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NOW News: SCOTUS Update, Markey Wins MA and Take Action on Military Sexual Assault!


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NOW News and Action Summary

National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary
July 2, 2013

Conference Spotlight
See you in Chicago!

2013 National NOW Conference: Friday, July 5 – Sunday, July 7

The 2013 National NOW Conference is this weekend in Chicago. If you are unable to attend, follow National NOW on Twitter as we live-tweet the plenary sessions; we will also be live-streaming Saturday's plenaries. Keep an eye on the conference website for updates to the agenda!

TAKE ACTION: Remove Prosecution of Sexual Assault from Military Chain of Command

The 2012 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, released in early May, disclosed the shocking information that the anonymously reported number of sexual assaults rose in every branch of the military, with a 35 percent increase since 2010, rising from 19,300 service members in 2010 to 26,000 in 2012. Only 3,374 sexual assaults were officially reported last year; just 300 were prosecuted. Demand that a floor vote on S. 967 be scheduled and urge your senators — both Democrats and Republicans — to vote for this bill.

NOW on Nationwide 20-Week Abortion Ban

After voting to move forward on the vote, the House of Representatives has approved — in a nearly party-line vote of 228-196 — Rep. Trent Franks' appalling nationwide 20-week abortion ban. Read full statement here.


The week of June 24 was a big one, as the U.S. Supreme Court announced decisions on affirmative action, workplace sexual harassment, employer retaliation, the Voting Rights Act, the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. NOW statements on these decisions follow:

Supreme Court Scales Back Progress

Supreme Court Hammers Voting Rights Act

NOW Activists Buoyed by SCOTUS Decisions on Equal Marriage

Ed Markey Wins Mass. Special Election

Congratulations to NOW/PAC-endorsed Ed Markey on his June 25 win. Senator-elect Markey is a strong ally and we look forward to working with him. Read full statement here.

Grassroots Spotlight

NOW-New York State President Zenaida Mendez was arrested on June 18 during a protest of the removal of reproductive rights from the Women's Equality Act (WEA). The New York Assembly passed the full bill on June 20, but the New York Senate decided to break the bill into ten separate pieces of legislation – nine of which passed the Senate. The Assembly and Senate were unable to come to a final agreement, ending the session without any part of the WEA becoming law.

Texas State NOW, Austin NOW and Houston Area NOW have been participating in protests against various draconian, anti-abortion bills that the Texas GOP attempted to get through a special session.

Austin NOW and Houston Area NOW live-tweeted the Texas House of Representatives special session hearing on H.B. 60; over 700 reproductive rights activists appeared at the hearing and testimony went on until 3 a.m. On June 25, activists once again deployed to the Texas statehouse to fight S.B. 5 — a bill that would close all but five of the state's abortion clinics and ban abortion after 20 weeks — when State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the bill for eleven hours. Though S.B. 5 failed to pass during the special session, Gov. Rick Perry has called for a second special session in an attempt to pass this deeply unpopular piece of legislation.

Two Fayettesville NOW members were arrested while protesting austerity measures in North Carolina. The protest was part of the growing "Moral Monday" movement, where activists gather weekly to protest conservative policies that hurt the poor, women, the elderly, and the environment.

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