Reproductive Justice IS Economic Justice image

Statement of NOW President Toni Van Pelt

The Democratic party, determined to win back the majority in the House of Representatives at any cost, is throwing its support behind anti-choice candidates. That’s a huge mistake. Reproductive justice is at the heart of women’s health, welfare, safety, and economic security.
This week Rep. Ben Ray Luján, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview that, in order to pick up 24 more seats in the House, Democrats would fund candidates who oppose abortion rights. This marks a painful pivot from the 2016 party platform, which spelled out “that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.”
That platform was driven by smart policy, and smart politics–because it recognizes that progressive abortion policy is central to achieving economic justice. That’s why women, and all progressives, should decry this new posturing–which has Democratic leaders trying to appeal to a mythical group of moderates, by shrugging off reproductive rights as a fringe issue. The truth is this: they’ll never achieve any of their progressive goals, economic or otherwise, if abortion rights get pushed out of the picture.
Most important of all: Democrats can’t risk women’s lives to play this political game. This is even more urgent for marginalized individuals. Women of color, young people, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are hit hardest when abortion access is gutted–and that would almost certainly be the case if the Democrats throw their support behind anti-choice candidates.
I’m calling on grassroots activists across the country to march into their Congressional Democratic offices and make their voices heard, and to to work at the local Democratic party level–as individuals, or with their NOW chapters. NOW has been a proud fighter for abortion rights and reproductive justice for over 50 years. The Democratic party cannot and should not take us for granted. Party leaders must think again, and get it right this time.


M.E. Ficarra , , 951-547-1241

Cap_Times_TwitterWOW - is the #NOWaction! Share the news & thanks for all your activism! #AZNOW

Here is your  ACTION ALERT 3/25/2017 from Dianne Post, Legislative Liaison AZ NOW:
Of primary concern is SB1367 interfering with women’s right to make decisions about their own families.  Please watch the video link and take action. Mother Opposed to SB 1367 Published on Mar 16, 2017, 2:25 minutes - Anmarie Stone's powerful testimony during the House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Hearing on SB 1367.
There are only two committee hearings.  The extension of time for TANF cash assistance and SNAP (food stamp) benefits in HB2372 is hotly contested with Democrats opposing the harsh conditions imposed on beneficiaries.  It will be heard on Tuesday, March 28 so please read the bill and submit your position.
A striker has brought back a bill on consumer loans allowing companies to charge exorbitant interest rates for small loans for the most vulnerable people and then punish them greatly for not being able to pay.  Please take action on HB2496.
The following bills are on Governor Ducey’s desk.  Please contact him to sign the bills.
HB2208 – allowing school personnel to assist a child with an inhaler
HB2444 – giving privilege to sexual assault victim advocates
SB1422 – vacating the conviction of a sex trafficking victim
The following bills are also on Governor Ducey’s desk.  Please contact him to VETO the bills.
SB1239 – making it a parking violation to be over the line on disability parking
SB1439 – allowing medical facilities to refuse to follow a person’s end of life decisions

HCR2002 Repeal Prop 105, allowing legislature the right to repeal citizens initiative or referenda OPPOSE Passed in House, not scheduled in Senate; Should be dead.
HCR 2007 Allow legislature to repeal referenda OPPOSE Passed in House, not scheduled in Senate.  Should be dead.
HCR2013 Constitutional convention for balanced budget – no, the last thing we need now is a constitutional convention run by the Alt Right to re-write the constitution, probably don’t need since have the one above OPPOSE – Passed House, passed Senate committee 4-3; Contact Senate President Steve Yarbrough to encourage him NOT to schedule for floor.  Contact your own Senator to vote against.
HCR2016 Care enough to get in the way of bullying etc. SUPPORT, PASSED House, No Senate action. Probably dead.
HB 2054 Foreign Corporations register to donate to or participate in initiative process SUPPORT  - PASSED House, sent to Senate, passed Senate Judiciary on 3/16.  Contact Senate President Steve Yarbrough to encourage him to schedule the bill for a floor vote. Contact your own Senator to vote for.
HB2091 Repeal required fingerprinting for TANF, SNAP SUPPORT - PASSED HOUSE, Passed Senate HHS on 3/15. Contact Senate President Steve Yarbrough to encourage him to schedule the bill for a floor vote.
Contact your own Senator to vote for.
HB 2208 Inhalers, administration – allows teachers and school personnel to assist a child with an inhaler SUPPORT Senate passed and sent to Governor for signature on 3/23.  Contact Ducey in favor.
HB2226 Request Article V convention to balance budget, probably don’t need due to SCR2014 above OPPOSE - PASSED House, Passed Senate appropriations, Contact Senate President Steve Yarbrough to encourage him NOT to schedule for a floor vote.  Contact your own Senator to vote against.
HB2238 Sex trafficking –WAS A STRIKE EVERYTHING – changed child prostitution to child sex trafficking, simply put sex trafficking in place of word prostitution, SUPPORT – Passed Senate 29-0 as amended and transmitted back to the House on 3/23.  The Senate amendment clarified that there still is a crime of child prostitution for which sex offenders and internet violators need to register.
Needs conference committee by 4/14.
HB2268 Must submit sexual assault evidence kits in 15 days, annual reporting on rape kits Governor signed bill on 3/21.
HB2302 Electoral College – shall vote for candidate with highest # of votes in state PASSED HOUSE, passed Senate Judiciary, awaiting floor, MIXED OPINIONS
HB2320 Ballot measures, put on disclosure about 105 OPPOSE, Passed House, not heard in Senate; should be dead.
HB2290 Provisional licenses, criminal convictions SUPPORT, Passed House, Passed Senate Commerce and Public Safety 6-1-1, awaiting Rules and floor.  Contact Senate President Steve Yarbrough to encourage him to schedule.
Contact your own Senator to support.
HB2372 Regarding food stamp eligibility and an additional 12 months of cash assistance– Democrats oppose harsh conditions and graduated sanctions to obtain benefits.  To obtain the additional 12 months of benefits, recipients have to meet work and school requirements. SUPPORT/READ to determine your own stand as there is dispute – Passed House, passed Senate HHS. Senate Appropriations hearing on 3/28, sign in with RTS or contact chair Debbie Lesko,, 602 926 5413.
HB2403 Clean elections, prohibited contributions – cannot pay a political party for any services OPPOSE Passed House, no action in Senate, should be dead.
HB2404 Strict compliance for initiatives – trying to diminish voter power, guarantee signatures, file a bond, punish organization for individual violation, criminal background check, can’t pay based on number of signatures OPPOSE – Passed, Sent to Governor, Ducey who signed
HB2408 Making wheelchair only parking spaces and decals OPPOSE – Passed House, held in Senate Transportation and Technology committee.  Should be dead.
HB2444 Sexual assault, victim advocate, privilege SUPPORT – Passed, Sent to Governor on 3/23.
Contact Ducey to sign it.
HB2496 Pay Day Loans – a striker bill to bring back exorbitant interest on small loans and suck money from the most poor and vulnerable.  We keep telling them we do not want this in AZ but it’s a vampire bill that keeps coming back. OPPOSE – Passed Senate appropriations 6-4 on 3/21.
Contact Senate President Steve Yarbrough to encourage him NOT to schedule.  Contact your own Senator and two representatives to oppose.
SB1009 Theft of flag is crime- Kavanagh
we already have a law prohibiting theft, we don’t need another one specially for the flag.  It’s aimed at demonstrators.
OPPOSE  - Passed Senate, no action in House; should be dead.
SB1069 Greatly reduced to simply say that if your sentence is set aside, you can answer “no” on the employment question regarding conviction SUPPORT - Passed Senate, no action in House; Probably dead.
SB1071 Can get provisional licenses for vocations with criminal convictions (HB2290) SUPPORT Passed Senate, Passed House Military Veterans and Regulations, 9-0.
Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him to schedule for floor.
Contact your own two representatives to support.
SB1108 Cash assistance to children allowed if living with unrelated adult and in DCS care SUPPORT -  Passed Senate, Passed Health and Rules in House, Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him to schedule for floor.
Contact your own two representatives to support it.
SB1128 Fetal death – (Lesko) not about abortion but if don’t make a category of exclusion for fetal death, the patient cannot be counted in survey PASSED House 30-0. Passed House 55-0
SB1158 Borrelli, TF – ending court debts in 20 years, fine mitigation, non payment does not mean revocation, can mitigate if hardship, pays money to person not probation officer, community restitution, time spent on other crimes counts, can waive interest and it’s down from 10% to 4%, SUPPORT - PASSED Senate, no hearings yet in House, probably dead.
SB1160 Borrelli – TF – driving violation, restricted rather than suspended license, w/o glasses is misd, violation is civil not criminal, cop cannot take car unless driving on revoked not suspended license, and several other positive provisions. SUPPORT, Passed in Senate, No hearings yet in House, probably dead.
SB1163 Borrelli – TF – hearing bonds, release procedures, replace bail with bond, replace bail schedule except for misd, hearing if keep in, conditions of release SUPPORT, Passed Senate, no hearings yet in House, probably dead.
SB1198 Public accommodation, services, civil actions – Kavanagh, to allow businesses an extra 90 days to comply with Americans with Disabilities Law – they have already had 26 years. OPPOSE – Passed Senate, FAILED in Judiciary on 3/22, should be dead but be careful of vampire bills.
SB1239 Making it a parking violation to be on access aisles for disabilities – Kavanagh  - pits one part of the disability community against another. OPPOSE – Passed Senate, passed House, sent to governor on 3/23.Contact Ducey to veto it.
SB1253 Cops can review the video tapes of a use of force incident before giving a statement – opposite of best practice OPPOSE – Passed Senate, passed House Judiciary Held in Rules on 3/20. Should be dead but beware of vampire bills.
SB1254 Charter schools can refuse to admit kids from a school under desegregation order. Charter schools should have the same responsibilities as public schools.  Both parties voted for it. OPPOSE – Passed Senate, passed House education and rules. Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him NOT to schedule.   Contact your own two representatives to oppose.
SB1278 Appropriation for felony pretrial intervention SUPPORT – passed Senate, held in House Judiciary, passed House appropriations,
Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him to schedule on floor.
Contact your own two representatives to support.
SB1315 DR – amended to add “substantial” to the evaluation of which parent gives the other access to children.  It harms battered women and those protecting abused and molested children because they are not willing to give “substantial” time as they are protecting the child so they are punished often by losing custody all together to the abuser. OPPOSE – passed Senate, no action in House.  Should be dead.
SB1342 Requiring search warrants for tracking devices and cell simulators (sting ray) SUPPORT - Passed Senate, Passed House Judiciary committee & Rules; Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him to schedule it for the floor.  Contact your own two representatives to support it.
SB1355 Rights of sexual assault survivor, testing of DNA and match etc. SUPPORT – passed Senate, no action in House. Probably dead.
SB1366 Police officer victim is an aggravating factor – NO already have as a felony OPPOSE – PASSED Senate, passed House Judiciary & rules. Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him NOT to schedule.   Contact your own two representatives to oppose.
SB1367 Reporting a life birth from an abortion or punish doctor unless s/he tries to keep fetus alive. This requires abortion clinics to have expensive equipment and file additional reports or a doctor could be criminally charged – attempt to make abortion more difficult.  It also interferes with family decisions when fetus is not viable. Please see this video testimony from a mother who had to go through this trauma.  We don’t need state legislators making these decisions for us. OPPOSE – Passed Senate, Passed House Judiciary & Rules; Contact House Speaker, J.D. Mesnard to encourage him NOT to schedule.  Contact your own two representatives to oppose it should it come to floor.
SB1406 Establishes a juvenile justice reform committee study SUPPORT - Passed Senate 30-0, Hearing in House Appropriations on 3/29. Sign in with RTS or contact chair Don Shooter,, 602 926 4139
SB1422 Vacate conviction of sex trafficking victim including for ordinance, cannot use as prior conviction for future punishment SUPPORT Passed Senate, Passed House 53-3. Sent to Ducey on 3/22. Contact Ducey to sign it.
SB1439 No discrimination against health care agencies that REFUSE end of life care decisions by patients. Could interfere with advance directives. OPPOSE – Passed Senate, passed House 32-24, Sent to Ducey on  3/22. Contact Ducey to veto it.

Below are upcoming deadlines.  Things will speed up as they approach the end of the session.  It is important to act right away or the time is gone.
4/14/17            Last day for conference committee
4/18/17            100th Day of the Session
4/29/17            Session can only be extended by House or Senate vote.
Thank you Dianne Post for bringing us timely reports on what's going on in AZ Legislature!

West Valley/Sun Cities Chapter of NOW
1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016
Universalist Unitarian Church
17540 N. Avenue of the Arts (north of Bell Road) 
Surprise, AZ 
Program: Written in Thread 
Join Pam Knight Stevenson as she traces Arizona history through women who recorded pieces of their lives in their needlework. 
Beginning with 1860s Mexican women, through 1990s Hopi women, this presentation introduces women who pioneered Arizona through quilts they stitched. 
The colorful patterns of women’s quilts added a spot of brightness to their homes and their lives. They also celebrated and recorded special events with their quilts.
Pam Knight Stevenson has been involved in researching and writing about Arizona history for more than 30 years. A native of Los Angeles, she earned a history degree from UCLA and moved to Arizona in 1972. She was managing editor of the news department for the CBS TV station and as manager of production for KAET-TV, the PBS station in Phoenix. 

Join Pam Knight Stevenson as she traces Arizona history through women who recorded pieces of their lives in their needlework. 

She has conducted hundreds of oral history interviews, including Arizona Historymakers; journalists; quilters; Harvey Girls; and Navajo Code Talkers. Focusing on women’s history, Stevenson co-authored the books Grand Endeavors: Vintage Arizona Quilts and Their Makers and Skirting Traditions: Arizona Women Writers & Journalists 1912–2012.

The thread photo is a piece of artwork by 
Alma Pérez.

Arizona Capital Times, Dianne Post and Kaitlin Ford

— Dianne Post is a Phoenix attorney and Kaitlin Ford is an intern for NOW.

By: Guest Opinion  January 21, 2016 , 5:30 pm

Most Americans have heard of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). What most Americans do not realize is that the ERA did not pass and is not a part of the U.S. Constitution. How can this be when between 91 percent to 96 percent of American adults polled believe that men and women should have equal rights, and 72 percent already think that men and women have equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution (ERA Survey)? How can this be when the U.S. imposed the ERA language on other countries in 1945 and encouraged it in its foreign assistance in all the former Soviet Union countries in the 1990s? How can this be when the Republicans were the first to endorse the ERA in the party platform in the 1940s with the Democrats shortly following suit?

kaitlin-fordKaitlin Ford

Yet it remains that America is one of few countries that does not guarantee women equal protection of rights under the Constitution. In fact, corporations received equal rights under the 14th Amendment before women did. U.S. Supreme Court justices have made it clear that the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination based on sex. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment. I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered. So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion — that women and men are persons of equal stature — I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”

The ERA was born in 1923 after women won the right to vote. It was introduced every year in Congress until finally, in 1972, the ERA was passed by Congress and by 1984 ratified by 35 states of the 38 needed. The ERA is the only proposed amendment that had an expiration date on it – a practice many challenge. Since then, it continues to be introduced in Congress every year and a new movement has arisen to see it passed by 2020 because there still is an urgent need for the ERA in today’s society.

The ERA will help improve the lives of men and women by making equality a Constitutional principle as well as a law, as it is now in some areas. The U.S. falls behind many other countries in measures of women’s equality from the number of parliamentarians to maternal deaths to response to domestic violence. The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights found recently in the Jessica Gonzales case that the U.S. violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man by failing to protect victims of domestic violence.

dianne-post-202x300Dianne Post

Currently women make on average 83 cents on the dollar compared to men performing the same job. Women also are less likely to have benefits at work such as insurance and pensions. These are only a few examples of how the ERA will improve the lives of all American citizens now and in the future.

Arizona did not pass the ERA in the 1980s. In fact, the state donated $10,000 of taxpayer money to the Mountain States Defense Fund to defeat the ERA. But women in Arizona still demand equality. State Rep. Rebecca Rios will be introducing the ERA again this year. It has been introduced many past years but leadership refused to assign it to a committee, let alone have a hearing. The women of Arizona deserve better. Arizona was once a beacon for women’s rights. Women could vote in Arizona in 1912, and Rachael Berry, from Apache County, was the first woman legislator elected in Arizona in 1914 before women in the rest of the country could even vote. Isabel Greenway was Arizona’s first congresswoman and only representative from 1933-1935. Arizona holds the record for the most women governors (four, three in a row) and having women hold all state offices at the same time (1998). The first woman appointed to the Supreme Court came from here. Arizona needs to reclaim its place in the march toward equality by ratifying the ERA today and moving toward that day that all discrimination will end.

— Dianne Post is a Phoenix attorney and Kaitlin Ford is an intern for NOW.