At an audio news conference yesterday afternoon, a coalition of some 20 women’s organizations announced a new effort, HERvotes, to mobilize women voters in 2012 around preserving women’s Health and Economic Rights (HER rights). In recognition of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and the anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, the women’s groups have launched this effort with the release of a list of the top ten historic advances for women that are now at risk of being weakened, cut, or eliminated, including the Social Security Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Title X (the National Family Planning Program), and the Equal Pay Act.
Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal moderated the audio news conference and speakers included Joan Entmacher, Vice President of Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center, Dr. Avis Jones De-Weever, Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women, and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and Co-Founder of MomsRising.
Smeal stated, “Current attacks against Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and Title X are attacks against women, plain and simple. It’s unjust for leaders to prioritize Wall Street corporations over Main Street women and families.”
De-Weever remarked during the conference, “It could not be more clear, that access to healthcare for women is blatantly under attack in America, whether that attack comes in the form of the continuing all-out assault against Title X, which would eliminate reproductive health care and other preventive health care services to more than 5 million low income women across this country, or if that attack comes in the form of efforts to end Medicare as we know it.”
Entmacher stated, “Women have yet to achieve economic equality. That’s especially true for women of color, single mothers, and elderly women. But the long and continuing fight for women’s rights has produced real gains – and they’re now under attack.”
Rowe-Finkbeiner also added, “We will be urging women and mothers across the nation to vote…it’s time to stop attacks on women’s economic and health security.”