NOW: Always on the Front Lines

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1960s: NOW is the first major group to endorse a woman’s right to control her reproductive life—including a call for widespread sex education, access to birth control, legalized abortion, maternity leave rights, publicly-supported child care and a ban on pregnancy discrimination in employment.

1970s: NOW speaks out against the forced sterilization of women, which typically targets women of color, poor women and women with disabilites. NOW fights for the restoration of Medicaid funding for abortion and the repeal of parental involvement restrictions for young women.

1980s: NOW launches a comprehensive campaign against anti-abortion terrorism and harassment. Over the next two decades, the NOW v. Scheidler lawsuit helps dramatically reduce clinic violence. NOW calls for FDA approval of RU-486, and research and education on HIV/AIDS.

1990s: NOW works to elect a record number of feminists to office to protect and advance reproductive rights. Members protest welfare reform policies that discriminate against poor mothers and their children. NOW promotes breastfeeding, midwifery and other birthing and parenting options.

2000s: NOW is one of the first groups to call for a filibuster of ultra-conservative nominees to the Supreme Court and other federal courts. NOW helps organize the largest ever demonstration in D.C. for women’s health and reproductive rights. Members lobby for over-the-counter access to EC.

This page has been adapted from NOW’s brochure, “We Want Reproductive Justice NOW!”