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ACTION ALERT: Print, sign and mail the ‘Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere’ pledge to affected states and Supreme Court justices before Tuesday’s National Day of Action for Reproductive Rights!

Like Alabama earlier this week, Missouri today passed a ban on abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest, that criminalizes doctors, and makes abortion a felony.

Women in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi face similar assaults, and we must say STOP. NOW. On the streets, in the courts, and at the ballot box, we will fight to ensure women’s access to safe legal abortions in every state, and to keep Roe the law of the land.

With the help of the Women’s March CT and Fairfield Standing United, Connecticut NOW has created an updated list of places for you to send signed copies of the “Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere” pledge, WHICH WE NEED YOU TO DO ASAP – ideally before the #STOPTHEBANS National Day of Action for Reproductive Rights that is happening in all 50 states on Tuesday.

Download and print the “Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere” pledge, and mail to all those listed below.

Note that it’s important to send to even those officials you know are pro-choice. Numbers matter and show what constituents are demanding.

You can also download a jpeg of the “Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere” graphic to share on social media.

Missouri Governor Michael Parson
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine
Riffe Center, 30th floor
77 S High St
Columbus, OH 43215

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, KY 40601

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, MS 39205 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp
206 Washington Street, Suite 203, State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards
State Capitol
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey
600 Dexter Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36130

Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

The Supreme Court of the United States
One First Street N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20543
Send individually to:
* Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
* Clarence Thomas
* Ruth Bader Ginsburg
* Stephen G. Breyer
* Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.
* Sonia Sotomayor
* Elena Kagan
* Neil Gorsuch
* Brett Kavanaugh

Senator Richard Blumenthal
706 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Chris Murphy
136 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Congressman John Larson
1501 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Joe Courtney
2332 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Jim Himes
1227 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes
1415 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

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Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere. Print, sign and mail the pledge.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s decision yesterday to sign the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill into law has set into motion what for many is the unthinkable – the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade.

We can’t wait to take action. Every one of us needs to begin using our voices NOW, publicly telling anyone and everyone that we believe in reproductive freedom, and that we will fight to keep Roe the law of the land.

Download and print the “Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere” pledge, and mail to all those listed below. If you’re not in Connecticut, mail to your own U.S. senators and representatives.

Note that it’s important to send to even those officials you know are pro-choice. Numbers matter and show what constituents are demanding.

You can also download a jpeg of the “Not in Alabama. Not Anywhere” graphic to share on social media.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey
600 Dexter Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36130

Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

The Supreme Court of the United States
One First Street N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20543
Send individually to:
* Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
* Clarence Thomas
* Ruth Bader Ginsburg
* Stephen G. Breyer
* Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.
* Sonia Sotomayor
* Elena Kagan
* Neil Gorsuch
* Brett Kavanaugh

Senator Richard Blumenthal
706 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Chris Murphy
136 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510

Congressman John Larson
1501 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Joe Courtney
2332 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Jim Himes
1227 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes
1415 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

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Legislators: Pass SB972 to Eradicate Law that Marginalizes Women and is Unjust to All

April 16, 2019

Dear members of the Connecticut General Assembly:

The Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women, committed to advancing women’s rights and ending all forms of discrimination, joins in partnership with the 16 additional organizations listed below to urge you to support SB 972, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Records By Adult Adopted Persons. SB 972 would eradicate a misguided law put in place in the 1970s to “protect” Connecticut women, but instead is no more than a thinly veiled effort to silence and marginalize them.

There is an assumption that birth parents, especially birth mothers, are adversaries of adult adoptees when it comes to the question of restoring adult adoptees’ rights to their original birth certificates. However, for the majority of adult adoptees and their birth parents, nothing is further from the truth. Birth mothers have testified in support of SB 972 and, in doing so, have revealed a stain on our society about the actual circumstances surrounding the relinquishment of their children.

It is here where our support as women is rooted. Concerned United Birthparents, an organization made up of those with a lived birth parent experience, tells us about the great injustices done to women who relinquished their children. In written testimony submitted to the Legislature supporting SB 972, they write: “This misguided attempt to ‘protect our privacy’ actually perpetuates the shame that was originally inflicted on us by a society that rejected us a women and mothers.” Moreover, Connecticut birth mothers elaborate how this shame was a reality in their own testimonies:

“I never sought confidentiality as a birthmother. Anonymity was forced upon me. – Southbury, CT, birth mother Dr. Judy Kelly

“I was promised many things by social workers before I signed surrender papers—that my life would go on as if my pregnancy never happened, that I would forget, that my daughter would lead a better life than I could have given her.  I was never given any assurance of anonymity.” – Bethel, CT, birth mother Karen Waggoner

“The agency made it abundantly clear my rights to my child would be terminated and that I was not allowed to attempt to interfere with the adoptive family. I don’t believe they were concerned for MY privacy.”  – Newington, CT, birth mother Holly Harlow

The Connecticut Legislature’s vote in 1975 to seal the birth records of all adoptees—even for those who already knew the names of their biological parents as allowed under the law at that time—took place as part of an era where being pregnant, without being married, was almost the worst thing a woman could do. Starting in the late 1940s and ending around the time of this vote, this was a time in our history when single women who became pregnant were sent away, forced to live under assumed names, received “rehabilitation services” to help ensure they wouldn’t “repeat their mistake,” and were then told that they had absolutely no choice but to give up their babies, even though this was not the truth. During this period known as the “Baby Scoop Era,” more than 4 million mothers across the U.S. gave up their babies, including approximately 40,000 from Connecticut.

These statistics are as astounding as the shame cast on these “ruined women.” Doctors, nurses and social workers told them that they should forget that this “unfortunate situation” ever occurred and move on with their lives. What health and adoption experts know today, however, is that this secrecy instead inflicted ongoing pain. Citing the chronic physical and mental health issues that too many of these birth mothers have suffered, 27 Connecticut health and human service organizations have stated unwavering support for SB 972, including the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Connecticut Council on Adoption, the Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Parents, and the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that we should be “suspicious of women-only protective legislation.” Yet Connecticut’s current law renders those caught in adoption—both adult adoptees and birth parents—as second-class citizens, living their entire lives under government-imposed gag orders that continue forced silence based in shame.

This misogynistic and outdated law treats adult women as if they require special legal protections given only to children and the legally incompetent. Keeping this law in place perpetuates the demeaning stereotype that women who relinquished their children are weak and less-than-competent adults who need state protection to handle their most basic affairs and personal choices. It is disrespectful of their autonomy and capacity as adults. Women are capable of managing their personal business and should be treated as full, equal adults under the law.

Furthermore, adult adopted women (and men) are also discriminated against by existing law. Against their will and without their consent, they have been deprived of a basic birthright to know their origins like all other citizens. Lack of knowledge of family medical history also puts adoptees at risk and, in too many instances, has led to life-threatening situations for them or their children.

Connecticut legislators have the opportunity today to be leaders in the ongoing fight for women’s equality. Passing SB 972 would repeal a law, written by men, that deemed women too “fragile” to speak in their own voices. It would put an end to an oppressive era in Connecticut history that denied women their choice of whether to parent, denied women the ability to control their sexuality and bodies, and that supported the premise that any woman who had broken society’s patriarchal norms by becoming pregnant “out of wedlock” should be shunned and shamed.

Our support for SB972 is about restoring optionality, giving all women a choice where they had none before, and treating all people equally under one consistent law. The time is now. The right side of history is today. Support SB 972, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Records By Adult Adopted Persons along with the truth, equality, and justice it provides.

Sincerely,

Access Connecticut

Action Together CT

Charter Oak Cultural Center

Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ

Connecticut Council on Adoption

Connecticut Indivisible

Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund

Fairfield Standing United

ForwardCT

National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter

National Organization for Women, Connecticut Chapter

The Connecticut Women’s Consortium

True Colors

West Haven Progressive Action Network

Women’s March Connecticut Chapter

YWCA Greenwich

YWCA Hartford Region

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‘Be on the right side of history,’ Connecticut Organizations Tell Legislators

Pass SB972 to Eradicate Law that Marginalizes Women and is Unjust to All

HARTFORD, Conn.—Led by the Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women, 17 Connecticut organizations and 26 cosponsoring legislators called on the General Assembly to pass SB 972, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Records By Adult Adopted Persons, and eradicate a misguided law passed 44 years ago to “protect” Connecticut women, but instead is no more than a thinly veiled effort to silence and marginalize them.

The bill would restore the right of every adopted person in Connecticut to obtain a copy of his or her original birth certificate, which was allowed in Connecticut until a misguided bill that sealed the records was passed in 1975, said Connecticut NOW President Cindy Wolfe Boynton. Boynton spoke at a press conference today at the Legislative Office Building, organized by Connecticut NOW and co-sponsored by Access Connecticut, State Senator Steve Cassano and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey.

SB972 would also build on a law passed in 2014 that allows individuals adopted after October 1, 1983 to obtain an uncertified copy of their original birth certificate. SB972 would provide the same rights to adoptees born before October 1, 1983.

“The Connecticut Legislature’s vote in 1975 to seal the birth records of all adoptees—even for those who already knew the names of their biological parents as allowed under the law at that time—took place as part of an era where being pregnant, without being married, was almost the worst thing a woman could do,” Connecticut NOW President Cindy Wolfe Boynton said today.

“Passing SB 972 would put an end to an oppressive era in Connecticut history that denied women their choice of whether to parent, denied women the ability to control their sexuality and bodies, and that supported the premise that any woman who had broken society’s patriarchal norms by becoming pregnant ‘out of wedlock’ should be shunned and shamed.

During this period from late 1940s to the mid-1970s, more than 4 million mothers from across the U.S. gave up their babies. Approximately 40,000 of the mothers affected by this “Baby Scoop Era” were from Connecticut.

Opponents of SB972 cite the incorrect assumption that birth parents, especially birth mothers, are adversaries of adult adoptees when it comes to the question of restoring adult adoptees’ rights to their original birth certificates.

“However, for the overwhelming majority of adult adoptees and their birth parents, nothing is further from the truth,” said Access Connecticut Now President Karen Caffrey. “In states that have passed laws similar to SB972, birth mothers say that hearing from the adult adoptee is the best thing that ever happened to them, ending years of worry and longing. Connecticut birth mothers have also testified in support of SB 972, saying they are heartily in favor of it passing.”

More than 25 Connecticut health and human service organizations have also stated unwavering support for SB 972, including the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Connecticut Council on Adoption, the Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families, and the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

A 2007 survey by UConn’s Center for Survey and Research Analysis shows that an overwhelming 82 percent of Connecticut registered voters support adoptees having the ability to access their original birth records.

The Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, Women’s March CT, Action Together, Connecticut Indivisible and the YMCAs of Hartford and Greenwich are among the statewide organizations that signed on to the letter Connecticut NOW presented to the General Assembly as part of the press conference earlier today.

Please read the full text of that letter here:

April 16, 2019

Dear members of the Connecticut General Assembly:

The Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women, committed to advancing women’s rights and ending all forms of discrimination, joins in partnership with the 16 additional organizations listed below to urge you to support SB 972, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Records By Adult Adopted Persons. SB 972 would eradicate a misguided law put in place in the 1970s to “protect” Connecticut women, but instead is no more than a thinly veiled effort to silence and marginalize them.

There is an assumption that birth parents, especially birth mothers, are adversaries of adult adoptees when it comes to the question of restoring adult adoptees’ rights to their original birth certificates. However, for the majority of adult adoptees and their birth parents, nothing is further from the truth. Birth mothers have testified in support of SB 972 and, in doing so, have revealed a stain on our society about the actual circumstances surrounding the relinquishment of their children.

It is here where our support as women is rooted. Concerned United Birthparents, an organization made up of those with a lived birth parent experience, tells us about the great injustices done to women who relinquished their children. In written testimony submitted to the Legislature supporting SB 972, they write: “This misguided attempt to ‘protect our privacy’ actually perpetuates the shame that was originally inflicted on us by a society that rejected us a women and mothers.” Moreover, Connecticut birth mothers elaborate how this shame was a reality in their own testimonies:

“I never sought confidentiality as a birthmother. Anonymity was forced upon me. – Southbury, CT, birth mother Dr. Judy Kelly

“I was promised many things by social workers before I signed surrender papers—that my life would go on as if my pregnancy never happened, that I would forget, that my daughter would lead a better life than I could have given her.  I was never given any assurance of anonymity.” – Bethel, CT, birth mother Karen Waggoner

“The agency made it abundantly clear my rights to my child would be terminated and that I was not allowed to attempt to interfere with the adoptive family. I don’t believe they were concerned for MY privacy.”  – Newington, CT, birth mother Holly Harlow

The Connecticut Legislature’s vote in 1975 to seal the birth records of all adoptees—even for those who already knew the names of their biological parents as allowed under the law at that time—took place as part of an era where being pregnant, without being married, was almost the worst thing a woman could do. Starting in the late 1940s and ending around the time of this vote, this was a time in our history when single women who became pregnant were sent away, forced to live under assumed names, received “rehabilitation services” to help ensure they wouldn’t “repeat their mistake,” and were then told that they had absolutely no choice but to give up their babies, even though this was not the truth. During this period known as the “Baby Scoop Era,” more than 4 million mothers across the U.S. gave up their babies, including approximately 40,000 from Connecticut.

These statistics are as astounding as the shame cast on these “ruined women.” Doctors, nurses and social workers told them that they should forget that this “unfortunate situation” ever occurred and move on with their lives. What health and adoption experts know today, however, is that this secrecy instead inflicted ongoing pain. Citing the chronic physical and mental health issues that too many of these birth mothers have suffered, 27 Connecticut health and human service organizations have stated unwavering support for SB 972, including the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Connecticut Council on Adoption, the Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Parents, and the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg warned that we should be “suspicious of women-only protective legislation.” Yet Connecticut’s current law renders those caught in adoption—both adult adoptees and birth parents—as second-class citizens, living their entire lives under government-imposed gag orders that continue forced silence based in shame.

This misogynistic and outdated law treats adult women as if they require special legal protections given only to children and the legally incompetent. Keeping this law in place perpetuates the demeaning stereotype that women who relinquished their children are weak and less-than-competent adults who need state protection to handle their most basic affairs and personal choices. It is disrespectful of their autonomy and capacity as adults. Women are capable of managing their personal business and should be treated as full, equal adults under the law.

Furthermore, adult adopted women (and men) are also discriminated against by existing law. Against their will and without their consent, they have been deprived of a basic birthright to know their origins like all other citizens. Lack of knowledge of family medical history also puts adoptees at risk and, in too many instances, has led to life-threatening situations for them or their children.

Connecticut legislators have the opportunity today to be leaders in the ongoing fight for women’s equality. Passing SB 972 would repeal a law, written by men, that deemed women too “fragile” to speak in their own voices. It would put an end to an oppressive era in Connecticut history that denied women their choice of whether to parent, denied women the ability to control their sexuality and bodies, and that supported the premise that any woman who had broken society’s patriarchal norms by becoming pregnant “out of wedlock” should be shunned and shamed.

Our support for SB972 is about restoring optionality, giving all women a choice where they had none before, and treating all people equally under one consistent law. The time is now. The right side of history is today. Support SB 972, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Records By Adult Adopted Persons along with the truth, equality, and justice it provides.

Sincerely,

Access Connecticut

Action Together CT

Charter Oak Cultural Center

Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ

Connecticut Council on Adoption

Connecticut Indivisible

Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund

Fairfield Standing United

ForwardCT

National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut Chapter

National Organization for Women, Connecticut Chapter

The Connecticut Women’s Consortium

True Colors

West Haven Progressive Action Network

Women’s March Connecticut Chapter

YWCA Greenwich

YWCA Hartford Region

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Media Alert: Pass SB972 to Eradicate Law that Marginalizes Women and is Unjust to All

April 15, 2019

MEDIA ALERT

WHAT: Press conference sponsored by the Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women in partnership with Access Connecticut Now, State Senator Steve Cassano and State Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey. 

WHY: Connecticut NOW and more than 15 partner organizations have joined forces to urge the Connecticut General Assembly to pass SB 972, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Records By Adult Adopted Persons as a way to eradicate a misguided law put in place in the 1970s to “protect” Connecticut women, but instead is no more than a thinly veiled effort to silence and marginalize them.

WHEN: 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 16

WHERE: Room 1B of the Legislative Office Building, Hartford

For more information, please contact:

Cindy Wolfe Boynton – 203-214-7554 or president@now-ct.org
President, National Organization for Women, Connecticut Chapter

Karen Caffrey – 860-306-0900 or kdcaffrey@gmail.com
President, Access Connecticut Now

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Several pro-choice bills coming up this legislative session

Photo from CT News Junkie

By Lauren Pizzoferrato

For the 46th Anniversary of Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, the CT Coalition for Choice held a press conference announcing proposed pro-choice legislation for this legislative session.

The bills, which have not all been assigned numbers yet, are:

  • Requiring insurance to cover abortions with no copay
  • Prevent Crisis Pregnancy Centers from deceptive advertising on a state level
  • Allow patients to opt out of the policy holder of their insurance from receiving the Explanation of Benefits, in order to protect their privacy
  • Reimburse Doulas through Medicaid
  • Reimburse Certified Nurse Midwives at the same rate as Ob/Gyns for medical services related to delivery
  • A nondiscrimination act to prevent employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their reproductive healthcare choices

You can watch a video of the press conference from NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut’s Facebook page. The event was also covered by the CT Mirror and CT News Junkie.

If any of the above bills strike you as particularly important or would/could have directly affected your life, you may have the opportunity to have your voice heard.

Connecticut NOW will inform you if and when these bills make it to the stage where they have a public hearing. This is the step before they are voted on by your local legislators in the House and Senate. Sometimes hearings happen without much notice, so it is wise to start thinking now about how you would state your support for a specific bill. If you can’t make it to the public hearing in person, you can submit written testimony. Sharing a personal story, and then listing the reasons why you support the bill, can be very effective.

The email address to send testimony and the deadline change from bill to bill. Connecticut NOW will communicate this information to you.

Click here for the Connecticut General Assembly’s guide to the testimony process. It doesn’t mention that you can submit written testimony without speaking at the public hearing, but that is always an option.

Lauren Pizzoferrato is Connecticut NOW’s representative on the CT Coalition for Choice.

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HerView: The Women of al-Am’ari

By Margaux MacColl

Night time brings chaos to the al-Am’ari refugee camp.

Almost every night, Israeli security forces storm beneath the white, key-emblazoned arch, guns in hand. They navigate the cramped alleys and enter Palestinian homes, sometimes by force. There have been reports of soldiers waking families by gunpoint.

The al-Am’ari camp is located in city of Ramallah, located in the West Bank.

B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, reported that between February 24 to March 23, Israeli security forces “made at least 49 raids on towns and villages” in the Ramallah District where al-Am’ari is located. During these raids, they arrested at least 73 Palestinians, including 18 minors. Most, if not all, were men.

Men in the refugee camps can get arrested for almost anything, from opening fire to throwing stones.This is a result of Israel’s use of “administrative detention,” which, according to B’Tselem, is a method the government uses “to incarcerate Palestinians who have not been convicted of anything for years on end.”

Administrative detention gives the military commander of the West Bank the power to arrest individuals for up to six months (with an option to renew their sentence for another six months at the end) without telling them what they’re being charged for.

Therefore, al-Ama’ri exists in a state of constant fluctuation. The nightly raids result in Palestinian men being taken from their families and put in jail for months, even years, at a time.

In the wake of these arrests, the women of al-Am’ari remain.

The sign-in camp.

When a man is taken to Israeli prison, the women of al-Am’ari gather in his absence.

“If one of the sons is arrested, all the mothers will go to sit with her. She will be crying. We sit to comfort her,” Im Nidal said. “If one of their sons is being released, we will go and have a party. We continue to visit her just to comfort her.”

Two-year-old Nidal was forced out of her family’s village near Jaffa in 1948. She has lived in al-Am’ari ever since, raising her many sons in the camp. At least five of her sons have been to Israeli jail.

Although it’s one of the smallest camps in the West Bank with about 6,100 refugees, the population has more than doubled since its establishment in 1949. The boundaries of the camp cannot change, so the homes continue to grow shakily upward as the residents continue to have large families.

When the men in the camp are arrested, there is a vacuum within these households, and the community as a whole, that needs to be filled.

Wendy Pearlman, a professor at Northwestern University who has written extensively on the Palestinian movement, said that conflict can “sometimes leave a space for women when the men begin, in some ways, disappearing from the scene.”

“If the father’s no longer there,” she said. “Then the mother is the ‘head’ of the household. Economically, socially, emotionally and so forth.”

Nidal’s granddaughter, Rema, is a perfect example of a Palestinian woman growing beyond traditional roles. She’s currently enrolled at Al-Quds Open University in Jordan studying business management.

“Many have come to ask for Rema’s hand to get married,” Rema’s father, Emad Katriya, said. He rejects the men for now, telling them that “it’s very important that my daughter continues her education.”

Emad Katriya, father of Rema, standing in the living room of his home.

In fact, all of the Nidal’s granddaughters are getting an education. While the girls in the camp are typically married off in their teenage years, there is a growing trend to educate their daughters before marriage. This serves as form of security. If something goes wrong, the daughter is still able to find a job.

Rema has used her classes to good use, starting a business where the al-Am’ari women make small purses to sell to visitors of the camp. The proceeds go to widows to help them sustain themselves financially.

Rema selling purses made by al-Am’ari women to visitors of the camp.

All of this— Rema’s business, Nidal comforting women as their husbands go to prison— are crucial to keeping the community of al-Am’ari intact. They are crucial to creating a liveable life within unimaginable circumstances.

Pearlman said that women’s roles in resisting the occupation are often “overlooked because they’re less visible.”

“But if you think of protest widely, and especially when protest becomes so widespread– becomes not just events on the street, but an entire system of life, of people rebelling,” Pearlman said. “Women as members of societies, as backbones of families and as part of the economy, are vital in that.”

She described women’s act of surviving as “a different kind of protest.”

Walking through the al-Am’ari camp, there is photo of a man in a suit hanging on the wall. It is a memorial for a man who was shot by Israeli security forces; he is wearing a suit because he was killed a month before his wedding.

His fiance lives on in the camp, alongside thousands of other women in the same struggle, the same ceaseless protest against an occupation that started before some of them were born. Their survival, their women’s clubs, their sewing and embroidery, their strain to keep their families unified, could be considered a protest in itself. It is a protest they did not choose; it is a protest they are forced to live.

When asked if she would like to return to her village near Jaffa, Nidal sighed.

“I wish, I wish, I wish.”

Margaux MacColl of Westport is a journalism student at Northwestern University. If you have a journalistic story or essay that you’d like Connecticut NOW to consider to post on our blog, please email the manuscript to president@now-ct.org.
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Despite Dem majority, we need to stay vigilant about reproductive rights

By Lauren Pizzoferrato

As a result of November’s election, Connecticut’s 2019 Legislative Session opens today with a majority of Democrats in both the state House and Senate who support reproductive rights.

Despite this, legislative action on the federal level has the potential to limit reproductive choice in Connecticut. This month, the Trump administration is expected to release another domestic gag rule that could cause Title X providers like Connecticut’s Planned Parenthood of Southern New England to lose millions of federal dollars because they provide abortion. If these dollars become available, the expectation is that misleading crisis pregnancy centers like those that exist in Hartford, New Haven, Meriden, Bridgeport and throughout Connecticut will begin to vie for them.

Also of huge concern is the Trump administration proposal for separate insurance for abortion coverage—something that Access Health CT, Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act exchange, has protested.

Here in Connecticut on the state level, bills that would limit a woman’s access to reproductive choice–taking away a women’s ability to control of her own health and body—have also already been introduced into the General Assembly.

All of us who believe in reproductive health and freedom must remain aware and vigilant to protect our state from attacks within Connecticut, and from the federal government. Both in the U.S. Congress and Connecticut General Assembly, we have a majority of legislators who support reproductive rights and will fight for progressive legislation. We need to continuously reach out to them, urging them to stand firm when it comes to women’s health and reproductive freedom, and thanking them when they speak out on our behalf.

Connecticut NOW will keep you informed on when proposed bills that the CT Coalition for Choice is following need your voice, and for you to reach out to your legislators.

Lauren Pizzoferrato serves as Connecticut NOW’s liaison to the CT Coalition for Choice.

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Attend an advance, private screening of On the Basis of Sex

Advance tickets needed, and only a limited number available.

The Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women will host a special, private screening of the already-acclaimed “On the Basis of Sex” on Thursday, January 10 – the day before it opens nationwide!

Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. for the 7:15 p.m. show at the North Haven Cinemark, 550 Universal Drive, North Haven.

The film tells the inspiring and spirited true story of young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination. The film’s 2018 premiere coincides with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court. Ticket price of $22 includes a donation toward Connecticut NOW’s scholarship fund, which each summer pays the FULL TUITION for 1-2 Connecticut women to attend the Women’s Campaign School at Yale.

Tickets are limited and need to be purchased in advance!

Join us for the chance to see On the Basis of Sex before everyone else, PLUS the great feeling of knowing that your purchase will help increase the number and influence of Connecticut women in politics!

Any questions, please email president@now-ct.org.

Click here to make your secure payment and to reserve your seat.

 

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Show a domestic violence victim she’s not alone.

Connecticut NOW is excited to launch this new project for 2019!

Knit or crochet a With-You Wrap.

In 2018, more than 38,000 victims of domestic violence turned to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and its 18 member organizations for counseling, shelter, court-based advocacy, and other essential services.

Wrap your arms around one of these adult or child victims by knitting or crocheting a “With-You Wrap” infused with your love, strength and supportive energy.

Created and run by the Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the With-You Wraps Project is designed to make sure that no Connecticut victim of domestic violence ever feels alone. … That each time she wears a With-You Wrap, she feels the comfort and support of the person who made it: a person who believes in the victim’s strength and worth, and who will stand with her always.

Become a With-You Wrap volunteer by creating and donating a shawl today. Here’s how:

Step 1:
Knit or crochet a rectangular shawl with some kind of purple yarn. You choose the exact dimensions, but we recommend roughly 24 x 60 for an adult shawl, and 15 x 45 for a youth shawl. Whatever size you choose, we ask you purposefully include “3” into your design, whether it be that you use 3 different colors of yarn, cast on stitches that are a multiple of 3, or something different.

Why knit or crochet with a “3”? Because symbolically, 3 represents something that is sold, real, substantial, complete. To the Mayan people, 3 was the scared number of women, and to the Japanese it represents the “3 treasures” of truth, courage and compassion—all things domestic violence victims deserve and need. Consciously adding these components to your wrap will add power and meaning.

Why use purple or a purply yarn? Purple is the official color of Domestic Violence Awareness. But it’s more than that, too. Purple combines the calm of blue and the fierceness of red. It represents power, truth, justice, wisdom, independence and peace. Science has also proven that seeing purple can uplift spirits, calm the mind and nerves, and encourage the imagination.

Step 2:
Print and complete the With-You Wrap Submission Form and Card (PDF). The form is for Connecticut NOW to keep track of the number of wraps donated, as well as to let you know where your wrap was sent. The card allows you to send a personal message to the recipient of your wrap.

Step 3:
Mail your wrap along with the completed form and card to:

Cindy Wolfe Boynton

President, Connecticut NOW

26 Burwell Ave., Milford, CT 06460

When we receive your wrap, we’ll tie it in a purple ribbon, attach your card, and deliver it to a CCADV domestic violence shelter or other agency.

Please remember … There is no right or wrong way to knit or crochet a With-You Wrap. Create it with the intention of sending strength and support to the recipient, and you can’t go wrong.

Please email president@now-ct.org with any questions. Click here for a printable PDF of the above directions.

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