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Terry O'Neill
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Terry O'Neill, a feminist attorney, professor and activist for social justice, was elected president of NOW in June 2009. She is also president of the NOW Foundation and chair of the NOW Political Action Committees, and serves as the principal spokesperson for all three entities. O'Neill oversees NOW's multi-issue agenda, which includes: advancing reproductive rights and justice, promoting diversity and ending racism, stopping violence against women, winning lesbian rights, ensuring economic justice, ending sex discrimination and achieving constitutional equality for women.

O'Neill's feminist activism began in the 1990s, fighting right-wing extremists in the Deep South, including David Duke. She has served as president of Louisiana NOW and New Orleans NOW and as a member of the National Racial Diversity Committee. She is a past president of Maryland NOW and served on the NOW National Board twice, first representing the Mid-South Region and later the Mid-Atlantic Region. O'Neill was NOW's membership vice president from 2001 to 2005, when she oversaw NOW's membership development program as well as finances and government relations.

A former law professor, O'Neill taught at Tulane in New Orleans and at the University of California at Davis, where her courses included feminist legal theory and international women's rights law, in addition to corporate law and legal ethics. She has testified before committees in the Maryland House of Delegates and has written federal amicus briefs on abortion rights for Louisiana NOW and the Louisiana affiliates of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.

O'Neill is a skilled political organizer, having worked on such historic campaigns as Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and the campaign leading to the election of Louisiana's first woman U.S. senator, Mary Landrieu.

O'Neill holds a bachelor's degree in French with distinction from Northwestern University and a law degree magna cum laude from Tulane University. She has one child, a daughter, who is a proud feminist.

Entries by Terry O'Neill

Hillary Clinton's Health Care Courage

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 4:18 AM

As the voting finally begins in the nominating contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the issue of health care is being presented as an area of disagreement between the two candidates. I don't see it that way.

Bernie Sanders favors a single-payer system, a goal that most progressives share....

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How We Can Conquer Stress in the Workplace

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 11:03 AM

There's an important aspect to workplace wellness that is particularly important for women. Just about everyone feels stress at their job, but for women, work-related stress is directly connected to the gender-based pressures that are part and parcel of most of our jobs.

Pay inequity, economic insecurity, pregnancy discrimination...

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Stop Second-Guessing Hillary About Her Marriage

(138) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 5:43 AM

Ruth Marcus is a respected journalist, who has achieved an extremely privileged position in a male-dominated industry. More power to her! I'd be the last person to say she didn't work hard to get where she is. Good on her.

But I am troubled by her recent

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Time for an Open and Honest Discussion About a Crucially Important Women's Issue: Social Security

(84) Comments | Posted December 15, 2015 | 11:02 AM

If anyone has any doubts about the GOP's plans for Social Security, their choice of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to succeed Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker of the House should put those doubts to rest. Ryan was an outspoken, unabashed supporter of President George W. Bush's privatization plan. He...

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Memo to Ted Cruz: Women Use Contraception Too!

(115) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 5:58 AM

Just when you thought that the level of debate among the Republican candidates for president couldn't sink any lower, along comes Ted Cruz, with one of those "wait... what?" moments that are simply beyond belief.

Campaigning in Iowa, Ted Cruz dismissed those who document the war on women--I'm...

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Why TPP Is a Feminist Issue

(71) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 7:31 AM

Do you want your tax dollars to go to companies in countries like Brunei, where unmarried women who get pregnant are sent to prison and gays and lesbians are sentenced to death by stoning?

Do you believe the official trade policy of the U.S. should make it easier for corporations...

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Why the Attacks on Planned Parenthood Keep Failing

(620) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 8:00 AM

When Republican leaders in Washington don't feel like governing, they attack women's health care and abortion rights. That's what happened this week, as a focus on defunding Planned Parenthood jumped to the head of the line in legislative priorities for the House of Representatives. That, and launching vicious personal attacks...

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One in Four Women

(37) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Author's Note: The news this week that more than one-fourth of undergraduate women at a large group of leading universities report incidents of campus sexual assault sheds new light on this post I put up last week.

I've been hearing from a lot of women who are...

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Before Looking at Developing World's Gender-Equality Gap, U.S. Needs to Look at Own Backyard

(39) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 10:21 AM

End extreme poverty. Fight inequality and injustice. Fix climate change. That's the vision behind the 17 global goals for sustainable development that world leaders will commit to later this month at the UN. The fifth of those 17 goals, to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls," is...

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One in Three Women?

(105) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 7:01 AM

"One in three women?"

That's what guest moderator Frank Sesno asked me when I appeared on the Diane Rehm Show last week to talk about the recent outrageous and dangerous attacks on Planned Parenthood.

He was surprised to learn that one in three women in the...

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How Many More Sandra Blands?

(118) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 7:39 AM

The abusive arrest and subsequent suspicious death of Sandra Bland is far -- tragically far -- from an isolated incident. In fact, on the same day that the facts started to emerge about Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, an 18-year-old African American girl reportedly took her own...

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Two Million Voices Ring Out for Social Security Expansion -- And That's Just the Beginning!

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 11:28 AM

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Yesterday I stood in front of the White House along with Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Donna Edwards (D-MD), leaders of the Economic Policy Institute, MoveOn, Democracy for America and other allies to deliver a petition signed by over 2 million...

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Don't Throw Social Security Under the Bus!

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 10:18 AM

This is a big week for Republicans in Congress. They've been telling us for months what they're against -- anything that helps women and working families, and anything proposed by Barack Obama -- now, it's their turn to say what they're for as they unveil their new budget plan.

Most...

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Fraud and Betrayal Over the 20-Week Abortion Ban: Shame on These Women

(17) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 6:54 AM

Madeleine Albright once said there is a special place in hell reserved for women who don't help other women. But what's going on in the U.S. House right now is even worse. There are women who are not only failing to help -- they are actually using their power to...

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Abortion Rights Are Human Rights

(143) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 7:53 AM

As I've written here before, when I talk about abortion I call it abortion care -- because that's what it is. Abortion is essential, effective medical care.

During the debate over health care reform, we often heard that health care is a basic human right. That's true...

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The U.S. Isn't in the Business of Bigotry, Are We?

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 9:41 AM

I'm worried about what the next Congress will do do further discriminate against women and limit their reproductive rights.

We've already seen how religious conservatives will deny the facts and distort the law to advance their right-wing agenda.

For example, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), which...

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The Perils of Politicizing Breast Cancer

(9) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 12:08 PM

There's nothing to be gained by politicizing women's health, but there's a lot to lose.

Consider this: Two years ago, the Susan G. Komen Foundation walked into a hornet's nest when it did something that was fundamentally opposed to its mission. It jumped into a controversy that was all...

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Women's Votes Always Matter -- But They Matter More In 2014

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 8:59 AM

If the polls and pundits are right, voters who would likely support progressive, feminist candidates for U.S. Senate this year are more likely to stay home than right-wing conservatives.

We need to prove them wrong.

This election is critical -- we must put the brakes on destructive anti-women policies and...

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トランスジェンダーを嫌悪する「トランスフォビア」は、女性たちの問題でもある

(2) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 12:01 AM

トランスジェンダー(生物学上の性別と違う性を自分の性ととらえる人)の権利について考えてみよう。この問題は急速に変化しており、これまでの慣習を打ち破り、固定観念を破壊し、多くの国民に新たな考え方をすることを求めている。

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Why Transphobia Is a Feminist Issue

(21) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 3:38 PM

We used to hear the saying, "As General Motors goes, so goes the nation," but to gauge where we stand and where we're going as a society, maybe we should substitute "Netflix" for the automaker's name.

Consider the case of transgender rights. This is a landscape that is rapidly changing,...

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