Tag Archives: Women

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Marched over 100yrs ago for – Women’s voting rights- Black History is American history

T437487_06 b. 7/16/1862
100 years ago
Social activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett marches in Washington, D.C., with 5,000 suffragettes in a protest supporting women’s voting rights.

African American journalist and anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was born to slaves at Holly Springs, Missouri. Following the Civil War, as lynchings became prevalent, Wells traveled extensively, founding anti-lynching societies and black women’s clubs.

Here we go again …


The Attacks on Women’s Health Keep Coming

It’s only January 15, but Republican legislators and their activist allies are not wasting any time when it comes to the war on women. Just today, both the Supreme Court and Congress considered new restrictions that could limit basic access to abortion.

1. A panel of House Republicans, all of which are men, is advancing a bill that contains far-reaching restrictions on abortion access. The bill, the so-called Rape Audit, H.R. 7, aims to limit access to abortion by making it much more difficult for women to purchase private insurance that covers abortion (as most private plans currently do) with their own money. (Similar laws were passed by seven states last year.) In addition to increasing taxes on women and small businesses, it would also empower the IRS to conduct audits of rape survivors to ensure they’re not merely pretending to be raped. Pro-choice legislators and advocates have been pushing back against this assault, including a group of Democratic congresswomen who sternly told the GOP to “stop wasting taxpayers’ time and dollars waging attacks on women’s constitutionally protected right to make informed health care decisions about their own bodies.”

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, claimed the bill is actually a jobs plan because denying women access to abortions will make them have more children, who will in turn help grow the economy. Another leading anti-abortion legislator, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), blocked a Democratic effort to amend the bill with legislation that cracks down on workplace discrimination against pregnant women by claiming that abortion access has nothing do with pregnant women.



2. The Supreme Court may rule to eliminate buffer zones at abortion clinics, allowing protesters almost unlimited access to patients and staff. Depending on how the Justices rule in McCullen v. Coakley, a case they heard today, cities and states may no longer be allowed to enact buffer zones around reproductive health care facilities. Since protests outside of clinics often turn violent, abortion providers say that buffer zones are critical for ensuring the safety of their patients and staff. In fact, there have been over 4,700 incidents of clinic violence and 140 clinic blockades since 1995.

Justices Scalia and Alito incredulously claimed that anti-abortion activists who gather outside clinics and harass patients and staff aren’t actually even protesting, they merely want to “speak quietly” to patients. It appears likely that Alito, Scalia, Kennedy (who has long opposed buffer zones) will be able to find at least two other justices to strike down the Massachusetts law and perhaps overturn a 2000 ruling that upheld a similar law in Colorado.

It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court bans protests on its own plaza.

3. In the past 3 years, states have enacted more abortion restrictions than during the entire previous decade. A new report from the Guttmacher Institute notes that between 2011 and 2013, state legislatures enacted 205 laws that restrict women’s reproductive rights. In the decade prior, between 2001 and 2010, states enacted 189 such restrictions. While the campaign against abortion rights rages on nationwide, Guttmacher points out that the multiple, often overlapping restrictions enacted just a few states — North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina — helped drive the spike.



4. States with anti-choice governors and state legislatures outweigh states with pro-choice ones. The two charts below illustrate the imbalance. And in a new state-by-state report card released this week by NARAL Pro-Choice America, 25 states receive a failing grade for reproductive rights while America on the whole gets just a ‘D’ grade.

Choice Positions Of Governors

Choice Positions Of Governors


Choice Positions Of State Governments

Choice Positions Of State Governments


BOTTOM LINE: Women’s health advocates are hopeful that this year will prove to be a turning point in the fight over women’s reproductive rights, but so far we’re seeing more of the same from their opponents.

It’s Time For An Upgrade: Let’s End the Mommy Penalty for NY Women!

The New York Women’s Equality Coalition has just relaunched a statewide digital and grassroots campaign to demand a Women’s Equality Agenda for New York State. Our campaign shines a spotlight on the need to update and strengthen New York State laws to reflect the reality of women’s lives in 2013. The Coalition has also launched an exciting video highlighting the antiquated laws in New York that need an upgrade.
Illegal or Just Sleazy? Watch to Find Out…
Test your knowledge of the gaps in New York’s discrimination laws by watching  this video. Then show it to your friends, your family, and your legislators! Send it, post it, tweet it, and get involved in the push to pass the Women’s Equality Agenda before it dies on December 31st. Click on the picture below to see and share the video.
Mind The (Motherhood Wage) Gap!
We recently focused on women, like Armanda Legros, who are demanding that state legislators stand up for pregnant women and new mothers in New York State. Read our Op-Ed in the Albany Times Union  here.
This week, we focus on the wage gap. Women in New York make only 84% of men’s earnings, and the percentage is even worse for women of colorMothers in particular are less likely to be hired and promoted, and, on average, receive a lower salary, than their childless counterparts. The Women’s Equality Agenda would help close this maternal wage gap by prohibiting discrimination against parents in the workplace and strengthening our state’s equal pay laws. Every day that our legislators fail to take action is another day that the women of New York lose out! Read our blog post here.
Please take a moment to  sign Armanda’s petition and tell legislators that New York needs the Women’s Equality Agenda!
Twitter Rally TOMORROW 12-1pm ET!
What else can you do to make your voice heard? We’re having a twitter rallyTOMORROWWednesday, 12pm-1pm on the maternal wage gap. Here are a few sample tweets you can use to let your followers know that the “mommy penalty” is unfair, senseless, and needs to end NOW!

  • In NY, moms make 5% less per child than their childless peers. We need legislators to pass the #WEA and #UpgradeNY to end this now!
  • A bigger family shouldn’t mean a smaller salary! Pass the #WEA to end the mommy penalty for NY women #UpgradeNY
  • We need laws that work as hard as today’s working moms. #UpgradeNY #WEArestrong Learn more @ http://bit.ly/SfMTnO
  • Vintage: Great for t-shirts, bad for New York law. Let’s pass the #WEA and #UpgradeNY today! http://bit.ly/HICp2g
New York’s outdated laws have to change and we won’t stop until women and families have true equality across the state–stay tuned for our new 2014 Women’s Equality Agenda.
Thank you for all your support,
The ABB Team: Sherry, Dina, Phoebe, Jared, Elizabeth, Liz, Risha & Rachel
Donate now to A Better Balance.  Together we can improve the lives of families across the country. 

The law that let her abuser go

By Fallon Williams
Brookline, Massachusetts

Honor Jennifer Martel: Protect Victims of Abuse

27-year-old Jennifer Martel was a caring mom to a little girl. Working her way through college, Jennifer hoped to become an elementary school teacher. Jennifer’s boyfriend had a long history of criminal activity, including domestic violence, yet was released on his own recognizance after smashing Jennifer’s head into a mirror Tuesday, Aug. 13. Just two nights later, he was found covered in blood after stabbing Jennifer to death in the presence of their four-year-old daughter and neighbors.

While Massachusetts is at the forefront of the war against domestic violence, the recent murder of Jennifer Martel highlights a gaping flaw in the current system. Under M.G.L. 276 sec. 58A, offenders can be released on their own recognizance, without any bail set, within 24 hours of an assault. An emergency restraining ordered was issued against Jennifer’s assailant, but since Jennifer did not appear in court the day after she was attacked, her assailant was released without bail on his on recognizance.

When I heard about Jennifer’s murder, I was moved to create this petition. It seems senseless that this beautiful, caring young woman is gone. Something must be done to ensure this never happens again. As a child, I was a victim of domestic violence and witnessed the abuse of my birth-mother as well. Luckily, my father was able to remove me from the situation. Most children are not so lucky.

Females murdered by a current or former partner account for 30% of homicides against women each year. In many instances of intimate partner homicide, domestic violence is a precursor to murder. More often than not, victims of domestic violence do not take action against their abusers for a number of reasons, including fear of retaliation. Known abusers should not be allowed to walk free without bail within 24 hours of a repeat offense. Special concern should be warranted when there is a child in the home, as well.

I am asking for your signature on this petition, in order to prompt the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to close the loophole that allows repeat, violent offenders to be released without immediate consequence, putting their victims and the public at risk.