in the United States, creating the greatest expansion of voting rights in our nation’s history; and

WHEREAS, the suffragists of the National Woman’s Party led by Alice Paul pioneered the activist tactics used by the civil rights movement, tactics that are as effective today as they were then; and

WHEREAS, in 1917 until 1919 over two hundred women from twenty-six states were arrested for standing up for the right to vote and were imprisoned in the District of Columbia Jail and its prison in Lorton, Virginia, where they were deliberately subjected to violence by prison guards, forcibly handled, pushed and thrown into cold, unsanitary and rat-infested cells, and brutally force-fed rotting food; and

WHEREAS, the news of their mistreatment aroused the public’s awareness and support for the women’s cause and proved to be a “turning point” in the struggle for the right to vote through the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, won in 1920 after a 72-year struggle; and

WHEREAS, there is no national memorial to mark this important struggle and achievement, which is largely untold and untaught, and

WHEREAS, the suffragists are role models of leadership in the continuing quest for equality, and their story can provide much needed inspiration to our young activists today to make us more effective in the quest for women’s equality; and

WHEREAS, this struggle must not be lost to memory because it is needed for today’s women’s fight to retain and gain rights; and

WHEREAS, The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association (TPSMA) – a nonprofit group dedicated to honoring the lives of the suffragists who put their lives on the lines so American women could vote – is creating a memorial to the strength of the suffragists and the significance of their struggle located at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, Va., near the site where most of the women were imprisoned. The purpose of the memorial is to educate, inspire and empower future generations; and

WHEREAS, Virginia NOW is a partner of the TPSMA and supports its effort through raising awareness, supporting membership and fundraising, and other ways;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support the creation of this national memorial through publicity in all its various media, including website and blog posts and other appropriate means at its disposal; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW inform its members and chapters about the efforts to create this national memorial to women’s rights and suffrage and encourage its members and chapters to be become knowledgeable about the history and effort and become involved as appropriate.

HONORING ELOUISE PEPION COBELL (BLACKFEET), A LEADER FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL

9/11

WHEREAS Elouise Pepion Cobell, Blackfeet Nation leader, banker, rancher and the lead plaintiff in Cobell v Salazar, led the courageous and successful class action lawsuit initiated in 1996 against the U.S. government about individual Indian land held in trust by the federal government.  This landmark lawsuit held the federal government accountable for (a) mismanaging trust funds/assets, (b) improperly accounting for these funds, and (c) mismanaging trust land/assets including money collected from farming and grazing leases, timber sales, mining, and oil and gas production from land owned by American Indians/Alaska Natives (www.IndianTrust.org); and

WHEREAS Elouise Pepion Cobell’s leadership and strength over these long 15 years provided – along with organized support from Indian country and other allies – the vision and perseverance for victory in the $3.4 billion Indian Trust Settlement benefitting an estimated 500,000 American Indians; and

WHEREAS U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana have recently introduced legislation calling for a Congressional Gold Medal honoring Elouise Pepion Cobell “for her outstanding and enduring contributions to American Indians, Alaskan Natives and the American people for her tireless pursuit of justice” achieved through the results of Cobell v Salazar Settlement; and

WHEREAS the historic legal victory has both a direct positive economic impact for indigenous women in particular and Indian Country in general, and advances economic justice since U.S. federal Indian policies prevent American Indians from using their lands held in trust as collateral; and

WHEREAS the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee has begun an initiative to increase the participation of indigenous women in the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting and within NOW through creation of a Native American Women’s Task Force;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW congratulate and honor Elouise Pepion Cobell for her visionary and dedicated leadership for the Indian Trust Lawsuit and Settlement as well as for her extensive community development work for the Blackfeet Nation and Indian Country which serve as a model of social justice and sustainable community development everywhere; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW endorse the U.S. Senators Baucus & Tester’s call for a Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, for Elouise Pepion Cobell and urge its immediate passage by communicating this call to action to NOW members, allied organizations and networks through the use of all of our communications tools; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW prioritize the Native American’s Women’s Project of the Global Feminist Strategies & Issues Committee which will significantly involve diverse American Indian and Alaska Native women at the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings, programs and deliberations as well as within NOW.

6/09

Moved that “the Board thank Kim Gandy for her many years of service to NOW and the women of this country and the world.

RESOLUTION HONORING LINDA BERG

10/07

WHEREAS,  Linda Berg, NOW’s Political Director, has served the NOW PACs with energy and grace for 15 years, tirelessly providing NOW leaders advice and encouragement about all things political; and

WHEREAS, under Linda’s leadership, the Political Institute offered each year at National NOW conferences has trained activists from all over the country on such issues as:

  • PAC rules;
  • What NOW chapters may and may not do around federal and state elections;
  • Encouraging feminists to run for office;
  • Campaign management;
  • Candidate questionnaire development; and
  • The art of interviewing candidates and making endorsements; and

WHEREAS, under Linda’s leadership, targeted electoral campaigns have led to gains for women around the country, the most recent examples being the 2006 elections which led to Nancy Pelosi becoming the first woman Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National NOW Board hereby expresses its deep gratitude to Linda for her dedication to the National Organization for Women and the NOW PACs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board wishes Linda well as she moves on to new challenges and opportunities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Board looks forward to continuing to work with Linda, albeit in a different capacity, to advance the women’s movement in the years to come.   

RESOLUTION HONORING BARBARA HAYS

10/07

WHEREAS, Barbara Hays served on the NOW staff for more than twenty years, serving most recently as Directorof State and Chapter Development and as Director of Organizational Development; and

WHEREAS, in her work on the NOW staff, Barbara cheerfully provided assistance to our state and chapter leaders, encouraging their work to bring NOW’s message to local communities throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, Barbara worked tirelessly to develop and provide leadership training programs and materials that have proved useful to thousands of our state and chapter leaders; and

WHEREAS, as a part of NOW’s field team, Barbara worked hard on the mobilization of numerous marches and actions that turned out millions of people to pressure the U.S. government and policymakers on many of NOW’s issues;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National NOW Board hereby expresses its deep gratitude to Barbara Hays for her dedication to the National Organization for Women and all its state and chapter organizations; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Board wishes Barbara well as she takes on new challenges and opportunities.  

2/02

The NOW Board commends Ronnie Podolefsky for her stellar work on behalf of working women in her defense of JoDee Flockhart in Flockhart v. IBP. The NOW Board commends Roxanne Conlin for her stellar work on behalf of working women in her defense of JoDee Flockhart in Flockhart v. IBP. Moved that JoDee Flockhart be considered for a Woman of Courage award.

RESOLUTION IN HONOR OF PATRICIA IRELAND

6/01

WHEREAS, Patricia Ireland has selflessly served NOW as an activist for more than twenty years; and

WHEREAS, Patricia will retire this summer after 14 years as a national officer – more than 10 of those as NOW’s President; and

WHEREAS, during Patricia’s tenure NOW has been on the cutting edge of feminist issues and politics, from the fight to re-open the Thomas hearings in the wake of Anita Hill’s allegations to the fight to stop Ashcroft’s confirmation as Attorney General; and

WHEREAS, Patricia has worked tirelessly to expand NOW’s coalition partners, strengthening NOW’s ties with diverse communities; and

WHEREAS, Patricia has been an eloquent spokesperson for NOW, putting an intelligent and likeable face on the too-oft-maligned feminist movement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women hereby acknowledges and thanks Patricia Ireland for her exemplary service.  

JUNETEENTH DAY 2000

WHEREAS, on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation; and  

WHEREAS, June 19, 1865, is traditionally observed as the day the message of freedom reached descendants of enslaved Africans in Texas; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Representative William Jefferson from Louisiana is sponsoring legislation to pass a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women educate its membership on the importance of this holiday for the people of the United States; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call upon its officers, staff, membership, and allies to support the passage of Juneteenth as a national holiday.

RESOLUTION HONORING JUDITH KNEE

11/98

WHEREAS the esteemed Judith Knee, for the better part of seventeen years, has selflessly devoted her time and resources to serving as Bylaws Chair, also known as Bylaws Queen, of the National Organization for Women; and

WHEREAS throughout these years Judith Knee has successfully led and guided us in the understanding and interpretation of both the NOW grievance policy and Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised, a feat worthy of the Nobel peace prize; and

WHEREAS Judith Knee has executed these daunting tasks with alacrity and good humor; and

WHEREAS Judith Knee is a woman of great acumen, integrity, and needlepoint, and can bat down red cards faster than a speeding bullet; and  

WHEREAS Judith Knee, is admired and beloved by everyone who knows her, as evidenced by the great devotion of even those friends and colleagues who know of her soap opera addiction;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women honors and salutes the distinguished Judith Knee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that on this 20th day of November, 1999, the National Organization for Women hereby confers upon Judith Knee with our deep gratitude the status of Lifetime Member of NOW.

ROSA PARKS RESOLUTION 11/98

WHEREAS, Rosa Parks in 1955 refused to yield her bus seat to a white man and was Arrested, therebyinitiating the Montgomery bus boycott, a leading event in the civil rights movement, and

WHEREAS, she has continued to serve as a civil rights activist, and

WHEREAS, Troy State University in Montgomery, Alabama is building a library and civil rights museum in her honor at the very corner where this arrest happened, and

WHEREAS, in front of this Rosa Parks Building will be placed a bronze statue of Rosa Parks seated on a bench,and

WHEREAS, supporting this activity is a unique opportunity to honor a major woman leader of our time, now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women express its joyful support of these ventures.   

RESOLUTION IN HONOR OF BELLA ABZUG

4/98

WHEREAS, Bella Abzug devoted her life to the fight for women’s rights as a feminist leader in her community in Congress and globally; and

WHEREAS, Bella’s fiery passion, unyielding dedication and uncompromising commitment will be missed by all of us;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women honor Bella Abzug’s life and achievements at the 1998 National NOW Conference in Rochester, NY.

RESOLUTION IN HONOR OF TONI CARABILLO

11/97

Moved the following resolution in honor of Toni Carabillo, who died in October 1997 in Los Angeles:

The NOW National Board of Directors, meeting on November 15, 1997, wishes to memorialize one of the foremost NOW activists who in her life brought her considerable talents to the table she helped set for feminism.  

Toni Carabillo of Los Angeles, California, was a founding member of NOW and served NOW in a wide variety of capacities including LA chapter president, National Board member, National Officer, national newsletter editor and historian of both our organization and the feminist movement as a whole.  

We mourn her passing and grieve our collective loss.  

RECOGNITION OF THE PASSING OF DR. BETTY SHABAZZ

1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has, over the years, acknowledged women of courage with special recognition at national conferences; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Betty Shabazz, educator, mother of six daughters, and widow of slain civil rights leader, Malik al-Shabazz (Malcolm X) , demonstrated extraordinary courage and integrity in the face of unimaginable tragedy and hardship; and

WHEREAS, on June 23, 1997, Dr. Betty Shabazz died after a valiant fight to survive burns she received on over 80 percent of her body;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Betty Shabazz and show its appreciation for her life’s work; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW should express such appreciations and condolences to the daughters of Dr. Betty Shabazz and her surviving family.

SUFFRAGIST STATUES IN THE CAPITOL ROTUNDA

1997

WHEREAS, the women’s suffrage movement took many decades to win the elective franchise for women; and

WHEREAS, black suffragists’ efforts were important to the victory achieved with the passage of the 19th amendment; and

WHEREAS, some white suffragists historically exhibited racial bias against the black suffragists; and

WHEREAS, current efforts to recognize the struggle for women’s suffrage included the June 26, 1997, rededication of a statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott, for a temporary display in the Capitol Rotunda; and

WHEREAS, concerns have been raised that the contributions of black suffragists, such as Sojourner Truth, should be recognized; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) Executive Team, Board of Directors and the Racial and Ethnic Diversity CIC remain in communication with and inform the membership regarding current efforts to recognize Sojourner Truth’s contributions which are being led by C. Dolores Tucker of the National Political Congress of Black Women.  

10/14

IN SUPPORT OF U.S. NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS WITH CUBA

WHEREAS,  a vast majority (76%) of people in the United States (US) are in support of ending the US government’s travel and trade embargo of Cuba, including nearly 70% or more of Cuban Americans in south Florida who favor ending the embargo, ending travel restrictions and establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba (www.cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba); and

WHEREAS, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated in her new book  Hard Choices and on her speaking tours that the US government should establish diplomatic relations with the Cuban government and people because the “embargo wasn’t achieving its goals and was getting in the way of our broader efforts with Latin America”; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) co-sponsored the 2013 US Women’s Delegation to Cuba, co-led by NOW Leaders Zenaida Mendez and Jan Strout, which furthered ties of sisterhood and solidarity with the Federation of Cuban Women and other women leaders at the grassroots and national levels and helped to exchange strategies to advance the delegation’s theme, Gender Equality, Racial Justice and Sustainable Development; and

WHEREAS, feminists in Cuba have achieved the rights to education and health care for all; a reproductive justice agenda including abortion without restrictions; the creation of a national Center for Sex Education informing the country with its Campaign to End Homophobia; a Cuban Constitution that seeks to eliminate discrimination based on gender, race and sexual orientation as well as to increase economic equality through equal pay for equal work and one year’s paid family leave; and

WHEREAS, fostering opportunities for NOW’s feminist activists to learn from, share and further women’s human rights worldwide is part of the goals of NOW’s Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Committee;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW join Hillary Clinton to call for the normalization of U.S. government relations with Cuba; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urges President Obama to end all restrictions for both US citizens to visit Cuba as well as Cubans to visit the United States; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocates for the US Congress to pass legislation that will end the trade embargo of Cuba and foster just and peaceful relations worthy of its neighbors.

NOW JOINS THE “ONE BILLION RISING” CAMPAIGN TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 2012

WHEREAS, ending violence against women and girls is one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) six core issues; and

WHEREAS, Eve Ensler, world-renowned author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been performed in 44 languages in 140 countries and raises awareness of the urgent need to end violence against women, was an honored speaker at NOW’s 2012 National Convention; and

WHEREAS, Eve Ensler has called upon one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to violence against women on February 14, 2013; and

WHEREAS, this campaign is known as “One Billion Rising”; and

WHEREAS, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination contribute to and exacerbate violence against women, and factors such as ability, age, access to resources, indigenity, race, ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and class can exacerbate the violence that women and girls experience; and

WHEREAS, violence against women and girls is at epidemic proportions in the United States and worldwide, and this violence has unique forms, causes and consequences;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW Action Center, with the support of the NOW Global Strategies and Issues Committee and other interested NOW committees and task forces, will provide materials and action ideas to its activists and chapters to help them join “One Billion Rising”, and that NOW’s campaign will include images and experiences of a diverse community of women and girls.

HONORING ELOUISE PEPION COBELL (BLACKFEET), A LEADER FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL

9/11

WHEREAS Elouise Pepion Cobell, Blackfeet Nation leader, banker, rancher and the lead plaintiff in Cobell v Salazar, led the courageous and successful class-action lawsuit initiated in 1996 against the U.S. government about individual Indian land held in trust by the federal government.  This landmark lawsuit held the federal government accountable for (a) mismanaging trust funds/assets, (b) improperly accounting for these funds, and (c) mismanaging trust land/assets including money collected from farming and grazing leases, timber sales, mining, and oil and gas production from land owned by American Indians/Alaska Natives (www.IndianTrust.org); and

WHEREAS Elouise Pepion Cobell’s leadership and strength over these long 15 years provided – along with organized support from Indian country and other allies – the vision and perseverance for victory in the $3.4 billion Indian Trust Settlement benefitting an estimated 500,000 American Indians; and

WHEREAS U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana have recently introduced legislation calling for a Congressional Gold Medal honoring Elouise Pepion Cobell “for her outstanding and enduring contributions to American Indians, Alaskan Natives and the American people for her tireless pursuit of justice” achieved through the results of Cobell v Salazar Settlement; and

WHEREAS the historic legal victory has both a direct positive economic impact for indigenous women in particular and Indian Country in general and advances economic justice since U.S. federal Indian policies prevent American Indians from using their lands held in trust as collateral; and

WHEREAS the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee has begun an initiative to increase the participation of indigenous women in the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting and within NOW through the creation of a Native American Women’s Task Force;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW congratulate and honor Elouise Pepion Cobell for her visionary and dedicated leadership for the Indian Trust Lawsuit and Settlement as well as for her extensive community development work for the Blackfeet Nation and Indian Country which serve as a model of social justice and sustainable community development everywhere; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW endorse the US Senators Baucus & Tester’s call for a Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, for Elouise Pepion Cobell and urge its immediate passage by communicating this call to action to NOW members, allied organizations and networks through the use of all of our communications tools; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW prioritize the Native American’s Women’s Project of the Global Feminist Strategies & Issues Committee which will significantly involve diverse American Indian and Alaska Native women at the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings, programs and deliberations as well as within NOW.

ENSURING INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES IN U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE WOMEN’S PROGRAMMING 2011

WHEREAS, the June 9, 2011, report of the World Health Organization and the World Bank titled “World Report on Disability” indicates that, worldwide, the prevalence of disability has dramatically increased from 10 to 15 percent of the population, which is about one billion people and includes an increased estimate of the proportion that are women and girls with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer have engaged in vigorous efforts to advance the rights of women and girls in the areas of health, including sexual and reproductive health and maternal mortality, education, economic development, anti-trafficking, and conflict and post-conflict environments; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are rarely included in such efforts and, if included, their participation is rarely part of the media coverage of such efforts; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are more often subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, and the numbers of women with disabilities increases as a result of conflict necessitating their inclusion in programs addressing sexual and gender-based violence and anti-trafficking programs, especially in regions of conflict;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) advocate that the U.S. Department of State (DOS) do the following:

  • Address concerns of women and girls with disabilities in migrant and refugee policy and programming; and
  • Include women and girls with disabilities in anti-trafficking programs, making it understood that women and girls with disabilities are often victims and that disabilities often result from trafficking; and
  • Include women and girls with disabilities in programs addressing economic empowerment of women, such as micro-finance, leadership skill development, mentoring programs, and economic skills workshops; and
  • Include images of women and girls with disabilities in the DOS multimedia activities; and
  • Include women and girls with disabilities and their organizations in meetings with women’s groups held during country visits by the Secretary of State and the Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues; and
  • Ensure that issues of concern to women and girls with disabilities be included in DOS’ multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, Commission on the Status of Women, Human Rights Council, and at other international and regional multilateral organizations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW advocate that the DOS collaborate with both Special Advisor for International Disability Rights Judith E. Heumann and with organizations representing women and girls with disabilities to take vigorous and targeted efforts to increase the number of women and girls with disabilities who participate in educational exchange programs, with a goal of at least 10 percent of such participants; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Disability Rights Committee, in collaboration with the NOW Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Committee, and in consultation with the National NOW officers, draft a letter to the Secretary of State and other appropriate individuals to advocate for the issues elaborated in this resolution.

ENHANCING GLOBAL FEMINIST STRATEGIES IN NOW’S ORGANIZING AND ACTIVISM 2011

WHEREAS, the mission of National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee (GFC) is to work transnationally with women’s non-governmental organizations, the United Nations (U.N.), and international human rights organizations to advance the status of women and gender equity worldwide as well as at home, linking our struggles, resistance and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, GFC, since its founding in 2006, has been organizing and activating NOW members and allies on a range of issues to advance women’s human rights globally and locally, with actions such as the Ratify Women! CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Campaign, participating at the United Nations and international conferences and co-organizing international feminist delegations; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed, through our Ratify Women! Campaign, to achieving the U.S. ratification of CEDAW, the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls, which would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that human rights of women are universal across all cultures, nations, and religions and are worthy of being guaranteed through international human rights standards; and

WHEREAS, the “war on women” is global in scope, resulting from numerous social, political and economic forms of oppression and increasing fundamentalisms, whose backlash regularly and most negatively impact women, especially in the Global South; and

WHEREAS, the need to expand our understanding of the disparate impacts of United States (U.S.) policies on women globally and nationally is required to achieve the feminist goals of peace, equality, justice and sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, the women of the U.S. have much to learn from and share with women of the world who have developed responses to poverty, militarism, sexual and other violence, gender discrimination, racism,  homophobia, disability discrimination, environmental degradation and other intersecting realities of oppression; and

WHEREAS, access to the highest standard of reproductive health, including family planning, is defined by the United Nations as a human right, but access to legal and safe abortion is left up to the various nation states and is not considered to be a universal human right; and

WHEREAS, transnational feminist solutions at both the grassroots and international law levels offer the broadest prospects to achieve our deserved and basic human rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the GFC work with NOW’s board, committees, task forces, chapter and state leaders and members to bring global, multicultural gender perspectives and educational resources to the recognition that sisterhood is indeed global; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW formally thank U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her inspired leadership to prioritize the needs of women and children globally in our U.S. diplomatic and development work and urge her to further advocate at the top levels of U.S. government for U.S. ratification of CEDAW and for more inclusive women’s programming; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommends to the National NOW PAC that the endorsement process ensure that criteria for international aspects of NOW’s core priority issues are included; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW add a Global Feminist Issue Hearing to National NOW conferences in odd-numbered years to enhance NOW’s commitment to increase global feminist organizing and activism.

10/10

Moved that NOW Foundation undertake an action as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.  This would be done through the Global Issues National Ad Hoc Committee.

HELP NEEDED FOR OBSTETRIC FISTULA SURGERY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

2010

WHEREAS, two million women throughout developing nations are facing an obstructed labor injury complex known as obstetric fistula; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula is a medical condition predominantly caused by prolonged labor in which the mother is left with chronic incontinence; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula is nearly obsolete in developed nations, which proves the effectiveness of available preventive measures that could stop 50,000 new cases from happening this year alone; and

WHEREAS, the underlying causes of obstetric fistula are rooted in the marginalization of women worldwide through poor economic conditions and limited health care availability, as well as the unjust practice of child marriage, which forces young girls into marriages with older men; they are then forced to have sex and deliver children, even though their bodies are not physically developed to do so; and

WHEREAS, child marriage is closely related to obstetric fistula, as many of the young girls experience prolonged labor after their families marry them in order to receive a bride price; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula occurs in regions of armed conflict where women cannot access health care or health care facilities; and

WHEREAS, girls and women with obstetric fistula are ostracized by their community and family, left with even less economic support to continue living or social support to seek medical care and instead these victims are further marginalized and blamed; and
WHEREAS, many times, doctors will avoid corrective surgery due to the stigma surrounding this condition, which results in women waiting even longer for medical attention; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, there are many prevention plans for obstetric fistula and other conditions caused by pregnancy, yet the maternal mortality rate only declined by 5.4% between 1990 and 2005 because these plans are not being properly funded or implemented; and

WHEREAS, cases are easily treated with a success rate over 90% and a cost of $300 U.S. dollars, if women are educated about and able to receive the corrective surgery;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognize this degenerative condition as preventable and treatable; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that members recognize the numerous human rights violations and disparities that occur for many of these women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, NOW encourage members and activists to advocate for speedy passage of HR 5441, The Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act of 2010, which will authorize funding to prevent and treat obstetric fistula.

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN AND NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO RATIFY CEDAW 2009

WHEREAS, as of April 26, 2009, 186 countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the international treaty calling for basic human rights for women; and

WHEREAS, Qatar ratified CEDAW in April 2009 without any reservations to the treaty, leaving only seven nations (including the United States, Iran, Sudan and Somalia) that have failed to ratify it; and

WHEREAS, nations that ratify this treaty commit themselves to take concrete action to improve the status of women and end discrimination against them; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW was favorably voted out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee twice-once in 1994 and once in 2002-with 96 cities, counties, and states in the U.S. passing resolutions calling on the Senate to ratify CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, the NOW Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Ad Hoc Committee has identified CEDAW as long overdue for ratification by the U.S. Senate; and

WHEREAS, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced a resolution in January 2009 with 121 co-sponsors, urging immediate Senate action on the treaty; and

WHEREAS, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Foreign Relations subcommittee overseeing global women’s issues, has announced that she will lead an effort seeking ratification of CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have long been advocates for ratifying CEDAW, and President Obama supports ratification of CEDAW;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW vigorously advocate for ratification of CEDAW without the addition of harmful reservations, understandings and declarations (RUDs); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call on the Justice Department to reject the RUDs previously under consideration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW launch a national campaign with chapters and activists throughout the country taking action to urge their U.S. Senators to ratify a “clean” version of CEDAW and urge the Obama Administration to play a leadership role in getting the Senate to do so; and                                                                                                                                 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign include use of newer forms of technology to expand the reach of our message through the media and the blogosphere; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW declare March 8, 2010, a national day of action and work with the Global Feminist Issues and Strategies Ad Hoc Committee to organize rallies in various cities across the country to put pressure on the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW, and activists will be called on to lobby their U.S. Senators urging them to push for immediate ratification of CEDAW.

GLOBAL FEMINIST ACTION RESOURCES 2008

WHEREAS, the Global Feminist Issues Track at the 2008 National NOW Conference reaffirmed our membership’s commitment to global feminist activism, and activists are calling for more resources to assist in global feminist work; and

WHEREAS, the United States has neither ratified nor acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the National Organization for Women (NOW) repeatedly has pressured the United States to do so, while the NOW PAC is working to elect progressive feminist candidates to the U.S. Senate, which would increase the possibility of U.S. ratification and accession; and

WHEREAS, a number of U.S. communities have organized to endorse and implement CEDAW obligations and opportunities—including gender responsive budgets—on the local and state levels in parallel with a national ratification and accession strategy; and

WHEREAS, NOW made a thorough presentation in Geneva in June 2006 at the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the human rights of women in the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international mechanisms such as the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), while venues for activism to advance women’s rights in the U.S. and globally are available and activists want to utilize them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW Feminist Global Issues and Strategies ad hoc committee (the Committee) work with the NOW Executive Committee and staff to develop educational tools and organizing kits for its members, state leaders, and chapters about CEDAW’s and CERD’s provisions and opportunities for endorsement and implementation at the local and state levels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Committee will work with the NOW Executive Committee and staff to develop educational tools and organizing kits for its members, state leaders and chapters on utilizing international mechanisms to advance the rights of women regardless of status in the U.S. and globally; and  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Conference urge the Committee to explore with the NOW PAC ways to incorporate support of feminist global issues, drawing upon NOW’s priorities, as part of the criteria for  a NOW PAC endorsement of candidates for national offices.

RESTORE PEACE AND DIGNITY TO INDIGENOUS WOMEN 2007

WHEREAS, the International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers have established the mission of world peace; the Grandmothers are promoting women’s equality, sustainable community development and protection of Mother Earth, solidarity and cultural exchange with all peoples, education and community outreach to address those issues which are devastating to indigenous communities, and the empowerment of indigenous women as well as the sustenance of all the world’s children; and

WHEREAS, three antiquated Papal Bulls (i.e. edicts by the Vatican) have remained the spiritual, legal, and moral foundation for jurisdiction over tribal nations by nation-states, and given the inherent unjust, moral and legal basis for their authority, the nation-states have justified and exercised their rule and domination over tribal nations through warfare and acts of violence. These three Papal Bulls have led to the ongoing destruction of the indigenous peoples and their ways of life for over 500 years; and

WHEREAS, the Precautionary Principle of the Rio Declaration adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development (i.e., the Earth Summit), also adopted by the European Union, states the following: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken — even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.  In this context, the proponent of an activity rather than the public should bear the burden of proof.” The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women demands that the governments of the World, including the Vatican, take the following actions to sustain the indigenous communities and indigenous women worldwide:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW supports rescinding the three Papal Bulls: Dum Diversas, June 18, 1452; Romanus Pontifex, January 8, 1455; Inter Caetera, May 4, 1493 to stop the further exploitation and destruction of the indigenous nations around the world;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW works with the Tribal Nations so that their lands will be under their sole jurisdiction. Further, that any actions not endorsed by the indigenous communities halt immediately, including the proposed uranium mining on Oglala Lakota Nation lands and the destruction of the Black Hills of South Dakota, a sacred ceremonial sanctuary for the Lakota Nation.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW endorse the work of International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in using any national and international mechanisms (i.e., including the Rio Declaration, International Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples’ Forums) to achieve their goals which will serve to create a peaceful and environmentally sustainable world for women and their children.

GIRLS IN KENYA 2007

WHEREAS, educating girls has benefits at the personal, community and societal levels that make it one of the most important investments that any developing country can make; and

WHEREAS, factors that continually hamper school enrollment and subsequent educational attainment of girls in Kenya include:

  • Early marriage, which results in the education of the boys while the girls are married as early as twelve years of age to gain dowry; and
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) as a rite of passage into adulthood in some Kenyan communities (e.g., the Maasai and the Samburu) mutilate the reproductive tracts of girls; and
  • Constant sexual harassment of girls by both teachers and male pupils puts them at risk of disease and affects them psychologically; and
  • The HIV/AIDS pandemic denies the girls an opportunity to learn; and

WHEREAS, in 1990, the National Organization for Women (NOW) stated that Female Circumcision/Genital Mutilation is an attack on the bodily integrity of females, and that this practice is a grave and preventable major health risk for females; and

WHEREAS, in 2005, NOW declared that we must engage our organization on international feminist issues and called for the support of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and

WHEREAS, consulting with NOW will help women in Kenya who are working on this feminist agenda to create advocacy programs in the rural areas and in the semiarid areas of Kenya to educate and empower girls;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW share ideas with the grassroots women’s organizations in Kenya that advocate for women’s and girls’ rights in the rural areas and in the semiarid and arid areas of Kenya; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW share advocacy strategies with these grassroots women’s organizations to help them campaign against FGM and other injustices against the girls in Kenya; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work similarly with grassroots women’s organizations in other countries as requested by women of those countries and as NOW’s capacity allows; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work with the United Nations and civil society groups such as the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) and the Inter-African Committee (IAC) to keep girls who are most severely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in school.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S ISSUES INSTITUTE IN 2008

2007

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has as its major purpose the commitment to equality for women; and

WHEREAS, NOW has an increasing awareness of the globalization and interconnection of women worldwide and their struggles for equality and peace, and these issues involve women’s movements around the world; and

WHEREAS, NOW established the Global Feminist Strategies Ad Hoc Committee (the Committee) at the 2006 National NOW Conference. Consistent with the Committee’s mandate to report to the 2007 National NOW Conference, the Committee recommends the actions proposed in this resolution; and

WHEREAS, as feminists we seek to  establish and foster ties with feminists abroad to further women’s equality at home and internationally; and

WHEREAS, the 2008 U.S. presidential and congressional elections, throughout which global issues will be at the forefront of dialogue and discussion, create an unprecedented opportunity to advance global feminist issues to the forefront of our feminist movement; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW include a Global Feminist Strategies track at the 2008 National NOW Conference; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Global Feminist Strategies track consist of workshops, plenary speakers and other activities on global feminist strategies and issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Global Feminist Strategies Ad Hoc Committee explore strategic global, national and local partnerships, including extending invitations to the National Conference; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Global Feminist Strategies Ad Hoc Committee work in collaboration with the Action Center and state and chapter NOW leadership to implement this resolution.

NOW MUST ENGAGE ON INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST ISSUES 2006

WHEREAS, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (“CEDAW”) is an international Bill of Rights for women which obligates those countries that have ratified or acceded to it to take “all appropriate measures” to ensure the full development and advancement of women in all spheres—political, educational, employment, health care, economic, social, legal, marriage and family relations.; and

WHEREAS, the United States (U.S.) has neither ratified nor acceded to CEDAW and the National Organization for Women (NOW) repeatedly has pressured the United States to do so; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government selectively cites the oppression of women as rationale for its aggressive foreign policy toward some states and governments while tolerating such oppression in others;

WHEREAS, United Nations Counsel Resolution 1325 obligates the U.S. to support participation of women in peace keeping and post-conflict activities and resolution; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s agenda is increasingly a global agenda that parallels much of what feminists worldwide are struggling to achieve; and

WHEREAS, NOW made a thorough presentation in Geneva in June 2006 at the United Nations Human Rights  Committee on the human rights of women in the U. S. under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s participation in a global feminist network allows us to share strategies and support between and among feminists around the world and to learn from one another’s strategies and approaches; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to ensuring that, in developing its issue positions, NOW will consider the impact of these positions in the U.S. and globally;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will maintain Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) consultative status with the United Nations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW establish an Ad Hoc Committee on Feminist Global Strategies and Issues that will more fully develop NOW positions on foreign policy and the impact of U.S. foreign policy and expenditures on women worldwide; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will expand collaboration with feminist global networks worldwide — with particular efforts to include feminists from the global South — to develop strategies to achieve equality for women, social justice and peace; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Ad Hoc Committee on Feminist Global Strategies and Issues, once established, will address the impact on women worldwide of U.S. foreign policy and expenditures and will develop strategies to counter these policies if needed; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Ad Hoc Committee on Feminist Global Strategies and Issues will bring recommendations for a NOW platform of action in this area to the 2007 NOW National Conference.

STOP THE WAR NOW 2005

WHEREAS, the Bush administration led the country to war under false pretenses; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration’s actions have spread hatred and distrust of Americans across religious, cultural, and national borders worldwide; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration’s war on Iraq has irresponsibly undermined the security of the United States and provided a hotbed of recruiting and training for terrorists; and

WHEREAS, militarism and its wars increase all forms of violence against women and girls, including the defunding of basic human needs; and

WHEREAS, the war has left all Iraqi citizens with severely damaged infrastructure, widespread hunger, homelessness, disease, and death, and in addition has deprived women of rights they had before the war by giving considerable power to extremist religious interests that oppose women’s interests; and

WHEREAS, the unemployment rate of Iraqis now exceeds sixty percent while American contractors and corporations hoard the benefits of Iraq’s natural resources and expose American citizens to extreme danger for corporate profit;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) support the constructive and expeditious withdrawal of American troops from Iraq; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support the restoration of civil society in Iraq through the allocation of reconstruction funding and contracts to Iraqi businesses that pledge not to discriminate against women, to hire skilled Iraqi workers, and to train workers and provide new infrastructure, rather than handing contracts to U.S. contractors such as Halliburton and Bechtel; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge the U.S. government to move with all due speed to end our military occupation of Iraq and invest proportionate financial resources in Iraq rebuilding, humanitarian relief and personal safety of the Iraqi people; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge that the humanitarian funds from U.S. Aid for International Development go to indigenous, woman-led Iraqi nonprofits to provide humanitarian services, schools, clinics and any other services these organizations deem necessary; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that plans for the future of Iraq must include full equality and representation for women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support the United for Peace and Justice mobilizations in Washington, D.C., and other regional locations by joining their massive march on September 24, 2005, and subsequent rally, teach-ins, lobbying day, and other events from September 24 through September 26, 2005.

SUPPORTING WOMEN & RECONSTRUCTION IN AFGHANISTAN 2005

WHEREAS the war in Afghanistan has left millions homeless without basic necessities and exposed to great health risk from untreated sewage, a devastated health care system, and destroyed personal security, especially for women;

WHEREAS at least forty of the schools for women and girls, so recently opened, have been burned and/or destroyed;

WHEREAS the Taliban and other oppressive sects are rebounding with a vengeance;

WHEREAS Bush promised a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan;

WHEREAS the dire personal conditions in Afghanistan fueled poppy-growing, drug trafficking, and sexual trafficking;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW urge the U.S. government to:

  • Increase of the size of the International Peacekeeping troops;
  • Deliver seriously on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Afghanistan, and to earmark a significant proportion of these funds for the building of women’s clinics and the development of women’s and girls’ schools and programs;
  • Provide viable economic alternatives designed to reduce poppy exportation;
  • Stop the trafficking of women and children, both girls and boys;
  • Stop the U.S. military’s Army’s deals with the warlords that undermine the emerging democracy.

HALT TO MILITARY ACTIONS IN IRAQ  2004

WHEREAS, the government of the United States, in an unprecedented act of unilateralism, carried out a “pre-emptive” war against Iraq based on false and misleading information; and

WHEREAS, the human cost of such war against a sovereign country has resulted in hundreds of U.S. military deaths, thousands of Iraqi military and civilian deaths, and the deaths of numerous civilian contractors, journalists and relief workers in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, the monetary cost of the Iraq war has resulted in expenditures of more than $125 billion dollars in the first year of hostilities with an additional $25 billion estimated for 2004, while human needs programs are being drastically cut or eliminated throughout the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, the decision to go to war in Iraq has resulted in the instability of the region and has provided terrorists with a breeding ground and an additional haven for organizing and plotting against the people of the United States and its allies; and

WHEREAS, women and children are victims of war in overwhelming numbers even when not engaged in military activities since 80 percent of the world’s refugees and internally displaced persons are women and children. In Iraq, the majority of its citizens are under 15, and an estimated 2 million of them will become displaced and refugees; and

WHEREAS, refugee women and girls have a higher mortality rate than men and boys because systems of health services and food provision in refugee camps privilege men and boys over women and girls; and

WHEREAS, women are victims of increased sexual abuse under the consent of the governments engaged in hostilities which have accommodated and tolerated military brothels under the aegis of “rest and recreation” for the soldiers in an effort to boost soldiers’ morale; and

WHEREAS, sexual violence and abduction of women and girls increase significantly under military occupation and given that enforcement of laws to aid in the apprehension and prosecution of perpetrators are rarely enforced under such violent and hostile environment;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call upon all members of the U.S. Congress and all presidential candidates to end military occupation of Iraq by:

  1. Establishing a U.N. multi-national peace-keeping force
  2. Withdrawal of U.S. troops
  3. Investing, through a publicly transparent bidding process which gives preference to egalitarian Iraqi business people, in the reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, which has been devastated by U.S. aggression

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call upon all members of the U.S. Congress and all presidential candidates to work to allocate sufficient funds to help women and children victims of war both in Iraq and in the U.S., to address the issues of housing, health care, education and safety; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call upon all presidential candidates to pledge to conduct foreign policy for the United States based on true international collaboration, integrity and honesty and respect for other nations’ sovereignty and their right to self-determination.

3/04

WHEREAS, NOW supports fair trade and sustainable development policies; and

WHEREAS, ten years of NAFTA have resulted in increased poverty, job loss and loss of affordable services for women in the United States, Mexico and Canada; and

WHEREAS, the increased ability of U.S. companies to relocate abroad has led to an erosion of manufacturing wages and union bargaining power, with a disproportionate impact on women workers; and

WHEREAS, a recent study showed that in Mexico poverty for female-headed households increased by 50% since NAFTA was implemented,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which would extend this model of trade to additional nations, and communicate our opposition to members of the United States Congress and the President.

OPPOSITION TO THE OPPORTUNISTIC USE OF “WAR” ON TERROR 2002

WHEREAS, the tragedies of September 11, 2001, alerted us to the urgent need to re-examine the worldwide impact of U.S. foreign policy and global economic policy; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration is exploiting the international attacks on the U.S. to advance a right-wing political agenda that expands the campaign of militarism and corporate profit that contributed to the anti-American feelings at the heart of these terrifying events; and

WHEREAS, the agenda of the Bush administration is marked by enormous increases in defense spending that displace funds from domestic social services and the nation’s healthcare safety net to support a large-scale military deployment and protracted military engagement abroad; and

WHEREAS, further U.S. military aggression in the Middle East will only exacerbate the plight of women and children in these countries where U.S. foreign policy has already contributed to their oppression and destitution; and

WHEREAS, the use of military aggression will surely lead to more senseless loss of innocent lives and aggravate anti-American sentiment around the world; and

WHEREAS, the “war” on terror perpetuates the tradition of U.S. disregard for international law, as well as internationally accepted standards for human rights (such as the Declaration of Human Rights and CEDAW); and

WHEREAS, women always bear additional personal costs in patriarchal wars that ruin their country’s physical infrastructure, destabilize their economies, destroy their homes, and kill and maim their children and families; and

WHEREAS, the draconian homeland defense policies promoted by the Bush administration, and already enacted by Congress in the form of the Patriot Act, are designed in part to stifle political dissent; and

WHEREAS, political dissent and the questioning of power are expressions of the values we promote as feminists and claim to hold as a country;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) opposes the opportunistic use of fighting terrorism as an excuse for massive imperial expansion, for a war on Iraq, and for the continuation of unilateral policies in violation of international law.

RATIFICATION OF CEDAW TREATY AND PROMOTION OF LOCAL CEDAWS 2002

WHEREAS, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is the only international agreement that comprehensively addresses the full equality of women in all areas; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW was signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 but still has not been ratified by the United States because the Senate has failed to act, leaving this country alone in this position among industrialized countries and in the company of Afghanistan, Iran, and Somalia; and

WHEREAS, ratification of CEDAW and full implementation of its principles without any limiting “reservations, declarations and understandings” will improve the economic status of women, make progress toward the elimination of violence against women, and advance the equal treatment of women in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the city of San Francisco has adopted an ordinance patterned after CEDAW that commits the city to “work toward integrating gender equity and human rights principles into all of its operations, including policy, program and budgetary decision-making,” and similar efforts are underway in other cities; and

WHEREAS, the composition of the U. S. Senate Foreign Relations committee has changed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue to urge the United States Senate to immediately act to ratify CEDAW and implement its principles without limiting reservations, declarations, and understandings; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW chapters be urged to renew efforts to schedule meetings with their senators while they are in their home states to encourage those senators to support ratification of CEDAW; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW take additional steps to encourage chapter efforts to promote the enactment of local CEDAW-type ordinances and that the National Action Center make information about local CEDAWs available to interested chapters.

AFGHAN WOMEN AND GIRLS 2002

WHEREAS, the women and girls of Afghanistan have suffered from years of gender apartheid and oppression under the totalitarian regime of the Taliban and, before them, the Mujahideen; and

WHEREAS, the United States, in a CIA covert-operation, trained and funded the Mujahideen (“Soldiers of God”) to fight the Soviets in the last battle of the Cold War; and

WHEREAS, the Taliban was a faction of the Mujahideen that was initially supported by the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Afghan Ministry for Women’s Affairs and the Afghan-women-led non- governmental organizations (NGOs) desperately need funding to rebuild women’s lives and the Afghan nation; and

WHEREAS, the United States has a moral obligation to help restore Afghanistan; and

WHEREAS, the United States has a global interest to end the conditions that breed terrorism; and

WHEREAS, U.S. foreign policy must support human and women’s rights as well as democracy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States should support an expansion in the number and the jurisdiction of international peacekeeping forces throughout Afghanistan; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States should increase its funding for women-led Afghan NGOs; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the United States should actively promote the full restoration of women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan and throughout the world.

 NOW CALLS FOR PEACE

4/02

A Statement of the National NOW Board on April 5, 2002, to accompany the Terrorism Resolution passed on November 11, 2001:

As feminists, we endorse peaceful resolutions to international conflicts.  We acknowledge that acts of war perpetuate and escalate violence.

We are deeply alarmed by the Bush administration’s expansion of the military industrial complex.  We decry the percentage of our national budget that is being used to grow our military and taken away from much-needed social programs. Further, we believe that the Bush administration, while talking peace, is, in fact, promoting war.

NOW opposes the Bush administration’s escalation of violence in response to terrorism, including their plans to expand military actions to other countries.  We further acknowledge that U.S. actions and statements in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks have directly impacted the escalation of violence in the Middle East and are impeding our country’s ability to help find a peaceful solution.  

We call upon our country’s leaders to plant the seed of peace by being champions of equality and justice and by working to eradicate poverty around the world and in the United States.  NOW commits ourselves to electing leaders who come up with creative solutions to difficult international problems instead of resorting to violence.

We also call on our country’s leaders to work to end terrorism by addressing its roots, including religious extremism, intolerance, hate and economic oppression.

We challenge ourselves to remain faithful to the feminist movement’s historic commitment to peace even in the face of popular opposition.

TERRORISM RESOLUTION

11/01

WHEREAS, NOW condemns terrorism committed by religious fundamentalist extremists both at home and abroad; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that the Taliban’s ambition is to spread their version of extremist fundamentalist religion, targeting women’s rights, to Afghanistan’s neighbors from Pakistan to Indonesia to Algeria and beyond; and

WHEREAS, the United Nations is the international organization with the legitimate responsibility to end terrorism and ensure peace; and

WHEREAS, religious fundamentalist extremists have a demonstrated historical pattern of targeting women and women’s rights initially, as well as members of minority religious and ethnic communities and gays and lesbians; and

WHEREAS, prior to September 11, 2001, the feminist movement had already condemned the Taliban for their violence against women, ethnic and religious minorities and gay men and lesbians; and

WHEREAS, NOW has a long history of opposing the use of violence to answer violence,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW urges the U.S. to condemn and prosecute terrorism in all its forms, both domestically and internationally; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls on the U.S. and U.N. to immediately distribute billions of dollars in humanitarian aid, including nutritious food and medical aid, to save the 7 million Afghans who are in pre-famine conditions; and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continues to call for the removal of the Taliban regime and to demand the equal inclusion of Afghan women in the peace process and at the decision making table in the establishment of a post-Taliban government; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls on the U.S. and its allies to cease the bombing of innocent people in an already economically devastated country, and to join in strong international efforts to arrest the perpetrators of human rights violations and terrorism and bring them to justice through the appropriate criminal justice processes, including the international criminal court in the Hague; and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for the reestablishment of Afghanistan’s constitutional democracy with restoration of women’s civil and political rights, and with women fully participating at all levels of government, including an independent judiciary; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls on the nations of the world to commit to financially support a total economic and social reconstruction within Afghanistan, modeled after the Marshall Plan implemented after World War II; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demands the equal inclusion of women at all levels in the establishment and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, and that the U.S. must change its foreign policy to recognize that upholding women’s rights is essential in the fight both to end terrorism and to establish a just and humane society.  

SEPTEMBER 2001 WORLD BANK/IMF PROTEST

9/01

WHEREAS, the World Bank/IMF sets distribution and cultivation of resources to all nations; and

WHEREAS, by dictating global monetary policy which disproportionately affects women, particularly in developing countries as the majority of the world’s poor are women and girls; and

WHEREAS, people who have spoken out against these policies have been suppressed, brutally attacked, tortured and murdered by governments hosting World Bank/IMF meetings; and

WHEREAS, the brutality continues to escalate while freedom of information, speech and assembly have been suppressed; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement in the District of Columbia has already started the tactics of suppression by notifying businesses of block closures, limited access to offices, setting up checkpoints and the closure of a major private university, forcing students out of their dorm facilities preceding and during the World Bank/IMF meeting September 28-29, 2001,  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the National Organization for Women (NOW) support NOW members who engage in non-violent protests of the policies of the World Bank/IMF by:

 

  • Calling upon District of Columbia law enforcement to uphold the founding principles of our democracy by respecting the rights of free speech, press and assembly;
  • Making available NOW’s non-violent civil disobedience guidelines to NOW members;
  • Investigating signing onto the lawsuit already filed by World Bank/IMF protest organizers;
  • Informing NOW’s membership that courageous NOW protestors risked arrest and bodily harm while engaged in non-violent protest;   
  • Making efforts to request or secure pro bono legal assistance to those NOW activists protesting on behalf of NOW and NOW issues within the parameters of the NOW civil disobedience guidelines;
  • Calling for state and local NOW mobilizations in support of any NOW members who engaged in non-violent protest at the September 29-30 World Bank/IMF protest and who were detained against their wills.  

12/00

Moved “that NOW focus globally on the immediate passage of CEDAW and meet immediately with Department of State officials to ensure a future administration cannot reverse a recommendation to approve CEDAW; that NOW implement an all-out attempt to pass CEDAW in the Senate during the period January 4, 2001 – January 20, 2001 or, if not possible, during the 2001-2003 session; and further that NOW get the word out to all of its chapters to target their Senators and Democratic leadership (Senator Daschle, Senator Reid of Nevada and Senator Biden).”

TOWARD CONSTITUTIONAL EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS

2000

WHEREAS, NOW has as its major purpose the commitment to equality for women; and

WHEREAS, we have an increasing awareness of the globalization and interconnection of women world-wide and their struggles for equality; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) establishes a worldwide commitment to combat discrimination against women and girls; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW obligates those countries that ratify it to take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women and girls in the wide-ranging spheres of politics, education, employment, and economics; social, legal, marital, and family relations; and health care, specifically reproductive health care; and

WHEREAS, 165 countries of the world have ratified CEDAW and the U.S. is the only remaining industrial nation that has not ratified it along with a small minority of countries including Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia; and

WHEREAS, Jesse Helms, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has single-handily blocked consideration and action on CEDAW in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and

WHEREAS, the ratification of a treaty requires only a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate and the President’s signature; and

WHEREAS, under the U.S. system of government, a treaty is stronger legally in federal court than an act of Congress and a level just under the U.S. Constitution itself; and

WHEREAS, U.S. ratification would not only help women and girls in this country, but also cause other countries to take CEDAW and its implementation more seriously; and

WHEREAS, CEDAW is currently burdened with reservations, declarations and understandings (RDUs) which substantially weaken its effectiveness.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit to a strategy toward ratification of CEDAW without any reservations, declarations or understandings (RDUs) as a vehicle to improve the status of women and girls legally in the U.S.; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this project be built as a massive public education campaign on the ongoing need for constitutional equality; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW launch this effort by adding the ratification of CEDAW, with no reservations, declarations and understandings (RDUs) as a major goal of the World March of Women to be held in Washington, DC on October 15, 2000; thus showing the need for equality for women in the United States and globally.

WORLD MARCH OF WOMEN 2000

1999

WHEREAS, the World March of Women in the year 2000 is a huge education and action project involving women’s movements around the world; and

WHEREAS, 70% of the 1.3 billion people who live in abject poverty are women and children; and

WHEREAS, we live in a world where violence against women is a global reality; and

WHEREAS, the World March of Women 2000 is marching for the elimination of poverty and violence against women around the world; and

WHEREAS, there is a call for worldwide actions to demand the global end of poverty and violence; and

WHEREAS, each country is asked to organize national actions that will reflect their national realities and priorities as well; and

WHEREAS, over 1,633 groups from 120 countries have committed to be involved in the World March of Women 2000; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest grassroots feminist organization in the United States;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit to organizing a national action in Washington DC in fall of  the year 2000 as part of the World March of Women 2000; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that information kits and action packets concerning the World March of Women 2000 be distributed to NOW chapters.

FEMINIST EXPO 2000

1999

WHEREAS, Feminist Expo ’96, the first-ever national feminist exposition was co-sponsored by over 300 organizations, including the National Organization for Women (NOW), featured over 250 speakers and drew over 3,000 feminists to Washington, D.C. in February 1996; and

WHEREAS, Expo 2000 will usher in the new millennium by bringing together women’s groups from every sector of society to show the strength and depth of the feminist movement in the United States and throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, at Expo 2000 we want to showcase the power of the feminist movement, its ideas and vision for the 21st Century, as well as the diversity of its works, constituencies and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, the need for a strong national and global feminist movement has never been greater; and

WHEREAS, the Feminist Expo 2000 will take place March 31-April 2, 2000, in Baltimore, Maryland, and will precede the Beijing Plus 5 (the United Nations Fourth World Conference plus five years) to be held in New York City; this will enable women in the United States of America and worldwide to prepare for Beijing Plus 5 with global feminist plenary sessions and workshops; and

WHEREAS, Expo 2000 will include a special Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Campaign Reunion for all of the activists who were part of the historic 1972-1982 ERA Campaign, as well as those who wish they had been;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW co-sponsor the Feminist Expo 2000; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW publicize it in the National NOW Times and on the National NOW web site; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage delegations from chapters, states, and regions to organize to go to the Feminist Expo 2000; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW spread the word and recruit ERA veterans for the ERA Reunion that will take place during Expo 2000.

RATIFYING CEDAW

1999

WHEREAS, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1979; and

WHEREAS, currently 163 nations have consented to be bound by the provisions of CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, NOW has endorsed the ratification and implementation of CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, the United States is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified CEDAW; and

WHEREAS, it is important to let the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the United States Senate know that citizens support CEDAW;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW chapters be urged to adopt as an action item to lobby their state legislatures, city councils and/or county boards of supervisors to pass resolutions in support of CEDAW; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NOW office provide sample materials on how to pass a resolution in support of CEDAW, and how to implement and monitor CEDAW locally, to those local NOW chapters who adopt CEDAW as an action item.  

STOPPING THE WAR AGAINST WOMEN

4/99

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women and the majority of all women are opposed to violence and patriarchal solutions to international problems by the use of violent aggression; and

WHEREAS, genocide and rape of women and girls have been and continue to be used as instruments of war; and

WHEREAS, rape has historically been viewed as a soldier’s prerogative and reward; and

WHEREAS, all rape is a crime of patriarchal power in men’s war against women; and

WHEREAS, women and children are over 2/3 of the some 13 million refugees in the world today; and

WHEREAS, many extremist warring factions such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and the right-wing extremists in the fundamentalist religions in various parts of the world including the United States have demonstrated their misogyny;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW call upon NATO and the United States to support the World Court and the International Criminal Court and urge them to bring to justice war criminals who are using terror, rape, and genocide to achieve their political ends; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call upon NATO and the United States not to break the current arms embargo, not to arm Yugoslavia and not to arm the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which has been reported to be a terrorist organization supported by far right religious extremists; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call upon the United States to earmark humanitarian aid to treat refugee women and girls who are or have been the subject of misogynist attacks in many parts of the world such as Rwanda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kosovo, and to admit refugee women and girls into the United States who are fleeing gender apartheid, discrimination and/or persecution; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW members and supporters be encouraged to petition the U.S. Congress to show world leadership on this issue by immediately ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

YEAR 2000 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MARCH

2/99

WHEREAS, women all over the world are planning actions in the year 2000 as part of an International Women’s March, and

WHEREAS, the marchers will demand an end to poverty and violence against women, and

WHEREAS, the international events will focus on international institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund, and

WHEREAS, the culmination of these actions is scheduled for October 17, 3 weeks before the year 2000 U.S. presidential and congressional elections, creating an unprecedented opportunity for our movement,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board authorize the Executive Committee to pursue NOW participation in the World March of Women by organizing, as the U.S. action, a march or event in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 2000, in which we would demonstrate the strength of the feminist movement.  

RESTORE WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN

2/98

WHEREAS, before the September 27, 1996 takeover of most of Afghanistan by the Taliban armed militia, women were allowed access to education and employment, and at that time made up 50% of civilian government workers, 70% of schoolteachers, 40% of doctors, 50% of Kabul university students and 70% of the adult population; and

WHEREAS, upon seizing power the Taliban instituted a system of violations of human rights, stripping women of their visibility, voice, and mobility by forbidding women to work outside the home, prohibiting girls and women from attending schools and universities, forcing women to wear the burqa; confining women to their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative; forbidding male doctors to examine women; and making people paint their windows to hide the women from view; and

WHEREAS, violation of Taliban law has resulted in beatings, imprisonment and/or stonings up to and including death; and

WHEREAS, women have been shot at for leaving their home without a male escort to receive medical care, and sunlight deprivation to women and girls has increased disease and suffering; and

WHEREAS, 39,000 women in the capital city of Kabul are war widows and are the sole source of support for their families, and the Taliban’s ban on women working has thrown thousands of families into destitution;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW demand the United States government and the United Nations not recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government in Afghanistan, refuse the Taliban access to a United Nations seat, and do everything in their power to restore women’s basic human rights to work, education, health care and safety in Afghanistan; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW endorse “A Flower for the Women of Kabul” campaign on March 8, 1998, International Women’s Day; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW take action to encourage corporations and universities with interests in the area of and in conjunction with Afghanistan to immediately suspend any and all business ventures with Afghanistan until women’s basic human rights are restored, and that the NOW Action Center be directed to distribute action kits or information through NOW’s leadership mailings, the National NOW Times, on the Internet, etc., about the situation; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work in coalition with other organizations to restore women’s basic human rights in Afghanistan.  

RATIFICATION OF CEDAW TREATY 1997

WHEREAS, the people and the government of the U.S. support the promotion and protection of human rights, and women’s rights should not be separated or different from men’s; and

WHEREAS, President Clinton has made ratification of the United Nations (U.N.) “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” (CEDAW) a top priority; and

WHEREAS, upon ratification by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. would gain a seat on this U.N. committee;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women undertake a campaign through state and local Chapters to press for this treaty to be ratified by the U.S. Senate.   

ABORTION, BIRTH CONTROL, AND CONTRACEPTION RESOLUTION 2018

07/2018

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 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 lock boxes 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 healthcare; 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

SEXISM IN WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE

07/2018

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 health care 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.

Submitted by Petition – BOBBI AUSUBEL, CONTRA COSTA NOW, CA

EXPOSE CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER RESOLUTION

07/2018

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 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

“MEDICARE FOR ALL” IS THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has endorsed single-payer health care in 1993 and in 2009, and the fight to make health care a right for all people continues even after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which expands the role of private health insurance, while limiting women’s access to reproductive health care; and

WHEREAS, women continue to pay more for health insurance, while earning less, and women spend more time than men providing unpaid care to elderly, disabled, or sick family members; and

WHEREAS, congressional proposals connected to the national budget debate seek to cut, privatize, or eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, and any health benefits derived from the Social Security Act — changes that will most heavily impact women; and

WHEREAS, expanding Medicare to everyone and eliminating the role of the private health insurance industry would save $400 billion a year, enough to extend comprehensive health care, including vision, hearing and dental coverage and all reproductive health care, to all of the uninsured and underinsured; and

WHEREAS, Vermont has passed a law that intends to make health care a human right for all Vermonters by implementing a single-payer program in the state, and various states continue to advocate for passage of single-payer health care as a means of pushing for national single-payer health care; and  

WHEREAS, hundreds of organizations, local, national and international unions, cities, towns, and school boards have endorsed single-payer health care, and polls continue to show that the majority of physicians, nurses, and the public support single-payer “Medicare for All” as the solution to our health care crisis;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW continue to advocate for a “Medicare for All,” single-payer health care system as the solution to our health and fiscal crisis and oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and any health benefits derived from the Social Security Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW  participate in the activities around Medicare’s anniversary in July 2011 to build support for Medicare as the solution, not the problem, to our health care and fiscal woes; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support single-payer health care legislation on the state and national levels, including Senator Sanders’ American Health Security Act of 2011 (S 915) and the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676), as well as legislation that supports granting the necessary federal waivers for states to implement single-payer health care.

SUMMER CELEBRATION OF CHOICE AND SUMMER OF TRUST 2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of supporting women’s health clinics that provide critical reproductive health and abortion services; and

WHEREAS, National NOW has created a new “Destigmatizing Abortion Ad Hoc Committee,” the purpose of which is to “work with the National NOW Action Center to develop and implement a strategic proactive campaign to achieve universal access to abortion as part of normal health care, repeal abortion funding restrictions and support doctors who provide abortion care in the face of terrorism and harassment”; and

WHEREAS, NOW passed a resolution called “Stop Domestic Terrorism at Women’s Health Clinics” in 2009, condemning the recent brutal murder of Dr. George Tiller and the threats toward Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s Nebraska clinic; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Carhart is now also working part-time at Reproductive Health Services (RHS) in Germantown, Md., and since Dr. Carhart started working at this clinic, threats to the staff and services at RHS have increased; and

WHEREAS, Operation Rescue, the same group that hounded Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan., for years, has announced plans for a so-called “Summer of Mercy 2.0” targeting Dr. Carhart in Germantown, Md., from July 30-Aug. 7, 2011, and their original so-called “Summer of Mercy” actions in 1991 shut down access to Dr. Tiller’s clinic for six weeks and resulted in 3,400 arrests; and

WHEREAS, a similar anti-abortion extremist group, Operation Save America/Operation Rescue, will target the reproductive health care facilities providing contraceptives and abortion in Orlando, Fla., on July 16-23 with harassment and protest, referred to as “storming the gates of hell” by their president, Flip Benham; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Carhart and his Abortion Access Fund, Inc. (AAF) — which is designed to assist women who are not able to fully pay for their reproductive health services — are organizing a “Summer Celebration of Choice” from Sunday, July 31 through Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, to counter the so-called “Summer of Mercy” attacks; and

WHEREAS, reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations and activists from across the country have created a coalition called “Summer of Trust” to support reproductive rights, health, and justice via public events scheduled from July 31 through Aug. 7,  2011, in Germantown, Md.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW work with Dr. Carhart and AAF to support and advertise the “Summer Celebration of Choice” and to encourage its members to participate in the “Summer Celebration of Choice” activities scheduled for the week of July 31-Aug. 6, 2011, including the “Kickoff Walk” on July 31, 2011; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, National NOW urge NOW chapters and activists to join in coalition to organize and mobilize its members to offer support and/or escorts to the clinics of Orlando, Fla., during this siege by our opponents; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support a peaceful presence at all activities at both the “Summer Celebration of Choice” and the “Summer of Trust” activities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Destigmatizing Abortion Ad Hoc Committee work with the National NOW Action Center to encourage NOW members to participate in these actions.

LOVE YOUR BODY AND WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES 2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Love Your Body Day campaign, poster contest, and event activities are examples of the kind of activism that changes the quality of life for women and girls throughout our nation; and

WHEREAS, NOW seeks to be inclusive of women and girls of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and abilities, including women with either visible or invisible cognitive, mental and/or physical disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the primary intersection of Feminist Studies and Disability Studies is a focus on the body, which determines both whether you are a woman or are disabled; and

WHEREAS, both beauty and disability tend to be things you are considered either to be born with or without, and they are also equally considered to be things that can be “fixed” or “improved” with surgery; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities face two separate, but related, pressures for surgery — the same pressure to have cosmetic surgery to “beautify” themselves as experienced by women without disabilities and the pressure of reconstructive surgery to “normalize” their bodies (for example with cochlear implants); and

WHEREAS, this pressure to conform to an external standard of both a normal body and a beautiful one doubles the pressure felt by women with disabilities to conform to these standards and/or face the same feelings of self-rejection and self-hatred women without disabilities face as they compare themselves to a standard of beauty defined by some men and the media; and

WHEREAS, these feelings of self-rejection and self-hatred often limit or impair women from garnering the internal strength built on self-acceptance and self-love that empowers women to move beyond the limits and expectations that society has often placed upon them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s “Love Your Body” Campaign incorporate ads of women and girls with disabilities within their offensive and positive ads shown on the Love Your Body Campaign section of the NOW website. The LYB Campaign should also include women and girls with disabilities in the graphic images and messages of the LYB Poster Contest by reaching out to artists with disabilities to submit contest entries; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that feminist and disability activists be encouraged to find and submit negative ads and images of women and girls with disabilities to be considered for addition to NOW’s Media Hall of Shame; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local chapters to host Love Your Body events that include or focus on women and girls with disabilities by providing additional suggested activities on the “What Can I Do” part of the Love Your Body website; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee of NOW work together with the NOW National Action Center to address these specific additions to the Love Your Body Campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Love Your Body Campaign be enhanced by including issues that women and girls with disabilities also face around loving their bodies, so that it emphasizes and honors the fact that all women and girls are perfect just as they are.

NATIONAL SAFE COSMETICS ACT 2010

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has an uncompromising commitment to ensuring that the health of women-including pregnant women and their families-is protected; and

WHEREAS, NOW resolved in 2006 to develop a strategy to educate its members on personal care product safety and its relationship to women’s health; and

WHEREAS, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act contains no provision that requires demonstration to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the safety of ingredients of cosmetic products prior to marketing them; and

WHEREAS, the 2010 report from the President’s Cancer Panel, entitled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk,” determined that although the National Institutes of Health estimates 75%-80% of cancers have environmental causes, there are “nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are either un- or understudied and are largely unregulated”; and

WHEREAS, the 2010 report from the President’s Cancer Panel reports that “tests of umbilical cord blood found traces of nearly 300 pollutants in newborns’ bodies”; and

WHEREAS, the cumulative daily exposure that many of us have to a myriad of personal care products that contain carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins has not been assessed, reviewed or tested by the FDA; and

WHEREAS, the European Union (EU), has taken a more enlightened approach to protecting its people from toxins in personal care products through a directive requiring companies doing business in Europe to eliminate 450 of the harmful chemicals in personal care products known or strongly suspected of causing “harm to human health,” compared to the nine chemicals that the FDA has banned or restricted; and

WHEREAS, chemicals-such as acrylamide (in foundation, face lotion and hand cream), which has been linked to mammary tumors; formaldehyde (found in nail polish and blush), which has been classified as a probable human carcinogen; and dibutyl phthalate (an industrial chemical commonly found in perfume and hair spray), which is known to damage the liver, kidney and reproductive systems, disrupt hormonal processes and increase breast cancer risk-are widely used in personal care products and cosmetics;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support a national safe cosmetics bill that will eliminate from personal care products chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support the national Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, which will require manufacturers of cosmetics and personal care products to phase out chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm and to be fully transparent about the ingredients they use.

HELP NEEDED FOR OBSTETRIC FISTULA SURGERY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

2010

WHEREAS, two million women throughout developing nations are facing an obstructed labor injury complex known as obstetric fistula; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula is a medical condition predominantly caused by prolonged labor in which the mother is left with chronic incontinence; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula is nearly obsolete in developed nations, which proves the effectiveness of available preventive measures that could stop 50,000 new cases from happening this year alone; and

WHEREAS, the underlying causes of obstetric fistula are rooted in the marginalization of women worldwide through poor economic conditions and limited health care availability, as well as the unjust practice of child marriage, which forces young girls into marriages with older men; they are then forced to have sex and deliver children, even though their bodies are not physically developed to do so; and

WHEREAS, child marriage is closely related to obstetric fistula, as many of the young girls experience prolonged labor after their families marry them in order to receive a bride price; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula occurs in regions of armed conflict where women cannot access health care or health care facilities; and

WHEREAS, girls and women with obstetric fistula are ostracized by their community and family, left with even less economic support to continue living or social support to seek medical care and instead these victims are further marginalized and blamed; and
WHEREAS, many times, doctors will avoid corrective surgery due to the stigma surrounding this condition, which results in women waiting even longer for medical attention; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, there are many prevention plans for obstetric fistula and other conditions caused by pregnancy, yet the maternal mortality rate only declined by 5.4% between 1990 and 2005 because these plans are not being properly funded or implemented; and

WHEREAS, cases are easily treated with a success rate over 90% and a cost of $300 U.S. dollars, if women are educated about and able to receive the corrective surgery;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognize this degenerative condition as preventable and treatable; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that members recognize the numerous human rights violations and disparities that occur for many of these women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, NOW encourage members and activists to advocate for speedy passage of HR 5441, The Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act of 2010, which will authorize funding to prevent and treat obstetric fistula.

HYDE AND SEEK-REPEAL THE HYDE AMENDMENT 2010

WHEREAS, United States Congress has renewed the Hyde Amendment in various forms since 1976, enacted in reaction to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade; and

WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment undermines women’s rights by discriminating against low-income women, prohibiting federal funding of abortion for the 12 million women of reproductive age who are served by Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, by prohibiting Medicaid funding of reproductive health insurance for low-income women, except in the cases of rape, incest or life-threatening situations, many women face late-term abortions or illegal, dangerous abortions due to the time required to find funds to pay for the abortion; and

WHEREAS, at times, the ban has been extended to prohibit funding for groups like Native Americans, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, low-income residents of Washington, D.C., federal prisoners, military personnel and their dependents, and disabled women who rely on Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, the major health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was used by Democratic leaders to gain votes from abortion opponents by including provisions similar to the Hyde Amendment that further restrict coverage for the millions of women who seek insurance under the new Act; and

WHEREAS, other legislation, such as the ban on federal funds for abortions enacted by the Children’s Health Initiative Program (CHIP), which serves girls 19 and younger, has gone into effect to discriminate against women; and

WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment has effectively politicized and stigmatized the legal practice of abortion and obstructed women’s constitutional right to control their reproductive lives;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue strongly to oppose the Hyde Amendment and any related legislative provisions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Board of NOW is hereby instructed to develop a long-term strategy with other allied organizations for the defeat of the Hyde Amendment and that the grassroots level of NOW be urged to take action in an aggressive campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment and to restore coverage for abortion care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

PROTECT THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS OF WOMEN FROM ULTRASOUND MISUSE

2010

WHEREAS, ultrasounds are becoming the new front of the battleground over abortions, and legislative ultrasound mandates are receiving significant backing from anti-abortion groups and crisis pregnancy centers, which consistently provide patients with biased information; and

WHEREAS, much of the information on mental and physical health that states require abortion providers to present to their patients is scientifically unsupportable or discredited and attempts to dissuade or shame women rather than to outline the details of relevant procedures; and

WHEREAS, laws that propose this use of ultrasounds and inaccurate medical information represent an abuse of medical practice; and

WHEREAS, the National Institutes of Health and other credible medical and health organizations have strongly advised that ultrasounds should only be performed for a “specific medical indication”; and

WHEREAS, these mandated ultrasounds are not medically necessary, and many of the policies concerning the disclosure of medical information run counter to the fundamental ethical principles of medical care and also interfere with the doctor-patient relationship; and

WHEREAS, many of the state mandates do little to further the values of the consent process and instead use the issue of “informed consent” to render women who seek abortions incompetent, vulnerable and largely unable to understand the meaning of having reproductive power; and

WHEREAS, at least 20 states have enacted laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasounds, and these laws require that the woman patient be responsible for the payment of these mandated ultrasounds; and

WHEREAS, many “informed consent” policies push for requirements that would force women to listen to inaccurate descriptions of various abortion procedures that are irrelevant to their own procedure and to other information that is not germane to the individual woman’s pregnancy; and

WHEREAS, as intelligent adults, women are able to make decisions without being emotionally coerced;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) reaffirm that women seeking abortions must have the right to make decisions about their medical care free from coercion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW stand in opposition to those state laws that do not respect a woman’s ability to make informed decisions concerning her reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW condemns and urges repeal of laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasounds or related biased and inappropriate information with the intent of dissuading women from exercising their reproductive rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW oppose the mandated use of ultrasounds and the issue of “informed consent” as a means of posing obstacles to women exercising their reproductive rights.

RESTRICT U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS LOBBYING ON CAPITOL HILL

2010

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying Congress claim that their unrelenting advocacy throughout the recent health care bill debates, particularly on issues regarding women’s reproductive health, were fueled by the Catholic Church’s obligation to advocate for moral consciousness; and

WHEREAS, because of widespread abuse scandals concerning Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals and cover-ups by the hierarchy, the Catholic Church has lost moral standing after decades of sexual exploitation and subsequent inaction and concealment; and
WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church is governed exclusively by men, who cannot become pregnant, it is therefore inappropriate for those who have historically placed women in second-class status with regard to making decisions about their bodies to dictate what is politically, socially and economically correct for our reproductive health and that they should keep their rules off our bodies; and

WHEREAS, the governance of the Roman Catholic Church could be appropriately considered to be the embodiment of the patriarchy; and

WHEREAS, recent health care legislation was altered and diminished due to the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other like-minded groups who claim to maintain their moral authority; and

WHEREAS, many abortion rights advocates agree that the health care measures advocated for by the Catholic bishop lobbyists in the recent passage of health care insurance reform surpassed the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment; and

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington, D.C., face almost none of the lobbying or disclosure rules that apply to the rest of D.C. lobbyists; and

WHEREAS, lobbying laws specifically exempt churches from reporting requirements, while they legally permit churches to do no more than “insubstantial” lobbying; and

WHEREAS, “insubstantial” lobbying has evidently been left without a clear definition and therefore allows Catholic bishops to maintain political clout that remains inappropriate to moral and constitutional separation of church and state;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) condemn the blatant political influence that Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington have exercised throughout the health care reform debate and other legislative matters regarding women’s reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge Congress and the IRS to reform tax laws to clarify the legal definition and boundaries of the “insubstantial” degree to which the Catholic Church may lobby and invest in lobbying in Washington; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the federal government require greater disclosure and transparency of lobbying-related expenditures on the part of the Catholic Church and of financial benefits received by the USCCB, the Catholic Church, and other affiliated entities, such as Catholic Charities, in legislation on which they lobby.

TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE GULF COAST DISASTER 2010

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast oil spill has already had cataclysmic economic, environmental and public health impacts; and

WHEREAS, British Petroleum (BP), by acknowledgement of responsibility for this cataclysm, has pledged to create a fund of $20 billion to be used to mitigate this disaster; and

WHEREAS, insufficient information has been made public detailing the terms and conditions for disbursement of these funds, leaving those affected by the disaster unsure which, if any, public health impacts, economic impacts, or environmental impacts will qualify for financial remuneration or by what criteria eligibility will be determined; and

WHEREAS, lawmakers, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York, have called for active surveillance of Gulf Coast recovery workers’ health, and a number of cleanup responders on the Gulf Coast have been reporting vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness – complaints that are eerily reminiscent of illnesses reported by first responders in the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks; and

WHEREAS, many small and woman-owned businesses in the Gulf Coast region may need professional assistance in preparing and presenting claims for compensation from the BP oil spill fund; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that the claims process and demographic information about the claimants and awardees of compensation from the fund be made publicly available, particularly as pertains to the health and status of women in the Gulf area;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call upon all agencies of the federal government and the administrator of the BP oil spill fund to make publicly available demographic information-including breakdowns by gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location, and all other categories-relevant to the transparency and accountability of the process for remediation and remuneration from the effects of the oil spill; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demand that all appropriate agencies of the federal government and BP undertake active surveillance of the effects of the oil spill; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that in order to ameliorate the harm caused by the oil spill, NOW demand that these agencies and BP make this information available to the public.

STOP DOMESTIC TERRORISM AT WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINICS 2009         

WHEREAS, one of the priority issues of the National Organization for Women (NOW) affirms that reproductive freedom is a human right. This includes the right to obtain reproductive education; to have, or not to have children; to have the conditions that enable women to make optimal choices for their own lives; and the right to access reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, effective birth control, and emergency contraception; and                                                                                                                                          

WHEREAS, the domestic terror campaign against women’s reproductive rights is a great ongoing threat to women’s reproductive health, safety and liberty; and                                    

WHEREAS, the domestic terror campaign continues to threaten the lives of providers of women’s reproductive heath services. This includes, but is not limited to, the brutal murder of Dr. George Tiller as well as threats toward Dr. Carhart’s Nebraska clinic; and                              

WHEREAS, such misinformation about third-term abortions coupled with violent use of rhetoric against providers of women’s reproductive health service creates a violent climate of emotional and physical terrorism;                                                                                         

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW conference reaffirm that a woman’s right to choose abortion for any reason is a fundamental right that cannot legitimately be abridged by any court or other governmental entity; and                                  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW implement a “Remember Dr. Tiller” campaign to stand up for the courageous abortion providers who ensure women’s health care and demand the government root out this terrorism on our soil; and                                                                              

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to demand that state, local and federal governments prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all those who carry out violent attacks against abortion clinics workers and women seeking abortions; and                                                   

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW office launch a web and email campaign to expose media bias and propaganda that vilifies abortion providers and women who have abortions and that gives publicity to extremist groups that terrorize clinics and health care workers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a campaign advocate for state legislation to require medical schools to teach abortion procedures as part of their regular training; and                        

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW make clinic defense training available to chapter leaders and activists who defend women and health care professionals, including updating and publishing the NOW Clinic Defense manual; and                                                                           

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all NOW members are urged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with women and providers, as our Kansas NOW members did for Dr. Tiller, and hold SpeakOuts about third-term abortions and why women need them; and                                             

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that all NOW members be encouraged to participate in a massive Day of Thanks for abortion providers annually.

HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES 2009                         

WHEREAS, in 1993, the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed the Single-Payer Health Care resolution, but the resolution did not mention problems that women with disabilities have obtaining health care; and                                         

WHEREAS, people with disabilities are in particular need of single-payer, universal health care, which will place their health needs above the profit motive of insurance companies, which often deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions or drop them from insurance because of their conditions; and

WHEREAS, applying for Social Security disability is a particularly onerous process, which may take years, is regularly denied, and can be disastrous for women who have no other means of support; and                                                                                                                            

WHEREAS, people with disabilities have particular health care needs that are often incredibly expensive, and their health or lives may be endangered due to lack of health care; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities often cannot access health care either due to lack of accessible medical facilities or lack of sensitivity toward medical or reproductive issues of women with disabilities; and                                      

WHEREAS, comprehensive health care is needed to level the playing field and make health care accessible and affordable for all women, including women with disabilities;                 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW include women with disabilities in the advocacy for single-payer health care or health care reform with a public option; and                          

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW include women with disabilities in their single-payer health care or public option talking points; and                                                    

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW push for a reasonable time to appear before a Social Security judge; and                                                                

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage chapters and at-large members to include women with disabilities in their advocacy for single-payer health care or health care reform with a public option.

SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE IS AN ECONOMIC JUSTICE ISSUE 2009             

WHEREAS, the lack of single-payer health care in the United States is a critically important issue of economic justice for women and their families that affects many economic issues in their lives, and women pay more for health insurance while making less money than men; and

WHEREAS, the lack of single-payer health care leads to unemployment and underemployment because employers do not want to pay health insurance benefits and thus either do not hire workers or hire a high percentage of temporary or part-time workers to avoid paying benefits; and

WHEREAS, many people are tied to jobs in order to keep their health insurance; and

WHEREAS, the largest percentage of people who file bankruptcy do so because of a health care crisis;

WHEREAS, various states have been actively working on passage of single-payer legislation as a vehicle for passage of single-payer on the national level;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) chapters be encouraged to participate in the July 30, 2009, National Day of Action, arranged and promoted by the coalition of single-payer health care organizations, to advocate for comprehensive, single-payer health care, as well as continuing their calls to Congress until single-payer health care is passed; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s talking points on the need for single-payer health care include information on how the lack of a single-payer system affects employment and everyone’s general economic status and that this is an issue of economic justice, as well as health care access; and                                                                                                                                    

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will advocate for passage of state single-payer legislation as another means of the passage of single-payer on the national level;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW’s media campaign for single-payer health care include information on economic justice.

COMMUNITY CHOICE ACT

2/09

WHEREAS, over 25 million women in the United States have some type of disability. This includes sensory, physical, mental, or self-care limitations plus limitations in going outside the home and employment; and

WHEREAS, there are over 1 million women living in nursing homes in the United States—including 5.3 percent of the population of women over age 65—and 24 percent of women in the United States either live in nursing homes or are women with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, current Medicaid rules encourage placing women with self-care limitations into nursing homes and discourage providing home care services that will allow women to stay in their homes and communities. Over 65% of long-term-care Medicaid dollars are spent on nursing homes, and less than 35% are spent on community care services; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities overwhelmingly prefer to receive services in the most integrated setting possible and to stay in their own homes so that they can retain more control over their lives and their bodies by having  the choice to remain in their own homes; and

WHEREAS, women who remain in their own homes are more likely to become or remain employed and live well-rounded, satisfying lives than women who are forced to live in nursing homes; and

WHEREAS, community services are less expensive on average than institutional services, and a 2005 study found that home care reduces costs by 37%; and

WHEREAS, June 22, 2009 marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court “Olmstead” decision, which forbids segregating people with disabilities in institutional settings, and mandates that persons with disabilities receive services in the “most integrated” setting; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has long-standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and is on record in support of the rights of women with disabilities and has an uncompromising investment in working to protect the rights of people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, legislation like the Community Choice Act requires each state to have at least a minimal Medicaid-funded personal assistance program so that all U.S. citizens with disabilities can choose to live in their own homes, establishes a national program of community-based attendant services and supports for people with disabilities, allows Medicaid money to follow the person, and allows eligible persons to choose where they want to receive services and care,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will encourage the United States Congress to pass, and President Obama to sign, the Community Choice Act or equivalent legislation, and will support efforts of other organizations to encourage the passage of this bill; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee of NOW will work together with the NOW National Action Center and the disability community to advocate for the passage of legislation like the Community Choice Act, and full implementation of the Olmstead decision.

WOMEN’S RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR OWN HEALTH 2008

WHEREAS, support for abortion rights and women’s reproductive justice has long been one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) core issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW has organized demonstrations and marches in support of abortion rights throughout our history, the most recent national example being the 2004 March For Women’s Lives; and

WHEREAS, the landmark Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent court rulings have upheld mental health exceptions to abortion bans; and

WHEREAS, the ideological balance in the Supreme Court has shifted to the right, as reflected in its recent ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, where it showed a shocking disregard for a pregnant woman’s right to the procedure that is most medically appropriate to protect her own health; and

WHEREAS, opponents of abortion rights often make dubious distinctions between physical and mental health when addressing the “health exception” in bans on late-term abortions, even to the point of suggesting that women will impulsively seek late-term abortions on the non-verifiable (thus, supposedly trumped-up) justification of depression or other emotional conditions; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. President, the Executive Branch, and the Legislative Branch have significant power to affect reproductive justice for women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW conference reaffirms that a woman’s right to choose abortion to protect her physical or mental health is a fundamental right that cannot legitimately be abridged by any court or other governmental entity; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW conference encourage NOW chapters to educate their members about any attempts to limit the “health exception” to late-term abortion bans.  

HEALTHCARE FUNDING CRISIS 2008

WHEREAS, since 1993, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has advocated that single-payer healthcare cover the full range of women’s healthcare needs throughout their lives; and

WHEREAS, access to quality healthcare in the United States has markedly deteriorated for many decades—under Democratic and Republican administrations alike—and is inferior now to access to quality healthcare in almost all other industrialized countries; and

WHEREAS, the spiraling military budget has resulted in a projected 30.9% cut in social services block grants for 2009, while the U.S. military budget is larger than that of all other countries in the world combined, and the $720,000,000 spent every day on the war in Iraq would be enough to supply one year’s health insurance for 423,529 children; and

WHEREAS, some financially strapped states are reducing both eligibility and funding for State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) and Medicaid, causing approximately 1.5 million people to lose coverage over the past five years;

WHEREAS, decisions about the choice and duration of medical treatments have been usurped by the insurance industry from the healthcare providers and patients who should be making those decisions; and

WHEREAS, tens of millions of full-time workers are uninsured, while those with insurance are saddled with increasingly high premiums, deductibles, and co-payments; and

WHEREAS, this decline in healthcare delivery has had a disproportionate impact upon populations of color—over two-thirds of the uninsured being nonwhite, and hospital closings occurring disproportionately in urban communities—and single-parent families headed by women—37.5% of the uninsured being families with less than $10,000 annual income—thereby resulting in a pattern that is both racist and sexist; and

WHEREAS, while both major political parties now acknowledge the need to address the healthcare crisis, both continue to place the burden of healthcare on those unable to afford it;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW make universal single-payer healthcare, including comprehensive coverage of all women’s healthcare needs, a major campaign issue;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call for universal single-payer healthcare to be financed by a drastic cut in the Pentagon’s bloated share of the national budget.

ACTION PLAN FOR WOMEN IN THE MILITARY: HEALTH ISSUES 2007

WHEREAS, approximately 350,000 women currently serve in the United States (U.S.) military, making up almost 15 percent of all active-duty personnel; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government should provide the highest standard of care to women who have volunteered to serve their country; and

WHEREAS, women in the military is currently one of NOW’s important issues; and

WHEREAS, the federal government not only forbids the use of public funds for abortions for military personnel and their families but also bans abortions at military facilities even if the woman is willing to self-pay; and

WHEREAS, contraceptive devices and medications, including emergency contraception (Plan B), are not being stocked at military medical facilities; and

WHEREAS, Pap tests and mammograms are not made available to servicewomen on a regular basis; and

WHEREAS, data is needed to identify health issues involving women in the military and women veterans to apprise them of services and benefits available to them; and

WHEREAS, educational efforts need to be directed to women in the military and women veterans; and

WHEREAS, it is important to verify that there are adequate numbers of obstetricians and gynecologists available for women in the military in the U.S. and wherever they are stationed throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, are prevalent in the military and within military families; and

WHEREAS, women in the military suffer from PTSD from combat and from rape, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment; and

WHEREAS, NOW is the premier women’s rights organization in the U.S.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW form an ad hoc committee on Health Issues of Women in the Military. The committee will work with other organizations working in these areas and appropriate military and veterans service organizations to address these problems so as to develop strategies and action plans and bring these plans to the National Board.

NOW SUPPORTS A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ACT

9/06

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has supported a universal, single-payer health insurance system for U.S. residents regardless of marital status, employment, income, or health condition for nearly thirty years, and renewed its commitment to universal health insurance in 2004; and

WHEREAS, in our current health insurance system, women often have to:

  1. worry about health coverage in deciding to marry and divorce;
  2. struggle to pay for our children’s healthcare;
  3. give up health insurance when we work part time or in the home;
  4. depend on our partners for healthcare; and
  5. meet extremely low income criteria to qualify for Medicaid coverage for

            ourselves and our children; and  

WHEREAS, national health care would help women gain a measure of economic independence; and

WHEREAS, as members of NOW, we believe that national health care is a priority for the feminist movement; and

WHEREAS, in many other countries women have access to health care, childcare and paid parental leave as citizens – regardless of their marital status— and that these programs give women more independence from their partners and employers; and

WHEREAS, there is currently a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act) which would provide comprehensive national health insurance, covering everyone for all their needs, which would provide a springboard toward equality between women and men in paid and unpaid work;   

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW endorse and provide information members can use to work toward the introduction and passage of a national health insurance act in the Senate and House; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW publicize its support for the goal of building pressure and publicity for national health insurance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW send action packets to every NOW chapter.  The action packets will assist chapters in lobbying, grassroots activism and movement-building for a national health insurance act; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that an action alert be sent to NOW members for a national call-in day of action for NOW members to demand that their Senators introduce a national health insurance act in the Senate.  Such action will occur by March 2007.  

CALL FOR A REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN 2006

WHEREAS, one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) priority issues affirms that reproductive freedom is a human right, and that this right includes the right to reproductive education, to have, or not to have children, to have the conditions that enable women to make optimal choices for their own lives, and the right to reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, effective birth control, and emergency contraception; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that reproductive justice intrinsically correlates with sexism, poverty, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and disability discrimination; and

WHEREAS, women of color and women with disabilities, including those with access to health care, experience discrimination in the health care system and often are not provided the same level of care as others;

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration and recent United States Supreme Court confirmations of newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, pose a momentous threat to women’s reproductive health; particularly in regard to affordable and accessible child care, pre- and post-natal care, health care for women and their families, programs to assist pregnant substance abusers, universal health care, comprehensive school-based sex education for youth, family planning and counseling, job security for pregnant employees, housing for low income women and accessible transportation; and   

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 30% of Latinas and nearly 25% of African American women and significantly high numbers of women with disabilities are uninsured; and

WHEREAS, more than 87% of the counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider and many of these communities have significant populations of color; and

WHEREAS, significant threats to access to reproductive health clinics in South Dakota and recent attacks on the only clinic in Mississippi are endangering women, particularly low-income women; and

WHEREAS, following the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, NOW made a commitment to safeguarding reproductive health and access and justice for all women; and

WHEREAS, NOW, as one of the organizers of the March for Women’s Lives, is committed to continuing to build stronger relationships with women of color organizations;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW extend an invitation to all women of color organizations and those that participated in the organizing of the March for Women’s Lives, to join in a call for a Reproductive Justice Campaign to develop an agenda to build and strengthen ties in our communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Reproductive Justice Campaign articulate a plan of action developed by NOW and women of color organizations and allies that would include anti-racism training and organizational development; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW provide chapters with a framework to guide reproductive justice campaigns in their communities and encourage chapters to collaborate with local allies to outreach to their local communities and to plan joint actions to defend and protect reproductive health and reproductive rights in their communities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW create training and education materials that will connect the relevance of reproductive rights, health care and justice to the race and ethnicity of all women, as well as women with disabilities, and sample actions for chapters, and that these resources be made accessible on both printed materials and downloadable via the NOW website.

SAFE PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS FOR WOMEN AND OUR FAMILIES

2/06

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has an uncompromising commitment to ensuring that the health of women and our families is protected; and

WHEREAS, NOW has a long-standing commitment to respect for women’s bodies and works against oppressive beauty standards through the Women’s Health Project, the “Love Your Body” Campaign and lobbying the United States Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) to prohibit the marketing of silicone breast implants; and

WHEREAS, emerging science suggests that many cosmetics and personal care ingredients may cause cancer, ravage women’s reproductive health and cause birth defects; and

WHEREAS, the cumulative daily exposure that many of us have to a myriad of personal care products that contain carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins has not been assessed, reviewed or tested by the FDA; and  

WHEREAS, the FDA is empowered under the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, 21 U.S.C.A. ‘ 301 et seq. (1976) (FD&CA), to ensure the safety of personal care and cosmetic products available to consumers. However, the FDA does not require companies to do safety testing of cosmetic products before marketing, nor does any other United States governmental agency; and

WHEREAS, the European Union (EU), has taken a more enlightened approach to protecting its people from toxins in personal care products through a directive requiring companies doing business in Europe to eliminate 450 of the harmful chemicals in personal care products known or strongly suspected of causing “harm to human health,” compared to the nine chemicals that the FDA has banned or restricted; and

WHEREAS, chemicals such as acrylamide (in foundation, face lotion and hand cream) linked to mammary tumors; formaldehyde (found in nail polish and blush) classified as a probable human carcinogen; and dibutyl phthalate (an industrial chemical commonly found in perfume and hair spray) known to damage the liver, kidney and reproductive systems, disrupt hormonal processes and increase breast cancer risk, are widely used in personal care products and cosmetics; and

WHEREAS, the Environmental Working Group and other organizations have identified serious probable safety violations of the FD&CA by cosmetics manufacturers and retailers, through an in-depth investigation of over 10,000 personal care product ingredients;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW develop a strategy to educate our members on personal care product safety and its relationship to women’s health; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support appropriate legislation to empower the FDA to more effectively ensure the safety of personal care products.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS – ANOTHER CASUALTY OF THE “WAR ON DRUGS”  2005

WHEREAS, the incarceration rate of women convicted of low-level drug-related offenses has increased dramatically in the past decade as a result of our nation’s relentless “War on Drugs,” and poor women and women of color have been disproportionately targeted for drug law enforcement and receive long mandatory prison sentences that have little relationship to their actions or culpability; and

WHEREAS, two thirds of women in prison have at least two children who are displaced as a result of their incarceration, often forced to live in the care of family, friends, or state-sponsored foster care where they may be at increased risk of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, women’s unique patterns of drug abuse and addiction and special treatment needs are inadequately addressed, as women often turn to drugs to cope with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness, and/or the trauma of physical or sexual abuse or other stresses particular to women; and

WHEREAS, the intersection of substance use and pregnancy are increasingly the focus of drug law enforcement; and

WHEREAS, violence against women and other circumstances specific to women’s involvement in drug-related activities are often overlooked or ignored in sentencing, such as situations in which women who have been emotionally, physically, or sexually abused by partners involved in drug operations are dependent on them and unlikely to turn to the authorities; and

WHEREAS, after incarceration, women continue to bear the stigma and burden of post-conviction sanctions that constitute collateral consequences of incarceration impeding their reintegration into society, including denial of access to public housing, public assistance and food stamps, higher education aid and civic participation, effectively rendering them second-class citizens;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) iterate its opposition to the “War on Drugs” and in its stead support an approach to drug use and addiction that promotes compassion, public health and human rights; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW educate its membership about the harms the “War on Drugs” inflicts on women, using the NOW web site, NOW materials and literature and regular NOW legislative updates including pending legislation that would negatively impact women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that an ad-hoc committee be created to research current drug policy that has a particular impact on women and report back to the leadership and membership at the next national conference on a potential action plan to be implemented locally and nationally in conjunction with other organizations currently working toward the same objectives.

TAMPON RESEARCH AND SAFETY

1/03

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to women’s health and safety; and

WHEREAS, the chlorine used for bleaching sanitary products can leave behind trace amounts of dioxin, a suspected carcinogen and immune system disrupter, which may increase the risk of endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility, as well as cervical, ovarian, and breast cancers; and

WHEREAS, rayon and other additives used to increase tampon absorbency are suspected to foster bacterial growth, associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a potentially fatal disease;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW recommends to NOW Foundation that it address this issue as part of its Women’s Health Project.

ACTION TO PREVENT CERVICAL CANCER

1/03

WHEREAS, cervical cancer is a leading cause of death by cancer in women; and

WHEREAS, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the sexually transmitted disease (STD) identified as a primary cause of cervical cancer and is one of the most common STDs,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports a comprehensive and aggressive campaign to educate Americans about cervical cancer: its causes (including HPV), detection, treatment, and prevention and recommends to the NOW Foundation that it address this issue as part of its Women’s Health Project as appropriate.

ADVANCEMENT OF MEDICAL RESEARCH 2002

WHEREAS, the United States has been a leader in scientific and other research for the past 50 years; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration and some members of Congress are actively seeking to slow and/or stop advancements in medical research with regard to the use of embryos, embryonic stem cells, and fetal tissue, despite the fact that according to a May 2002 poll (Caravan, Inc.) 68 percent of the American public supports therapeutic cloning; and

WHEREAS, the leading opponents of such research are the anti-abortionists and right-wing religious extremists; and

WHEREAS, scientific and medical research using embryos, embryonic stem cells, and fetal tissue could lead to treatments and cures for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, spina bifida, and a host of other diseases and conditions; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has traditionally supported a woman’s right to govern her own body without interference and has supported health initiatives that benefit women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will actively support research in the areas of therapeutic cloning using embryonic stem cells, the use of embryonic and fetal tissues, and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) as well as federal funding for such research.

11/01

Moved that “NOW participate in an amicus brief, both by signing on and encouraging other groups to do so, on Taxol fairness.”

CURRENT ATTENTION ON POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION 2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long-standing commitment to civil rights for all people, including women with mental and physical disabilities; and

WHEREAS, our society remains essentially hostile to, and unsupportive of, the family responsibilities of all women and men whether those responsibilities are being met with in-home family care or through commercial family-care providers; and

WHEREAS, many women with disabilities are in desperate circumstances because they either cannot afford appropriate medical care, or cannot obtain such care due to a lack of providers or services, or due to other barriers; and

WHEREAS, there is a lack of respite care and other support services for family members caring for older and younger generations, including families living with family members with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, society continues to discriminate against many aspects of pregnancy and childrearing, including a heavy stigma on women with postpartum depression; and

WHEREAS, postpartum depression is fairly common, occurring in some 10-15% of first-time mothers, and recurring subsequently in 10-35% of those women, nonetheless, many women suffer postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis in silence and isolation, unaware that they are neither alone nor unique; and

WHEREAS, postpartum depression was first described by Hippocrates in about 700 B.C.E., yet even now we do not fully understand or recognize all factors contributing to postpartum psychiatric disorders; and

WHEREAS, postpartum depression is much in the news due to the recent tragedy in Houston where a woman with a long history of postpartum depression and consumption of multiple medications confessed to drowning her five children; and

WHEREAS, this took place in Harris County, Texas, which, if it were a state, would be third in the nation for total number of executions, coming behind Texas itself and Virginia, in that order; and

WHEREAS, in nations such as England, women involved in situations like the Texas tragedy would most likely be in medical facilities receiving treatment, not in jails being questioned about legal strategies; as is Texas’ position on the death penalty, this criminal response to women who are ill is barbaric;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW affirms its long-standing opposition to the death penalty; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW urge the press and the law enforcement community, including the judiciary, to consider tragedies of this sort in the full context of the nature of postpartum depression; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, NOW urges the National Institutes of Health to increase its research into postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

FREEDOM OF CHOICE FOR INTERSEX GIRLS—A GIRL’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE 2001

WHEREAS, since 1967 the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been the nation’s leading organization in the movement for women’s reproductive freedom and bodily integrity; and

 WHEREAS, NOW has recognized that reproductive freedom is more than access to safe and legal abortion and birth control, and that it includes freedom from unnecessary hysterectomy, involuntary sterilization, and other medical procedures performed without the proper informed consent of the patient; and

WHEREAS, at least one in every 2,000 children—primarily girls—are born with atypical sexual anatomy and, before they are old enough to choose for themselves or provide informed consent, are frequently subjected to invasive hormonal and surgical procedures to make their bodies more closely resemble doctors’ ideas of “normal” female appearance; and

WHEREAS, the parents of intersex girls are rarely given full, fair, and accurate information about their daughters’ conditions, the risks involved in medical procedures, or referrals to supportive information and groups; and

WHEREAS, many intersex girls grow up hurt, isolated, and ashamed due to the procedures carried out on them and the subsequent violations of their bodies without their choice or consent; and

WHEREAS, in recent years many intersex women have come forward to report that the medical interventions they sustained without their choice or consent have been a source of profound psychological, physical, and sexual harm to them; and

WHEREAS, the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) and GenderPAC have worked to end secrecy and shame surrounding the unwanted genital surgeries performed on intersex girls, and to promote recognition of intersex girls’ right to choose and be fully informed about medical decisions involving their bodies and genitals;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support GenderPAC and ISNA in the struggle to end secrecy and shame surrounding intersex women and girls and to promote intersex girls’ right to choose and be fully informed on medical decisions involving their bodies and genitals; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support and uphold intersex girls’ right to choose and be fully informed regarding cosmetic medical procedures involving their bodies and genitals; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge the medical community, in conjunction with patient advocacy groups, to establish and adopt a patient-centered protocol under which full, fair, and accurate information, supportive information and resources, and referral to groups or individual adult intersex women are provided to the parents of intersex girls.

MAKE MIFEPRISTONE AVAILABLE TO U.S. WOMEN 2000

WHEREAS, millions of women will benefit from the development and distribution of mifepristone, which is a safe, effective method of early pregnancy termination and shows promise as a possible treatment for ovarian cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, meningioma, and some types of breast cancer, and in assisting labor induction; and

WHEREAS, mifepristone’s availability in the U.S. will make a very early and private abortion option available to women, increase access to abortion services, reframe the abortion debate, and ultimately curb the targeting of physicians and clinics by anti-abortion extremists; and

WHEREAS, anti-abortion politics have already brought research on mifepristone to a standstill, and only when mifepristone wins approval as a method of early abortion will adequate supplies of the medication be available for development of the drug’s other indications; and

WHEREAS, the FDA is reportedly discussing onerous restrictions that are unprecedented and medically unnecessary, and that limit access to a safe and very early form of medical abortion, which would mean that mifepristone would remain largely unavailable for research on its other important uses, and which would make it almost financially impossible for a company to continue to supply the medication; and

 WHEREAS, in contrast to the process with mifepristone, the FDA approved Viagra with unprecedented speed and has not issued any cautions or callbacks, even though more than 65 men have died from conditions relating to their use of Viagra, while after 20 years of testing and use by women around the world with no reported complications, mifepristone is still unavailable to women in the U.S.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call on the President of the United States and Jane Henney, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to expeditiously approve mifepristone, without unnecessary restrictions that interfere with women’s health care, the practice of medicine, or life-saving scientific research; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge all activists to mobilize at the state and local levels in support of approval of mifepristone by means of signing and gathering petitions and sending them to the President and Commissioner Henney, as well as by making special outreach efforts to medical and scientific communities to register their support for approving mifepristone.

FURTHER CLINICAL RESEARCH ON BREAST IMPLANTS WITH SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN CONGRESS 1999

WHEREAS, in 1996, the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed a resolution that stated, “Therefore Be It Resolved, that NOW work to educate women and men about the details of the breast implant issue and the product,” and, “Be It Further Resolved, that NOW support individuals affected by the breast implant issue by supporting legislative intervention and avenues of relief”; and

WHEREAS, in 1997, NOW passed a resolution that stated, “Therefore Be It Resolved, that NOW supports legislation funding research on possible side effects of implantation with silicone shell breast implants”; and

WHEREAS, in December of 1991, the House of Representatives of the 102nd Congress issued a committee report, “The FDA’s Regulation of Silicone Breast Implants”, which found that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not fulfilled its responsibility of protecting and adequately informing consumers regarding these products and that this responsibility remains unfulfilled to this day; and

WHEREAS, the current published failure rates of these devices are much higher than estimated in 1993, when FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler stated that a failure rate of even 5% was “not a safety standard that the FDA can accept” in an article of the Journal of Biomedical Material Research, and that a recently published study by scientists at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, examining 8,000 explant cases, found that rupture rates occur at 30% over 5 years and up to 70% over 17 years; and

WHEREAS, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), noting the deficiencies of current research findings, recently recommended that all breast implant patients be extensively surveyed, that all prospective breast implant patients be provided with enough information to make an informed decision, and that more definitive research be conducted; and

WHEREAS, much of the data concerning breast implants is seriously flawed, and since new and important findings possibly indicating serious health consequences for breast implant wearers are about to be released, and additional clinical studies are being planned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and

WHEREAS, silicone activists have worked with U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, Mary Landrieu, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, as well as U.S. Rep. Gene Green and other members of Congress in order to have legislation introduced known as “The Silicone Breast Implant Research and Information Act(s)”; these bills ask NIH to conduct independent and unbiased research, and “require more accurate and timely dissemination of information to women who consider silicone breast implants,” and conduct other activities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls upon Congress to pass such legislation, to make funding by NIH and other government agencies a priority, to disclose the findings of such studies to the public promptly, and to strengthen such legislation in light of the IOM recommendations and other considerations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourages all chapters to make available comprehensive, unbiased information regarding the effects of breast implants; and

 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support in spirit the efforts of activists to encourage the creation of a carefully monitored system of tracking all implant patients on a long-term basis with reports of rupture, illness or disease being presented in a timely fashion to the FDA.

OPPOSING THE DIVERSION OF PUBLIC RESOURCES TO RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR AFFILIATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICE 1999

WHEREAS, the 105 hospital “mergers” since 1995, in which Catholic hospitals with bishop-directed policies displaced public hospitals, highlight a growing takeover of public and non-sectarian hospitals and social service agencies by religious organizations and their affiliates; and

WHEREAS, the refusal of Catholic hospitals to provide any reproductive health care to women, including abortion, sterilization, emergency contraception to rape victims, birth control, information or even referrals highlights the extent to which religious organizations and their affiliates will act in accordance with their own sectarian agendas and beliefs, regardless of the law or human need; and

WHEREAS, religious organizations and their affiliates cannot be held accountable under local, state or federal laws, including living wage laws, domestic partner ordinances, property and income tax laws, labor and anti-discrimination laws; and

WHEREAS, a movement deceptively called “charitable choice” is increasingly diverting public funding to religious organizations and their affiliates in spite of their non-accountability and sectarian agendas, which too often include a fundamental hostility to women’s reproductive rights and equality; and

WHEREAS, women represent a majority of the uninsured and underinsured, and are thus more likely to seek health care and social services from public hospitals and agencies; and

WHEREAS, women represent a majority of the workers in the healthcare and social service fields, and are thus more likely to suffer from the lower wages, lesser benefits, and discriminatory workplace practices associated with religious organizations and their affiliates;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) opposes any diversion of public resources to religious organizations and their affiliates that pursue policies and practices inimical to women’s equality, rights, and lives; or, in the alternative, be it resolved that any health-related entity which receives any public funds must provide constitutionally protected health services; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW joins our sisters in the National Council for Jewish Women, Catholics for a Free Choice, Hadassah, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Methodist Church, the Friends Committee, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and many other groups and organizations in opposing the concept, policy, and implementation of “charitable choice.”

EARLY INTERSEX GENITAL SURGERY

2/98

WHEREAS, thousands of children are born each year in the US with “ambiguous” genitalia; and

WHEREAS, medical assessments at birth and resulting gender assignment surgeries are too often based on cultural and societal norms as to whether a penis is deemed “too small” or a clitoris “too large;” and

WHEREAS, by their own testimony many of these children are severely traumatized by this practice; and

WHEREAS, by their own testimony, many of these children lose all or part of their erotic sensation; and

WHEREAS, some of the genitoplasty techniques employed result in scar tissue which is sensitive to any sort of friction resulting in chronic pain; and

WHEREAS, recent data strongly suggest that intersex children subjected to surgical procedures at birth to affect the gender assignment often reject the assigned sex as they mature to adulthood; and

WHEREAS, there are serious ethical concerns raised by early sex-assignment surgery;

 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call into question genioplasty on intersex infants as currently practiced; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW express its concern to organized medicine (in particular, the American Medical Association; the American Medical Women’s Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Urologic Association; the American College of Surgeons; the American Psychiatric Association; and the Society for Bioethics) and to the National Institutes of Health, and call upon these entities to investigate the long term effects of early gender assignment surgery, and to widely disseminate the results of these studies to the medical community at large.

BREAST IMPLANT RESEARCH 1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long standing policy of supporting adequate health care, informed consent, and safe products for women; and

WHEREAS, the health of women around the world has been jeopardized for over 30 years by corporate greed in the promotion and sale of breast implants, because these implants have never been proven safe; and

WHEREAS, thousands of implant recipients have been silenced by court orders (gag rules) prohibiting them and their attorneys from revealing evidence against implant manufacturers disclosed during implant injury trials; and

WHEREAS, future generations may suffer from the effects of silicone crossing the placental barrier and contaminated breast milk because this evidence has been suppressed; and

WHEREAS, there is evidence that women around the world have been sickened, maimed for life, or died as a result of silicone shell breast implants; and

WHEREAS, women around the world are still getting breast implants even though there has yet to be any large scale, unbiased, independently funded research to determine the cause of illnesses suffered by hundreds of thousands of silicone implanted women or the reasons for the increasing numbers of early deaths among these women; and

WHEREAS, women disabled by illnesses, which silicone toxicity specialists attribute to silicone shell implants, are being added to the rolls of public financial assistance programs as their health further declines; and

WHEREAS, advocates of safe and adequately tested medical products for women are asking the Congress to approve full funding for the necessary studies, including volunteers from registrants in the breast implant product liability litigation designated MDL 926, Northern District of Alabama, so that all may know the full effects of silicone shell breast implants on the human body;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support legislation funding research on possible side effects of implantation with silicone shell breast implants; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the Disability Rights CIC provide information to state chapters re: establishing a disability rights task force that includes a silicone implant awareness component.  

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN DEMANDS AID TO PUERTO RICO, DC, US TERRITORIES AND PROTECTORATES

07/2018

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 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 to 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

SUPPORTING REPRODUCTIVE CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION 2011

WHEREAS, reproductive rights are human rights recognized in national law and in international human rights documents; and

WHEREAS, women’s reproductive rights are continually being eroded through restrictive laws; and

WHEREAS, court decisions intended for other specific purposes are being used to increase restrictions on women’s choices in reproductive decisions; and

WHEREAS, we remain in a climate of ever-increasing social and cultural pressures that use coercion, misinformation, and violence to influence women’s reproductive choices; and

WHEREAS, there are increasing efforts to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision; and

WHEREAS, reproductive rights are one of the six core issues of the National Organization for Women (NOW);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW affirm that it is time to lead and move the discussion into a new and more comprehensive vision of reproductive rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support the development, passage, and implementation of legislation defining reproductive rights explicitly as enforceable civil rights.

HELP NEEDED FOR OBSTETRIC FISTULA SURGERY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

2010

WHEREAS, two million women throughout developing nations are facing an obstructed labor injury complex known as obstetric fistula; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula is a medical condition predominantly caused by prolonged labor in which the mother is left with chronic incontinence; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula is nearly obsolete in developed nations, which proves the effectiveness of available preventive measures that could stop 50,000 new cases from happening this year alone; and

WHEREAS, the underlying causes of obstetric fistula are rooted in the marginalization of women worldwide through poor economic conditions and limited health care availability, as well as the unjust practice of child marriage, which forces young girls into marriages with older men; they are then forced to have sex and deliver children, even though their bodies are not physically developed to do so; and

WHEREAS, child marriage is closely related to obstetric fistula, as many of the young girls experience prolonged labor after their families marry them in order to receive a bride price; and

WHEREAS, obstetric fistula occurs in regions of armed conflict where women cannot access health care or health care facilities; and

WHEREAS, girls and women with obstetric fistula are ostracized by their community and family, left with even less economic support to continue living or social support to seek medical care and instead these victims are further marginalized and blamed; and
WHEREAS, many times, doctors will avoid corrective surgery due to the stigma surrounding this condition, which results in women waiting even longer for medical attention; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, there are many prevention plans for obstetric fistula and other conditions caused by pregnancy, yet the maternal mortality rate only declined by 5.4% between 1990 and 2005 because these plans are not being properly funded or implemented; and

WHEREAS, cases are easily treated with a success rate over 90% and a cost of $300 U.S. dollars, if women are educated about and able to receive the corrective surgery;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognize this degenerative condition as preventable and treatable; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that members recognize the numerous human rights violations and disparities that occur for many of these women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, NOW encourage members and activists to advocate for speedy passage of HR 5441, The Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act of 2010, which will authorize funding to prevent and treat obstetric fistula.

RESTORE PEACE AND DIGNITY TO INDIGENOUS WOMEN 2007

WHEREAS, the International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers have established the mission of world peace; the Grandmothers are promoting women’s equality, sustainable community development and protection of Mother Earth, solidarity and cultural exchange with all peoples, education and community outreach to address those issues which are devastating to indigenous communities, and the empowerment of indigenous women as well as the sustenance of all the world’s children; and

WHEREAS, three antiquated Papal Bulls (i.e. edicts by the Vatican) have remained the spiritual, legal, and moral foundation for jurisdiction over tribal nations by nation-states, and given the inherent unjust, moral and legal basis for their authority, the nation-states have justified and exercised their rule and domination over tribal nations through warfare and acts of violence. These three Papal Bulls have led to the ongoing destruction of the indigenous peoples and their ways of life for over 500 years; and

WHEREAS, the Precautionary Principle of the Rio Declaration adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development (i.e., the Earth Summit), also adopted by the European Union, states the following: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken — even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.  In this context, the proponent of an activity rather than the public should bear the burden of proof.” The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women demands that the governments of the World, including the Vatican, take the following actions to sustain the indigenous communities and indigenous women worldwide:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW supports rescinding the three Papal Bulls: Dum Diversas, June 18, 1452; Romanus Pontifex, January 8, 1455; Inter Caetera, May 4, 1493 to stop the further exploitation and destruction of the indigenous nations around the world;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW works with the Tribal Nations so that their lands will be under their sole jurisdiction. Further, that any actions not endorsed by the indigenous communities halt immediately, including the proposed uranium mining on Oglala Lakota Nation lands and the destruction of the Black Hills of South Dakota, a sacred ceremonial sanctuary for the Lakota Nation.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW endorse the work of International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in using any national and international mechanisms (i.e., including the Rio Declaration, International Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples’ Forums) to achieve their goals which will serve to create a peaceful and environmentally sustainable world for women and their children.

4/06

Moved that NOW endorses the Women’s Nobel Peace Laureates Initiative demand for a peaceful resolution to the Iran – U.S. conflict. At this dangerous moment of heightening tension, with the probability of military conflict between our countries, we demand:  1) that our governments not resort to armed violence and instead negotiate a solution to the increasing crisis; 2) that our governments stop human rights violations and curtailment of civil liberties at home and abroad; Our civil rights and human rights, which of course includes women’s rights, must not be compromised in the war against terrorism; 3) that they reduce military budgets and use those resources in benefit of their peoples and the people of the world; and 4) that our governments not inflame old hatreds and instead work toward a brighter future for our children.

MARCH FOR ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS AT THE 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS 2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to fighting for the right to economic human rights for all; and

WHEREAS, the United States is the richest country in the world; and

WHEREAS, the United States has the highest rate of poverty of any industrial country; and

WHEREAS, this year is the five-year lifetime limit on federal funding for welfare benefits; and

WHEREAS, women are disproportionately affected by welfare reform;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support, and through press releases and statements describe our reasons for supporting, the actions of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW endorse and support the March for Economic Human Rights at the 2002 Winter Olympics on February 8, 2002, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW send members of its leadership to march along with poor and homeless families from across the country.

RESOLUTION TO ENDORSE THE MARCH FOR ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS 2000

WHEREAS, increasing numbers of poor people in the United States are being denied their basic human rights to housing, food, education, health care, jobs at living wages, and economic security; and

WHEREAS, the majority of people who live in poverty are women and their children; and

WHEREAS, these conditions will worsen as millions more are cut off from receiving public assistance this year and experience the tragic effects of welfare “reform”; and

WHEREAS, in response to these conditions, the poor in the United States are organizing and fighting for the human right to a full and dignified life and to create a world without poverty; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is determined to take bold steps to eradicate the poverty and violence that plagues women; and

WHEREAS, both the Republican and Democratic elected officials and parties are responsible for the economic misery experienced by women and children in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign are holding the March for Economic Human Rights to protest these conditions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW endorse the March for Economic Human Rights on July 31 in Philadelphia, the opening day of the Republican National Convention, as a step toward making poverty at home visible; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW also support anti-poverty protest activities around the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in August 2000 as we build toward the World March of Women 2000 to end violence and poverty to be held on October 15, 2000.

IMMIGRATION RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

07/2018

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 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

PROTECT IMMIGRANT RIGHTS: 2017-2018 NATIONAL ACTION RESOLUTION 2017

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports the human rights of women and girls, regardless of their immigration status; and

WHEREAS, NOW affirms the human rights of asylum and movement as recognized in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and  

WHEREAS, NOW rejects the xenophobic fear-mongering used to justify denial of basic human services such as education and healthcare, mass incarceration and deportation of undocumented immigrants, tearing families apart and denying thousands due process; and

WHEREAS, the Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban” is a blatant attack on religious freedom and an attempt to perpetuate dangerous and false narratives regarding Muslims and international terrorism—propaganda that NOW has worked to counter since 2001; and

WHEREAS, women and girls make up 51 percent of undocumented immigrants—and the Women’s Refugee Commission has confirmed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is conducting raids targeting parents and other sponsors of unaccompanied migrant children; and

WHEREAS, immigrant women’s access to employment-based visas is disproportionate because the U.S. immigration system prioritizes STEM professions where women are grossly underrepresented; and  

WHEREAS, undocumented women are three to six times more likely to experience domestic abuse than their US-born counterparts, and more likely not to report that violence as a result of their immigrant status; and

WHEREAS, over 11 million undocumented immigrants are vulnerable to human trafficking and abuse from lack of labor standards enforcement; the restaurant industry alone employs over 1.1 million undocumented immigrants and 52% of all restaurant workers are women; and

WHEREAS, NOW continues to build upon its strong history advocating for the rights of immigrant women including the founding of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights in 2013, participation in nationwide demonstrations that demand comprehensive immigration reform, and support of Senator Mazie Hirono’s 2013 amendment to Bill S.744 that provided an equitable scale for work visas that focus on industries dominated by women; and

WHEREAS, in the proud tradition of the 1980’s U.S. sanctuary movement to protect and support Central American refugees fleeing violence, a new sanctuary movement is arising in the form of sanctuary cities, counties, states, and school districts, where local agencies follow all legal requirements but also exercise their sovereign jurisdictional authority to refuse to interrogate people about their immigration status on behalf of Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE); and

WHEREAS this new movement includes sanctuary restaurants and sanctuary homes, in which employers of restaurant workers and domestic workers comply with all laws, but also respect their immigrant workers’ dignity, human rights, and constitutional rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will include in its 2017-2018 National Action Program, a campaign to “Protect Immigrant Rights” that focuses on the unique abuses now faced by immigrant women as a direct result of the Trump Administration such as the “Muslim ban,” the incarceration of undocumented immigrant families in detention centers, and a decrease in reports of domestic and sexual assaults on undocumented women for fear of deportation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign will encourage its activists and leaders to  mobilize around the sanctuary movement including sanctuary or welcoming restaurants, homes, school districts, cities, counties and states–through partnerships with allied organizations like Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) United and Hand in Hand, the Domestic Employers Network; and  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this campaign will raise awareness on the variety of resources available to legal and undocumented immigrants, including but not limited to: the American Civil Liberties Union ‘Know Your Rights’ initiative, the Immigrant Defense Project’s ICE Raid toolkit, United We Dream’s Deportation Defense cards, and other tools that help protect immigrants and immigrant communities.

NOW SUPPORTS IMMIGRANT, ASYSUM-SEEKING, AND REFUGEE WOMEN 2016

WHEREAS, The National Organization for Women (NOW) believes that the rights of women are not limited by the borders of the country in which they live; and

WHEREAS, the organization’s statement of purpose says NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life; and

WHEREAS, immigrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee women in the US uniquely experience multiple forms of oppression such as gender, race, ethnicity, language, education and labor practices which are enforced by racist and nationalist policies at federal, state, and local levels; and

WHEREAS, lived experience is equally if not more powerful than academic experience when qualifying someone as an expert on an issue, and communities are experts on their own issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW co-founded the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights in 2008 to advocate for immigrant women on an array of important issues including immigration reform legislation, access to healthcare, detention conditions, family reunification, and battered immigrant women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW condemns coordination between local law enforcement agencies and immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) that serve to intimidate, imprison, and isolate undocumented immigrants; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for policies that include a path to citizenship, access to healthcare, access to education, and protection of the fundamental dignity of all people regardless of citizen status, including keeping families together and protection from domestic violence and exploitation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW welcomes participation by immigrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee women in NOW activities including chapter meetings, conferences, and actions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW state and chapter leaders are encouraged to facilitate participation by immigrant, asylum-seeking, and refugee women in this organization, and to assist them in their ability to reclaim space and power, particularly on issues that disproportionately impact their lives and communities.  

PROMOTING APPROPRIATE RESPONSES TO IMMIGRANT VICTIMS
OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2011

WHEREAS, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was originally enacted in 1994 and is slated for renewal in 2011; and

WHEREAS, under the current VAWA law, immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence may receive protection should they seek it; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement is not always aware of these provisions and often questions reporting victims about their immigration status; and

WHEREAS, throughout the country immigrant women who are victims of domestic and/or sexual violence are further victimized by a system that discriminates against them and limits their access to protection;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) oppose laws or statutes that create a climate of fear and intimidation that discourages immigrant victims from seeking protection from abuse; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage that the revision of VAWA contain language to prohibit a victim’s immigration status from being used to discriminate against and/or discredit the victim; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage that the revision of VAWA include language to allocate funding for law enforcement training on the appropriate responses when dealing with immigrant victims of violence.

IMMIGRATION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT 2008

WHEREAS, raids on undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have increased sevenfold over the past three years, resulting in the incarceration and deportation of parents of U.S.-born children; and

WHEREAS, migration is being feminized, with more women entering as primary wage earners and entire families attempting to cross the militarized U.S.-Mexican border under increasingly dangerous conditions, resulting in 473 deaths in the year 2005 alone; and

WHEREAS, “border security,” the criminalization of illegal migration, and the expansion of detention centers have turned the border patrol into the largest nonmilitary, arms-bearing operation of the federal government and provided a bonanza for private corporations (such as the $8 billion contract awarded to Boeing for its “virtual fence” in 2006); and

WHEREAS, women held in immigrant detention centers are subject to sexual humiliation and abuse, pregnant women have been shackled with metal waist restraints that endanger both mother and unborn child, and family detention centers do not put families together and harm the well-being of mothers and children; and

WHEREAS, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which empowers local, county and state police to act as agents of ICE, results in racial profiling, creates an atmosphere of terror in immigrant and citizen communities alike, and prevents women from seeking protection in cases of domestic violence because of fear of deportation; and

WHEREAS, the criminalization of undocumented immigrant workers-many of whom leave their homes because of the destructive economic effects on their countries of origin of NAFTA and other U.S.-based policies-amounts to a campaign of scapegoating that falsely blames immigrants for the economic woes of U.S. citizens and residents;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) speak out boldly in opposition to the criminalization and deportation of undocumented workers, the awarding of lucrative immigration-related security contracts to private corporations, and the expenditure of taxpayers’ monies in funding the growth of a police state along the Mexican border; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to work to end the exposure of female immigrant detainees to physical harm and sexual abuse at detention centers and to oppose the use or establishment of new family detention centers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW oppose all pending and future requests by local, county and state police to enter 287(g) agreements with ICE; that NOW work at the chapter, state, and national levels to eliminate section 287(g) altogether from the Immigration & Nationality Act; and advocate local and state policies limiting the power of police to inquire into the immigration status of victims and witnesses of crime.

CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON IMMIGRATION RAIDS 2007

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a convener of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, an important collective of grassroots and advocacy organizations that promotes equality for all immigrant women and families living and working in the United States by advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, reproductive freedom and economic justice; and

WHEREAS, in 2006 NOW passed a resolution calling for fair immigration reform that supports provisions to improve wages and working conditions of immigrant workers, to protect them from exploitation, to preserve the provisions addressing violence against immigrant women and families in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and for a more efficient system to process those eligible to work and seek permanent residency/citizenship, one that excludes the building of fences, walls and prisons at the border; and

WHEREAS, tens of thousands of undocumented workers, many women, have been unfairly detained, terrorized, and arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a program dubbed “Operation Return to Sender,” that has separated hundreds of children from their mothers, who often were their only caretakers; and

WHEREAS, there has been a failure in Congress after two attempts to agree on a positive immigration reform, which could have addressed harsh employment practices, unfair policies, and the unjust, terrorizing raids and arrests that are tearing families apart; and

WHEREAS, immigration raids are targeting workers, typically immigrant women, based on their racial and ethnic appearance, accent or limited English skills; and

WHEREAS, ICE uses military-style tactics to terrorize communities, families, and workers by barging into homes and arresting residents, apprehending parents picking up their children from school, confronting immigrants about their legal status, raiding factories where many undocumented women work, and sweeping up workers and separating families by sending workers to inhumane detention centers that are scattered across the country; and

WHEREAS, the recent raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts detained and arrested 360 undocumented workers, the majority women. They were taken into custody on March 6, 2007, after a raid by federal agents on the Michael Bianco Inc. factory, a military contractor 60 miles south of Boston.  They were sent to detention in Texas which separated them from their children at home, including breast-fed babies. Many other children were stranded at day-care centers, schools, or homes of friends or relatives. This is only one of the thousands of stories of devastation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women calls for a moratorium to immediately halt the immigration raids that have been devastating families and our communities across the United States; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in addition to this moratorium NOW calls for our government to: investigate allegations that detained individuals have been denied access to counsel, illegally interrogated, and subjected to abusive treatment; prohibit the separation of families with long, drawn out detentions; provide safe, appropriate and humane holding facilities; notify counsel and family members within 24 hours of transferring any detainee; halt transfers of those arrested by Department of Homeland Security; and afford detained workers who have been unfairly and illegally exploited at the raided places of employment a pathway to pursue labor claims against their employers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW continues to recognize the contributions of immigrant women and a right to due process and fairness that will result in an equitable and fair immigration policy that provides legal and safe immigration options, a path to citizenship, reproductive freedom and economic justice.

CALL FOR FAIR IMMIGRATION REFORM LEGISLATION 2006

WHEREAS, women and children are more than half of the almost 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS,  immigrant women are among the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and human rights violations and face particular challenges due to inequalities between men and women, while having the additional responsibilities of family and home; and

WHEREAS,  immigrant women often come to the U.S. to be domestic workers or caregivers, are subject to exploitation, work for substandard wages, and may have to leave their own children behind to be raised by relatives; and

WHEREAS,  immigrant women and their children not only face language, cultural and community isolation and live at the margins of society without documents, but also suffer as victims of family and sexual violence and have little or no resources to get help including language and culturally sensitive counseling and services; and

WHEREAS,  the current discussion in the U.S. Congress and in many cities with large immigrant populations is filled with racist and hate-filled calls for making felons out of undocumented immigrants, building more prisons, walls and electric fences, and promoting vigilante tactics;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) work at the chapter, state and national levels to mount an educational and advocacy campaign to emphasize the humanity of our immigrant families, neighbors and workers who deserve the rights, opportunities and responsibilities that our nation has afforded to the millions of previous immigrants who have come to our country in search of a new land, new opportunities and the chance to share in our promise of liberty and justice for all; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign communicate our insistence that any “immigration reform” include: A path to permanent residency and citizenship, including a reasonable timetable, for undocumented immigrants who want to remain in the United States, including women, men and children and especially those who do not work outside of the home; promote reunification of families, including LGBT families; provisions to improve wages and working conditions of immigrant workers to protect them from exploitation, preserving the provisions addressing violence against immigrant women and families in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and a more efficient system to process those eligible to work and seek permanent residency/citizenship, one that excludes the building of fences, walls and prisons at the border; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work at the chapter, state and national levels to advocate for true, fair immigration reform.

PATRIOT ACT EXTENSION  2005

WHEREAS, under the USA PATRIOT Act, immigrants will be unnecessarily targeted in the hunt for terrorists; and

WHEREAS, this Act undercuts trust between police departments and immigrant communities by opening sensitive visa files to local police for the enforcement of complex immigration laws; and

WHEREAS, this Act targets undocumented workers with extended jail terms for common immigration offenses; and

WHEREAS, this Act provides for summary deportations without evidence of crime, criminal intent or terrorism. Lawful permanent residents are among the immigrants who may be summarily deported whenever the United States Attorney General says they are a threat to national security; and

WHEREAS, this Act completely abolishes fair hearings for lawful permanent residents convicted of even minor criminal offenses through a retroactive, “expedited removal” procedure; and

WHEREAS, this Act prevents any court from questioning the government’s unlawful actions by explicitly exempting these cases from habeas corpus review; and

WHEREAS, Congress has not exempted any person from habeas corpus – a protection guaranteed by the Constitution – since the Civil War; and

WHEREAS, this Act allows the U.S. Attorney General to deport an immigrant to any country in the world, even if there is not effective government in such a country, or to a country in which their “life or freedom would be threatened” because of race, political opinion or other reasons; and

WHEREAS, this Act not only impacts the rights of immigrants, but also has serious negative impact on the civil liberties and civil rights of every person in this country, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) oppose the extension of the USA Patriot Act; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that information about this Act be disseminated to NOW members and supporters.

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN’S REAFFIRMATION OF INCLUSION

1/05

WHEREAS,  the philosophy of NOW is to oppose any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status and has a stated policy that it will not trade the rights of one group over another; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s statement of purpose states that women must be brought into full participation in the mainstream of American society, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men; and

WHEREAS, the purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

WHEREAS, no person who subscribes to NOW’s purpose shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within the organization; and

WHEREAS, NOW is an organization whose membership includes diverse language, culture, ethnic and racial groups,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms the organization’s commitment to the inclusion of and respect for all NOW members in all of its activities, meetings, and debates with all rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded to NOW members; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board of Directors reiterates its commitment to a feminist ideology and reaffirms our historic commitment to gaining equality for all women regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Action Center will send this resolution to the NOW leadership, publish it in the National NOW Times, communicate it through other means, and encourage discussion on this reaffirmation at all levels of NOW.  

HAITIAN IMMIGRANTS

11/97

WHEREAS, the Immigration Law of 1997 made it easier to deport those seeking immigrant status, but was ambiguous as to whether or not the previous deportation standards applied to immigrants already residing in the country, and

WHEREAS, on November 9, 1997 the U.S. Senate, without hearings or committee action, approved as part of its amendment to the FY98 DC appropriations bill (HR2607) a provision that will grant permanent resident status to almost 250,000 nationals of Central America and Eastern Europe who sought haven from civil wars and repressive regimes, and

WHEREAS, approximately 18,000 Haitians currently residing in the U.S. who were admitted to this country by Presidents Bush and Clinton after screening by the INS to establish that they had valid asylum claims, were deliberately excluded from this provision to prevent deportation, and

WHEREAS, on November 12, the House of Representatives also passed this legislation excluding Haitians over the strong objections of Rep Carrie Meek (D-FL) who attempted to amend the bill on the floor, and

WHEREAS, no other reason has been offered as to why Haitians should not be treated fairly with Central Americans and Eastern Europeans except that they were oppressed by a right-wing rather than Communist, left-wing regime, and

WHEREAS, this exclusion of Haitian immigrants is blatantly unfair and has serious racist implications.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women immediately and vigorously seek congressional support to work with Senators Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois, Carrie Meek and Bob Graham of Florida, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Spencer Abraham of Michigan who have publicly pledged to co-sponsor a bill in the Spring of 1998 to remedy this unconscionable treatment of Haitian immigrants who are in danger of deportation, and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW ask the President and his administration to more aggressively push for legislation to address the Haitian exclusion.  

SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRANTS 1997

WHEREAS, half of the world’s thirty million migrant workers are women, and between 1930 and the early 1980s, women consistently outnumbered men as immigrants into the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, attacks on documented and undocumented immigrants have occurred periodically and systematically throughout U.S. history and increase during periods of economic decline; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government supports global economic policies that generate oppressive and degrading labor conditions by depressing employment opportunities and wages in affected countries, thereby contributing significantly to global labor migrations that strain families and communities; and

WHEREAS, propaganda targeting immigrants as the cause of native-born people’s hardships serves only to deflect attention from failures of an economic system that supports corporate welfare, outsourcing, and downsizing, and leads to a divided society of haves and have-nots; and

WHEREAS, racism is commonly the underlying basis for selective immigrant-bashing; and

WHEREAS, anti-immigrant sentiments are fueled by false statistics and misinformation which lead to deportations, beatings, and brutality, including abuse by U.S. government agents; and

WHEREAS, the anti-immigrant provisions of so-called welfare reform have the potential to subject more immigrants to sweatshop conditions and could force them to work at far below minimum wage in order to survive;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) expose the racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW speak out against the scapegoating of documented and undocumented immigrants, produce a fact sheet educating the public on actual statistics and facts, and challenge the false claims that immigrants are the cause of economic depression; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW speak out against all forms of oppressive and degrading labor; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW oppose any legislation that restricts immigrant access to federal- or state-funded programs such as health care, education, and welfare; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support feminist grassroots actions on immigrant rights.

Adopt Comprehensive Gun Restrictions to End Mass Shootings

03/ 2018

WHEREAS, the United States is an outlier amongst other nations in its relationship with firearms;

  • in which the population of United States, while comprising only 5% of the world’s total population, holds 31% of the mass shooters in the globe;
  • in which gun rate homicides are 25.2 times higher in the United States, as compared to other high-income nations, including but not limited to: the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Canada, France, and Austria;
  • in which gun-related suicides are 8 times higher in the United States than in other high-income nations;
  • in which the United States holds more guns per capita than residents of any other nation, the second highest number of guns per capita being found in the nation of Yemen, where civil war has raged since 2015; and

WHEREAS, the February 14, 2018 shooting was committed by an expelled student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,  with an AR-15 rifle, continues the pattern of mass shootings that are at the center of the American gun tragedy that has gone on far too long; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that 122 deaths have occurred due to school shootings since Columbine in 1999 such as Sandy Hook Elementary School and others too numerous to mention but equally tragic, and will continue unless measures are taken to deliberately protect students; and

WHEREAS, on the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman armed with automatic weapons opened fire on a crowd of concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured.

WHEREAS, the number of mass shootings in the U.S. over the period January 1, 2013 through February , 2018, indicate a dramatic increase in incidents with 1,624 shootings in 1,870 days or a mass shooting in nine of every ten days, with a total of 8,563 killed and injured persons; and

WHEREAS, while the Second Amendment has been interpreted to protect individual gun ownership rights, the free ownership of assault weapons with high capacity magazines which increase the number of persons killed and injured in mass shootings, represents a danger to society at large; and

WHEREAS, the Second Amendment has been misinterpreted having been intended to protect the country from foreign hostile invasion, utilizing the terminology of a “well armed militia” to mean the armed forces; and

WHEREAS, it has long been noted, most especially by Everytown for Gun Safety, that numerous instances of mass shooting involve a perpetrator’s history of domestic violence, as evidenced by the fact that;

  • 54% of mass shootings – defined as incidents where more than four people were shot and killed – resulted in the deaths of intimate partners or family members; and
  • About 4.5 million living American women have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner; and
  • A woman is five times more likely to be shot and killed in a domestic violence situation if a gun is present; and

WHEREAS, existing background checks, to be completed in three business days under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, may not be completed in due course, allowing for gun sales sans background checks, as evidenced by the FBI leaving 3.57% of over 8.6 million gun checks incomplete in 2017; and

WHEREAS, legislation introduced to date contains a dangerous loophole in that it does not require those given or sold guns by family or “friends” to submit to background checks, noting additionally the nebulous nature of who may be legally considered a “friend”; and

WHEREAS, noting that, despite the efforts of the current President, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) does not have the authority without congressional action to facilitate a ban on bump stocks or any firearm components that may increase the firing rate of a gun; and

WHEREAS states that require background checks on all handgun sales experience 47% fewer women shot to death by their partners, only fifteen states require abusers subject to final domestic violence restraining orders to turn in their guns; and

WHEREAS, noting that gun-related homicides are lower in states with more extensive regulations as relates to licensing and purchase of guns, including such states as, but not limited to, Maryland, Massachusetts, Iowa, Oregon, Washington and Colorado; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW supports measures promoting gun control and elimination, including greater regulations concerning the sales of guns and granting of gun licenses for firearms of all types and the banning of sales of any semi-automatic and automatic firearms and high capacity ammunition magazines; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the following provisions be adopted in federal legislation, such as, but not limited to:

  • Universal background checks during both licensing and sales processes, to clarify previous instances of violence and/or threats of violence against one’s self or another party and deny this person the use of a firearm;
  • A prohibition on licensed dealers to sell a firearm to an unlicensed individual before a background check, as in S. 1923 (The Background Check Completion Act of 2017)
  • The reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons in effect prior to 2004, along with the proposed ban on the possession, importation, manufacture or sale of semiautomatic weapons, as outlined in S. 2095 (Assault Weapons Ban of 2017);
  • Age restrictions prohibiting the possession of guns of those under 21 years of age;
  • A ban on the importation, manufacturing, transferal, or sale of components that accelerate the firing rate of a semi-automatic firearm, such as trigger cranks and bump-fire devices, as outlined in S. 1916 (Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act)
  • The seizure of guns from those found, after a report is made by family members, to possess guns and represent a danger to themselves or others, as described in H.R. 2598 (The Gun Violence Restraining Order Act of 2017);
  • Criminal charges with regards to trafficking or conspiring to traffic firearms as described in H.R. 1692 and S. 1185 (The Countering Illegal Firearms Trafficking to Mexico Act and the Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2017); and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW members and supporters engage in a dedicated and aggressive campaign to defeat lawmakers who accept NRA or gun lobby contributions or who refuse to enact stricter gun control to enact such legislation as described herein and to work to defeat lawmakers who refuse to support stricter gun control and to elect candidates who will sponsor or co-sponsor gun control legislation and take a leadership role in passing such legislation.

Passed by the NOW National Board

POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY WITH USE OF FORCE

07/2018

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 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 trainings and hiring requirements to assist in 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 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

DISMANTLING THE SEXUAL ABUSE TO PRISON PIPELINE: CHILD SURVIVORS OF SEX TRAFFICKING 2016

WHEREAS, child sex trafficking is child sexual abuse often layered over pre-existing trauma: children who have been sexually abused are often pushed out of “zero-tolerance” schools when they act out and are not provided appropriate trauma-informed services. Such children are especially vulnerable to traffickers who seek at-risk youth. Child welfare agencies are tasked with responding to child sexual abuse cases; however, they are often unable to function as an alternative to incarceration unless the trafficker is a parent or caretaker, as defined by many state laws; and

WHEREAS, even though they are too young to legally consent to sex, many jurisdictions still view survivors of child sex trafficking as perpetrators, and arrest underage girls on charges of prostitution. As a result, numerous exploited and trafficked children–survivors of sexual abuse–are sent into the juvenile justice system and imprisoned as a direct consequence of their victimization; and

WHEREAS, laws that criminalize sex with minors are too rarely enforced in the context of child sex trafficking. In such cases, the pimps and buyers of sex with children escape with little or no accountability; and

WHEREAS, rape myths that girls are culpable in their assaults have been used to minimize this trafficking;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) will include as part of its 2016-17 Strategic Action Program, in conjunction with its national action campaign to end the sex abuse to prison pipeline, a campaign to raise awareness about the arrest and detention of minors for prostitution, including educating the public on the role of buyers and traffickers in perpetuating systematic violence against underage girls, young women, and other vulnerable youth; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will demonstrate support for Nordic model legislation, which is a set of laws and policies that would penalize the demand for commercial sex while decriminalizing individuals in prostitution and providing them with support services, including appropriate care for child survivors of sex trafficking.

DISMANTLING THE SEXUAL ABUSE TO PRISON PIPELINE: SCHOOLS AND JUSTICE CENTERS 2016

WHEREAS, the number of girls, especially girls of color, being pushed out of schools and into the juvenile justice system is increasing. Their involvement in juvenile justice is growing disproportionately at key points in the criminal justice process, particularly the decisions on behalf of school officials and law enforcement to suspend, expel, arrest and detain girls; and

WHEREAS, evidence suggests that a leading cause is harsher discipline within schools and aggressive enforcement for non-violent offenses. In such cases, the decisions to suspend, expel, arrest and detain girls, particularly girls of color, are based in part on the perceptions of girls’ having violated conventional norms of feminine behavior; and

WHEREAS, research reveals that girls and young women who are sent into the juvenile justice system have typically experienced high rates of sexual violence, and many girls are routed into the juvenile justice system because of their victimization; and

WHEREAS, when school officials and law enforcement treat survivors of sexual violence as criminals, the trauma that underlies the behavior is not appropriately addressed. Disciplining, arresting and detaining survivors of abuse punishes girls for being survivors and fails to provide the services necessary for recovery; and

WHEREAS, once inside the juvenile justice system, girls encounter a system often ill-equipped to identify and treat trauma. Punitive environments may re-trigger girls’ trauma and subject them to new incidents of sexual violence, which can compound the profound harms inflicted by the original abuse; and

WHEREAS, the combination of re-triggering conditions and lack of appropriate care leads to a harmful cycle of trauma. Studies suggest that many characteristics of the detention environment (seclusion, staff insensitivity, loss of privacy) can exacerbate negative feelings and feelings of loss of control among girls, resulting in suicide attempts and self-harm; and

WHEREAS, school systems that punish rather than provide trauma-informed services to girls and young women who have been sexually assaulted are failing to provide the equitable educational opportunity to which the girls are entitled under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and

WHEREAS, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) contains provisions aimed at ensuring that states comply with standards for gender-specific services, but needs to be re-authorized, strengthened and adequately implemented; and

WHEREAS, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) defines national standards to screen inmates for a history of sexual abuse and provide appropriate medical and mental health care, limit procedures that are likely trigger re-traumatization, and grant timely access to emergency medical and crisis intervention services for girls, young women, boys, and young men who experience victimization within the system;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will include as part of its 2016-2017 Strategic Action Program a national action campaign to end the sexual abuse to prison pipeline, including reauthorization and improvement of the JJDPA, full enforcement and improvement of PREA provisions, ensuring that every school at all levels has a Title IX coordinator whose work includes equal educational opportunities for girls who have been sexually traumatized, trauma informed counselors for survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation, raising awareness about how school policies disproportionately affect survivors of sexual violence, and  nation-wide revisions of school disciplinary codes to eliminate zero-tolerance policies and other extreme measures that unfairly target girls of color.

SUPPORT DECARCERATION/END MASS INCARCERATION CAMPAIGN 2015

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to change regarding prison reform; and;

WHEREAS, we recognize that the Decarceration/ End Mass Incarceration Campaign addresses the abuses and excesses of the prison pipe line that disproportionately imposes lengthy sentences on minorities, the poor and the mentally ill who have committed minor offenses;

WHEREAS, the female prison population has grown at a rate even greater than the male prison population, with 85 to 90 percent of incarcerated women having a history of having been victims of abuse; and

WHEREAS, the Decarceration/ End Mass Incarceration Campaign confronts the hypocrisy and inconsistency of our criminal justice system which has put 1 of every 100 Americans behind bars, and which is all too often used for pure political gain and corporate profit; and

WHEREAS, mandatory minimum sentence and “three strike” laws eliminate judicial discretion to base sentencing on the particular circumstances of each case; and

WHEREAS, “truth in sentencing” laws require those convicted to serve full sentences with no opportunity to earn parole; and

WHEREAS, prisoners’ health and safety is endangered in prisons, as is the well-being of prisoners’ families; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW work with our allies to end mass incarceration and the use of the criminal justice system to disproportionately arrest and convict racial minorities, the poor, and the mentally ill; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW recommend to the NOW’s Political Action Committee (NOW/PAC) that any candidate running for office seeking NOW’s endorsement pledge  to support efforts to end mass incarceration and the use of the criminal justice system to disproportionately arrest and convict racial minorities, the poor, and the mentally ill.

END ABUSIVE TASERING

5/11

WHEREAS, tasering by law enforcement personnel is being widely used in an abusive manner especially against women who are known to be pregnant, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, tasering may cause bodily injury and undue harm when used; and

WHEREAS, tasering can be a dehumanizing, offensive and oppressive practice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recommend to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and other law enforcement agencies and organizations that they create and train law enforcement on crisis intervention in order to eliminate the inappropriate tasering especially of women who are known to be pregnant, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities who can’t defend or explain themselves; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support state legislation to mandate that detention centers, correctional facilities and law enforcement officials to discontinue inappropriate tasering especially of women who are known to be pregnant, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities who can’t defend or explain themselves; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for legislation to stop these dehumanizing, offensive and oppressive treatments and policies that especially impact women who are known to be pregnant, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

ANTI-SHACKLING 2009    

WHEREAS, the shackling of detained and incarcerated pregnant women in pre- and post-childbirth transport to and from detention or correctional facilities and during childbirth should be discontinued; and

WHEREAS, during the birthing process, shackles hamper a woman’s ability to move to alleviate the pain and discomfort of her contractions, which increases stress on the woman’s body and may decrease the flow of oxygen to the fetus; and           

WHEREAS, unrestricted movement is critical during labor, birthing, and the post-birth recovery period; and            

WHEREAS, all pregnant women in detention or correctional facilities are dehumanized by this practice, women of color are particularly impacted, as black women are incarcerated at a rate 2.66 times that of white women; and           

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is and always has been interested in the rights of women and issues concerning the most vulnerable women in this country;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support state legislation to force detention centers, correctional facilities, and hospitals to discontinue shackling pregnant women who are detained or incarcerated during labor and during pre- and post-childbirth transport from detention to medical facilities; and                                                      

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for legislation to eliminate these dehumanizing and oppressive treatments and policies that impact women who are pregnant, birthing and immediately post-birth.

IMMIGRATION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT  2008

WHEREAS, raids on undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have increased sevenfold over the past three years, resulting in the incarceration and deportation of parents of U.S.-born children; and

WHEREAS, migration is being feminized, with more women entering as primary wage earners and entire families attempting to cross the militarized U.S.-Mexican border under increasingly dangerous conditions, resulting in 473 deaths in the year 2005 alone; and

WHEREAS, “border security,” the criminalization of illegal migration, and the expansion of detention centers have turned the border patrol into the largest nonmilitary, arms-bearing operation of the federal government and provided a bonanza for private corporations (such as the $8 billion contract awarded to Boeing for its “virtual fence” in 2006); and

WHEREAS, women held in immigrant detention centers are subject to sexual humiliation and abuse, pregnant women have been shackled with metal waist restraints that endanger both mother and unborn child, and family detention centers do not put families together and harm the well-being of mothers and children; and

WHEREAS, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which empowers local, county and state police to act as agents of ICE, results in racial profiling, creates an atmosphere of terror in immigrant and citizen communities alike, and prevents women from seeking protection in cases of domestic violence because of fear of deportation; and

WHEREAS, the criminalization of undocumented immigrant workers—many of whom leave their homes because of the destructive economic effects on their countries of origin of NAFTA and other U.S.-based policies—amounts to a campaign of scapegoating that falsely blames immigrants for the economic woes of U.S. citizens and residents;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) speak out boldly in opposition to the criminalization and deportation of undocumented workers, the awarding of lucrative immigration-related security contracts to private corporations, and the expenditure of taxpayers’ monies in funding the growth of a police state along the Mexican border; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to work to end the exposure of female immigrant detainees to physical harm and sexual abuse at detention centers and to oppose the use or establishment of new family detention centers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW oppose all pending and future requests by local, county and state police to enter 287(g) agreements with ICE; that NOW work at the chapter, state, and national levels to eliminate section 287(g) altogether from the Immigration & Nationality Act; and advocate local and state policies limiting the power of police to inquire into the immigration status of victims and witnesses of crime.

CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON IMMIGRATION RAIDS 2007

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a convener of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, an important collective of grassroots and advocacy organizations that promotes equality for all immigrant women and families living and working in the United States by advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, reproductive freedom and economic justice; and

WHEREAS, in 2006 NOW passed a resolution calling for fair immigration reform that supports provisions to improve wages and working conditions of immigrant workers, to protect them from exploitation, to preserve the provisions addressing violence against immigrant women and families in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and for a more efficient system to process those eligible to work and seek permanent residency/citizenship, one that excludes the building of fences, walls and prisons at the border; and

WHEREAS, tens of thousands of undocumented workers, many women, have been unfairly detained, terrorized, and arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a program dubbed “Operation Return to Sender,” that has separated hundreds of children from their mothers, who often were their only caretakers; and

WHEREAS, there has been a failure in Congress after two attempts to agree on a positive immigration reform, which could have addressed harsh employment practices, unfair policies, and the unjust, terrorizing raids and arrests that are tearing families apart; and

WHEREAS, immigration raids are targeting workers, typically immigrant women, based on their racial and ethnic appearance, accent or limited English skills; and

WHEREAS, ICE uses military-style tactics to terrorize communities, families, and workers by barging into homes and arresting residents, apprehending parents picking up their children from school, confronting immigrants about their legal status, raiding factories where many undocumented women work, and sweeping up workers and separating families by sending workers to inhumane detention centers that are scattered across the country; and

WHEREAS, the recent raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts detained and arrested 360 undocumented workers, the majority women. They were taken into custody on March 6, 2007, after a raid by federal agents on the Michael Bianco Inc. factory, a military contractor 60 miles south of Boston.  They were sent to detention in Texas which separated them from their children at home, including breast-fed babies. Many other children were stranded at day-care centers, schools, or homes of friends or relatives. This is only one of the thousands of stories of devastation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women calls for a moratorium to immediately halt the immigration raids that have been devastating families and our communities across the United States; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in addition to this moratorium NOW calls for our government to: investigate allegations that detained individuals have been denied access to counsel, illegally interrogated, and subjected to abusive treatment; prohibit the separation of families with long, drawn out detentions; provide safe, appropriate and humane holding facilities; notify counsel and family members within 24 hours of transferring any detainee; halt transfers of those arrested by Department of Homeland Security; and afford detained workers who have been unfairly and illegally exploited at the raided places of employment a pathway to pursue labor claims against their employers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW continues to recognize the contributions of immigrant women and a right to due process and fairness that will result in an equitable and fair immigration policy that provides legal and safe immigration options, a path to citizenship, reproductive freedom and economic justice.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS – ANOTHER CASUALTY OF THE “WAR ON DRUGS” 2005

WHEREAS, the incarceration rate of women convicted of low-level drug-related offenses has increased dramatically in the past decade as a result of our nation’s relentless “War on Drugs,” and poor women and women of color have been disproportionately targeted for drug law enforcement and receive long mandatory prison sentences that have little relationship to their actions or culpability; and

WHEREAS, two-thirds of women in prison have at least two children who are displaced as a result of their incarceration, often forced to live in the care of family, friends, or state-sponsored foster care where they may be at increased risk of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, women’s unique patterns of drug abuse and addiction and special treatment needs are inadequately addressed, as women often turn to drugs to cope with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness, and/or the trauma of physical or sexual abuse or other stresses particular to women; and

WHEREAS, the intersection of substance use and pregnancy are increasingly the focus of drug law enforcement; and

WHEREAS, violence against women and other circumstances specific to women’s involvement in drug-related activities are often overlooked or ignored in sentencing, such as situations in which women who have been emotional, physically, or sexually abused by partners involved in drug operations are dependent on them and unlikely to turn to the authorities; and

WHEREAS, after incarceration, women continue to bear the stigma and burden of post-conviction sanctions that constitute collateral consequences of incarceration impeding their reintegration into society, including denial of access to public housing, public assistance and food stamps, higher education aid and civic participation, effectively rendering them second-class citizens;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) iterate its opposition to the “War on Drugs” and in its stead support an approach to drug use and addiction that promotes compassion, public health and human rights; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW educate its membership about the harms the “War on Drugs” inflicts on women, using the NOW web site, NOW materials and literature and regular NOW legislative updates including pending legislation that would negatively impact women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that an ad-hoc committee is created to research current drug policy that has a particular impact on women and report back to the leadership and membership at the next national conference on a potential action plan to be implemented locally and nationally in conjunction with other organizations currently working toward the same objectives.

THE MOVEMENT TOWARD A POLICE STATE

11/01

WHEREAS, the number of women in prisons and jails in the United States continues to increase at a faster rate than that of men, with current national statistics showing nearly seven times as many women in prison as there were in 1980; and

WHEREAS, these women are disproportionately women of color and single mothers; and

WHEREAS, so called “welfare reform” has caused women with limited options and resources to make decisions that often lead to committing a crime in order to provide for themselves and their children; and

WHEREAS, women who commit crimes (including those who kill their partners) are often handed sentences that are twice as severe as those given to men who commit similar crimes, while women of color receive sentences twice as severe as white women; and

WHEREAS, the growing trend toward privatization of prisons can be expected to exacerbate the historic pattern of underpayment of prisoners; and

WHEREAS, these abysmally low wages contribute to the profit margin of various private businesses which hire prison inmates; and

WHEREAS, private businesses partner with the prison industry in promoting these working conditions in order to bypass mandated worker income, safety and health protections, thereby allowing increased corporate profits, and “saving” state governments and municipalities tens of millions of dollars by underbidding for products produced by unionized workers; and

WHEREAS, patterns of police profiling, harassment, brutalization, and murder in targeted minority communities have produced a rash of shameful incidents pointing to the egregious racism of the U.S. “injustice” system and the scapegoating of the unemployed and homeless; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s priority issues include commitments to ending racism wherever it exists and to economic justice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW urge the NOW/PAC to include in any PAC questionnaire to candidates whether or not they support the privatization of prisons, advocate the extension of the prison system, or support harsh sentencing for non-violent crimes or long periods of incarceration before parole is even considered; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for legislation to reverse the policies of requiring prison inmates to serve most of their sentences before parole can even be considered; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW condemns racial profiling and harassment and use of excessive force by law enforcement, and NOW, at all levels, renews its commitment to actively participate in efforts to eradicate such practices; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW include information on the NOW website to further expose and combat the rising rate of incarceration of women in U.S. prisons.  

FREE LORI BERENSON!

9/01

WHEREAS, Lori Berenson, an American citizen, was wrongfully imprisoned in Peru in 1995; and

WHEREAS, without legal representation, she was given a life sentence by a hooded Peruvian military tribunal; and

WHEREAS, that sentence was nullified in August 2000, but she has now received a 20-year sentence after being retried; and

WHEREAS, double-jeopardy retrials are against Peruvian, as well as U.S. and international laws; and

WHEREAS, the ultra-repressive laws under which her trials have been conducted were put into effect by former President Fujimori, who is now in de facto exile in Japan; and

WHEREAS, major human rights organizations, including the U. N. High Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International, have deplored the injustice of Peru’s secret military trials against civilians accused of treason; and

WHEREAS, large groups of U.S. Senators and Representatives have made strong statements on Lori Berenson’s behalf; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. President is obligated by Title 22 U.S.C. Section 1732 to do everything possible to achieve the release of U.S. citizens wrongfully imprisoned abroad;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW issue a statement of support for Lori Berenson and call for her immediate release and safe passage out of Peru; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call upon the President and the Secretary of State of the United States to immediately exercise their authority to use all diplomatic means possible to achieve the release of this American woman.

RESOLUTION ON BEHALF OF DR. GAO ZHAN, FEMINIST SCHOLAR CAPTIVE IN CHINA 2001

WHEREAS, Gao Zhan is a permanent American resident of Tysons Corner, Virginia, needing only the oath of allegiance to become a naturalized American citizen.  She is the wife of one American citizen and the mother of another; and

WHEREAS, she is a world scholar on issues affecting women, having graduated from the Women’s Studies Program at Syracuse University in New York and having taught for several years at the American University in Washington, D.C.  She has a long record of distinguished publications on women’s economic and political status, and the impact of women’s familial roles under different political systems; and

WHEREAS, Gao Zhan was traveling on an American passport on a visit to Taiwan and China combining research with a family visit when she, her husband, and her five-year-old son were detained without cause on February 11, 2001.  Her husband and son were released without charges after 26 days; and

WHEREAS, Gao Zhan was seized without regard to international law, nor apparently even Chinese law, which permits detainment for only fifteen days.  As of July 1, 2001, she will have been held incommunicado and without trial for 140 days; and

WHEREAS, it appears that Gao Zhan is being harassed and detained not only because of her American residency but possibly in part because of her activism and research comparing the political status of women in Taiwan to the status of women in China.  Apparently this research is being used as the pretext for a charge of spying lodged May 15, one week after her husband and child were released; and

WHEREAS, the Chinese authorities have provided no evidence of any crime by Gao Zhan, have denied her access to an attorney, and have provided no information on her detainment, her health, her heart condition, nor whether she has been tortured or killed during interrogation to any U.S. or United Nations authority, or her family; and

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 702 (S. 702) has been in the Senate Judiciary Committee since April 5, 2001, and House Resolution 1385 (H.R. 1385) has been in the House Subcommittee of the Judiciary on Immigration and Claims since April 19, 2001.  These bills grant immediate citizenship to Gao Zhan. Pressure is needed to move these bills;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) cover the case of Gao Zhan in the National NOW Times with brief periodic updates until she is released, and urge chapters and state organizations to write to their elected representatives and local papers encouraging support for the Congressional legislation described below, and urge individual NOW members to write letters; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW lobby the relevant authorities to increase the diplomatic efforts of the Department of State and the Presidency of the United States to secure her release, including suspension of China’s current trade status; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that State NOW chapters contact their appropriate U.S. Senators and Congressional Representatives in support of S. 702 and H.R. 1385 to grant immediate citizenship to Gao Zhan, since she has completed all steps towards naturalization except the final oath; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution with an appropriate cover letter from the President of NOW be sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly, all the members of the House Subcommittee named above and the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Embassy of China.

INCARCERATED WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES

9/99

WHEREAS, the United States (U.S.) Incarcerates women at a higher rate than any other industrialized nation in the world; and

WHEREAS, many of these women serve sentences which are longer than their male counterparts for similar convictions; and

WHEREAS, women incarcerated in the U.S. face a risk of abuses including sexual misconduct by staff, use of restraints, lack of women staff to work with women prisoners, and lack of or incomplete investigation of inmate complaints; and

WHEREAS, adequate medical care is withheld from prisoners, including not providing prescribed medications and follow-up care of chronic conditions, little or no reproductive services; and women are frequently shackled during childbirth; and

WHEREAS, the Violence Against Women Act extended its protection to women outside of prisons, jails, and mental institutions while it did not extend similar protections from violence faced by incarcerated women; and

WHEREAS, women on death row face even more violations to their human rights in areas such as visitations, in body and cell searches, access to counsel, and they receive fewer privileges extended to either men or women in general custody or men on death row;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) support a policy demonstrating our support of initiatives such as Amnesty International’s U.S.A. Rights for All Campaign; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW join the efforts led by activists to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW develop information materials in collaboration with relevant organizations for use by chapters to assist sisters in local jails, any prisons, and mental institutions.  

THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX 1999

WHEREAS, the ongoing “war on drugs and crime” legacy of the Reagan/Bush era has severely and adversely impacted the lives of women and children; and

WHEREAS, the continuing expansion of law enforcement, correctional, and prison systems has proliferated into exploitative employment and capital ventures, hence, creating a viable “industrial complex” similar to the military-industrial complex; and

WHEREAS, the increase of public resources allocated to the expansion of this complex in the name of public safety, estimated at a cost of over $40 billion annually by the year 2000, occurs at the expense of other vital social priorities, including education, health care, and violence prevention; and

WHEREAS, current statistics indicate: 1) over 70% of those in prison are non-violent offenders; 2) people of color, in particular African-Americans, are nearly 10 times as likely to live under some form of criminal justice system control and authority; 3) in the last decade, the female prison population has increased 276%; 4) 78% of women in prison are mothers; 5) the  rate of African-American women under criminal justice control is over twice as much as the increase of white women under criminal justice control or authority; and

WHEREAS, “tough on crime” public debate concerning the issues of safety, law and order, and crime and punishment continues to be largely dominated by patriarchal and capitalist interests invested in expensive, draconian, and divisive policies versus “smart on crime” policies that are humane, cost-effective and demonstrated measures that account for the larger social, economic, and racial factors which exist in society; and

WHEREAS, it is crucial that NOW act to prevent the broader victims’ rights movement from being co-opted by similar right-wing based interests that perpetuate a focus on increased sanctions for offenders at the expense of needed support for the victims of crime, safe alternatives to incarceration, and viable rehabilitative programs;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes that the expansion and privatization of this “prison industrial complex” disproportionately consumes public resources that could be allocated to other social, education, and health needs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW include partners in the prison industrial complex as candidates for the Merchants of Shame initiative; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW identify interested NOW members to compile relevant research and findings related to the impact of prison privatization, “tough on crime” policies, and the budgetary impact of the expanding prison-industrial complex on women and children which identifies opportunities for building coalitions, and promotes “smart on crime” debate and solutions.

JUVENILE JUSTICE LEGISLATION

2/98

WHEREAS, Congress has proposed legislation currently being considered by the Senate as the Juvenile Justice Act of 1998 (S10) which would undermine this country’s juvenile justice systems; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women supports programs which help prevent juvenile crime, give parents the support they need and runaways and so-called throwaways the services necessary to their survival; and

WHEREAS, the proposed legislation would give prosecutors unreviewable discretion in choosing to charge children age 14 and above as adults; and

WHEREAS, children charged as adults are at high risk when mixed with adult populations standing, for instance, a 7.7 times higher risk of suicide; and

WHEREAS, S10 would give local authorities the right to hold status offenders for up to 14 days. Status offenders include runaways, 57% of whom are girls and young women, many running from abusive relationships, and so-called throwaways, young people thrown out of their homes because they are gay or lesbian;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW oppose the Juvenile Justice Act of 1998, currently S10 or similar punitive legislation, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW inform chapters of the significance and the dangers of this bill and encourage chapters to lobby against its passage working in coalition with community groups, such as the Children’s Defense Fund, and that NOW include updates regarding this bill in action alerts to chapters and on the Internet.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that National NOW submit testimony in opposition to S10 or similar legislation.  

JUDICIAL REFORM AND ACCOUNTABILITY 2012

WHEREAS, the U.S. Constitution requires that all federal, state, and territorial governments provide equal treatment under the law to all persons who seek legal support and/or redress from any court or quasi-judicial forum; andWHEREAS, the credibility of the judicial branch of government is critical to the achievement of women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, there currently does not exist any independent watchdog for the federal judiciary with respect to women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, there is inconsistency in the review of state court judges or territorial judges from one jurisdiction to another; and

WHEREAS, neither access to free legal services for the poor nor paid legal services is sufficient to guarantee access to equal protection or competent counsel for those seeking legal support and/or redress;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls on the federal, state and territorial courts to implement all court procedures and policies in a non-sexist, non-discriminatory manner.

7/10

Moved that NOW endorse prompt confirmation of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate.  

STRATEGIC NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE TO PROTECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS 2005

WHEREAS, throughout its history, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has used both traditional and nontraditional means to achieve full equality for women, including women’s access to safe, legal abortion and birth control; and

WHEREAS, the resignation of Sandra Day O’Connor and possibly one or more additional Supreme Court Justices in the near future will permit President George W. Bush to use his opposition to the principles of the Roe v. Wade decision as a litmus test in making any new nomination to the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, women’s essential right to privacy, affirmative action, disability rights, and family and medical leave are in grave danger because we have lost the critical fifth vote on the United States Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to demanding the nomination of a Supreme Court justice who recognizes that the right to privacy includes reproductive rights and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identification, and that equal protection means all of the people;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW declare a State of Emergency to Save Women’s Lives and reaffirm that protecting the courts from those who seek to repeal women’s rights is of the utmost priority; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call upon all members of the U.S. Senate to give meaning to democracy by insisting that each new appointment to the highest court reflect our country’s women until parity is reached on the Court; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in these dark days of the Bush Administration, NOW and its chapters recommit ourselves to the struggle to save women’s fundamental rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that nonviolent civil disobedience be one of the wide range of strategies and tactics employed by NOW to oppose restrictions on women’s lives; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the national NOW Action Center provide resources to NOW activists on NOW’s Principles of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience (CD) and the potential strategic value of nonviolent CD in addition to providing resources for lobbying, marches, rallies, pickets and actions at the state and local levels.

CAMPAIGN FOR JUDICIAL JUSTICE 2002

WHEREAS, the goal of the Bush administration is to fundamentally mold the judicial system to reflect its right-wing ideology; and

WHEREAS, the Republican-led Senate during the Clinton administration held up the confirmation process through the Judiciary Committee’s reluctance to hold hearings on President Clinton’s nominees to various branches of the judiciary; and

WHEREAS, the Democratic leadership in the Senate has set goals for themselves to confirm judicial nominees presented to them and is responding to the pressure to hold hearings; and

WHEREAS, conservative judges now control 8 of the 13 Circuit Court of Appeals and if every one of Bush’s pending judicial nominees is confirmed, right-wing, extreme ideologues will control 11 of the 13 federal circuits; and

WHEREAS, our rights are increasingly under attack by the Ashcroft led Justice Department, and appeals to the Federal District and Appellate Courts will not be considered by impartial judges if our courts continued to be stacked; and

WHEREAS, many decisions are and will continue to be made at the federal court level and will not reach the Supreme Court;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) declare a Judicial Justice State of Emergency; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW further develop and coordinate a multifaceted campaign; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign may include any or all of the following: petition and post card drives, action kits, leafleting, lobbying locally and in Washington, DC, a demonstration in DC, electronic organizing by list serve and web site, and activist seminars at all levels of NOW; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) oppose each and every nominee to the Federal Courts who opposes civil rights, through an vigorous, on-going judicial justice campaign; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call on the Democratic Senate leadership, in particular the Senate Judiciary Committee, to thoroughly examine and expose each nominee’s record and allow organizations and individuals to offer testimony on each nominee at publicly held hearings; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW vigorously oppose the entire parade of right-wing extremists nominated to the federal bench as a whole and work to expose the Bush plan for complete domination of the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court.

SAVE THE COURTS 2001

WHEREAS, gender bias is prevalent and pervasive in every level of the United States judicial system, and biased decisions made by judges can adversely affect all of our lives; and

WHEREAS, judicial decisions in family law are often disastrous for women and their children, and judges grant custody to men in the majority of cases when men seek custody and often view claims of abuse to be ploys to win custody; and

WHEREAS, to protect fathers’ visitation rights, judges have forced women to live close to their abusers or have refused them the right to relocate when mothers seek to improve their economic and living situations; and

WHEREAS, judges often do further harm to victims of violence by ignoring rape shield laws, by giving light sentences to sexual predators and perpetrators of domestic violence, by ignoring custody guidelines passed to protect abused children, and by failing to give serious consideration to charges of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and sexual harassment; and

WHEREAS, in many states, judicial review systems serve only as a network to protect judges from complaints against them and are non-responsive to public concerns, and the voting public lacks easy access to information pertinent to judicial elections (where held), appointments, and review procedures, often allowing judges to be seated without opposition and with no public discussion of the issues or the candidates; and  

WHEREAS, recent U. S. Supreme Court decisions have undermined the rights of individuals to sue states in employment discrimination cases and have bound workers to mandatory arbitration which favors employers; and

WHEREAS, judicial appointments by George W. Bush, particularly at the Supreme Court level, will jeopardize women’s lives, especially in the area of access to reproductive health care, and Bush’s first 11 nominees for federal circuit courts of appeal include judges and lawyers with close ties to the Federalist Society, former aides to Senators Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, a partner in the firm that argued Bush’s campaign case before the Supreme Court, a former deputy solicitor general under Kenneth Starr, and conservative lawyers who have argued before the Supreme Court in favor of private school vouchers and exempting states from federal lawsuits designed to protect the disabled;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that as part of the Emergency Campaign for Women’s Lives (in which states and chapters are encouraged to hold zap actions at Senators’ offices or federal buildings to protest any Supreme Court nominees whose confirmations would threaten women’s reproductive rights), the National Organization for Women will organize a Save the Courts project designed to help local activists place feminist judges on the bench throughout the judicial system so that women will face less gender bias in the courts and so that more feminist judges will be in the pipeline for advancement to federal court appointments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, in support of this project, NOW states and chapters are encouraged to: 1) identify bad judges through court watch programs or by networking with local advocates who monitor the courts; 2) recruit and support feminist candidates for judges where elected and to lobby for positive appointments elsewhere, targeting the removal of bad judges; 3) investigate the judicial review process in their state and, where needed, work to make the process more responsive to the people and work with the Action Center to identify and promote a model system for other states to follow; and 4) promote their state’s use of judicial education programs, such as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund’s National Judicial Education Program, to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence issues and to eliminate gender bias; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW suggests that the NOW/PAC develop materials to assist chapters in developing questionnaires for judicial candidates that can ascertain their position on NOW issues in accordance with the judicial canon of ethics and hold training sessions to promote the recruitment of feminist candidates (including, but not limited to, judges), including skills in precinct or district assessment and candidate and resource assessment of viability, so that feminist voters are not always condemned to voting for the lesser of two evils

RESOLUTION TO RESCUE THE SUPREME COURT 2000

WHEREAS, historically the Supreme Court and its interpretation of the Constitution has provided some protection for women’s reproductive rights from the excesses of the Congress and state legislatures; and

WHEREAS, the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, overturning an extreme and deceptive Nebraska abortion procedures ban by the narrowest of margins, underscores the increasing fragility of those rights; and

WHEREAS, we have lost (or won) several important decisions affecting women’s rights and civil rights by a 5-4 margin, including Brzonkala v. Morrison, in which the Supreme Court found that Congress had no Constitutional authority to enact the civil rights remedy for women in the Violence Against Women Act; and

WHEREAS, this reasoning could be applied to a number of hard-fought federal statutes designed to protect or advance our rights, including the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) and remaining parts of the Violence Against Women Act; and

WHEREAS, this activist court also allowed the Boy Scouts of America to expel a Scout leader solely on the basis of his sexual orientation (the Dale case); and

WHEREAS, this activist Court, with its “new federalism” approach, has already overturned the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) as it applies to state and local employees, giving city, county and state governments the right to freely discriminate against their employees on the basis of age (the Kimel case); and

WHEREAS, this same “new federalism” approach could remove from hundreds of thousands of state and local employees the protection of other federal laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act; and the Equal Pay Act, among others; and

WHEREAS, this danger has been virtually ignored by the media and is unknown to most women; and

WHEREAS, the next President of the United States will appoint at least one, and perhaps as many as three, new Justices to the Court; and

WHEREAS, even a single conservative appointee in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas will result in a 4-5 balance against reproductive freedom for women and will put all of our civil rights in jeopardy; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush, the Republican Party’s nominee, has identified Scalia and Thomas as the Justices he most admires,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW leaders at every level work between now and the November elections to focus the attention of the media and the public, particularly women, on the imminent threat to reproductive rights and civil rights posed by the appointment of even one more activist conservative to the Supreme Court.

TRANS INCLUSIVITY

07/2018

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

10/14

MANDATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR GENDER REASSIGNMENT SURGERY

WHEREAS, only five states have mandated insurance coverage to include gender reassignment surgery; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports legislative efforts that are inclusive of gender identity and transgender expression;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW actively support, in any way possible, the mandating of health insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery in all states, currently 45, that have not mandated such coverage.

NATIONAL ACTION CAMPAIGN FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY 

2013

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of success related to lesbian rights and has always been a leader on both lesbian rights and marriage equality; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognized marriage equality as a fundamental right and committed to the fight for marriage equality in a 1995 resolution; and

WHEREAS, lesbian couples and their children are the most impacted by the denial of marriage equality, making marriage equality a feminist issue; and

WHEREAS, the battle for marriage equality in this country will not be over until there is full marriage equality in all states; and

WHEREAS, the momentum of recent victories and the dramatic increase in positive public opinion present an imminent opportunity for marriage equality, given that thirteen states and the District of Columbia have officially recognized marriage equality;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will support a National Action Campaign to support marriage equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Action Campaign will engage with chapters and allow them to designate the appropriate level of involvement, with significant support and coaching from the field staff; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW embraces the goals of the Put a Ring on It National Action Campaign, repeal of all aspects of DOMA, and securing of marriage equality in all states and territories of the United States; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this campaign will include lobbying, public education and engagement, media engagement, and elections. We will mobilize voters, get the word out through social media and traditional outlets, and work with our local and state chapters to gain marriage equality across the country.

LGBTQ HOMELESSNESS RESOLUTION

6/11

WHEREAS, homelessness and housing instability is a major crisis facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth population; and

WHEREAS, while comprising only 10% of the population at-large, more than a quarter of all LGBTQ youth face homeless or housing instability creating a dramatic disparity; and

WHEREAS, advocacy and resources for LGBTQ youth and their families can both reduce the harm of homeless and housing instability and serve to prevent its onset; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women has a long-standing and passionate commitment to issues affecting the LGBTQ community and has a definite interest in engaging youth; and

WHEREAS, NOW is a nation-wide, grassroots organization with the capacity to extend resources across the country and reach underserved communities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the national level of NOW will work to promote awareness of this crisis at the national level and include it, as appropriate, in discourse around LGBTQ and youth matters.

SUPPORTING STATE ACTION ON LESBIAN RIGHTS 2011

WHEREAS, conservative, right-wing state organizations and lawmakers continue to refuse to grant civil rights to lesbians, treating them as second-class citizens and thereby implying that all people are still not equal under the law; and

WHEREAS, the attack on lesbian rights continues as conservative, right-wing groups have put forth constitutional amendments in Minnesota and other states to define marriage to exclude same-sex couples; and

WHEREAS, while a civil unions bill recently passed in Illinois, providing equal protections and rights to same-sex couples in that state, it has come under scrutiny and threat of repeal by conservative groups; and

WHEREAS, a same-sex marriage bill was effectively killed in the Maryland General Assembly, a few votes short of passage; and

WHEREAS, New York has made significant advancements for lesbian rights, with activists and legislators in the New York State Assembly working tirelessly and passing a same-sex marriage bill on June 24, 2011; and

WHEREAS, with New York’s passage, six states and the District of Columbia now permit same-sex couples to marry, and 11 other states have some form of same-sex relationship recognition; and

WHEREAS, members of Congress continuously threaten to overrule the local decision supporting marriage equality in the District of Columbia; and

WHEREAS, while there is little female representation at the state and federal levels protecting equality for women, we see even smaller lesbian representation at state and federal levels;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) mobilize in support of state action on lesbian rights by:

  • Identifying states with upcoming referenda and legislation related to equal marriage; and
  • Urging local NOW chapters and members as well as activists from around the country to organize and/or actively participate in campaigns regarding the referenda and/or legislation; and
  • Providing National Action Center support of these local efforts; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW recognize the urgency of encouraging and supporting feminist lesbians and supporters of lesbian rights to run for public office to serve as voices for the LGBT community in the legislature and to advance lesbian rights.

SUPPORT FOR EQUAL MARRIAGE LEGISLATION 2010

WHEREAS, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into federal law on Sept. 21, 1996, as Public Law No. 104-199, 11 Stat. 2419; and

WHEREAS, DOMA establishes that no state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between individuals of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state; and

WHEREAS, DOMA further established that the federal government defines marriage as a legal union exclusively between one man and one woman; and

WHEREAS, the restrictions in DOMA prevent the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states that allow such ceremonies, leading to the federal government’s inability to honor equal obligations to these couples under the law; and

WHEREAS, ongoing discrimination in marriage by federal and state governments denies same-sex couples over a thousand benefits, protections and responsibilities that are afforded to married couples, including hospital visitation rights, the ability to file taxes jointly, health care benefits, inheritance benefits, and federal and state tax benefits; and

WHEREAS, on Sept. 15, 2009, the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of N.Y., Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wis., and Rep. Jared Polis of Colo., with the support of 91 cosponsors; and

WHEREAS, the bill would repeal DOMA and permit the federal government to provide benefits to couples in a same-sex marriage; and

WHEREAS, the RMA also contains a “certainty” provision that guarantees that the federal government will recognize the marriage of same-sex couples who were legally married in a state regardless of the laws in the state in which they choose to live; and

WHEREAS, the RMA ensures that same-sex couples who have legal marriages and the children of those couples will no longer be denied Social Security survivor benefits, face extra taxes on health benefits, or pay burdensome inheritance taxes, and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) reaffirm our support for equal marriage because full equality for women means ensuring that all persons have the right to marry or not marry the person of their choice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirms our support for marriage equality at both the state and federal level; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage Congress to pass the RMA because it will not only ensure that those who are legally married will receive federal benefits but also will ensure that anyone who desires to be married will be able to do so.

REPEAL “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL” NOW 2010

WHEREAS, President Clinton, on Dec. 21, 1993, issued Defense Directive 1304.26, commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)”, which stated that military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS, in conjunction with this presidential directive, Public Law No. 103-160, was signed into law as a portion of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994; and

WHEREAS, this policy prohibited anyone who “demonstrates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the United States Armed Forces because “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion,” thereby preventing any homosexual or bisexual person from discussing or disclosing his or her sexual orientation, or speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriage, while serving in the armed forces; and

WHEREAS, on May 27, 2010, the House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2011 Fiscal Year by a vote of 234-194 and, on the same day, the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced this same measure, by a vote of 16-12, to be included in the Defense Authorization Act; and

WHEREAS, this amendment would repeal the sections of Public Law No. 103-160, which pertain to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” 60 days after a study by the Pentagon is completed, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and President Obama certify that the repeal would not harm military effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the Pentagon study will not be completed until Dec. 1, 2010, forcing the implementation of the repeal of DADT to wait until 2011; and

WHEREAS, extensive research has already been conducted on this subject by organizations such as the American Psychological Association, indicating that when openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals have been allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces there has been no evidence of disruption or loss of mission effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, DADT disproportionately affects women, as 34% of those discharged have been women, while women only represent 15% of military personnel and such treatment leads to “lesbian baiting,” sexual harassment, and assault of women; and

WHEREAS, cautious leadership by President Obama, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Secretary and Congress will allow these injustices to continue;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call upon President Obama to suspend dismissals of service personal from the military under DADT while this study is being conducted and then certified; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, call upon President Obama, Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates to certify the repeal of DADT without delay upon completion of the Pentagon study.

OPPOSE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA, CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA CONSTITUTIONS 2008

WHEREAS, there is a proposed Protection Amendment to the Florida state constitution that could cancel existing rights and limit future rights and responsibilities for all unmarried Floridians; and

WHEREAS, language in the amendment states that “inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized” in Florida; and

WHEREAS, this “treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent” language threatens to abolish existing health and other domestic partnership benefits used by thousands of Floridians; and

WHEREAS, the proposed amendment could adversely impact enforcement of domestic violence laws in Florida; in Ohio, as many as 80 domestic violence defendants took their claim that a similar amendment barred the state from pressing charges all the way to the state supreme court; and

WHEREAS, on November 4, 2008, Arizonans will be required to vote for a second time on a constitutional amendment that would bar equal marriage rights; and

WHEREAS, in 2006 Arizona was the first state in the nation to defeat a ballot measure to constitutionally bar equal marriage rights; and

WHEREAS, on November 4, 2008, Californians will vote on a proposal to repeal equal marriage rights under that state’s constitution; and

WHEREAS, defeat of these Florida, California and Arizona ballot measures will represent a major rejection of the religious, political extremists’ agenda and their fomenting of fear and prejudice to turn out their vote;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) strongly oppose the passage of Amendment 2—the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment—in Florida, which will appear on the ballot on November 4, 2008; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW join more than 200 other organizations representing labor, civic, and religious communities as a member of Florida’s SayNo2 campaign to defeat Amendment 2;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW officially oppose passage of Arizona Proposition 102, which will appear on the ballot on November 4, 2008.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW strongly opposes Proposition 8, the measure to repeal equal marriage rights in California that will appear on that state’s ballot in November 2008.

4/06

Moved that National NOW supports Major Margaret Witt and her case in U.S. District Court against Air Force officials and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  Major Witt’s discriminatory discharge, after 18 years of distinguished military service, is in direct violation of her first and Fifth Amendment protections of free speech and due process.  NOW supports her legal efforts to be reinstated to her position.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY DAY OF ACTION 2005

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to full marriage equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people; and

WHEREAS, the education campaign that was launched in 2004 has given increased visibility to the issue of marriage equality as well as opportunities for the public to become more educated about the issue; and

WHEREAS, over 20 states throughout the United States have passed constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage with more states slated to do so; and

WHEREAS, action is required to move the campaign to the next level given the ongoing attacks against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and their rights to full marriage equality;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will partner with its chapter- and state-level leaders to define the scope and direction of a day of coordinated action for full marriage equality in an effort to stem the tide of anti-LGBT attacks.

INVISIBLE WARRIORS: REFUSE AND RESIST 2005

WHEREAS, for lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women of color, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are compounded by race and sex discrimination; and

WHEREAS, building bridges of solidarity among and between LBT women of color through consciousness raising and education is a critical part of ending racism, sexism and homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia; and

WHEREAS, the barriers of racism and sexism are deeply rooted in every movement for social justice, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement, LBT women of color must have the necessary space, time and resources to build trust across communities; and

WHEREAS, immigration issues are an important part of the work that we do as LBT women of color because they have a significant impact on the health and well being of our families and communities; and

WHEREAS, marriage equality is important to the economic, social and political health and well being of our families and communities; and

WHEREAS, there are large numbers of transgender people of color inside and outside of the United States, many of whom are women.  Being inclusive of transgender women of color is critical to our work of creating solidarity among us; and

WHEREAS, language is an important part of honoring our cultures and families and understanding the importance of a multilingual approach to our activism is critical to creating solidarity among us;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) educate and advocate inside and outside the feminist movement about the voices, experiences and history of activism of LBT women of color.

BROADENING NOW’S COMMITMENT TO TRANSGENDER INCLUSION 2005

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has existing policies to combat oppression of transgender people and to advocate for the inclusion of gender or “gender identity and/or expression” in the federal Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA); and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to ending gender stereotypes for transgender people as well as anyone who does not conform to gender stereotypes; and

WHEREAS, gender identity and expression continue to be dropped or omitted from pieces of legislation that are fundamental to protecting the transgender community and others who do not conform to gender stereotypes; and

WHEREAS, NOW must continue its efforts to advocate for full inclusion of the transgender community in the LLEEA, as well as other pieces of legislation, including the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA); and

WHEREAS, NOW opposes any piece of legislation that intentionally or unintentionally targets the transgender community or anyone that does not conform to gender stereotypes, such as the federal Real ID Act;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for the inclusion of gender identity and expression in any legislative effort that impacts the transgender community or anyone who does not conform to gender stereotypes.

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN’S REAFFIRMATION OF INCLUSION

1/05

WHEREAS,  the philosophy of NOW is to oppose any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status and has a stated policy that it will not trade the rights of one group over another; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s statement of purpose states that women must be brought into full participation in the mainstream of American society, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men; and

WHEREAS, the purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

WHEREAS, no person who subscribes to NOW’s purpose shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within the organization; and

WHEREAS, NOW is an organization whose membership includes diverse language, culture, ethnic and racial groups,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms the organization’s commitment to the inclusion of and respect for all NOW members in all of its activities, meetings, and debates with all rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded to NOW members; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board of Directors reiterates its commitment to a feminist ideology and reaffirms our historic commitment to gaining equality for all women regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Action Center will send this resolution to the NOW leadership, publish it in the National NOW Times, communicate it through other means, and encourage discussion on this reaffirmation at all levels of NOW.  

MARRIAGE EQUALITY EDUCATION CAMPAIGN  2004

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is committed to full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people; and

WHEREAS, marriage equality is a fundamental right and civil unions do not provide the same benefits and rights as marriage;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women conduct a campaign, the first phase of which would begin immediately following this conference through the November 2004 elections, that would;

  1. Implement leadership speaker training sessions on the issue of marriage equality.
  2. Develop a list of speakers to encourage debate and education on this issue within NOW and outside of NOW.
  3. Conduct a pro-active media campaign on this issue.
  4. Develop action kits and products.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women urge the NOW PACs to use NOW’s Marriage Equality Education Campaign to conduct an aggressive candidate and incumbent education campaign to advance the movement toward same-sex marriage and by helping such candidates formulate appropriate language in discussing this issue.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY LITIGATION CAMPAIGN  2004

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is committed to full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex people; and

WHEREAS, marriage equality is a fundamental right and civil unions do not provide the same benefits and rights as marriage;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women urges NOW Foundation to participate in a litigation campaign immediately following this conference in which the Foundation would:

(1) sign on to amicus briefs supporting full marriage equality at the state level and

(2) seek the assistance of lawyers to represent the Foundation on a pro bono basis to author amicus briefs in support of full marriage equality at the state and national levels.

3/04

BE IT RESOLVED by the NOW Board that a resolution be brought to the National Conference in July 2004 affirming the PACs actions regarding marriage equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED  that NOW conduct a 6-month campaign immediately following the March for Women’s Lives and through the November 2004 elections that would:

  1. a) Hold leadership speaker training sessions on this issue;
  2. b) Provide educational materials to chapters;
  3. c) Provide speakers to encourage debate and education within NOW and outside of                NOW; and
  4. d) Conduct a pro-active media campaign that would include, but not be limited to, the              following:
  5. Brochure
  6. Guest editorials

iii. Talk shows

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

2/04

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to the principle that all women have an absolute right to full equality under the law; and

WHEREAS, abridgement of the basic rights of any woman diminishes the freedom of all of us; and

WHEREAS, the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 and was signed into law by a president we thought supported lesbian rights; and

WHEREAS, the backlash against the LGBT community may include a proposed amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage; and

WHEREAS, such an amendment would deny lesbians recognition of their committed relationships and equal access to benefits and rights that they deserve; and

WHEREAS, civil unions do not provide the same benefits and rights as marriage and anything less than the right to marriage relegates lesbian relationships to second class; and

WHEREAS, the accomplishment of equal rights for lesbians is designated as a national priority of NOW; and

WHEREAS, NOW supports equal marriage rights for all, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and opposes an amendment banning same-sex marriage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board recommends that National NOW/PAC and NOW Equality PAC  not endorse any candidate who opposes legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and who does not oppose an amendment banning same-sex marriage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Board recommends that National NOW/PAC and NOW Equality PAC not endorse any candidate who does not support same-sex marriage and other legislation that protects lesbians and their families, such as the Family Medical Leave Inclusion Act, Domestic Partner Health Benefits Equity Act, equal adoption rights, and social security reforms that would provide lesbian and gay families with the same benefits provided for heterosexual families.

LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE TO INCLUDE TRANSGENDER PEOPLE 2002

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a policy on combating oppression of transgender people; and

WHEREAS, the 2002 version of the Local Law Enforcement Act currently in Congress, also known as the Hate Crimes Bill, does not include protection for transgender people or the terms “sex” or “gender identity and/or expression”;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women advocate and work for the inclusion of “sex, transgender people, and gender identity and/or expression” as protected categories in legislation currently in Congress, specifically the Local Law Enforcement Act, and in future legislation protecting civil rights.

CAMPAIGN TO STOP ANTI-LGBT EFFORTS BY RIGHT WING 2001

WHEREAS, the right wing has increased its crusade to roll back lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and block future initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels; and

WHEREAS, the battle to defeat LGBT anti-discrimination laws, reverse approved voter initiatives and referenda, and block introduction of new protective measures has shifted to the states; and

WHEREAS, the Christian right has targeted states with LGBT anti-discrimination laws to organize for their repeal with initiative, referenda, and well-funded campaigns; and

WHEREAS, evidence also exists that many conservative gay organizations are joining forces with the Christian right, the anti-gay lobby, and other conservative political entities to defeat anti-discrimination measures; and

WHEREAS, there are at least 13 anti-gay initiatives and referenda before voters in the states and over 150 gay-hostile bills in state legislatures; and

WHEREAS, this shift in strategy from federal protection to the state legislatures requires immediate action to combat these attempts at dismantling the few gains achieved in LGBT anti-discrimination legislation and voter initiatives in the states;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) take immediate steps to combat this continued and intensified assault on gay and lesbian rights as follows:

1) Work with NOW states and chapters to identify areas where hostile LGBT initiatives have been introduced; and

2) Assist NOW chapters and state organizations in developing strategies to combat these initiatives; and

3) Work in conjunction with the Lesbian Rights Conference Implementation Committee (CIC), to create an action kit to include organizing tips, educational materials, and model legislation to stop these hostile measures, the Christian right attacks, and target legislators in an effort to swing or obtain their votes; and

4) Increase the visibility of the issue by publishing an article in the National NOW Times as well as helping chapters with Op-Ed pieces for publication in their newsletters, letters to the editors, local newspaper articles, press releases, etc.; and

5) Expose the hostile environment created by the right wing, supported and emboldened by the Bush administration, which has contributed to the anti-gay attitude promoted by the religious right by communicating such information to conservative gay organizations supporting anti-gay measures; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW activists at all levels, and in coalition with other LGBT groups and allies, rededicate themselves to the legal protection of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, in the movement to bring freedom, justice, and equality for all.

 REPEAL OF SAME SEX ADOPTION BANS

12/00

WHEREAS, in April 2000 the Mississippi legislature passed and Governor Ronald Musgrove signed into law Senate Bill 3074, which bans same sex couples from adopting children; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi legislation panders to homophobic sentiments and ignores the basic truths about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans; and

WHEREAS, this is the most recent in a continuing series of attacks on LGBT rights following the longstanding precedent set by Florida and recent action in Utah; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a longstanding policy supporting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to be free from discrimination in all aspects of their lives; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that children require the love and support of their parents, regardless of the latter’s sexual orientation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls for the repeal of all same sex adoption bans; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED,  that NOW supports the campaigns of local activists to pressure their states to repeal such bans.

PROTECTING SUPPORTERS OF VERMONT CIVIL UNIONS 2000

WHEREAS, NOW demands full equality for all women with equal access to the responsibilities and privileges afforded by the laws and institutions of this country; and

WHEREAS, a majority of the members of the Vermont State Legislature demonstrated extraordinary political courage in voting to legalize civil unions for lesbian and gay citizens; and

WHEREAS, the governor of Vermont demonstrated similar political courage in signing this ground-breaking legislation; and

WHEREAS, the recognition of civil unions represents a substantial step toward full recognition of lesbian and gay relationships and toward equal rights for lesbians; and

WHEREAS, the governor and legislators supporting civil unions have been targeted for defeat by a virulently right-wing opposition; and

WHEREAS, our support for these candidates will send a positive message to progressive legislators in other states, and political punishment of the governor and supportive legislators will set back efforts to pass similar legislation in other states; and

WHEREAS, Vermont law severely limits the financial contributions candidates may receive from out of state;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this conference urges the NOW Equality PAC Board to explore methods by which NOW and its PACs may legally support the governor and legislators under attack, that the PAC move quickly to offer endorsement to those candidates in this category who otherwise meet NOW Equality PAC standards, and that these efforts include communication and coordination of effort with the various PACs specifically formed to support these candidates; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW staff inform activists within driving distance of Vermont of volunteer opportunities in the campaigns of these endorsed candidates; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support a campaign to continue the education of voters concerning the impact of civil unions and/or same sex marriage on the rights of lesbians and gay men.

INCLUDING LESBIAN RIGHTS IN U.S. WORLD MARCH DEMANDS 2000

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women has taken the U.S. leadership for the World March of Women 2000; and

 WHEREAS, the current U.S. list of demands does not specifically include the two demands for lesbian rights included in the international platform; and

WHEREAS, current international instruments do not include protections of lesbian rights; and,

WHEREAS, the world demands allow for the inclusion of specific principles concerning lesbian rights in the list of demands; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women has a strong commitment to lesbian rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women actively advocate for  the U.S. steering committee for the March to add the specific demand on violence, demand V-10, “That, based on the principle of equality of all persons, the United Nations and States of the international community recognize formally that a person’s sexual orientation shall not bar them from the full exercise of the rights set out in the following international instruments: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW actively advocate for the addition to the U.S. list of demands on violence, demand V-11, “That the right to asylum for victims of discrimination and persecution based on sexual orientation be adopted as soon as possible.”

1/00

Moved that the National Board will support the officers moving from a conditional to a full endorsement of the Millennium March on Washington (MMOW) if the board of MMOW adds one of NOW’s officers to the board and adds a substantive statement concerning sexism with explicit support for reproductive rights to the March agenda.

DELINEATION OF LESBIAN RIGHTS 1999

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women demonstrates a strong commitment to lesbian rights; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s agenda embraces the rich diversity of issues and experiences that impact women’s lives;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW re-affirms its commitment to a lesbian rights agenda that uses a grassroots strategy to fight bigotry and discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution replace the 1980 Delineation of Lesbian Rights.

BUILDING BRIDGES FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS 1999

WHEREAS, the successful April 1999 National Organization for Women (NOW) Lesbian Rights Summit brought over 800 lesbians and allies to Washington D.C.; and

WHEREAS, the Summit enhanced opportunities for NOW to expand our campaigns for lesbian rights and the rights of bisexual, transgendered, and gay people; and

WHEREAS, the Summit experience demonstrated the need for NOW to strengthen bridge building between lesbians and allies; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people and straight people; feminists and LGBT organizations and LGBT people; and feminist and non-feminist lesbians, including the need for consciousness raising; and

WHEREAS, building bridges includes the need for ideas such as NOW New Jersey’s “Ask and I’ll Tell” campaign and similar efforts to strengthen participation of allies; and

WHEREAS, building bridges is particularly important in light of continual anti-LGBT campaigns such as the Knight initiative, the proposed constitutional amendment in California which would  define marriage as only between a woman and a man;

 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW expand efforts to work for a feminist space and consciousness in LGBT organizations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage further bridge building between LGBT people and straight allies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to expand feminist consciousness in LGBT communities, including college campuses; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s Lesbian Rights Conference Implementation Committee work with the National Action Center to create a lesbian feminist consciousness raising program to be used in lesbian communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW actively promote the “Ask and I’ll Tell” campaign for the October 1999 National Coming Out Day action, including the use of buttons and photo and video displays; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage all levels of NOW to include as an active part of our electoral strategies campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT initiatives, such as initiatives similar to the proposed California constitutional amendment, and other measures to legally define marriage and limit civil rights protections in order to disadvantage and discriminate against LGBT people, wherever and whenever they occur.

HATE CRIMES 1999

WHEREAS, hate crimes based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and ethnicity not only harm individual victims but also serve to isolate and control all of the members of the targeted groups by restricting their freedom; and

WHEREAS, law enforcement officers charged with upholding the law themselves sometimes commit hate crimes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women launch a campaign to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that Valentine’s Day be targeted for chapter actions on this issue.

“ASK AND I’LL TELL” RESOLUTION  

4/99

WHEREAS in the struggle to end homophobia and discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) people, one consistent finding has been that those who know LGBT people are more sensitive to the issues and supportive of the cause;

WHEREAS, based on this finding, Morris County, New Jersey NOW launched a consciousness-raising campaign called “Ask and I’ll Tell” whose goal is to make sure as many people as possible hear the stories of LGBT people and whose strategy is to enlist straight allies to wear the “Ask And I’ll Tell” button and tell the stories of their LGBT relatives, friends and co-workers while respecting their privacy and safety;

WHEREAS the “Ask and I’ll Tell” Campaign is based on principles that NOW has traditionally used, those being that consciousness-raising supports action and change and that mobilization of the grassroots brings results;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: National NOW adopt the “Ask and I’ll Tell” Campaign, which can be implemented through photo and video displays at public venues and through the sale of buttons to individuals and organizations, and present the campaign to the membership at the 1999 NOW conference in Los Angeles; that state chapters and local units be encouraged to initiate “Ask and I’ll Tell” Campaigns for October 1999  “coming out” month; and that information about the “Ask and I’ll Tell” Campaign be distributed to membership through the National NOW Times and leadership mailings.   

 MILLENNIUM MARCH FOR EQUALITY

2/99

WHEREAS the National Organization for Women is and has been committed to full equality and empowerment for lesbians longer than any other existing national organization, and

WHEREAS NOW recognizes that lesbian rights are intrinsically connected to full equality and empowerment of all women, and

WHEREAS an effective and credible gay/lesbian/bi/transgender rights agenda can be none other than a feminist agenda, and

WHEREAS NOW is the maven of mass action organizing,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW endorse the Millennium March on Washington on condition that the agenda of the March include clear concern about our commitment to the eradication of racism, as well as the eradication of sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, ableism, ageism and classism, and on condition that the agenda includes commitment to a woman’s right to control her own body, including the right to abortion and reproductive health care, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW join the board of the Millennium March for Equality conditioned on the concerns expressed at the February 5-7, 1999 NOW Board meeting being addressed by the entire Millennium March on Washington (MMOW) Board and immediate steps to reconcile these differences be initiated by the MMOW Board, and

BE IF FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW work with the MMOW Board to insure that its members reflect the diversity in the LGBT community, including open lesbians of all colors, races, classes, abilities and ages.

LESBIAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE 1997

WHEREAS, lesbian rights is one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) five priority issues; and

WHEREAS, 1998 marks the tenth anniversary of the last lesbian rights conference; and

WHEREAS, lesbian issues are at the forefront of political debate; and

WHEREAS, NOW must remain on the cutting edge of the lesbian rights movement; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW hold or participate in a Lesbian Rights Conference by the end of the year 1999; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Lesbian Rights Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) will function as the conference organizing committee working closely with the NOW Action Center staff and the National Board.

OPPRESSION OF TRANSGENDERED PEOPLE 1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has worked for the elimination of all forms of oppression in our society targeted at groups who are systematically mistreated; and

WHEREAS, the transgendered and transsexual communities confront oppression daily and are systematically mistreated because of artificial gender constructs in our society; and

WHEREAS, there is a lack of understanding and information on issues affecting transgendered and transsexual people; and

WHEREAS one of NOW’s goals is to eliminate all sex stereotypes including so-called gender roles; and

WHEREAS, NOW affirms and honors the right of people to self-identify;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW and its subunits encourage education and dialogue within NOW and with other organizations on gender and sex stereotypes, including the issues of those who are transgendered and transsexual people; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW reaffirm its commitment to ending all sex and gender stereotypes; and

 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we acknowledge that gender is a patriarchal social construct used to oppress women.

LOVE YOUR BODY AND WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES 2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Love Your Body Day campaign, poster contest, and event activities are examples of the kind of activism that changes the quality of life for women and girls throughout our nation; and

WHEREAS, NOW seeks to be inclusive of women and girls of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, sexual identity, and abilities, including women with either visible or invisible cognitive, mental and/or physical disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the primary intersection of Feminist Studies and Disability Studies is a focus on the body, which determines both whether you are a woman or are disabled; and

WHEREAS, both beauty and disability tend to be things you are considered either to be born with or without, and they are also equally considered to be things that can be “fixed” or “improved” with surgery; and

WHEREAS, women with disabilities face two separate, but related, pressures for surgery — the same pressure to have cosmetic surgery to “beautify” themselves as experienced by women without disabilities and the pressure of reconstructive surgery to “normalize” their bodies (for example with cochlear implants); and

WHEREAS, this pressure to conform to an external standard of both a normal body and a beautiful one doubles the pressure felt by women with disabilities to conform to these standards and/or face the same feelings of self-rejection and self-hatred women without disabilities face as they compare themselves to a standard of beauty defined by some men and the media; and

WHEREAS, these feelings of self-rejection and self-hatred often limit or impair women from garnering the internal strength built on self-acceptance and self-love that empowers women to move beyond the limits and expectations that society has often placed upon them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s “Love Your Body” Campaign incorporate ads of women and girls with disabilities within their offensive and positive ads shown on the Love Your Body Campaign section of the NOW website. The LYB Campaign should also include women and girls with disabilities in the graphic images and messages of the LYB Poster Contest by reaching out to artists with disabilities to submit contest entries; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that feminist and disability activists be encouraged to find and submit negative ads and images of women and girls with disabilities to be considered for addition to NOW’s Media Hall of Shame; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local chapters to host Love Your Body events that include or focus on women and girls with disabilities by providing additional suggested activities on the “What Can I Do” part of the Love Your Body website; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Ad Hoc Committee of NOW work together with the NOW National Action Center to address these specific additions to the Love Your Body Campaign; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Love Your Body Campaign be enhanced by including issues that women and girls with disabilities also face around loving their bodies, so that it emphasizes and honors the fact that all women and girls are perfect just as they are.

WORKING IN COALITION TO COMBAT THE SEXUALIZATION OF GIRLS 2010

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has long combated the negative impact of the media on girls’ and women’s self-image and on the public image of women and girls through Love Your Body Day and other endeavors; and

WHEREAS, new research addressing the sexualization of girls conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Girl Scouts’ Research Institute, Girls Inc., and others indicates that sexualization has negative consequences for girls in many ways, impacting cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality, and attitudes and beliefs; and

WHEREAS, self-objectification among adolescent girls has been repeatedly shown to detract from the ability to concentrate, thus leading to impaired performance on mental activities such as mathematics; and WHEREAS, the APA’s 2007 Report on the Sexualization of Girls found that three of the most common mental health problems among girls-eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression or depressed mood-are linked to the sexualization of girls and women in the media; and

WHEREAS, media images that sexualize girls and women affect how girls conceptualize femininity and sexuality, by endorsing sexual stereotypes that depict women as sexual objects and emphasize appearance; and

WHEREAS, the sexualization of girls can also have a negative impact on boys, men and adult women and on society more broadly; and

WHEREAS, the Healthy Media for Youth Act (HR 4925) in the 111th Congress would support age-appropriate education on the negative effects of the sexualization of young girls; promote healthy, balanced and positive images of girls and women in the media; and counter messages that sexualize and objectify girls and women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW continue to disseminate studies and reports on the harm being done by the sexualization of girls, including reports by the Montgomery County NOW (Maryland) Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls and allied organizations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work in coalition with allied organizations, including the American Psychological Association, Girl Scouts, and Girls Inc., on state and national action strategies to combat the sexualization of girls; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW ask all state and local chapters to contact their elected representatives in Congress to support the Healthy Media for Youth Act (HR 4925) and other similar legislation to promote research, education and action to combat the sexualization of girls in media and more broadly in society.

PROMOTING THE USE OF VIRTUAL ORGANIZING TOOLS WITHIN NOW CHAPTERS AND THE NATIONAL OFFICE 2009              

WHEREAS, the process of grassroots organizing and activism is constantly evolving as new technologies become available; and            

WHEREAS, virtual technologies are essential tools for connecting activists and allowing them to coordinate production of effective action campaigns; and                            

WHEREAS, many National Organization of Women (NOW) entities are not taking full advantage of virtual technologies like content-management website software, message boards, wikis, blogs, chat rooms, webinars, web conferences, podcasts of both audio and video material, Google or Yahoo Groups, Google Docs, Constant Contact, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Linked-In, and others; and              

WHEREAS, these and other communications technologies, when combined with traditional activist methods, can be invaluable tools to help chapters reach political figures, conventional and new media sources, potential new members, existing members, and other community leaders and organizers;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the national officers of NOW make the teaching of virtual technologies a priority for all state and chapter leaders; and                                

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW President appoint a national “Technology Empowerment Team” consisting of activists with expertise in these kinds of virtual technology tools. This Tech team will be responsible for producing a report that will be available on the website and sent to all chapters detailing the kinds of virtual tools available to assist activists with their organizing work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center provide simple, user-friendly instructions for the use of such tools, along with recommendations for which company’s tools to use if there are options; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center, including the officers, model the effective use of these virtual organizing tools for chapters and be ready to assist chapters with implementing and using them if needed.

ENDING VIOLENCE, RACISM, SEXISM, HETEROSEXISM/HOMOPHOBIA, ABLEISM, AGEISM AND SIZEISM IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY 2007

WHEREAS, since the 1968 resolution, “Image of Women in Mass Media,” the portrayal of women in the media has been a continual concern of the National Organization for Women (NOW).  NOW challenges sexism, racism, heterosexism/homophobia, ableism, ageism, sizeism and violence against women in the media with the understanding that media democracy (in representation, employment, access, and production) is critical to fighting the culture of oppression in our society; and

WHEREAS, NOW resolved in 1977 to establish a National Media Reform Committee that identified music as one of the primary components of the mass media, which has powerful influence over society’s attitudes and behaviors toward women and children; and

WHEREAS, racist, sexist, heterosexist/homophobic, ableist, ageist, sizeist and violent lyrical content in music and music video imagery has become of increasing concern, as technological advancements and the growing music industry ensure the prevalence and popularity of music and the content within it; and

WHEREAS, music video imagery often conveys the belief that women only live for male attention and depicts women as nothing but sexualized bodies through the use of filming techniques, such as camera shots that pan a camera over women’s bodies; look down into a woman’s cleavage from above; present women bending over in front of a camera; focus between the legs of a woman to frame the action on the other side; and present fragments of women’s bodies where they are displayed as a number of simple and disconnected body parts; and

WHEREAS, the sexualization of women in the media categories of music videos, music lyrics, magazines, video games, the Internet and movies, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2007 report, leads to consequences in adolescents girls such as: negative influence on their healthy development; undermined confidence; body dissatisfaction, negative self-image, shame and anxiety; mental health problems such as eating disorders; low self-esteem and depression; diminished ability to have a healthy sexual self-image; and negative affect on their cognitive functioning; and

WHEREAS, the America Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that in 1998 more than 50 percent of music videos included violent acts, which are a significant amount of the time committed against women. Additionally, the AAP noted that while African Americans represent 12 percent of the U.S. population, they were the aggressor in 25 percent and the victims in 41 percent of music video violence; and violence and racism still persist in music video; and

WHEREAS, racist, sexist, heterosexist/homophobic, ableist, ageist, sizeist and violent lyrical content in music and video imagery pervades all genres of music; generalizations made about particular musical genres, specifically in reference to rap and hip hop, have racist implications that alienate women of color and dishonor NOW’s organizational commitment to racial justice; and

WHEREAS, with the continued domination of white male corporate ownership and control, the music industry is relentless in its misrepresentation of women and people of color; and

WHEREAS, NOW has a long history of taking on the media industry to dismantle the patriarchal systemic structure that creates permissiveness of inequality, and ensuring our voices are heard in our resistance;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW build upon its commitment to media reform to include a focus on challenging racist, sexist, heterosexist/homophobic, ableist, ageist, sizeist and violent content in music lyrics and in video imagery by calling on corporate media owners to end offensive material in music and music video content; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to raise awareness about the violence, sexism, racism, heterosexism/homophobia, ableism, ageism and sizeism in the music and music video industry by working with women of color, civil rights organizations and feminist activist groups that advocate for fair and positive representation of women and people of color in music and music video; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urges activists to hold community forums to continue the dialogue on the portrayal of women and people of color in the music industry, and petition and protest radio stations and television networks that air racist, sexist, heterosexist/homophobic, ableist, ageist, sizeist and gratuitously violent content in music and music videos; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Action Center will provide chapters with resources and talking points on the connections between racism, sexism, heterosexism/homophobia, ableism, ageism, sizeism and violence in the music industry and in society, and tools for organizing effective and diverse community forums; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will encourage academic and institutional research on the linkages between violent, racist, sexist, heterosexist/homophobic, ableist, ageist and sizeist music and music video and the economic oppression of women and people of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourages the support of alternative media outlets and mainstream media outlets that empower people of color and women; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, NOW will inform members about the issues of racism, violence, sexism, heterosexism/homophobia, ableism, ageism and sizeism in the music industry on our website, in NOW publications, and through presentations and workshops.

THE MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA MUST WARN MOVIE-GOERS ABOUT RAPE 2007

WHEREAS, the ratings board of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is inconsistent in warning movie audiences about rape and other forms of sexual violence and aggression in their ratings descriptions;

WHEREAS, depictions of rape and sexual violence in movies can normalize and promote a rape culture which exacerbates the degradation of women; and

WHEREAS, the MPAA has publicly admitted to the fact that films can influence the behavior of minors;

WHEREAS, victims of rape and sexual violence often feel re-traumatized by seeing rape scenes in movies;

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is still engaged in debate about how to secure non-sexist media without the risk of censorship and;

WHEREAS, immediate action is needed to obtain reliable information about movie content;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the MPAA ratings board adopt an unambiguous definition of rape and sexually aggressive behavior, informed by the work of organizations and scholars working against violence against women, and apply it to all films that are submitted to it; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the MPAA rate all films that have rape scenes with an R or NC-17 rating; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the MPAA use the terms “rape,” “sexual assault” and/or “sexual violence” in all films submitted to the ratings board if they depict sexual violence;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW insist that the MPAA retroactively change the ratings and the accompanying ratings description of any films in the MPAA database that feature rape and sexual violence.

MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEMOCRACY

11/01

WHEREAS, a continuing concern of the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been the mass media—television, radio, newspapers, books, magazines, films, music, Internet and advertising—and the effect of their powerful mechanisms for controlling information and influencing attitudes and behaviors of all people; and

WHEREAS, we have never been such a media-rich and media-dominant society as we are today, where people rely heavily on these vital information systems to inform and guide their lives: and

WHEREAS, NOW is also concerned with the power of the media as an important vehicle for free speech and free expression; and

WHEREAS, the guarantee to free speech and expression for all is now coming under attack, where large corporations are granted free speech rights while many sectors of society are routinely marginalized or censured; and

WHEREAS, the current climate of corporate consolidation and globalization has further degraded the quality of the media in content, message, accuracy, relevance, and its respect for people as both consumers and citizens; and

WHEREAS, media conglomerates exert tremendous influence over all levels of government—federal, state and municipal—and vice versa, to establish policy that furthers a profit-driven, self-serving agenda, and abuses the trust placed in them by the public; and

WHEREAS, these industries use their media to shape and sell social values of gross consumerism, violence and sexual objectification; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that our ability to access, understand, utilize, and bring accountability to the media largely underlies our success in bringing attention to or affecting change on all of NOW’s priority issues;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW continue to recognize that media democracy (in representation, employment, access, and production) is critical to its strategy in changing the culture of oppression in our society; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to integrate media analysis into its ongoing work on all issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW reinvigorate the Feminist Communications Network Task Force to be supported by, and to work with, NOW Action Center staff; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NOW Action Center and the Feminist Communications Network Task Force continue to issue Watch Out, Listen Up reports, with future reports expanding to address other media in addition to television; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, NOW will continue to develop additional grassroots action guidelines for media democracy activism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, NOW will educate its members on these issues with a regular media democracy feature in the National NOW Times; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage use and support of alternative media.

CIVIL RIGHTS RESOLUTION

11/01

WHEREAS, while the U.S. and the world are in crisis in the wake of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, we see evidence of the erosion of the civil liberties and rights guaranteed to the people under the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, this erosion of rights includes racial profiling, toleration for and increase of hate crimes, and violations of due process, such as people being held without charge; and   

WHEREAS, repeated statements by George W. Bush and government officials tend to define patriotism as essentially a blind acceptance of government actions; and

 WHEREAS, the U.S. has a long and proud history of dissent, beginning with its founders; and

WHEREAS, the anti-terrorism bill passed by Congress gives the government and in particular the Justice Department broad powers to usurp constitutional protections in the name of combating terrorism; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government with the aid of mainstream media has created a climate of fear in which some national issues affecting women, people of color, the economically disadvantaged and the LGBTI communities are not being adequately addressed, while those same communities are being targeted; and

WHEREAS, mainstream media outlets have shown their unwillingness to give time to other alternative views on the ongoing conflict and are using almost exclusively white male voices as experts and commentators; and

WHEREAS, individuals and organizations are being characterized as unpatriotic when they use their First Amendment rights to question the current direction of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW opposes any and all efforts to silence dissent and diminish the rights of individuals, groups and organizations and calls on our government to stop such efforts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demands freedom of expression of all points of view to engage in a democratic debate on the direction of the current conflict; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW activists and NOW leaders nationally and locally resist any effort to curb our constitutional freedoms, such as, but not limited to, free speech, due process, attorney/client privilege and equal protection in the name of patriotism and publicly express our outrage at such attempts.  

PRESERVING OPENNESS, DIVERSITY AND DEMOCRACY IN BROADBAND MEDIA

2001

WHEREAS, the Internet has been hailed as the most democratic and participatory medium in history, based on principals of openness and diversity; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) recognizes the importance of the Internet and other communications media in its work, as well as its function as a vital organizing and communications tool for feminists; and

WHEREAS, these communications technologies are rapidly changing and converging as we advance in the digital age; and

WHEREAS, the very openness and diversity of the Internet as we know it is under threat by those who own and control other forms of mass media; and

WHEREAS, as digital platforms (Internet, television, cable, telephone) converge into a single delivery platform known as broadband, ownership of those platforms and content also converges, serving to reinforce the power of already enormous companies; and

WHEREAS, it is largely speculated that digital cable will become the dominant means of broadband delivery of these services and content; and

WHEREAS, cable companies operate in municipal franchises that are virtual monopolies, and cable rates have risen at a rate 3 times that of inflation since being recently deregulated, casting doubt on the notion that “competition” can successfully regulate the market; and

WHEREAS, these corporations have developed enormous influence over all levels of government and have successfully eroded regulatory standards and limits placed on their power while the public pays little attention; and

WHEREAS, most people still rely on dial-up Internet access and are able to select any Internet Service Provider (ISP) or email program or web browser, broadband operators have opposed “open access” provisions and would force customers to access the Internet through the operator’s portal; and

WHEREAS, in what has been referred to as “walled gardens” these portals will direct traffic on the Internet to benefit their operators and their corporate partners, maximizing profits and substituting endless consumer choices for real information and consumer freedom; and

 WHEREAS, the battle for the future freedom of the Internet and broadband is currently being fought in Congress and in the courts;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will stand in support of openness, diversity, and democracy on the Internet and other forms of digital media; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will take the following actions to be a meaningful and vocal advocate for broadband democracy:

  • Empowering the Feminist Communications Task Force and a NOW Action Center staff member to address these issues;
  • Applying this information to any future organizational plans for media/technology;
  • Educating all members about the critical nature of these issues;
  • Initiating or participating in relevant coalitions or campaigns.

NOW CALLS FOR NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO PULL THE PLUG 1999

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to creating a world in which all women and girls are valued, respected and have a public voice; and

WHEREAS, most TV and radio (commercial, public and cable) programs, films, the World Wide Web and other electronic media continually reinforces the inequalities of women and girls;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW call for a National Day of Action to PULL THE PLUG by not tuning in to any form of sexist, exploitative or oppressive media for one day.  We will contact stations and advertisers to let them know what programming we object to. We will also voice our support for programming that positively portrays the broad range of diversity of women and includes the involvement of women in all aspects of the media.  The National Action Center will direct national actions on this day, and will provide information to chapters, states, and regions to encourage them to participate.

VIRTUAL MARCH 2000

1999

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) s entering the new millennium and wants to be on the cutting edge of activism; and

WHEREAS, we must continue to use new innovative technologies to reach diverse communities throughout the country and the world; and

WHEREAS, with the change of the century we will change the way we communicate with the introduction of the new digital technologies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW organize the Virtual March for Women’s Rights — an online action — in the year 2000; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Virtual March planning include work to make the Internet accessible to those who do not have access to the information highway.

FEMINIST MEDIA INSTITUTE

2/99

WHEREAS NOW convened a Feminist Communications Network Task Force to research creating a Feminist Communications Network (FCN), and

WHEREAS NOW’s Declaration of Sentiments states that we will “continue building a mass movement where we are the leaders, not followers, of public opinion.  We will continue to move feminist ideals into the mainstream thought, and we will build our media and new technology capabilities to control our own image and message;”

 THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, in pursuit of these goals NOW will hold a one-day Feminist Media Institute (FMI) on Monday, July 5, 1999 in Los Angeles.  The FMI will politicize our activists on the digital media industry and build our media production and interview skills in order to carry the feminist message directly to the public, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Feminist Media Institute will be funded by grants, registration fees and media industry sponsors.

BE IF FINALLY RESOLVED that the organizers of this event will work with the NOW State Coordinators and Presidents’ Caucus to solve possible scheduling difficulties.

WOMEN’S MEDIA AWARDS

2/99

WHEREAS NOW recognizes the impact of the media on women’s lives, and

WHEREAS the Feminist Communications Network Task Force has recommended that NOW institute our own media awards event,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW explore sponsoring a Women’s Media Awards ceremony at the 1999 National NOW conference in Los Angeles, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the awards will recognize the positive and negative contributions of individuals in radio, TV, film, and the internet industries, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW will investigate ways to use the Women’s Media Awards ceremony to fund our media goals.

DIGITAL TELEVISION RESOLUTION

11/98

WHEREAS digital television is a revolutionary medium which will mold public opinion even more than TV does today, and

WHEREAS by the year 2000, FCC rules require that all commercial stations must offer digital broadcast,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW join in coalition with the Center for Media Education, the Civil Rights Forum for Communications Policy, and the Project on Media Ownership to launch a campaign to educate and mobilize the public on the future of digital television, and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW explore obtaining grant money to use DTV to improve the image of women and air feminist programs, and

RESOLVED that we bring speakers and workshops on DTV to our national conference in Los Angeles to educate our activists about this new medium; and

RESOLVED that NOW include ideas for media actions in member packets and on the national NOW website to empower our activists to make their voices heard.

RESOLVED that NOW explore having a media awards event to recognize tv, radio, movie and news people who have presented a positive view of women; and also pan the negative stories/programs.

SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY — 2013

WHEREAS, sexual assault in the military is a very serious crime against women and men and should be treated as such; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Defense (DOD) in 2012 received 3,374 reports of alleged sexual assault, which included rape, nonconsensual sodomy, and indecent assault. These figures are admittedly understated because sexual assault in the military often goes ignored and unpunished. DOD estimates that over 26,300 cases of sexual assault occurred in the military in 2012; and

WHEREAS, the reporting and non-reporting options policies offered in the military do not provide adequate protections to victims, and the fear of retaliation by peers and superiors, retribution by authorities, and reprisals is another obstacle for victims and survivors in the military; and

WHEREAS, 74 percent of women in the military perceived one or more barriers to reporting sexual assault, and the military allows an alleged rapist to present evidence of “Good Military Character” or job performance to prove reasonable doubt; and

WHEREAS, the military chain of command protects the rapist because of the patriarchal culture; and

WHEREAS, the lack of privacy is often the prime obstacle for victims of sexual assault associated with the military to seek services and treatment; and

WHEREAS, sexual assault in the military often causes victims to cease their training and withdraw from the military academy they are attending, thereby preventing women from pursuing the career of their choice; and

WHEREAS, making a report of sexual assault in the military often leads to a retaliatory psychological diagnosis such as Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or Adjustment Disorder, each of which leads to the member’s dismissal from the military with limited medical benefits; and

WHEREAS, rape and sexual assault are detrimental to the functioning of the military unit, and eradicating rape and sexual assault is essential to the mission of our military;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) urges enactment of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Protection Act of 2013 (STOP) (H.R.1593) and the military to adopt the following recommendations:

  1. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) shall be reformed to remove the reporting, investigation, prosecution, adjudication, and clemency matters from the chain of command, and the authority shall be given to  independent, impartial and unbiased military prosecutors.
  2. The UCMJ shall be reformed to remove the “Good Military Character” Defense.
  3. Each branch of the military shall establish a Special Victims’ Counsel program to include providing representation to victims of rape and sexual assault during court-martial proceedings to protect their rights.
  4. The DOD and U.S. Coast Guard shall conduct a thorough review of all discharges that were the result of a Personality, Bipolar, or Adjustment Disorder diagnosis made after the report of a rape or sexual assault.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urges President Barack H. Obama, the Commander in Chief, to call for the immediate firing of any commander at any level who condones — explicitly or through a failure to take proactive steps to address such behavior — sexual harassment, discrimination, rape or assault.

RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULTS AT VA HOSPITALS

9/11

WHEREAS, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on June 7, 2011 that patients and staff have been raped and sexually assaulted while seeking care at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities; and

WHEREAS, SWAN reports that there were 284 reports of sexual assaults within the VA occurred between January 2007 and July 2010; 67 were classified as rape, 185 as inappropriate touching, 13 as forced oral sex, 8 as forceful medical examinations and 11 as other types of sexual assaults involving patients against patients, patients against staff and staff against patients; and

WHEREAS, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) also reports that when female survivors of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military receive Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) health care, they experience a lower quality of care and dissatisfaction with VHA services compared to women using alternative health care facilities; and  

WHEREAS, as SWAN has stated, rates of sexual assault and harassment in the military are disturbing enough, but to expose veterans to hostile behavior where they are being treated for conditions related to in-service sexual trauma is unconscionable;  

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW work with SWAN and other allies to support legislation to such as H.R. 2074 to require the VA to track all sexual assaults and to closely examine veterans who may pose a risk of committing sexual assault; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW educate our members and the public about the nature and extent of this problem as part of NOW’s ongoing priority to end violence against women.

REPEAL “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL” NOW 2010

WHEREAS, President Clinton, on Dec. 21, 1993, issued Defense Directive 1304.26, commonly known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)”, which stated that military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation; and

WHEREAS, in conjunction with this presidential directive, Public Law No. 103-160, was signed into law as a portion of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994; and

WHEREAS, this policy prohibited anyone who “demonstrates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts” from serving in the United States Armed Forces because “it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion,” thereby preventing any homosexual or bisexual person from discussing or disclosing his or her sexual orientation, or speaking about any homosexual relationships, including marriage, while serving in the armed forces; and

WHEREAS, on May 27, 2010, the House of Representatives approved the Murphy amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2011 Fiscal Year by a vote of 234-194 and, on the same day, the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced this same measure, by a vote of 16-12, to be included in the Defense Authorization Act; and

WHEREAS, this amendment would repeal the sections of Public Law No. 103-160, which pertain to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” 60 days after a study by the Pentagon is completed, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and President Obama certify that the repeal would not harm military effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the Pentagon study will not be completed until Dec. 1, 2010, forcing the implementation of the repeal of DADT to wait until 2011; and

WHEREAS, extensive research has already been conducted on this subject by organizations such as the American Psychological Association, indicating that when openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals have been allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces there has been no evidence of disruption or loss of mission effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, DADT disproportionately affects women, as 34% of those discharged have been women, while women only represent 15% of military personnel and such treatment leads to “lesbian baiting,” sexual harassment, and assault of women; and

WHEREAS, cautious leadership by President Obama, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Secretary and Congress will allow these injustices to continue;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call upon President Obama to suspend dismissals of service personal from the military under DADT while this study is being conducted and then certified; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, call upon President Obama, Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates to certify the repeal of DADT without delay upon completion of the Pentagon study.

ACTION PLAN FOR WOMEN IN THE MILITARY: HEALTH ISSUES 2007

WHEREAS, approximately 350,000 women currently serve in the United States (U.S.) military, making up almost 15 percent of all active-duty personnel; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government should provide the highest standard of care to women who have volunteered to serve their country; and

WHEREAS, women in the military is currently one of NOW’s important issues; and

WHEREAS, the federal government not only forbids the use of public funds for abortions for military personnel and their families but also bans abortions at military facilities even if the woman is willing to self-pay; and

WHEREAS, contraceptive devices and medications, including emergency contraception (Plan B), are not being stocked at military medical facilities; and

WHEREAS, Pap tests and mammograms are not made available to servicewomen on a regular basis; and

WHEREAS, data is needed to identify health issues involving women in the military and women veterans to apprise them of services and benefits available to them; and

WHEREAS, educational efforts need to be directed to women in the military and women veterans; and

WHEREAS, it is important to verify that there are adequate numbers of obstetricians and gynecologists available for women in the military in the U.S. and wherever they are stationed throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, are prevalent in the military and within military families; and

WHEREAS, women in the military suffer from PTSD from combat and from rape, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment; and

WHEREAS, NOW is the premier women’s rights organization in the U.S.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW form an ad hoc committee on Health Issues of Women in the Military. The committee will work with other organizations working in these areas and appropriate military and veterans service organizations to address these problems so as to develop strategies and action plans and bring these plans to the National Board.

4/06

Moved that National NOW supports Major Margaret Witt and her case in U.S. District Court against Air Force officials and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  Major Witt’s discriminatory discharge, after 18 years of distinguished military service, is in direct violation of her first and Fifth Amendment protections of free speech and due process.  NOW supports her legal efforts to be reinstated to her position.

SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY 2005

WHEREAS, sexual assault in the military is a very serious crime against women and should be treated as such; and

WHEREAS, Military Criminal Investigation in 2004 received 1,700 reports of alleged cases of sexual assault, which include rape, nonconsensual sodomy, and indecent assault, as well as attempts to commit those offenses, and these figures are undoubtedly understated because sexual assault in the military often goes ignored and unpunished; and

WHEREAS, the reporting and non-reporting options policy announced by the Pentagon does not provide adequate protections to victims; and

WHEREAS, the fear of retaliation by peers and superiors, retribution by authorities, and reprisals is another obstacle for victims and survivors in the military; and

WHEREAS, the military is in a unique position to give support through privacy protection and to give education to military personnel about recognizing and preventing sexual assault; and

WHEREAS, the lack of privacy is often the prime obstacle to victims of sexual assault associated with the military seeking services and treatment; and

WHEREAS, sexual assault in the military often causes victims to cease their training and withdraw from the military academy they are attending, thereby preventing women from pursuing the career of their choice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) urge that the military to adopt the following recommendations:

  1. The complete chain of command within the military will receive education and training on reporting incidents of sexual assault; and
  2. All victims and survivors of sexual violence in the military receive the same protections as those in our civilian community; and
  3. The Pentagon’s Joint Task Force for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response will establish a confidentiality policy for civilian counselors treating military sexual assault victims; and
  4. The Pentagon’s Joint Task Force will establish an office for advocates of sexual assault victims in the military; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge George W. Bush, the Commander in Chief, to review Executive Order 13,140 that relates to Military Rule 513 involving confidentiality between client and therapist and urge Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to review the disclosure policy in the military involving sexual assault.

MINORITIES IN THE MILITARY

3/03

WHEREAS, the United States military has a very high proportion of minority women and men; and

WHEREAS, military service is viewed as a means to education and job security; and

WHEREAS, many of the minority women and men enter the armed services out of economic necessity; and

WHEREAS, the proportion of minorities among the women in the individual services has tripled from 1972 to 1997 (8-22 percent in 1972 became 32-55 percent in 1997),

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women recognizes these realities and, while opposing the bloodshed and violence of the current conflict, nevertheless honors the women and men who are hazarding their lives in the services; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW calls on Congress to examine the lack of opportunities that causes the disproportionate representation of minority women and men in the military and develop other avenues to education and job security.

RESOLUTION ON MILITARY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

1/03

WHEREAS, domestic violence is a crime and should be treated as such; and

WHEREAS, domestic violence has been noted as the cause of an unusually large number of deaths recently in military families, particularly at Fort Bragg, NC; and

WHEREAS, the military is in a unique position to train and educate military members; and

WHEREAS, many military members and their families will not seek assistance for cases of abuse for fear of the effect on the member’s record; and

WHEREAS, violence affects the readiness of the military to perform the mission; and

WHEREAS, optimum readiness must include the safety and security of military families;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW urges that the military command adopt the following recommendations and

1) that all parts of the military chain of command need to recognize the cycle of violence,

2) that domestic violence be recognized as a crime and the Uniform Code of Military Justice be modified to ensure that punishment of the crime is swift and sure, and

3) that the military should incorporate domestic violence prevention education into all aspects of training and education of military personnel to include basic training, and

4) that the military should incorporate prevention/intervention components into training for deployment and debriefing when returning from deployment, and

5) that all branches of the military should reiterate that there will be zero tolerance for domestic violence in the military as a whole, and

6) that all branches of the military should implement the recommendations of the Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, and

7) that all military reservations be directed to develop effective whole community cooperative plans to deal with domestic violence; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women recommends that the Department of Defense Task Force and the U.S. Congress resolve the conflict between required reporting of abuse with the need for confidentiality of the victim; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that it is recommended that NOW will include these recommendations in their lobbying of the U.S. Congress as appropriate; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to President George W. Bush, Commander in Chief, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, the Chair of the Military Affairs Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and to any other appropriate military commanders or members of Congress.

ADVANCE VOTING RIGHTS: 2017-2018 NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAM RESOLUTION

2017

WHEREAS, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder in 2013, extremist right wing legislators in many states rushed to enact voting restrictions that intentionally disenfranchise millions of people; and

WHEREAS, right wing lawmakers have systematically removed voting resources from low income and minority communities, including shutting down voting sites, refusing to update voting machines, and failing to adequately train polling volunteers; and

WHEREAS, unconstitutional racial gerrymandering across states such as North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia have diluted the impact of the Black and Latino vote, creating a super-majority for white conservative legislators in those states; and

WHEREAS, felon disenfranchisement–a long-time voter suppression tactic–has suppressed the African American vote dramatically in the state of Florida; one in four African Americans in Florida cannot vote due to felon disenfranchisement; and

WHEREAS, voter ID laws that place undue financial burden on the elderly, immigrant populations, and lower income persons have increased exponentially over the past two years; and

WHEREAS, curbs to early and absentee voting dramatically undermine the voting power of women–and African American women in particular who make up 36 percent of early voters; and  

WHEREAS, Election Day is not a federal holiday, with the result that many people–particularly hourly waged workers who are disproportionately women of color–are unable to take the day off to vote; and

WHEREAS, the Trump Administration and Republican leaders in Congress have created a false narrative around virtually non-existent “voter fraud” to justify voter suppression; and

WHEREAS, women are overwhelmingly underrepresented in political offices across the board, and those numbers are even lower for women of color; and

WHEREAS, having feminist women in political office promotes the introduction of legislation that bolsters the rights of women and families;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED  that the National Organization for Women (NOW)’s 2017-2018 National Action Program will include an “Advance Voting Rights” campaign to stop voter suppression schemes at the local, state judicial, and national levels; increase awareness about the disproportionate impact of voter suppression on women and especially women of color, low income persons, seniors, and younger people; and  pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act to stop gerrymandering intended to discriminate against communities of color and women voters, voter purging, and disenfranchisement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW will work with our allies and coalition partners in support of state-level legislative, electoral, and litigation strategies to  combat instances of voter suppression, including partisan suppression, especially in states such as North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, and Alabama; and  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will work with NOW PAC and its allies to elect feminist candidates, especially women and other marginalized people, to local, state, judicial, and federal office, and to educate voters about the high stakes for women in local, state, judicial, and federal elections in 2017 and 2018.

DONALD TRUMP SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS 2016

WHERAS, there are a minimum of three allegations of rape against presidential candidate Donald Trump, including an account during a deposition by his former wife Ivana Trump in the 1990s, a 1997 lawsuit by Jill Harth in which he was accused of groping, and now a third lawsuit of Jan Doe accusing him of raping her when she was just 13 years old; and

WHEREAS, there are additional allegations of trafficking of women involved in the Trump modeling agency; and

WHEREAS, rape and child and sexual abuses are felony crimes against women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women demands an immediate full and robust investigation prior to the election into the troubling reports of rape and sexual assault by Donald Trump by the news media and law enforcement.

ENDORSEMENT OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT 2015

Whereas the NOW National Board urged the NOW PAC in March 2007 to quickly endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton to be President of the United States; and

whereas, NOW PAC quickly followed the recommendation, announcing Clinton’s endorsement at the Sewell-Belmont House, the home of Alice Paul, the author of the Equal Rights Amendment; and

Whereas, upon receiving her endorsement the Washington Post reported that Clinton declared that “if you look up the word ‘feminist’ in the dictionary, you’ll find her,” and

Whereas, in discussing what is at stake for women in the 2015 Presidential election, Clinton stated that “These issues have to be in the lifeblood of this election and any election.”  

Therefore, be it resolved, that the National Board of the National Organization for Women, the largest feminist grassroots organization in the nation, urge NOW PAC to quickly endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton’s historic race for the presidency, and

Therefore be it further resolved that NOW urge its grassroots leadership in every state in the nation to enthusiastically rally NOW members to work tirelessly to elect Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president of the United States.  

ELECT A FEMINIST WOMAN PRESIDENT AND CELEBRATE NOW’S GOLDEN JUBILEE

2013

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women was founded in 1966 “to take action” to bring about equality for all women; and

WHEREAS, we celebrate our victories as we continue to take action to counter the continual war on women waged by the enemies of equality; and

WHEREAS, since our nation’s founding on the premise that “all men are created equal” we have had a parade of Toms, Dicks, and Harrys elected president of the United States, none of whom has succeeded in securing women constitutional equality, freedom from violence and discrimination, or equal pay; and

WHEREAS, it is time for the Victorias, Shirleys, Carols, and Hillarys to show what feminist political leadership can do;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that from henceforth until 2016, NOW’s 50th anniversary, NOW’s political work should be designed to build toward the work and goal of electing a feminist woman president of the United States; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that leading up to 2016, we will organize on NOW’s priority issues to build our resources, including membership, alliances, contacts and organizational strength; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urges NOW PAC to focus its endorsement and field strategy from this day forward to accomplish this historical goal.

THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT (THE ALICE PAUL/FANNIE LOU HAMER RESOLUTION)

2013

WHEREAS, American women have historically experienced denial of their voting rights because of their sex, race and/or national origin; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Supreme Court has many powers, but not the right to rescind the inviolable protections of any Constitutional Amendment; and

WHEREAS, the 15th Amendment guarantees citizens the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, and the 19th Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote, which cannot be denied or abridged; and

WHEREAS, the right to vote for women and people of color will be disproportionately denied and abridged due to name changes throughout their life cycle, barriers to proving or verifying identification, decreased access to polling places due to age or disability, and increased restrictions placed upon absentee ballots, weekend and early voting;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls on Congress to uphold the 15th and 19th Amendments by remedying the recent Supreme Court decision, Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerates section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to make the media aware about the significant impact on women and people of color who are disproportionately affected; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support legislation to guarantee the right to vote as a federal right and not subject to local or state authority; and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support litigation and action against gerrymandering and gendermandering that violates the principle of one person, one vote; and  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW chapters are encouraged to work in coalition in their own states and local communities to push back against this denial of rights for women and people of color.

THE WAR ON WOMEN IN STATE LEGISLATURES 2012

WHEREAS, opponents of women’s rights, workers’ rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, voting rights and civil rights, most notably Americans United for Life (AUL), National Right to Life Committee, ALEC, Federation for American Immigration Reform, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and others, have analyzed state laws, set long-term legislative goals on a state-by-state basis, and publicized their analyses and goals on the web; and

WHEREAS, more than fifty (50) model bills that will serve as templates for legislation introduced in many states are also publicly available on the web; and

WHEREAS, the war on women currently being waged in state legislatures is not the work of individual legislators acting independently, but is instead a nationally organized and coordinated assault on women’s rights that is implemented through bills based on templates produced by various national organizations; and

WHEREAS, this nationally coordinated campaign has resulted in states passing laws requiring a woman to undergo a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining abortion services along with other legislation designed to restrict or deny a woman’s access to abortion services;  and

WHEREAS, because variations of these template bills are often introduced simultaneously in several state legislatures, National Organization for Women (NOW) activists in different states must combat nearly identical bills at the same time; and

WHEREAS, this long-term strategy and nationally coordinated effort to destroy women’s rights and to wage a war on women calls for an organized and long-term response from NOW;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW expand its legislative program to address bills based on templates and introduced in state legislatures as part of national campaigns to roll back, undermine, or destroy women’s rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW implement a program to facilitate communication and exchange of information across state and regional lines to combat nationally coordinated assaults on women’s rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work to raise awareness within NOW of this organized assault on women’s rights and work with state organizations to create strategies and a plan of action to defeat these efforts.

NOW/PAC ENDORSEMENT OF THE OBAMA/BIDEN TICKET 2012

BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW), at its annual conference in Baltimore, MD, enthusiastically urges the NOW/PAC to endorse the Obama/Biden ticket for reelection in 2012.

SUPPORTING STATE ACTION ON LESBIAN RIGHTS 2011

WHEREAS, conservative, right-wing state organizations and lawmakers continue to refuse to grant civil rights to lesbians, treating them as second-class citizens and thereby implying that all people are still not equal under the law; and

WHEREAS, the attack on lesbian rights continues as conservative, right-wing groups have put forth constitutional amendments in Minnesota and other states to define marriage to exclude same-sex couples; and

WHEREAS, while a civil unions bill recently passed in Illinois, providing equal protections and rights to same-sex couples in that state, it has come under scrutiny and threat of repeal by conservative groups; and

WHEREAS, a same-sex marriage bill was effectively killed in the Maryland General Assembly, a few votes short of passage; and

WHEREAS, New York has made significant advancements for lesbian rights, with activists and legislators in the New York State Assembly working tirelessly and passing a same-sex marriage bill on June 24, 2011; and

WHEREAS, with New York’s passage, six states and the District of Columbia now permit same-sex couples to marry, and 11 other states have some form of same-sex relationship recognition; and

WHEREAS, members of Congress continuously threaten to overrule the local decision supporting marriage equality in the District of Columbia; and

WHEREAS, while there is little female representation at the state and federal levels protecting equality for women, we see even smaller lesbian representation at state and federal levels;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) mobilize in support of state action on lesbian rights by:

  • Identifying states with upcoming referenda and legislation related to equal marriage; and
  • Urging local NOW chapters and members as well as activists from around the country to organize and/or actively participate in campaigns regarding the referenda and/or legislation; and
  • Providing National Action Center support of these local efforts; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW recognize the urgency of encouraging and supporting feminist lesbians and supporters of lesbian rights to run for public office to serve as voices for the LGBT community in the legislature and to advance lesbian rights.

ENHANCING GLOBAL FEMINIST STRATEGIES IN NOW’S ORGANIZING AND ACTIVISM 2011

WHEREAS, the mission of National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee (GFC) is to work transnationally with women’s non-governmental organizations, the United Nations (U.N.), and international human rights organizations to advance the status of women and gender equity worldwide as well as at home, linking our struggles, resistance and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, GFC, since its founding in 2006, has been organizing and activating NOW members and allies on a range of issues to advance women’s human rights globally and locally, with actions such as the Ratify Women! CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Campaign, participating at the United Nations and international conferences and co-organizing international feminist delegations; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed, through our Ratify Women! Campaign, to achieving the U.S. ratification of CEDAW, the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls, which would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that human rights of women are universal across all cultures, nations, and religions and are worthy of being guaranteed through international human rights standards; and

WHEREAS, the “war on women” is global in scope, resulting from numerous social, political and economic forms of oppression and increasing fundamentalisms, whose backlash regularly and most negatively impact women, especially in the Global South; and

WHEREAS, the need to expand our understanding of the disparate impacts of United States (U.S.) policies on women globally and nationally is required to achieve the feminist goals of peace, equality, justice and sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, the women of the U.S. have much to learn from and share with women of the world who have developed responses to poverty, militarism, sexual and other violence, gender discrimination, racism,  homophobia, disability discrimination, environmental degradation and other intersecting realities of oppression; and

WHEREAS, access to the highest standard of reproductive health, including family planning, is defined by the United Nations as a human right, but access to legal and safe abortion is left up to the various nation states and is not considered to be a universal human right; and

WHEREAS, transnational feminist solutions at both the grassroots and international law levels offer the broadest prospects to achieve our deserved and basic human rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the GFC work with NOW’s board, committees, task forces, chapter and state leaders and members to bring global, multicultural gender perspectives and educational resources to the recognition that sisterhood is indeed global; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW formally thank U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her inspired leadership to prioritize the needs of women and children globally in our U.S. diplomatic and development work and urge her to further advocate at the top levels of U.S. government for U.S. ratification of CEDAW and for more inclusive women’s programming; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommends to the National NOW PAC that the endorsement process ensure that criteria for international aspects of NOW’s core priority issues are included; and 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW add a Global Feminist Issue Hearing to National NOW conferences in odd-numbered years to enhance NOW’s commitment to increase global feminist organizing and activism.

A CALL FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE TO EXPEL DAVID VITTER 2010

WHEREAS, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) confessed to violation of the laws of the District of Columbia, including DC Code 22-2723 and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 28, Appendix A to Part 812, prohibitions against pandering and prostitution; and

WHEREAS, prostitution in the District of Columbia is a federal crime, which includes the actions of the person contracting for such activity; and

WHEREAS, by this violation of federal law, and by his conduct, David Vitter has not only brought shame on himself and his family and the good people of Louisiana, but undermined the efforts of the law enforcement community to close down the illegal organizations and groups which support prostitution, human trafficking and child sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, female sex workers are routinely arrested in the District of Columbia for engaging in prostitution, while their clients are rarely so affected; and

WHEREAS, David Vitter has further demonstrated his disdain and disregard for the rights of women in this country by his hiring and retention of a member of his Senate staff who was found to have assaulted a woman with a knife; and

WHEREAS, , David Vitter attempted to cover up both his and his staffer’s conduct, but was ultimately unsuccessful; and

WHEREAS, such a pattern and practice of abuse of women and violation of the law brings shame and disgrace upon the institution of the United States Senate and encourages derision and disrespect of this essential legislative body by the American people; and

WHEREAS, U.S. women experience domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation at an unacceptable rate, and the trafficking of women for sexual use is an international scourge, which the United States Senate has condemned by resolution; and

WHEREAS, by his conduct David Vitter undermines the spirit of the Violence Against Women Act; and

WHEREAS, elective office does not confer immunity against prosecution for illegal actions, and no person is above the law, and it is especially important that members of the United States Senate lead by example of their conduct;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the members of the National Organization for Women (NOW), meeting in Convention in Boston, Mass., call upon the United States Senate to censure and expel David Vitter for conduct unbecoming a Senator, engaging the services of a prostitute and violation of the laws of the District of Columbia; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call upon the leadership of the Senate and the Senate Ethics Committee to recognize that the particular challenges facing the people of Louisiana at this time call for a U.S. Senator who is not tainted by illegal conduct and hypocrisy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call upon all fair-minded Americans to stand with us against domestic abuse, unequal treatment of sex workers and clients in the enforcement of the law, and enforcement of ethical standards by the Senate in regard to its own members.

RESTRICT U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS LOBBYING ON CAPITOL HILL

2010

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying Congress claim that their unrelenting advocacy throughout the recent health care bill debates, particularly on issues regarding women’s reproductive health, were fueled by the Catholic Church’s obligation to advocate for moral consciousness; and

WHEREAS, because of widespread abuse scandals concerning Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals and cover-ups by the hierarchy, the Catholic Church has lost moral standing after decades of sexual exploitation and subsequent inaction and concealment; and
WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church is governed exclusively by men, who cannot become pregnant, it is therefore inappropriate for those who have historically placed women in second-class status with regard to making decisions about their bodies to dictate what is politically, socially and economically correct for our reproductive health and that they should keep their rules off our bodies; and

WHEREAS, the governance of the Roman Catholic Church could be appropriately considered to be the embodiment of the patriarchy; and

WHEREAS, recent health care legislation was altered and diminished due to the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other like-minded groups who claim to maintain their moral authority; and

WHEREAS, many abortion rights advocates agree that the health care measures advocated for by the Catholic bishop lobbyists in the recent passage of health care insurance reform surpassed the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment; and

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington, D.C., face almost none of the lobbying or disclosure rules that apply to the rest of D.C. lobbyists; and

WHEREAS, lobbying laws specifically exempt churches from reporting requirements, while they legally permit churches to do no more than “insubstantial” lobbying; and

WHEREAS, “insubstantial” lobbying has evidently been left without a clear definition and therefore allows Catholic bishops to maintain political clout that remains inappropriate to moral and constitutional separation of church and state;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) condemn the blatant political influence that Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington have exercised throughout the health care reform debate and other legislative matters regarding women’s reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge Congress and the IRS to reform tax laws to clarify the legal definition and boundaries of the “insubstantial” degree to which the Catholic Church may lobby and invest in lobbying in Washington; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the federal government require greater disclosure and transparency of lobbying-related expenditures on the part of the Catholic Church and of financial benefits received by the USCCB, the Catholic Church, and other affiliated entities, such as Catholic Charities, in legislation on which they lobby.

OPPOSE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO FLORIDA, CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA CONSTITUTIONS  2008

WHEREAS, there is a proposed Protection Amendment to the Florida state constitution that could cancel existing rights and limit future rights and responsibilities for all unmarried Floridians; and

WHEREAS, language in the amendment states that “inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized” in Florida; and

WHEREAS, this “treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent” language threatens to abolish existing health and other domestic partnership benefits used by thousands of Floridians; and

WHEREAS, the proposed amendment could adversely impact enforcement of domestic violence laws in Florida; in Ohio, as many as 80 domestic violence defendants took their claim that a similar amendment barred the state from pressing charges all the way to the state supreme court; and

WHEREAS, on November 4, 2008, Arizonans will be required to vote for a second time on a constitutional amendment that would bar equal marriage rights; and

WHEREAS, in 2006 Arizona was the first state in the nation to defeat a ballot measure to constitutionally bar equal marriage rights; and

WHEREAS, on November 4, 2008, Californians will vote on a proposal to repeal equal marriage rights under that state’s constitution; and

WHEREAS, defeat of these Florida, California and Arizona ballot measures will represent a major rejection of the religious, political extremists’ agenda and their fomenting of fear and prejudice to turn out their vote;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) strongly oppose the passage of Amendment 2—the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment—in Florida, which will appear on the ballot on November 4, 2008; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW join more than 200 other organizations representing labor, civic, and religious communities as a member of Florida’s SayNo2 campaign to defeat Amendment 2;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW officially oppose passage of Arizona Proposition 102, which will appear on the ballot on November 4, 2008.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW strongly opposes Proposition 8, the measure to repeal equal marriage rights in California that will appear on that state’s ballot in November 2008.

HEALTHCARE FUNDING CRISIS 2008

WHEREAS, since 1993, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has advocated that single-payer healthcare cover the full range of women’s healthcare needs throughout their lives; and

WHEREAS, access to quality healthcare in the United States has markedly deteriorated for many decades—under Democratic and Republican administrations alike—and is inferior now to access to quality healthcare in almost all other industrialized countries; and

WHEREAS, the spiraling military budget has resulted in a projected 30.9% cut in social services block grants for 2009, while the U.S. military budget is larger than that of all other countries in the world combined, and the $720,000,000 spent every day on the war in Iraq would be enough to supply one year’s health insurance for 423,529 children; and

WHEREAS, some financially strapped states are reducing both eligibility and funding for State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) and Medicaid, causing approximately 1.5 million people to lose coverage over the past five years;

WHEREAS, decisions about the choice and duration of medical treatments have been usurped by the insurance industry from the healthcare providers and patients who should be making those decisions; and

WHEREAS, tens of millions of full-time workers are uninsured, while those with insurance are saddled with increasingly high premiums, deductibles, and co-payments; and

WHEREAS, this decline in healthcare delivery has had a disproportionate impact upon populations of color—over two-thirds of the uninsured being nonwhite, and hospital closings occurring disproportionately in urban communities—and single-parent families headed by women—37.5% of the uninsured being families with less than $10,000 annual income—thereby resulting in a pattern that is both racist and sexist; and

WHEREAS, while both major political parties now acknowledge the need to address the healthcare crisis, both continue to place the burden of healthcare on those unable to afford it;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW make universal single-payer healthcare, including comprehensive coverage of all women’s healthcare needs, a major campaign issue;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW call for universal single-payer healthcare to be financed by a drastic cut in the Pentagon’s bloated share of the national budget.

GLOBAL FEMINIST ACTION RESOURCES 2008

WHEREAS, the Global Feminist Issues Track at the 2008 National NOW Conference reaffirmed our membership’s commitment to global feminist activism, and activists are calling for more resources to assist in global feminist work; and

WHEREAS, the United States has neither ratified nor acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the National Organization for Women (NOW) repeatedly has pressured the United States to do so, while the NOW PAC is working to elect progressive feminist candidates to the U.S. Senate, which would increase the possibility of U.S. ratification and accession; and

WHEREAS, a number of U.S. communities have organized to endorse and implement CEDAW obligations and opportunities—including gender responsive budgets—on the local and state levels in parallel with a national ratification and accession strategy; and

WHEREAS, NOW made a thorough presentation in Geneva in June 2006 at the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the human rights of women in the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international mechanisms such as the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), while venues for activism to advance women’s rights in the U.S. and globally are available and activists want to utilize them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW Feminist Global Issues and Strategies ad hoc committee (the Committee) work with the NOW Executive Committee and staff to develop educational tools and organizing kits for its members, state leaders, and chapters about CEDAW’s and CERD’s provisions and opportunities for endorsement and implementation at the local and state levels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Committee will work with the NOW Executive Committee and staff to develop educational tools and organizing kits for its members, state leaders and chapters on utilizing international mechanisms to advance the rights of women regardless of status in the U.S. and globally; and  

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Conference urge the Committee to explore with the NOW PAC ways to incorporate support of feminist global issues, drawing upon NOW’s priorities, as part of the criteria for NOW PAC endorsement of candidates for national offices.

1/08

Moved that we investigate joining a possible protest of the Democratic National Committee to demand that the Florida delegates be seated and that we ask for a meeting with Howard Dean and that we urge each state to lobby their DNC members to seat the Florida delegates.

3/07

Moved that the National  Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW) recommends to the NOW PAC that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton be endorsed for the Presidency of the United States and that this endorsement be made within 90 days of this recommendation.  

3/07

WHEREAS, today’s political climate offers unprecedented accomplishment and opportunity; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women has always been at the forefront in the struggle for women’s equality and human rights; and

WHEREAS, national action campaigns help increase NOW’s visibility and impact around the country, which leads to increased membership and activism in NOW chapters, thereby improving NOW’s financial health,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women adopt a national voter registration message strategy (“NOW VOTE”) to further our issues and elect women for change.  

CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT 9/11 INVESTIGATION 2006

WHEREAS, events of September 11, 2001 (9/11) have been the rationale for the war on terror, the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patriot Act and numerous other attacks on civil liberties, the use of torture, vast increases in military spending and the concentration of powers in the executive branch; and,

WHEREAS, 9/11 has been used by the Bush Administration to justify huge federal budget cuts that cripple social services to women and children such as child care, abuse protection, health care and education; and

WHEREAS, 9/11 has been used by the Bush Administration to undermine civil liberties granted in the First and Fourth amendments of the Constitution with measures such as the Patriot Acts; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration refused to have an investigation of 9/11 until public pressure forced him in 2003 to appoint a national commission;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) call for a new and truly independent 9/11 investigation that addresses the unanswered 9/11 questions.  

4/06

Moved that NOW recommend that the PAC initiate and send out an alert to the leadership about a program called “Operation House Cleaning.”  This lets our membership know that we have a chance at taking back the House. This is the only type of House work women should be doing this fall.

ELECTING WOMEN TO OPEN SEATS 2004

WHEREAS, women are 53% of the population and comprise only 15% of the U.S. House of Representatives, 14% of the U.S. Senate, 22% of state legislatures and serve as governor in only nine states, and

WHEREAS, the U.S. currently ranks 58th in the world for women holding elected office; and

WHEREAS, representative democracy should mean representative democracy and representative democracy without women is not representative; and

WHEREAS, the conversation and the outcomes change when women are in the room; and

WHEREAS, women are more likely to opt for government in public view rather than behind closed doors; and

WHEREAS, women are more responsive to groups previously denied full access to the public policymaking process; and

WHEREAS, the reapportionment and redistricting process has often decreased opportunities to elect women to office rather than increasing women’s opportunities; and

WHEREAS, women have had limited access to special interest and other funding sources that enable candidates to run for office on a level playing field;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW endorse a campaign of advocating that “Every Open Seat Should be a Woman’s Seat” until we reach equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call on all political parties to adopt as part of their platforms the principle that every open seat be a woman’s seat and for those parties which claim to fully support women’s rights, to encourage those women candidates to support the full range of women’s rights issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirm its support of campaign finance reforms such as clean elections; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urges the political parties to encourage and support women who run for elected office.

OUTSIDE UNBIASED OBSERVERS NEEDED TO MONITOR 2004 ELECTIONS 2004

WHEREAS, 13 courageous members of the United States Congress have sent a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations asking for U.N. oversight of the U.S. presidential elections in November; and

WHEREAS, this courageous and historic request aimed at helping to protect the right of every person to vote as enshrined in human rights treaties ratified by the United States, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 25) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (article 5) not to mention the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965; and

WHEREAS, the 2000 presidential election was plagued by allegations of widespread voter disenfranchisement, particularly in the state of Florida, where the allegations included irregular and wrongful purging of voter registration lists and questionable practices and policies relating to balloting, counting and certification procedures; and

WHEREAS, the disenfranchisement “fell most harshly on the shoulders of black voters” according to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, with other experts concluding that over half of the votes that went uncounted nationwide during the last election were “cast by non-white voters”; and

WHEREAS, this April, the USCCR issued a status report which found that despite promised nationwide reforms relating to voting equipment, voter list maintenance, pollworker training, election certification, and reinstatement of ex-felon voting rights, adequate steps have not been taken to ensure that a similar situation will not arise in the coming election. Rather, upon evaluating the current state of affairs, the Commission concluded “the potential is real and present for significant problems on voting day that once again will compromise the right to vote”; and

WHEREAS, given the deeply troubling events of the 2000 election and the growing concerns about the lack of necessary reforms and potential for abuse in the 2004 election, the engagement of international election monitors has the potential to expedite the necessary reform as well as reduce the likelihood of questionable practices and voter disenfranchisement on Election Day; and

WHEREAS, across the nation, error-prone punchcard machines have been replaced by touchscreen machines that have failed repeatedly in actual elections, not just lacking paper trails, but their source code is proprietary. Computer security experts believe these machines are hackable, and voters have no confidence their votes will be recorded and counted honestly; and

WHEREAS, key officials in this administration seek the power to postpone (or cancel) the 2004 election based on self-generated warnings of terrorist attacks;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW fully supports the efforts of Members of Congress and our coalition partners and will work with them to demand that unbiased international observers serve as monitors in this November’s presidential election; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW activists will encourage their Members of Congress to join in this effort; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW uses this opportunity to educate our supporters and the world to the frightening aspect that our democratic government appears to be disappearing in front of our eyes, replaced by 5 members of the Supreme Court, Clear Channel Communications, and manufacturers of defective voting machines to name a few, unless, we can guarantee free and honest elections.

MOBILIZE WOMEN TO DEFEAT GEORGE W. BUSH

7/04

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women organized demonstrations at the inauguration of George W. Bush as President of the United States to protest both the voting process and the counting of votes in Florida and also the unprecedented decision by the highest court in the land that undermined the democratic process for electing our president; and

WHEREAS, through its website, “The Truth about George,” the National Organization for Women has compiled a comprehensive record of the abuses of power, destructive and dangerous policies, unconscionable actions, provocative and divisive statements, misstatements of fact, and downright stupidity exhibited by George W. Bush and his administration over the years and posted our findings on the web for all the world to see; and

WHEREAS, NOW has worked tirelessly to insure that federal judges are fair, impartial, and dedicated to upholding the constitutional rights of women and people of color by taking a stand over and over again to oppose the confirmation of individuals nominated by George W. Bush whose records clearly show that they are not fair, impartial, and dedicated to upholding the constitutional rights of all people; and

WHEREAS, NOW has staunchly opposed attempts by George W. Bush and his administration to roll back lesbian and gay rights through an amendment to the United States Constitution to deny marriage equality while fostering a climate of hatred and fear towards lesbians and gay men in hope of political gain for themselves; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women has been at the forefront of organizing protests against the wars of George W. Bush and through our courageous stand have exerted an incalculable influence by helping to awaken the nation to the evil of George W. Bush’s rash militaristic policies; and WHEREAS, on April 25, 2004, NOW along with other pro-choice organizations mobilized more than one million people to march on Washington in support of women’s reproductive rights that have been and remain under constant and unrelenting attack by George W. Bush and his administration; and

WHEREAS, the re-election of George W. Bush for a second four-year term would do incalculable damage to women and the world, and the only candidate able to defeat George W. Bush in the 2004 election is Senator John Kerry whose public statements over the years and voting record in the U. S. Senate demonstrate his strong support of women’s rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women declare a state of emergency beginning immediately and extending through November 2, 2004 (Election Day) and continue to the time the election is finally determined; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge our membership to respond to this national crisis by resolving to participate in the presidential election of 2004 by voting and by monitoring their local elections to insure that all votes are fairly cast and fairly counted; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we urge women everywhere to work to re-defeat Bush in 2004.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

2/04

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to the principle that all women have an absolute right to full equality under the law; and

WHEREAS, abridgement of the basic rights of any woman diminishes the freedom of all of us; and

WHEREAS, the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 and was signed into law by a president we thought supported lesbian rights; and

WHEREAS, the backlash against the LGBT community may include a proposed amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage; and

WHEREAS, such an amendment would deny lesbians recognition of their committed relationships and equal access to benefits and rights that they deserve; and

WHEREAS, civil unions do not provide the same benefits and rights as marriage and anything less than the right to marriage relegates lesbian relationships to second class; and

WHEREAS, the accomplishment of equal rights for lesbians is designated as a national priority of NOW; and

WHEREAS, NOW supports equal marriage rights for all, including lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW supports the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and opposes an amendment banning same-sex marriage; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board recommends that National NOW/PAC and NOW Equality PAC  not endorse any candidate who opposes legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and who does not oppose an amendment banning same-sex marriage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Board recommends that National NOW/PAC and NOW Equality PAC not endorse any candidate who does not support same-sex marriage and other legislation that protects lesbians and their families, such as the Family Medical Leave Inclusion Act, Domestic Partner Health Benefits Equity Act, equal adoption rights, and social security reforms that would provide lesbian and gay families with the same benefits provided for heterosexual families.

CASS BALLENGER SHOULD RESIGN

1/03

WHEREAS, Cass Ballenger, Republican Representative of North Carolina, called Representative Cynthia McKinney a “bitch;” and

WHEREAS, he then tried to justify those remarks by saying he considered Representative McKinney “divisive, pushy and less than patriotic;” and

WHEREAS, these remarks are disparaging and degrading to Representative McKinney and by extension to all women and people of color;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW calls on Representative Cass Ballenger to resign from the U.S. Congress; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to censure Representative Ballenger for those comments.

ELECTIONS  2002

WHEREAS, the advancement of the feminist agenda through electoral activity is of paramount importance in an election year when the executive branch is controlled by the radical right, the conservative Dennis Hastert serves as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Democrats retain control of the Senate by one vote; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has pushed its anti-woman reproductive rights agenda through a multi-pronged strategy of executive orders, congressional action, and the nomination of the right-wing judges to the federal bench; and

WHEREAS, if Republicans retain control of the House and take back the Senate we can expect more radical legislation eroding our rights in addition to the loss of the 5 to 4 majority preserving basic abortion rights in the Supreme Court; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW recommend to the NOW PACs that they support our incumbent friends who are being relentlessly targeted by the right wing and work to protect their seats even as they also work to elect the wonderful new feminist candidates challenging our political enemies throughout the country or running for open seats, as well as the record number of feminist candidates running for governor.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommend to all NOW PACs that they make electoral work a priority from now until November and work to elect new feminist candidates to all levels of political office as well as working zealously to bring our incumbent friends essential reinforcements.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge NOW PAC to target races throughout the nation that could make the greatest impact on the balance of power in both the U.S. Senate and House and recruit and encourage NOW activists to “change our lives” to go to volunteer or work in those targeted fall campaigns.

OPPOSITION TO THE OPPORTUNISTIC USE OF “WAR” ON TERROR 2002

WHEREAS, the tragedies of September 11, 2001, alerted us to the urgent need to re-examine the worldwide impact of U.S. foreign policy and global economic policy; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration is exploiting the international attacks on the U.S. to advance a right-wing political agenda that expands the campaign of militarism and corporate profit that contributed to the anti-American feelings at the heart of these terrifying events; and

WHEREAS, the agenda of the Bush administration is marked by enormous increases in defense spending that displace funds from domestic social services and the nation’s healthcare safety net to support a large-scale military deployment and protracted military engagement abroad; and

 WHEREAS, further U.S. military aggression in the Middle East will only exacerbate the plight of women and children in these countries where U.S. foreign policy has already contributed to their oppression and destitution; and

WHEREAS, the use of military aggression will surely lead to more senseless loss of innocent lives and aggravate anti-American sentiment around the world; and

WHEREAS, the “war” on terror perpetuates the tradition of U.S. disregard for international law, as well as internationally accepted standards for human rights (such as the Declaration of Human Rights and CEDAW); and

WHEREAS, women always bear additional personal costs in patriarchal wars that ruin their country’s physical infrastructure, destabilize their economies, destroy their homes, and kill and maim their children and families; and

WHEREAS, the draconian homeland defense policies promoted by the Bush administration, and already enacted by Congress in the form of the Patriot Act, are designed in part to stifle political dissent; and

WHEREAS, political dissent and the questioning of power are expressions of the values we promote as feminists and claim to hold as a country;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) opposes the opportunistic use of fighting terrorism as an excuse for massive imperial expansion, for a war on Iraq, and for the continuation of unilateral policies in violation of international law.

CIVIL RIGHTS RESOLUTION

11/01

WHEREAS, while the U.S. and the world are in crisis in the wake of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, we see evidence of the erosion of the civil liberties and rights guaranteed to the people under the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, this erosion of rights includes racial profiling, toleration for and increase of hate crimes, and violations of due process, such as people being held without charge; and   

WHEREAS, repeated statements by George W. Bush and government officials tend to define patriotism as essentially a blind acceptance of government actions; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. has a long and proud history of dissent, beginning with its founders; and

WHEREAS, the anti-terrorism bill passed by Congress gives the government and in particular the Justice Department broad powers to usurp constitutional protections in the name of combating terrorism; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government with the aid of mainstream media has created a climate of fear in which some national issues affecting women, people of color, the economically disadvantaged and the LGBTI communities are not being adequately addressed, while those same communities are being targeted; and

WHEREAS, mainstream media outlets have shown their unwillingness to give time to other alternative views on the ongoing conflict and are using almost exclusively white male voices as experts and commentators; and

WHEREAS, individuals and organizations are being characterized as unpatriotic when they use their First Amendment rights to question the current direction of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW opposes any and all efforts to silence dissent and diminish the rights of individuals, groups and organizations and calls on our government to stop such efforts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW demands freedom of expression of all points of view to engage in a democratic debate on the direction of the current conflict; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW activists and NOW leaders nationally and locally resist any effort to curb our constitutional freedoms, such as, but not limited to, free speech, due process, attorney/client privilege and equal protection in the name of patriotism and publicly express our outrage at such attempts.  

9/01

WHEREAS, there have been no women in top Congressional leadership throughout U.S. history; and

WHEREAS, Rep. Nancy Pelosi is a feminist and a supporter of women’s rights and progressive policies; and

WHEREAS, Nancy Pelosi, if elected Democratic House Whip, would be the first woman in history to be in a top House leadership position and in line to be House Speaker,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support Rep. Pelosi’s quest to be House Democratic Whip and work with her campaign and other organizations to further her candidacy in all appropriate ways.

VOTING REPRESENTATION FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 2001

WHEREAS, the right to full democratic representation is one of the fundamental rights upon which the United States was founded; and

WHEREAS, citizens of the District of Columbia gained delegates to the Electoral College in 1968, through ratification of the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution.  However, subsequent attempts to expand D.C. voting rights, including constitutional amendments to grant the District of Columbia congressional representation and statehood, have failed; and

WHEREAS, the 570,000 residents of the District of Columbia continue to be denied this right and still lack voting representation in both Houses of Congress, yet bear the full burden of U.S. citizenship, including taxation and military service; and

WHEREAS, the District of Columbia continues to be prevented from enacting progressive policies promoting and protecting women’s rights by congressional interference; and

WHEREAS, the District of Columbia would likely elect progressive leaders to Congress who would support feminist issues and positions, including abortion rights; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been a longtime supporter of equal representation for all U.S. citizens, since 1978 when we endorsed the constitutional amendment to grant D.C. congressional representation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support full and unqualified voting representation in Congress for the residents of the District of Columbia and urge all NOW members and sub-units to lobby their representatives in the U.S. Congress to give full congressional voting representation to the citizens of the District of Columbia.

THIEF-IN-CHIEF DECLARATION 2001

WHEREAS, the struggle for suffrage was a building block for the women’s movement and feminist and democratic advances that took nearly a century to win and is a victory we must fiercely defend; and

WHEREAS, the electoral process is a tool for advancing the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) and all women’s priorities and compromising our basic right to vote puts all our gains and future gains at greater risk; and

WHEREAS, NOW is and has been speaking out about this injustice.  We must officially record our opposition to this travesty of democracy for the citizens, particularly women and people of color in the United States; and

WHEREAS, feminists publicly calling George W. Bush on stealing the election will cramp his anti-woman, anti-people agenda; and

WHEREAS, the Black Caucus, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the labor movement are leading the charge in exposing and retaliating against this injustice; following their lead, NOW should take a strong stand; and

WHEREAS, the events of the election in Florida exposed a nationwide epidemic of electoral fraud that took aim at progressives, particularly African-Americans, and NOW believes that racist attacks keep us all down; and

WHEREAS, the U. S. Supreme Court thwarted the will of the people by selecting George W. Bush;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that NOW make voting rights reform one of its legislative priorities and work to add gender to the Voting Rights Act and continue to participate in the investigation into electoral problems in crafting reform solutions at local, state, and national levels.  

SUPPORT CLEAN MONEY LEGISLATION TO BENEFIT ALL U.S. WOMEN 2001

WHEREAS, the existing campaign finance system is fundamentally unfair and anti-democratic especially for women, as the presence of women in elected office does not reflect that women represent 53 percent of the voting population and over 50 percent of the total population; and

WHEREAS, only 20 percent of state legislators are women and only 59 women out of a total 535 members serve in the U.S. Congress, despite the hugely successful efforts of the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC), Emily’s List, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and WISH List; and

WHEREAS, the issues that women most care about and those that are part of the NOW agenda are not given a fair voice due to the overwhelming influence of special interests and their campaign donations; and

WHEREAS, Clean Money legislation, which provides public campaign financing, enables women with community support but ordinary means to run for office and mount serious campaigns, despite the disproportionate number of male incumbent elected officials; and

WHEREAS, by encouraging electoral competition, Clean Money legislation widens policy debate and provides political equality, reflecting the fact that 60 percent of Americans want true campaign finance reform to be a high national priority, and understand that the American people should be the source of all political power; and

WHEREAS, Clean Money legislation has already been implemented in Maine, Arizona and Vermont where it has enabled more women candidates to run for office and win;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW form a Clean Money Task Force and take other necessary action to support the efforts to achieve passage of Clean Money legislation in both the US Congress and all remaining 47 states.

4/01

Moved to create a Women’s Central to counter Bush’s attacks on women and begin with issuing a 100-day report card with a women’s news conference.

NOW OPPOSES PRESIDENT’S MASSIVE TAX CUT

02/01

WHEREAS, the true cost of President Bush’s irresponsible tax cut proposal is $2.6 trillion dollars  – exceeding all of the expected federal budget surplus that would not have to be set aside for Social Security and Medicare obligations;

WHEREAS, the President’s plan contains NO tax cut for single persons earning $6,001 to $27,050 and NO tax cut for married persons earning $12,001 to $45,200 and recognizing that the median income for women in the country is $26,324;

WHEREAS, the proposed tax cut would not significantly benefit 80% of households and yet richly compensate the top one percent of income earners (43% of benefits to those earning $319,000 or more per year), while leaving in place the regressive payroll tax rate which disproportionately burdens middle- and lower-income earners;

WHEREAS, the vast majority of women  – including those working outside of the home, married middle-income stay-at-home moms and nearly all retired women  – will see NO benefits from the Bush tax cut proposal and the regressive payroll tax rate will be unchanged;

WHEREAS, the proposed tax cut is so massive that it compromises the future solvency of the Social Security and Medicare programs and makes impossible additional investments in universal health care coverage, educational improvements, early childhood development, expanded anti-violence programs, employment training and other services for TANF recipients, prescription drug benefits for seniors and all other initiatives to promote economic equity; and

WHEREAS, the projections for a federal budget surplus over the next ten years may be overly optimistic and could result in far less than expected, particularly if economic growth slows considerably, noting than an economic stimulus from a tax cut will be negligible and delayed,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women emphatically rejects the President’s biased, unfair and dangerous proposed tax cut; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Congress should reject the Bush plan and develop a modest tax cut proposal to benefit ONLY those workers in the lower- and middle-income brackets (primarily households with less than $50,000 a year in income) and that Congress should restructure the payroll tax along progressive lines to correlate higher tax rates with higher earnings and to remove entirely the cap on payroll tax-subject wages; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that any tax cut plan should not be biased against women and should instead seek recompense for the millions of women who have been denied economic security due to pay discrimination and regressive taxation.

2/01

Moved that NOW opposes campaign finance reform attempts which seek unfairly to restrict non-profit organizations’ unions’ ability to be politically active.

12/00

Moved that the National Organization for Women (NOW) participate in an action in Tallahassee if there is a special session called to select electors.  

RESOLUTION TO MAKE ELECTION DAY A NATIONAL HOLIDAY

12/00

WHEREAS, the strength of our democracy is in the widest participation of citizens in the electoral process; and

WHEREAS, it was not until 131 years after the Constitution was adopted that women in this country achieved the right to vote; and

WHEREAS, many women of color were unable to exercise the right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965; and

WHEREAS, only about 50 percent of persons eligible actually voted in the most recent presidential election; and

WHEREAS, making election day a national holiday would make it easier for all persons to participate in the electoral process;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls upon the 107th Congress to declare federal election day a national holiday; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW take immediate steps to seek coalition partners to help achieve this goal.

BUSH WHACKING RESOLUTION 2000

WHEREAS, crucial women’s rights are at stake in the 2000 presidential elections; and

WHEREAS, although George W. Bush is masquerading as a moderate, his true record on women’s rights is abysmal; and

WHEREAS, the next president will have the power to appoint Supreme Court Justices who can either secure or destroy our constitutional and reproductive rights and George W. Bush has cited Justice Scalia as his most admired Supreme Court Justice; and

WHEREAS, it is obvious from poll numbers that Bush’s record on women’s issues has not yet been clearly exposed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW urge NOW/PAC [to] continue its public information campaign exposing Bush’s record on our issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW chapters and activists work to educate their communities on the risks to women of a Bush presidency; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW activists form “Bush-whacker” teams to shadow Bush at campaign appearances to remind the public of his positions on our issues.

RESOLUTION TO RESCUE THE SUPREME COURT 2000

WHEREAS, historically the Supreme Court and its interpretation of the Constitution has provided some protection for women’s reproductive rights from the excesses of the Congress and state legislatures; and

WHEREAS, the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, overturning an extreme and deceptive Nebraska abortion procedures ban by the narrowest of margins, underscores the increasing fragility of those rights; and

WHEREAS, we have lost (or won) several important decisions affecting women’s rights and civil rights by a 5-4 margin, including Brzonkala v. Morrison, in which the Supreme Court found that Congress had no Constitutional authority to enact the civil rights remedy for women in the Violence Against Women Act; and

WHEREAS, this reasoning could be applied to a number of hard-fought federal statutes designed to protect or advance our rights, including the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) and remaining parts of the Violence Against Women Act; and

WHEREAS, this activist court also allowed the Boy Scouts of America to expel a Scout leader solely on the basis of his sexual orientation (the Dale case); and

WHEREAS, this activist Court, with its “new federalism” approach, has already overturned the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) as it applies to state and local employees, giving city, county and state governments the right to freely discriminate against their employees on the basis of age (the Kimel case); and

WHEREAS, this same “new federalism” approach could remove from hundreds of thousands of state and local employees the protection of other federal laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act; and the Equal Pay Act, among others; and

WHEREAS, this danger has been virtually ignored by the media and is unknown to most women; and

WHEREAS, the next President of the United States will appoint at least one, and perhaps as many as three, new Justices to the Court; and

WHEREAS, even a single conservative appointee in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas will result in a 4-5 balance against reproductive freedom for women and will put all of our civil rights in jeopardy; and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush, the Republican Party’s nominee, has identified Scalia and Thomas as the Justices he most admires,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW leaders at every level work between now and the November elections to focus the attention of the media and the public, particularly women, on the imminent threat to reproductive rights and civil rights posed by the appointment of even one more activist conservative to the Supreme Court.

FUNDING OF VAWA 2000

WHEREAS, women and their families continue to be threatened by violence in their homes, schools and communities, and

WHEREAS, the programs created under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 have already made a difference in thousands of women’s lives, bolstered prosecution of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, increased victims’ services and resources for law enforcement, and created a National Domestic Violence hotline; and

WHEREAS, funding for this bill is due to expire;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women organize chapters and states to put pressure on members of the 106th Congress to pass the Violence Reauthorization Bill H.R. 1248 or the Biden-Hatch VAWA of 2000 S. 2787 in this session of Congress; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommend that the NOW Political Action Committee (PAC) use the issue of violence against women as one of its criteria for endorsing or denying endorsement to any member of Congress or candidate for Congress; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommend to NOW PAC that they support candidates who meet both our criteria for electoral support on other issues and who support full VAWA funding and other aspects of H.R. 1248 and S. 2787; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if VAWA funding is not fully authorized, NOW emphasize this Congressional failure as a major campaign issue to be addressed in the World March of Women 2000; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW and its members support and press for passage of H.R. 1248 and S. 2787 through phone calls, e-Mails, letters, faxes, and personal visits to Congressmembers’ and Senators’ district offices.

PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION AS A FEMINIST STRATEGY 1999

WHEREAS, United States (U.S.) Women, who make up more than 50% of the population, compose only 12% of the U.S. House of Representatives and 9% of the U.S. Senate; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. is 17th among 27 long-established democracies in electing women to national legislatures [Source: Ms. magazine, Sept. 1996, “Voting for a Change.”]; and

WHEREAS, countries that use proportional representation (PR) to elect their national legislatures elect many more women — Sweden (43%), Wales (40%), Scotland (38%), Norway (36%), Finland (34%), and South Africa (25%) — than do winner-take-all countries such as Great Britain (17%), the United States (12%), and France (10%); and

WHEREAS, a study comparing legislation in major democracies found that countries with PR voting systems have enacted more laws benefiting women and children than countries that use “winner-take-all” voting systems [Source: Dr. Arend Lijphart, professor of political science and past president of the American Political Science Association.]; and

WHEREAS, the 1997 National Organization for Women (NOW) national conference adopted Victory 2000 with the goal of increasing the number of women in elective office; and

WHEREAS, Congressman Melvin L. Watt (D-NC) introduced the States’ Choice of Voting Act, House Resolution (HR) 1173, on March 17, 1999 to allow states to elect their House delegations from multi-seat districts using PR; and

WHEREAS, H.R. 1173 has 13 co-sponsors, including Eva M. Clayton (D-NC), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), George Brown (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), all of whom were endorsed by NOW/PAC in 1998; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that National NOW endorse the use of proportional representation, and wherever possible multi-member districts, with the goal of increasing diverse political representation, specially of women and people of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that an article explaining PR be published in the National NOW Times; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that PR informational and educational materials be sent to the activist leadership list; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that chapters be encouraged to hold a meeting on PR to educate the membership.  

ELECTION RESOLUTION 2000

4/99

WHEREAS all current Republican candidates, including Elizabeth Dole, are opposed to legal abortion and as many as four Supreme Court nominees may be named by the next President and Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance; and

WHEREAS no current Republican candidate has committed to a full feminist agenda including economic justice, affirmative action, reproductive rights, and opposition to racism, violence and homophobia, among other concerns; and

WHEREAS, because of the illusion of moderation by the leading Republican candidates for President, George W. Bush and Elizabeth Dole, a grave possibility exists that anti-feminist candidates could capture the White House in the 2000 elections, and

Whereas although President Bill Clinton would not have been elected without the women’s vote, the legacy of his administration’s accomplishments for women will be mixed at best, and

WHEREAS, after six years of disillusionment and scandal, voters are not only ready but eager to welcome the opportunity to elect a feminist woman to our country’s highest office(s)

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Board of the National Organization for Women enthusiastically supports NOW/PAC’s pro-active campaign to ensure a feminist woman in the Presidency and/or Vice Presidency in the year 2000; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW make a public call for the Democratic Party to nominate a feminist woman on their ticket.

VICTORY 2000–THE FEMINIZATION OF POLITICS 1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW), since its birth more than thirty years ago, has educated, organized, and agitated to change the face of politics through the feminization of politics;  and

WHEREAS, NOW Political Action Committees (PACs) have worked to increase the number of feminist women elected to positions of power; and

WHEREAS, feminists who have taken power with NOW/PAC support have made tremendous and necessary changes in the laws and public policies that empower and enhance women’s lives;  and

WHEREAS, although the elections of 1992, the so-called “Year of the Woman,”  increased the numbers of women in Congress from five to ten percent, this brought us nowhere near a critical mass of feminist women in Congress, state legislatures, or local governing bodies;  and

WHEREAS, the radical right wing has very effectively organized at every level to elect anti-feminist candidates whose legislative influence and effect are far greater than the small percentage of people in the U.S. who support their regressive agenda; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s strength is at the grassroots level with its members, chapters, and state organizations in congressional, legislative, and local districts;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW launch Victory 2000–The Feminist Face of Politics with the purpose of electing two thousand feminist candidates to office by the year 2000; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the campaign endeavor to create enthusiasm and provide resources to encourage every chapter to work for the election of at least one of its activists to local, state, or federal office by the year 2000; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW work to increase its number of chapter and state PAC’s; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge the NOW  PACs to develop political training materials including video for distribution to NOW chapters to assist in the formation of Feminist Action Campaign Teams which, as they work to recruit and elect these candidates, will be the heart, soul, and muscle of the Victory 2000 Campaign.

REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE FLAGS, STATUES, AND MONUMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

07/2018

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

IMMIGRATION RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

07/2018

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 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

THE COMBATING RACISM BOARD/AD HOC COMMITTEE’S INVOLVEMENT
IN THE 2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2012

WHEREAS, there is a very active Combating Racism Board/Ad Hoc Committee invested in the success of the diversity-inclusive themed 2014 National NOW Conference;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this committee shall work closely with the national officers and staff, as well as the local organizing committee, to prepare and execute all phases of the 2014 National Conference; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee be tasked with selecting speakers that impact feminists of color, addressing issues around combating racism and addressing the meaning of white privilege; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that every workshop shall have a component that is reflective of the perspective of feminists of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee shall call for workshop proposals; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this committee shall have input into creating the conference theme title.

NOW SUPPORTS “PLAN B” EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION ACCESSIBILITY
AT ALL INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE (IHS) UNITS AS AN OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC)
FOR ALL NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN 17 AND OLDER 2012

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has committed to diversifying its membership, condemned the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and gender discrimination on women of color, and formed a Native American Women’s Task Force to join with its indigenous sisters to fight for equal opportunities, rights and justice in all areas, including reproductive rights and health; and

WHEREAS, in the United States, women age 17 and over have the legal right to obtain emergency contraception or Plan B OTC and without a prescription at their pharmacy; and

WHEREAS, 92% of Native girls who have had sexual intercourse report having been forced against their will to have sex, 62% of whom report becoming pregnant before the end of the 12th grade; and

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Justice Statistical Profile indicates that violent victimization among Native American women is more than double that among all other populations of women in the United States, and Native women are more likely to be victims of rape/sexual assault committed by a stranger or acquaintance than by an intimate partner or family member; and

WHEREAS, because the IHS is the primary health care provider for Native American women, and IHS does not provide consistent access to Plan B, requiring Native American women to wait to undergo an exam and receive a prescription for it, their human and sovereign rights are being violated by the policies of IHS since they are the only race of women denied this service based on race;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will partner with the indigenous members of its Native American Women’s Task Force to provide the necessary support and advocacy for the inclusion of Plan B as an OTC at all IHS Service Units; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will urge the director of IHS, currently Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, to issue a directive to all service providers that emergency contraception be made available on demand, without a prescription and without having to see a physician, to any woman age 17 or older who requests it, as well as to provide notice of its availability posted prominently at all IHS Service Units.

HONORING ELOUISE PEPION COBELL (BLACKFEET), A LEADER FOR INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL

9/11

WHEREAS Elouise Pepion Cobell, Blackfeet Nation leader, banker, rancher and the lead plaintiff in Cobell v Salazar, led the courageous and successful class action lawsuit initiated in 1996 against the U.S. government about individual Indian land held in trust by the federal government.  This landmark lawsuit held the federal government accountable for (a) mismanaging trust funds/assets, (b) improperly accounting for these funds, and (c) mismanaging trust land/assets including money collected from farming and grazing leases, timber sales, mining, and oil and gas production from land owned by American Indians/Alaska Natives (www.IndianTrust.org); and

WHEREAS Elouise Pepion Cobell’s leadership and strength over these long 15 years provided – along with organized support from Indian country and other allies – the vision and perseverance for victory in the $3.4 billion Indian Trust Settlement benefitting an estimated 500,000 American Indians; and

WHEREAS U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana have recently introduced legislation calling for a Congressional Gold Medal honoring Elouise Pepion Cobell “for her outstanding and enduring contributions to American Indians, Alaskan Natives and the American people for her tireless pursuit of justice” achieved through the results of Cobell v Salazar Settlement; and

WHEREAS the historic legal victory has both a direct positive economic impact for indigenous women in particular and Indian Country in general, and advances economic justice since U.S. federal Indian policies prevent American Indians from using their lands held in trust as collateral; and

WHEREAS the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee has begun an initiative to increase the participation of indigenous women in the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting and within NOW through creation of a Native American Women’s Task Force;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW congratulate and honor Elouise Pepion Cobell for her visionary and dedicated leadership for the Indian Trust Lawsuit and Settlement as well as for her extensive community development work for the Blackfeet Nation and Indian Country which serve as a model of social justice and sustainable community development everywhere; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW endorse the US Senators Baucus & Tester’s call for a Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, for Elouise Pepion Cobell and urge its immediate passage by communicating this call to action to NOW members, allied organizations and networks through the use of all of our communications tools; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW prioritize the Native American’s Women’s Project of the Global Feminist Strategies & Issues Committee which will significantly involve diverse American Indian and Alaska Native women at the 2012 UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings, programs and deliberations as well as within NOW.

RACIAL INCLUSION ACTION PLAN NOW 2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a herstory of passing multiple resolutions on racial diversity and immigration but not fully implementing them for varied reasons;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Combating Racism Ad Hoc Committee and the board committee on Ending Racism create a tool kit, by the 2012 National Conference, which will emphasize racial and ethnic inclusion, immigration issues, and the dismantling of white privilege, and include, at minimum:   

  • the three articles that were recently distributed to the NOW National Board — i.e., Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Latoya Peterson’s On Being Feminism’s ‘Ms. Nigga,’ and Hepshiba’s White Privilege Diary Series #1 — White Feminist Privilege in Organizations; and
  • a model racial inclusion plan that contains cultural communication dynamics education; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW hold a diversity-inclusion-themed national conference in 2014 and explore the provision of conference scholarship funds to ensure the attendance of economically disadvantaged feminists of color.

NOW MUST MAKE WELFARE REFORM A PRIORITY 2010

WHEREAS, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, set to expire in September 2010, is intended to be the principal federal safety net for impoverished families; and

WHEREAS, the current economic recession has resulted in a greater overall need-up to a 25% increase-for government assistance, with approximately 36 million people requiring some form of help to survive, while paradoxically, TANF benefits have decreased and the need for food stamps has increased, revealing a gap in support that many families desperately need; and

WHEREAS, women in poverty perform the bulk of caretaking duties for children, the disabled, and the elderly and are expected to perform these duties with little to no assistance in addition to maintaining and seeking employment as mandated to receive TANF benefits, and many of these women have timed out of the TANF system after a short five-year period yet still cannot find full-time work because of caretaking duties or disabled status; and

WHEREAS, women of color are hit disproportionately hard by poverty and difficulties in obtaining employment due to lack of job availability, accessible transportation, and child or dependent care; and

WHEREAS, TANF does not respond adequately and sensitively to women who are further burdened by domestic or sexual violence, and, indeed, family violence has the effect of increasing women’s poverty; and

WHEREAS, state budget pressures are further compromising the public welfare system by reducing funding and therefore hindering the system’s responsiveness during times of great economic need; and

WHEREAS, the TANF program currently attempts to promote marriage in a manner that disrespects and devalues so-called “nontraditional” families and does so by diverting millions in funds that otherwise would be disbursed to individuals who require them to survive; and

WHEREAS, minimum-wage jobs into which TANF recipients are pushed are nowhere near adequate in terms of providing a livable, sustainable wage to lift women and families out of poverty; and

WHEREAS, the TANF program has been rendered ineffective by chronic underfunding, severe and disproportionate sanctions for issues such as being late for work, and insufficient support components, such as cash assistance, job-training that prepares recipients for wage-earning work, and education;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW activists will lobby Congress to ensure that fundamental welfare reform happens and that it will include vital components, including, but not limited to, expanded educational opportunities for recipients leading to living-wage jobs, subsidized child and dependent care, funding for and access to adequate transportation, cash assistance, a new definition of “work” that includes full- or part-time care for young children, and protection of immigrant women; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that welfare reform must include the availability of confidential screening and services for women and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence, substance abuse, and physical and/or mental disabilities, and that welfare must respect and value all families regardless of citizenship status and not cater to antiquated and inappropriate ideas of what a family “should” look like or be comprised of; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will make welfare reform a major priority to ensure impoverished families are not pushed even deeper into despair.

ANTI-SHACKLING 2009    

WHEREAS, the shackling of detained and incarcerated pregnant women in pre- and post-childbirth transport to and from detention or correctional facilities and during childbirth should be discontinued; and

WHEREAS, during the birthing process, shackles hamper a woman’s ability to move to alleviate the pain and discomfort of her contractions, which increases stress on the woman’s body and may decrease the flow of oxygen to the fetus; and           

WHEREAS, unrestricted movement is critical during labor, birthing, and the post-birth recovery period; and            

WHEREAS, all pregnant women in detention or correctional facilities are dehumanized by this practice, women of color are particularly impacted, as black women are incarcerated at a rate 2.66 times that of white women; and           

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is and always has been interested in the rights of women and issues concerning the most vulnerable women in this country;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support state legislation to force detention centers, correctional facilities, and hospitals to discontinue shackling pregnant women who are detained or incarcerated during labor and during pre- and post-childbirth transport from detention to medical facilities; and                                                      

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for legislation to eliminate these dehumanizing and oppressive treatments and policies that impact women who are pregnant, birthing and immediately post-birth.

IMMIGRATION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT   2008                                                                                                                                       

WHEREAS, raids on undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have increased sevenfold over the past three years, resulting in the incarceration and deportation of parents of U.S.-born children; and                                                                 

WHEREAS, migration is being feminized, with more women entering as primary wage earners and entire families attempting to cross the militarized U.S.-Mexican border under increasingly dangerous conditions, resulting in 473 deaths in the year 2005 alone; and                             

WHEREAS, “border security,” the criminalization of illegal migration, and the expansion of detention centers have turned the border patrol into the largest nonmilitary, arms-bearing operation of the federal government and provided a bonanza for private corporations (such as the $8 billion contract awarded to Boeing for its “virtual fence” in 2006); and                                    

WHEREAS, women held in immigrant detention centers are subject to sexual humiliation and abuse, pregnant women have been shackled with metal waist restraints that endanger both mother and unborn child, and family detention centers do not put families together and harm the well-being of mothers and children; and                                                                              

WHEREAS, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which empowers local, county and state police to act as agents of ICE, results in racial profiling, creates an atmosphere of terror in immigrant and citizen communities alike, and prevents women from seeking protection in cases of domestic violence because of fear of deportation; and                             

WHEREAS, the criminalization of undocumented immigrant workers-many of whom leave their homes because of the destructive economic effects on their countries of origin of NAFTA and other U.S.-based policies-amounts to a campaign of scapegoating that falsely blames immigrants for the economic woes of U.S. citizens and residents;                                        

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) speak out boldly in opposition to the criminalization and deportation of undocumented workers, the awarding of lucrative immigration-related security contracts to private corporations, and the expenditure of taxpayers’ monies in funding the growth of a police state along the Mexican border; and                                                                                                                                               

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to work to end the exposure of female immigrant detainees to physical harm and sexual abuse at detention centers and to oppose the use or establishment of new family detention centers; and                                                                          

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW oppose all pending and future requests by local, county and state police to enter 287(g) agreements with ICE; that NOW work at the chapter, state, and national levels to eliminate section 287(g) altogether from the Immigration & Nationality Act; and advocate local and state policies limiting the power of police to inquire into the immigration status of victims and witnesses of crime.

COMBATING RACISM 2008

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to ending racism, both individual and systemic, in our society as a key element of bringing full equality to all women; and

WHEREAS, women of color continue to face the double discrimination of sexism and racism and experience great disparities in access to healthcare, education and jobs.

WHEREAS, issues important to women of color that may improve their quality of life are sometimes different from those of white women and may not be included as priorities in the drive for equality, resulting in their not gaining the same attention and the resources needed to address them; and

WHEREAS, it is important for NOW to engage with women of color in a dialogue to understand and articulate the plight of women of color in the United States in order to improve their quality of life and that of their families and to promote policies that will address the pervasive discrimination that inflicts pain and suffering; and

WHEREAS, having at all levels of NOW active task forces to combat racism helps to develop leadership  among women of color; and

WHEREAS, as long as one woman remains oppressed by the evils of discrimination, racism, homophobia and xenophobia, equality will never be reached;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW recommit itself to eradicating racism in our society and to working toward full equality for ALL women by developing an action agenda that specifically reflects the work needed to bring equality and justice to women of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this action agenda be developed by a newly formed committee dedicated to combating racism, the majority of whose members are people of color who are NOW leaders, and that encourages the growth at all levels within NOW of multiracial task forces to combat racism; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this committee’s work include soliciting input from women of color organizations and political leaders, both national and local, through face-to-face meetings, e-mail and other means of communication, and that the results of these conversations be the basis for committee discussions aimed at producing recommendations for an action program.

RESTORE PEACE AND DIGNITY TO INDIGENOUS WOMEN 2007

WHEREAS, the International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers have established the mission of world peace; the Grandmothers are promoting women’s equality, sustainable community development and protection of Mother Earth, solidarity and cultural exchange with all peoples, education and community outreach to address those issues which are devastating to indigenous communities, and the empowerment of indigenous women as well as the sustenance of all the world’s children; and

WHEREAS, three antiquated Papal Bulls (i.e. edicts by the Vatican) have remained the spiritual, legal, and moral foundation for jurisdiction over tribal nations by nation-states, and given the inherent unjust, moral and legal basis for their authority, the nation-states have justified and exercised their rule and domination over tribal nations through warfare and acts of violence. These three Papal Bulls have led to the ongoing destruction of the indigenous peoples and their ways of life for over 500 years; and

WHEREAS, the Precautionary Principle of the Rio Declaration adopted at the 1992 UN Conference on the Environment and Development (i.e., the Earth Summit), also adopted by the European Union, states the following: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken — even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.  In this context, the proponent of an activity rather than the public should bear the burden of proof.” The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women demands that the governments of the World, including the Vatican, take the following actions to sustain the indigenous communities and indigenous women worldwide:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW supports rescinding the three Papal Bulls: Dum Diversas, June 18, 1452; Romanus Pontifex, January 8, 1455; Inter Caetera, May 4, 1493 to stop the further exploitation and destruction of the indigenous nations around the world;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW works with the Tribal Nations so that their lands will be under their sole jurisdiction. Further, that any actions not endorsed by the indigenous communities halt immediately, including the proposed uranium mining on Oglala Lakota Nation lands and the destruction of the Black Hills of South Dakota, a sacred ceremonial sanctuary for the Lakota Nation.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW endorse the work of International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in using any national and international mechanisms (i.e., including the Rio Declaration, International Treaty Bodies and Indigenous Peoples’ Forums) to achieve their goals which will serve to create a peaceful and environmentally sustainable world for women and their children.

CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON IMMIGRATION RAIDS 2007

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a convener of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, an important collective of grassroots and advocacy organizations that promotes equality for all immigrant women and families living and working in the United States by advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, reproductive freedom and economic justice; and

WHEREAS, in 2006 NOW passed a resolution calling for fair immigration reform that supports provisions to improve wages and working conditions of immigrant workers, to protect them from exploitation, to preserve the provisions addressing violence against immigrant women and families in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and for a more efficient system to process those eligible to work and seek permanent residency/citizenship, one that excludes the building of fences, walls and prisons at the border; and

WHEREAS, tens of thousands of undocumented workers, many women, have been unfairly detained, terrorized, and arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a program dubbed “Operation Return to Sender,” that has separated hundreds of children from their mothers, who often were their only caretakers; and

WHEREAS, there has been a failure in Congress after two attempts to agree on a positive immigration reform, which could have addressed harsh employment practices, unfair policies, and the unjust, terrorizing raids and arrests that are tearing families apart; and

WHEREAS, immigration raids are targeting workers, typically immigrant women, based on their racial and ethnic appearance, accent or limited English skills; and

WHEREAS, ICE uses military-style tactics to terrorize communities, families, and workers by barging into homes and arresting residents, apprehending parents picking up their children from school, confronting immigrants about their legal status, raiding factories where many undocumented women work, and sweeping up workers and separating families by sending workers to inhumane detention centers that are scattered across the country; and

WHEREAS, the recent raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts detained and arrested 360 undocumented workers, the majority women. They were taken into custody on March 6, 2007, after a raid by federal agents on the Michael Bianco Inc. factory, a military contractor 60 miles south of Boston.  They were sent to detention in Texas which separated them from their children at home, including breast-fed babies. Many other children were stranded at day-care centers, schools, or homes of friends or relatives. This is only one of the thousands of stories of devastation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women calls for a moratorium to immediately halt the immigration raids that have been devastating families and our communities across the United States; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in addition to this moratorium NOW calls for our government to: investigate allegations that detained individuals have been denied access to counsel, illegally interrogated, and subjected to abusive treatment; prohibit the separation of families with long, drawn out detentions; provide safe, appropriate and humane holding facilities; notify counsel and family members within 24 hours of transferring any detainee; halt transfers of those arrested by Department of Homeland Security; and afford detained workers who have been unfairly and illegally exploited at the raided places of employment a pathway to pursue labor claims against their employers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW continues to recognize the contributions of immigrant women and a right to due process and fairness that will result in an equitable and fair immigration policy that provides legal and safe immigration options, a path to citizenship, reproductive freedom and economic justice.

CALL FOR A REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN 2006

WHEREAS, one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) priority issues affirms that reproductive freedom is a human right, and that this right includes the right to reproductive education, to have, or not to have children, to have the conditions that enable women to make optimal choices for their own lives, and the right to reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, effective birth control, and emergency contraception; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that reproductive justice intrinsically correlates with sexism, poverty, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and disability discrimination; and

WHEREAS, women of color and women with disabilities, including those with access to health care, experience discrimination in the health care system and often are not provided the same level of care as others;

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration and recent United States Supreme Court confirmations of newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, pose a momentous threat to women’s reproductive health; particularly in regard to affordable and accessible child care, pre- and post-natal care, health care for women and their families, programs to assist pregnant substance abusers, universal health care, comprehensive school-based sex education for youth, family planning and counseling, job security for pregnant employees, housing for low income women and accessible transportation; and   

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 30% of Latinas and nearly 25% of African American women and significantly high numbers of women with disabilities are uninsured; and

WHEREAS, more than 87% of the counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider and many of these communities have significant populations of color; and

WHEREAS, significant threats to access to reproductive health clinics in South Dakota and recent attacks on the only clinic in Mississippi are endangering women, particularly low-income women; and

WHEREAS, following the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, NOW made a commitment to safeguarding reproductive health and access and justice for all women; and

WHEREAS, NOW, as one of the organizers of the March for Women’s Lives, is committed to continuing to build stronger relationships with women of color organizations;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW extend an invitation to all women of color organizations and those that participated in the organizing of the March for Women’s Lives, to join in a call for a Reproductive Justice Campaign to develop an agenda to build and strengthen ties in our communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Reproductive Justice Campaign articulate a plan of action developed by NOW and women of color organizations and allies that would include anti-racism training and organizational development; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW provide chapters with a framework to guide reproductive justice campaigns in their communities and encourage chapters to collaborate with local allies to outreach to their local communities and to plan joint actions to defend and protect reproductive health and reproductive rights in their communities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW create training and education materials that will connect the relevance of reproductive rights, health care and justice to the race and ethnicity of all women, as well as women with disabilities, and sample actions for chapters, and that these resources be made accessible on both printed materials and downloadable via the NOW website.

CALL FOR FAIR IMMIGRATION REFORM LEGISLATION 2006

WHEREAS, women and children are more than half of the almost 12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS,  immigrant women are among the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and human rights violations and face particular challenges due to inequalities between men and women, while having the additional responsibilities of family and home; and

WHEREAS,  immigrant women often come to the U.S. to be domestic workers or caregivers, are subject to exploitation, work for substandard wages, and may have to leave their own children behind to be raised by relatives; and

WHEREAS,  immigrant women and their children not only face language, cultural and community isolation and live at the margins of society without documents, but also suffer as victims of family and sexual violence and have little or no resources to get help including language and culturally sensitive counseling and services; and

WHEREAS,  the current discussion in the U.S. Congress and in many cities with large immigrant populations is filled with racist and hate-filled calls for making felons out of undocumented immigrants, building more prisons, walls and electric fences, and promoting vigilante tactics;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) work at the chapter, state and national levels to mount an educational and advocacy campaign to emphasize the humanity of our immigrant families, neighbors and workers who deserve the rights, opportunities and responsibilities that our nation has afforded to the millions of previous immigrants who have come to our country in search of a new land, new opportunities and the chance to share in our promise of liberty and justice for all; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign communicate our insistence that any “immigration reform” include: A path to permanent residency and citizenship, including a reasonable timetable, for undocumented immigrants who want to remain in the United States, including women, men and children and especially those who do not work outside of the home; promote reunification of families, including LGBT families; provisions to improve wages and working conditions of immigrant workers to protect them from exploitation, preserving the provisions addressing violence against immigrant women and families in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and a more efficient system to process those eligible to work and seek permanent residency/citizenship, one that excludes the building of fences, walls and prisons at the border; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work at the chapter, state and national levels to advocate for true, fair immigration reform.

ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN DISASTER PLANNING AND RESPONSE
IN THE UNITED STATES

9/05

WHEREAS, the statement of purpose of the National Organization for Women (NOW) calls for equal rights and responsibilities including freedom from discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability or parenthood; and

WHEREAS, the United States recently experienced Hurricane Katrina which killed hundreds of people, displaced thousands of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi residents, and caused billions of dollars in property damage; and

WHEREAS, the federal government response was grossly incompetent, led by Bush’s FEMA and Homeland Security political appointees whose primary focus heretofore seemed to be the allocation of federal pork; and

WHEREAS, numerous sources have reported that Hurricane Katrina has had its greatest effect on women, people of color, lower income households and families, the elderly, children, ill and infirm individuals, and people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the immense tragedy experienced on the Gulf Coast exposed long standing discrimination and segregation practices in U.S. culture; and

WHEREAS, there was no evacuation plan for the people of New Orleans who did not own cars and could not afford to obtain transportation to leave; and

WHEREAS, buses reserved by FEMA were held outside the city of New Orleans in the white suburbs of Jefferson Parish and were not allowed by FEMA to enter New Orleans to rescue people from the Superdome or the Convention Center because it was “too dangerous;”

WHEREAS, rescue boats were not allowed to enter low-income, flooded, mostly African-American areas because it was ‘too dangerous;” and

WHEREAS, low-income patients at the public Charity Hospital were not rescued for several days and were finally carried by dedicated hospital workers down pitch-dark stairways to nearby Tulane Hospital’s helicopter pad, only to be left (some to die) while richer, less critically ill, private patients from Tulane and Methodist hospitals were rescued first; and

WHEREAS, the Jefferson Parish sheriffs and City of Gretna police used armed officers to stop hundreds of mostly-black evacuees from escaping the flood waters by crossing over the Crescent City Connection Bridge into Gretna, which is part of Jefferson Parish; and

WHEREAS, for several days, low income people, mostly black people, were not rescued from the Superdome or the Convention Center and many needlessly suffered and died; and

WHEREAS, bodies of the dead were not treated with dignity and were left untouched for weeks, and we still do not have a count or identification of the dead; and

WHEREAS, the Coast Guard heroically rescued people from rooftops in many cases only to place them on a highway bypass, with no further rescue for days and with virtually no provisions; and

WHEREAS, the relocation process has led to the separation of families, and has brought comparisons to the disintegration of families and communities during the Middle Passage of the slave trade; and

WHEREAS, the current administration is attempting to use this tragedy as an avenue for imposing long-time right-wing goals, such as the suspension of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act requiring the payment of the prevailing wage in federal contracts, the imposition of private school vouchers, and the undermining of environmental regulations; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has announced a huge spending program to restore New Orleans and the Gulf Region without any plan, and is already handing out huge no-bid contracts to their “fat cat” political cronies — the first such no-bid contract of $500 million went to Halliburton; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has repeatedly cut funds requested by the Corps of Engineers for urgently needed levee projects in New Orleans, which could have prevented much of the post-Katrina havoc; and

WHEREAS, the government’s slow response and failure to deploy adequate personnel and resources contributed to the lack of personal safety and numerous accounts of physical, sexual and psychological violence particularly to women and children,

WHEREAS, the reopening of predominantly white areas of New Orleans, combined with the mass relocation of African-American residents to other parts of the nation is a form of “ethnic cleansing”; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW denounces these racist and classist policies and actions;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls for immediate and effective action by the federal government to address the needs of those who have suffered from Hurricane Katrina, including but not limited to: reuniting family members, and providing housing, food, healthcare, counseling, employment, job training and education;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls on Congress to establish an independent commission to review the preparation for and response to Hurricane Katrina and make recommendations for the handling of future catastrophes, and that said commission include proportionate representation of female and male residents from the affected areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW calls on Congress to establish an independent oversight commission for the rebuilding efforts, eliminate no-bid contracts, give priority to contractors from the region, especially minority and women-owned businesses, require preferential hiring of local labor at a the pre-Katrina prevailing wage; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW urges its members and supporters to take action as states, chapters, and individuals by:

  1. Communicating to their congressional delegation the importance of establishing these independent commissions and for significant oversight by Congress;
  1. Participating with state and local officials regarding emergency response plans;
  1. Staying informed of the process and progress of this situation and letting your elected officials know of your concerns; and
  1. Recruiting, nominating and supporting candidates who are firmly committed to eliminating discrimination in all forms.

REGIONAL WOMEN OF COLOR SUMMITS 2005

WHEREAS, one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) priority issues is the commitment to eradicating racism in all of its forms; and

WHEREAS, women of color continue to be affected by society’s racism in all aspects of society, which is perpetuated by the lack of action on the part of our government officials and elected leaders in the areas of health, education and economic policy; and

WHEREAS, women of color in particular suffer the multiple effects of inequality based on sex, race and ethnicity; and

WHEREAS, at the NOW Foundation’s Women of Color and Allies Summit held in April 2005, attendees called for a continuing dialogue on racism and women of color in the women’s movement; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to building on the relationships with women of color organizations forged through the organizing efforts of the Women of Color and Allies Summits; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s national platform provides a forum for women of color to support and organize for the fight for social, political, economic, health and reproductive justice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW issue an urgent call to NOW leaders, activists and supporters to address the issues of inequality, disparity and injustice facing women of color in each of their regions, states and local communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call for regional Women of Color and Allies Summits in 2006 through 2007 in order to develop a common agenda to further the cause of equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that these regional Summits be held at regional levels in strategically selected venues accessible and visible to women of color communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that women of color be involved in the planning, leadership and implementation of these forums and that the National Board be urged to allocate resources based on the need of the region to plan and organize the forums; and   

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that each Summit, at its conclusion, develop a strategic plan of action with women of color and allies that will ensure greater diversity and inclusion of women of color in NOW.

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN’S REAFFIRMATION OF INCLUSION

1/05

WHEREAS,  the philosophy of NOW is to oppose any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status and has a stated policy that it will not trade the rights of one group over another; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s statement of purpose states that women must be brought into full participation in the mainstream of American society, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men; and

WHEREAS, the purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

WHEREAS, no person who subscribes to NOW’s purpose shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within the organization; and

WHEREAS, NOW is an organization whose membership includes diverse language, culture, ethnic and racial groups,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms the organization’s commitment to the inclusion of and respect for all NOW members in all of its activities, meetings, and debates with all rights, privileges and responsibilities afforded to NOW members; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board of Directors reiterates its commitment to a feminist ideology and reaffirms our historic commitment to gaining equality for all women regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Action Center will send this resolution to the NOW leadership, publish it in the National NOW Times, communicate it through other means, and encourage discussion on this reaffirmation at all levels of NOW.  

CALL FOR A WOMEN OF COLOR AND ALLIES SUMMIT  2004

WHEREAS, one of NOW’s priority issues is the commitment to eradicating racism in all of its forms; and,

WHEREAS, women of color in particular suffer the negative effects of inequality based on sex, race, class, sexuality and ethnicity; and,

WHEREAS, the March for Women’s Lives articulated a message regarding the right to reproductive health and access for all women, resulting in an impressive participation of women of color, both in the organizing of the March and in their attendance; and,

WHEREAS, NOW, as one of the organizers of the March for Women’s Lives, is committed to continuing to build stronger relationships with women of color organizations; and,

WHEREAS, NOW’s national platform provides a forum for women of color to support and organize for social, political, economic and reproductive justice.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women along with allied Women of Color organizations that participated in the organizing of the March for Women’s Lives call for a National Women of Color and Allies Summit in the Spring of 2005 in order to develop a common agenda to further the cause of equality.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW will support the creation of a collaborative steering committee to organize and implement the Women of Color and Allies Summit; and

FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED that the National Women of Color and Allies Summit, at its conclusion, articulate a strategic plan of action developed by women of color activists, women of color organizations and allies, that will be reported at a plenary session devoted to issues of expanding diversity within the organization for the purpose of fulfilling on NOW’s commitment to ending racism in all its forms at the 2005 National NOW Conference.

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT REPARATIONS EFFORTS

3/03

WHEREAS, African-American slave labor created wealth for the Americas and Americans; and

WHEREAS, many millions of lives were lost during the Middle Passage (the slave trade from Africa to Europe and the Americas); and

WHEREAS, the United States of America has benefited from a heinous wrong against the peoples of Africa and continuing exploitation of Africa’s human and material resources; and

WHEREAS, labor of slaves from Africa and their descendants built much of the infrastructure of this country; and

WHEREAS, not only the slave owners, but also the whole society, has benefited from the stolen labor, from the plantation economy, and from the goods and services sold by the slave owners; and

WHEREAS, slaves were used for sexual gratification and for breeding slaves for profit; and

WHEREAS, the structure of the slave families was damaged or destroyed either through indifference or as a means of control; and

WHEREAS, generations of people in the U.S. have been denied education by law or custom because of their descent from Africans; and

WHEREAS, African Americans continue to be denied voting rights; and

WHEREAS, African Americans continue to be denied access to the workplace and participation in the economy; and

WHEREAS, the payment of reparations by governments is an established practice; for example, German payments to France, Poland and Britain for their losses in World War I; German payments to Israel in compensation for the Nazi maltreatment of Jews in the 30s and 40s; and U.S. payments to the residents of the Bikini atoll; and

WHEREAS, adequate reparations for the abuses of slavery and other inhumanities that built the United States can be a catalyst for healing the terrible wounds inflicted on this country’s psyche by the slave industry; and

WHEREAS, House Resolution 40, 108th Congress, reading in part: “To acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequent de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes,” was again introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 7, 2003,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports H.R. 40, sponsored by U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr.; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the House and Senate of the United States Congress, the President of the United States, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

MINORITIES IN THE MILITARY

3/03

WHEREAS, the United States military has a very high proportion of minority women and men; and

WHEREAS, military service is viewed as a means to education and job security; and

WHEREAS, many of the minority women and men enter the armed services out of economic necessity; and

WHEREAS, the proportion of minorities among the women in the individual services has tripled from 1972 to 1997 (8-22 percent in 1972 became 32-55 percent in 1997),

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women recognizes these realities and, while opposing the bloodshed and violence of the current conflict, nevertheless honors the women and men who are hazarding their lives in the services; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW calls on Congress to examine the lack of opportunities that causes the disproportionate representation of minority women and men in the military and develop other avenues to education and job security.

1/03

Moved that NOW calls upon the 108th Congress to have hearings on reparations for African-Americans and the slavery issue.

LEADERSHIP FOR THE 21st CENTURY —A PLENARY SESSION FOR THE 2003 NATIONAL NOW CONFERENCE

1/03

Because NOW sees and values leadership in all its diversity, we move that the 2003 National conference include a plenary session devoted to leadership in the 21st Century that includes a panel of NOW leaders — representing age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

The Inter-generational and Diversity Board Committees and related CICs (Young Feminist, Diversity, Disability) will be an integral part of planning the plenary session and selecting its speakers.

There will also be a follow-up workshop to spark a dialogue about how we use issues of inter-generational, diversity and disability perspectives to strengthen NOW leadership for today and the future.

REDEDICATING OURSELVES TO ELIMINATING RACISM 2001

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has benefitted from the participation of women of color since its inception in 1966; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s commitment to inclusiveness expanded with the establishment of the National Task Force on Minority Women and Women’s Rights in 1973, and continued with women of color conferences and/or summits in 1979, 1986, and 1998; and

WHEREAS, NOW has a history of supporting welfare rights to provide for the needs of women in poverty, civil rights legislation aimed at ending discrimination in employment, voting rights, housing, lending practices, and at all levels of government and educational institutions; and

WHEREAS, NOW has supported immigration reform aimed at ending discriminatory treatment of undocumented residents and the forced removal of Navajo and Hopi indigenous women from their tribal lands; and

WHEREAS, NOW published in 1974 its first brochure in Spanish, Historia de la Organizacion Nacional de Mujeres;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that, in an effort to rededicate ourselves to eliminating racism, NOW establish a  “Racial, Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Month” within the membership to celebrate our commitment to racial and cultural diversity, to educate and sensitize ourselves on racial, cultural and ethnic issues and the nuances of racism, and to foster outreach, communication and reciprocal action within existing networks of women of color;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that chapters and states be encouraged to use NOW’s Month of Diversity as a focal point for moving forward in our ongoing commitment to building a racially diverse inclusive women’s movement that reflects and looks like the population we serve;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center lend its resources to provide assistance to chapters and states in this effort, these resources to include preparing an action kit which includes information on study circles and speak-outs on how our members are experiencing racism, for distribution to every chapter,  

 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that chapters and states commit to setting goals for increasing our racial, cultural and ethnic diversity, and strive for a minimum 10% increase in the membership of people of color.

RENEWED COMMITMENT TO WOMEN OF COLOR

2/01

WHEREAS, NOW is planning an action to address reproductive rights for all women; and

WHEREAS, a woman’s right to self-determination and self-worth is language that resonates and speaks to the women of color community; and

WHEREAS, one of NOW’s priority issues is ending racism and promoting racial diversity within its ranks,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit and recommend to NOW Foundation that it commit to developing and implementing an education program addressing self-determination and self-worth to increase the participation of women of all colors at our actions.

JUNETEENTH DAY 2000

WHEREAS, on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation; and  

WHEREAS, June 19, 1865, is traditionally observed as the day the message of freedom reached descendants of enslaved Africans in Texas; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Representative William Jefferson from Louisiana is sponsoring legislation to pass a bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women educate its membership on the importance of this holiday for the people of the United States; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call upon its officers, staff, membership, and allies to support the passage of Juneteenth as a national holiday.

ROSA PARKS RESOLUTION

11/98

WHEREAS, Rosa Parks in 1955 refused to yield her bus seat to a white man and was Arrested, thereby initiating the Montgomery bus boycott, a leading event in the civil rights movement, and

WHEREAS, she has continued to serve as a civil rights activist, and

WHEREAS, Troy State University in Montgomery, Alabama is building a library and civil rights museum in her honor at the very corner where this arrest happened, and

WHEREAS, in front of this Rosa Parks Building will be placed a bronze statue of Rosa Parks seated on a bench, and

WHEREAS, supporting this activity is a unique opportunity to honor a major woman leader of our time, now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women express its joyful support of these ventures.   

HAITIAN IMMIGRANTS

11/97

WHEREAS, the Immigration Law of 1997 made it easier to deport those seeking immigrant status, but was ambiguous as to whether or not the previous deportation standards applied to immigrants already residing in the country, and

WHEREAS, on November 9, 1997 the U.S. Senate, without hearings or committee action, approved as part of its amendment to the FY98 DC appropriations bill (HR2607) a provision that will grant permanent resident status to almost 250,000 nationals of Central America and Eastern Europe who sought haven from civil wars and repressive regimes, and

 WHEREAS, approximately 18,000 Haitians currently residing in the U.S. who were admitted to this country by Presidents Bush and Clinton after screening by the INS to establish that they had valid asylum claims, were deliberately excluded from this provision to prevent deportation, and

WHEREAS, on November 12, the House of Representatives also passed this legislation excluding Haitians over the strong objections of Rep Carrie Meek (D-FL) who attempted to amend the bill on the floor, and

WHEREAS, no other reason has been offered as to why Haitians should not be treated fairly with Central Americans and Eastern Europeans except that they were oppressed by a right-wing rather than Communist, left-wing regime, and

WHEREAS, this exclusion of Haitian immigrants is blatantly unfair and has serious racist implications.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women immediately and vigorously seek congressional support to work with Senators Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois, Carrie Meek and Bob Graham of Florida, Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Spencer Abraham of Michigan who have publicly pledged to co-sponsor a bill in the Spring of 1998 to remedy this unconscionable treatment of Haitian immigrants who are in danger of deportation, and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW ask the President and his administration to more aggressively push for legislation to address the Haitian exclusion.  

PRESERVING NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY

9/97

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long standing opposition to all forms of discrimination and NOW’s historic purpose includes full participation, independence, and diversity for all, including people of color and race; and

WHEREAS, treaties are the result of solemn promises made by the United States to tribal governments in exchange for Indian land; and

WHEREAS, only about one-third of all American Indian tribes have gambling centers;  unemployment on the reservations is more than three times the national average; and 38% of all Indians ages 6-11 years old live below the poverty — more than twice as high as the national average; and

WHEREAS, Senator Slade Gorton has attached two amendments to the Interior Department appropriations bill; one of the amendments forces tribes to waive sovereign immunity from civil lawsuits or lose up to $767 million — nearly half of the entire budget for daily operations on land that 1.4 million Indians live on or near; the other amendment would deny federal money to tribes if their income is above a certain level; and

WHEREAS, tribal government is descended from English Common Law and these amendments are a straight forward attempt to get rid of tribal governments;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the National Organization for Women is opposed to these provisions and will ask their members through their activist network to contact their federal legislators with the message to remove these provisions from the Interior appropriations bill; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW contact the National Congress of American Indians to notify them of our support for the removal of these provisions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will be prepared to urge President Clinton to veto this appropriations bill if these provisions remain.  

WOMEN OF COLOR AND ALLIES SUMMIT 1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has an uncompromising investment in working to dismantle racism; and

WHEREAS, NOW has planned a Vision Summit as part of the 1998 National Conference in Rochester, New York, to create opportunities and respond to the challenges of the 21st century; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes the essential need for continued dialog on issues of race, class, and gender in order to successfully move forward in the new millennium;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW sponsor or  participate in a “Women of Color and Allies Summit” to bring together women of color and supportive allies from across the country to discuss racism, classism, and feminism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Summit will celebrate our commonality, share our ideas, and create a framework to ensure the value, vision, and inclusion of women of color in NOW; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that chapters be encouraged to support activist attendance through scholarships, fundraising, and philanthropy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this Summit be held preferably preceding, but no later than 1998, to be determined by the Racial and Ethnic Diversity CIC, the National Board, and the Executive Officers.  

SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRANTS 1997

WHEREAS, half of the world’s thirty million migrant workers are women, and between 1930 and the early 1980s, women consistently outnumbered men as immigrants into the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, attacks on documented and undocumented immigrants have occurred periodically and systematically throughout U.S. history and increase during periods of economic decline; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government supports global economic policies that generate oppressive and degrading labor conditions by depressing employment opportunities and wages in affected countries, thereby contributing significantly to global labor migrations that strain families and communities; and

WHEREAS, propaganda targeting immigrants as the cause of native-born people’s hardships serves only to deflect attention from failures of an economic system that supports corporate welfare, outsourcing, and downsizing, and leads to a divided society of haves and have-nots; and

WHEREAS, racism is commonly the underlying basis for selective immigrant-bashing; and

WHEREAS, anti-immigrant sentiments are fueled by false statistics and misinformation which lead to deportations, beatings, and brutality, including abuse by U.S. government agents; and

WHEREAS, the anti-immigrant provisions of so-called welfare reform have the potential to subject more immigrants to sweatshop conditions and could force them to work at far below minimum wage in order to survive;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) expose the racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW speak out against the scapegoating of documented and undocumented immigrants, produce a fact sheet educating the public on actual statistics and facts, and challenge the false claims that immigrants are the cause of economic depression; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW speak out against all forms of oppressive and degrading labor; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW oppose any legislation that restricts immigrant access to federal- or state-funded programs such as health care, education, and welfare; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support feminist grassroots actions on immigrant rights.

RECOGNITION OF THE PASSING OF DR. BETTY SHABAZZ

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has, over the years, acknowledged women of courage with special recognition at national conferences; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Betty Shabazz, educator, mother of six daughters, and widow of slain civil rights leader, Malik al-Shabazz (Malcolm X), demonstrated extraordinary courage and integrity in the face of unimaginable tragedy and hardship; and

WHEREAS, on June 23, 1997, Dr. Betty Shabazz died after a valiant fight to survive burns she received on over 80 percent of her body;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Betty Shabazz and show its appreciation for her life’s work; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW should express such appreciations and condolences to the daughters of Dr. Betty Shabazz and her surviving family.

SUFFRAGIST STATUES IN THE CAPITOL ROTUNDA

1997

WHEREAS, the women’s suffrage movement took many decades to win the elective franchise for women; and

WHEREAS, black suffragists’ efforts were important to the victory achieved with the passage of the 19th amendment; and

WHEREAS, some white suffragists historically exhibited racial bias against the black suffragists; and

WHEREAS, current efforts to recognize the struggle for women’s suffrage included the June 26, 1997, rededication of a statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott, for a temporary display in the Capitol Rotunda; and

WHEREAS, concerns have been raised that the contributions of black suffragists, such as Sojourner Truth, should be recognized; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women (NOW) Executive Team, Board of Directors and the Racial and Ethnic Diversity CIC remain in communication with and inform the membership regarding current efforts to recognize Sojourner Truth’s contributions which are being led by C. Dolores Tucker of the National Political Congress of Black Women.  

4/97

Moved that the Board strongly encourage the NOW Action Center and the CIC on Racial and Ethnic Diversity if at all possible to complete the revision of the “Valuing Diversity” brochure prior to the National Conference with the recommendation that it be entitled “Ending Racism.”    

RESTRICT U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS LOBBYING ON CAPITOL HILL

2010

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying Congress claim that their unrelenting advocacy throughout the recent health care bill debates, particularly on issues regarding women’s reproductive health, were fueled by the Catholic Church’s obligation to advocate for moral consciousness; and

WHEREAS, because of widespread abuse scandals concerning Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals and cover-ups by the hierarchy, the Catholic Church has lost moral standing after decades of sexual exploitation and subsequent inaction and concealment; and
WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church is governed exclusively by men, who cannot become pregnant, it is therefore inappropriate for those who have historically placed women in second-class status with regard to making decisions about their bodies to dictate what is politically, socially and economically correct for our reproductive health and that they should keep their rules off our bodies; and

WHEREAS, the governance of the Roman Catholic Church could be appropriately considered to be the embodiment of the patriarchy; and

WHEREAS, recent health care legislation was altered and diminished due to the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other like-minded groups who claim to maintain their moral authority; and

WHEREAS, many abortion rights advocates agree that the health care measures advocated for by the Catholic bishop lobbyists in the recent passage of health care insurance reform surpassed the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment; and

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington, D.C., face almost none of the lobbying or disclosure rules that apply to the rest of D.C. lobbyists; and

WHEREAS, lobbying laws specifically exempt churches from reporting requirements, while they legally permit churches to do no more than “insubstantial” lobbying; and

WHEREAS, “insubstantial” lobbying has evidently been left without a clear definition and therefore allows Catholic bishops to maintain political clout that remains inappropriate to moral and constitutional separation of church and state;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) condemn the blatant political influence that Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington have exercised throughout the health care reform debate and other legislative matters regarding women’s reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge Congress and the IRS to reform tax laws to clarify the legal definition and boundaries of the “insubstantial” degree to which the Catholic Church may lobby and invest in lobbying in Washington; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the federal government require greater disclosure and transparency of lobbying-related expenditures on the part of the Catholic Church and of financial benefits received by the USCCB, the Catholic Church, and other affiliated entities, such as Catholic Charities, in legislation on which they lobby.

CALL TO CRIMINALIZE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN BY CLERGY

2009                                   

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has fought hard to shatter societal silence regarding all forms of sexual violence; and                                                 

WHEREAS, public misunderstanding and lack of knowledge regarding adult victims of sexual exploitation by clergy have contributed to silencing the voices of these victims; and

WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual exploitation by clergy are adults, predominately female congregants victimized by male clergy; and                                       

WHEREAS, adult victims of clergy sexual exploitation are routinely blamed for this abuse and revictimized by the public, severely ostracized by their own congregations, and disbelieved by religious authority figures from whom they seek solace and protection, resulting in devastating social isolation and confusion; and                        

WHEREAS, in addition to coping with the physical and emotional impacts of sexual violation, victims of sexual exploitation by clergy often also suffer loss of faith, loss of religious tradition, loss of spouse, loss of employment within religious organizations or with faith-affiliated educational institutions, self-blame by the victim, and loss of support from family, congregation, and community;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW chapters be encouraged to participate in educational and advocacy campaigns to increase public awareness that the majority of victims of clergy sexual exploitation are adult women and that sexual violation by a spiritual leader has profound life-altering impacts; and        

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW entities be encouraged to support state legislative campaigns for statutory reform, in particular to add clergy to the enumerated categories of professionals covered in fiduciary-duty laws in states having such laws, and for criminalization of sexual relations between similarly enumerated categories of professionals in states not having fiduciary-duty laws; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW disseminate information on the extent and impacts of clergy sexual exploitation of adult women, including legal avenues of redress and model legislation, on the NOW website and via other media outlets that NOW regularly utilizes for its advocacy campaigns.

ADDRESSING SEXUAL ABUSE BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY

2002

WHEREAS, many members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy—its priests, bishops, and cardinals—have committed numerous grievous acts of sexual abuse against women, men and children with callous disregard for the victims; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has engaged in a pattern of cover-ups that involve the awarding of vast sums of hush money and moving priests and bishops from parish to parish and diocese to diocese to avoid detection or scandal; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s heinous acts of sexual abuse and violence and pattern of cover-ups have occurred not only in the United States but worldwide in many countries of Europe, Africa, Central and South America, and Asia, as well as in Australia; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s outrageous and hypocritical behavior has even included the impregnation of young nuns and the arrangement of illegal botched abortions for these nuns, as well as, in at least one instance, the performance of the funeral mass for a victim by the perpetrator, as reported by nuns in various countries of Africa; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has proclaimed for itself a higher moral authority and on the basis of that moral authority has influenced public policy to restrict access (with callous disregard for the pain, suffering, and death of countless people) to all methods of effective family planning, birth control, and abortion and to cut off access to condoms despite the horrific AIDS pandemic; and

WHEREAS, some 40% of sexual abuse cases caused by the hierarchy are thrown out of court because of the statute of limitations; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic hierarchy has lobbied to narrow the statute of limitations state by state; and

WHEREAS, these acts involve criminal behavior and the irresponsible spending of vast amounts of charitable monies;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) commends the Boston Globe for its courageous coverage of Cardinal Bernard Law and the scandal in Boston, which helped to expose to all Americans these heinous acts and patterns of wrongful behavior, as well as the courageous attorneys, especially Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, MN, who have not only litigated against church officials on behalf of victims of church abuse but also filed RICO [racketeering] lawsuits against the hierarchy, including the Vatican; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW commends the various state and county prosecutors who are pursuing perpetrators of these criminal acts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW calls for political leaders to take a courageous stand by initiating hearings at the local, state, and national levels to determine if any of the billions of dollars of public monies that have been awarded to the Roman Catholic church or other religious institutions for charitable activities on behalf of orphans, foster care, adoption, child care, health care, and other social services have been used for hush money, cover-up, or other illicit activities in connection with this abusive and criminal behavior; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to extend or eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitation in sexual abuse cases, especially those involving minors, so that both perpetrators and institutions are brought to justice and the laws of our states and nation protect victims in both civil and criminal cases; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW oppose secrecy agreements in settlements in these cases which protect the perpetrator and the institution engaged in the cover-up, as against public policy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that members of the clergy should be legally mandated to report incidents of sexual abuse to police or appropriate public authorities.

 ENDING THE VATICAN’S SPECIAL UNITED NATIONS STATUS AS AN OBSERVER STATE 1999

WHEREAS, the United Nations has bestowed the special status of “observer state” on the Vatican; and

WHEREAS, this special status allows the Vatican to take full part in all United Nations conferences, addressing the body at will; and

WHEREAS, this special status artificially raises the Vatican’s profile in world affairs, serving as a bully pulpit from which they are able to manipulate the media as well as United Nations policies in order to disseminate its sectarian agenda and beliefs; and

WHEREAS, the Vatican is an all-male hierarchy that opposes the ordination of women, as part of their fundamental belief and policy that men should dominate and control women in every area; and

WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church promotes discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as discrimination against women; and

WHEREAS, Catholics for a Free Choice has called upon the United Nations to rescind the special “observer state” status conferred upon the Vatican; and

WHEREAS, the Vatican has repeatedly and persistently used its privilege as an “observer state” to block reproductive healthcare for women worldwide:  in particular any and all access to family planning information, birth control, sterilization, abortion and access to medical care for women suffering complications from unsafe, illegal abortion; and

WHEREAS, women’s rights and lives worldwide depend on access to a full range of quality, affordable reproductive health services, including family planning information, birth control access, sterilization, abortion, and access to medical care after the unsafe and illegal abortions to which women are driven when all other family planning alternatives are consistently blocked; and

WHEREAS, its fights against the provision of emergency contraception and information to the women raped in Kosovo, Bosnia, and elsewhere, shows the Vatican’s contempt for women’s personal integrity, moral agency, rights and lives on even the most basic humanitarian level;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) supports Catholics for a Free Choice in its efforts to cause the Vatican’s United Nations “observer state” status to be rescinded.

OPPOSING THE DIVERSION OF PUBLIC RESOURCES TO RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR AFFILIATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICE 1999

WHEREAS, the 105 hospital “mergers” since 1995, in which Catholic hospitals with bishop-directed policies displaced public hospitals, highlight a growing takeover of public and non-sectarian hospitals and social service agencies by religious organizations and their affiliates; and

WHEREAS, the refusal of Catholic hospitals to provide any reproductive health care to women, including abortion, sterilization, emergency contraception to rape victims, birth control, information or even referrals highlights the extent to which religious organizations and their affiliates will act in accordance with their own sectarian agendas and beliefs, regardless of the law or human need; and

WHEREAS, religious organizations and their affiliates cannot be held accountable under local, state or federal laws, including living wage laws, domestic partner ordinances, property and income tax laws, labor and anti-discrimination laws; and

WHEREAS, a movement deceptively called “charitable choice” is increasingly diverting public funding to religious organizations and their affiliates in spite of their non-accountability and sectarian agendas, which too often include a fundamental hostility to women’s reproductive rights and equality; and

WHEREAS, women represent a majority of the uninsured and underinsured, and are thus more likely to seek health care and social services from public hospitals and agencies; and

 WHEREAS, women represent a majority of the workers in the healthcare and social service fields, and are thus more likely to suffer from the lower wages, lesser benefits, and discriminatory workplace practices associated with religious organizations and their affiliates;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) opposes any diversion of public resources to religious organizations and their affiliates that pursue policies and practices inimical to women’s equality, rights, and lives; or, in the alternative, be it resolved that any health-related entity which receives any public funds must provide constitutionally protected health services; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW joins our sisters in the National Council for Jewish Women, Catholics for a Free Choice, Hadassah, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Methodist Church, the Friends Committee, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and many other groups and organizations in opposing the concept, policy, and implementation of “charitable choice.”

PROMISE KEEPERS ACTIONS

11/97

Moved that the Action Center encourage chapters to appear at book signings for Bill McCartney’s new book with signs encouraging them to “Listen to Women for a Change,” “Stop telling women to submit and start listening to women for a change,” or similar messages.   

PROMISE KEEPERS MOBILIZATION PROJECT

1997

WHEREAS, the Promise Keepers is a militaristic, anti-women organization with ties to the extreme religious right which promotes an uncompromising message of biblically mandated male domination; and

WHEREAS, the Promise Keepers’ agenda is to subordinate women and overturn the gains that women have made in the last century; and

WHEREAS, its agenda is deceptively innocuous so that it has insinuated itself into many mainstream churches and the mainstream media; and

WHEREAS, the Promise Keepers consists of 10,000 male only cell groups meeting weekly across the U.S. and the Promise Keepers promoted 24 stadium events last year with attendance into the hundreds of thousands; and

WHEREAS, the Promise Keepers is the fastest growing and a well-financed segment of the religious right wing and presents the greatest danger to women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, it intends to hold a million man march in Washington, D.C.  on October 4, 1997; and

WHEREAS, it has spawned a number of subordinate reactionary women’s organizations, and its ultimate goal is to destroy the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) monitor the activities of the Promise Keepers and its subordinate women’s groups, educate NOW members and the general public through the National NOW Times and other media to expose the Promise Keepers’ misogynist agenda, and actively campaign to defeat that agenda; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in order to further this campaign, NOW’s national leadership shall undertake, in partnership with others including the Center for Democracy Studies, whatever steps are necessary to further this goal at the national, state, and local levels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW act  to raise awareness of the Promise Keepers’ intentions, specifically at the march on Washington, D.C. in October 1997; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW chapters prepare to be on-site at Promise Keepers events to raise public awareness about their true mission; and

 BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this campaign shall allocate staff time as a resource to local chapters and encourage chapters to monitor the Promise Keepers in their community and conduct actions around Promise Keepers’ activities.  National NOW shall develop an action kit for all NOW chapters.

ABORTION, BIRTH CONTROL, AND CONTRACEPTION RESOLUTION 2018

07/2018

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 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 lock boxes 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 healthcare; 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

EXPOSE CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER RESOLUTION

07/2018

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 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

MOBILIZE FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE: 2017-2018 NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAM RESOLUTION 2017

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) 2016-17 National Action Program included an action campaign to press for the expansion of women’s access to abortion care and birth control through litigation and legislative initiatives; and

WHEREAS, although right-wing lawmakers blocked pro-reproductive rights legislation in the 114th Congress, NOW and its allies secured a major Supreme Court victory in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt which ruled the Texas clinic shutdown law unconstitutional; and

WHEREAS, under current law—the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—55 million women have access to vital preventative care including contraception, mammograms, pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS, and screenings for cervical cancer and STDs, and tens of millions of previously uninsured people are now covered; and

WHEREAS, the Trump Administration and extremists in the 115th Congress are moving aggressively to repeal the ACA and replace it with a bill–the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)–which would cut $880 billion from Medicaid, allow insurers to charge exorbitant rates for coverage of such services as maternity care and mental health care, and allow insurers to price people with “pre-existing conditions” out of coverage altogether, while giving corporations, billionaires, and millionaires nearly $1 trillion in tax breaks; and

WHEREAS, the Trump Administration has reinstated the Global Gag Rule, signed a law allowing states to block funding for Title X family planning clinics, and is working with extremists in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood nationwide and make the Hyde Amendment permanent law; and   

WHEREAS the U.S. Senate’s recent confirmation of right-wing Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, after illegitimately blocking President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to that seat, leaves the reproductive rights of women hanging in the balance; and

WHEREAS, access to reproductive health care is a matter of life and death for women, but is also an issue of economic and racial justice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will include in its 2017-2018 National Action Program a campaign to “Mobilize for Reproductive Justice” (MRJ) to stop the repeal of the ACA and demand improvements; ensure Medicaid patients’ access to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that provide comprehensive reproductive care including abortion; and pass legislation that would expand women’s access to the full range of reproductive health services such as the EACH Woman Act, the Women’s Health Protection Act, the Access to Birth Control Act, and others; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this campaign will include mobilizing NOW leaders, members, and activists to be in constant contact with their members of Congress through phone calls, letters, emails, attendance at town hall meetings, and face to face meetings with their members of Congress, educating voters on how members of Congress voted on the bill to repeal the ACA, and raising awareness of the stakes for women in the 2018 mid-term elections; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urges NOW PAC to recruit, endorse, and work to elect progressive feminist candidates, especially women of color, who will make it a top priority to address the economic, racial, and social justice aspects of women’s access to reproductive health care.

SCHOOLS MUST PROVIDE MENSTRUAL HYGEINE PRODUCTS 2016

WHEREAS, The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the grassroots arm of the women’s movement and it has a long-term commitment to supporting advocacy for women in marginalized communities; and

WHEREAS, NOW is a multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights; and

WHEREAS, all girls get their periods at some point in their lives, usually in middle school but it has been happening as early as age eight; and

WHEREAS, public education is a fundamental right and important to a girl’s future; and

WHEREAS, due to safety precautions most students are no longer allowed to carry any type of bag with them through the halls, forcing girls to have to publicly carry their menstruation hygiene products through the halls in school; and

WHEREAS, these policies subject girls to harmful social ridicule and peer pressure, due to the exposed carrying of menstrual products, which can impact their school experience and decision to remain in school; and

WHEREAS, access to the needed menstruation hygienic products can also be highly limited for families with limited income; and

WHEREAS, schools supply toilet paper, soap, and bandages, providing for all the needs of male students, but do not provide the menstruation hygiene products needed by girls; and

WHEREAS, programs of this nature have been successfully implemented through the New York City education departments pilot programs in 25 public schools in Queens and the Bronx, where over 79 percent of students are low income;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW hereby calls for the provision of menstrual products for girls in all schools; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW state and chapter leaders are encouraged to lobby their school officials to require that schools provide the necessary menstruation hygiene products at no cost in all public schools both in the girls’ bathrooms and with easy accessibility for transgender students.

REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE 2016

WHEREAS, for too long, right-wing politicians have interfered with basic reproductive health decisions by restricting or outright banning insurance coverage for reproductive health care and pushing unnecessary, burdensome regulations that jeopardize affordable access to safe, legal, and quality care; and

WHEREAS, under the guise of protecting women’s health, many states have enacted Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws aimed at shutting down abortion clinics.  These laws single out the medical practices of abortion providers and impose medically unnecessary and financially devastating regulations, such as requiring doctors to have hospital admitting privileges in nearby hospitals and/or requiring clinics to be equipped as ambulatory surgical centers (in effect, mini-hospitals)–while allowing men access to the full range of their health care needs; and

WHEREAS, clinic closures due to TRAP laws further cause undue burden on women and their families because of travels expenses, and other allied costs associated with accessing necessary health services; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court, in  Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most significant abortion-rights case since Planned Parenthood v. Casey, is considering upholding Texas’s TRAP law, effectively taking away the constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion; and

WHEREAS, extremist religious ideologues have brought numerous challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control coverage mandate, insisting employers may force their religious beliefs on their employees by excluding contraception from their employer-based health plans, and the Supreme Court has expressed sympathy for that view in both Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Zubik v. Burwell; and

WHEREAS, NOW is proud to partner with the All* Above All coalition and other organizations to lift the bans that deny abortion coverage; and

WHEREAS, the EACH Woman Act would require the federal government in its capacity as an insurer, employer, or health care provider to include affordable abortion care coverage, and would prohibit state and local governments from prohibiting or restricting the inclusion of abortion care in private insurance plans; and

WHEREAS, the Women’s Health Protection Act would prohibit states from enacting regulations that single out abortion services or make abortion services more difficult to access and do not significantly advance women’s health or the safety of abortion services; and

WHEREAS, the Access to Birth Control Act would prohibit pharmacists from refusing on religious or ideological grounds to fill a prescription for contraception; and

WHEREAS, the Zika virus, which can cause severe health defects in newborns, is expected to become an endemic in several southern US states by 2017; and

WHEREAS, Zika is sexually transmissible by both men and women, therefore a threat throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, women’s health advocates in nations currently affected by Zika are demanding unrestricted access to early abortion for any woman who chooses this option based on concern that she or her sexual partner has been exposed;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) will include in its 2016-2017 Strategic Action Program a national action campaign to win passage of the EACH Woman Act, the Women’s Health Protection Act, the Access to Birth Control Act, and Do No Harm Act to ensure that every woman, whatever her financial means and wherever she lives, can get accessible, affordable, safe, and legal abortion and other reproductive health care when she seeks it.

NOW SUPPORTS “PLAN B” EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION ACCESSIBILITY
AT ALL INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE (IHS) UNITS AS AN OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC)
FOR ALL NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN 17 AND OLDER 2012

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has committed to diversifying its membership, condemned the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and gender discrimination on women of color, and formed a Native American Women’s Task Force to join with its indigenous sisters to fight for equal opportunities, rights and justice in all areas, including reproductive rights and health; and

WHEREAS, in the United States, women age 17 and over have the legal right to obtain emergency contraception or Plan B OTC and without a prescription at their pharmacy; and

WHEREAS, 92% of Native girls who have had sexual intercourse report having been forced against their will to have sex, 62% of whom report becoming pregnant before the end of the 12th grade; and

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Justice Statistical Profile indicates that violent victimization among Native American women is more than double that among all other populations of women in the United States, and Native women are more likely to be victims of rape/sexual assault committed by a stranger or acquaintance than by an intimate partner or family member; and

WHEREAS, because the IHS is the primary health care provider for Native American women, and IHS does not provide consistent access to Plan B, requiring Native American women to wait to undergo an exam and receive a prescription for it, their human and sovereign rights are being violated by the policies of IHS since they are the only race of women denied this service based on race;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will partner with the indigenous members of its Native American Women’s Task Force to provide the necessary support and advocacy for the inclusion of Plan B as an OTC at all IHS Service Units; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will urge the director of IHS, currently Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, to issue a directive to all service providers that emergency contraception be made available on demand, without a prescription and without having to see a physician, to any woman age 17 or older who requests it, as well as to provide notice of its availability posted prominently at all IHS Service Units.

THE WAR ON WOMEN IN STATE LEGISLATURES 2012

WHEREAS, opponents of women’s rights, workers’ rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, disability rights, voting rights and civil rights, most notably Americans United for Life (AUL), National Right to Life Committee, ALEC, Federation for American Immigration Reform, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and others, have analyzed state laws, set long-term legislative goals on a state-by-state basis, and publicized their analyses and goals on the web; and

WHEREAS, more than fifty (50) model bills that will serve as templates for legislation introduced in many states are also publicly available on the web; and

WHEREAS, the war on women currently being waged in state legislatures is not the work of individual legislators acting independently, but is instead a nationally organized and coordinated assault on women’s rights that is implemented through bills based on templates produced by various national organizations; and

WHEREAS, this nationally coordinated campaign has resulted in states passing laws requiring a woman to undergo a medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining abortion services along with other legislation designed to restrict or deny a woman’s access to abortion services;  and

WHEREAS, because variations of these template bills are often introduced simultaneously in several state legislatures, National Organization for Women (NOW) activists in different states must combat nearly identical bills at the same time; and

WHEREAS, this long-term strategy and nationally coordinated effort to destroy women’s rights and to wage a war on women calls for an organized and long-term response from NOW;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW expand its legislative program to address bills based on templates and introduced in state legislatures as part of national campaigns to roll back, undermine, or destroy women’s rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW implement a program to facilitate communication and exchange of information across state and regional lines to combat nationally coordinated assaults on women’s rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW work to raise awareness within NOW of this organized assault on women’s rights and work with state organizations to create strategies and a plan of action to defeat these efforts.

SUMMER CELEBRATION OF CHOICE AND SUMMER OF TRUST 2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of supporting women’s health clinics that provide critical reproductive health and abortion services; and

WHEREAS, National NOW has created a new “Destigmatizing Abortion Ad Hoc Committee,” the purpose of which is to “work with the National NOW Action Center to develop and implement a strategic proactive campaign to achieve universal access to abortion as part of normal health care, repeal abortion funding restrictions and support doctors who provide abortion care in the face of terrorism and harassment”; and

WHEREAS, NOW passed a resolution called “Stop Domestic Terrorism at Women’s Health Clinics” in 2009, condemning the recent brutal murder of Dr. George Tiller and the threats toward Dr. LeRoy Carhart’s Nebraska clinic; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Carhart is now also working part-time at Reproductive Health Services (RHS) in Germantown, Md., and since Dr. Carhart started working at this clinic, threats to the staff and services at RHS have increased; and

WHEREAS, Operation Rescue, the same group that hounded Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, Kan., for years, has announced plans for a so-called “Summer of Mercy 2.0” targeting Dr. Carhart in Germantown, Md., from July 30-Aug. 7, 2011, and their original so-called “Summer of Mercy” actions in 1991 shut down access to Dr. Tiller’s clinic for six weeks and resulted in 3,400 arrests; and

WHEREAS, a similar anti-abortion extremist group, Operation Save America/Operation Rescue, will target the reproductive health care facilities providing contraceptives and abortion in Orlando, Fla., on July 16-23 with harassment and protest, referred to as “storming the gates of hell” by their president, Flip Benham; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Carhart and his Abortion Access Fund, Inc. (AAF) — which is designed to assist women who are not able to fully pay for their reproductive health services — are organizing a “Summer Celebration of Choice” from Sunday, July 31 through Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, to counter the so-called “Summer of Mercy” attacks; and

WHEREAS, reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations and activists from across the country have created a coalition called “Summer of Trust” to support reproductive rights, health, and justice via public events scheduled from July 31 through Aug. 7,  2011, in Germantown, Md.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW work with Dr. Carhart and AAF to support and advertise the “Summer Celebration of Choice” and to encourage its members to participate in the “Summer Celebration of Choice” activities scheduled for the week of July 31-Aug. 6, 2011, including the “Kickoff Walk” on July 31, 2011; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, National NOW urge NOW chapters and activists to join in coalition to organize and mobilize its members to offer support and/or escorts to the clinics of Orlando, Fla., during this siege by our opponents; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW support a peaceful presence at all activities at both the “Summer Celebration of Choice” and the “Summer of Trust” activities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Destigmatizing Abortion Ad Hoc Committee work with the National NOW Action Center to encourage NOW members to participate in these actions.

SUPPORTING REPRODUCTIVE CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION 2011

WHEREAS, reproductive rights are human rights recognized in national law and in international human rights documents; and

WHEREAS, women’s reproductive rights are continually being eroded through restrictive laws; and

WHEREAS, court decisions intended for other specific purposes are being used to increase restrictions on women’s choices in reproductive decisions; and

WHEREAS, we remain in a climate of ever-increasing social and cultural pressures that use coercion, misinformation, and violence to influence women’s reproductive choices; and

WHEREAS, there are increasing efforts to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision; and

WHEREAS, reproductive rights are one of the six core issues of the National Organization for Women (NOW);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW affirm that it is time to lead and move the discussion into a new and more comprehensive vision of reproductive rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW support the development, passage, and implementation of legislation defining reproductive rights explicitly as enforceable civil rights.

HYDE AND SEEK-REPEAL THE HYDE AMENDMENT 2010

WHEREAS, United States Congress has renewed the Hyde Amendment in various forms since 1976, enacted in reaction to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade; and

WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment undermines women’s rights by discriminating against low-income women, prohibiting federal funding of abortion for the 12 million women of reproductive age who are served by Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, by prohibiting Medicaid funding of reproductive health insurance for low-income women, except in the cases of rape, incest or life-threatening situations, many women face late-term abortions or illegal, dangerous abortions due to the time required to find funds to pay for the abortion; and

WHEREAS, at times, the ban has been extended to prohibit funding for groups like Native Americans, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, low-income residents of Washington, D.C., federal prisoners, military personnel and their dependents, and disabled women who rely on Medicaid; and

WHEREAS, the major health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was used by Democratic leaders to gain votes from abortion opponents by including provisions similar to the Hyde Amendment that further restrict coverage for the millions of women who seek insurance under the new Act; and

WHEREAS, other legislation, such as the ban on federal funds for abortions enacted by the Children’s Health Initiative Program (CHIP), which serves girls 19 and younger, has gone into effect to discriminate against women; and

WHEREAS, the Hyde Amendment has effectively politicized and stigmatized the legal practice of abortion and obstructed women’s constitutional right to control their reproductive lives;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue strongly to oppose the Hyde Amendment and any related legislative provisions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Board of NOW is hereby instructed to develop a long-term strategy with other allied organizations for the defeat of the Hyde Amendment and that the grassroots level of NOW be urged to take action in an aggressive campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment and to restore coverage for abortion care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

PROTECT THE REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS OF WOMEN FROM ULTRASOUND MISUSE

2010

WHEREAS, ultrasounds are becoming the new front of the battleground over abortions, and legislative ultrasound mandates are receiving significant backing from anti-abortion groups and crisis pregnancy centers, which consistently provide patients with biased information; and

WHEREAS, much of the information on mental and physical health that states require abortion providers to present to their patients is scientifically unsupportable or discredited and attempts to dissuade or shame women rather than to outline the details of relevant procedures; and

WHEREAS, laws that propose this use of ultrasounds and inaccurate medical information represent an abuse of medical practice; and

WHEREAS, the National Institutes of Health and other credible medical and health organizations have strongly advised that ultrasounds should only be performed for a “specific medical indication”; and

WHEREAS, these mandated ultrasounds are not medically necessary, and many of the policies concerning the disclosure of medical information run counter to the fundamental ethical principles of medical care and also interfere with the doctor-patient relationship; and

WHEREAS, many of the state mandates do little to further the values of the consent process and instead use the issue of “informed consent” to render women who seek abortions incompetent, vulnerable and largely unable to understand the meaning of having reproductive power; and

WHEREAS, at least 20 states have enacted laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasounds, and these laws require that the woman patient be responsible for the payment of these mandated ultrasounds; and

WHEREAS, many “informed consent” policies push for requirements that would force women to listen to inaccurate descriptions of various abortion procedures that are irrelevant to their own procedure and to other information that is not germane to the individual woman’s pregnancy; and

WHEREAS, as intelligent adults, women are able to make decisions without being emotionally coerced;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) reaffirm that women seeking abortions must have the right to make decisions about their medical care free from coercion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW stand in opposition to those state laws that do not respect a woman’s ability to make informed decisions concerning her reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW condemns and urges repeal of laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasounds or related biased and inappropriate information with the intent of dissuading women from exercising their reproductive rights; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW oppose the mandated use of ultrasounds and the issue of “informed consent” as a means of posing obstacles to women exercising their reproductive rights.

RESTRICT U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS LOBBYING ON CAPITOL HILL

2010

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying Congress claim that their unrelenting advocacy throughout the recent health care bill debates, particularly on issues regarding women’s reproductive health, were fueled by the Catholic Church’s obligation to advocate for moral consciousness; and

WHEREAS, because of widespread abuse scandals concerning Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals and cover-ups by the hierarchy, the Catholic Church has lost moral standing after decades of sexual exploitation and subsequent inaction and concealment; and
WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church is governed exclusively by men, who cannot become pregnant, it is therefore inappropriate for those who have historically placed women in second-class status with regard to making decisions about their bodies to dictate what is politically, socially and economically correct for our reproductive health and that they should keep their rules off our bodies; and

WHEREAS, the governance of the Roman Catholic Church could be appropriately considered to be the embodiment of the patriarchy; and

WHEREAS, recent health care legislation was altered and diminished due to the work of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other like-minded groups who claim to maintain their moral authority; and

WHEREAS, many abortion rights advocates agree that the health care measures advocated for by the Catholic bishop lobbyists in the recent passage of health care insurance reform surpassed the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment; and

WHEREAS, Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington, D.C., face almost none of the lobbying or disclosure rules that apply to the rest of D.C. lobbyists; and

WHEREAS, lobbying laws specifically exempt churches from reporting requirements, while they legally permit churches to do no more than “insubstantial” lobbying; and

WHEREAS, “insubstantial” lobbying has evidently been left without a clear definition and therefore allows Catholic bishops to maintain political clout that remains inappropriate to moral and constitutional separation of church and state;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) condemn the blatant political influence that Catholic bishops lobbying in Washington have exercised throughout the health care reform debate and other legislative matters regarding women’s reproductive rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge Congress and the IRS to reform tax laws to clarify the legal definition and boundaries of the “insubstantial” degree to which the Catholic Church may lobby and invest in lobbying in Washington; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW demand that the federal government require greater disclosure and transparency of lobbying-related expenditures on the part of the Catholic Church and of financial benefits received by the USCCB, the Catholic Church, and other affiliated entities, such as Catholic Charities, in legislation on which they lobby.

ANTI-SHACKLING 2009    

WHEREAS, the shackling of detained and incarcerated pregnant women in pre- and post-childbirth transport to and from detention or correctional facilities and during childbirth should be discontinued; and

WHEREAS, during the birthing process, shackles hamper a woman’s ability to move to alleviate the pain and discomfort of her contractions, which increases stress on the woman’s body and may decrease the flow of oxygen to the fetus; and

WHEREAS, unrestricted movement is critical during labor, birthing, and the post-birth recovery period; and            

WHEREAS, all pregnant women in detention or correctional facilities are dehumanized by this practice, women of color are particularly impacted, as black women are incarcerated at a rate 2.66 times that of white women; and           

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is and always has been interested in the rights of women and issues concerning the most vulnerable women in this country;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW support state legislation to force detention centers, correctional facilities, and hospitals to discontinue shackling pregnant women who are detained or incarcerated during labor and during pre- and post-childbirth transport from detention to medical facilities; and                                                      

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate for legislation to eliminate these dehumanizing and oppressive treatments and policies that impact women who are pregnant, birthing and immediately post-birth.

STOP DOMESTIC TERRORISM AT WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINICS 2009         

WHEREAS, one of the priority issues of the National Organization for Women (NOW) affirms that reproductive freedom is a human right. This includes the right to obtain reproductive education; to have, or not to have children; to have the conditions that enable women to make optimal choices for their own lives; and the right to access reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, effective birth control, and emergency contraception; and                                                                                                                                          

WHEREAS, the domestic terror campaign against women’s reproductive rights is a great ongoing threat to women’s reproductive health, safety and liberty; and                                    

WHEREAS, the domestic terror campaign continues to threaten the lives of providers of women’s reproductive heath services. This includes, but is not limited to, the brutal murder of Dr. George Tiller as well as threats toward Dr. Carhart’s Nebraska clinic; and                              

WHEREAS, such misinformation about third-term abortions coupled with violent use of rhetoric against providers of women’s reproductive health service creates a violent climate of emotional and physical terrorism;                                                                                         

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW conference reaffirm that a woman’s right to choose abortion for any reason is a fundamental right that cannot legitimately be abridged by any court or other governmental entity; and                                  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW implement a “Remember Dr. Tiller” campaign to stand up for the courageous abortion providers who ensure women’s health care and demand the government root out this terrorism on our soil; and                                                                              

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW continue to demand that state, local and federal governments prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all those who carry out violent attacks against abortion clinics workers and women seeking abortions; and                                                   

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW office launch a web and email campaign to expose media bias and propaganda that vilifies abortion providers and women who have abortions and that gives publicity to extremist groups that terrorize clinics and health care workers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a campaign advocate for state legislation to require medical schools to teach abortion procedures as part of their regular training; and                        

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW make clinic defense training available to chapter leaders and activists who defend women and health care professionals, including updating and publishing the NOW Clinic Defense manual; and                                                                           

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all NOW members are urged to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with women and providers, as our Kansas NOW members did for Dr. Tiller, and hold SpeakOuts about third-term abortions and why women need them; and                                             

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that all NOW members be encouraged to participate in a massive Day of Thanks for abortion providers annually.

WOMEN’S RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR OWN HEALTH 2008

WHEREAS, support for abortion rights and women’s reproductive justice has long been one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) core issues; and

WHEREAS, NOW has organized demonstrations and marches in support of abortion rights throughout our history, the most recent national example being the 2004 March For Women’s Lives; and

WHEREAS, the landmark Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent court rulings have upheld mental health exceptions to abortion bans; and

WHEREAS, the ideological balance in the Supreme Court has shifted to the right, as reflected in its recent ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart, where it showed a shocking disregard for a pregnant woman’s right to the procedure that is most medically appropriate to protect her own health; and

WHEREAS, opponents of abortion rights often make dubious distinctions between physical and mental health when addressing the “health exception” in bans on late-term abortions, even to the point of suggesting that women will impulsively seek late-term abortions on the non-verifiable (thus, supposedly trumped-up) justification of depression or other emotional conditions; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. President, the Executive Branch, and the Legislative Branch have significant power to affect reproductive justice for women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW conference reaffirms that a woman’s right to choose abortion to protect her physical or mental health is a fundamental right that cannot legitimately be abridged by any court or other governmental entity; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW conference encourage NOW chapters to educate their members about any attempts to limit the “health exception” to late-term abortion bans.  

ACTION PLAN FOR WOMEN IN THE MILITARY: HEALTH ISSUES 2007

WHEREAS, approximately 350,000 women currently serve in the United States (U.S.) military, making up almost 15 percent of all active-duty personnel; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government should provide the highest standard of care to women who have volunteered to serve their country; and

WHEREAS, women in the military is currently one of NOW’s important issues; and

WHEREAS, the federal government not only forbids the use of public funds for abortions for military personnel and their families but also bans abortions at military facilities even if the woman is willing to self-pay; and

WHEREAS, contraceptive devices and medications, including emergency contraception (Plan B), are not being stocked at military medical facilities; and

WHEREAS, Pap tests and mammograms are not made available to servicewomen on a regular basis; and

WHEREAS, data is needed to identify health issues involving women in the military and women veterans to apprise them of services and benefits available to them; and

WHEREAS, educational efforts need to be directed to women in the military and women veterans; and

WHEREAS, it is important to verify that there are adequate numbers of obstetricians and gynecologists available for women in the military in the U.S. and wherever they are stationed throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, are prevalent in the military and within military families; and

WHEREAS, women in the military suffer from PTSD from combat and from rape, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment; and

WHEREAS, NOW is the premier women’s rights organization in the U.S.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW form an ad hoc committee on Health Issues of Women in the Military. The committee will work with other organizations working in these areas and appropriate military and veterans service organizations to address these problems so as to develop strategies and action plans and bring these plans to the National Board.

CALL FOR A REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE CAMPAIGN 2006

WHEREAS, one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) priority issues affirms that reproductive freedom is a human right, and that this right includes the right to reproductive education, to have, or not to have children, to have the conditions that enable women to make optimal choices for their own lives, and the right to reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, effective birth control, and emergency contraception; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes that reproductive justice intrinsically correlates with sexism, poverty, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and disability discrimination; and

WHEREAS, women of color and women with disabilities, including those with access to health care, experience discrimination in the health care system and often are not provided the same level of care as others;

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration and recent United States Supreme Court confirmations of newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to replace Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, pose a momentous threat to women’s reproductive health; particularly in regard to affordable and accessible child care, pre- and post-natal care, health care for women and their families, programs to assist pregnant substance abusers, universal health care, comprehensive school-based sex education for youth, family planning and counseling, job security for pregnant employees, housing for low income women and accessible transportation; and   

WHEREAS, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 30% of Latinas and nearly 25% of African American women and significantly high numbers of women with disabilities are uninsured; and

WHEREAS, more than 87% of the counties in the United States do not have an abortion provider and many of these communities have significant populations of color; and

WHEREAS, significant threats to access to reproductive health clinics in South Dakota and recent attacks on the only clinic in Mississippi are endangering women, particularly low-income women; and

WHEREAS, following the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, NOW made a commitment to safeguarding reproductive health and access and justice for all women; and

WHEREAS, NOW, as one of the organizers of the March for Women’s Lives, is committed to continuing to build stronger relationships with women of color organizations;  

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW extend an invitation to all women of color organizations and those that participated in the organizing of the March for Women’s Lives, to join in a call for a Reproductive Justice Campaign to develop an agenda to build and strengthen ties in our communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Reproductive Justice Campaign articulate a plan of action developed by NOW and women of color organizations and allies that would include anti-racism training and organizational development; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW provide chapters with a framework to guide reproductive justice campaigns in their communities and encourage chapters to collaborate with local allies to outreach to their local communities and to plan joint actions to defend and protect reproductive health and reproductive rights in their communities; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW create training and education materials that will connect the relevance of reproductive rights, health care and justice to the race and ethnicity of all women, as well as women with disabilities, and sample actions for chapters, and that these resources be made accessible on both printed materials and downloadable via the NOW website.

IN-STORE ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL 2006

WHEREAS, 90 percent of women use some form of birth control sometime between the ages of 15 and 44; and

WHEREAS, many pharmacies have refusal clause policies in place which allow pharmacists to deny birth control prescriptions on the basis of “personal or moral beliefs;” and

WHEREAS, many pharmacies assert that transferring birth control prescriptions to another store is a “reasonable accommodation” based on “personal or moral beliefs” when such policies in fact send women on wild goose chases in order to fill legitimate prescriptions; and

WHEREAS, many states have in place or are considering legislation that codifies corporate pharmacist refusal clause policies on the basis of “personal or moral” beliefs into state law; and

WHEREAS, such refusal clause policies discriminate on the basis of economic means, as some women may not have cars, the funds for additional travel, or flexibility to take time off work in search of their birth control prescriptions; and

WHEREAS, such refusal clause policies discriminate against women with disabilities and others with mobility issues; and

WHEREAS, such refusal clause policies cause particularly acute problems in rural areas, where some women need to travel 30 miles or more to get to another pharmacy; and

WHEREAS, such refusal clause policies ignore the time-sensitive nature of birth control prescriptions, including emergency contraception;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW opposes all pharmacist refusal clause policies allowing for birth control to be refused on the basis of “personal or moral beliefs” without accommodating immediate, in-store access to birth control prescriptions during all hours of store operation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW opposes all state and federal refusal clause legislation allowing for birth control to be refused with the same conditions stipulated further above; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW supports women’s right to birth control and advocates for laws and policies that ensure immediate, in-store access to birth control, and which prohibit pharmacies from denying women access to birth control based on moral, political or religious grounds.

4/06

WHEREAS, Mississippi has only one clinic that provides abortions in the state; and

WHEREAS, in response to the confirmation of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court and the Court’s negative decision in NOW v. Scheidler, “Operation Save America” has vowed to close the Jackson Women’s Health Clinic during the week of July 15th through the 22 of 2006,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW commit resources to Mississippi NOW and its chapters’ organizing efforts to respond to “Operation Save America’s” July 2006 campaign. Resources could be in the form of organizers, money, and materials.

OPPOSING BANS ON VAGINAL BIRTH AFTER CESAREAN (VBAC)

12/05

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of supporting a woman’s right to make reproductive choices; and

WHEREAS, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) has repeatedly been shown to be a safe and reasonable choice for women; and

WHEREAS, VBAC labors that are not induced or augmented with drugs proceed without the need for emergency surgical intervention 99.6% of the time; and

WHEREAS, unnecessary cesareans pose serious risks to mothers, including two to four times a greater chance of maternal death; increased risk of emergency hysterectomy; injury to blood vessels and other organs; chronic pain due to internal scar tissue; increased chance of re-hospitalization; complications involving the placenta in subsequent pregnancies; and

WHEREAS, unnecessary cesareans pose risks to the infant, including an increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome; prematurity; the development of childhood asthma; and a 1-9% chance the baby will be cut during surgery; and

WHEREAS, over 300 hospitals within the United States have banned VBAC, including at least one hospital in every state; and

WHEREAS, it has been reported that some women seeking care in hospitals that ban VBAC have been forcibly anesthetized and C-sectioned when they try to withhold consent to surgery; and

WHEREAS, the right to refuse unwanted and unnecessary medical treatment is a fundamental right; and

WHEREAS, the right to bodily integrity is a fundamental right,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW oppose institutional and healthcare policies that deny women’s access to VBAC; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s policy statements, brochures, and fact sheets concerning reproductive freedom include information on VBAC; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW and its chapters work with national and state health care organizations and providers to oppose legislation and public policy that would restrict women=s access to VBAC and to medically accurate and comprehensive information on childbirth and the right to choose VBAC

FOCUSING NOW’S MORNING-AFTER PILL ORGANIZING ON THE CAMPAIGN FOR OVER-THE-COUNTER ACCESS 2005

WHEREAS, women’s freedom to choose when and if we have children is a basic right that is fundamental to controlling our lives and directing our futures; and

WHEREAS, the Morning-After Pill (MAP) is a safe form of birth control that can prevent pregnancy up to five days after sexual intercourse, but which is most effective within the first 24 hours; and

WHEREAS, the prescription-only status of this time-sensitive drug impedes access to MAP, and

medical professionals—including the National Women’s Health Network and the American Medical Association—overwhelmingly support over-the-counter (OTC) distribution; and

WHEREAS, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly postponed making a decision on MAP— both due to pressure from the larger anti-birth control movement, which wants the application denied, and from the feminist movement, which demands MAP be OTC— but could make a decision at any moment; and

WHEREAS, an age restriction, currently under consideration by the FDA, would create serious obstacles to all women’s access by requiring that MAP be sold behind-the-counter (BTC), allowing women’s reproductive choices to be unnecessarily dictated by pharmacists, and because a woman old enough to get pregnant is old enough to decide that she doesn’t want to get pregnant, and because women are insulted at the prospect of being carded for contraception; and

WHEREAS, a state-by-state approach to legislate for BTC status is also bad because some states won’t pass it, it will divide feminist energies on many fronts instead of consolidating it, and it will take pressure off the FDA, which is the national target; and

WHEREAS, the feminist strategy of the National Organization for Women (NOW) should be to fight for what will give women the most freedom, which in this case is OTC access to MAP; and

WHEREAS, NOW, as the largest feminist group in the country, has the power to affect the outcome of the FDA decision, and thereby advance women’s reproductive rights in a way unparalleled since abortion rights were won;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will declare a Day of Action that shall include a National NOW demonstration at the offices of Health and Human Services, which oversees the FDA. NOW will also encourage chapters to hold speakouts in their regions to raise awareness about MAP and will assist in the logistics of these actions; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will send sample press releases regarding the Day of Action to state and chapter leaders, along with a position paper on the importance of a national fight for OTC access to MAP; encouraging activists to focus on the national target, the FDA; and warning of the dangers of approaches that work toward behind-the-counter access, age restrictions or other compromises that undercut the fight for over-the-counter access.  

ASK SENATORS KERRY AND EDWARDS TO DEFEND WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

9/04

WHEREAS, repealing the global gag rule, which was reinstated by President Bush on his first day in office, would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of women annually; and

WHEREAS, making emergency contraception (EC) available without prescription would drastically reduce unwanted pregnancies, and its approval has been arbitrarily withheld by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and

WHEREAS, denying women and their dependents in the armed forces access to abortion services at a military hospital is likely unconstitutional and has been perpetuated by the right wing leaders in Congress; and

WHEREAS, parental consent and notification laws have been proven to be ineffective and harmful to the health of young women; and

WHEREAS, numerous studies have shown abstinence only education is less effective than comprehensive sexual education, yet money allocated to abstinence only programs is increasing while comprehensive sexual education programs lack federal funding; and

WHEREAS, the abortion procedures ban (so called partial birth abortion) is unconstitutional, based upon a distortion of science and sound medical practice, and does not allow for the protection of maternal health; and

WHEREAS, funding of domestic family planning programs which primarily benefit low income women under Title X, has not increased at the rate of inflation and is in desperate need of a significant increase; and

WHEREAS, the Bush administration has revoked funding to the U.S. Agency for International development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) harming millions of women and children in developing nations; and

WHEREAS, legislation such as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act furthers the legal rights of the fetus without advancing protection of pregnant women;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) urges Senator and presidential hopeful John Kerry and vice presidential candidate Senator John Edwards to defend a woman’s constitutional right to reproductive health services, regardless of age, economic status or race; and;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge Senator Kerry, if elected, to assure, through his appointments to the Supreme Court justices who recognize a woman’s ability to make decisions about her reproductive life is a fundamental human right that should not be restricted; and,

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge Senator Kerry, if elected, to lead the effort to repeal all laws, federal regulations and executive orders restricting women’s reproductive rights,  to restore all funding, including USAID and UNFPA, and to get Congress to pass the Freedom of Choice Act, Microbicide Development Act and the Emergency Contraception Education Bill.

DAYS OF ACTION FOR WOMEN’S LIVES: SPEAKOUTS TO PROMOTE SALE OF THE MORNING AFTER PILL OVER THE COUNTER

2/04

WHEREAS, starting on Valentine’s Day 2001, the Center for Reproductive Rights petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over-the-counter (OTC) status for the morning after pill (also known as emergency contraception and post-coital contraception); and

WHEREAS, the American Medical Association (AMA) and over 60 medical and grassroots advocacy groups support OTC status for the Morning After Pill; and

WHEREAS, the Feminist Majority is promoting campus activism on this issue; and

WHEREAS, the FDA has said it will issue a ruling by February 2004; and

WHEREAS, feminist organizers, using the grassroots feminist method of the speakout—public truth-telling about our personal experience—can boost the already mobilized national campaign to win easier, cheaper access to the morning after pill by eliminating the prescription requirements; and

WHEREAS, speaking out would help overcome some of the obstacles to mounting a large feminist campaign to win OTC access to the morning after pill.  These obstacles include public confusion of the morning after pill with mifepristone; undue fear of exaggerated side effects; and stigma; and

WHEREAS, this grassroots activist campaign would build momentum for the April 2004 March for Women’s Lives; and

WHEREAS, NOW chapter activists and the National Action Center submitted personal testimony at the December 16 FDA advisory committee hearings to consider putting the morning after pill over the counter,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the National Organization for Women (NOW) promote grassroots activism, particularly “truth-telling” speakouts, as part of a national campaign to push for the morning after pill to be available OTC; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the campaign may include the following steps:

– National NOW send out action packets (outline campaign steps) to all chapter leaders,

– Chapters hold consciousness-raising sessions to gather women’s experiences on birth control, the morning after pill, and the like, to prepare for a day of speakouts.  The day of speakouts can be held at local pharmacies, offices of doctors who refuse to prescribe the morning after pill, university infirmaries/health clinics, or other locations.  

– The testimony gathered from consciousness-raising can be used to organize speakers for the day of speakouts, content for handbills, brochures, or flyers, and it will help develop the demands and points for the campaign and day of speakouts.  

– Hold day of speakouts.

– Continue building public support and pressuring the FDA on this issue through letters to the editor, rallies, speakouts, and other actions.  

– April 2004 March for Women’s Lives.

OPPOSITION TO “FETAL RIGHTS”

9/01

WHEREAS, right-wing zealots consistently attempt to elevate the status of an embryo or fetus to the level of a human being through legislation on the state and federal level and try to legislate fetal rights; and

WHEREAS, an increasing number of states are adopting statutes that are designed to punish individuals who injure or cause the involuntary termination of the pregnancy, including the woman carrying the fetus; and

WHEREAS, there is an increasing shortage of support services and treatment facilities to assist pregnant women, resulting in an increasing number of women being charged with child abuse, neglect, manslaughter, or homicide for fetal injuries that were supposedly caused by their reckless behavior; and

WHEREAS, fetal rights endanger a woman’s freedom and her right to choose; and

WHEREAS, fetal rights will deter women from seeking proper medical attention because of fear of punishment, which will harm women’s health and put their lives at risk,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) oppose any legislation or court decision that grants the embryo or fetus equal rights with the pregnant woman.

ACTION TO PROTECT AND ADVANCE ROE 2001

WHEREAS, the status of Roe v. Wade is jeopardized by the U.S. Supreme Court’s tenuous composition upholding Roe; and

WHEREAS, if Supreme Court Justices retire or resign during George W. Bush’s presidency, Bush will have the opportunity to appoint right-wing justices who will eliminate any hope of retaining Roe; and

WHEREAS, women’s reproductive rights are in grave danger, with sexist, regressive restrictions including costs, accessibility, and terrorism; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a duty to fight for the reproductive rights of all women, including accessibility to abortion for young women, poor women, women of color, and rural women; and

WHEREAS, after speaking up and speaking out about the effects of illegal abortions and unwanted pregnancies on our lives, we won abortion rights; and

WHEREAS, one of the major ways NOW reaches out to women to educate and to raise awareness of reproductive rights issues is through the media; and

WHEREAS, it is more and more difficult for NOW and other advocacy groups to garner media attention for serious issues of our day; and

WHEREAS, the media are being controlled by fewer and fewer individuals and corporate interests, most of whom backed the election of George W. Bush; and  

WHEREAS, this entertainment-controlled media have lulled the women of this country into a false sense of security regarding the advances they have made over the past thirty years; and

WHEREAS, NOW must take decisive action to sound the alarm through actions and public education campaigns that garner massive media coverage and wake up the country to the imminent threat to Roe and to George W. Bush’s intentions to stack the federal courts–including the Supreme Court–with right-wing, anti-Roe justices;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW hold a National Day of Speak-Outs across the country in the fall of 2001, where women will testify about their experiences with restrictions on abortion; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW stage a national sit-in/mock filibuster or conduct meetings in all 100 Senators’ home offices on Friday, March 8, 2002, International Women’s Day.  This action shall sound the alarm on the danger to women should Roe be overturned, including the danger to women should back-alley abortions once again be our only alternative, and shall expose the danger to this nation should we face a future with a court stacked with right-wing ideologues who will vote to overturn Roe; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the actions taken during these sit-ins and meetings include the reading of accurate information and personal testimonials regarding the reproductive rights of women around the globe with special emphasis on restrictions on abortion funding, the decrease in abortion providers in this country in the past decade, the appalling frequency of death due to illegal abortions, and the role the United States and the international gag rule have had in endangering women’s lives; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW work to secure pledges from pro-choice senators to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee who is not unequivocally in support of Roe v. Wade; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW put the country on alert that WE WILL NOT GO BACK! Once a resignation is announced, we will call for mass action nationwide, which may include a national march in Washington, D.C., protests at every senator’s office, both at home and in Washington, D.C., and massive civil unrest through peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations to mobilize the pro-choice majority in the fight to protect and advance abortion rights won under Roe v. Wade.

EMERGENCY ACTION FOR WOMEN’S LIVES – THE NEXT STEP

4/01

WHEREAS, NOW kicked off the Emergency Campaign for Women’s Lives with the Emergency Action for Women’s Lives on April 22, 2001 in Washington, D.C.; the action was taken to respond to the war on reproductive freedom waged by an anti-woman and anti-reproductive freedom administration and was attended by tens of thousands of people; we sent a powerful message to the conservative administration that “We will not go back”; and

WHEREAS, this action did not receive the media attention it deserved because of biased media outlets; and

WHEREAS, this action was the kick-off of a four-year campaign 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

WHEREAS, when appointments are made to the nearly 100 openings on the federal bench at the appeals and trial court levels, it is critical that these nominees support a woman’s right to choose abortion and birth control; and

WHEREAS, the appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower federal courts are all lifetime appointments and thus anti-woman appointments will harm generations of women and reverse decades of progress in protecting women’s rights and obstruct future progress; and

WHEREAS, we will not be the generations that both won and lost the right to birth control and abortion;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that NOW call a series of actions as the Next Step to the Emergency Campaign for Women’s Lives to expand media coverage, lobby Senators, and plan to protest in the streets; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that individuals be encouraged to contact their local media and to protest the lack of media coverage about these threats to women’s lives and that NOW chapters be encouraged to meet with their local editorial boards to explore ways to increase the coverage of women’s issues (and particularly this campaign) in the future; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that individuals write letters to their senators calling upon them to filibuster any appointees that do not support reproductive freedom and NOW chapters be encouraged to conduct letter-writing campaigns; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that individuals be urged to write letters in opposition to the Embyo Personhood Act (the so-called Unborn Victims of Violence Act) as part of an overall National campaign to fight this legislation and as part of the four-year campaign; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW chapters be strongly encouraged to begin gathering names and to plan now their actions that will take place immediately upon the resignation of a Supreme Court Justice and that the National Action Center prepare an action kit to be posted on the web and/or mailed to all leadership; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that NOW make contingency plans for a zap action to take place in Philadelphia during the National Conference, should a Supreme Court Justice resign.

STATE OF EMERGENCY AND CAMPAIGN FOR WOMEN’S LIVES

2/01

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; and

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 the weekend of April 21, 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.

12/00

Moved “that the National Board applauds Virginia NOW’s quick response to the state Attorney General’s decision on how to allocate money received in the Nine West settlement and supports Virginia NOW in its objection to the state’s disbursement of settlement funds earmarked for women’s programs to pregnancy ‘crisis counseling centers.’  The National Action Center offers to assist Virginia NOW in its preparations to speak at the federal district court hearing and/or provide a brief statement from National NOW to be read at the hearing if so desired.”

MAKE MIFEPRISTONE AVAILABLE TO U.S. WOMEN

2000

WHEREAS, millions of women will benefit from the development and distribution of mifepristone, which is a safe, effective method of early pregnancy termination and shows promise as a possible treatment for ovarian cancer, endometriosis, fibroid tumors, meningioma, and some types of breast cancer, and in assisting labor induction; and

WHEREAS, mifepristone’s availability in the U.S. will make a very early and private abortion option available to women, increase access to abortion services, reframe the abortion debate, and ultimately curb the targeting of physicians and clinics by anti-abortion extremists; and

WHEREAS, anti-abortion politics have already brought research on mifepristone to a standstill, and only when mifepristone wins approval as a method of early abortion will adequate supplies of the medication be available for development of the drug’s other indications; and

WHEREAS, the FDA is reportedly discussing onerous restrictions that are unprecedented and medically unnecessary, and that limit access to a safe and very early form of medical abortion, which would mean that mifepristone would remain largely unavailable for research on its other important uses, and which would make it almost financially impossible for a company to continue to supply the medication; and

WHEREAS, in contrast to the process with mifepristone, the FDA approved Viagra with unprecedented speed and has not issued any cautions or callbacks, even though more than 65 men have died from conditions relating to their use of Viagra, while after 20 years of testing and use by women around the world with no reported complications, mifepristone is still unavailable to women in the U.S.;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women call on the President of the United States and Jane Henney, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to expeditiously approve mifepristone, without unnecessary restrictions that interfere with women’s health care, the practice of medicine, or life-saving scientific research; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW urge all activists to mobilize at the state and local levels in support of approval of mifepristone by means of signing and gathering petitions and sending them to the President and Commissioner Henney, as well as by making special outreach efforts to medical and scientific communities to register their support for approving mifepristone.

 OPPOSING THE DIVERSION OF PUBLIC RESOURCES TO RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR AFFILIATES FOR PUBLIC HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICE

1999

WHEREAS, the 105 hospital “mergers” since 1995, in which Catholic hospitals with bishop-directed policies displaced public hospitals, highlight a