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Women’s Equality Day News Conference 8-26-19

Women’s Equality Day News Conference 

NE Florida organizations will gather on Women’s Equality Day to celebrate progress and draw attention to the still remaining inequalities and struggles of women. Hosted by Women’s March Florida Jacksonville, Jacksonville Area NOW and A Woman’s Choice, speakers will address current and proposed negative policies that reduce autonomy, limit economic mobility and advancement, and place women’s lives at risk. The conference will include announcements of planned actions to support women in our community and continue the fight for equality.    

“In these challenging times, it is important to remember we stand on the shoulders of many women before us who sacrificed much for our right to vote, for our right to birth control and our right to decide when and if to bring new life forward.  It is now OUR voices that must be heard and respected, not some politicians and others who want to control our bodies, our voices and our futures, “ stated Kelly Flynn, President/CEO, A Woman’s Choice.

What: Women’s Equality Day

When: Monday, August 26 4:00 pm           

Where: A Woman’s Choice

 4131 University Blvd. South, Bldg. 1

Who: Speakers

·         Ashish Bajaj - President, League of Women Voters

·         Mia Jones, CEO Agape Community Health Center and Former State Representative

·         Kelly Flynn - President, CEO, A Woman's Choice 

·         Nancy Hogshead Maker, J.D., Founder Champion Women, Olympic Gold Medalist

·         Basma Alawee, Regional Organizer,  Florida Immigration Coalition

·         Tracye Polson, Pd.D., Former Candidate, Florida State Representative

·         Anne Marie Hankins, Board Member, Women’s March Florida Jacksonville

“Women must continue the fight for autonomy over our bodies, pay equity, access to affordable quality, healthcare, paid parental leave, equal representation in government, and freedom from harassment”, states Bonnie Hendrix, President of Women’s March of Jacksonville.

Historical Perspective of Women’s Equality Day:


In 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women who sacrificed much to assert their right to full citizenship.  The formal beginnings in 1848 were at the world’s first Women’s Rights Convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

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Stephanie Shea
AWC Speaks Out in Tampa Bay Times - A Florida Abortion Clinic Braces for a Southern Surge

The clinic has never closed, even for a day and even as Flynn works, battleworn, under Tallahassee’s thumb. State lawmakers once made abortion seekers wait 24 hours, sending clinic staffers scrambling to secure hotel rooms, until the law got blocked in court. Florida law now requires the clinic to secure expensive malpractice insurance and a hospital transfer agreement. Other legislation tried to mirror laws that curtailed abortions in other states, like the medically unnecessary mandate to outfit clinics as ambulatory surgical centers.

Flynn can hardly think about what’s on the horizon -- the intensifying push to stop abortions in Florida after six weeks.

And don’t get her started on the crisis pregnancy centers around the state, the ones she says peddle pseudoscience designed to manipulate women out of a valid, legal choice. She hears patients talk about getting drawn inside and shamed, and the complaints are echoed by medical ethicists.

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Stephanie Shea
AWC Speaks Out in Bustle Magazine Title X Gag Rule Hurts Women & Families

Terry Sallas Merritt, an executive team member at A Woman's Choice (AWC), which has three abortion-providing health care clinics in North Carolina and one in Jacksonville, Florida, says that while AWC does not receive Title X funding, its clinics will feel the ripple effects of the rule.

Restricting access to Title X funding could force people to choose between getting contraception and supporting their families, as 59% of women who get abortions already have children.

A Woman's Choice clinics offer significant discounts on many of their services and will often work with national [and regional] health and abortion funds to get procedures covered for its patients. Sometimes funding doesn't come through in full, in which case Sallas Merritt says the provider will often still provide the procedure. It will be even more difficult for A Woman's Choice to provide an abortion under those circumstances if the gag rule ends up restricting access to contraception and causing an increase in unexpected pregnancies, Sallas Merritt says.

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Stephanie Shea