North Carolina ‘conservatives’ are swiftly moving an abortion-restrictions bill through the state House this week, saying the legislation would protect both civil rights and people with disabilities. But that’s not true. In fact, leading disability justice groups, like Disability Rights NC, oppose this bill. This is yet another bill with an inflammatory title, Human Life Non-Discrimination/No Eugenics Act (HB453,) which would prohibit abortion on account of the actual or presumed racial identity of the fetus and in cases where Down syndrome is detected or suspected. What House Bill 453 actually does is set up a process to force physicians to formally question and document women’s reasons for getting abortions, while ignoring real discrimination against people with disabilities. It also makes public records of these statements and the doctors performing abortions with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in addition to ultrasounds, which are already being sent to DHHS for abortions done after the sixteenth week of a woman’s pregnancy.
North Carolina has a Black maternal health crisis in as well as gaps in reproductive health care that was further exposed during the pandemic. The maternal death rate is especially high in North Carolina. North Carolina ranks 30th out of the 50 states. Nationally Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white or Hispanic women. The United States has the highest maternal death rate of all the Western democracies, and, most alarmingly, the rate has been rising.
North Carolina NOW supports the passage of the North Carolina Momnibus Act (SB632/HB 507) that targets the Black maternal health crisis in the state and addresses the gaps in reproductive health care during the pandemic. Here is an action for you to take to push our representatives to end the Black maternal health crisis NOW!
On Saturday, December 5, 2020, the Fayetteville Chapter of NOW held their annual Wreath Laying Ceremony in honor of Beryl Lorraine Mitchell, an Army wife who was murdered by her soldier husband in 1974. Fayetteville NOW and the Quaker House in Fayetteville started remembering Mitchell with an annual wreath laying ceremony in 2007, when Mitchell’s daughter finally laid a grave marker for her mother. 2020 is the 12th year that Fayetteville NOW has done this annual graveside wreath laying. Fayetteville NOW and friends remember Mitchell and others like her, as well as those left behind, and they talk about the problem of Domestic Violence that continues to plague those in the army as well as civilians.
Fayetteville NOW President Pam Carver welcomes the crowd.
Current and past members of Fayetteville NOW and the Quaker House attended. The program is shown below (on lavender paper). The event included a welcome and close by the Fayetteville NOW President, Pam Carver; speeches from 2 members (former Fayetteville NOW President, Roberta Waddle and former Director of the Quaker House in Fayetteville, Chuck Fager) and a sharing of facts about DV by attendees. CV facts were provided by organizers. Read more about Mitchell and this event at “A Marker for her Mother: A Survivor’s Journey,” 10/24/2016, written by Fager. Fager had connected Mitchell’s daughter with Fayetteville NOW to do the first memorial.
Did you know that Orange County has no emergency housing for victims of domestic violence desperately needing a safe place?
To fill this critical need, Compass Center for Women and Families is embracing a proven strategy known as “scattered housing.” They will lease 3 – 6 apartments across Orange County to shelter domestic violence victims.
These apartments need to be ready to welcome those fleeing a desperate situation. This is where each of us can contribute to a better future for victims and their families.
The Chapel Hill chapter of the National Organization for Women(NOW) is dedicated to ending violence against women and to supporting the needs of women and families. That is why we have established a gift registry at Target.com dedicated to supplying necessities for those sheltering at these apartments.
Dr. Valerie A. Johnson will speak on the systemic violence against women of color at the N. C. NOW Conference on Friday, Oct 9, at 7:45pm.
The history of policing of people of color in America has led to this moment where people are rising up to assert that Black Lives Matter. There tends to be a lot of focus on killings of Black and Brown men. Dr. Valerie A. Johnson will focus on the systemic violence against women of color, which is often ignored besides notable exceptions like Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland.
Please join our Denim Day 2020 Photo Project with NOW chapters across the country for sexual assault awareness month and help us shine a light on the needs of sexual assault and rape survivors during COVID-19 . Please see the instructions below as a guideline for participation. This is an inspiring and powerful opportunity to practice solidarity and support survivors by renewing our commitment to exposing harmful behaviors and attitudes surrounding sexual violence. Read about how this day came about here. NOW state presidents are using this to push Congress to reauthorize VAWA, and thanking those who are already working for this.
Crystal Cavalier traveled from Robeson County to speak on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women at the 2020 Raleigh Women’s March. Here is her speech. She is willing and able to speak more on this topic.
Crystal Cavelier on MMIW, Photo Credit: Kevin A. Smith
Veto of Junk Science Anti-Abortion Bill, Some Good Bills, and a Fair Ruling
The good news is that Governor Cooper has vetoed SB359, The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The bill swept through the legislature last week at dizzying speed, and the Governor vetoed it almost as soon as it hit his desk.
“Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients,” the Democratic governor said in his veto message. “This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”
Every town hall is a unique experience. The Voice of Domestic Violence Town Hall in Winston Salem on 4/11/19 included experts, survivors, current warriors with powerful stories and valuable information to share! Event summary here.
Panel and Characteristics of Abusers slide. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga