The 2019 State Conference in Charlotte on 11/9/19 included new topics, an exciting keynote, diverse attendees and many first timers. We had members and attendees from 18 to 80 and Rep. Deb Butler’s speech was a highlight for all! Our conference theme was “The Time For Justice Is NOW.” NOW covers all issues affecting women, but we delved into a few new areas for NC NOW – how climate change hurts women and gender equity. NC NOW officers were elected, an annual task. We also hosted a panel on threats to reproductive access, an update on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), six workshops and more. We were honored to include a tribute to long time feminist activist and NC NOW board member Jan Allen.
Conference view from the back. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
Posted in abortion, Access to facilities, advocacy, climate change, conference, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, gender equity, gender wage gap, immigration, lobby, Misogyny, NC budget, ncga interference, reproductive justice, reproductive rights
Tagged abortion, advocacy, climate change, ERA, history, immigration, lobby, reproductive justice, reproductive rights
My daughter goes to an NC university and I worry about her. I even signed her up for a self defense class before her freshman year. I knew the statistics of sexual assault on campuses are extremely high. However, I was shocked to read that “A third of female undergraduate UNC students reported sexual assault, survey found,” 10/15/19, Charlotte Observer. State laws must be improved to prosecute these crimes, and universities must do more. An Equal Rights Amendment would help long term.
Event with Feminists For All at UNC-CH, 9/27/19 Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
The 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities reported that “nine percent of respondents said they were given a spiked drink or drugs without their knowledge before the assault.”
Posted in 19th amendment, campus safety, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, ncga interference, Rape, rape kits, Sexual Assault, Title IX, violence against women
Tagged campus safety, Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, ncga interference, Rape, Sexual Assault, violence against women
Go directly to NC NOW Legislative Update #16 (20 May 19) which includes summary and bills being tracked.
The games around scheduling a House vote on SB359, Born Alive—Abortion Survivors Protection Act, continued another week. The Governor vetoed the bill on April 18, and the Senate voted to override the veto on April 30. One Democrat, Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County, voted with the Republicans to override the veto. His vote has created a tremendous backlash, and several progressive groups have vowed to recruit a candidate to challenge him in his primary in 2020. For more information, see: http://www.reflector.com/News/2019/05/15/Progressives-target-Davis-for-challenge.html
Republicans do not have a veto-proof majority in the House—the Republicans have 65 seats and Democrats have 55. To override a veto requires a 2/3 majority (72 votes if all members are present and voting) or 2/3 of those present and voting. In order to override a veto, Republicans must either win some votes from Democratic members or call for a vote when some Democrats are absent. The fierce backlash against Democratic Sen. Don Davis for his vote with Republicans to override the Governor’s veto in the Senate may be making it difficult for Republicans to field the necessary Democratic votes. A veto override vote was scheduled for 05/02/2019, then rescheduled for 05/03/2019. The vote was then scheduled for 05/06/2019, 05/07/2019, 05/15/2019, and 05/16/ 2019. Now the vote is on the calendar for 05/20/2019.
On Friday, 4/26/19, the House rolled out part of its budget. It includes an appropriation of 3 million dollars to test untested rape kits—Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Cooper requested 6 million dollars. The anti-abortion Human Coalition, which funds crisis pregnancy centers, will receive 1.2 million dollars. Expect more budget information next week. For more information, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html
It is always necessary to watch the budget bills because they often contain policy measures in addition to appropriations. For example, the House Education budget, released on Friday, April 26, contains a provision designed to prevent teachers from taking time off during a school day to go to the legislature to rally in support of educational issues, including their pay. The bill would require schools not to grant teachers a personal leave day unless they verify that a substitute teacher is available. Many school districts have closed schools on May 1 because there are not enough substitutes to fill in for the teachers who have taken a personal leave day to go to Raleigh.
Posted in abortion, budget, education, ncga interference, rape kits
Tagged abortion, budget, ncga int, ncga interference, r, Rape, rape kits
By Gailya Paliga and Toni Van Pelt
When Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the so-called “Born Alive” bill on April 18, 2019, he sent a clear message to the state legislature that these types of “junk science” bills on abortion will not stand in this state. We encourage the state legislature to learn from this failed effort and stop their attacks on women’s constitutional right to abortion.
The politicians and the groups behind these anti-abortion measures have always been in pursuit of a single goal. They want to ban all abortion, including in cases of rape and incest and return control of women’s bodies back to lawmakers. To do that, they need to find a case that can be taken to the Supreme Court and lead to a decision that repeals or severely limits Roe v. Wade.
NC NOW Legislative Update #11.15 April 19 includes the summary and listing of NC Senate and House bills.
A terrible abortion bill, SB359/HB602, Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, is on the fast-track to be ratified. The underlying premise of the bill, that infants showing signs of life after an attempted abortion are either actively killed or left to die, is outrageous and false. If such thing were to happen, the action would be covered by existing murder and infanticide laws.
See the full NC NOW Legislative Update #10.
Another bad abortion bill was introduced this week—there seems to be no end. This one, HB603, Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is really yet another attempt to ban all abortions after 20 weeks with few exceptions. The excuse for banning these abortions, however, does not hold up under scientific scrutiny. Feeling pain at all requires development of a network of neurons along with development of the area of the brain needed to process the sensory data. While it is really impossible to determine what a fetus is experiencing, most studies show that there is not adequate physical development in a fetus to feel pain until 28-30 weeks. For a detailed examination of the evidence pro and con, see: https://www.factcheck.org/2015/05/does-a-fetus-feel-pain-at-20-weeks/
NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 3/25/19. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW.
Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
Posted in Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga interference, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Sexual Assault
Tagged NC budget, ncga, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Sexual Assault
See whole NC NOW Legislative Update #7.18Mar19 here.
In 2018, voters in North Carolina’s biggest counties elected seven new sheriffs who campaigned on pledges to no longer work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because their practices have become increasingly brutal under the Trump administration. The will of the voters was clear. But this week Republicans filed a bill (HB370) that would force sheriffs to cooperate with ICE or face fines of up to $25,500 per day. This bill is yet another example of the conservative Republican majority in the legislature attempting to force its agenda on urban counties that elect more moderate to liberal Democrats to local offices. This bill has the support of Republican leadership; Governor Cooper has not stated a position. For more information, see https://abc11.com/politics/nc-republicans-file-bill-to-force-county-sheriffs-to-work-with-ice/5194070/
Sign from Tuesdays With Tillis protest against ICE taking children. Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg
The drive to expand Medicaid hit an unexpected hitch this week. Expanding Medicaid is a priority of Cooper’s legislative agenda, and companion bills (SB3/HB5) have been introduced in both the House and Senate. But hopes for passage of a bill during this session (2019-2020) were crushed through a rookie error by a freshman legislator.