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As we move into the full second year of the Trump presidency, we have seen an unprecedented amount of attacks on immigrants, religious freedom, freedom of the press and levels of racism and sexism the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 60s. We have also seen the highest court in the nation uphold the rights of individuals and businesses to discriminate against a person’s sexual orientation because of their religious beliefs, and that same court upholding a ban against Muslims entering the country from six Muslim majority countries. So, the question on everyone’s mind is “What will happen to Roe v Wade if another Trump appointed Supreme Court judge is appointed?”
North Carolina NOW Legislative Wrap-up—3 July 2018 – By Robin Davis
ADJOURNMENT RESOLUTION—THEY’RE GONE, BUT THEY’LL BE BAAAACK!
The short session adjourned on June 26, 2018—but the Adjournment Resolution calls for a lame duck session beginning November 27. This session will occur before the newly elected legislators take office; therefore, Republicans will retain their gerrymandered veto-proof majorities in both houses for one more session.
SIX PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ON NOVEMBER BALLOT
The ERA NC Advocacy Day on Wednesday, 6/27/18, included at least 100 women and a few good men from across North Carolina, many dressed in green and white. The event was organized by the ERA-NC Alliance and associated groups (including NC NOW, NC4ERA, RatifyERANC, AAUW-NC, LWV-NC, BPW-NC) as follows at the Legislative Building, 16 W. Jones St.
NC may have the most untested rape kits in the nation (15,160 reported from 92% of law enforcement agency reports submitted). It is clear that too many rape kits are going unprocessed in NC and the NC General Assembly is not providing money to test or to track them, even in the face of this astounding backlog. It is also significant that none were reported from any universities (according to the report from Attorney General Josh Stein’s office). But when rapes are reported in NC, the state is falling down on the job – not processing the evidence and actually sometimes throwing away the evidence. Ignoring the evidence causes more damage in the long run, allowing rapists to run amok in NC and move on to other states. And there are many advantages of testing them as soon as possible.
“Every $1 spent on the analysis of a kit returns $81 from averted future assaults.”
This sentence is from an article reviewing the research of two Stanford University professors published this year in the Journal of Forensic Science. The article is titled “Analyzing approaches to the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in the USA.” (March 5, 2018) by Professors Wang and Wein. They also state in the article that the $81 may be a conservative estimate and it could go as high as $3,000 for every $1 spent. They estimate that there are around 400,000 untested sexual assault kits in the backlog in the USA.
Their reviews of police data for jailed perpetrators suggest that the average number of assault victims per assailant is around 26. The cost of testing a kit ranges from $700 to $1500.
This is the beginning of NC NOW’s 6th legislative update for the 2018 Short Session. The whole update includes summaries on constitutional amendments, further restrictions on early voting, and judicial redistricting, as well as ERA actions and bill tracking. The legislative updates are written by NC NOW VP of Legislation, Robin Davis.
As many as four proposed amendments to the North Carolina constitution could be on the ballot this fall. All of the proposed amendments are designed to appeal to the Republican base in hopes that they will increase conservative voter turnout. For an overview, see: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2018/06/22/round-up-ncga-discusses-four-constitutional-amendments-hunting-and-fishing-voter-id-victims-rights-legislative-appointment-of-judges/
VOTER ID/STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Birthright: A War Story is an examination of an aggressive campaign to take control of reproductive health care and to allow states, courts and religious doctrine to govern whether, when and how women will bear children. Filmmaker Civia Tamarkin explores the fallout that is creating a public health crisis, turning pregnant women into criminals.
See New York Times review of the film at “Review: In ‘Birthright: A War Story,’ a 40-Year Offensive Against Reproductive Choices,” 7/13/17.
Raleigh and Durham NOW are planning to show “Birthright: A War Story” in late summer or early fall, 2018.
Please join us for a screening and panel discussion of Dawn Porter’s documentary Trapped on Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Raleigh. Trapped documents the dangerous effects TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) have on people seeking an abortion and the medically unnecessary restrictions they place on abortion providers.
This screening is to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt” decision, which successfully challenged Texas’ TRAP laws.