Monday, September 19, 2011

We've Had Enough! Rally for Women's Lives on September 27

In the first six months of 2011, Pennsylvania lawmakers spent 30% of their days at the Capitol working to restrict access to safe, legal abortion.

Following the lead of Kansas — the most anti-choice state in the nation — Pennsylvania lawmakers chose to make the very first vote of the session about an unnecessary, dangerous Senate abortion bill. As House members prepared to depart for their summer vacations at the end of June, a bill aimed at closing health centers was poised for a vote up until the very last minute. When they return in September (on September 27), you can bet they’ll be right at it again.

Two bills, in particular, threaten a woman's right to choose to have an abortion - one under the guise of patient safety and the other is a blatant attempt to chip away at a well-established legal right.

Senate Bill 732 (SB 732)

SB 732 is a TRAP (Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers) law that would force free-standing abortion providers to be regulated as Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (ASF) which require burdensome and unnecessary structural and staffing changes.
  • SB 732 could cause a public health crisis by making abortion care in Pennsylvania inaccessible;
  • ASF regulations could cause the cost of an abortion to rise significantly and could force providers to close their door.  There are 22 stand-alone clinics in Pennsylvania; all of these clinics currently do not meet the onerous regulations included in this legislation; and
  • Women need safe, reputable providers to trust when seeking an abortion.
Senate Bill 3 (SB 3)

SB 3 would ban insurance companies participating in the yet-to-be established state health insurance exchange from offering abortion coverage.
  • Currently, an estimated 80% of insurance plans provide abortion coverage. If SB3 passes, many women will lose the coverage they currently have; and
  • Without coverage for abortion services, women will be forced to seek care from non-reputable providers.
Don’t miss this important rally to help protect women’s reproductive lives.  The rally is scheduled from 11:30 am to 1 pm on Tuesday, September 27 in the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg; lobbying your legislators to oppose these bills will occur both before and after the rally. The keynote speaker at the rally, FYI will be Ellie Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, and former President of both National NOW and Pennsylvania NOW.  Details and sign-up (for both lunch and buses) are on the website at (information) and (registration page).  

(Note, due to security checks at the Capitol, you might want to arrive by 11 am to get through the metal detectors before the rally starts).

There are buses coming from Allentown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Plymouth Meeting that you can sign up for at   You can also reserve lunch on this page. Information on bus departure and return times as well as locations is available at

If you are interested in taking the van from the State College area, please contact Joanne Tosti-Vasey, President of Pennsylvania NOW directly at or at 814-280-8571 to reserve a free seat.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pennsylvania NOW Convention just 3 Weeks Away with TWO Featured Speakers: Terry O'Neill and Sioban "Sam" Bennett

The Pennsylvania NOW Convention “United We Rise” is just three weeks away.  It will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at Crowne Plaza‐Bucks County 4700 Street Rd Trevose, PA 19053.
PA NOW 2011 Convention Invitation BIG NEWS!  We now have confirmed two GREAT featured speakers! Our Featured Speakers will be Terry O’Neill, National NOW President and Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, President and CEO Women's Campaign Forum & 2008 PA Congressional candidate.

Sam will be our featured speaker at the PAC luncheon that starts at 11:35 am.  Siobhan "Sam" Bennett, President/CEO has served as the President and CEO of the Women’s Campaign Fund (WCF) and its affiliated programs The She Should Run Foundation and WCF PAC since March 2009. Under Sam’s leadership, WCF’s combined budget has more than doubled and the organization’s programmatic reach has expanded to every state in the country and been featured in national syndications, including USA Today and over 200 AP newspapers. Sam has lent her unique perspective as a candidate at the local and federal levels to broaden WCF’s impact on women leaders at all levels of government who support reproductive choices and options, and women who may run for office in the future. Cost for the luncheon is a minimum of $50/person.

Terry will be our featured speaker during the afternoon plenary.  Terry O'Neill, President, National Organization for Women is a feminist attorney, former law professor, and an activist for social justice. O'Neill oversees NOW's multi-issue agenda, which includes: advancing reproductive freedom, promoting diversity and ending racism, stopping violence against women, winning lesbian rights, ensuring economic justice, ending sex discrimination and achieving constitutional equality for women.

We also have a great line-up of workshops that include the following topics:
  • Voting Rights, Removing Barriers to Voting, and the Elections process
  • Caregiving Care for Caregiver
  • Health Care issues including single-payer health care and reproductive health and justice
  • Collaborating with other feminist organizations
  • School Vouchers and Violence in Schools.
Please spread the word!

Cost for NOW members to attend the Convention is $50 with a sliding scale down to $0.00.  Non-members can register for the Convention for $70.00, which includes a one-year membership in NOW.

To register, you can download this registration form (see below). After completing the form, either mail or email the form with your check/credit card number to our Treasurer, Pamela Macklin.  If you want to pay online for the PAC and/or the luncheon you can do so by credit card at our main website.  Go to and click on the "Donate" button.  Then send the completed registration form to our treasurer at
Registration Form for PA NOW Convention and PAC Luncheon
Note two deadlines.  The guaranteed reduced rate for hotel reservations ends on September 15 ($99/night + tax); call the hotel at 12153642000  to make your reservation. People interested in the PAC luncheon need to reserve their seat at the luncheon by Friday, September 23.  You can either pre-register or register on-site for the convention plenaries, workshops, and cocktail party.  If you are putting your check in the mail for the PAC luncheon, please email our Treasuer at and let her know that you put the check in the mail to ensure she adds your name to the PAC luncheon.

And here are the directions to the hotel.
Direction Card Crowne Plaza


Join us at Pennsylvania NOW’s 40th anniversary convention ON OCTOBER 1 and Please spread the word!

Thank you and see you on October 1.