ACLU Freedom Files Tackles Women’s Rights Issues On Court TV

May 4, 2006 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – The ACLU Freedom Files shows the human side of fighting to protect civil liberties by helping viewers get to know the everyday people whose rights are threatened. The upcoming episode examines an array of women’s rights issues, joining prior shows on voting rights, religious freedom, and gay and lesbian rights.

“Although we’ve come a long way since Ruth Bader Ginsburg founded the Women’s Rights Project in 1972,” the laws that now exist on the books fail to ensure equality for the most marginalized women in our society,” said Lenora Lapidus, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project. “The ACLU clients featured in this episode stood up to demand what was rightfully theirs.”

The Women’s Rights episode, which airs over Mother’s Day weekend on May 13 at noon EDT/PDT on Court TV, illustrates how gender bias continues to create huge barriers to economic parity, employment opportunity, life without fear of sexual and domestic violence and access to a full range of health care — especially for immigrants, women with low incomes, victims of domestic violence, and women seeking reproductive health care — introducing audiences to the real women fighting for their rights.

Maria Gonzales and Angela Peralta are immigrant retail workers who fought for a non-abusive work environment where they could make at least minimum wage. Amorette Avila literally leveled the playing field by forcing her town to provide girls’ sports facilities equal to those provided to boys. Quinn won victory for all domestic violence survivors after her landlord threatened to evict her because of the abuse she suffered. Jessica Gonzales dedicated her life to ensuring police accountability after her estranged husband murdered their daughters while the police failed to enforce the restraining order against him.

Nationwide, local groups are using The ACLU Freedom Files to start discussions, build awareness, and take action. ACLU affiliates and outside groups are hosting viewing parties, “talk-backs,” and other innovative activities around the programs.

“Freedom Files shows how everyday people change the world,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “Each of these women won victory not only for herself but also for her community and her country.”

The ACLU and award-winning producer/director Robert Greenwald (Outfoxed, Unconstitutional) teamed up to create The ACLU Freedom Files, a series of 10 half-hour episodes. The series tells personal stories and features well-known actors, comedians, activists, and the attorneys who bring these stories before the courts. The show is produced and directed by Jeremy Kagan.

In addition to airing on Court TV, The ACLU Freedom Files is also available on the satellite television network Link TV on the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT and at, where past episodes are streamed for free. DVD copies of the shows can also be purchased on the Web site.

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