Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Womens Rights”

How Recent Supreme Court Decisions Harm All Of Us

By EOM Contributor  ladyjustice

First I’d like to provide some information on the recent decisions, then I will explain why I think they are harmful to all of us.

Let’s start with the Hobby Lobby decision first.  The court has ruled that Hobby Lobby can deny insurance coverage for particular types of birth control based on the fact that it goes against their deeply held religious beliefs.  The contraception mandate provided for in the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) had exemptions for birth control coverage for institutions or businesses whose PRIMARY purpose was the promotion of their religious beliefs.  Hobby Lobby’s primary purpose is the selling of craft items.

Hobby Lobby particularly opposed IUDs and morning after pills believing that they were similar to abortions.  IUDs are very effective and very popular among women.  They are also very expensive.  Morning after pills are necessary in circumstances where a woman may believe her regular birth control has failed or in cases of rape and/or incest when the woman may not have been protected by any kind of birth control.  According to the 35-page dissent written by Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, this decision was so poorly written that it leaves the door open for any employer to deny coverage of ANY type of  birth control.  She also says that even though this decision was only about birth control, again it’s so poorly written it leaves the door open to denial of coverage of such medical procedures as blood transfusions and mental health treatment if your employer is a Jehovah’s Witness or a Scientologist.

Now I would be more believing of Hobby Lobby’s “deeply held religious” belief concerning types of birth control if they didn’t import the majority of their products from China where millions of women are forced to have abortions every year due to China’s one child policy.  I would also be more believing of their reasoning if they didn’t invest millions of their pension plan money in pharmaceutical companies that produce the very type of birth control they object to.  Apparently where Hobby Lobby is concerned, having to pay for birth control violates their religious belief, but making millions of dollars by investing in that very type of birth control, and buying their products from China, is in no way a violation of their religious beliefs.  As far as their beliefs go, money trumps religion every time.

Now about the “buffer zone” around clinics that provide abortions.  The court ruled that one particular clinic in Boston violated the free speech of citizens because their 35 foot buffer zone included a public sidewalk.   This particular clinic was built very close to the public sidewalk in a crowded urban area.  I understand the reasoning that public sidewalks can’t be excluded.  But because of this decision women seeking a legal medical procedure at this clinic will now be forced to push their way through a crowd of potentially violent protesters.   It will also result in more clinics trying to do away with buffer zones. Protesters were always able to voice their opinions outside the buffer zone and still be heard.  They claim they want to engage in “gentle conversations about other options”.  If that were true, why have there been 6800 incidents of violence, 2500 incidents of trespassing, 42 bombings, 17 attempted murders and 8 murders at clinics in the last 15 years?  This is not a free speech issue, but it is very much a safety issue.  By the way, the Supreme Court has a 185 foot buffer zone around their building.

Now about how this effects us all:

*Since the advent of the pill, women have been able to continue/finish higher education at a much higher rate than before.

*Having a higher education means that women can provide better financial support for their families.

*Women who can better help provide for their families results in fewer families needing public assistance (food stamps, housing aid, health care) which is provided through our tax dollars, thereby saving all of us money.

*Women who space when they have children and how many they have are healthier and their children are healthier than women who have too many children in too short a time period.

*Having more children than a woman can care for or afford will result in more children going hungry, which in turn will result in poorer education for those children, because study after study shows that kids can’t learn when they are hunger.  So we will have more poorly educated people in our future work force.

*Not being able to afford birth control will most certainly result in many unplanned pregnancies.  Those women will have to drop out of the work force for a period of time, which will financially harm their families and our economy.  When and if they return to the work force will depend on how much they can afford to spend for child care.

Hopefully, men will realize how this effects them, too.  Since it’s primarily women who are responsible for birth control (although I would certainly like to see this change), men will now be fathers sooner and perhaps more often than they would like.

Yes, I realize the court decision on birth control doesn’t mean that women can’t go out and get that birth control.  But affordability equals access.  Birth control can be very expensive.  An IUD can cost up to $2000.  The pill can cost $50 – $75 a month.  If you are a minimum wage worker, that is a significant amount of money.  And as we know, women are paid considerably less than men in the workplace to begin with.

Access to safe and legal abortions is being greatly reduced in many states.  Now the affordability of the most effective types of birth control is being reduced for thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands of women.  It seems to me that everyone should wish for fewer abortions to be performed in this country.  Affordability of birth control can help accomplish that.  But when you can’t afford birth control or when your birth control fails, ending a pregnancy safely for women who desire to, should always be an option.  It’s 2014, but women’s rights are more along the lines of 1950.

I get the “religious beliefs” idea.  I really do.  But when your religious beliefs infringe on other peoples lives in this most personal and private way, something has to give.  The ability to access birth control and a safe termination of a pregnancy will benefit women, men, children and all families.  This is the greater good.  And when your religious beliefs interfere with the greater good….well, you know where I stand.



What’s on America’s Mind With Emerson Drake..Friday at Noon.

Français : Radio Contact 104.9 FM

Français : Radio Contact 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Topics include Thank God and Grey Hound She’s Gone…a tribute to the
Bee’s Judy Sly,  the continuing War on Women’s Rights, When did we
really start to lose our privacy, Measure X just won’t go away,
Modesto’s General Plan Amendment, the Entertainment Commission, Downtown
revitalization,  these topics and more so tune in and find out what you
need to know to make decisions important to you, your family and your
community. Friday at Noon.


104.9 FM our flagship station


To listen live or from the archives at your convenience  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whats-on-americas-mind/2013/11/22/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drakefriday-at-noon


What’s on America’s Mind With Emerson Drake

Topics  include Fitzpatrick Homes’ lack of Ag Mitigation, Medical Marijuana


Radio RED 104.9 FM

Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)


for children in Modesto, the Military’s War on Women, these topics and more so tune in and find out what you need to know to make decisions important to you, your family and your community.  Friday at Noon.


To listen live or from our archives at anytime go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whats-on-americas-mind/2013/11/15/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake


What’s on America’s Mind Wednesday at 8:30 PM After the StanCoG Meeting

Tonight’s topics include the recent attacks on women’s rights, the Planning Commissions steps forward and Marsh’s steps


Radio RED 104.9 FM

Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)


backward, who is running for council and MID that doesn’t have a clue, tonight’s StanCoG meeting, these topics and more so tune into tonight at 8:30 PM and find out what you need to know to make decisions important to you, your family and your community.


104.9 FM our flagship station


To listen live or anytime from our archives http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whats-on-americas-mind/2013/08/22/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake-1


What’s on America’s Mind With Emerson Drake

In our first segment we are going to discuss Family issues and women’s issues across the nation and how they effect our family


Radio RED 104.9 FM

Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)


life, then it’s onto the proposed Modesto sales tax and what its passing or failure means to you along with those behind the issue and why, the recent Salida MAC meeting both issues and comments plus well be playing some of the meeting and discussing it, those behind the issue, these and more so tune in at 6:30 PM Wednesday and find out the things you really  need to know.


104.9 FM Modesto our Flag Ship station

The call in number is 1-347-215-9414


To listen to the show live or in our archives at a later date: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2013/08/01/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake


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.

Are Working Moms causing the destruction of America?

By EOM Contributor

A study was recently released that shows 4 out of 10 women are either the primary or sole provider for families with

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...

children.  Part of this is due to loss of jobs for men and part is due to the fact that some men abandon their families. The reaction of the far right conservatives is something to behold.

Women started entering the work force in massive numbers in the 1970s.  Since then, due to reliable and available birth control (another thing right-wingers criticize us for, but that’s another story) women have gone on to college, received advanced degrees and had good careers.  At this point in time, more women are going to college than men, which means they will have better jobs and be able to support their families.

Here is the reaction of two male newscasters from Fox News (interestingly, the first report on Fox news was an all-male panel, similar to the all-male Congressional panel to discuss birth control)  said Erik Erickson: “When you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role…we have lost the ability to have complimentary relationships in nuclear families”, and apocalyptic tantrum throwing “We are watching society dissolve around us!” warned Lou Dobbs.   http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45755884/vp/52062608/#52062608



The Queen Bee is dominant over the worker bees, the Black Widow kills the male after mating, in many other species (including humans), the male does his part to create offspring and then wanders away, having nothing to do with raising the young.  And yet it’s the “single” mothers who are criticized for caring for their children.

Society is dissolving around us because women are working to support their families?  These men don’t seem to understand the alternative:  more women and children living on welfare.  And if that happened these same men would be complaining about it.  Conservatives talk about “family values” but then insult women who try to give their families a better life.

Some women work purely for financial reasons.  Some women work because they want to.  Whatever their reason, these right-wing conservatives have no right to criticize the choices that women make for themselves and their families. There is no indication that women working will cause the destruction of America or American families.  Studies have shown that children of working mothers are just as successful in life as children of stay at home mothers.

So if you are a woman with children, what should you do?  Go out and earn a living so your children have a roof over their heads and food on the table?  Or live on welfare at taxpayers’ expense?  Because in the minds of some of these men, you are a villain either way.  Make your own choice.  Decide what is best for you and your family.  And don’t listen to these misogynistic men who seem to think you are the cause of America’s decline.  You are what makes America strong.

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.

“What’s on America’s Mind” Thursday at 7:00PM

Radio RED 104.9 FM

Radio RED 104.9 FM (Photo credit: Mahdi Ayat.)

Yes, for the next two weeks due to scheduling conflicts I’ll be doing the show on Thursday night instead of Wednesday.

Thursday night’s topics will include the MID and background on the agenda items Garth can’t provide, a Salida update,  Modesto city council issues, Problems at MJC, an update on the cat killer, and a glimpse at national issues that concern all of us.

So tune in on Thursday night for the next two weeks and discuss the issues that concern you.

Our call in number is 347-215-9414

Our Flag Ship Station 104.9 FM Modesto

This link, as always, is for the live AND archived show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2012/11/02/whats-on-americas-mind

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