Tara Romano gave an excellent speech on women and the harmful and spiteful legislation going forward in the Legislature. Contrasting that with what the legislature SHOULD and COULD be doing –lifting women and families up. Tara gave this at the Moral Monday Reunites event, on 29 April 2015. NC National Organization for Women is a member of NC Women United.
You can watch her speech at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vHSnkmogpA. You can read it here (emphasis added by NC NOW).
My name is Tara Romano and I am president of North Carolina Women United. I am proud to be working with so many women across North Carolina who know we deserve better than the harmful and spiteful legislation we’ve see recently.
As in the 2013 session, we’re hearing a lot of talk from legislators about women’s rights and safety and the protection of families.
It was empty rhetoric then, and it’s empty rhetoric now. Instead we’re seeing policies based on the belief that women can’t be trusted to make our own decisions.
Supporters of House Bill 465 say it protects a women’s choice. Unless, of course, she makes what they consider to be the wrong choice and then she’s forced to wait 72 hours to make a different choice.
This bill is an insult to women and, as always, the burden of increased restrictions will fall hardest on poor women, women of color, immigrant women, young women and rural women.
There are a number of introduced bills that actually would support all women and families in North Carolina.
If we truly want to protect families in North Carolina, we must pass legislation that will increase the minimum wage, reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit, provide paid sick and family leave and guarantee equal pay for equal work.
If we really care about women’s health, let’s expand Medicaid and get toxic chemicals out of our environment. If we really care about women’s safety, let’s pass laws that make it easier for victims to get out of abusive marriages and establish effective campus sexual assault policies. If we really trust women’s voices, protect us from on the job discrimination, WRITE US INTO THE US CONSTITUTION, and bring back our voting rights.
All of these are actual bills that have been introduced this session, many of which are going nowhere, as our lawmakers instead restrict our family and marriage choices and are designed to shame and judge us for our very lives.
The only people we see being protected by these bills which are being passed so quickly are those who want to uphold the current racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic status quo.
Alice Walker said the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. But we are here today to claim our power. The power of lifting up together.
Note: Emphasis on the wording is ours.