War Against Women in Our Own Country
February 19, 2011
It’s an inquisition as virulent as any Inquisition. It’s a holocaust with women and children as the targets.
It’s a fear-driven, rhetoric-inspired hysteria.
It’s a war.
It’s a war of words, not guns. And the victims are women and children. The “guns,” the weapons, are the gradual diminishing of our human rights.
We had warnings. We knew the attacks would be coming. In fact, we were promised that our rights would be stripped away if we put certain people in power. Well, we did. They are. And they are fulfilling their promises.
We are at war and we have to figure out what we’re going to do about it.
The latest salvo was yesterday when the House adopted an amendment to the continuing resolution, or C.R., offered by anti-choice Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) that would eliminate funding for preventative-health services, including contraception and cancer screenings, at Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. The House is expected to pass the overall budget measure, which will then move to the Senate.
Note that I said “latest.” This isn’t the first attack against our fundamental human right and it won’t be the last. H.R.3 and H.R.358 are two bills that have sparked intense controversy. Lawmakers finally had to cave to public pressure and remove a provision in both bills that tried to redefine rape, but now a new version of H.R.358 includes a measure that would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care to women who will die without it.
Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL, said that if passed, both H.R.3 and H.R.358 would interfere in women’s personal, private decisions in unprecedented ways. H.R.3, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), would effectively block private-insurance plans from covering abortion care in the new health-care system and impose tax penalties on individuals and small businesses that purchase plans that include abortion coverage. Currently, 87 percent of private plans include such coverage.
Just last week a bill in South Dakota would have made it “legal” to murder an abortion provider.
We are a country in the midst of a financial depression. We are a country where millions of people have lost jobs and are unemployed. Shouldn’t those be the priorities Congress is facing? Instead the newly elected Senators and Representatives are manically focused on removing a woman’s right to choose.
Even allowing for editing of the tapes from Planned Parenthood, and imagining how many offices the undercover folks had to go into to get material for their expose, some of what the folks in PP said was wrong. And PP has addressed those individuals and those practices immediately. Did we close down the banks or AIG because someone, some individuals in those corporations screwed up? Well, as a matter of fact we actually increased our support of them and handed them lots and lots of money to fix their “business.”
Why is it so different with an organization that only does good? Why is it a different set of rules for an organization that serves millions of women every year, providing counseling, cancer screenings, testing? I can tell you why. Because it’s convenient for the “right” for the anti-choice war mongers who characterized the issue as one of abortion when that was never the real issue. It’s a weapon the “right” can re-package and use very effectively to strip away our human right to sexual freedom.
THERE IS NO FEDERAL FUNDING FOR ABORTION. Period.
Even though less than 10 percent of the organization’s services are in providing abortions, that’s the big issue for Pence and his cohorts in this anti-human rights crusade.
The Pence amendment is only one of the assaults on women and children in the Republican Continuing Resolution, which also includes cuts to teen pregnancy prevention programs, cuts to Head Start and child care programs, complete elimination of Title X family planning programs serving low-income women, massive cuts in nutrition aid for children under 5 years and pregnant women, cuts to prenatal care programs, and cuts to assistance for the elderly poor, who are predominantly women. No matter your political affiliation, these services should be considered vital.
So what can you do about it? Fortunately, it’s unlikely the amendment will pass in the Senate. In the meantime, hop on over to the Planned Parenthood website and SIGN THIS LETTER, directed toward representatives who signed the bill and senators who can still stop it from passing.
And, if you haven’t been, start paying really close attention to your fundamental human rights and what those elected officials in Congress and at the state level are doing to violate them. Follow us on Twitter (WoodhullFound) and subscribe to our free Daily eNews.