Part II – 1980

1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 |1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966
1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 19701971 | 1972 | 1973
1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980
1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987
1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | Epilogue, 1993


A new community property law became law in Louisiana, depriving Louisiana husbands of their status as “head and master” of the household. (01/80)

A federal judge ruled in McRae v. Harris that imposing severe restrictions on Federal funding of medically necessary abortions was unconstitutional. Judge John F. Dooling, Jr. of the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, NY, struck down the Hyde Amendment, which had cut off most federal funding of abortions. (01/15/80) [See Supreme Court reversal (06) page 94]

For the first time the nation’s federal courts were ordered to provide equal job opportunities to racial minorities and women. The U.S. Judicial Conference, a self-governing agency of the federal court system, issued the order along with its opinion that it was “inappropriate” for any judge to belong to an organization that “practices invidious discrimination.” (02/80)

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of NOW to urge others to boycott states which had failed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The decision, which came two years and one month after NOW was first sued by the state of Missouri and its Attorney John Ashcroft, affirmed the February 28, 1979, ruling of Judge Elmo C. Hunter that NOW’s activities were a political expression protected by the First Amendment. (03/28/80)

Over 90,000 supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment converged on Chicago’s Grant Park for what was called the largest march in Chicago’s history and the largest gathering in support of the ERA ever in the state of Illinois. Marchers came from every state of the union and represented over 300 organizations and delegations. The massive event was conceived and coordinated by NOW. Mayor Jane Byrne , the first woman mayor of Chicago, addressed the crowd, together with Jessie Jackson, Ellie Smeal, TV celebrity Phil Donahue, and Marlo Thomas. See below. (05/10/80)

Abortion foes were dealt a stunning defeat in the Toledo, Ohio, primary. The election, which saw the defeat of an “Akron style” anti-abortion ordinance by a 2-to-1 margin, was the culmination of more than a year’s work by NOW and other local activists for abortion rights. (06/03/80)

At the 1980 Democratic Convention, despite heavy Carter opposition and without official Ted Kennedy support, Ellie Smeal led a NOW delegation and like-minded feminist delegates in a fight to pass the strongest ERA and reproductive rights planks in political history. Women, for the first time at any party convention, were 50% (49.23% to be exact) of the voting delegates. And the 50-50 representation made a difference on women’s issues. When it came to women’s rights, Carter and Kennedy delegates alike voted for the feminist positions, denying Democratic National Committee resources to candidates opposed to the ERA and supporting Medicaid funding of abortions for poor women. (08/11-14/80)

In the spirit of total mobilization, the NOW National Conference, held in San Antonio, voted overwhelmingly (by a margin of 2 to 1) to extend the terms of the officers and board members one year so that the internal elections would not interrupt the momentum of the final days of the ERA ratification drive. (10/03-05/80)

Ronald Reagan was elected President. However, for the first time since passage of the 19th Amendment, women voted differently than men in a Presidential election. And they did so mostly on the basis of women’s issues. According to all of the exit polls, women voted for Reagan significantly less than men did. The New York Times/CBS News Poll reported that 8% fewer women (46%) voted for Reagan than did men (54%). The December 1980 post-election issue of NOW Times, NOW’s national newspaper, carried the story under a banner headline: “Women Vote Differently Than Men . . . Feminist Bloc Emerges in 1980 Elections” by Eleanor Smeal. This was the first article to note , define and name the “Gender Gap.” (12/80)


Despite massive lobbying by NOW and other organizations in Sacramento, CA, AB-1, the proposed legislation that would have outlawed employment discrimination against gay men and lesbians, was kept from reaching the California Assembly floor. The bill was thus dead for the year. (01/14/80)

A bill to create a Women’s Rights Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY, was introduced in the U.S. Congress. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation backed passage of the bill, which was proposed following a study by the National Park Service. (02/05/80)

Terry Korn of Tucson (AZ) NOW was the 1979 winner of the Walkathon medallion award for the most money raised by an individual in last year’s Walkathons for ERA. Terry collected $1,410 in 144 separate pledges. The temperature on the day that Terry joined the approximately 100 walkers in Tucson was 102 degrees. (02/80)

London women gave notice to Parliament of their feelings on the debate raging in the House of Commons regarding propos-ed tightening of Britain’s 13-year-old liberal abortion laws. Thousands of women battled police, who had to call in reinforcements; parliamentary officials evicted a group of young women who held a banner reading: “Women will not obey your bill.” When evicted, the protesters continued to stand outside and chant: “Not the church, not the state, women must decide our fate.” (03/80)

Northern Virginia NOW celebrated its tenth anniversary and honored its founding mother, Flora Crater, by proclaiming her “First Feminist of Virginia.” Northern Virginia NOW members and its president, B. Ann Kleindienst, were joined by many friends-including many of “Crater’s Raiders” who helped successfully lobby Congress for passage of the ERA in 1972. (05/04/80)

The White House Conference on Families ended its three-day Eastern regional meeting by endorsing abortion rights (383-202), the ERA, non-discrimination against homosexuals (292-291), national health insurance, and a guaranteed annual income for poor families-at a minimum of about $13,000 a year for a family of four. (06/07/80)

The second White House Conference on Families, composed of delegates from 13 Midwest and Southern states, endorsed the ERA and narrowly defeated a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion from the moment of fertilization. The delegates also approved a definition of families which excluded homosexual relationships, and denounced “secular humanism.” (06/21/80)

Louisiana NOW announced the defeat of the abortion/divorce bill in the Louisiana legislature. The bill would have given automatic grounds for divorce to any man whose wife had an abortion. Even an abortion for health reasons would have found the wife at fault. Louisiana NOW fought hard to prevent passage of the bill. The State Senate passed it but, when it went to the House, Representatives Diana BaJoie, Mary Landrieu, and Margaret Lowenthall led the fight to defeat it. (09/80)


Thirty-three percent of all high school athletes were female – a 600% increase since the early 70’s, according to figures supplied by the Women’s Sports Foundation. The increase was the direct result of the feminist movement, and the increased funding was a result of the passage of Title IX, for which NOW fought. (1980)


In a precedent-setting decision, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission unanimously ruled that Iowa City discriminated against Firefighter Linda Eaton by attempting to prevent her from breast feeding her son at the fire station during her personal time. The Commission ordered the city to pay Eaton $26,442 in attorneys’ fees, $2,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress, and $145 back pay for days she was suspended for breast feeding. (03/20/80)

Nearly two months after the U.S. Civil Rights Commission found that Linda Eaton had been the victim of discrimination by the Iowa City Fire Department, Eaton resigned her post, citing physical and verbal harassment on the job and an incident in which a piece of her fire fighting equipment had been tampered with. The Commission’s finding, awarding $28,000 in damages, fees, and wages to Eaton, was still under appeal by the Iowa City Fire Department. With Eaton’s resignation, the department lost its only female fire fighter. (05/13/80)


Fifty-five women and men in Washington, D.C. participated in a silent protest of the Catholic Church’s refusal to admit women to the priesthood on the third anniversary of the Vatican declaration against the ordination of women. Participants included NOW President Eleanor Smeal, Treasurer Alice Chapman, former National Secretary Jean Conger, and former Virginia Assistant Coordinator Audrey Ghizzoni. Accusing the church of sexism, the protesters, wearing blue arm bands, stood in a “witness for justice” demonstration during a mass held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral. Similar demonstrations were conducted on the same day in Boston, Chicago, Hartford, CT; Providence, RI; New York City, and Albuquerque, NM. (01/27/80)

Houston, Bay Area, Huntsville, and Galveston (TX) NOW members and others demonstrated at the Texas State Conference for Youth and Single Adults of the Mormon Church, which was held at the University of Houston on March 1. The demonstration protested the all-male hierarchy of the Mormon Church, the nationwide campaign by the church to prevent ratification of the ERA, and the excommunication of Sonia Johnson. (03/01/80)

Seattle-King County (WA) NOW members began regular weekly demonstrations in support of the ERA at a newly built Mormon temple in Bellevue, WA. (05/80)

Chanting, singing and waving banners, about 25 people who supported ERA began demonstrating at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ just completed Seattle Temple. Two women chained themselves to the iron gates, which had been locked to keep non-Mormons from the grounds. (11/15/80)


“Three’s A Crowd,” a suggestive TV game show was picketed by NOW chapters and other groups across the country because it implied intimate relations between secretaries and their bosses. Its cancellation by both KNXT and KNBC in Los Angeles was hailed as a victory by Los Angeles Working Women and Los Angeles NOW. (01/15/80)

Television station KOVR in Sacramento, CA, announced that it was being bought by the Outlet Company. The San Joaquin (CA) NOW chapter used the transfer of license as an opportunity to negotiate with the prospective owners and to enhance the employment opportunities for women and local public affairs programming. (02/80)

NOW chapters in more than 30 cities around the country work-ed with local broadcasters and community leaders to promote the CBS movie “The $5.20 an Hour Dream.” Early estimates were that more than 25 million people watched the film. (02/80)

At a press conference confirming the “death” of Edith Bunker, Norman Lear, who originated the beloved character some 10 years ago on “All In The Family,” and Frances Lear, who had been campaigning for the liberation of the Edith Bunkers of the world since the early 60’s, announced the establishment of the Edith Bunker Memorial Fund for the ERA and Women’s Rights. The press conference took place in New York City. In Edith’s memory, Tandem Productions (the company owned by Lear and Bud Yorkin), donated $500,000 to establish the Fund as a project of the NOW LDEF to be used in pursuit of ratification of the ERA. The gift earmarked $40,000 for the NOW LDEF and $100,000 for the NWPC. (04/10/80)

A protest from members of Missouri NOW changed the ads, which ran in St. Joseph on the radio and on billboards, and introduced the First Western Bank’s new automated 24-hour teller machine as “Mary Anne.” It included slogans like, “What You Do With Mary Anne After Hours Is Your Business” and “Mary Anne Will Make Your Nights Nicer.” The bank was deluged with phone calls and letters and apologized for the ads’ offensiveness. (04/80)

Greater Champaign Area (IL) NOW produced its own television show entitled “Women Here and NOW,” which was aired twice a month over the public access channel of the local Cablevision. Each program examined a different concern of the women’s move-ment, such as: women’s music, violence against women, reproductive rights, and women’s legal rights. (05/80)

The Women’s Committee of the Directors Guild released statistics showing that of the 7,332 movies released by major American studios between 1949 and 1979, only 14 were directed by women. They also noted that of the 65,500 hours of prime-time TV drama since 1949, only 115 hours were directed by women, and 35 of those were directed by one woman- Ida Lupino. (06/20/80)

Lee Remick, Colleen Dewhurst and Patty Duke starred in The Women’s Room, an intense TV drama about women’s life choices based on the best-seller by Marilyn French. (09/14/80)

Ten Connecticut women became the first in the country awarded a license for a television station. (11/80)

Baton Rouge (LA) NOW was successful in having the NARAL documentary, “So Many Voices: A Look At Abortion In America,” shown on WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. The station had previously shown an anti-abortion program sponsored by the Catholic diocese and other church groups. When the chapter reminded them of their obligation to present balanced programming, the station donated the time for the NOW-sponsored film. (11/29/80)


NOW announced that it supported the inclusion of women in the proposed draft registration. “If there is to be registration,” said Eleanor Smeal, NOW President, “it must include women. Let’s face it–women are an established part of the modern military. We are a key part of the trained and trainable pool of young people required to operate today’s military, which is more in need of brains than brawn. . . . NOW is against the registration of both young men and young women because it is a response which stimulates an environment of preparation for war. But if there is a draft, it must include women.” (02/08/80)

Feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first female tenured professor at Columbia University School of Law and the former director of the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU, was nominated by President Carter for a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. (01/80)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that husbands or wives could, if they chose, testify against their spouses in Federal criminal trials. The decision overturned a 22- year old Supreme Court precedent that had in effect preserved for the spouse who was on trial a veto over the decision of the other spouse to offer incriminating testimony. The decision came in the case of Trammel vs. U.S., No. 78-5705. (02/27/80)

In International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers v. Westinghouse, a federal circuit court found a pattern of deliberate wage discrimination by Westinghouse. (1980)

Citing “participation in homosexual acts,” the U.S. Navy initiated dismissal action against eight female crew members of the U.S.S. Norton Sound docked in Long Beach, CA. California NOW’s Lesbian Rights Task Force Chair, Johnnie Phelps, protested what she termed the “harassment” of the Navy women. (05/15/80)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted NOW’s motion for a stay in the proceedings of the ERA Extension/Recision lawsuit and stopped the action in that case until it decided NOW’s appeal of Judge Marion J. Callister’s decision that NOW could not be a party in that suit. NOW had twice been denied a stay of proceedings by Judge Callister. (05/14/80)

In devastatingly cruel terms, a five-man majority of the U.S. Supreme Court denied indigent women the means to obtain abortions through their government-provided health care. In McRae v. Harris and Zabaraz v. Williams, the Court held that denial of Medicaid funds for medically necessary abortions by federal and state governments did not violate the Constitution. (06/80)

The Minnesota Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held an employer responsible for sexual harassment of female employees by male co-workers in the case of Continental Can v. Minnesota, the first case to focus on such harassment by co-workers. The court strongly affirmed the right of women workers everywhere to be free of sexual harassment in the workplace, whether committed by bosses, supervisors or co-workers. (06/06/80)

Almost one year after its first effort to participate in the ERA extension/recision lawsuit, NOW was granted the right to intervene and fully participate in the historic case. On August 15, 1980, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that NOW could intervene in the suit, thereby overturning the earlier decision of federal district court Judge Marion J. Callister to bar NOW’s participation in the case. (08/15/80)

An information clearinghouse, containing national data on Equal Rights Amendment litigation, was announced by Phyllis N. Segal, legal director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDEF). The ERA Impact Clearinghouse included comprehensive information about legal cases filed under state equal rights amendments. The information was compiled as part of the ERA Impact Project being carried out by the NOW LDEF and the Women’s Law Project of Pennsylvania. (09/30/80)

The U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal brought by the state of Missouri on the ERA Boycott. The court’s decision to let the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in NOW’s favor stand ended the two and one half year battle in the courts as to whether NOW’s actions in organizing and promoting the boycott of unratified states was a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. (10/06/80)


Colorado NOW sent a check for $25,902.77 for deposit to the National NOW-ERA Fund. It represented National’s share of their Walkathon receipts.(01/07/80)

The National ERA Outreach Campaign launched a special NOW ERA Campus Campaign project. ERA campus organizers and local activists began traveling to various colleges and universities around the country to organize campus Action Teams on the ERA. (01/80)

Missouri NOW rallied forces for hearings held on the Equal Rights Amendment in the Missouri Senate. Supporters came from all parts of the state to hear testimony from a wide range of ERA proponents including Margaret Bush Wilson, National Chairperson of the NAACP; Michael Mc Auliffe, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, MO; Charles Curry, business leader; Mary Ann Sedey, Missouri ERA Coalition; and Duke McVey, representing Labor. Thesupporters of ERA exceeded 1,000 and they outnumbered the opposition 4-to-1. The ERA was passed out of the Senate Committee 4-3 the next day. (01/15/80)

California NOW members “blitzed” the convention of the California Democratic State Central Committee, contributing to Senator Kennedy’s “straw poll” victory over President Carter and California Gov. Brown. National Board member Shelly Mandell of Los Angeles led the contingent. (01/18-20/80)

Although President Carter claimed to be a staunch supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, he made it clear that he did not support the economic boycott of unratified states. A two-week old Energy Department policy, initiated by Secretary John Sawhill, to hold department meetings and Events in ratified states when-ever possible was reversed. (02/13/80)

ERA ratification was defeated in the Virginia Senate when Senator John Chichester used a conflict of interest rule to abstain from voting. The vote was 20 for, 19 against. Constitutional amendments must pass by a majority of the 40 elected senators. Chichester admitted he was using the conflict of interest rule to keep the resolution from passing. Had the vote been 20 to 20, Charles S. Robb, acting as Lt. Governor, could have broken the tie. (02/12/80)

Fifty corporate leaders announced that they would actively participate in a national business council to work for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Organized by the League of Women Voters and actress-businesswoman Polly Bergen, the National Business Council for ERA was headed by co-chairs William Agee, Polly Bergen, and Coy Eklund. (02/12/80)

Mid-Suffolk (NY) NOW’s ERA Committee marked Valentine’s Day 1980 by selling 700 carnations to students and faculty on the campus of the local State University with the profits ear-marked for the ERA Ratification drive. ERA Committee chairperson Dee Quit reported that all purchasers expressed their strong support of ERA. An ongoing ERA fund raiser by this chapter was its “Raise Dough for the ERA” project. Bread made by chapter members was sold at monthly meetings and at local conferences. The ERA Committee’s major fundraiser was a dinner, co-sponsors of which included other NOW Chapters, Long Island labor unions and educational groups. Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) was the keynote speaker. (02/14/80)

Houston, Bay Area, Huntsville, and Galveston (TX) NOW members and others demonstrated at the Texas State Conference for Youth and Single Adults of the Mormon Church, which was held at the University of Houston on March 1. The demonstration protested the all-male hierarchy of the Mormon Church, the nationwide campaign by the church to prevent ratification of the ERA, and the excommunication of Sonia Johnson. (03/01/80)

A thousand Hispanic and non-Hispanic feminists gathered for the First National Hispanic Feminist Conference. The conference of Hispanic feminists was the brain child of Sylvia Gonzales, project director of the conference and co-chair of NOW’s Minority Women’s Committee. (03/28-31/80)

Hollywood celebrities, Southern California NOW activists, and ERA supporters gathered by the hundreds at the Los Angeles Century Plaza Hotel for the 1980 Women of Courage and Feminist Achievement Awards. The event, chaired by Los Angeles NOW Treasurer and Fundraising Chair Dorothy Jonas and emceed by actress Joan Hackett, was a sellout. It included the performance of an original script, “Women of Courage,” created for the event. (03/30/80)

After intense daily lobbying by thousands who went to Springfield to urge passage of the ERA, it was defeated by one vote. The ERA received 106 votes but the three-fifths majority required in Illinois needed 107 votes. (06/80)

For the ninth year in a row, the Equal Rights Amendment became a political football in the Illinois legislature when two previously committed pro-ERA Republicans voted “no,” making the total votes in favor 105. Unlike most states in which a majority rules, a total of 107 votes, or three-fifths of the Illinois House, were needed to pass federal Amendments. (06/18/80)

The Rules Committee of the Democratic Party, meeting at the Mayflower Hotel in Wash-ington, D.C., adopted two charter amendments proposing equal division between women and men in all national official Democratic Party bodies and state central committees. The amendments were presented for approval to the Democratic National Convention. NOW Vice President Jane Wells-Schooley led the NOW effort at the session while NOW organizer, Molly Yard, a member of the Rules Committee, was floor manager. (07/08-09/80)

In Detroit, 12,000 ERA supporters in a NOW-organized march shouted “Keep it in the platform . . . ERA.” The mile-long route, which wound past the conven-tion center and site of the Republican National Convention, was filled with marchers, dressed in the traditional suffrage white, who protested the removal of the ERA from the Republican platform. (07/14/80)

San Francisco (CA) NOW organized a picket and demonstration in front of the Pacific Stock Exchange on the anniversary of women’s suffrage. Six members chained themselves to pillars located in front of the exchange. Nancy Foster, the chapter’s administrative vice-president, maintained that “not one of the Fortune 500 corporations openly supports the Equal Rights Amendment.” (08/26/80)

On the 60th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, Nannie M. Johnson, 73, was among those protesting the removal of the ERA from the party’s platform at Republican National Committee Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (08/26/80)

Thousands of NOW members and supporters walked in the fourth annual National Walk for the ERA. The Walks were designed to raise funds for the ratification campaign and to show the widespread public support for the amendment. The success of the event was outstanding, raising over $110,000 for the ERA. (08/23-24/80)

Ronald Reagan suddenly reopened the Equal Rights Amendment controversy by pledging efforts to enforce existing laws against discrimination against women. If elected, the Republican Presidential candidate said, “I would appoint a liaison with the governors of the 50 states to see that the states eliminate laws that discriminate against women. At the same time, I would appoint someone to supervise the 19 laws passed during the past 20 years in the federal government to eliminate unfair discrimination, to see if they are being enforced and to see if there are additional laws we need.” But Reagan remained adamantly opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment, contending that the measure “will take out of the hands of elected representatives the problems of discrimination and put them in the hands of the courts. And who knows what decisions will be made there?” (09/23/80)

Minnesota NOW member and lesbian rights activist Karen Clark won a primary race for a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives from a south Minneapolis district. The race was for an open seat vacated by a woman who was running for the Minnesota Senate. It was a genuine victory for gay rights: Karen won by a 2-to-1 margin in spite of efforts toward a negative campaign because of her lifestyle and lesbian rights activism. (09/09/80)

Bay Area NOW and Houston (TX) NOW coordinated a “Family Day for the ERA” Rally on the steps of Houston’s City Hall. The purpose of the rally was to educate the public on candidates’ positions on the ERA, to emphasize that the ERA would strengthen family life and to demonstrate the importance of the homemaker’s contribution to the family. (11/02/80)

In a pilot project, the Los Angeles Chapter of NOW, working for only a few weekends and evenings in November and December before the holidays temporarily interrupted the campaign, collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition addressed to President Ronald Reagan in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. (12/80)

The Backlash

Right-to-Lifers victimized an innocent Rhode Island couple, Linda and Brian Grimes, whose only chance ever to have children was in out-of-uterus conception (the advance pioneered in England two years ago). Under pressure from Right-to-Lifers the Norfolk Clinic at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where Linda was undergoing tests, was forced to halt the program. (01/80)

Father William R. Callahan, founder of Priests for Equality, and a strong supporter of the ordination of women in the priesthood in the Roman Catholic church, was silenced and transferred by his Jesuit superior in Rome. (01/80)

About 45,000 largely Roman Catholic anti-abortionists rallied in Washington to protest the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973 with the so-called “March for Life,” organized by Nellie Gray. Parochial school children swelled the line of march as always, with the Knights of Columbus serving as parade marshals. (01/22/80)

An article by Phyllis Schlafly in the New Orleans Times-Picayune attacked the Domestic Violence Prevention and Services Act (S. 1843) for increasing the federal bureaucracy. The legislation provided $10 million in the federal budget for domestic violence service for 1981. A group calling themselves “The Right Women” were reported to have set up a telephone campaign urging the bill’s defeat. (02/11/80)

A group of fundamentalist ministers went to the White House with 70,000 signatures on petitions opposing extending the provisions of the Civil Rights Act to homosexuals. (03/21/80)

By a vote of 5,679 to 4,461, the American Psychiatric Association voted to rescind its ERA boycott policy on the pretense of avoiding involvement in political issues. (04/80)

High ranking officials of the Mormon church funneled thousands of dollars into the 1978 Florida elections in an effort to defeat pro-ERA legislators, a recent investigation by the Miami Herald alleged. The Herald claimed that Mormon officials directed funds to four candidates, financed a statewide advertising blitz, and paid for printing and distributing 425,000 leaflets. (04/80)

Friends for Life, a Chicago-based anti-abortion organization, reportedly fired its director and co-founder, Joseph Scheidler, for his “guerrilla tactics” against abortion. Scheidler claimed he resigned. He founded a new group called The Pro-Life Action League. (06/80)

Christian Voice, a new right-wing lobbying group based in Washington, D.C. rated members of the U.S. House and Senate on the “morality” of their votes and flunked 57 House members and 27 Senators. Their choices for “Moral Zeros,” as the group termed them, were fascinating: they included Baptist Minister, William Gray (D-PA), a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary; Presbyterian elder Senator John Glenn (R-OH); and several other mainstream members of Congress who also served their various religions in official positions. (07/80)

A directive issued by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops prohibited the perform-ance of tubal ligations in Catholic hospitals even in cases where the woman’s life was threatened were she to become pregnant. The procedure had been performed in some Catholic hospitals when a woman’s life was endangered. (07/80)

In a press conference, Richard Viguerie, direct mail wizard of the Right; Paul Weyrich of the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress; John Terry Dolan of the National Conser-vative Political Action Com-mittee (NCPAC); and Howard Phillips of the Conservative Caucus detailed their legisla-tive agenda for the next two years. They called for the defeat of SALT II, increased defense spending, massive tax cuts, a balanced budget, passage of the Family Protection Act, cuts in federal health and human services programs, and passage of the Human Life Amendment (HLA). (11/05/80)

A Gallup Poll conducted just after the November 1980 election showed that only 40% of Americans had ever heard of the Moral Majority, and only 26% felt they knew enough about the group to make an informed judgment about it. Of the 26% who knew enough about it to judge, half disapproved, and a little under a third approved. (1980)

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