Politics / Reproductive Rights / Women and Gender

Attack of the Anti-Choice Clones: Legislators Wage War on Women & Reproductive Justice…It’s Time to Fight Back

Okay, this fucking batshit douchebaggery has GOT to stop!! You probably already know what I’m talking about.  And if you don’t, you’re in for a nightmarish awakening.  I’m referring to the assault on reproductive justice; the war being waged over women’s bodies.

I’ve wanted to write this blog post for weeks now.  But every time I came close to completing a piece, five other fucking anti-choice bombshells sprang up.  Then I thought, well so many other amazing bloggers have already written about this, does the blogosphere need one more writer weighing in?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  We need as many women and men as possible drawing attention to this frightening calamity.  I waded through numerous articles and blogs.  South Dakota condoning killing abortion providers, GOP redefining rape, Ohio abortion ban after fetal heartbeat, attack on Planned Parenthood…yep, it’s all here.

I know there is a TON of info in this post; I’ve practically written a novella!  But trust me, it’s important that you read it.  So here we go…fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night…

H.R. 3 & REDEFINING RAPE

A few weeks ago, I wrote on Blog for Choice Day about the horrific new legislation introduced by douchebag de jour Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) also called “Stupak on Steroids.”  This legislation doesn’t just affect taxpayers though.  It proposes to ban abortions for women who would pay with their private insurance as well.  It would disallow Medicaid to cover abortion.  And when the bill talks about federal prohibitions, they’re also including measures for the residents of Washington, D.C.  What could be worse?  Well my friends, it gets much, much worse.

Most people, even those who are anti-abortion, have often conceded that abortion is somewhat acceptable in the cases of rape or incest.  But this bill would ban abortion in these cases as well.  Oh but it doesn’t stop there!  It would also redefine rape.  As we’ve seen with the Julian Assange rape allegations controversy, rape isn’t so simple, even though it should be.  Someone says no, that’s rape.  Someone is coerced, that’s rape.  But some people think that rape is only rape if there’s brute force involved.  According to this bill, if you’re drugged? Not rape.  A minor?  Not rape either.

As you may know, Sady Doyle, feminist writer and badass blogger at Tiger Beatdown, started a Twitter hashtag (hashtags are a way to categorize or tag topics on the social networking site) campaign, called #DearJohn addressed to our oh so lovely speaker John Boehner and rallying against this anti-choice bullshit.  Doyle advocates,

“They’re coming for the abortion funding, and the first thing they’re doing is breaking the long-held taboo that says, whatever else you do, don’t come after the rape survivors, they’ve been through enough. According to this bill, you’ve only been through enough if the GOP decides you’ve been through enough. Otherwise, no matter how traumatic your rape was, or how desperately you want or need control of your life and body, you’re fair game. Having had your right to consent to sex violently ripped away, your right to consent to pregnancy and childbirth can now be ripped away as well.”

The GOP and many fucked-up Democrats are trying to redefine people’s experience of rape which is outrageous. See which Dems turned their back on choice at Pandagon and RH Reality CheckAs Ali at Abortion Gang points out, the bill attempts to redefine rape albeit in a vague, inaccurate and detrimental way:

“Well, the criminal code of the US has no definition for “forcible rape,” and the bill sponsored by Rep. Smith doesn’t provide a definition either.  This leaves the door open for anyone to make an interpretation of what forcible rape means to them – but this leaves out a critical truth: rape can take place without the use of force.”

And Ali is absolutely 100% correct.  People often think of rape happening in a dark alley with someone putting a knife or gun to a woman, threatening her with brutal force.  But that’s not the reality.  While that certainly does happen, this bastardization of a bill ignores that trans women and men are raped too.  If someone is drugged, that’s rape.  In cases of marriage or in relationships, rape can happen when someone fears the repercussions if they don’t have sex.  Threats, not of bodily harm but of say harm to one’s children or deportation constitute coercion.  Coercion of a minor, if not biologically-related, who might not realize they can say no to an authority figure, doesn’t count under this legislation as it’s not technically incest according to this ass-backwards legislation.  And as Jill Filipovic at Feministe points out if you’re a victim of incest and you’re 18, you’re out of luck.  All of these are examples of rape too.  And who the fuck are these jerkwads to decide what is and is not rape?!  How dare they try to define someone else’s experience.

But rape isn’t where the madness ends.  The bill only allows for abortion if the woman’s life is in mortal danger.  But if her health will suffer, then nope, no abortion allowed.  As Filipovic at Feministe argues,

“So if, for example, continuing a pregnancy will damage the woman’s kidneys so badly that she’ll need to be on dialysis for the rest of her life?  Too bad, that’s not life-threatening.”

The bill also seeks to curb hospitals and doctors from referring women to abortion services at other hospitals.  Catholic hospitals are notorious for not providing abortions.  Doctors and pharmacists in some states are allowed conscientious clauses, allowing them to “opt-out” of providing services they morally oppose.  But this seeps into other reproductive care services such as birth control and emergency contraception (inaccurately viewed by some as abortive; it’s not).  Women should be allowed to seek the best medical care possible, regardless of income or whether or not the GOP sees something morally reprehensible.  If you don’t consider abortion part of the full-range of healthcare for women, then you shouldn’t be a doctor. Period.

Continuing the fiscal punishment, it also cuts tax benefits for businesses or individuals that offer insurance policies covering abortion.  Filipovic at Feministe asserts,

“This bill would virtually ensure that private insurance companies drop abortion coverage – even where abortions are medically necessary.”

On the Open Congress Blog, Donny Shaw also criticizes this heinous bill and the vagueness of “forcible rape” as well as the incest-but-only-if-a-minor clause.  So we’ve already established that if a woman is 18 and a victim of incest, she doesn’t qualify for abortion services to be funded through Medicare.  But wait, it gets worse.  Shaw writes,

“In fact, under the bill she wouldn’t be able to use any health plan bought on the soon-to-be-created insurance exchange, even if she were paying for the abortion section of the coverage with her own funds.  That’s how the bill works.”

Nice, huh?  (insert eye roll)  Public outcry over the GOP attempting to redefine rape caused Republicans to remove “forcible rape” from the bill’s language. But hold the phone…don’t feel relief yet! The term “forcible rape” still hasn’t been removed from the bill. It is STILL in there, peeps!  Even if legislators erase the term, who are these fucknuts that co-sponsored the bill with forcible rape in it in the first place?!

Amanda Marcotte, blogger at Pandagon and RH Reality Check, wrote at Double X about pregnancy coercion in relationships, which happens to 1 out of 4 women who called the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Yet people don’t often think of coercion when discussing rape.  Marcotte poses,

“But with or without the term “forcible” in the bill, the definition of “rape” just doesn’t take into account the wide array of ways women get pregnant against their will because of domestic or sexual violence. If a wife-beater flushes his wife’s pills down the toilet and gets her pregnant in order to trap her in an abusive relationship, putting obstacles between that woman and her abortion is a form of siding with the abuser.”

Sady Doyle writes,

“If you care at all about the right to choose, the bill is already reprehensible, just on its face. It deprives low-income women of much-needed financial aid for their abortions, when their chances of getting it are already vanishingly slim. It targets the most vulnerable people in our society, and deprives them of much-needed control over their family planning, their lives, and their finances, which they need to survive and keep afloat. Oh, and bonus for the rest of us: Even if you have insurance, this bill might make it impossible for your insurance to cover an abortion. It’s just not okay, any way you look at it.”

For those who don’t believe the severity of this bill, let me be clear.  It’s not just an attempt to not have the federal government fund abortion coverage or to redefine rape, as horrific as that is in and of itself.  It’s an onslaught to eradicate abortion.  End of story.

H.R. 217 – STRIPPING FUNDING FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD

The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 217), sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), is essentially an attack to defund Planned Parenthood.  H.R. 217, which has been sent to Committee, would ban the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from providing any “federal family planning” funding to any organization that provides abortions or gives money to other orgs that provide abortions.  Like the other bills, exceptions can be made in the cases of rape (not forcible), incest of a minor or if a woman’s health is endangered.

WTF?!  I thought we repealed the Global Gag Rule…now the anti-choicers want to instate that very measure in the U.S.!  Planned Parenthood does perform abortions.  But it provides SO many more services.  It PROVIDES sex education, birth control (I’ve gotten my b.c. there!), emergency contraception, STD screening, pap smears, gynecological exams (I’ve had mine there!)…so many components of reproductive health that have nothing at all to do with abortion.  But it comes as no surprise that anti-choice proponents targeted Planned Parenthood.

Lila Rose, the anti-choice activist who showed undercover footage (a hoax) of Planned Parenthood supposedly aiding sex trafficking victims, claims that “Planned Parenthood aids and abets the sexual abuse and prostitution of minors.” Ultimately, she wants to defund Planned Parenthood; that’s her goal.  Clearly, she’s not alone in that ambition.

Here again we come up against the issue of money.  Ah gee, those golly do-gooder Republicans are just trying to save little old you and me money! (insert eye roll…in fact my eye sockets hurt from all the frakking eye rolls).  As Irin Carmon at Jezebel points out, these measures will cost tax payers MORE rather than saving them money. She quotes K.J. Dell’Antonia, blogger at Double X who argues,

“If Planned Parenthood closes its doors (the clear hope of Indiana Rep. Mike Pence and the 154 colleagues who’ve jumped on his bandwagon), then those women will go without-when for every dollar in public funding spend on family planning services, Medicaid saves $4.02 the next year. Why do Pence and his brethren support an action that would effectively cost taxpayers some $1.2 billion?”

Gail Collins, the amazingly fab writer at The New York Times, asserts,

“But here’s the most notable thing about this whole debate: The people trying to put Planned Parenthood out of business do not seem concerned about what would happen to the 1.85 million low-income women who get family-planning help and medical care at the clinics each year. It just doesn’t come up. There’s not even a vague contingency plan…There are tens of millions Americans who oppose abortion because of deeply held moral principles. But they’re attached to a political movement that sometimes seems to have come unmoored from any concern for life after birth.”

Regarding the essential services Planned Parenthood provides, particularly to low-income women (and this includes many college-aged women too), Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood expressed,

“These aren’t niche services that supplement to people’s regular health care. More than six out every ten women who receive care in a Title X family-planning health center say it’s their main source of health care –not a supplement, but a lifeline. That’s because 85 percent of them live at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and two thirds lack health insurance.”

People need to realize what an oasis Planned Parenthood is in a desert of little or no options for many women.  They help low-income women get the care they so desperately need.  But these asshole legislators who support this legislation clearly don’t give a shit about women.

H.R. 358 – AKA THE “LET WOMEN DIE ACT” & ATTACK ON BIRTH CONTROL

The Protect Life Act (H.R. 358), sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), in fact does NOT protect the life of women.  Elizabeth Shipp has called bullshit and named it what it really is: “The Let Women Die Act.”  This bill, which recently came out of Committee, initially had “forcible rape” in it too.  But Rep. Pitts reintroduced it, with “forcible” removed.  However, the bill, essentially a glorified “conscience clause,” would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against hospitals, doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who refuse to provide abortions or refer women to other facilities for an abortion, even if the woman’s life is in danger.

As Steph Sterling at RH Reality Check writes, the bill also:

“…would prevent women from using even their own private funds to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion and would significantly expand refusal calls that allow women to be denied treatment, even in circumstances where their health or lives are in jeopardy.  During the debate, members of the Committee finally admitted what we knew to be true:  hidden under the cloak of so-called “taxpayer funding for abortion,” H.R. 358 allows states to deny insurance coverage of birth control.

Come again? Once again trying to deny women from paying for abortions with private insurance or their own money…but also denying contraceptives coverage?!  What the fuck does birth control have to do with abortion?!  Under the Affordable Care Act, all new insurance plans could cover contraception.  But as Sterling points out, this bill would essentially allow states to “opt-out” as insurance companies could choose not to cover birth control if they possess “moral” objections.  We just keep wading deeper and deeper in bullshit.

S. 314 – “INFORMED CONSENT” OF FETAL PAIN

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2011 (S. 314) sponsored by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) is “to ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.”  This bill, which is still in Committee, would require doctors and healthcare providers to distribute a pamphlet to women in person or tell them over the phone prior to the abortion, informing them of the supposed pain the fetus will feel.  Women must then sign a waiver before proceeding.  If a doctor doesn’t comply?  Unless a woman’s life is in danger, they may face civil penalties.

The fact that doctors and healthcare providers doing their job by treating their patient (the woman) is ridiculous.  But this bill is also bullshit for the same reason as those asinine measures that insist women watch an ultrasound before an abortive procedure.  It’s unnecessary and torturous.  Women experience a diverse range of emotions regarding their abortions.  Many women feel relief afterwards.  But for those who are already distraught, this doesn’t ease their pain.  Also, this bill cites the Humane Slaughter Act (pertains to farm animals) and the Animal Welfare Act (pertains to lab animals) as justification to implement this “informed consent.”  First of all (and this is the vegan animal rights activist in me) there is NO humane slaughter of farm animals, not in our mechanized factory farming society.  And lab animals are also treated cruelly; injected with diseases and sprayed with chemicals, exploited in the name of research.  Regardless, to equate developing fetuses and fully developed animals is ridiculously inane bullshit on multiple fronts.

ANTI-CHOICE BILLS AT THE STATE LEVEL

But shit isn’t just going down at the federal level.  Anti-choice measures have popped up in states all over.  Stephanie Hallett at Ms. Magazine wrote a great article on how states across the country fare in anti-choice legislation. Proposed legislation ranging from mandatory ultra-sounds and banning relatives from transporting minors to have an abortion to private insurance restrictions and full-on abortion bans are currently sweeping the country.

Miriam Perez, editor at Feministing and fab blogger at Radical Doula, writes at Colorlines how H.R. 3, the bill that has infuriated the broadest range of constituents, is merely the tip of the iceberg. She writes,

“What’s striking, and drawing less attention, is that the invigorated attack on women’s health on Capitol Hill is just the beginning. The November elections also swept in a wave of anti-choice state governments, where the fight against reproductive rights has become increasingly defined by race baiting meant to divide the pro-choice community.”

And Perez is right.  Not only does the federal legislation wage war on reproductive rights, numerous other disturbing initiatives popped up in states across the country; all with the singular goal to decimate women’s access to abortions.

OHIO’S FETAL HEARTBEAT BILL

The Human Heartbeat Protection Act aka the “Heartbeat Bill” sponsored by State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-OH) would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.  It is the first bill of its kind in the nation and a fucking affront to Roe v. Wade.  In Colorado last year, voters struck down a state bill that would deem “personhood” on a fetus.  Ohio’s new legislation is similar yet much more dangerous.  Robin Marty at AlterNet reports that anti-choice proponents plastered “Abortion Stops a Heartbeat” billboards all over the state.  And Ohio legislators have already supported another bill that bans late term abortions.  But this new bill would irrevocably alter reproductive rights as we know it.

As Chloe Angyal, writer at Feministing, asserts, this measure could ban abortion just 18 days after conception.” 18 days?!  Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant until 2 months in as anyone who has irregular periods can tell you (and something Marty points out).  And who the fuck can get a spare $350-$500 to pay for an abortion at a moment’s notice?!  For some people that’s not a lot of money.  But for those who live paycheck to paycheck, it might as well be thousands rather than hundreds of dollars.

Marty at Alternet explains why this bill is so dangerous:

“Like the fetal “Personhood” push, the “Heartbeat” bill would eliminate virtually all abortion. But unlike “Personhood” it avoids all of the major controversies that impeded the fertilized egg movement. It would have no effect on IVF, since embryos would have no protected status. It wouldn’t inherently ban contraceptive drugs or intrauterine birth control devices, as those who campaigned against “Personhood” pointed out. It would take away many of the major arguments that pro-choice activists were able to use to fight the “Personhood” movement without basing their argument solely on the right to an abortion. With “Personhood,” pro-choicers were able to hang all women’s autonomy together. With “Heartbeat” anti-choicers are trying to isolate women who want to terminate pregnancies, targeting them in isolation.”

Again, all these anti-choice proponents care about??  Ding, ding, ding…eliminating abortion and women’s rights.

UPDATE on 2/23/11: Ohio has 4 other lovely anti-choice bills (oh goody).  H.B. 7 and H.B. 78/S.B. 72, which would strengthen criminal laws against late-term abortions unless a medical necessity; H.B. 63/S.B. 8 which would require parental consent of a minor seeking an abortion; and H.B. 79, which would prohibit women from using insurance to cover elective abortions.

UPDATE on 7/20/11: Ohio Governor John Kasich signed H.B. 78 into law, banning abortion after 20 weeks.

H.B. 1171 – SOUTH DAKOTA’S BILL THAT CONDONES MURDER OF ABORTION PROVIDERS

H.B. 1171, sponsored by State Rep. Phil Jensen (R-SD), alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide.” As Katie Sheppard at Mother Jones explains,

“If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion – even if she wanted one.”

WOW.  What the fuck is happening in South Dakota?!  I mean they are one of the worst states in the country for reproductive access.  Once a week, they have to fly in a doctor to perform abortions.  Once!  In situations dealing with later term abortions, you miss your scheduled date and boom you could be screwed as you now have to wait yet another week.  This bill screams misogyny.  In light of the circumstances surrounding the murder of Dr. Tiller, it’s entirely plausible that this bill is indeedan invitation to murder abortion providers,” as Vicki Saporta, President of the National Abortion Federation, astutely says.

But here’s the kicker: Rep. Jensen says everyone’s misinterpreting his bill!  Yeah, that’s it!  Trickery and chicanery…not the fact that this guy’s an anti-choice douche.  He claims that he just wanted to bring consistency to South Dakota statute and these codes deal will illegal acts and abortion is a legal act.” Um right, I’m sure he would chop off his arm if it meant abortion were no longer a legal act.  Interestingly, the initial bill didn’t include anything about an “unborn child.”  But after it came out of Committee it sure did.  Despite Rep. Jensen’s efforts to defend his bill and say that he wants to include measures to protect abortion providers, Rep. Jensen has now decided to put the measure on hold, at least for the time being.

Ah but even if H.B. 1171 never sees the light of day, all is not well in Ohio.  Another bill, H.B. 1217, “would force women to undergo counseling at a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC)” before having an abortion.  And for those of you who don’t know, CPCs are dangerous and antithetical to women’s reproductive health.  Not only are they usually run by religious, anti-choice conservative zealots who are NOT doctors or nurses, they provide false and misleading information.

UPDATE on 2/23/11: H.B. 1171 has been tabled (hoorah!!) but H.B. 1217 passed the South Dakota House and is now headed to the Senate (booooo!!).

LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF RACE, CLASS & SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN THE ANTI-CHOICE AGENDA

While fierce feminists have been advocating their asses off against anti-choice legislation, there’s one aspect of this issue many have forgotten.  H.R. 3 doesn’t just affect women.  It affects transgender women and men raped as well as cisgender men raped.  At Questioning Transphobia, blogger Queen Emily astutely articulates,

“I know – as do many of you – how problematic and alienating the ingrained cissexism and binarism of much mainstream cis feminist and pro-choice politics can be, yet this is an attack on trans communities too.  If it’s being framed as a means of controlling “womens’” reproductive capabilities, it’s also an attack on some trans men, non-binary and genderqueers’ reproductive rights–as well as a broader attack on rape and incest survivors.  The breathtaking dehumanisation of survivors in this legislation affects us all, even those of us who don’t require abortions.”

Melissa Gira Grant, External Relations Officer at Third Wave Foundation, also argues that H.R. 3 affects trans individuals, as well as numerous other groups, such as people of color and those with low income. She also makes the connection between sexual assault and abortion access.  Gira Grant writes,

“Reproductive justice activists Reproductive justice activists have long recognized that sexual violence and abortion access are deeply connected. As a matter of body autonomy, we all should have the power to decide when we want to have sex and when to have children.  These attempts to regulate reproductive and sexual health access out of existence aren’t just an attack on our rights. They are a form of institutional violence, and they disproportionately impact people of color, low income people, and young women, transgender and gender nonconforming youth.”

Race also plays a role in the war against reproductive justice.  Miriam Perez at Colorlines writes,

“These race and sex selection bills are part of a growing meme in the anti-choice movement—targeting abortion as so-called “black genocide,” along with drawing comparisons between abortion and slavery. These messages are not new but they are gaining prominence. There has been a recent media push, including billboards with the message, “Black Children are an Endangered Species” and ads on Black Entertainment Television. These efforts are clearly an attempt to divide the pro-choice community along race lines in order to further chip away at access to abortion as a whole. When placed alongside ideologies that support restricting social services and assistance to low-income families and families of color, these tactics are revealed for what they are—race baiting and divisiveness rather than a real concern for the lives of black folks. All of these attacks are united under the banner of trying to eliminate access to abortion entirely.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic wrote an amazing and impassioned article on the faults of those who claim a parallel between slavery and abortion. He accurately asserts that the two are polar opposites.  African-Americans spoke out against slavery, fetuses do not possess the capacity to voice anything.  In fact the first abolitionists were slaves themselves.  Coates writes,

“Whereas abortion is necessarily premised on ending the existence of a fetus, slave-holding was directly premised on the continued existence of slaves.”

Noting the racist nature of anti-choicers, Coates goes on to say,

“The analogy necessarily holds that the enslaved were the equivalent of embryos–helpless, voiceless beings in need of saviors. In this view of American history, the saviors, much like the pro-life movement, are white. In fact, African-Americans, unlike, say, zygotes, were always quite outspoken on their fitness for self-determination…It is simply impossible to imagine the end of slavery without the action of slaves themselves. And it is equally impossible to say the same about the end of abortion…”

As Coates points out, fetuses cannot liberate themselves or other fetuses.  Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches writes about Rep. Chris Smith’s crusade to banning abortion and having fetuses deemed a new class. At the March for Life in D.C., coinciding with the 38th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Smith said we must ensure the human rights of all, regardless of age, race, religion, sex, disability, immaturity and condition of dependency.” As Posner points out, Smith is co-opting other movements to fuel his own.  She writes,

“Smith is robbing the legacy of the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, the disability rights movement (but of course not the LGBT rights movement, whose rights Smith’s conservative cohorts have blocked) to claim that fetuses are merely “immature” or “dependent” people who deserve the protections of the Constitution and our civil rights laws.”

Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon calls H.R. 3 “class warfare” and how it’s “an assault on all women, but especially the most vulnerable.”  She writes,

“But this bill is not just an assault on the neediest.  It’s actually a restriction on all insurance coverage for abortion.  Which is bad enough, but with these rape restrictions, it’s a nightmare.  I don’t care if you’re a millionaire; paying out of pocket for an abortion after you’ve been raped to satisfy the sadistic urges of some anti-choice asshole in Congress is still awful.  But beyond that, it’s important to understand this isn’t an either/or issue.  That someone isn’t on Medicaid or even that she has employer-provided insurance doesn’t mean she’s swimming in privilege and can simply pay cash for an abortion at the drop of a hat.  Many Americans work full time for piss-poor wages; with the economy in tatters, that’s even more true.  A lot of people work 40+ hours a week in the service industry, which means they get insurance, but they may only make $10 an hour.  For those people, the difference between having insurance coverage for abortion and not can often mean the difference between being able to have a savings account or not, or being able to make rent that month or not, or being able to eat okay for that month or not.”

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Now you might be thinking, wow The Opinioness is full of doom and gloom…it can’t really be that bad, right??  Sadly, it can.  Nick Baumann (who’s been diligently covering the anti-choice war) at Mother Jones asserts,

“If the Republican leadership attaches a limited version of any of the three anti-abortion rights bills to must-pass legislation such as a continuing resolution to fund the government, abortion rights supporters could have trouble holding their allies in place.”

Laws mandate how we lead our lives, sending a message about what a society values.  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a staunch supporter of reproductive justice (a fascinating legislator who’s pro-choice, pro-gay rights, yet pro-guns), brings up a point that I’ve said and written many times.  The GOP claims they want smaller government.  Yet constantly attempt to interfere in decisions that should only occur between a woman and her doctor.  What they truly want is to mandate your vagina.  Sen. Gillibrand at The Huffington Post,

“Even as Republicans lament that the government is being too intrusive in people’s lives, it seems that the very personal, private and often painful issue of ending a pregnancy is one area they are determined to regulate. Tragically, the consequences of this intrusiveness could prove disastrous to the health and well-being of women across America.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO

After this deluge of shit, I don’t want you to feel helpless.  Although I’m sure many of you do.  But you can take action.  Write, call or tweet your legislators.  You may not think it makes a difference but trust me, it does.  Sign the petitions to stop H.R. 3 at Tiger Beatdown and at Sen. Gillibrand’s website.  Host a rally.  The kick-ass Vanessa Valenti, Editor at Feministing, just wrote about a rally being held in NYC on Saturday, Feb. 26th.  Not in NYC?  People are hosting Walk for Choice rallies across the country.  Follow Walk for Choice on Twitter to get the latest updates.  4Or host your own event.  Blog about it.  Tweet about it using the #DearJohn, #prochoice, #HR3 and/or #HR358 hashtags.  Post articles on Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness to your friends and family.  But whatever you do, please don’t be silent thinking this will all go away or that it doesn’t really affect you.  It won’t and it does.

Last week, I wrote about how I was scared that my rights would be stripped away.  And now that I’ve learned more about all of these legislative measures, my fears are not assuaged.  I’m more frightened than ever.  We live in a rape culture that seeks to strip cis and trans women of their reproductive rights, all while shaming women about their sexuality.  Women have the right to choose what is right for their own body.  No one has the right to tell women and men that their rape is not “real” rape.  I cannot stress this enough, the legislators behind these bills will not stop until they’ve eradicated abortion.  Why must anti-choice assholes deem women’s bodies a battleground?!  These prickbag anti-choicers want us to be silent.  But we must raise our voices and speak out.  We must stand up for our rights. C,mon…let’s tell these douchebags to stay the fuck out of our vaginas.

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7 thoughts on “Attack of the Anti-Choice Clones: Legislators Wage War on Women & Reproductive Justice…It’s Time to Fight Back

  1. Please go to http://www.congress.org to retrieve your representatives contact information by entering your zipcode.

    Please write all your representatives telling them to stop this attack on women. Tell them being anti-choice is anti-family and anti- American.

    Why do Republicans and Tea Party Members think they can control a woman’s body and yet make the claim against the Health Care bill saying governement is too intrusive? They can’t have it both ways.

    Republicans want to eliminate almost all education, nutritional and health care programs to women and children and then want to force women to carry out pregnancies even if it is detrimental to the women’s health or the woman is unable to care for the child. They don’t offer any solutions to ensure a quality life for these children they are forcing into the world.

    Absolutely no forethought on the part of these anti-choice folks.

    Woman will be forced back into the dark ages.

    Help raise awareness and ensure that bills against women fail.

  2. The Repug’s are a completely soul-less crop & completely hypocritical to boot (the health care parallel was a good one).

    The Boston Phoenix had a big cover story on the GOP’s blatant attack on women, and when you fully understand the fact that they are not so quietly attempting to re-write the rules & strip individual’s of their most basic rights, it is downright frightening.

    What’s just as troubling, is that America has become a land of “dumb & dumber.”
    All these polarizing religious nutjobs with their “morals” and “ethics” seem to be more the majority, and less the extreme minority.

    People are buying into this bullshit & flushing basic humanity down the toilet.
    I am observing a lot of deep seated resentment & Hostility towords women, and i cannot understand why?

    Instead of focusing on jobs, as the Conservatives promised after their big win, they are dragging us backwards, into the stone age.
    But most of us aren’t kicking & screaming, we’re letting it happen!
    Why aren’t more people calling them on this?
    Why isn’t their outrage that they are NOT focusing on jobs, since jobs is the only thing that seems to rile up Americans?

  3. Pingback: Stop Asking, Where Are the Young Feminists? Because They’re Right Here!

  4. this says it all to me, I saw one of the best signs at a pro choice rally, this is exactly how I feel and so many women I talk with feel. It read “Abort the G.O.P”, wow that is it exactly. Abort the GOP and we can by voting each and every one of these “holier that thou” nutbags. Please remember with discust theTodd Akin’s, Richard Murdock’s and the Mike Huckebee’s in November and get these nutcases out of office and back on the street where they belong.

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