Blog of Rights


A Mother Fights Back Against The Daddy State — And Wins

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 12:34pm
Here at the ACLU, we've seen — and challenged — many of the ways in which the government singles out women for surveillance and control over our private lives. The never-ending fight for reproductive freedom is one obvious example. But even we were amazed when a state health department told an expectant mother that it wouldn't give her baby a birth certificate unless she told the state private medical facts, including her abortion history and whether she had smoked cigarettes or drunk alcohol while pregnant.
Women Prisoners, Women's History

Women Prisoners, Women's History

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 2:17pm

Women's History Month and International Women's Day celebrate the strides toward dignity and equality that women have made around the world. They are also a chance to reflect on the work we still have to do, and the particular challenges faced by…

A Win For Women Prisoners, A Win For All

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 5:06pm

Today, an appeals court in New Jersey handed down a major win for the ACLU and its clients — a group of women prisoners who stood up against cruel and discriminatory prison conditions. The court's decision was also a rebuke to government…

Fighting AIDS and Fighting for Free Speech

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 5:18pm

Today, a federal appeals court in Manhattan heard oral argument in a case challenging the so-called "anti-prostitution pledge," which is part of a law called the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act. On one side,…

Keeping Civil Rights a Reality in New Jersey

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 5:04pm

In December 2007, the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC) moved about 40 women prisoners from the state's sole women's prison to a unit within an enormous men's maximum security prison. In that prison-within-a-prison, the women suffered degrading…

Free Speech Is Not For Sale

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 1:38pm

If you ran a small public health or workers' rights organization with a shoestring budget, what on earth could make you refuse to take a lot of money from the government?

For some, being asked to take the so-called "anti-prostitution…

Shining a Light into Juvenile Prisons "Before Someone Gets Hurt"

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 12:00am

Back in 2006, I interviewed many girls who had been confined in New York’s juvenile prisons. The girls described harsh, prisonlike environments where physical force was used to punish and control them, sexual and psychological abuse occurred,…

Exposing the "Secret Punishment" of Incarcerated Children

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 12:06pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Yesterday, a task force appointed by New York governor David Paterson issued its report on the state's juvenile justice system. The report acknowledges the findings of the ACLU's 2006 report, Custody and Control…

Reform in New York's Juvenile Justice System

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 4:12pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Yesterday, the Justice Department released a damning new report (PDF) about the horrible conditions in juvenile prisons in upstate New York. The story made the front page of the New York Times, and in…

Behind Bars, But Not Alone

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 4:38pm
Go to a men's prison on any given visiting day and you'll see the same scene: a throng of women who've come to visit their loved ones, often with children in tow. Many will have traveled hours for a brief visit. Go to a women's prison and you're likely…
Statistics image