WLP’s Carol Tracy to Speak at the Women’s March on Philadelphia

womens-march-philadelphia

On Saturday January 21, thousands of people are taking to the streets of Philadelphia to participate in the Women’s March on Philadelphia. Participants will gather at 10AM on Logan Circle, then march toward Eakins Oval, where a rally will take place in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

We are pleased to announce that Women’s Law Project Executive Director Carol E. Tracy is scheduled to speak at the rally at approximately 1:30PM.

“I’ve been fighting for women’s rights since the early 1970s, and I have not ever seen a wellspring of grassroots activism like what we’re seeing with the 616 sister marches taking place all over the world this weekend,” said Tracy. “We’ve made a lot of progress since I started out, but women still are not equal citizens in society. Right now what’s most urgent is protecting the rights we’ve already earned. Rights take a long time to gain, but can be quickly lost. It’s crucial that we channel all this outrage into productive, sustainable and organized advocacy.”

As a proud state-based organization with a long track record of national impact, we believe it’s important that we think globally, but resist locally. Read more about why we’re marching in Philadelphia instead of heading to Washington, DC.

At least nine related marches and events are happening all over Pennsylvania on Saturday. In addition to the Women’s March on Philadelphia, events are planned in Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Lewisburg, Doylestown, Sharon, Beaver and Harrisburg.

To request an interview with Carol Tracy, contact Tara Murtha at tmurtha@womenslawproject.org.

You are invited to march in Philadelphia with the Women’s Law Project. Meet us at Sister Cities Park at 9:45AM. Sister Cities Park is the grassy park situated on 18th Street between Race Street and Vine Street, across from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul. If you plan to join us, please email Tara Murtha at tmurtha@womenslawproject.org.

Sign up for WLP’s Action Alerts here. Stay up to date on issues and policy by subscribing to our blog, following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

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Why We’re Marching in Philadelphia on 1/21

Our_Bodies_Our_Minds_Jennifer_Maravillas

“Our Bodies, Our Minds” by Jennifer Maravillas, via The Amplifier Foundation

This Saturday, thousands of people are taking to the streets of Philadelphia to participate in the Women’s March on Philadelphia. Participants will gather at 10AM on Logan Circle, then march toward Eakins Oval, where a rally will take place in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The event is a sister march to Women’s March on Washington and 370 additional sister marches taking place in at least 50 countries around the world. We wish great success for the DC march and for all the sister marches, and strongly support the guiding vision and principles.

But we’re marching right here in Philadelphia, and we hope that you do too.

We invite you to march with us! Meet us at Sister Cities Park at 9:45AM. Sister Cities Park is the grassy park situated on 18th Street between Race Street and Vine Street, across from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul. If you plan to march with the Women’s Law Project, please email Tara Murtha at tmurtha@womenslawproject.org.

It’s invigorating to bond nationally and indeed globally, united in outrage over the attacks on equality the President-elect has promised to unleash on the American people. We’re marching in Philadelphia to underscore that now more than ever, we must act locally.

This isn’t a philosophy, it is a strategy.

We must understand that most of the battles that await us will be fought here on the ground, in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, and that cities and states canact as a bulwark” against the regressive agenda.

We cannot forget that we, and all Americans standing for equality, are in fact the majority—or that this fact is not enough. We will march in Philadelphia on Saturday with a commitment to act locally, to prioritize evidence-based policy over partisan politics, action over awareness, and reason over rhetoric.

Here in Pennsylvania, we’ve just entered a new two-year legislative session. We need your help as we continue to fight for equal access to reproductive healthcare and abortion, workplace equality for women, and to improve police and institutional response to domestic and sexual violence–and against all forms of sex and gender discrimination.

We hope the Women’s March on Philadelphia is just the beginning of our work together. Sign up for our Action Alerts, and we will keep you informed about local and state legislation related to women’s health and economic security, and how you can speak up.

Sign up for WLP’s Action Alerts here. Stay up to date on issues and policy by subscribing to our blog, following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

We are a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting equal rights for women and girls by making a one-time donation or scheduling a monthly contribution. Thank you.

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For #Roe44, Join Us for a Free Screening of TRAPPED

 

justfilms

To celebrate the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and explore the current attack on reproductive rights, we invite you to view the groundbreaking documentary TRAPPED (2016) at Chatham University on January 19 at 6:30PM. Tickets are free, and you can reserve them here.

TRAPPED is screening as part of Just Films, a one-of-a-kind festival featuring films focused on social justice and gender inequity. Just Films is brought to you by the Chatham University Women’s Institute, New Voices Pittsburgh, the Women and Girls Foundation and the Women’s Law Project.

Free and open to the public, the monthly series features social justice films followed by engaging, post-screening panel discussions and talk-back sessions featuring local and national figures.

Since 2010, hundreds of laws that strategically over-regulate healthcare facilities that provide abortion care have been passed by state legislatures, including in Pennsylvania. While lawmakers attempt to justify each individual regulation as an effort to “protect women,” in reality, these restrictions are designed to work cumulatively, incrementally building obstacles that target low-income women and women of color.

Many abortion providers have been forced to shut their doors due to these restrictions. The providers that remain must navigate increasingly complex and prohibitively costly obstacles in order to comply with each new restriction. TRAPPED follows some of these clinic workers and lawyers who are fighting to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.

A panel will follow the screening featuring:

  • Dr. Sarah McNeil, Medical Director of TEACH, the bay area abortion training program, and Texas abortion provider
  •  Dr. Colleen Krajewski, healthcare provider for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania
  •  Jessica Semler, Public Affairs Director, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania

The conversation will be moderated by Ash Chan, Program & Outreach Coordinator, New Voices Pittsburgh.

Please join us as we head into a challenging year for reproductive rights.

Sign up for WLP’s Action Alerts here. Stay up to date on issues and policy by subscribing to our blog, following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

We are a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting equal rights for women and girls by making a one-time donation or scheduling a monthly contribution. Thank you.

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If You Don’t Support Women’s Rights in 2017, Who Will?

We have 22 days to prepare, and no time to mince words: The President-elect has promised to implement an ideologically driven, anti-evidence, misogynist agenda by attacking women’s access to healthcare and attempting to criminalize almost all abortion.

The Women's Law Project rallied with allies from Pennsylvania outside the Supreme Court during Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt arguments on March 2.

The Women’s Law Project rallied with allies from Pennsylvania outside the Supreme Court during Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt arguments on March 2.

These threats are based on a demonstratively false premise that criminalizing abortion “ends abortion,” when in fact, research and data show us that criminalizing abortion doesn’t affect the abortion rate. Criminalizing abortion does however increase the rate of preventable injury and maternal mortality, with the consequences disproportionately suffered by low-income women—the very same women most at risk for losing access to birth control if the President-elect successfully follows through on threats to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile, the new composition of the Pennsylvania Legislature means that we cannot count on our state lawmakers to protect Pennsylvania women and families.

Your donation to the Women’s Law Project is tax-deductible

To be sure, we have pro-choice, pro-evidence champions for women’s health in the state Legislature, and we will do everything in our power to preserve and protect the rights we have already have while forging ahead closer to legal equality for women, despite the opposition.

As founding members of the Pennsylvania Campaign for Women’s Health, we will continue to call for evidence-based health policies and regulations, and fight against government interference into the doctor-patient relationship, and for economic policies that support real family values.

We will continue to provide expert legal counsel to abortion providers in Pennsylvania in order to keep their doors open for the women and families that rely on them, as we have since the 1970s.

As a non-profit organization and the only public interest legal organization in Pennsylvania devoted to protecting and advancing the rights of women, we can’t do this work without your help.

Please consider making a one-time donation, or better yet, become a sustaining supporter of the Women’s Law Project.

If you have donated before, we thank you. Here are just a few highlights of the work we were able to accomplish this year thanks to your support:

 

U.S. Supreme Court Victory

Texas officials peddled a false narrative about a Pennsylvania tragedy in order to justify passing abortion restrictions that endangered the lives of women in Texas, so it was crucial for the U.S. Supreme Court Justices to hear directly from Pennsylvania abortion providers as they considered the constitutionality of said laws in the landmark reproductive rights case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. We worked with ten Pennsylvania-based abortion providers and filed an influential amicus curiae brief on their behalf, directly contradicting claims of Texas officials. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg cited our brief in her powerful concurrence that affirmed the biggest reproductive rights victory at the Supreme Court of the United States in decades.

Defending Abortion Providers & Patients amid Rising Harassment & Violence

In the interest of protecting both abortion patients and providers in the wake of the murder of three people at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado and a documented rise in targeted harassment of abortion providers, we continue to help defend “buffer zones” in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, which we believe are the only two statutory buffer zones currently in place across the country. We also assisted in drafting state legislation to protect abortion providers and patients from harassment and violence across Pennsylvania.

Challenging Gender Discrimination in Sports

We challenged gender discrimination in college sports. WLP staff spoke out about “ghost athletes” and other creative ways school administrators sometimes attempt to deceitfully appear to comply with Title IX.

 We Helped Beat Back a Dangerous Abortion Ban

In fierce alliance with allies across the state, we helped beat back a fast-tracked abortion ban that represented a dangerous and unconstitutional government interference into the doctor-patient relationship, and would have forced doctors to violate the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. House Bill 1948 was a double abortion ban that would have criminalized all abortion in Pennsylvania after 19 weeks and punished doctors for using D&E, dilation and evacuation, a common and safe abortion method. (Prime sponsor Rep. Kathy Rapp has already indicated she will re-introduce a version of this abortion ban in 2017.)

 Improving Police Response to Sexual Assault

WLP’s ground-breaking work in Philadelphia on improving sexual assault investigations by police was presented at a roundtable on gender bias in policing sponsored by the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, and at a national conference on promising practices presented by the Police Executive Research Forum.  WLP also served as a consultant to the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights in its investigation of police practice in Baltimore.

Exploring Equal Pay Solutions for Black Women

In August, the Women’s Law Project co-hosted a roundtable on the subject of equal pay for Black women at City Hall in Philadelphia with Representative Donna Bullock, Representative Brian Sims, and community stakeholders. The Women’s Law Project represents Pennsylvania in the national Equal Pay Today! Campaign, which seeks to close the gender pay gaps by addressing pay discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, wage theft, minimum wage, and occupational segregation.

Equal Pay Legislation Passed in Philadelphia

The Women’s Law Project submitted written testimony and testified in person in support of legislation prohibiting Philadelphia-based employers from asking applicants about prior history during job interviews. By removing prior wages from the conversation, this bill enables women to be paid based on objective criteria, like education and experience, and not be penalized by lower earnings in a previous job. The bill passed unanimously.

 

In a recent article in The Guardian about a post-election surge in donations to national social justice organizations, WLP Executive Director Carol Tracy urged people who care about equality to also support local and state organizations.

“State-based organizations are where all the action is,” said Tracy. “Everything is local in the end, and if it’s not working at that level then this election result is what we end up with.”

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

Sign up for WLP’s Action Alerts here. Stay up to date on issues and policy by subscribing to our blog, following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook

 

Posted in 2016 | 1 Comment

What You Need to Know About the “Women’s March on Philadelphia” January 21

 

womens-march-philadelphia

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us–women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.  – “What We Stand For,” Women’s March on Philadelphia

 

On January 21, as many as 20,000 people are expected to attend the Women’s March on Philadelphia as part of a “sister march” to the Women’s March on Washington taking place the same day in Washington, DC.

January 21 is, of course, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

What’s incredible about these events, and the sister marches scheduled to take place all over the world, is that they are truly grassroots endeavors. People are simply fed up, and eager to do something about the assault on our collective dignity and freedom.

It’s an amazing moment. For the last several years, our opponents have doubled down on efforts to chisel away at reproductive rights by targeting low-income women’s access to reproductive healthcare; they’ve stirred up a backlash in response to the public demands of rape survivors demanding justice on college campuses and beyond; and in state legislatures across the country, they’ve refused to take basic steps toward workplace equality while hypocritically preaching the gospel of personal responsibility. And now this.

Women and allies are taking it to the streets (again).

As more information become available about these marches, we will do our best to keep you informed. To that end, we recently spoke with Rachael Beyer, one of the organizers of the Women’s March on Philadelphia, about what to expect in Philadelphia on January 21.

WLP: The Women’s March in Washington is happening the same day as the Women’s March on Philadelphia. What’s the relationship between these events?

Beyer: Our event here in Philadelphia is a “sister march,” and there are sister marches taking place that day all across the United States as well as around the world, and we’re connected to all of those. One of our organizers is in touch with the other march organizers; they’re having weekly meetings, and they’re talking to each other about common problems and goals. The idea of the sister marches is for people who are unable to get to DC. We’re not trying to keep people from DC, but for women and allies who are unable to get to DC for whatever reason, they have the option to march in Philly.

WLP: How did this all connected? Did national organizers reach out to start a march here in Philadelphia?

Beyer: It was the reverse, actually. I’m not one of the original organizers, but it started with four women in Philly saying, ‘why don’t we do something here?’ What they decided to do was form an organization called “Philly Women Rally.” The idea was that the march could be a starting point, rather than the ending point, of a new organizing body in the area.

WLP: What does the local organizational structure look like?

Beyer: At this point there are six main organizers, and we’ve got subcommittees on all the different things that need to be done for the march, and all the subcommittees have three to six people, and we’re in the process of forming those. We had a whole bunch of volunteers come forward, we’re in the process of developing a code of conduct for volunteers, forming committees and getting everything going.

WLP: Are you still seeking volunteers?

Beyer: We are definitely still looking for volunteers! There’s a volunteer form people can fill out on our website and Facebook page. We’re looking for people who speak different languages, fundraising, community outreach, people who are willing to be sign holders… we’re looking for people to do things for the day of the march, and for people to do things ahead of time as well.

WLP: Okay, so what’s the vision? Can you walk me through what January 21 will look like in Philadelphia?

Beyer: We’re still getting the time set, but we have the location set. We’ll start the march at Logan Square, then go down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum, where we’ll have a space set up. Once we get to the rally point, we’ll go from being a march to being a rally, and there will be all sorts of performers. We’re still getting the performers lined up, but we’ll present a number of poets/spoken word artists, singers, and speakers.

At the rally point, in addition to speakers and singers and artists, we’ll host an informational village. The informational village is being organized so community organizations can set up a table and share information, and people can learn more about how to get involved or donate to local groups. A lot of the people coming to Philly are coming from Altoona, Lancaster, Wilkes-Barre–they’re coming in from areas all over Pennsylvania and we’d really love for them to take back what’s going on in Philly. And for the people who live in Philly, hopefully they can learn about great organizations. So we’re looking for that kind of feedback loop.

WLP: Is the Women’s March on Philadelphia is the only one in Pennsylvania?

Beyer: Yes. We are the only in Pennsylvania, so we’ve been getting a lot of response from people in New Jersey and Delaware. I’m the point person for transportation, and we’ve gathered information from people coming in from out of the area. We’ve been working with Septa as part of getting the city permits, and once we have good information from Septa, we’ll post it.

Q: There was a lot of back-and-forth reports regarding permits for the Women’s March on Washington. What’s the status for the Women’s March on Philadelphia?

Beyer: As of last week, the city gave us permission to go ahead and do the press release. They’ve given us permission to do the march. Having the permit in hand hasn’t happened yet because of paperwork, but everything is a go. The city has to coordinate with the police and the Department of Homeland Security. Security concerns are definitely being addressed to ensure it’s a safe environment for people to bring their kids.

WLP: Is this a protest against Trump, a rally for women’s rights, or both?

Beyer: The main goal is not a protest. The idea is not taking a political side, not supporting Trump or Clinton or Bernie Sanders or whoever. The idea of this is to put forward women’s rights, and use this moment of unity and say, ‘We’re here together, we believe women, immigrants, LBGTQ, people who have disability issues, women of color, all these women can come together and say, ‘Women have the right to have equal rights.’ It’s a human rights issue. We want it to be positive and uplifting, which we is why we want it to have the educational component.

Stay up to date on the Women’s March on Philadelphia here, and on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP here. You can donate to the Women’s March on Philadelphia here.

Sign up for WLP’s Action Alerts here. Stay up to date on issues and policy by subscribing to our blog, following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

We are a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting equal rights for women and girls by making a one-time donation or scheduling a monthly contribution. Thank you.

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Victory: Philadelphia Passes Equal Pay Legislation

Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed equal pay legislation that prohibits employers from asking applicants’ for their wages history, a best-practice formally recommended by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an “important step” to ensuring equal pay for equal work.

yes-check

Mayor Jim Kenney has indicated that he will sign the bill into law.

The Women’s Law Project and Pathways PA, members of the Pennsylvania Campaign for Women’s Health, testified in support of the bill, which was sponsored by Councilmembers Bill Greenlee and Blondell Reynolds Brown.

What does this legislation do?

Basing salary offers on a prior wage–rather than the job’s responsibilities and the applicants’ qualifications—is one way pay discrimination is perpetuated throughout a woman’s working life. Typically, the gender wage gap is present early in a woman’s career, then widens throughout her life.

By removing prior wages from the conversation, this bill enables women to be paid based on objective criteria, like education and experience, and not be penalized by lower earnings in a previous job.

Addressing Pay Discrimination across Pennsylvania

Earlier this year, Rep. Donna Bullock and Rep. Maria Donatucci, members of the Women’s Health Caucus of the Pennsylvania Legislature, introduced House Bill 2356, legislation that would extend similar protections to women throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mothers are primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of Pennsylvania households, and yet the state Legislature has so far refused to fix the state’s broken equal pay lawraise the minimum wage beyond the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour, ensure basic workplace protections for pregnant or breastfeeding workers, or even extend the state’s sexual harassment protections to all female employees.

Without corrective policy intervention, Pennsylvania women are not on track to earn equal pay until 2072. The Center for American Progress gave Pennsylvania a D+ ranking for economic security, and the number of children living in poverty is on the rise.

We thank Pathways PA and everyone else who took action on this bill, Councilmembers Greenlee and Reynolds Brown for their leadership on the issue, and City Council for voting this bill into law.

We will continue to advocate for similar protections that will apply to women throughout the Commonwealth. Stay tuned.

Sign up for WLP’s Action Alerts here. Stay up to date on issues and policy by subscribing to our blog, following us on twitter and liking us on Facebook

The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

We are a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting equal rights for women and girls by making a one-time donation or scheduling a monthly contribution. Thank you.

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