Just wanted to remind you all that tomorrow (Sat. 2/26) is Walk for Choice Day! Across the country, people will stand up for reproductive rights by walking in cities such as NYC, Boston (my city hoowah!), Chicago, DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston, Minneapolis, Tampa, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Seattle, Portland, Detroit and so many more. There will also be international rallies held in Canada, Australia, Pakistan and the UK!
Recently, I’ve been blogging and tweeting my ass off about all of the invasive attacks on women’s health. Federal and state legislators have declared war on women and reproductive rights with laws trying to redefine rape, bar insurance coverage of abortion, informed consent, defunding Planned Parenthood and banning abortion after 18 days. It seems like every day I wake up to some new ridiculous legislation filed. Here are some of the latest anti-choice bills at the state level:
- Florida (HB 415), Georgia (SR 153), Iowa (HF 153), Oklahoma (HB 1571), Montana (HB 490), North Dakota (HB 1450) and Texas (HB 1109) have all introduced personhood bills (sigh…didn’t we just deal with this bullshit in Colorado last year?!), declaring that life begins at conception would grant the same rights that adults and children have to a fertilized egg. These bills would not only ban abortion but also in-vitro fertilization, stem cell research and some types of contraception.
- Ohio, which has the heinous “Heartbeat Bill,” has added 4 other lovely anti-choice bills (oh goody). HB 7 and HB 78/SB 72, which would strengthen criminal laws against late-term abortions unless a medical necessity; HB 63/SB 8 which would require parental consent of a minor seeking an abortion; and HB 79, which would prohibit women from using insurance to cover elective abortions. UPDATE on 7/20/11: Ohio Governor John Kasich signed HB 78 into law, banning abortion after 20 weeks.
- In South Dakota, HB 1171 which would have enabled “justifiable homicide” of abortion providers has been tabled (hoorah!!). But the SD House passed HB 1217 which would require women to receive counseling at anti-choice CPCs before having an abortion. This heinous bill is now headed to the Senate (booooo!!). UPDATE ON 3/3/11: HB 1217 passed the Senate. Now it heads to Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard to be signed or vetoed.
- Thought you’d seen the last of the justifiable homicide bill?? Not so fast…Nebraska decided to introduce legislation of its own with bill LB 232. Unlike the SD bill which would have allowed “a pregnant woman, her husband, her parents or her children” to commit “justifiable homicide” to defend her fetus, this bill applies “to any third-party.“ This horrendous bill basically allows any zealots to murder abortion providers.
- In Arizona, one bill would redefine abortion by pill to be counted as surgery, impeding access for many women living outside cities (HB 2416/SB 1246). Another bill (HB 2443) which recently passed the House would ban “race and sex-selective abortion,” requiring women to disclose their reason for having an abortion.
- In Wisconsin, where abortion is technically illegal, anti-choice Governor Scott Walker has a healthcare clause in his “budget repair” bill that “would give emergency rule-making power over the state’s low-income health care programs to the unelected Health Services department secretary,” essentially bypassing the Legislature and another possible attack on abortion services.
- As if the shit couldn’t get any deeper, Georgia also has a ludicrous miscarriage bill (HB 1) requiring women who suffer a miscarriage (“spontaneous fetal death”) to undergo investigation. Stop the insanity!
- Indiana has 13 anti-choice bills (13?! WTF?!) including informed consent (SB 457), eliminating funding for organizations that perform abortions (HB 1205), requires the state to opt-out of abortion coverage by insurance plans under federal health care bill (SB 116), regulating chemical abortion (SB 1258), banning abortion after 20 weeks (SB 522) and another bill banning abortion all together.
But anti-choice legislators have gone beyond merely attacking abortion. They are going after Planned Parenthood and contraception too. Over at Fair and Feminist, blogger Shelly compiled a list of bloggers writing today about why they stand with Planned Parenthood. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…this is NOT just an attack on abortion (although anti-choicers are trying their damnedest to repeal Roe v. Wade). This is an attack on contraception and reproductive healthcare; in short, an assault on women’s autonomy of their bodies.
I know many people are disillusioned with our government, thinking that nothing they do can make a difference. But I’m here to tell you that we can. We can stand up for our beliefs and our principles. We must make our voices heard. So Walk for Choice tomorrow…because if you don’t defend your rights, who will stop someone from taking your rights away?