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South Hills NOW Newsletter, March 2003

  11- -special election to replace Tim Murphy as Senator in the PA 37th district; VOTE!
  15- -PA NOW State Board meeting, Breezewood Ramada Inn, 10:00am - 4:00pm
  20- -South Hills NOW chapter monthly meeting "The Media: Affecting Women's Self-Esteem & Health."

  8- -Rally to protest Bush economic plan, state capitol plaza, Harrisburg, noon
  17- -South Hills NOW chapter monthly meeting

  11- -Mother's Day & Race for the Cure
  15- -South Hills NOW chapter monthly meeting
  21- -The 21st annual YWCA Tribute to Women Celebration, Pittsburgh Convention Center, noon-1:30pm

Plan to Come: March Chapter Meeting
   March 20 (the 3rd Thursday in March) our topic will be "The Media: Affecting Women's Self-Esteem & Health." Come find out why what you read & watch may be what ails you!

Stop Bad Judges from Being Rolled Through Senate
   In a disturbing move, Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and the Senate Leadership have continued to rush through nominees without giving senators adequate time to examine a nominee's record. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved (11-8) sending the nomination of Jeffrey Sutton to the full Senate. Sutton's interpretation of the law and current legal precedent suggests that he may find it difficult to enforce critical constitutional and statutory rights in the areas of civil rights and women's rights, especially in the area of reproductive choice. Further, we are troubled by his views on Congress' authority to pass laws protecting individual and other rights, and how he would seek to implement those views if confirmed. In fact, he has personally argued key U.S. Supreme Court cases that have impeded Congress' ability to protect Americans' rights against discrimination and injury based on disability, race, age, and religion. For example, Sutton told the Supreme Court in one case that the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was "not needed." Also, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Hatch has announced that he will give another hearing to Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen on Thursday, March 13. As you know, NOW opposed Owen for her extremely conservative judicial activist record in areas such as reproductive rights, employment discrimination, and the rights of plaintiffs. In addition to President Bush re-nominating individuals that have been previously rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee, NOW is also troubled by the timing and quick speed with which Hatch wants to proceed with these judicial nominees.

Yet Another Bad Judge: Stop Miguel Estrada
   Please phone Specter (412-644-3400 or 1-202-224-4254) & Santorum (412-562-0533 or 1-202-224-6324) or fax Specter (412-644-4871 or 1-202-228-1229) & Santorum (412-562-4313 or 1-202-228-0604) or go to their Web pages: and & send them email, but tell them you want them to vote NO on confirmation of Miguel Estrada for the Wash. DC Court of Appeals, the second most important court in the nation. He is so reactionary even Hispanic groups are opposing him. He insulted the US Senate Judiciary Committee by refusing to answer any question dealing with his opinions on issues, even "Can you name ONE Supreme Court ruling in the last 50 years you disagree with?" but was passed to the full Senate by a 10-9 straight party-line vote. Ask your Senators to vote NO on Estrada & to support a filibuster if necessary. Go to the Web site to learn more & to take action.
Title IX Still Being Attacked - Support Saving Bill
   Concluding a six-month "study" of Title IX , the Secretary of Education's so-called Opportunity in Athletics Commission adopted more than two dozen policy changes that will dramatically weaken Title IX's goal of achieving equality in athletic programs in educational institutions. Read further details about this at On Tuesday March 11, Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Nancy Johnson (R-CT) introduced the bipartisan House Resolution (H Res 137) which supports the current Title IX enforcement mechanisms and urges President Bush not to make any changes to Title IX. The Resolution highlights the problematic recommendations included in the Commission's final report and questions which recommendations the Secretary considers to be unanimous. Some of the language that appears in the final report does not reflect what was agreed upon at the meetings. Further, there was no opportunity for the Commissioners to review the final language before the report was released. One of the so-called "consensus" recommendations from the Commission, which the Minority Report objected to, allows the Secretary to come up with new ways to interpret and enforce Title IX that are not described in the report and were not considered by the Commission. This blank check means the Secretary could make any changes, no matter how devastating, and claim they were pursuant to the Commission's recommendations. Further, as pointed out in the Minority Report, several of the so-called "consensus" recommendations are unclearly worded and could be interpreted in ways that undercut Title IX protections including participation opportunities and scholarship dollars for women and girls. This resolution also states that Congress will take legislative action if changes are made to the Title IX law. Read more at &

Oppose HR4 Welfare "Reform"
   Tell your Senators to oppose this hasty and punitive welfare bill unless there are hearings and discussions that reflect the new federal budget shortfalls, the increased unemployment rate and the fiscal crisis faced by the states. HR4 passed the House 230-192 on 2/13. Go to for further information & to take action. In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA - PL 104-93) was enacted, dramatically altering the way the federal government provides financial assistance to needy families. Although it was scheduled for reauthorization in the 107th Congress, the bill - which failed to contain sufficient provisions for education and job training -- passed the House and was stalled in the Senate. The President's priorities for welfare have not changed, and House Republicans introduced a bill which reflects those priorities (H.R. 4).

Stand Up for Freedom
   Because freedom cannot protect itself, the ACLU will hold its 2003 inaugural membership conference June 11-15 in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Besides speakers and workshops, a lobby day in Congress & a reception with US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be features. Go to the ACLU Web site & click on "events", email to or mail to ACLU Membership Conference 125 Broad St. 18th fl, New York, NY 10004 for further information.

YWCA Tribute to Women
   The 21st annual Tribute to Women by the Pittsburgh YWCA will be held noon-1:30pm at the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center Wednesday May 21, 2003. Forms to nominate women for awards are available at or 412-255-1257.

Bush 04 Budget Zeros Educational Equity
   Bush's proposed 2004 budget increases all education program funding less than 0.1% & zeroes out the $2,975,000 in the 03 budget for the Women's Educational Equity Act funding. Further it provides $75,000,000 to fund federal school voucher programs. Please lobby your US Reps to oppose any & all school voucher initiatives & to restore the WEEA funding!

Bush Budget Moves $ from Good to Bad Programs
   The proposed 2004 budget cuts UN Population Fund funding from $35.000,000 to $25,000,000, levels US Agency for International Development international family planning funding at $425,000,000 but raises abstinence-only sex-education funding (from $40M in 02 & $55Min 03) to $73,000,000. Bush is expected to withhold the UN funding, as he did in 02 & 03. Please lobby your US Reps to support adequate funding for proven international family planning programs & to fund only comprehensive sex-education programs rather than abstinence-only ones.

Stop "Partial-Birth Abortion" Ban Bill
   Steve Chabot (R-OH) reintroduced 2/13 the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003" (HR760/S3) to ban "partial-birth abortions." As you probably already know, "partial-birth abortion" is not a medical term & has no precise meaning, so it should be no surprise that this bill would really ban numerous safe & currently legal abortion procedures besides adding other impediments to obtaining abortions. This bill is being debated in the Senate right now, so please call fax or email Specter & Santorum ASAP & ask them to vote NO on S3.

Carol Moseley-Braun to Run for President
   Former US Senator from IL Carol Moseley-Braun has announced that she will explore the possibilities of being a candidate for US President in 2004. "Feminists are delighted that Carol Moseley-Braun is exploring a presidential run in 2004," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "Moseley-Braun is a long-time women's rights supporter with a record to back up her rhetoric."

Mother's Day Race for the Cure
   Sunday May 11th there will be a Race for the Cure in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, to raise money for research on breast cancer. There will be both a run and a walk component. If you would like to participate in the walk, please call Donna at 412-531-9897 re walking together in this event.

South Hills NOW Newsletter is compiled and distributed by Gerald Blum, and Carl Howe, Chapter co-President & Newsletter Editor