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America celebrates the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 Supreme Court case that secured a woman’s right to an abortion this month. But after 44 years, our reproductive freedoms, instead of improving, are experiencing renewed attacks. In light of these attacks, Angelenos are standing together on the eve of the presidential inauguration, Thursday, January 19, 2017, to Rally to Save Roe: Because Abortion Is Your Choice, Not Theirs!

Save Roe

Angelenos Rally to Save Roe on the Eve of the Inauguration—Rosalind Helfand

Angelenos are standing together on the eve of the presidential inauguration, Thursday, January 19, 2017, to Rally to Save Roe: Because Abortion is Your Choice, Not Theirs!

The National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles (NCJW | LA) is hosting the rally, and over 25 organizations that champion reproductive rights, health and justice co-sponsor, from the ACLU of Southern California to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice have joined us to form a powerful coalition. Every organization has been invited to the table to help plan the rally and we’re taking it all a step further by rolling the rally into an on the spot Advocacy Training. At the close of the rally, we’re inviting everyone into the NCJW | LA facilities next door to direct all of the energy and frustration we’ve been amassing since November into learning skills for taking action and connecting directly with our co-sponsors to keep the momentum going.

While the recent election has left many feeling hopeless when it comes to defending their rights, this Advocacy Training will provide next steps for those who will not sit idly by and watch as those rights are endangered.The Rally to Save Roe will be a definitive, loud statement from the women of Los Angeles, and those who love and support them, that any attack from the new administration will not be tolerated. We are not just speaking for women in Los Angeles—but for all women. We are empowered, we are not afraid, we will boldly move forward.

Joining us on stage at the rally is women’s rights champion, California State Senator Holly Mitchell. Senator Mitchell founded the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality and many of her bills over the last five years have focused on women’s reproductive rights. Juana Rosa Cavero, the Executive Director of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF), a statewide alliance of nearly 50 organizations working to promote sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice, will also speak along with Hector Villagra, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who together with Supervisor Hilda Solis co-authored the new Los Angeles County Women + Girls Initiative, a five-year initiative to better address the disproportionate disadvantages and burdens faced by LA County women and girls approved in December by the Board of Supervisors, will give a keynote address. And celebrity guests and feminist activists will speak, including Remy Holwick, leader of the feminist secret society GRLCVLT NYC. She is known for her work against rape culture and violence against women, specifically in conjunction with Michele Dauber and the committee to recall Stanford rape trial judge Aaron Persky, on which she serves as an honorary co-chair and acts on behalf of her organization, F--- RAPE CULTURE. FRC was founded in June 2016 as a response to the Turner case.

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The Rally to Save Roe co-sponsors include:

* National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles (host)
* ACLU of Southern California
* Anti-Defamation League
* Black Women for Wellness (BWW)
* California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF)
* California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ)
* California NOW
* California Women's Law Center
* City of West Hollywood
* City of West Hollywood, Women's Advisory Board
* Congregation Kol Ami
* Feminist Majority Foundation
* Hollywood NOW
* L.A. for Choice
* Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz
* Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
* NARAL Pro-Choice California
* National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
* Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
* Planned Parenthood Young Professionals
* Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC/URJ)
* Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)
* San Gabriel Valley NOW
* Temple Israel of Hollywood
* Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
* Together We Will, Los Angeles
* Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP)

The Rally to Save Roe: Because Abortion Is Your Choice, Not Theirs! Schedule:

5:30 p.m. Early gathering on N. Fairfax Ave. outside of the NCJW | LA Council House -- 543 N. Fairfax Ave.
6:00 p.m. On stage program begins.
7:30 p.m. Advocacy Training in the NCJW | LA Council House.

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. NCJW|LA social justice programs provide education and legislative advocacy on issues that affect and impact women, children and families in the areas of children's rights, economic justice, healthcare, human trafficking, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, and gender-related violence.

More information at www.ncjwla.org or on Facebook at @NCJWLosAngeles and Facebook event tiny.cc/NCJWLA-Rally or Twitter at @NCJWLA and #RallytoSaveRoe.

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Rosalind Helfand