On Wednesday night, I spoke on the floor at the Democratic Convention about what a Romney-Ryan America would mean for women.
An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it. In which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again. In which someone decides which victims of domestic violence deserve help, and which don’t.
And six months from now, we could all be living in that America.
- Sandra Fluke, Georgetown Law School Graduate
Fluke expands on the speech she made at the Democratic convention… a speech that was extremely well received.
- WATCH: Sandra Fluke Explains The Republican War On Women (smd12364.newsvine.com)
- A ‘Conservative’ vision for America : ‘WATCH: Sandra Fluke Explains The Republican War On Women In 144 Seconds’ (thelastofthemillenniums.wordpress.com)
- Sandra Fluke Warns of Romney-led America in DNC Speech [VIDEO] (bostinno.com)
- Sandra Fluke Slams GOP War On Women, GOP Demeans Her Over It (lezgetreal.com)
Did you notice that Pat said “between two people who are married” and not “Between a man and a woman who are married”?
Oh, Pat… are you slowly crawling into the twenty first century?
Sometimes we just have to admit that even some women politicians are a bit crazy. Like Majority Whip Debbie Lesko who authored Arizona House Bill 2625 which would allow employers to eliminate employee health care coverage on birth control and related needs:
“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So government should not be telling organizations or employers to do something against their moral beliefs… My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion.”
And what about freedom FROM religion?
But the most revealing look at conservatism is the current Doonesbury series that many newspapers are not printing. Gary Trudeau is looking at the trans-vaginal sonograms required in Texas prior to an abortion:
It would be very nice if “conservatism” got back to economic politics and out of the bedroom and the vagina. Little choice is left to women when considering who to vote for.
Thinking of politics as leftovers, it looks like we’ll have a couple of Santorum wings and a Romney drumstick or two left over after Super Tuesday. That doesn’t leave much to serve at the great election 2012 dinner. (Did I say they are both Turkeys?)
George Will is releasing a column later today in the WaPo that pretty much says the Presidency will be out of reach for Romney or Santorum after they have destroyed each other… and that Repubs should focus on preserving their lead in Congress in order to compete against Obama for the next couple of years.
If I were to counsel the Democratic Party I’d say Obama is doing a great job right now in sticking up for the worker, defending his record, and pushing for reelection. That should continue.
There has to be focus put now on recovering the House and maintaining the Senate… and as long as the Repubs keep their focus on Birth Control, ultrasound for pregnant women seeking abortion and all the other non-jobs, non-economic crap they are playing with, we have a real chance of booting them out of office.
Frankly, I’d like to see more jobs, less unemployment, a single-payer health plan and so many of the things we NEED to deal with the 21st Century. And we have the candidates to do it.
“He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity.”
- Voltaire (on religion)
I thank Think Progress Health for publishing the article I reprint here. It is outrageous that women were not included in Rep. Darrell Issa‘s (R-CA) hearing on birth control regulations. NOT ONE VAGINA in the mix… but plenty of CATHOLIC PRIESTS.:
By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) held a hearing today about the Obama administration’s new regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage to their employees, but they prevented women from testifying on the issue.
Democrats had invited Sandra Fluke, a third year law student at Georgetown University, a Jesuit school, but Issa prevented her from testifying. Issa said that he had not found Fluke “appropriate and qualified” to testify before his committee. Fluke later posted her testimony on YouTube:
In her testimony, Fluke describes the financial barriers for female law students at Georgetown who need contraception because the school does not offer birth control coverage in its student health insurance plans. Contraception can cost women up to $3,000 over the course of law school without the coverage, she said, which adds up to an entire summer’s salary for students on public interest scholarships. And 40 percent of women at Georgetown Law say they struggle financially because of the policy. “Just on Tuesday, a married female student told me she had to stop using contraception because she couldn’t afford it any longer,” Fluke wrote.
For some women, the consequences of forgoing birth control can be severe:
A friend of mine, for example, has polycystic ovarian syndrom and has to take prescription birth control to stop cysts from growing on her ovaries. [...] After months of paying over $100 out of pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore and had to stop taking it. [...] Without taking the birth control, a massive cyst had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary. [...]
Since last year’s surgery, she’s been experiencing night sweats, weight gain, and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the removal of her ovary. She’s 32 years old. As she put it: “If my body is indeed in early menopause, no fertility specialist in the world will be able to help me have my own children.”
Fluke’s testimony and the experiences of her fellow law students could have been important stories for members of Congress to hear about the real impact that having or not having insurance coverage for contraception can have on women.
Andrea Mitchell got a big surprise when interviewing Santorum funder Foster Friess about Rick’s stand on banning contraception:
“Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
As someone said on television this morning, it’s the kind of quote you can hear over and over again and just not believe someone said it… and certainly not on the air.
Here’s what it looked like:
- Santorum Backer Friess Praises Old-School ‘Contraceptive’: Aspirin (npr.org)
- Santorum’s Super Funder: Women Used To Put an Aspirin Between Their Legs for Contraception (crooksandliars.com)
- Chief Santorum backer’s eyebrow-raising comment on contraception (firstread.msnbc.msn.com)
- Santorum Super PAC Backer: “Back In My Days, They Used Bayer Aspirin For Contraception” (buzzfeed.com)
- Friess Apologizes After Bizarre Statement (huffingtonpost.com)
- Foster Friess Apologizes For Aspirin Comment: ‘My Wife Constantly Tells Me I Need New Material’ (mediaite.com)
- Rick Santorum sugar daddy on contraception: In my day, girls put aspirin between their knees (dailykos.com)
According to CBS News:
“One bill, Republican Del. Bob Marshall‘s House bill 1, would define personhood at conception and “provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.” The second bill requires that women be required to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion.
The personhood bill, which passed by 66-32 in the Virginia state House, does not ban abortions, the legality of which are protected under the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. It would, however, make illegal certain types of contraceptive measures, including emergency contraception. Women’s health advocates say it could also open the door to banning birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUD).”
This means that the unborn child, at every stage of development, has rights. For instance, at fertilization, any and all fertilized eggs may have the right to be tax deductions, thus shorting the state on money from taxes. And of course there are many more ludicrous circumstances.
It is the second bill which will cause the most anxiety to women. This bill has as
“its requirement that some women undergo a transvaginal ultrasound probe, which is considered more physically invasive than other procedures.
While the bill does not explicitly mandate the use of transvaginal ultrasounds, many women would inevitably be required to undergo them; in the early stages of pregnancy, that procedure is often the only form of ultrasound that can detect a fetus’ heartbeat.
Republicans argue that the ultrasound bill will protect women from complications during abortion procedures, and that providing a woman with the gestational age of the fetus is crucial to her “informed consent” to have an abortion.”
This is, of course, only a procedure designed to scare a woman away from an abortion, even if she has been illegally assaulted and become pregnant or if there is a medical danger in the pregnancy. Since, without her permission, any invasive technique is no better than rape itself.
Republican Governor Bob McDonnell (who looks like he’ll be the mighty Mitt’s choice for Veep) is expected to sign these bills when they hit his desk, making Virginia the first major bastion of Sexual Fascism.
An amendment designed to require the woman’s right to give permission for the invasive exam (promoted by a Democratic delegate) was voted down by 100% of the Republic delegates.
Ladies, get in the car and head for the border… and don’t look back
- Virginia Advances Anti-Abortion “Fetal Personhood” And “Transvaginal Ultrasound” Bills (thefrisky.com)
- Women Beware: Republicans Will Probe Your Privates (duanegraham.wordpress.com)
- Va. GOP Demands Invasive Vaginal Ultrasound Procedure Before Abortion (littlegreenfootballs.com)
When did the 1st Amendment change from basically saying that you can practice whatever religion you want and you won’t be burned at the stake as a heretic and we’re not going to form or recognize a national religion like the Church of England? When did it change to “everyone everywhere has to do what a bunch of old catholics in funny hats wants, because otherwise it hurts their feelings?” And why does it only apply to certain religions?
- John Cole at Balloon Juice.
I’m not sure what the government is ready to do for non-religionists (like me). My thought is that they would be totally unconcerned with the beliefs of atheists (like the belief that women should control their own lives and have the absolute right to protect their bodies and maintain their reproductive activities… or reject them entirely.)
If you listened to the Republicans (mostly male) at C-PAC in their comments on opposition to birth control and abortion or maintenance of some religious beliefs applicable to EVERYONE, then you know who people like me can’t help to support and vote for.
- My religion is to kill your religion (skydancingblog.com)
- Getting on My Catholic High Horse (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Oh, My Pop-Culture Jesus! (ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com)
- Atheism ~ Is it a religion? (himalayanatheist.wordpress.com)
- Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy: Newt Gingrich Stands Up For ‘Our Religions’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton: review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Personal Responsibility – Overlooked By Religion (redpoppy71.wordpress.com)
- Does the Catholic Church have an obligation to change its stance on traditional beliefs? (intentious.com)
According to Salon:
Free birth control should be offered to all American women as a part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The report, released Tuesday, detailed services that should be classified as preventative medicine under the act and as such should be fully covered by insurers.
- Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America
You can sign a petition HERE.
- ‘Free’ Birth Control: What It Means for You (self.com)
- New Obama Health Insurance Plan May Include Free Birth Control (hiphopwired.com)
- Free birth control? Panel makes recommendation (abclocal.go.com)
- Health Group Backs Free Birth Control For Women (huffingtonpost.com)
- IOM Report: Birth Control Should Be Free (via TIME Healthland) (shineonscotland.com)
- President Obama May Approve Free Birth Control In New Health Insurance Plan (hellobeautiful.com)
- Birth control should be free, report says (cnn.com)
They cut funding for HIV tests, cancer screenings, birth control, and more, putting millions of women and families at risk. We can’t let it go unanswered. It’s time for you and me to stand with Planned Parenthood.
- I Stand With Planned Parenthood (benjaminste.in)
- The Evil Men Do (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)
- House Votes to Stop Funding Planned Parenthood: What This Means for You (self.com)
- Planned Parenthood Speaks Out on GOP Attack – The Root (news.google.com)
- House Votes to Strip Planned Parenthood of Federal Funds (slog.thestranger.com)