Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the day “June 21, 2013”

What Do You Want Your Elected Representatives To Be Working On?

By EOM Contributor

We have so many important issues facing this country right now…what do you believe your politicians should be concentrating on?

What comes to my mind first is access to health care, including birth control.  Access to affordable birth control reduces the number of abortions performed and we can all agree that is a good thing.  The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has many important parts.  First of all, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition!  The ACA prevents insurers from charging women more for insurance than men.  In some states, women were actually paying up to 70% more for insurance coverage than men.  The ACA prevents insurers from denying coverage for a pre-existing condition (diabetes, high blood pressure…).  The ACA also prevents insurers from dropping your coverage if you are diagnosed with a condition such as diabetes or cancer.  These are all good things.  There may be some kinks to work out, but the ACA is a valiant attempt to provide millions of Americans with access to health care.

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

What has Congress done since President Obama was re-elected?  They have voted 37 TIMES TO REPEAL OBAMACARE!  37 times at a cost of $50 million dollars!  Money well-spent, wouldn’t you agree?  Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result.  Yes, our elected representatives are officially insane!

Other issues that need our attention are job creation, tax parity,  immigration reform, equal pay for equal work,  the on-going violence against women in our society (and our military where our female soldiers need not fear being raped by the enemy, but do need to fear being raped by their fellow soldiers and commanding officers), and discrimination in housing and the workplace (women can be fired and evicted for being victims of domestic violence, and gays can be fired for being gay),  and investment in our infrastructure (repairs of bridges and roads which would make travel safer and create jobs), just to name a few.

But what have they actually done?  Well, I’ve mentioned the 37 failed votes to repeal the ACA.  In addition to that, state by state women are losing their rights to determine what will happen with their own bodies (male politicians believing they know more about our health than women and physicians do).   The House just approved a bill that would eliminate overtime pay.  Republicans want to raise the student loan interest rate to 8.5%, more than Wall Street Banks pay.  Now what would be the effect of these things?  Students graduating from college will be saddled with even greater debt.  I don’t see how that helps us.  Women facing an unplanned pregnancy will be forced to have children they can’t afford to care for.  Employees working more than 40 hours a week will get compensatory time, but at a rate of one hour to one hour, instead of pay at a rate of time and one half.  Most people work overtime for the pay, not for more time off.  I’m not seeing how that will help low-income families or anyone, for that matter.

Contact your elected representatives.  Tell them to stop passing bills that only harm us and do something that actually helps us!  And stop focusing on the reproductive lives of women!  

And The War Goes On…and on…and on

By EOM Contributor

The War Against Women continues unabated as shown by on-going comments made by male politicians. First there are

English: Incomplete spontaneous abortion with ...

the “GYNOTICIANS”…those elected male representatives who believe they know more about women’s health than women and their doctors know. You know, the men in North Dakota who passed a bill requiring physicians to lie to their pregnant patients who are considering an abortion by telling them they will become sterile, will suffer life-long depression and may attempt suicide. None of which are true.

Now the House has approved a bill (which will likely not be approved by the Senate) which would institute a nation-wide ban on abortion after 20 weeks. Very few abortions occur that late and when they do it’s generally because of a serious threat to the mother’s health or discovery that the fetus will not survive due to a genetic flaw. Most genetic testing cannot be done until the 24th or 25th week, so this bill would force a woman to risk her life to continue the pregnancy or force her to give birth to a child she know will die within minutes. The reason they have chosen 20 weeks as their cut-off date is due to disputed scientific evidence that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. According to Texas Representative Michael Burgess (who was actually an obstetrician), fetuses have “purposeful movements with their hands, even at 15 weeks, especially if it is a male fetus and his hands are between his legs”. Yes, he actually said that. He apparently believes male fetuses are masturbating at 15 weeks and if they can feel pleasure, surely they can feel pain. While I understand not wanting a fetus to feel pain, can we justify forcing the birth of babies who will die (and quite possibly die in pain) by denying the right to end the pregnancy?

We have all heard about Todd Akins who claimed that women don’t get pregnant when they are raped because “the female body has a way of shutting that down.” Sorry, Todd…statistics show that approximately 25,000 women a year get pregnant as a result of rape.

Several states actually allow a rapist to sue his victim to prevent them from having an abortion. They can even sue for visitation rights and custody. A rapist…getting custody of his victim’s child! How offensive is that?

The FBI definition of rape is “insertion or penetration of the vagina (no matter how slight) with any object, without consent.” Governor Scott Walker has said he will sign a bill that would require a woman wanting to terminate a pregnancy to have a 10″ metal probe inserted into her vagina (medically unnecessary) prior to termination. Watch out, ladies….the state will force you to be raped before you can end your pregnancy! By the way, this medically unnecessary procedure won’t be covered by insurance, adding to the financial burden of low-income women faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

In all but six states, it is legal to fire a woman for being a victim of domestic violence! It’s true…based on the assumption that the woman’s husband or partner who is violent may appear at her workplace. Yes, that has happened, but perhaps the solution is to lock up the violent man instead of firing the victim. There have even been cases where landlords evicted women who were victims of domestic violence based on the opinion that multiple calls to police constitute “nuisances” to the property.

And here is the most recent ridiculous statement, although at least this one was made by a journalist and not an elected official…Wall Street Journal editorial writer James Taranto wrote about the sexual assaults occurring in the military. He said that these reports are “fakes” and constitute an “assault on male sexuality.” Apparently, men are born to rape. If I were a man, I would be highly offended by this. Even as a woman, I’m highly offended by this.

But there are still people all around us that are not paying attention to what is happening to women in this country. Poverty (we still earn .77 to every 1.00 for doing the same work), lack of health care (including access to birth control), violence (1 in 3 women will be the victim of violence during her lifetime) and many other issues. There is one bright spot, though. More girls are graduating from high school than boys. More girls are going on to college than boys. More girls are getting advanced degrees than boys. Education is the key to better lives. Maybe, for the next generation, the pendulum will swing in our favor. Don’t worry, guys….we will treat you much better than you have treated us.

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