National Organization for Women

Activists Butt Heads Over Alimony Bill

Apr 12, 2016
Gerard Van der Leun/ flickr /

Time is running out for a bill that would overhaul alimony, prompting activists to hold dueling rallies at the capitol Tuesday.

Barbara Devane addressing a Roe v. Wade rally on the Capitol steps.
Nick Evans /

Some say time heals all wounds.  But this week saw the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and all these years later, the ideological canyon separating opponents in the fight over abortion seems just as impossible to bridge.   

In the US House of Representatives Thursday, the temptation to use Roe v. Wade’s anniversary as a chance to vote on anti-abortion legislation was simply to great to pass up.  But it was the legislation they didn’t vote on that made the nightly news.

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Today, there’s no Florida law on the books to protect pregnant women from workplace discrimination. For months, the Florida Supreme Court grappled with that decision, and Thursday, they ruled employers can’t discriminate against pregnant women under the state’s civil rights act. But, one lawmaker says that still needs to be codified in state law.

For more than 30 years, pregnancy has been protected from employer discrimination under federal law. But, in the Sunshine state, it’s a different story.

An alimony reform measure that made it through the legislature is now on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. But, opponents of the bill seem undeterred in their fight against it; they stormed Rick Scott’s office demanding he veto the bill.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Friday is the United Nations’ annual International Women’s Day, meant as a time to reflect on injustice against women worldwide. In observance of the day, activists took to the steps of Florida’s Historic Capitol Building with a message for state lawmakers.  

Passions ran high during Tallahassee’s Women’s Day celebration, as women’s rights lobbyist Barbara DeVane gestured to the Florida Capitol building behind her.

“It’s our job to educate, motivate, activate, agitate and eliminate the ***holes up here who are trying to keep women down,” she said, to applause.