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January Newsletter

Thanks to our own Michele Guttenberger who wrote a piece recently for Patch to give AAUW NJ exposure on events we are still doing through this pandemic.  

Reproductive Freedom Act

Reproductive Freedom Act Aims to Protect and Expand Health Care Access in New Jersey

On Friday, 10/2/2020, Governor Murphy announced that the Reproductive Freedom Act, will be moved out of committee for consideration of the NJ legislature. This bill is, “proactive legislation that will help protect and expand New Jerseyans’ ability to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control, and pregnancy-related care, including abortion.


The Reproductive Freedom Act protects and expands access to essential reproductive health care services in three key ways:

  1. The Reproductive Freedom Act explicitly ensures all New Jerseyans have the right to make their own personal health decisions when it comes to birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. The decision about whether and when to become a parent is one of the most important life decisions we make. We need to trust all people who can become pregnant to make decisions about their own health and lives.
  2. The Reproductive Freedom Act makes certain that financial barriers do not prevent anyone from making their own personal health decisions when it comes to birth control and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. Key provisions of the bill require private insurance coverage for birth control and abortion care with no out-of-pocket costs, to ensure that a person’s income or insurance status do not dictate their ability to access time-sensitive health care.
  3. The Reproductive Freedom Act expands access to birth control and pregnancy-related care including abortion by breaking down medically-unnecessary restrictions that right now only serve to block access to care. It is time to secure a future that safeguards reproductive care, upholds basic rights and justice, and respects decision-making throughout pregnancy.

AAUW of NJ Thanks Governor Murphy, Lt. Governor Oliver, Senator Weinberg, and Assemblywoman Huttle for taking a strong stand in support of women’s equity and making NJ a good example for the rest of the country.

Karen Brown, President


AAUW is committed to open and fair elections, nonpartisan voter education efforts that will promote equitable political participation and representation in appointed and elected office, and the expansion of voting rights.

Evelynn (Lynn) Caterson, a 50-year member of AAUW  is the Chair of the Atlantic County Board of Elections.  She saw many issues with the balloting process in the Atlantic County Primary Election.  In an effort to prevent such problems in the General Election, she wrote to the Governor and Secretary of State, asking them to use their authority to remedy these issues.  That letter is “MIB Letter to Gov Murphy 7 31 2020.”

If you are concerned about the mail-in-balloting (MIB) process, please read Evelynn Caterson’s letter, and share it with your county election board chair and state representatives.

Week of June 22, 2020

AAUW NJ Values Care Workers

Even when there isn’t a pandemic, we know that the gender pay gap is large for the essential front line workers who care for those who can’t care for themselves – workers who are almost all women. A recognition project is being planned for the week of June 22 to thank the staff of long term care facilities (LTCF) and let folks know that AAUW is  working for fair pay.

Branches in New Jersey are asked to identify a long term care facility in their area and to contact the administration to identify something the staff would appreciate, such as a meal, treat, or an item that is needed. Then the Branch would purchase the items, hopefully supporting a local restaurant or merchant in the process, and either deliver in person or arrange for delivery to the LTCF. We ask that an AAUW member and a recipient at the LTCF take a picture with our AAUW banner and a sign thanking the workers, for posting on our website and Facebook page. Send your ideas to aauwnj@gmail.com. Watch for an update sharing ideas from the organizing committee and branches.

February 14, 2020

Pictured left to right: Jacqueline McGuinness, Karen Brown, Nancy Butler, Rosie Driscoll in Senator Menendez’s Newark office.

AAUW NJ members Karen Brown, president; Jacqueline McGuinness, secretary;  and Nancy Butler, past president, met with Rosie Driscoll, Senator Menendez’s Outreach Specialist for women’s issues, to discuss AAUW’s priorities and exchange ideas for supporting each other in our work towards equity for all.  AAUW NJ shared information on the availability of AAUW research and extended invitations to our upcoming events. Ms. Driscoll asked that we be sure to let the senator’s office know of situations encountered in New Jersey that seem to be discriminatory. Also, she stressed the importance of contacting elected officials in support of their positions, not only when we have an objection – this allows them to better respond to critics.


Read about the current work of the Task Force!

Forum on Modern Slavery:  21st Century Solutions

See full write-up: Forum on Modern Slavery held at Seton Hall

AAUW-NJ was represented at Seton Hall University on September 27, 2019.  As a member of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking (NJCAHT), it was thrilling to be in attendance when Nadia Murad, the 2019 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from the Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations. …

The eradication of modern day slavery requires awareness and recognition of the problem, enforcement and monitoring of existing laws, and the elimination of the conditions which lead to bondage.  Look around:  see something; say something; do something.

Submitted by Ginny Lyttle, AAUW-NJ Representative to the NJCAHT

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