Author: catherine

~ In Memorium ~ Let’s Take a Page Out of Their Books

Two amazing Westchester women passed away in the past 6 months, Renata Schwebel and Marcy (Marcella) Kahn.

I want you to know their names because, like so many other women of their generation, they did not receive the recognition they deserved. Renata and Marcy  committed themselves unequivocally to education, the arts, politics and women’s reproductive rights – and they helped change the face of Westchester.

Marcy, as an active member of the Westchester League of Women Voters, pressed for reapportionment. They fought for the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1964 “one-person, one-vote ” decision, and won in 1969, when the state Court of Appeals upheld their governance plan. They moved the County from a government by a Board of Supervisors to one governed by a Board of Legislators.

Renata and Marcy did not have to be asked to take action; they did what was needed  because they were driven to act.

Both of these women also made significant annual donations to WCLA PAC because they knew the power of our Bright Yellow ProChoice Voting Guide and its impact at the voting booths. They knew that if you cannot control your own body, you have nothing.

While it is always a struggle, without their contributions this year, we will come up short.  We need your help and we need it now.

We have two asks of you:
1. Please  Donate to today.
2. And going forward, in honor of these two women, and all of those who fought for our rightsdon’t wait to be asked – ACT!

Below are links about Marcy Kahn and Renata Schwebel and the history of the districting of Westchester County.

Thank you for your generosity.

p.s. A special thanks to Jean Pollak who was President of the Westchester League of Women Voters at the time.
Marcy Kahn
Renata Schwebel
Westchester Districting

As We Move Forward, DEMAND Change!

by Catherine Lederer-Plaskett
President/Chair of the Board

The successful appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is more than disturbing.  Survivors from all over the country spoke out and millions called, protested, and marched. Chief Justice Roberts received numerous misconduct complaints against Kavanaugh from the DC Court of Appeals, which Roberts has refused to investigate. Kavanaugh lied under oath to the US Senate. The so-called FBI investigation refused to interview the many who offered credible information. And during his own testimony, Kavanaugh showed that he does not have the temperament for the job. But still, the Senate voted to confirm him.

This is not the first time this group of white old men rammed a candidate onto the Supreme Court, and unless we work smart it will not be the last.

  1. Susan Collins is proof of a Choice Matters’ mantra: If being pro-choice is not at the top of a candidate’s agenda, not one of the top five issues, that person is of NO USE TO WOMEN. We will not support you. We will not tolerate lip service. Collins’ false narrative that she’s pro-choice and pro-woman has been exposed. The IDC members made the same false claims and we ousted 6 of them in the September Primary. Now it’s time to take Collins out. She’s up for re-election in 2020. We must be ready to work starting November 7th.
  2. Unbelievable as it may seem, many women took this personally – not as surviviors but as the mothers of sons. They bought Trump’s narative that it is a horrible time for men. Some of these very women identify as “progressives” but still they blame the “girls”. As a sexual assault victim and the mother of 2 sons – 2 black sons – the population most likely to be falsely accused of any crime, I trust my sons AND  I believe women.  People need to take responsibility for their actions, and that includes how we raise our children. And,
  3. Holding up a mirror. Democrats are guilty of some of the same behavior for which they attack Republicans. In Westchester, the top elected offices are all held by men, and both political parties are lead by men. It is time for this to change, and women must demand it!

20-Week Abortion Bans

By Estella Johnson

The 20-week abortion ban is targeted at older women who are more likely to have pregnancies complicated by fetal anomalies. Women who have an amniocentesis to determine the health of the fetus would no longer be able to use the results as the tests can first be done at 17-18 weeks and take two weeks to complete, placing a woman beyond the 20 week deadline.…o-big-deal-think/

This article gives a little background on 20-week bans and lists examples of those bans in the country as of September 12th, 2018.

This article by The Guttmacher Institute talks a bit about the background of abortion rights in this country, highlights current law around the issue.

This article by the NYT talks about the proposed bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks that recently failed in the US Senate.

6-Week Abortion Bans

By Estella Johnson

In 2013, the North Dakota State Senate approved a bill that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected- something that usually occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy.  This law in theory would ban almost all abortions. Many women do not know until much later in a pregnancy that they are pregnant at all. Under this bill, women seeking abortions would not face criminal charges; however, doctor’s caught performing abortions after a heartbeat is detected could face five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Pro-choice advocates in North Dakota suspect this bill is an attempt to close the only remaining abortion clinic in the state, which is located in Fargo.

In 2015 the 8th circuit court of appeals struck down the North Dakota 6-week abortion ban. According to the court, the ban violated the Supreme Court precedent that makes abortion legal until the fetus is viable outside the womb (usually around 24 weeks).

In 2016, the Supreme Court decided to not review the case, permanently blocking North Dakota’s fetal heartbeat law.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds plans to sign a bill to ban abortion after 6 weeks. The ACLU has already stated that it plans to sue if the law gets signed.

An Iowa judge temporarily blocked the 6-week ban from going into effect until a lawsuit brought forth by Planned Parenthood and the Iowa branch of the ACLU is resolved.

Intent of 6-Week Abortion Bans

By Estella Johnson

This group of articles, in the bulleted posts below, discusses one of the most blatant attacks on a woman’s right to choose: the six-week ban, also known as the heartbeat bill. These bills—which several states have tried to establish as law in the past decade— would make abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected illegal. Detection of a heartbeat can typically occur as early as six weeks. This is so early in a pregnancy that many women do not even realize that they are pregnant. For this reason, these six weeks bans are effectively a ban on all abortions. The articles in this section focus specifically on attempts to implement six week bans in the states of Iowa and North Dakota. Although the North Dakota ban has now been permanently blocked by the courts, the fight to keep abortion legal in Iowa continues.