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Feminist News


Women Leaders Rally for Abortion Rights

Feminist leaders and activists rallied in Tennessee over the weekend declaring a state of emergency for women's rights with the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. In the midst of the National Organization for Womens (NOW) national conference, the announcement of OConnors resignation changed the agenda dramatically.

Activists marched on the Tennessee state capitol, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frists (R-TN) home territory, chanting, We Wont Go Back and Keep Abortion and Birth Control Legal. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal said, "We have to raise such a loud voice that Senator Bill Frist hears it. We have to make sure that this majority leader knows he cannot turn back the clock on women's rights. NOW President Kim Gandy, who was reelected by a 2-1 margin on Saturday, said that Sandra Day O'Connor broke down barriers for women as the first female Supreme Court justice and George W. Bush will try to replace her with a hard-right extremist justice who will put those barriers up again.

At the rally, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, a former US Senator and 2004 presidential candidate, told the crowd that "Ronald Reagan gave us Sandra Day O'Connor and she became a moderate that kept balance in the courts. George Bush can do no less. We demand no less. Never underestimate the power of a woman." OConnor was the critical fifth vote in support of affirmative action and abortion rights.

Rally speakers included Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and a Feminist Majority board member, who rallied the crowd chanting, Si se Puede, Yes We Can demand that President Bush nominate a judge who will uphold womens rights, civil rights, and human rights. Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Womens Organizations, joined with the other national leaders in calling for a woman nominee. Alicia Daly, associate publisher of Ms. magazine, and Allendra Letsome, a member of NOWs Young Feminist Task Force, spoke about what younger women have at stake in the fight over the Supreme Court. This is our generation's fight, said Daly. We grew up with Roe v. Wade. We are not going to stand back and let these rights be taken away from us.

LEARN MORE Read Ms. magazines Urgent Report on the Looming Fight Over the Supreme Court

DONATE Make an emergency contribution to the Feminist Majoritys Save Roe Campaign. We must be a strong voice in this crucial fight to save Roe and the Supreme Court for womens rights.

Media Resources: Feminist Majority; Tennessee Independent Media Center 7/3/05; NOW 7/1/05