Our Priorities

Reproductive Rights & Health

SCOTUS’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has set the clock back 50 years when they stripped women of their reproductive rights.This past January, in anticipation of Friday’s disastrous reversal of Roe, New Jersey passed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act (S49/A6260) to protect access to abortion. The right to abortion without any restrictions is now the law in New Jersey. In June we saw legislation passed to protect women and others who come from out-of-state to seek abortions and those who provide that care, from criminal prosecution.

NOW New Jersey was a leader in advocating for reproductive freedom and access and we will continue to be on the forefront. We need to ensure that access to medication abortion remains available and remove barriers such as in-person doctor visits for the abortion pill. We will push for a constitutional amendment protecting abortion on the ballot in November. We will double down on our efforts to elect pro-choice candidates and incumbents to Congress to keep control of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Menstrual Equity

Menstrual equity is a serious issue for marginalized populations. People living in poverty are most affected by lack of access to menstrual products. These individuals often cannot afford sufficient menstrual products and so disproportionately suffer the medical and psychological impact of reusing products, using products for longer than indicated, or not using any products at all. These individuals are also more likely to have to suffer the societal effects of lack of access including problems with attendance at work or school and the appearance of being unprofessional or unhygienic. Nobody in this country should have to miss school or work simply because they cannot afford menstrual products.

Senate bill S1221 and Assembly bill A1349 will provide access to free menstrual products to all menstruating individuals in all 6-12 New Jersey public schools. Click here for our bill fact sheet.

To join our coalition or learn more, visit www.equalityperiodnj.com.  

Sexual Assault on Campus

Approximately 25% of women and 6.8% of men experience sexual assault, harassment, stalking, or dating violence during their time at a college or university. These incidents are even higher for LGBTQIA+ and non-gender conforming students. Comprehensive campus sexual assault legislation that fills in the gaps left behind by Title IX will require requiring higher education institutions to adopt affirmative consent standards regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and provide greater protection to students who are victims/survivors of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.

Comprehensive Sex Education

We believe NJ’s young people deserve honest sex education. The new sex education standards that were employed in 2020 are evidence informed, rights-based and LGBTQ inclusive.  It scaffolds lesson plans so that students learn the age appropriate information they need as they grow. 40 years of public health research clearly shows the protective benefits of such an education. Click here for a column on the ongoing controversy. 

If you are going to testify at a Board of Education meeting, please email us at nownj.org@gmail.com for resources.`

Cyberflashing

Cyberflashing is a crime which involves the sending of obscene pictures to strangers online, through methods such as AirDropBluetooth and other online services. The prevalence of this practice is alarming. According to a 2016 survey, 49% of women in the United States have received at least one unsolicited photo of male sex organs. Research carried out by the dating app Bumble found that 48% of women aged 18 to 24 had received a non-consensual sexual photo in the last year alone, with 59% reporting they felt less trusting of others online afterwards, and one in four stating they feel violated. 

NOW, in partnership with Bumble Inc., is working to address cyberflashing legislation in state legislatures. Our recent Op-ed in Marie Claire discussing this critical work can be accessed here. 

Gender Neutral Ballots 

NOW New Jersey recognizes that representation matters and urges more women to run for office. At the same time, we remain cognizant of the inherent discrimination that still exists in our electoral process.

One such bias is gender conforming position titles on our ballots. After changing ballots in Union County with “Councilman,” on them, we are pursuing legislation to ensure statewide compliance. Bills S1201/A1674 have been introduced by NOW New Jersey for that purpose.  

COALITIONS

EQUALITY, PERIOD. NJ

A statewide coalition formed to advance Menstrual Equity in the state. Our mission is to remove Period Stigma, Period Poverty and barriers to Period Product access through policy change and advocacy.  

NEW JERSEY ALLIANCE FOR IMMIGRANT JUSTICE (NJAIJ)

A state-wide coalition that fights for policies that empower and protect immigrants, NJAIJ is a membership-based coalition of groups that span labor, faith, policy, community-based, and grassroots organizations. 

NEW JERSEY COALITION AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Its mission is to unite NJ communities to abolish human trafficking, a human rights injustice, is outraged and saddened at the killing of George Floyd, and so many others. We stand for human dignity, individual freedom, and justice for every man, woman, and child and for the social movements and institutions that preserve these human rights with peace and integrity.

TIME TO CARE

A diverse group of organizations that support initiatives that make sure working families have time to care. Balancing the demands of job and family is a tremendous challenge for working people today. Under the current rules it’s often insurmountable.