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
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.
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 been reports of soldiers waking families by gunpoint.
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.
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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Spend a day in sisterhood with Connecticut NOW on Saturday, Feb. 9, when we’ll travel together by bus to New York City to see the highly acclaimed “Gloria: A Life” – a play described as “a richly detailed tapestry about one of the most inspiring and remarkable women of our time.” Only 39 seats are available for this special trip, so book now! Cost of $110.00 per person includes a premium ticket to the 2 p.m. performance of the play; an after-performance theater talk-back with a special guest; comfortable, round-trip bus transportation from either Glastonbury or New Haven; and driver gratuity. After the play, we’ll have about 2 hours to eat or otherwise enjoy being in Manhattan before heading home. Timeline for the day:
* 10:30 a.m. pick up travelers leaving from the commuter parking lot at 3024 Main St., Glastonbury
* 11 a.m. pick up travelers leaving from the commuter parking lot facing Long Island Sound at Long Wharf in New Haven
* 2 p.m. see Gloria: A Life, followed by theater talk-back
* 4 p.m.-ish time on your own (with lots of great restaurants in the area)
In addition to participating in the Women’s March in Hartford, Connecticut NOW has chartered a bus to take CT NOW members and friends to the 2019 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Want to be part of the #WomensWave that on Saturday, January 19, 2019 will swell just steps from the U.S. Capitol? Come with us! Our bus will be picking up passengers in Glastonbury and New Haven. Cost per person is $60 for Connecticut NOW members and $75 for non-members. Price includes roundtrip travel in a luxury coach; snacks and drinks to keep you full and hydrated; the excitement and camaraderie that comes from standing up, and speaking out, with like-minded people; bus driver gratuity; and so much more. Space is strictly limited! If you want to attend, please purchase your tickets ASAP. Buying your tickets early will also help us know whether we need to pursue the possibility of chartering a second bus.
Timeline for the trip on January 19, 2019:
* 1:30 a.m. pick up travelers leaving from the commuter parking lot at 3024 Main St., Glastonbury
* 2 a.m. pick up travelers leaving from the commuter parking lot facing Long Island Sound at Long Wharf in New Haven
* 2:15ish a.m. pick up travelers from a Fairfield County commuter parking lot, exact location TBD
A statement by national NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
Labor Day is meant to be a day of celebration, marking the contributions made by all working people in the U.S.—but for women, it’s a reminder of how far we remain from full equality.
Women make up 47% of the labor force and are the sole breadwinners in 40% of families with children—and yet, the wage gap between working women and men persists in nearly every occupation.
Despite civil rights laws and advancements in women’s economic status, workplace discrimination still persists. For women of color, this inequity can be devastating. According to the National Women’s Law Center, African American women working full-time are paid 64 cents for every dollar a man earns, and Latina women are paid 56 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Women remain segregated into jobs where they are underpaid and undervalued. Women make up 95% of the workforce in industries considered “women’s work,” such as home care, child care and housekeeping—yet most workers in these fields lack basic employment protections enjoyed by workers in other fields. And women are particularly vulnerable to an artificially low minimum wage that puts their families at risk.
Labor Day won’t be a holiday that’s truly worth celebrating until the gender pay gap is erased, the minimum wage is raised to at least $15, paid parental leave is universal and parents have access to subsidized childcare.
Until then, Labor Day will remain just another day for shopping and barbecue.
August 20, 2018–The Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women (CT NOW) has endorsed more than 80 candidates running for state office in the November 2018 election.*
The endorsements are based on responses candidates gave to a CT NOW questionnaire. Questions were designed to show how candidates’ beliefs lined up with both Connecticut and national NOW’s legislative and policy priorities. Particular attention was paid to candidates’ answers on questions related to:
Reproductive rights and justice
Ending violence against women
LBGT rights (including marriage equality)
All Connecticut candidates were invited to complete the questionnaire. Only those who responded were considered.
“Issues at the core of today’s women’s movement–issues like reproductive rights, gender equality, family leave, access to education and equal pay–aren’t just women’s issues. They’re family issues,” said CT NOW Vice President Kate Hamilton Moser. “They’re also issues that Connecticut officials will likely face in the 2019 Legislative Session, and that are at the core of what NOW is all about. Connecticut NOW is committed to helping elect officials who are equally committed to the advancement of women’s, human rights and equality for all, and we are pleased to offer these endorsements.”
For Statewide Office
Governor Ned Lamont, Democrat
Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Democrat
Attorney General William Tong, Democrat
Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Democrat
State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, Democrat
For State Senate
Beth Bye, Democrat, 5th District
Terry Gerratana, Democrat, 6th District
Melissa Osborne, Democrat, 8th District
Matt Lesser, Democrat, 9th District
Gary Winfield, Democrat, 10th District
Martin Looney, Democrat, 11th District
Christine Cohen, Democrat, 12th District
James Maroney, Democrat, 14th District
Robert Statchen, Democrat, 18th District
Monica Brill, Democrat, 21st District
Julie Kushner, Democrat, 24th District
Bob Duff, Democrat, 25th District
William Haskell, Democrat, 26th District
Michelle Lapine McCabe, Democrat, 28th District
Chris Wright, Democrat, 31st District
Catherine De Carli, Democrat, 32nd District
Aili McKeen, Democrat, 34th District
John Perrier, Democrat, 35th District
For State House of Representatives
Matt Ritter, Democrat, 1st District
Raghib Allie-Brennan, Democrat, 2nd District
Mary Sanders, Green Party, 4th District
Joshua Hall, Democrat, 7th District
Brenda Falusi, Democrat, 8th District
Geoffrey Luxenberg, Democrat, 12th District
Jason Doucette, Democrat, 13th District
John Pelkey, Democrat, 14th District
Eleni Kavros DeGraw, Democrat, 17th District
Jillian Gilchrest, Democrat, 18th District
Derek Slap, Democrat, 19th District
Michael Demicco, Democrat, 21st District
Richard Ireland, Democrat, 22nd District
Matt Pugliese, Democrat, 23rd District
Gary Turco, Democrat, 27th District
Russell Morin, Democrat, 28th District
Kerry Wood, Democrat, 29th District
Joseph Aresimowicz, Democrat, 30th District
Laurel Steinhauser, Democrat, 32nd District
Theresa Govert, Democrat, 34th District
Jason Adler, Democrat, 35th District
Christine Palm, Democrat, 36th District
Baird Welch-Collins, Democrat, 38th District
Christine Conley, Democrat, 40th District
Emmett Riley, Democrat, 46th District
Kate Donnelly, Democrat, 47th District
Linda Orange, Democrat, 48th District
Susan Johnson, Democrat, 49th District
Patricia Wilson Pheanious, Democrat, 53rd District
Gregory Haddad, Democrat, 54th District
Tiffany Thiele, Democrat, 55th District
Michael Winkler, Democrat, 56th District
Thomas Arnone, Democrat, 5th8 District
Jane Garibay, Democrat, 60th District
Jack Henrie, Democrat, 61st District
Amanda Webster, Democrat, 62nd District
Candy Perez, Democrat, 63rd District
Maria Horn, Democrat, 64th District
Alex Larsson, Democrat, 66th District
Greg Cava, Democrat, 69th District
David Borzellino, Democrat, 80th District
Ryan Rogers, Democrat, 81st District
Hilda Santiago, Democrat, 84th District
Theresa Ranciato-Viele, 87th District
Joshua Elliott, Democrat, 88th District
Roland Lemar, Democrat, 96th District
James Albis, Democrat, 99th District
John-Michael Parker, Democrat, 101st District
Robin Comey, Democrat, 102nd District
Rebekah Harriman-Stites, Democrat, 106th District
Daniel Pearson, Democrat, 107th District
Mary Welander, Democrat, 114th District
Dorinda Borer, Democrat, 115th District
Cindy Wolfe Boynton, Democrat, 117th District
Kim Rose, Democrat, 118th District
Ellen Beatty, Democrat, 119th District
Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox, Democrat, 123rd District
Charlie Stallworth, Democrat, 126th District
Jack Hennessy, Democrat, 127th District
Caitlin Pereira, Democrat, 132nd District
Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Democrat, 133rd District
Ashley Gaudiano, Democrat, 134th District
Anne Hughes, Democrat, 135th District
Jonathan Steinberg, Democrat, 136th District
Lucy Dathan, Democrat, 142nd District
Caroline Simmons, Democrat, 144 District
David Michel, Democrat, 146 District
Corey Paris, Democrat, 146 District
Matthew Blumenthal, Democrat, 147 District
Laura Kostin, Democrat, 151 District
Founded in 1970, CT NOW is proud to be part of the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. The grassroots arm of the women’s movement, we are one of more than 500 local and campus national NOW affiliates across the United States and a leader–rather than a follower–of public opinion. Learn more about us at www.now-ct.org.
It is of utmost importance that we, the youth of America, become promoters of change and take action. We are the future, and the time to create a better tomorrow is now.
A call to action by an organizer of the March For Our Lives Rally in Shelton
By Julia Meyer
My name is Julia Meyer, and I am an organizer of Shelton March For Our Lives and a teen activist. I believe we are currently living in one of the most crucial political times in American history. There is a heavy demand now, more than ever, for United States citizens to challenge the system that has failed them for so long. With the current presidential administration, it will be an uphill battle to change the flaws in our country. This provides young people–specifically teenagers and young women–an opportunity to share their voices in the hopes of making today’s problems nonexistent tomorrow.
It is especially important for teens to share their voices because we are the future. Many of us young adults will be eligible to register to vote very soon. Therefore, we should start pinpointing the issues that matter to us now. For those who do not know where to start, try making a list of things that matter to you. Then think, What can be done to make sure these things are prioritized?
Take women’s rights for example, many of us young women want to have equal opportunities to our male counterparts. Maybe you feel more can be done to allow for women to have equal pay in the workplace. If so, do something about it! Reach out to your local representatives, congressmen, and town officials. Participate in demonstrations or protests to advocate for these issues that matter. You want to make what you care about a priority amongst people in power, so you can get the change you want.
As a result of the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, many teen activists have risen up to promote change. Since the tragedy, the school’s students have been figureheads for the fight for gun control. Emma González, for example, was a survivor of the shooting and has been an advocate for change. She initially grabbed the nation’s attention after delivering a speech at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., gun control rally. The speech went viral. She has since been advocating for gun control through social media and even appeared on The Ellen Show, alongside fellow student activists Cameron Kasky and Jaclyn Corin. After the tragedy, Emma has become an example for young women everywhere. She is living proof that by speaking up, you will be heard. Emma has shown that any young person, especially a women, can be an advocate for change.
This Saturday, March 24, students, teachers, parents and thousands of others will march on the streets of Washington, D.C., to demand an end to gun violence and safety in our schools. This event will be known as the “March For Our Lives.” On this same day, hundreds of sister marches around the country will be also taking place, including one in Hartford and one in Shelton.
The Shelton March For Our Lives rally will take place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park, 38 Canal St. E. It is being organized by myself, Tyler Massias and Angela Camara. At this event, students, teachers, parents, and local officials will speak about gun violence and school safety. We will then march the streets of Shelton, passing by City Hall and demanding change. All our welcome to join us.
The March For Our Lives rallies provide a great outlet for teens to share their voices, whether it be by speaking at them or by marching. It is especially important for young people like me to promote the causes of school safety and ending gun violence, because these issues directly affect us.
It is important that teenagers’ voices be heard as loudly as everyone else’s. The current conflicts of our country affect every citizen, young and old. It is of utmost importance that we, the youth of America, become promoters of change and take action. We are the future, and the time to create a better tomorrow is now.