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Feminist Majority "Supreme Court in Peril" Chat Series of 2003


kimgandyKIM GANDY, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)

Kim Gandy was elected President of the National Organization for Women (NOW) on its 35th Anniversary, June 30, 2001, after serving as Executive Vice President since 1991 and National Secretary (now called Vice President-Membership) from 1987 to 1991. As President, Gandy is the CEO, CFO and principal spokesperson for the organization. She also chairs the NOW Foundation and the NOW Political Action Committees.

Moderator: Welcome.
Kim Gandy: Thank you! Im happy to be here to answer your questions today.
posted:6/19/2003 2:04:00 PM CST

Maia: What do you think will be the effect of Jane Roe filing to reverse Roe V. Wade? Could this be even a bigger push for conservatives to go after abortion rights?
Kim Gandy: We are seeing daily assaults on abortion rights in this country. NOW is determined that womens rights to safe, legal and acccessible abortion and birth control will not be taken away. Thats why feminist activists around the country are fighting so hard to stop the right wing takeover of the federal courts.
posted:6/19/2003 2:06:00 PM CST

jane momoh: i just want to know what civil right is. i know examples of civil rights but i dont really know the meaning of it and its differnce from human rights.your reponse will be gratly appreciated.
thanks
Kim Gandy: Civil rights and human rights are the foundation of our democracy. They include the freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, the right to vote, and the right of everyone to be treated equally under the law. Thanks to the global womens movement, the international community recognizes that women are entitled to the same civil and human rights as men -- even if that entitlement isnt fully enforced everywhere.
posted:6/19/2003 2:12:00 PM CST

Jen: It seems change through the course is a slow process, why is there so much focus on the courts as opposed to legislatures?
Kim Gandy: Great question! We have to focus on the courts as long as the Bush administration is determined to pull off a complete right wing takeover of the courts. The courts interpret the laws and the Constitution, and an ideological and politicallty minded Supreme Court could strip us of our fundamental rights. If that happened, the effects would last for decades -- for the entire reproductive life of my daughter. Or yours.
posted:6/19/2003 2:19:00 PM CST

Kassi`: Hello, I am eighteen years old and live in a highly conservative town. I am wondering what I can do tell let the women in my area know what kind of injustices are going on in our country ?
Kim Gandy: You can be a feminist activist anywhere! First, sign yourself and your friends up for NOWs Action Alerts (just go to our website, http://www.now.org) -- well tell you whats going on and what you can do to help. And you can invite your friends, family, neighbors to your help and talk about inequality you or someone you know has experienced.

And be sure to sign up to participate in the March for Freedom of Choice on April 25, 2004 in Washington, DC! This will be a mass demonstration of historic proportion -- you dont want to miss it. Bring all your friends and make a road trip out of it. For details, go to http://www.marchforchoice.org
posted:6/19/2003 2:26:00 PM CST

Jen: A lot of people think the womens movement is a white suburban movement, and they dont understand the implications for women and men off all colors and classes. How do you organize effectively accross these boundaries?
Kim Gandy: All of the organizing we do is rooted in NOWs philosophy that ending racism, homophobia, economic injustice and violence against women are fundamental to achieving womens equality. No one can be free while anyone is oppressed. Thats why NOWs six core issues are: reproductive freedom, ending racism, lesbian rights, economic justice, constitutional equality and ending violence against women. Our membershiup dues follow a sliding scale so people of all income levels can be NOW members.
posted:6/19/2003 2:33:00 PM CST

Carrie: What Bush nominees is NOW most concerned about?
Kim Gandy: Bush has nominated so many extremists I cant possibly narrow it to just one! Some of the worst of the worst are: Jeffery Sutton, Bill Pryor, Charles Pickering, Priscilla Owen, Carolyn Kuhl. You can find detailed information about these judges on our website, http://www.now.org. Across the board, Bushs nominees are bent on turning the clock back on our fundamental rights. They want to drag us back to the 1950s -- in some cases, back to the Nineteenth Century!
posted:6/19/2003 2:39:00 PM CST

Mary-Jane Shorts: Do feminist organizations have a Plan B should the republicans succeed?
Kim Gandy: If you mean succeed at fully taking over the federal courts, were just not going to let that happen. Weve come too far to let religious and political extremists make us second-class citizens again. We didnt fold up our tents and go home when Bush claimed the White House even though he lost the 2000 election. And we havent backed down since the 2002 elections -- in fact, were more fired up than ever! We are going to continue to organize, organize, organize, march, march, march -- and vote, vote, vote. With the help of everyone participating in this chat WE will succeed.
posted:6/19/2003 2:47:00 PM CST

Candace: WOW - the march in DC sounds great! I had no idea it was coming up. My older sister still talks about the march in 1992. How should I go about spreading the word to my family and friends?
Kim Gandy: You can sign up yourself and your friends and family members for march info and updates at http://www.marchforchoice.org. Forward it to everyone you know, and well see you there!
posted:6/19/2003 2:55:00 PM CST

Samantha: Do you think there will be a Supreme Court retirement this summer? What will NOW and other womens orgs do if there is?
Kim Gandy: Were hearing all kinds of rumors about a potential vacancy on the Supreme Court. Well be demonstrating at the Supreme Court at noon on the day after a resigation is announced, and our chapters around the country will demonstrate outside their federal courthouses at noon on the same day. We will be organizing at all levels -- national, state and local -- to convince our Senators that they need to block, by filibuster if necessary, EACH AND EVERY nominee who doesnt support womens rights. Not just the first nominee, but the next and the next and the next until Bush gets the message that we wont accept any Justice opposed to our fundamental rights.
posted:6/19/2003 2:58:00 PM CST

Moderator: Thank you for joining us today. I hope that you will be inspired to get involved in the fight to protect choice. For more information about judicial nominations and getting involved visit either the NOW website at http://www.now.org or the Feminist Majority’s Million4Roe campaign site at http://www.million4roe.com. We hope you will join us again tomorrow at 3pm for our continuing June chat series, “Supreme Court in Peril.”
Kim Gandy: Your questions have been wonderful and I would love to stay past 4 oclock if I could! Thanks so much to everyone for participating. If you want more information about NOW and how to get involved, check our our website or come to our annual conference in the DC metro area next month (July 11 - 13) -- for details, go to http://www.now.org/conference.

Thanks again,
Kim
posted:6/19/2003 3:05:00 PM CST

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