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Sun May 17, 2015 at 02:25 PM PDT

This Week in the War on Women

by ramara

Reposted from ramara by annrose
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Last Sunday was Mother's Day, a Hallmark holiday as fraught with ambivalence as any. As I read friends' tributes to their living or dead mothers on Facebook, I wondered why I never really cared much about the day, either as daughter or mother. Girl's relationships with their mothers are always complicated, and sometimes full of hurt. So I was glad to see this article saluting those who have had to break with toxic mothers, or who managed to maintain relationships by setting careful limits.

And in this country that praises motherhood in the abstract while making it more and more difficult every day, I was also glad to see this recognition of our tendency to blame mothers for having to stretch meager (and diminishing) resources.

More about motherhood and other news under the orange squiggle.

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Reposted from Daily Kos by Eyesbright
Alan Hoyle rallies in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, January 15, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will wade into a divisive case that pits the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters against public safety concerns raised by
And a few other things, too.
Do anti-abortion stances correlate with sexist attitudes toward women? Let's find out, with science!
"The results showed that as people increasingly endorsed hostile sexist views, they were statistically significantly more likely to hold anti-choice abortion attitudes," [researcher Stephanie Begun] told The Huffington Post. "The same was true for people who endorse benevolent sexist views of women -- and to the exact same degree as those who endorsed hostile sexist views."
Well, duh. How fascinating, from a purely scientific point of view.
Reposted from Eyesbright by Eyesbright

Knowing a politician's stance and votes on reproductive rights is the equivalent of hearing them speak after giving them a dose of truth serum.

- It's self-evident that Republican politicians who are “pro-life” (sic, aka forced birthers) are also fiscal conservatives. Yet none of them will acknowledge the fact that it's far, far less expensive for taxpayer dollars to pay to end an unwanted pregnancy instead of the cost to our welfare system to pay for prenatal care, childbirth, childhood education, food stamps, etc.  I don't even need to cite figures to prove this because it's so obvious.  It's simply proof that they're willing to waste your tax dollars on their own personal agenda (or else they're very, very bad at math).

And what is that agenda?
- The typical forced birther politician rants about government being too big but only wants small government when it comes to taxes and regulating commerce.  Big Brother Government is just fine with them when it comes to forcing women to do what that politician wants, regardless of how it affects women, their health, their families, their very lives.

- For many forced birther politicians, it reveals how they feel about women having sex.  To them, unwanted pregnancy is punishment for women having sex for any purpose other than making babies.

- In their eyes, women simply don't deserve the sexual autonomy that men have.  That often includes even the use of birth control (“every sperm is sacred”).

- Forcing women to carry a non-viable fetus to term even against their doctor's advice, even knowing the suffering and possibly death that would cause?  The Texas politician who authored a bill to do just that last month, says suffering is “part of the human condition, since sin entered the world.”  Women, sin, suffering = see pregnancy as punishment for women having sex.

- An astonishing number of Republican politicians have inadvertently revealed that they know absolutely nothing about the female reproductive system.  Best examples (although there are many): "Women have a way of shutting that whole thing down" and, in Idaho this year, while a doctor was testifying, a lawmaker literally asked a doctor whether a woman could have a remote gynecological exam by swallowing a tiny camera.  Yet, these same politicians still feel eminently qualified to pass laws about reproductive health.  There's a good reason that the term “gynotician” was coined:
gynotician – a politician who feels he knows better than doctors and women about reproductive health.

- It tells how they feel about forcing their religious views down the throats of the rest of the country.  The worst of them would gladly see America become a theocracy but only if it's their religion.  If your religion is not theirs, tough.  You don't count.  Imagine an America where the only way a woman can avoid compulsory motherhood is via strict chastity – so strict that they never "give a man the wrong idea" or otherwise "cause" him to rape her.  
(Thanks to Judith Bradford for that last sentence)

Abortion should be on everyone's radar, regardless of whether they're male or female, because of the huge amount it reveals about the inner workings of a politician's mind and how they feel about controlling people and governing. Politicians who are Forced Birthers are the ultimate power mongers and control freaks.

Reposted from Kerry Eleveld by Eyesbright
GOP Rep. Geanie Morrison sponsored anti-abortion measure that puts teens at risk.
Most teenagers who are under 18 in Texas and seek an abortion must first obtain parental permission. But about 300 teens per year get a court-ordered abortion after demonstrating that informing their parents could lead to abuse or other adverse consequences that put them in harms way. That's no concern, however, to the state's House Republicans, who voted Wednesday to further restrict such access regardless of a teenager's safety concerns. The AP has the details on GOP Rep. Geanie Morrison's measure.
Teens may file applications for the procedure in any Texas county, but Morrison’s bill would change that, requiring juveniles to seek the procedure in their home county. If the applicant’s home county has fewer than 10,000 residents, Morrison’s proposal would allow them to apply in a neighboring county.

It also requires courts to report statistics on judicial bypass applications and forces girls to undergo mental health assessments before obtaining a judge’s permission for an abortion. Some opponents of the procedure had pushed for publicizing the name of judges who grant abortions under judicial bypass — but that hot-button proposal was left out of Morrison’s otherwise sweeping measure.

Opponents also are concerned that adult women who may not have a valid government ID would be kept from having an abortion, since Morrison’s measure would stipulate that pregnant women are presumed to be minors unless they have an ID that proves otherwise.

Still, opponents say the changes would gut a system that had been effective.

This bill is pathetic. Its real aim is to bully teens who deem themselves at risk out of getting an abortion, proving once again that Republicans are more obsessed with controlling women's bodies than they are with protecting women's well-being.
Reposted from Joan McCarter by Eyesbright
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) takes a question about funding for the Department of Homeland Security during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington February 25, 2015. Conservative Republicans urged House of Representatives Speaker John
Remember the first big blow-up in the House Republican conference of the year? That was when Republican congresswomen "revolted" over a post-20 week abortion-ban bill because the rape and incest exemption in it required that the victim had reported the attack to the authorities to make sure it was "real" rape or incest. Even Republicans recognized that that kind of looked like they would be perpetuating their war on women, so the bill got tabled. And while they dealt with that definition of rape problem, they still have another one—the incest exemption to get an abortion expires when you turn 18. Republicans don't really see that as a problem, per se, so they're running with it.
While it’s unlikely to pass the Senate and reach President Obama’s desk, Republicans say they are playing a long game. […]

They hope that, over time, support for prohibiting most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy will become widespread. […]

"I think this is likely to get a challenge in the court, and I think it's likely to prevail," Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the Pro-Life Caucus, said in an interview.

Legislation banning abortions after 20 weeks has already been blocked by the Supreme Court in three states, but similar laws remain on the books in 11 others.

Republicans are also laying down a marker for the 2016 elections, when they hope to win control of Congress and the White House.

"I think there's an awakening happening," Smith added. "All the Republican candidates have signaled support on this."

Ah, an "awakening." As if Republican presidential primary candidates are going to veer off script on abortion. But the awful reality is that they have been succeeding on this in the states. Similar bans exist in 11 states, and in only one has been struck down by the courts. It's a difficult law to challenge since abortions after 20-weeks are rare, and sadly, abortion providers who will do the procedure at that point are even rarer. But that's not going to keep Republicans from chipping away at abortion rights, and chipping away at their potential to get any support in 2016 from the majority of women.
Reposted from Laura Clawson by Eyesbright
Man holds
This is who House Republicans stand with.
House Republicans are bringing back their 20-week abortion ban. Speaker John Boehner was forced to abruptly cancel a vote in January when Republican women pointed out that it looked really bad to require women to have reported rape or incest to the authorities in order to qualify for the bill's rape or incest exemption. But now, Republicans think they've tweaked the bill enough to solve their little "definitional problem of rape." Except we're talking about House Republicans here, which means this is a question of what window dressing to put on the tiniest possible window. For one thing:
... the bill did not change a provision that allows victims of incest to receive an abortion only if they are under 18 years old, according to a draft released Monday.
Because abuse can't persist past a woman's 18th birthday, apparently. And I guess Republicans are okay with inbreeding as long as the parents are legally adults. As for rape victims, they now won't have to have gone to the police in order to qualify as rape victims. But the bill includes a two-day waiting period for rape survivors, during which they have to get counseling or medical care from a source other than an abortion clinic. Jump those hurdles, ladies!

On top of all this, Republicans have added a heaping dose of questionable science, emphasizing the disputed claim that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks and calling for efforts to be made to preserve the life of the fetus—even though a large fraction of late-term abortions are chosen because the fetus has serious health defects and would be unlikely to survive.

Republicans may have tweaked their abortion bill in hopes that it won't look quite so bad as the one they really wanted to pass. But they haven't tweaked their contempt for women and women's choices.


Sat May 09, 2015 at 05:35 PM PDT

This Week in the War on Women

by officebss

Reposted from This Week in the War on Women by Eyesbright
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Reposted from Meteor Blades by Eyesbright
Pro-choice protesters in North Carolina
Pro-choice protesters urge Gov. Pat McCrory to keep his promise not to sign any new laws restricting abortion.
North Carolina's Republican Gov. Pat McCrory vowed during his campaign that he would not sign any more bills further restricting abortion. But now he's got one on his desk that would extend the state's existing 24-hour waiting period to obtain an abortion to 72 hours. And he is obviously pondering the possibility of breaking his promise or he would already have hauled out his veto stamp.

The 72-hour waiting period is one of the forced-birthers' more recent efforts in their 40-year campaign of making abortion harder for women to obtain. Such a law, as my colleague Kerry Eleveld wrote, was just signed in Oklahoma.

If McCrory breaks his vow, North Carolina will join four other states with this situation:

Waiting Periods

                        Abortion         For Buying a Firearm

Missouri:            72 hours                 0 hours
Oklahoma:         72 hours                 0 hours
South Dakota:    72 hours                 0 hours
Utah:                 72 hours                 0 hours

Reposted from FaithGardner by annrose
Gee, who would have guessed?
A Texas high school is in the middle of a chlamydia outbreak, officials say. But according to the school district's student handbook, it does not offer sexual education.
Several students in one Crane, Texas, school district contracted chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, according to a letter obtained by ABC News that went home to parents Monday. According to the letter, the surrounding counties were also in the middle of an outbreak.
Here’s what the letter that went home to parents of Crane Independent School District students said:
Dear Parent/Guardian,

Crane Independent School District would like to make our paretns aware or more aware of a problem that has been identified in our teenagers and young adults of our community.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that is on the rise. Several cases have been reported. It is a reportable disease that is mandatory to report to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The number of cases reported from Crane and Upton County have been significant. With this being said, we feel we need the parents to be aware of this growing problem and pass along some information regarding the sexually transmitted disease.

The letter then lists facts about chlamydia that the students would probably know already if the school taught sex education.

Chlamydia, the most common STD in the United States, is usually symptomless and can be treated with antibiotics. However, it can cause liver inflammation, pelvic inflammatory disease, and fertility problems. Not that students in Crane Independent School District would know that.

The school does not have a sexual education program, according to Crane's student handbook for the 2014-15 school year, which is posted online.

"Currently, Crane ISD does not offer a curriculum in human sexuality," the handbook says, explaining that if it ever does institute such a program, the parent can opt out. According to the handbook, state law requires more attention must be spent on abstinence than other behavior.

FWIW, Texas also has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.
Reposted from Daily Kos Labor by Eyesbright
Anti-abortion demonstrators cheer as the ruling for Hobby Lobby was announced outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 30, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of U.S. Pr
House Republicans tried to block a Washington, DC, law protecting women from being fired for having abortions or using birth control, but they couldn't stop it from going into effect. Some conservative groups in D.C. are now taking the next step: They've announced they'll disobey the law.
“We are nonsectarian pro-life organizations and religious ministries that make the nation’s capital our home,” the abortion opponents state. “We will not abandon the purpose of our organizations in order to comply with this illegal and unjust law. We will vigorously resist any effort under RHNDA to violate our constitutionally protected fundamental rights.”

The organizations that inked their support at the end of the document include the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Americans United for Life, March for Life, Concerned Women for America, and the Susan B. Anthony List.

To these groups, "you can't fire people for using birth control" is an outrageous violation of the rights of employers. Because employers' rights and freedoms always, always come before workers' rights and freedoms, according to Republicans.
Reposted from Kerry Eleveld by Eyesbright
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Ohio Governor John Kasich today signed an agreement that describes in broad terms how their two states will cooperatively build a new bridge over the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington. December 12, 2012.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed legislation in 2013 that has undermined reproductive health care for women in the state.
Abortion opponents have been laboring for years to reduce the number of abortions in this country by simply reducing the facilities where they are available. Now new data out of Ohio suggests that they are succeeding, effectively choking off access to abortions state by state. Tara Culp-Ressler reports:
According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the number of abortion providers in the Buckeye State has shrunk by half over the past four years. There were 16 providers in the state in 2011; since then, seven clinics have reduced their services or closed their doors altogether. An eighth clinic — the only abortion provider left in Toledo — is fighting to stay open, but remains at the mercy of court proceedings...

In 2013, Ohio pushed through a package of stringent abortion restrictions by attaching them to an unrelated budget bill. At the time, the anti-abortion groups in the state celebrated the passage of the legislation as “historic.” Among other things, that law includes a provision requiring abortion doctors to enter into unnecessary partnerships with local hospitals — an increasingly popular legislative strategy known as the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP — that’s making it difficult for providers to stay in business.

That anti-abortion package, signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, who is weighing a presidential run, also included a measure forcing women to get an ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy. It prohibited rape crisis clinics from providing abortion counseling to victims. And then there was this beauty.
If a woman is able to obtain an abortion in Ohio and develops some sort of medical issue during the procedure, clinics will no longer be allowed to transfer these patients to public hospitals for additional care. In the midst of a crisis, these patients must find a private hospital to help them.

Despite protests at the Ohio Statehouse last week, the new anti-abortion measures were approved when the governor failed to veto them. Kasich did manage to veto 22 other line-item measures.

Kasich's war against providing women with a full range of healthcare options will not be forgotten at the ballot box. Should he manage to win the GOP nomination, the governor's attack on women in his home state will become a central issue in the campaign.
Reposted from Sydserious by Eyesbright

In Paraguay, a 10 year old girl was being raped by her step-father.  Her mother reported the abuse to authorities but was ignored.  The child's stomach began to swell and the mother, thinking something was wrong took the child to the hospital and discovered the child was pregnant.  The mother requested an abortion but was arrested for apparently being a bad parent and now the little girl is in the custody of the state authorities alone and being forced to carry the pregnancy to term.

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