NOW Declares State of Emergency: Campaign to Save Women's Lives

By Fox, Sarah | National NOW Times, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

NOW Declares State of Emergency: Campaign to Save Women's Lives


Fox, Sarah, National NOW Times


In response to continuing aggression against women's rights, the National Organization for Women has declared a state of emergency to save women's rights to self-determination and reproductive freedom. NOW is calling on activists everywhere to take part in an Emergency Action for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., on Sunday April 22.

The Emergency Action for Women's Lives will target the Senate to protect women's rights and to stop the packing of the Supreme Court with anti-abortion rights nominees. The Action will cap two weeks of in-state lobbying events during the Senate's spring break from April 7 through 22. It will include virtual action to deluge Senators with e-mails when they return to the nation's capital.

NOW announced plans to stage the Emergency Action at a news conference on March 1, 2001. Before a crowd of cheering feminists, NOW President Patricia Ireland stated, "Bush's attacks on women's reproductive freedom, beginning even before he took the oath of office, have convinced me that, even though he has tossed aside the campaign promise of 'compassionate conservatism,' there's one promise he means to keep. The man who in 1998 declared he would do everything in his power to restrict abortion now has a great deal more power to work with and he clearly intends to use it."

This news conference included statements from: the Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, the National Black Women's Health Project, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Catholics for a Free Choice, the National Asian Women's Health Organization, the American Medical Women's Association and the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy.

Mobilizing Anger to Save Women's Lives

Anger is a common sentiment in communities across the nation after an election that many feel was stolen. At its last two meetings NOW's National Board called on activists to take this anger and use it to spur all to action. Since the November elections, NOW activists have been protesting the steady and continued threat to women's very basic rights. From disenfranchisement to blurring of the line between church and state, the new administration has chipped away at the facade of freedom. At every step of the way activists have been out in force.

The Election

In early December NOW members protested in front of the Supreme Court hoping for a fair count of every vote cast. The Florida legislature was inundated with protesters and fiery speech, including a rally in Tallahasee on Dec. 6, 2000, at which Ireland spoke. Unfortunately a recount was not to be the case, and with a 54 vote in the United States Supreme Court, recounts in Florida were stopped and George W. Bush, a candidate with no mandate, was declared president by the electoral college.

The Cabinet

Bush's campaign touted a platform of unification and compromise. But in spite of his promises to govern from the center, Bush immediately nominated a cabinet that proved his commitment was to a conservative agenda. …

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