Thursday, March 22, 2012

We won't be silent

In OH, ID, NE, AZ, TX, VA, PA, FL, VA, OK, NH...the list goes restrictions on women's rights to health, medical information, trustworthy relationships with their own doctors, and control over their own bodies are being debated or have already been signed into law.

Some legislation bans all abortion access, even in cases where the woman's life is in danger or where the fetus has already died.  Some actually require doctors to lie about medical consequences and risks for legislative purposes; others allow them to hide medical test results or lie about them.  In AZ, legislation is likely to be signed which will allow private employers to fire women if they make use of reproductive medical services or treatments such as birth control pills, unless the women can prove to the employer's satisfaction that there is a non-reproductive reason for the treatment.  If you're wondering, no, it doesn't matter whether or not the woman is making use of employer-supported insurance; the employer will have the right to ask women employees about their birth control or other medical service use, and can dismiss those women whose answers they don't like.

None of this has anything to do with health, religion and certainly not with government.  This has to do with a true war on women.  Even the RNC openly agrees that there is a war on women, though they seem to have trouble understanding it.  I don't know if it's a product of American bigotry having to find new targets after having to spend a term with a US President who is from a minority group; my gut says yes, this is a significant part of the issue, though my heart wants to reject the possibility.  As has been pointed out, there is a significant flaw in the right wing's use of these issues as ammunition in their war, though: if they are going to argue that women's bodily integrity and reproductive rights are for the government to not only monitor but supervise and control, it cuts both ways.  What is to stop a future administration from determining in fact that the US would benefit from a China-style one-child policy and require women to get abortions in any subsequent pregnancies?  Why should only women be affected; shouldn't men's reproductive abilities and activities also be monitored by the State?  Should men be required to observe abortions before any procreative act with women, to make them aware of the possible consequences of their actions (in case you're wondering, yes it has been proposed in at least one US state that women requesting pregnancy termination be required to watch a surgical termination in real life first).

If you want to monitor what's going on state-by-state take a look at US War on Women's new website here.  If you're interested in joining the send-a-female-reproductive-system-to-needy-male-legislators effort, you can start by choice with the Government-Free V-JJ website, Facebook group, and Ravelry group.  Me, I'll be knitting and mailing and writing, and doing whatever I can to preserve our personal freedoms, rights, and health.

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