Yearly Archives: 2018

38 posts

ACTION ALERT: Virginia needs our help to pass the ERA!

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

– 24 words that could change the lives of women throughout the U.S.

Please send emails and postcards NOW

The Virginia Legislature – which meets ONLY in January and February — has until next Monday, Feb. 12, to decide which bills it will vote on before the 2018 session ends. Virginia NOW has asked us to help pressure VA House Speaker Kirk Cox and Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment to bring ratification of the ERA to a vote, so VA can follow the lead of what Nevada did last March and bring our country one step closer to having the Equal Rights Amendment as part of the U.S. Constitution.

Why is this important? Click here for how the Washington-based ERA Coalition explains it.

Please send postcards and emails to Cox and Norment, telling them that by not bringing the ERA to a vote, they are holding Connecticut and the rest of the country hostage, as well as harming the women, children and families who would benefit economically, and in all aspects of life, if the ERA were to become national law.

Email and snail mail addresses:

  • Speaker of the House Kirk Cox,
  • The Honorable Kirk Cox, PO Box 406, Richmond, VA  23218
  • Senate Majority Leader Tommy
  • Senate of Virginia, PO Box 396, Richmond, VA 23218

To learn more about the history of the ERA and how this Virginia vote can affect our entire nation, visit this great website,, which will provide you with invaluable information.

Throughout 2018, Connecticut NOW will host free screenings of the award-winning documentary Equal Means Equal at locations across state. The film provides an unflinching look at how women are treated in the United States today. By following both real life stories and precedent setting legal cases, director Kamala Lopez discovers how outdated and discriminatory attitudes inform and influence seemingly disparate issues, from workplace matters to domestic violence, rape and sexual assault to the foster care system, the healthcare system and the legal system. Along the way, she reveals the inadequacy of present laws in place that claim to protect women, ultimately presenting a compelling and persuasive argument for the urgency of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

To ensure you have access to our most-recently-added Equal Means Equal screenings dates, please visit Connecticut NOW’s Facebook page.

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Protecting reproductive rights will be a 2018 legislative priority

By Lauren Pizzoferrato

The latest attempts to limit women’s reproductive freedom are strong and frequent but so is the push back.

The 45th anniversary of Roe vs Wade (the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion for the entire country) was celebrated on January 22nd 2018.

Not far from this date on January 29th, the Senate voted on legislation that had passed in the House to ban abortion past 20 weeks.

The ban did not pass in the Senate, thanks to Senators such as Connecticut’s own Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

Many Connecticut legislators will continue to advocate for expanding reproductive rights in our state and protect us from any changes that may take place on a federal level that threaten these rights. As you may recall, last year Connecticut failed to pass SB586, a bill that would have continued to protect insurance coverage of services such as co-pay free birth control, should the Affordable Care Act be repealed. Here is a list of what coverage is currently mandated by the ACA.

For this legislative session, an even stronger and better bill that aims to protect reproductive rights and guarantee continued insurance coverage will be proposed in Connecticut. Additions to the bill include stopping Crisis Pregnancy Centers from their practice of false advertising.  

Stay tuned for updates regarding activism opportunities to support this legislation.

Lauren Pizzoferrato serves at Connecticut NOW’s representative on the Connecticut Coalition for Choice. To learn more, please email her at

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The Humane Society Has No Humanity

NOW Calls For Firing of Humane Society CEO

A statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:

In a shocking abdication of moral authority, The Humane Society has voted to keep CEO Wayne Pacelle in his job even after an internal investigation corroborated three complaints of sexual harassment against him. The group also offered settlements to three other workers who spoke out about Pacelle’s misconduct and were demoted or dismissed.

Like Donald Trump, the Humane Society is engaged in a cover up in plain sight. Instead of trying to enable a sexual abuser, they should dismiss him. Instead of making excuses, they should be making reparations. Instead of silencing or attacking women who’ve suffered abuse, and those who defend them, the Humane Society should change its own culture.

The Humane Society needs to know this. Women are watching. We know when a charity deserves our support, and when it fails the most basic obligations of trust.

The Humane Society has no humanity. Fire Wayne Pacelle. Do it now.

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What Women Didn’t Hear from Donald Trump

A statement by national NOW President Toni Van Pelt:

Donald Trump’s State of the Union address was notable for what he didn’t say. He didn’t address any of the issues that matter to women. In Donald Trump’s America, a president doesn’t need to care about women’s health, pay equity or gender equality. Donald Trump turned his speech into another episode of the reality TV show that is his presidency. He brought in special guests, made dramatic pronouncements from the podium, hyped his accomplishments and lied about his record. Once again, we saw the real Donald Trump—a braggart, a bully, a pretender who has no patience for serious subjects and no interest in solving urgent problems.

We didn’t hear a word of real leadership from Donald Trump, but this November, Donald Trump will hear us. We have a message for Donald Trump.

You can’t stop us with your tweets. You can’t stop is with your bullying and you can’t stop is with your hate speech. We’re marching to the polls in November, and Donald Trump, we’re voting against you.

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Religion Is No Excuse For Bigotry

HHS’s New Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom Targets Women

A statement from national NOW: The Trump Administration has announced the creation of a new “conscience and religious freedom” division within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that will have the effect of fostering further discrimination against women, transgender individuals and others seeking full access to health care.

This dangerous move upends the core principles of medical care—the Hippocratic Oath that tells physicians, “first, do no harm,” and opens the door to medical care bigotry.

Allowing a doctor, nurse or other healthcare workers to deny medical care that goes against their so-called moral or religious beliefs would do tremendous harm, not only to individuals suffering from a medical emergency but to the fabric of society itself.

We must not tolerate a two-tier system for health care, one for “good Christians” and one for everyone else. Women have made their personal health care decisions based on their own moral and in some cases religious convictions.

The opening of this division puts in place systematic, intrusive oppression and must not be allowed to stand. If healthcare workers including doctors, feel they can not perform their professional duty they need to find other work instead of pushing their personal belief system on others. That’s what bullies do.

There’s no such thing as a religious exception to providing basic healthcare for women, LGBTQIA+ people or anyone else. This egregious act of gender bigotry must be overturned.

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‘Women need Roe, and today, Roe needs us’

NOW President Toni Van Pelt Joins March for Life Protest at U.S. Supreme Court

Washington, DC – As a “peaceful counter-presence” to the divisive, anti-abortion March for Life, supporters of reproductive freedom will gather at noon on Friday, January 19 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Imagine what it would be like if Roe v. Wade had never happened,” said Toni Van Pelt, President of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

“Imagine a return to back-alley abortions. Imagine low-income young women forced to travel hundreds of miles across multiple state lines to find a state where abortion remains legal. Imagine a meteoric rise in maternal and infant mortality rates.

“This nightmare is the fondest dream of anti-choice extremists who want to repeal Roe v. Wade. They’re using today’s Roe anniversary to double down on overturning the law of the land.”

Friday’s protest is supported by the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation, Lady Parts Justice and allies.

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End the Use of Religious Misogyny and Homophobia to Justify Denying Women Access To Birth Control And Abortion Care

A statement on Religious Freedom Day by national NOW President Toni Van Pelt:

Today — January 16, 2018 — is Religious Freedom Day—a federal observance to commemorate Thomas Jefferson’s determination that the United States would not be considered a “Christian nation.” Jefferson’s original statute disestablished an official state church for the new nation, and provided that no one be compelled to attend any religious institution or underwrite it with taxes, and that individuals are free to believe as they will and that this “shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

Today, we observe Religious Freedom Day by recognizing that women are at grave risk from Donald Trump and those who are using their personal religious views to discriminate against women especially women of color, trans women and women living in poverty. They would deny women birth control and access to abortion care, divert them towards fake crisis pregnancy centers and hold them back from economic advancement with jobs that oppress them, put them at risk of sexual harassment and abuse, and perpetuate a culture of submission.

False religious justifications are used to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ people in public accommodations, jobs and housing, and also against secular humanists and atheists as well as those who practice other religions.

The religious right must not be allowed to hijack Religious Freedom Day for their own propaganda purposes. Their America is not the Founders’ America, and it’s not ours.

Women know the truth: religious freedom does not mean freedom to discriminate.

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Donald Trump is a Racist and Hurting Women

A statement from national NOW President Toni Van Pelt:

Donald Trump’s repellent complaint about too many immigrants from “s-hole” countries is more than a window into his racist soul. His hate speech must be heard as a call to action to the public to defend the must fundamental pillars of our democracy.

Immigration is a feminist issue. Women and their children comprise approximately three-quarters of people migrating to the United States each year. Seventy percent of immigrant women attain legal status through a family-based visa, but the backlog is so severe that about four million people are currently waiting to be reunited with their families — some have already waited decades. Moreover, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants are not allowed to sponsor their partners or children for residency despite raising children and owning homes together.

We already know that Donald Trump disrespects women and treats them with contempt in his private life. Now we see that Trump’s misogynist, racist worldview props up his ruthless determination to defame, shame and discriminate against immigrant women as a matter of national policy.

Our nation has a shameful history of powerful politicians who encourage and enable bigotry. But we have also risen up to oppose racists and fascists, whether they wear white sheets or whether they spew hatred from the Oval Office.

We need an immigration process that treats women fairly and humanely, and recognizes the value of their contributions to the U.S. economy and society.

Donald Trump has spoken his truth and revealed his core failings not only as a leader, but as a human being. Now, it’s up to us to rise up and speak our truth. Silence is not an option.

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