Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has been working to secure gender equality and ensure that all women and girls are able to lead lives of dignity, free from violence and discrimination, including discrimination based on gender stereotypes. This means an America where all women and girls have equal access to quality education, employment, housing, and health, irrespective of race, class, income, immigration status or involvement with the criminal justice system.
The ACLU has argued more women's rights cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other organization and has done more work to promote women's liberty and equality than many organizations devoted exclusively to that goal. The ACLU was the first national organization to argue for abortion rights before the Supreme Court, and has been the principal defender of those rights since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in Roe v. Wade.
Over forty years ago, in 1972, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board of directors determined that women's rights should be the organization's highest priority and created the ACLU Women's Rights Project. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was named as the project's first director. In 1993, Ginsburg was appointed as to the United States Supreme Court and has served as a Justice since that date.
The Women's Rights Project (WRP) has won many landmark court decisions, achieved significant legislative successes, and shifted public awareness and understanding of women's equality.
The grand jurys’ decisions in Missouri and New York do not negate the fact that the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are part of an alarming trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable. While many officers carry out their jobs with respect for the communities they serve, we must confront the profound disconnect and disrespect that many communities of color experience with their local law enforcement.
The ACLU will continue to fight for racial justice. To build trust, we must have a democratic system where our communities have an equal say in the way their neighborhoods are policed. Collaboration, transparency, and communication between police and communities around the shared goals of equality, fairness, and public safety pave the path forward.
There are children in cages along the U.S.-Mexico border right now. And more are showing up every day. Under our laws, we do not turn away unaccompanied kids who come here fleeing violence. The Constitution is not expendable. Its principles define us as a nation. We must stay true to them.