Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “abortion”

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.

There Comes a Time When Silence is a Form of Betrayal

EOM Contributor

The above quote is attributed to Martin Luther King during his efforts to promote civil rights for blacks.  The quote is

English: Cover of Birth Control Review July 19...

English: Cover of Birth Control Review July 1919 Captions: “How shall we change the law?”, “Must She Always Plead in Vain? “You are a nurse – can you tell me? For the children’s sake – help me!” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

again appropriate at this point in time, for the attacks on women’s reproductive rights.

Several states are passing or attempting to pass legislation that severely restricts a woman’s right to choose and even limit access to birth control.  Congressmen and Senators continue to make outrageous and medically, scientifically false statements about women, pregnancy, rape and abortion.  Many bills would force a woman to give birth even if she will die and/or the fetus has a fatal flaw.

Nebraska state Senator Bill Kintner says he doesn’t understand women (and that women don’t even understand themselves) but he has no problem with passing legislation that gives government the right to control women.

North Dakota has passed a law requiring physicians to lie to their pregnant patients who are considering ending a pregnancy by telling them they will be come sterile, they will suffer from life long depression and will be very likely to commit suicide.  No study done in the decades since Roe vs. Wade has shown any of that to be true.

The men running for governor and lieutenant governor of Virginia have both compared abortion to slavery.

Virginia Republican party treasurer Bob Fitzsimmons has said “I’m not a big fan of contraception”.

Rick Santorum said during the primary debates last year that “birth control is not okay”.

Ron Paul said that “married people who use birth control are immoral.”

Republican Bobby Franklin proposed (fortunately it was not passed) a bill that would require any woman suffering a miscarriage without a doctor present to report said event to the police within 24 hours or risk facing a year in jail and a $2500 fine.  His original proposal recommended the death penalty for any woman having an abortion and the physician who performed it.

Bills are being proposed to require women to purchase a supplemental insurance policy that would cover abortions, even though at this time, most insurances already cover abortions.  A lawmaker has compared getting pregnant by rape to a “car accident”,  which is covered by specific insurance.

Representative Louie Gohmart (R-Texas) said that women carrying a fetus without a brain should be forced to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth to a baby that will die within minutes.

GOP Representative Trent Franks said that “denying abortion rights is just like ending slavery and the Holocaust.”

Bills have been proposed to consider a single egg a person and a single sperm a person, with all the rights that you and I have.

Bills have been proposed to deny the right to choose to a victim of rape, incest and even to a mother will die if the pregnancy continues.

Several bills have been proposed to prevent insurances from covering birth control.  Amazingly, these bills only propose to stop coverage for female forms of birth control, not vasectomies.

In the midst of all these efforts to stop abortion and limit access to birth control, the GOP is attempting to de-fund social services for low-income families.  Low income families will be even lower-income if they are forced to give birth when an unwanted pregnancy could have easily been prevented.

I have seen many stories on the news and in various newspapers about women protesting these efforts to deny our constitutional right to choose and to make our own decisions about our health care.  What I find sad is that I seldom see men in these pictures.  For any man reading this, I ask you…where do you stand?  Will you stand for the rights of all the women in your life?  Your wife, your sisters, your aunts, your cousins, your nieces and most importantly..your daughters?  Why are you so silent?  So I say again….


Forced Parenthood – Brought To You By Your Government

English: A woman swats away the stork which ha...

English: A woman swats away the stork which has brought her her child. Caption: “And the villain still pursues her”.  And the villian is the American government.

EOM Contributor

Paul Ryan is at it again.  He is supporting yet another “personhood” bill that would grant all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood to a one-celled human embryo.   Previous personhood bills have been soundly defeated in several states, including Montana, North Dakota, Colorado and socially conservative Mississippi.  Mr. Ryan also sponsored a bill that was nicknamed “let women die” because it would allow hospitals to refuse to allow a woman emergency abortion care, even if her life were in danger.

Not only would these laws, if passed, prevent abortion in most cases, they would also result in banning some forms of birth control.  The birth control pill and the IUD do not prevent eggs from becoming fertilized, they simply prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus.  Medical science does not consider a woman to be pregnant until the egg is securely implanted in the uterus.  Personhood bills would consider a woman pregnant before medical science does.  Do these politicians actually believe the know more about medical science that physicians do?

What is being forgotten in this emotionally charged discussion is the rights of the woman.  Do women lose their rights the moment an egg is fertilized?  Why would a single-celled embryo have more rights that I do?

New Mexico is trying to pass a law that would prosecute rape victims who have an abortion for “tampering with evidence”.  Giving birth isn’t evidence of rape, it’s just evidence of pregnancy.  Evidence of rape includes bruises, scratches and injuries.  Rape kits done at a hospital provide evidence of rape.  If they want to determine paternity, you don’t need to carry a pregnancy to term to do that.  If a rape victim has an abortion, tissue from that procedure carries the DNA of the rapist.  The New Mexico bill would allow prison sentences of up to three years for any rape victim who has an abortion and for the physician who performs it.  If the purpose of this “evidence” is to determine paternity, let’s start by putting the DNA of every male in the country into a national database.  It will be very easy to determine paternity.  Men don’t think the government should have their DNA?  Too bad…women don’t think the government should force us to become mothers.  If the government is going to control the lives of women, you can be sure we will force it to control the lives of men, too!

Wisconsin lawmakers have imposed restrictions on chemical abortions, including a waiting period.  These are abortions caused by taking medication prescribed by a physician.  They are performed very early in the pregnancy, can be done at home in privacy, and are extremely safe.  Wisconsin is forcing women to wait longer to end a pregnancy, making it necessary to have a surgical abortion.  This only adds stress to the woman and her partner.  Surgical procedures are still very safe, but slightly riskier than chemical ones, as there is always the chance of infection.

We are quite possibly heading to forced parenthood.  Any woman who becomes pregnant, either rape or accident, will be forced to become a mother.  There is a flip side to this….men will be forced to become fathers.  How many of you men believe the government has the right to force you to be a father?  Think about it….every time you have a sexual encounter you will run the risk of your government forcing you to be a father.  Birth control fails.  IUD’s, the pill, condoms….all have a certain failure rate.

We need to consider not only the rights of women to choose when or if to become a mother, but the rights of men to make a choice to become a father.  Will the government force these men to be involved in their child’s life?  Will they be strict in forcing them to pay child support?  Several states already give rapists the right to sue for visitation rights and even custody.  Apparently the rights of men, even rapists, outweigh the rights of their victims, who are women.  Now the playing field will be leveled to a certain degree.  Will men stand for allowing their government to force them to become fathers?  I doubt it.  It should be interesting.

The goal of the conservatives in this country is to eliminate abortion.  They may succeed in making it illegal, but we all know that desperate women in desperate situations will try to end their pregnancy.  What the conservatives will succeed in is causing women to die from unsafe abortions.

Conservatives and liberals alike would like to reduce the number of abortions performed in this country.  It has been shown that abstinence only education doesn’t work.  The way to reduced unplanned pregnancies and abortions is to provide thorough sex education in schools.   The states with the highest rate of teen pregnancies are the ones that teach abstinence only.  Teenagers have raging hormones.  They think they’re in love.   If they have the knowledge to prevent pregnancy, most of them will use it.  Sex education and access to birth control.  That’s what this country needs.  Not politicians forcing parenthood on us against our will.  All of us would like to have a less intrusive government.  Forcing parenthood on us?  That’s incredibly intrusive.

The War Goes On…and on….and on…

English: Hobby Lobby store in Stow, Ohio

English: Hobby Lobby store in Stow, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Gaetana Drake

The most recent attack on American women comes from a nation-wide chain of craft stores.  Hobby Lobby has over 500 stores in 41 states and employs over 13,000 people.  The chain is owned by the Green family, who has now filed a lawsuit concerning insurance coverage for birth control.

Twenty-six states already required insurance to cover birth control prior to the Affordable Care Act being passed.  There have been no lawsuits filed in those states requiring such coverage.  The majority of the states that have this requirement, have an exemption for “religious” employers.  Maybe I’m mistaken, but I believe that by “religious” employer, they are referring to a business whose basis is religion.  A religious bookstore, for instance.  Most of these states have had these requirements in place for many years, without a problem.  It’s just since the far-right extremists started this war on women, that other employers are trying to deny basic health care coverage for women.

Hobby Lobby doesn’t have a problem with all birth control methods.  They are objecting to the ones they believe cause “abortions”.  That includes the pill and the IUD.  These methods don’t stop an egg from being fertilized, they simply prevent the fertilized egg from implanting itself in the lining of the uterus.  They also happen to be the most commonly used and most effective forms of birth control.

The Affordable Care Act has exemptions for “religious” employers, those being ones whose primary purpose is the promotion of their religious beliefs.  I just don’t see Hobby Lobby falling under that category, do you?

I’ve been in the Hobby Lobby store in Modesto.  It’s a great store.  It certainly doesn’t give the impression of being a “religious” store.  I had planned to purchase some Christmas decorations there.  I’ll be doing that shopping at Michaels now.  I will not spend my hard earned dollars at a place that denies basic health care coverage to the vast majority of its employees.

I wonder what the next step will be?  Will there be a religious test to work at Hobby Lobby?  What other parts of their religion will this family try to force onto its employees?

If you work for a business owned by a Mormon family, will they deny health care coverage for the illnesses caused by tobacco and alcohol use?  The Mormon faith doesn’t allow the use of alcohol and tobacco.

Many people argue that the problem is letting the government mandate what an employer can or can’t do.  The government already mandates that an employer can’t sexually harass an employee, or discriminate based on the many protected categories (race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity….).  In many religions practiced right here in the U.S., females are considered subservient to males.  Would we allow that religious belief to spill over into the workplace?  The government “mandates” many things that benefit us all.  Overtime pay and safe work environments, to name just two.

I have nothing against any religion.  But I believe religion should be practiced in your church and your home.  Not the workplace, particularly when it is to the detriment of your employees.

Women make up 51% of U.S. citizens.  We also make up 53% of registered voters.  I think it’s a safe bet to say they make up over 65% of Hobby Lobby employees.  I wonder how those employees feel right now.

I may be a bit misguided here, but I would think that any employer would look at this from an economic point of view.  I used to work for an employer who did not provide coverage for birth control.  I actually kept track of how many unplanned pregnancies occurred in our workforce each year.  We would cover the pregnancy, the hospitalization, the well-baby check-ups and continue coverage for the child up to the age of 19.  The employer had a “self-funded” insurance plan, meaning that we simply paid a company to administer the plan, but up to a certain dollar amount, the employer paid the medical bills incurred by employees.  We could have saved tens of thousands of dollars every single year I worked there if we had just covered birth control.  We could have saved additional payroll expenses by not having to have replacement workers for the women who were on leave to have babies.

It is so much less expensive to cover birth control than it is to cover unplanned pregnancies.  It’s simple economics.  You save money and you have happy employees because they are able to control their reproductive lives.

Guess when my former employer finally decided to cover birth control?  You got it…when Viagra came on the market!  And why was that?  Because Viagra was something men wanted!  Well, pay attention – women want birth control!

And on a side note – Rick Berg, a candidate for the Senate from North Dakota….voted for a bill that would sentence women who have abortions (and the doctors who provide them) to life in prison.  Life in prison without the possibility of parole!  With no exception for rape, incest or the life or health of the woman!  Do you still believe there is no war on women?

Rapists Have Visitation and Custody Rights??

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard the recent comment by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri) who believes that women don’t get pregnant as a result of rape, because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.”  In case you needed more proof that that statement is incredibly ignorant, consider this – 31 states allow rapists to sue for visitation and custody rights concerning the child they fathered during a rape!

Can you imagine the terror a woman feels while she is being raped?  If she goes to the hospital for a rape exam, she is violated again.  The actual collection of evidence (swabs from every orifice) and a close inspection of her body for bruising and other injuries, takes several hours.  During this exam a law enforcement officer is in the exam room to observe the collection of evidence.  Imagine how humiliating this is.  Then there is the stigma attached to being raped.  I grew up during a time when it was believed that “good girls don’t get raped”, or “she was asking for it, look at the clothes she was wearing.”  And after the exam, she has to wait to see if she became pregnant.  Many hospitals won’t provide her with the emergency contraception pill, due to their “religious” beliefs, and the official party platform of the GOP states that there will be no exception for abortions due to rape or incest.

So after going through all that, imagine this victim finding out that she is, in fact, pregnant.  Now comes the turmoil every woman faces when she has an unwanted pregnancy.  Do I abort?  Do I have the child of my rapist?  Many women choose to continue the pregnancy to term and keep the child.  Now….she finds out that her rapist can take her to court to win custody and/or visitation rights!

After going through such a horrible experience, but rising above it and deciding to raise her child, she can now be tethered to her rapist for the next 18 years, until the child is an adult.  He will come to her house to pick up the child.  He will come to her house to drop the child off.  He will be involved in holiday and school activities.  He will be a constant presence in her life that reminds her of the worst thing that ever happened to her.  It must be like being raped over and over for 18 years.

We all know that rape isn’t about sex.  It’s about power and control.  After fathering a child through rape, the rapist is now able to exert power and control over his victim for another 18 years. 

Who in their right mind can possibly believe that it is healthy for a child to spend time with a rapist?  I can only believe that some of these “rights” for rapists were decided by the same kind of men who have no compassion for rape victims, like many of the Republican elected officials.

It’s estimated that 54% of rapes in this country go unreported.  Now I understand why.  Studies have shown that women who live in the states listed below, often choose not to press charges against their rapist, in order to avoid the possibility of the man suing for custody or visition:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Can you believe that in America, rapists have such rights?

Republicans Are Showing Their True Colors

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard the outrageous comments by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri), claiming that women don’t get pregnant as a result of a legitimate rape because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.”  First of all, I wonder what a “legitimate” rape is….it seems to exclude statutory rape and incest.  Did Mr. Akin skip science and health ed class?  Here are some other ridiculous comments by republicans:

Representative Steve King (R) has not spoken out against Mr. Akin because he seems to agree with him.  He recently told an Iowa reporter that “I’ve never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest”.  A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found that “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”  That would be the statutory rape that Mr. King doesn’t believe causes pregnancies.

Federal Judge James Leon Holmes, a Bush appointee, said in an article published circa 1997: “Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

Dr. Richard Dobbins, who works in the emergency department at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Ohio told the Columbus Dispatch in 2006, “I think that life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm and egg line up”.  Dobbins also questioned the need for emergency contraception in rape cases, saying that most women “are not fertile during assault or do not become pregnant because the trauma prompts a hormonal response that prevents ovulation.”   I wonder….do rapists only rape women who are not in their “fertile period”?

In 1995, Republican Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations Committee:  “The facts show that people who are raped – who are truly raped – the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant”.

Representative Stephen Freind, (R-Delaware County) said “the odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are ‘one in millions and millions’.  The reason, he said, “is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion’ that tends to kill sperm.”


Texas oilman Clayton Williams once ran against Ann Richards for Governor of Texas.  During the campaign he said “Rape is like the weather, if it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

Idaho Senator Chuck Winder (R) has made this unusual comment. “I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that the physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape.”  Apparently in his mind, it’s part of “normal relations in a marriage” for a husband to rape his wife.

The GOP has finalized it’s  party platform for this election.  It includes NO exception for federal funding for abortions for victims of rape or incest.  They are finally being honest enough to tell us that their goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Mitt Romney has said he would sign a “personhood amendment” which would effectively ban the birth control pill and the IUD.  These are the most commonly used and most effective forms of birth control.

Paul Ryan along with Todd Akin (women can shut down that function) co-sponsored a nation-wide personhood amendment that tried to outline the differences in types of rape.  Statutory rape, incest and forcible rape are all different categories in their minds.  Forcible rape is the only kind where they would allow the woman to have an abortion.  The wording in their proposal also required a woman to be able to “prove the rape was against her will.”  Will America soon be like Pakistan where it isn’t rape unless it’s witnessed by four other men?

Women still earn .77 to every 1.00 a man earns for doing the same job.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are against the Fair Pay Act.  Imagine what women’s earnings will be if they are forced to give birth every year or two….how can a woman hold down a job when she is constantly bearing children?  I know, I know…the simple answer is “don’t have sex.”  How many relationships will survive that?  Sex is a natural part of being a human being.

If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins in November, it won’t be long before women are forced out of their jobs by constant child-bearing, and they and their children live in severe poverty.  Oh yeah..don’t forget..they would like to eliminate federal funding to help low-income women and children, too.

Many of these men claim that it is immoral of us to force conscientious taxpayers to fund abortions in these cases.  They have no concern about conscientious taxpayers who object to war but are forced to pay for it.

Is this really the kind of America we want?

Do You Still Believe There’s No War On Women?

By Gaetana Drake

Here is a list of what the Republican party has done or is trying to do nation-wide and/or in Republican-led states:

Requiring a trans-vaginal probe (unpaid by insurance because it’s not medically required) prior to an abortion.  One male politician had the audacity to say if a woman didn’t want to watch, she could “just close her eyes.”

Passing “Personhood Amendments” which would effectively ban the pill and IUDs (the most effective and commonly used forms of birth control.)

Refusing to let women testify to the all-male congressional panel on birth control.

Wanting to change the Affordable Care Act to allow any employer to suddenly decide he has a “moral” objection to birth control and deny coverage.

Requiring three visits to a doctor prior to an abortion.

Failing to renew the Violence Against Women Act, because it now includes protections for lesbians, illegal immigrants and mail-order brides.

Censoring elected female representatives for daring to say “vagina” while men are passing legislation that controls our vaginas.

Making comments that there’s no need for insurance to cover birth control because it isn’t expensive.  To use the pill for 30 years (the amount of time the average American woman spends trying to prevent pregnancy) can cost $67,000.

Requiring physicians to lie to their pregnant patients about the effects of abortion, saying that it causes a higher rate of suicide (no study has ever shown that) and that having an abortion can cause cancer.  The truth is that carrying a pregnancy to term while you’re still a young woman tends to prevent cancer, but that does not equate to “having an abortion may cause cancer.”

Re-defining “rape” to “forcible” rape in a proposed bill that would deny any federal funding of abortions for rape victims.  Date rape, statutory rape, rape in a case where a woman is under the influence and unable to give consent….no longer considered rape in their minds.

And now, one of the most outrageous of all statements a politician has ever made – Congressman Todd Akin (R-Missouri) said, while discussion abortions in the case of rape – “what I understand from doctors I’ve talked to is that it’s rare for a woman to get pregnant as a result of rape – because the female body has a way of shutting down that process to avoid getting pregnant”. 

RAINN (Rape, abuse, incest national network) reports that 1 in 15 rape victims will become pregnant.)  There are an estimated 400,000 rapes (including the 54% that go unreported) annually.  That would mean that approximately 27,000 pregnancies as a result of rape every year.

I guess those 27,000 women and girls forgot to “shut down” that function.

So, I ask again….do you still believe there’s no war on women?

Is Robert Bork Right For America?

By Gaetana Drake

It’s good to understand one of the most important reasons we should all vote and that is because the President of the United States nominates Supreme Court Justices.  The Supreme Court makes decisions that effect our everyday lives.

Mitt Romney has chosen Robert Bork as co-chair of his Judicial Advisory Committee.  This means Mr. Bork will be suggesting to Mr. Romney names of possible future Supreme Court Justices and federally appointed judges throughout the country.   Mr. Bork was nominated by President Reagan to be a member of the Supreme Court, but the nomination was not approved. 

Here are some of his beliefs:

In 1963 he wrote an article for The New Republic called “Civil Rights – A Challenge”.  He claimed that laws requiring desegregation were a violation of the freedom of business owners to associate only with the people they chose.  His argument was “the natural right not to associate with others in commerce should not be overridden in the interests of civil rights, social justice, or most significantly, the interests of the moral order.”   

Republican led states are trying to impose severe voter restriction laws. Mr. Bork has a record of defending the constitutionality of poll taxes and literacy tests in state elections.  Obviously, the right-wing believes he is the man they need to help restrict voters’ rights in America.

Mr. Bork also believes that Roe v. Wade should be over-turned.  He would also give individual states the power to prosecute women and doctors who violate abortion laws.   By using Mr. Bork as “judicial advisor”, it is obvious that any future Supreme Court nominee would have to pass the anti-choice litmus test.  Mr. Bork has denounced the Supreme Court’s protection of a constitutional right to privacy in decision-making, the basis of Griswold v. Connecticut, which legalized a woman’s right to use birth control.

United States v. Virginia is the Supreme Court’s 7 – 1 decision which required the Virginia Military Institute to stop discriminating and to admit its first women cadets.  Thousands and thousands of female soldiers have since served bravely and honorably, but Mr. Bork has attacked that decision for producing the “feminization of the military.”  He wrote, “radical feminism, an increasingly powerful force across the full range of American institutions, overrode the Constitution in United States v. Virginia.  VMI is only one example of a feminized Court transforming the Constitution.”

In 1971 Mr. Bork argued that the First Amendment protects only political speech, not art or science or literature.  He continues to promote censorship to deal with what he calls the “rot and decadence” of American society.  In a 1997 interview with Michael Cromartie, he expressed such disgust with the state of American culture that he said he was in favor of a return to censorship boards in America.

Rather than allow states to make their own decisions on the issue of same-sex marriage, he has advocated a constitutional amendment that would permanently define marriage as between “one man and one woman”.  He would also prevent individual states from offering gay couples equal benefits of any kind.

In 2005 the Supreme Court decision in Roper v. Simmons, struck down the death penalty for juvenile offenders.  Bork called the decision a “new low” for the Court.  Between 1990 (when the Court last considered this issue) and 2005, there were only seven countries other than the United States that executed juvenile offenders.  They were Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and China.  Mr. Bork, however, found nothing cruel and unusual in executing minors.

And finally, Mr. Bork once ruled that an employer may require its female workers to be sterilized in order to reduce employer liability for harm to potential children, in cases where employers used toxic chemicals.  He also believes politicians should be able to ban birth control.

Poll taxes, literacy tests, forced sterilization in order to maintain employment, executing minors, censorship boards, corporate powers over individual rights, repealing civil rights and making criminals out of doctors and women…..is Robert Bork right for America?

Kansas Revokes Physician’s License – for not forcing a 10 year old to give birth!

By Gaetana Drake

Dr. Ann Neuhaus was a colleague of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas abortion provider.  You may remember that Dr. Tiller was assassinated by an anti-abortion activist in 2009, while attending church services.   Dr. Neuhaus worked with Dr. Tiller, providing second opinions for cases of late term abortions due to mental health issues.

For several years now, Dr. Neuhaus’ license has been restricted to providing limited medical care on a charity basis.  She was hoping to have her full license restored, instead her license has been temporarily revoked based on an investigation into 11 cases of girls ranging in age from 10 to 17.  The cases were obtained by Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group.

The investigation claims that Dr. Neuhaus did not provide the proper “standard of care”, based on the medical records they obtained.  They believe Dr. Neuhaus did not do a thorough evaluation or provide appropriate follow-up care.  Dr. Neuhaus said that she intentionally left pertinent information out of the files because she knew they might someday be subject to review by outsiders and didn’t want to violate her patients’ privacy.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts will decide next April if Dr. Neuhaus will permanently lose her license to practice medicine in Kansas.  Governor Sam Brownback recently appointed Richard Macias, a former Operation Rescue attorney, to the Board of Healing Arts.  Mr. Macias said concerning Dr. Neuhaus, “I’m more concerned about the standard of care, particularly the after-care”.  I assume he means he’s more concerned about that than the young women who were pregnant and suffering from mental illnesses.

In one of the cases, the girl involved was a 10 year old victim of rape.  Rape by her uncle.  An expert testified that the girl was too young and emotionally immature to be able to truly assess her situation.  But this expert testified against Dr. Neuhaus. The child had told Dr. Neuhaus that she knew she had a baby growing in her and didn’t want that.  Apparently, in the experts opinion, being too young and emotionally immature to assess her situation didn’t mean she was too young and emotionally immature to be forced to give birth.

Is this really what we want in this country?  For a 10 year old victim of rape/incest to be forced to give birth?

In the last two years over 1100 bills have been proposed (and many of them passed) that had the word “women” in them.  If we replaced the word “women” with the word “religion”, everyone would agree there was a war on religion.  Why don’t people believe there is a war on women?  And now the war on women is also a war against little girls. 

Please think about this.  If your 10 year old daughter were pregnant as a result of rape, would you want her to be forced to give birth? 

Who do you believe is more qualified to help a woman (or a child) make such a personal decision – a politician or a physician?  This is a decision that should ONLY be made by the woman (or girl), her family and her physician.  Politicians should stay out of it.

Stand up for the rights of the women in your life.  Your mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters need your help.  The battle is raging.

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