Thursday, June 18, 2015

2015 National NOW Conference

The 2015 National NOW Conference will be held from June 19-21 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Hyatt Regency. This is an opportunity to gather and tackle the critical issues on NOW’s agenda and shape the future of women’s rights. Additionally, this year’s conference will give NOW activists the opportunity to address our bylaws and organizational structure.

Check out the conference agenda HERE!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Support Medicaid Expansion -- Make Your Voice Heard!

Support ‪#‎MedicaidExpansion!

Wednesday, April 29, the House Health and Welfare committee will hear three instruments on Medicaid Expansion. Support them all!
‪#‎HCR3‪#‎HB517 (Constitutional Amendment) EDWARDS

Email and call this committee:
say you support providing healthcare for EVERYONE and this is a way to relieve the BUDGET crisis we are facing. (Use either switchboard number 225-342-6945 or the office number below)

Scott M. Simon,
(985) 893-6246

Frank A. Hoffmann,
(318) 362-4130

John F. "Andy" Anders,
(318) 336-5865

Regina Barrow,
(225) 359-9400

Richard T. Burford,
(318) 925-9588

Kenny R. Cox,
(855) 844-8583

A B Franklin,
(337) 491-2320

Lance Harris,
(318) 767-6095

Kenneth E. Havard,
(225) 634-7470

Bob Hensgens,
(337) 893-5035

Dorothy Sue Hill,
(800) 259-2118

Katrina R. Jackson,
(318) 362-5123

H. Bernard LeBas,
(337) 363-0152

John C. "Jay" Morris,
(318) 362-4270

J. Rogers Pope,
(225) 667-3588

Julie Stokes,
(504) 468-8603

Lenar L. Whitney,
(985) 858-2970

Patrick Williams,
(318) 676-5990

Thomas P. Willmott,
(504) 465-3479

Chuck Kleckley,
(337) 475-3016

Walt Leger, III,
(504) 556-9970

Monday, September 29, 2014

NOW Leaders React to Rape Victims Being Charged for Medical Examinations


Shocked and outraged was the reaction of Charlotte Klasson, President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), when she learned that victims of rape were being charged exorbitant bills for forensic medical examinations.

 "This is a sort of political extortion to discourage the pursuit of prosecution of crimes of sexual assault," said Klasson.

 The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) reported on Sunday, September 28, that hospitals are now billing rape victims who undergo forensic examinations, sometimes in excess of $2,000, for the exams and related treatment. It was explained that at Interim LSU, the costs of these exams had historically been absorbed by the hospital, but it began billing the victims after the state turned control of the hospital over to a private entity, Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, last year. And, while victims may apply for some reimbursement from the Crime Victims’ Reparations Fund, they are required to report the attack to law enforcement. Because of the nature of a sexual assault, many victims are hesitant to initiate involvement in the criminal justice system where many aspects of the prosecution become public record.

According to Klasson, the Department of Health and Hospital failed to respond proactively by addressing this issue when it initially became a problem last year before the 2014 Legislative Session, but allegedly promised to work on legislative solutions in the future. However, the State Legislature won’t convene again until April, 2015. In the meantime, unless DHH takes some administrative action, this problem for rape victims will persist.

"The State knew or should have known that this was a major policy change when it was adopted over a year ago, and took no action to address the interests of rape victims, most of whom are women. If DHH had wanted to deliberately develop a system to punish women crime victims, they couldn't have thought of a more effective way. This is yet another assault on women’s access to health services, typical of this Administration, in the war on women," Klasson said.

"And shame on NOPD and the District Attorney’s Office, those public offices with primary responsibility for the prosecution of crimes, for not taking action to correct this abusive treatment of crime victims," Klasson added.

Fortunately, Klasson noted, we have two elected officials who are sensitive to and supportive of the safety and health needs of women. Sen. J.P. Morrell and Rep. Helena Moreno have committed to seek legislative solutions.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Religious Freedom to Discriminate?

Yesterday, Senate Bill 164, which would have updated existing non-discrimination laws to include sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression, was defeated in the Senate Judiciary A Committee on a 4-to-1 vote.

The sole committee vote to pass the bill was the bill's sponsor, Louisiana State Senator Ed Murray of New Orleans.

Senator Martiny (R) of Metairie asserted that it is the fault of the victim if she is denied service because of her sexual orientation or gender identity, while Senator Claitor (R) of Baton Rouge expressed his concern that the bill would violate the "religious freedom" of business owners to discriminate.

We thank Sen. Murray for his leadership in advocating for passage, but we are disappointed that partisan politics and willful ignorance defeated an effort to protect Louisiana's citizens from discrimination.

We are called to protect all people who are targets of discrimination, and our elected leaders need to recognize the important economic and social contributions of all our residents, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We are grateful for the efforts of Senator Ed Murray who pushed for the bill to be approved. Please click here to send him a thank you note for his efforts.

We believe that all citizens are entitled to equal rights and should be treated fairly and equally under the laws of our state. We will continue fighting for those rights at the State Capitol and in local city and parish governments across Louisiana.