Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON– Last night proved that voters were more determined than ever to elect feminists to positions of leadership, but women’s rights are still being threatened and we have more work to do. Though voters in Oregon had the good sense to defeat a ballot initiative which would have prohibited the use of public funds to pay for abortion services, reproductive justice is still under attack. In West Virginia and in Alabama, voters have passed dangerous ballot initiatives which will preemptively criminalize abortion.
These measures threaten the lives of women. Not only do they open the door to banning abortion, but they will criminalize the act of receiving or providing abortion with a potential jail sentence. For many women, access to abortion will become increasingly difficult without the ability to use the resources of Medicaid.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) and its members are more empowered than ever to keep defending a woman’s right to make her own choice about health care.
Together, we will continue demanding protections for women that include universal access to affordable health insurance coverage, broadly available sex education for middle and secondary school students, access to reproductive health care services for all girls and women, affordable insurance coverage for contraception and safe, legal abortion.
We will continue to strengthen support for survivors of sexual violence by demanding the DNA testing of thousands of rape evidence kits, the removal of statutes of limitation, and other legislation that will assure women’s safety at home, on the streets and at work.
NOW Press, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-628-8669