January 12, 1995

      The Quakers which produced the leading edge of education for women and women's rights is now taking another unpopular stand, at least in Vermont when the Brattleboro congregation is asking the state legislature to allow all couples the right of marriage: same sex couples and opposite sex couple. The Quakers may refuse to sign marriage certificates if their requests are not met.

      A new program being tested in nine counties in Wisconsin has resulted in child support payments increasing by 158%. Eighty-five percent of delinquent parents are men. Called Children First, it requires parents to pay up, take a 16-week unpaid work program, or go to jail.

      Operation Rescue will target medical schools in California. UCLA and Stanford are to be picketed. Newspaper ads will criticize schools for teaching abortion procedures (I know some medical schools are no longer teaching abortion procedures although I can't give specifics - I should imagine they include any connected with Catholic schools.)
      Talk shows will be targeted for media coverage. Letters and postcards will be sent to the deans of these schools by OR and fundamentalist churches.
      Pro-choice response is needed immediately to make this new strategy unsuccessful from the beginning
      * Send letters to editors to support medical school practices
      * Send letters to show your support of the teaching of abortion procedures to :                         Gerald Levy, M.D., Dean
            UCLA School of Medicine
            10833 Leconte
            Los Angeles CA 90024
            telephone 310-825-9111

            David Korn, M.D., Dean
            Stanford U School of Medicine
            Stanford CA 94305-5302
            telephone 415 723 2300

      As if we didn't need something else to be suspicious about with Newt Gingrich. The COPAC, a republican political action committee which is chaired by Gingrich said that they will IN THE FUTURE reveal its contributors. This multi-million dollar player in propaganda, however, will not reveal who bank-rolled it before in the generic right-wing battle against women, ethnic minorities, democrats in general and Bill Clinton in particular.
      You know, of course, that Newtie had a bigtime and very expensive Hollywood PR group to run his elevation to sainthood - I mean speaker of the house with NO revelations as to how they were paid.

      About 800 parents - 80% of them men - who are delinquent in child support are to get one more letter of warning from the State of Montana and then if they don't pay up, proceedings to suspend their driver's and business licenses will begin.

      The marvelous Harriet Woods, 67, president of the National Women's Political Caucus for four years will retire in July, 1966. Ms. Woods had been lieutenant governor of Missouri before taking the reins of the NWPC. She has been a level-headed, articulate leader and the women's movement must be grateful for her contributions. I met her once and she will be sorely missed. When she was a guest on a TV discussion show you always knew women would be well represented.

      Have you noticed the increased media attention to welfare mothers and suggestions that WOMEN should be forced to use contraceptives - as if every child born to a woman is a Virgin Mary without father?
      Wouldn't it be easier to give men anti-fertility drugs - there is a pill for men that lasts a long time - Many boys in inner-city schools wear the pictures of three and four infants boasting that they had impregnated many girls because they are too macho to use condoms.
      Who's advocating the forced insertion of Norplant (even though it's been judged unconstitutional several times?) Guys, of course. Mayor Marion Berry of Washington, DC., amongst others.

      Starting soon, blood samples will be taken from CONVICTED rapists for a state DNA databank and will be used to compare with evidence gathered in the future from rapes. Finally someone has snapped to regarding the facts that most rapists are serial rapists, i.e., do it again and again.
      I wonder how fast this idea spreads to other states?

      The newspapers were full of pictures and stories about U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry being in Haiti to have thanksgiving dinner with the troops, but how many of you know that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright was also there.
      Albright has been doing significant work with the UN and is responsible for the increased cooperation of UN members in peace- keeping roles throughout the world instead of it falling so heavily on U.S. troops as it was under Reagan and Bush - notice it is the UN in the Bosnia/Serb conflict and not the U.S. But we just don't seem to read about such things in our Newtie-minded media blitz.

      NOW-LDEF has filed a brief on behalf of women fleeing domestic violence in Wisconsin; California case goes to Supreme Court.
      The following is from the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund newsletter:
      NOW LDEF is currently challenging a Wisconsin state law that is pushing some battered women further into poverty or even causing them to stay with the abuser. At issue is Wisconsin's "two-tier" welfare benefit system that forces new residents to continue receiving the same amount of AFDC money that they received before they moved.
      For instance, under Wisconsin's law, if a battered woman from Texas travels north with her two children to ~Wisconsin to escape an abusive spouse, for one year she will only receive the $188 in AFDC benefits that Texas provides for a family of three. Women typically cross state lines to take refuge from husbands who stalk, harass and terrorize them.
      It is estimated that over half of the homeless women living in shelters in this country are fleeing domestic violence. Typically, women in abusive relationships are without any financial resources because batterers often do not let their partners work out side the home. And, when they do, the women are often forced to relinquish their earnings so the batterer has control over the money. Without the availability of welfare benefits, they may be forced to stay in abusive relationships. It is estimated that between two and four million women a year are abused by their husbands.
      In response to Wisconsin's law, NOW LDEF filed an amicus brief in support of two women who fled to Wisconsin to escape their abusive husbands. In V.C., et. al., v. Gerald Whitburn,, NOW LDEF argues that Wisconsin's law infringes on the right of low income people to travel freely, which violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.
      A similar two-tier law in California was recently struck down by a federal court of appeals in Green v. Anderson. NOW LDEF wrote an amicus brief for this case. Green will now be argued before the Supreme Court, which accepted the case for this term.

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