Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (NOW) rallied in front of Sen. Marco Rubio’s Tampa office today. The “Hands Off Women” rally was aimed at denouncing the 2012 budget, which includes “cuts to Social Security benefits, cuts to Medicare/Medicaid, [and] attacks on Planned Parenthood.”
NOW kicked off its national convention in Tampa today. Nearly 600 people are expected to attend the convention, which is entitled, “Daring to Dream: Building a Feminist Future.”
The Saint Petersburg Times is reporting that the convention wants to recruit young women in the wake of this past legislative session:
The liberal organization faces the recruiting challenges as voters, including those in Florida, have put more conservative politicians in office in the past two years, many opposed to abortion.
But longtime NOW activists say the timing couldn’t be better because they think a backlash from younger women is coming, particularly against new abortion restrictions passed by Florida and other states.
Florida’s legislature and governor have taken aim at reproductive health rights in a big way this past year. The state Legislature passed five bills aimed at restricting abortion rights in the state. Gov. Rick Scott signed a state budget that cuts millions from women’s health programs while maintaining funds for crisis pregnancy centers that have been found to mislead women about the effects of abortion.
Most recently, Rubio, Florida’s junior U.S. senator has introduced legislation that requires all states to enforce another state’s parental notification before abortion laws. The law was introduced as Florida awaits Scott’s signature on a bill that would impose some of the most restrictive parental notification rules in the country.
NOW’s national convention is taking place today through Sunday.