#GetOrganizedBK Leader Highlight: Alice E.

#GetOrganizedBK Leader Highlight: Alice E.

Alice (left) with Marjorie (right) at a Lunch at Cuomo's Rally

Every week, we'll be highlighting a #GetOrganizedBK leader to show you insight on the actions they're planning, the work they're doing, and more. These will be highlighted in our weekly #GetOrgBK newsletters. 

This week, we're highlighting Alice E. from our Women's Health and Reproductive Rights working group. 

What's your role within #GetOrganizedBK and why did you decide to join the movement?
I am one of the co-chairs of the WHARR Lobbying/Networking/Action group (our name has expanded as we evolved). 

I have Trump to thank for my involvement. I joined WHARR because after the election I realized that both Roe v. Wade and the ACA would soon be under attack, and I needed to stand up for the myriad of women's health issues, something I had taken for granted. Our group decided to focus on the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) because it is a New York State issue.

Besides awesome organizing, what else do you do? Job wise? Hobby wise? Life wise?
I am a recently retired federal employee, I was a program analyst for the Social Security Administration, principally involved with the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program. Like many retirees I worried about being productive in retirement, but along came Trump. When I am not lobbying I take 3 ballet classes weekly and enjoy my garden.

What's the premise around Lunch at Cuomo's? Can you give us some details about this action? 
Lunch at Cuomo's was the brainchild of one of our members, Victoria Priest. The question we initially asked ourselves is how to get Reproductive Health Act (RHA), which is stuck in the Sen

ate Health Committee (comprised of a majority of Republicans) to the floor for a vote.

One way we believe is by forcing the Governor to make this a priority and using his considerable influence to secure the 32 votes needed for passage. Our rallies serve to highlight Cuomo's importance, although we are working with our partners in other groups to target key Senators around the State who we believe can be persuaded to vote for RHA so our actions are assuredly not solely based on targeting Governor Cuomo.   

We began our weekly Wednesday noontime lunches at Cuomo's on March 8th, having had 10 so far, and will continue until the June recess (or passage whichever comes first). [Next Lunch at Cuomo's here.]

Can you tell us about the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) and why this is importat to women in New York?

RHA is a women's health issue. In 1970, New York State was a leader in women's reproductive health, having passed legislation which provides that a woman can have an abortion performed after 24 week...if her life is in danger. That is currently in the Penal Law. 

In 1973, Roe became law thus making New York law essentially unconstitional; it goes further than State law and should supersede New York law, but there are two wrinkles: 1) Roe could be overturned given the Supreme Court makeup in which case we revert to the 1970 more restrictive criminal law; and 2) despite Roe, many doctors in New York will not perform abortions because of fear of criminal prosecution under the 1970 law. 

NYCLU has documented this trend which began in the 1990's with stories of women forced to travel to other States for abortions after learning late in their pregnancies of serious illness and/or they were carrying non-viable fetuses.

RHA repeals the law that criminalizes abortion and moves it to the Public health Law.  It provides that an abortion can be performed by a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner (with experience) after 24 weeks if the woman't health or life is in danger or the fetus is not viable.

What's your favorite protest chant/sign?
What do we want? RHA.
When do we want it? NOW.

and

Hey, hey Governor Cuomo pass the RHA today!

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