Reuters just reported that the Obama Administration stated it would shut down a program that provided medical care services to over 100,000 low-income women in Texas, as the state refused funding for clinics that provide abortions. Why are we so set on increasing our population and burdening poor women who are already barely getting by – just because we are selfish and short-sighted!? We must stop this never-ending war on women.
First of all, women have had access to birth control for about two generations. For many women, their mothers were born in a world where the pill was a normal part of life!
Now, in 2012, we are suddenly…out of nowhere… going back to arguments we had over 50 years ago.
Margaret Sanger risked imprisonment for violating the Comstock Act, which forbade distribution of birth control information.
So after 50 years of having no issues with the pill, we are suddenly seeing arguments popping up online and on TV about the fact that birth control is a “luxury item”, that “it’s really not that expensive” or that women should just put “a Bayer aspirin between their knees.” In addition to these arguments, some people even dare to use the word “freedom” to explain why women should be denied access to contraceptives, and then say that women who use birth control are just “sluts and prostitutes.”
Contraception changed the lives of millions of women, who could now compete with men in the workplace.
These arguments are ridiculous and play on people’s baser instincts of prejudice and stereotyping – as they clearly don’t make any sense.
Let’s assume that the pill is simply a “luxury item” then what is viagra, sleeping medication, acne medication, anxiety medication and even vaccinations? If this is our concern – insurance companies having to cover luxury items – then why don’t we introduce bills for eliminating all medications that don’t immediately save your life? This assertion is simply an excuse for prejudice and unequal treatment.
And the argument that women should just buy their own birth control because “it’s not that expensive” also drives me crazy. If birth control is really not that expensive, then why not just have the insurance companies pay for it like they already do now? It is clearly not affecting their record profits. Why would we be wasting so much time and political resources to change something so inexpensive and trivial?
Yes – let’s just undo years of progress, so that insurance companies don’t have to pay for something so “cheap” as the pill.
Again, the arguments we see are simply a guise for oppressing women’s rights – and they make absolutely no sense! The real question is why we are revisiting debates we laid to rest over 50 years ago? We have many current issues to deal with – such as the economy.
Today Limbaugh once again showed what a sexist asshole he is when he called the female law student who was denied a spot at the Contraception Hearing a “Slut” and “Prostitute” on his radio show.
First of all, Limbaugh just doesn’t get it! The whole point Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke was trying to make was that women often need birth control for non-contraception related medical reasons, such as managing ovarian cysts, which otherwise lead to serious complications and surgeries. Sandra Fluke’s whole point was that some female college students need birth control not because the are sluts or prostitutes or as Limbaugh put it “want to be paid for sex” but because they may face serious medical issues if they don’t take their birth control.
And then, to top it off – Limbaugh manages to somehow add insult to injury by suggesting that this Georgetown law student should post sex videos online (I guess so that everyone can see what they “paid” for).
He never bothered to actually consider what she may have had to say – and automatically concluded that she must be a slut if she is standing up for her rights.
Read more at MSNBC
Women boycotted the House Contraception Hearing today in DC., to fight against the fact that House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) prevented women from testifying in a hearing examining Obama’s new regulation requiring employers and insurers to pay for employee contraception coverage. Roy Blunt and other Republicans have introduced legislation that would allow any employer to deny birth control coverage for any reason to their female employees.
Yes ladies, It is finally time to say goodbye to your birth control co-pays! Starting today in 2012, health insurance companies can no longer charge women for preventative health benefits, which includes birth control and the morning-after pill. When the attack on women has been so severe, it is refreshing to see some positive legislation that actually helps women. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement:
“These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”
Read more at MSNBC
by Kate Pittman:
If you haven’t been paying attention to the anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-woman legislation that is currently being put forth and passed in state and national government, it’s time to wake up. The ultra-conservative anti-choice religious right has gained a very loud and powerful voice in government while we, the women who believe in reproductive freedom, stand by. Far too often it seems we have no voice at all. I watch in horror as I read about each new attack on my body and my life.
The individual laws requiring biased counseling, restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion and contraceptives, waiting periods, restrictions on method, and other attempts to reduce our reproductive rights are too numerous to list here. But you should know how serious this is right at this very moment. Please check these links if you have any doubt the Tea Party has something on its agenda other than jobs, jobs, jobs:
Yes, this is personal to me and it should be personal to anyone who is a woman who believes that she has the ability to make the right choices for herself in her own life. What can be more personal than the choice to have a child? Yet there are many who seem to think I am incapable of making serious choices about my life. I boil over with rage when I read about my rights being infringed upon by people who purport to want to “protect life.”
Let us be clear about one thing: this battle is not about life. It is not about saving unborn fetuses from murder. It is an attack on women’s sexual freedom, and consequently women’s autonomy, plain and simple.
When you get right down to it, you would be hard-pressed to find many people in the world who think abortion is a good thing. The overwhelming majority of pro-choice people will tell you that we also believe that if you don’t want to have a baby, the absolute best course of action is to never get pregnant in the first place. Women do not choose abortion lightly. Yet there are those who seem to believe that we are incapable of knowing when we are ready to raise a child. These are the same people, by the way, who are always proclaiming that the government should stay out of our personal lives. Oh, unless they disagree with the way we live those lives. They always seem to forget to add that part.
A woman, in this view, is nothing but a walking, talking set of reproductive organs.
If the Anti-Choice movement really cared about reducing the number of abortions, they would focus on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Yet they do just the opposite, taking every opportunity to reduce sexual education and availability of contraceptives.
Making abortion illegal does not stop abortion. Making it difficult to obtain an abortion by adding obstacles ensures that the only people who will still be able to choose whether or not to abort a pregnancy are the rich, who can afford to travel to a place where abortion is available. Relegating abortion to back alleys only harms women, and is sometimes even fatal; it does not save fetuses. When a woman wants to make this decision, she will find a way to make it. When abortion is legal and safe, women are protected. When abortion is illegal and hidden, we are not.
This is a scary time for anyone who believes in reproductive freedom. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in the first quarter of 2011 alone, 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights have been introduced in the 49 legislatures that held regular sessions. Seven states enacted 15 new laws on these issues.
If you feel strongly about these issues, now is the time to stand up. Let your voice be heard. Make sure to vote. Don’t let their voices be louder than ours.
Click on photo to make them much larger, trust me, it’s worth it! While shopping with my daughter, I came to a well-rounded realization that little girl toys have gone too far, way too far. It seems evidently that Evangelical Chauvinist Ignorant White Men also propose ideas for dolls and little girl toys. And now that you won’t be able to have an abortion if you so choose, you can look forward to your daughter playing with these psychologically restricting, terrifyingly influential, morally propagandizing toys.
My first Feminist Conference did not disappoint. The National Young Feminist Leadership Conference was chockfull of wonderfully impressive, accomplished, brilliant and eloquent speakers, and let’s not forget the passionate young attendees. When I say young, I mean the majority demographic must have been from around 18-22, and there were even a few high schoolers. Go girls!
The iconic heroine of Women’s Rights, Eleanor Smeal kicked off the conference and introduced a bevy of other important figures there to speak to us. Let me tell you a bit about Ellie first however (as her peers call her) and her magnificent career in the fight for Women’s equality. She deserves abundant recognition and reverence for her unremitting work and passion. Eleanor Smeal is the co-founder and President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Publisher of Ms. Magazine, and former President of the National Organization for Women. That is just the shortlist. The conference began with…you know what- there is just too much to write about and too many women to mention so I’m going to scan the damn schedule then you all can get a succinct look at what went down and the radically awesome women that contributed their time and knowledge to the experience! Also this way, I won’t leave any of the guest speakers out. They all deserve so much credit for what they are doing. I was truly inspired by all of them.
Our nation is debating whether or not to eliminate the Title X program, which was founded in 1970 and is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and preventive health services, particularly to low-income families. I would like to address some of the most common responses from those who support cutting funding to Planned Parenthood and would like to point out why it is more important than ever to fund, fund, fund.
“Why is it the government’s responsibility to provide options for a completely optional act? I’m not an abstinence only preacher, but I believe that if you choose to partake in an optional activity with large risks, you take the responsibility of controlling your outcome.”
When we talk about abstinence we usually only refer to youths before they get married. This statement seems to suggest that a poor married couple should consider sex optional. The real problem is that many women are unable to get health care and thus cannot get basic forms of birth control or other family planning services. Why should we only punish the poor and female for an act we all partake in? The rich will be fine, but when our poorer citizens can’t get insurance coverage, and can’t go to Planned Parenthood, there simply are no other options after a while. What if you have a pre-existing condition as a woman, and your full time job doesn’t offer any health care insurance? Are we literally suggesting that these neighbors and community members go without any type of extremely basic reproductive care or health care in general? We do have control over our outcomes, but when those outcomes compete with business interests, and government doesn’t stand up for us, what control do we really have? I think all women would love to be able to control their own outcome, which is what this whole debate is about. We end up punishing people because of their social position, mostly because they have no power to represent themselves. We have developed the technology to provide every woman with cheap and easy reproductive care. We can all understand what it means to be human, so let’s treat one another with a basic level of human dignity. That is why it is so important to keep Planned Parenthood funded. It is the only place where women can go when they have no other options. Planned Parenthood gives women the power to still have some control over their outcomes.
“People rely too much on the government and need to take care of themselves. It is not the federal government’s job to help people plan their lives and clean up their messes.”
Sure, yes. I can understand this statement, but it mischaracterizes the real problem. The problem is that we systematically screw over specific groups of people in this country. These groups include minorities, women and the poor. This is where the government’s responsibility comes in; it is the government’s responsibility to protect those who cannot stand up for themselves. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness require a basic standard of living. The government is there to make sure that everyone receives this basic human respect, so that we can continue to proudly call ourselves Americans.
“Tax dollars should not help pay for abortions”
They don’t. This statement seems to be more about moral judgment of a specific subgroup of the population than anything else. If we would like to make abortion illegal, our fight should really be fought at the legislative level. However, since it is legal, it means that society as a whole considers abortion to be something acceptable in specific circumstances (early in the pregnancy, rape, when the mother’s life is at risk, etc). So, if abortion is acceptable for some, it should be acceptable for all. By taking away funding for Planned Parenthood, we would actually be increasing the need for abortions among the poor. Thus, if you were solely concerned about decreasing abortions, defunding Planned Parenthood would only make our battle more difficult. Like any other person, I would love to decrease the amount of abortions in this country. We have the highest rate of abortions among developed nations because we don’t support women at any point in their reproductive planning. If we could treat women with a basic level of respect, we could reduce the number of abortions in this country. It is already shameful and despicable enough that many women cannot get basic health care coverage due to inexplicably high insurance costs and severe regulations regarding pre-existing conditions (which can include a C-section, let me remind you), but it is even more grotesque to make the suggestion that the only band-aid solution called Planned Parenthood is excessive in some way.
It almost seems as if we are blaming women for being reproductive. It is their responsibility to manage their reproduction, while at the same time they are denied access to manage it. And we then judge the woman on her morality. Do you see the problem here? We are blaming victims for their outcomes instead of standing up and fighting for their mistreatment. The word “responsibility” seems to come up a lot when we talk about women’s reproduction. But where does one responsibility end and another begin? I would argue that all Americans have the responsibility to provide each neighbor and community member with access to basic levels of care. Instead, we shove full responsibility and blame onto the ones who have been beaten down the most.