Reply To: Policy of Engaged Neutrality

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dlipman
Member

I agree that this is a difficult decision to make: when does an oppressive act of government reach the level where NSN, with its intention of including members with all points of view, in the interests of supporting storytelling nationwide, decide that a political issue requires an active response?

For me, our situation is this: the additional of justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court makes it likely that a state law limiting or banning abortion in all cases would be heard by the Supreme Court and result in an overturning of Roe v. Wade. Believing that their passage of restrictive laws will gain favor from voters, legislators in several states have proceeded to enact laws likely to be challenged by proponents of women’s right to choose. Such a challenge, these legislators believe, will cost them nothing; majority of their voters will only be pleased by such legislation.

The only pressure that could change these legislators minds (or at least change some of their minds) would be a hit to a state’s economy. If there is no impact on a state’s economy, the calculation is clear: oppose abortion in all cases and be re-elected.

We know that refusing to do business in states with oppressive laws can put economic pressure on legislators; think of the recent example of North Carolina’s infamous “bathroom law.” The refusal of businesses (nearly all “non-political” put pressure on the legislature to repeal the law.

In this case, a decision to pursue “business as usual” is a decision to support an oppressive, sexist policy. I don’t believe that our “engaged neutrality” should go that far! NSN is a small business, but the more businesses that boycott Georgia explicitly because of this law, the more likely it is that the voters and legislatures will decide that the gains do not justify the cost.

I agree that we should not be engaged in political lobbying. At the same time, we don’t want to add support to oppressive policies. I favor moving the conference from Georgia.

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