Washington State
National Organization for Women

Statement of Purpose

NOW’s purpose is to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men. This purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education, and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination because of race, ethnic origin, age, marital status, sexual preference/orientation, or parenthood.
The Basics
Health Care – WA State now believes in equal access to quality affordable and accessible health care services for women and children.
Reproductive Rights – WA State NOW supports access for all women to the full range of reproductive services. WA State NOW will defend a woman’s right to choose, opposing any attempts to weaken the current law as passed by Initiative 120.
Equal Protection Under the Law – WA State NOW supports efforts to end violence against women and their families, including sexual assault and domestic violence. WA State NOW supports equal protection for all regardless of their sexual orientation or the size of business that they work for.
Economic Equity – WA State NOW supports economic equity for all women, including but not limited to, access to affordable, quality childcare; paid family leave, equal pay for equal work, and a reasonable safety net for those who need it.

2009 Legislative Priorities

Economic and Social Justice

1. Support legislation that would reign in predatory pay day loans
2. NOW supports legislation that would restore voting rights to persons who have served their time and have been released from prison.
Gender Equity
1. Washington NOW supports legislation that would require public playfields and public sports facilities to provide equal gender access to the facilities.
2. WA State NOW supports legislation to pass a memorial asking the U.S. Senate to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW obligates ratifying countries to establish measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women in all civil, political, economic and cultural arenas.

Health Care

1. WA State NOW supports legislation to prohibit pharmacies from selling an individual’s private prescription information to third parties acting on behalf of pharmaceutical companies.
2. Guarantee access for all residents in comprehensive, uniform, and affordable health services

Lesbian and Gay Rights

1. NOW supports legislation to grant the rest of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by married couples to domestic partners.
2. NOW supports legislation for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender couples to marry.
Reproductive Justice
Passage of legislation stating that WA State will pursue only federal sexual health education funding that is consistent with the Healthy Youth Act (i.e. medically and scientifically accurate and not just abstinence only)

Violence Against Women

NOW supports legislation to allow those who have been sexually assaulted by their landlord to break the lease. This legislation would include family members residing with the leaseholder,
1. NOW will strongly advocate for programs that serve vulnerable population such as child care, healthcare (including the Basic Health and the Cover All Kids programs), sexual assault and domestic violence services, General Assistance Unemployable (GAU), etc.
2. NOW supports revenue options such as closing loopholes and taxing services used by high-income people.