After triumphantly nailing a series of fundraising concerts at the Santa Fe Opera last year (TV On the Radio?! Justin Vernon?!), the Santa Fe chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) continues its fight for women's rights with a panel discussion following a screening of the new Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, RBG, at the Center for Contemporary Arts (7 pm Thursday May 17. $12. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 982-1338). SFR spoke with Santa Fe NOW president Janet Williams ahead of the screening and panel.
Why do you think Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become so very iconic at this point in her long career?
Well, I think because she has been such a supporter of women's rights and she's one of the few [justices] on the court to do that—and the longest-standing at this point. Women look up to her for sticking it out for so long, and she's still there and willing to fight for good causes, especially in this atmosphere of the Trump administration, which seems to be very anti-woman. I think she's a hero.
I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but NOW is for everyone, correct?
Our concentration, of course, is women's issues. For the panel, we have five women that are all lawyers; some are working, one is a retired DA, one's a retired labor lawyer. They're … a group of women who've worked in the law sharing their experiences, which we thought went with RBG. But everyone is welcome. We're working on getting more diversified. We don't have very many men, we don't really have any male members at the moment, but they are welcome. We'd love to get more young people.
Anything in particular you'd like to add?
Oh my goodness. Where do I start? I would say people need to be educated about what's going on. The right to choose an abortion or your method of birth control is getting hacked away at with all these restrictive laws state by state. The clinics are disappearing. We're one of the only states in our region now where people can go for advice, get a screening, find out if they can get an abortion if it's the choice they want to make. People are being transported in from Texas; we gave money to a clinic in Texas so they could send women here. We have so many rural communities in this state, women who have no money, and we need funds for them to get transportation to clinics so they can get care. It's really crucial that we can raise money for these groups. That's what we're concentrating on.