The Feminine Actif

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Really?

I received this email in my inbox and just sat at my computer shaking my head.  Well, at first, after the initial outrage at the hypocrisy, I sat shaking my head.  Read it for yourself:

http://www.nationofchange.org/exxon-ceo-comes-out-against-fracking-project-because-it-will-affect-his-property-values-1393081778

What I find so outrageous about this is that, according to the article, the lawsuit Mr. Tillerson joined cites the harmful effects of hydrofracking.  It is his job to promote fracking as a way of reaching oil and gas deposits to continue to make those big profits meeting the demands of consumers and Exxon shareholders.

The lawsuit is designed to block the construction of a 160-foot water tower and cites, specifically, the harmful effects of hydrofracking.  When his own Texas property is threatened, suddenly it is a bad idea?  Of course, his attorney is quick to point out that Mr. Tillerson is not concerned about fracking, merely the devaluation of his own property values.  In his professional life, Mr. Tillerson has blasted those that are opposing fracking, but this speaks volumes about his personal knowledge and the potential damage to the environment.  Even Mr. Tillerson does not want fracking in his own backyard.

It’s Against My Religion

It seems that the Conservative Right is bent on discrimination against anyone they deem as unacceptable.  The war on women and reproductive rights is just the tip of the iceberg.  Now discrimination is extended even further.

This is the headline – Breaking: AZ Lawmakers Send Religious License to Discriminate against Gays Bill to Gov.

This is my first thought – Are you kidding me?

I really thought it was a satire post possibly writing in The Onion, and there is no way this is true.  But, it is true.  What a throwback to the old Southern Jim Crow laws that made it legal to discriminate against African Americans!  Frankly, I am appalled that people my country would pass such legislature that is discriminatory and humiliating.  All in the same few weeks in which Russia was castigated in the way the LGBT community is treated there.

In essence, this bill gives the right to refuse service to anyone just by claiming that to do so violates their religious beliefs.  This is going too far.  While the bill was sponsored by Republican House conservatives, it is important to note that the sponsors are directly tied to the basis comes from the Christian Center for Arizona Policy based on the right to exercise freedom of religion.  What does this say to me?

It’s really quite simple.  Only those that are seen as acceptable by the Christian Conservatives have religious rights and have rights to be served.  I am not Christian – I was, but left the faith a long time ago because of this very action.  So, does this mean that if I have a business in Arizona, I have the right to refuse service to Christians because it is against my Buddhism religion?  Actually, it is not, because Buddhism is all inclusive and we are taught that all of life is connected; however, hypothetically, according to this new bill, I would now have that right.

In the debate over the bill, this very point was part of the discussion.  According to an article written by David Badash in The New Civil Rights Movement website, “SB 1062/HB 2153 provides a foothold into Arizona of both Sharia law, and, yes, even Satanism. Believe it or not, “the Devil made me do it,” should Gov. Brewer sign it, will become the law of the land in the Grand Canyon state.”  So the Arizona legislature may have just cut off their noses to spite their faces.

Good luck, Arizona.  For a state that that is attempting to attract the Super Bowl, you really know how to make people feel welcome!

Resource article:

Badash, D.  (2014, Feb. 20).  Breaking: AZ Lawmakers Send Religious License to Discriminate Against Gays Bill to Gov. The New Civil Rights Movement.  Retrieved from http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-breaking-arizona-committee-passes-religious-license-to-discriminate-against-gays-bill/politics/2014/02/20/83476#.UwbnhYWnZcc

No Gays Allowed

We the People

This week is about unemployment – something in which I have some experience.  I am not unemployed, but I am self-employed, or rather, an independent contractor, and have been for years.  My husband, however, has been unemployed since 2007 and has never found a job since.  Oh, he’s tried and he has had interviews, but you see, age discrimination is alive and well in our country.  He is 60 years old, and according to society has no value in the work place.

He was greatly respected in his field at one time, and was in demand because of his knowledge and expertise, but when he lost his job some seven years ago, his performance had not been up to par nor did it meet expectations.  Understand that this was not due to a lack of work ethic or experience, but because he was going through some unknown medical issue that was being tested.  He took leave, but returned to work before his physician cleared him for fear of losing his job.  One month later, just as the long awaited referrals to specialists were finally coming in, he had his first negative job evaluation and was fired for low performance.  In one fell swoop, we lost a substantial income and our insurance coverage.

I am not writing this concerning health care – that is another blog in and of itself.  I am addressing what follows – a Facebook meme that is going around:

Sanders on unemployment

  Republicans Again Block Help for Long-Term Unemployed:

A bill to revive benefits for the long-term unemployed was

blocked on Thursday by Senate Republicans. The proposed

three-month extension of the jobless-aid program, which

expired Dec. 28, was supported by Sen. Bernie Sanders and

all of the other members of the Democratic caucus. Only four

Republican senators supported the measure. One more vote

would have provided the 60 needed under Senate rules to

advance the bill. Since Christmas, unemployment benefits

have now expired for 1.6 million Americans out of work for

longer than 26 weeks. Unless Congress acts, the same fate

awaits another 1.6 million people nationwide during the

first half of 2014.

 

This announcement came from Senator Bernie Sanders’ office.  What astounds me is that these people can make such decisions that affect and devastate American lives while they enjoy the luxury of quality lives.  My husband’s unemployment ended many years ago, and I have been the breadwinner.  Because of the nature of my career, my body will not allow me to work at what my training brings, and I was forced to close my massage practice.  Now, I work as an independent contractor for a well-being center that services people with emotional and mental disabilities, but that is only two days a week.

My family went from a six figure income to just above poverty level.  Oh, we get by very well because we had and continue to have very little debt, but it has been devastating.  What is so outrageous to me is that women are bearing the brunt of this tragedy in our country.  We fight to keep our rights for equal pay and equal treatment.  We fight to keep medical care at clinics like Planned Parenthood.  While the conservatives in Washington and throughout our nation continue to defund clinics such as these in the name of pro-life, what is happening is that they are exhibiting anti-life by denying aid and assistance to those that most desperately need it.

I write this blog this week as a call out and challenge to all of you who are reading this.  Make your voice known and heard.  Remember what our country was built upon. Remember the opening words of the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a

more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic

Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote

the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty

to ourselves and our Posterity. . .

 

“Domestic tranquility, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . . ”  I don’t know about you, but I do not believe that denying aid and assistance to people in need is upholding our constitution.  I do believe in self-responsibility and accountability, but when the actions of those that we elected hinder our own people from the opportunity to enjoy life, then it is time to call out those men and women to do what is right – not what will win the next election.  It is after all – We the People!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Tells Women – Know Your Power

This has been a challenging and victorious week for women and women’s rights. As usual, the war on women is alive and well, and seemingly has a solid foothold in the conservative Republican agenda. But there are bright lights as well.

First and foremost, and probably the most devastating blow to women is the passage of HR-7 by the House. What is HR-7? HR-7 prohibits federal funding of abortions for any reasons, which the Hyde Amendment has done for more than 30 years. There are several issues with this bill. First of all, the sponsor of the bill is a male Republican, Rep. Chris Smith from New Jersey. Second, it was originated from a 13 member – all male – subcommittee. Third, the Judiciary Committee comprised of 21 men passed the bill to the vote. There was very little, if any, input from women, even those of their colleagues who vocally spoke of increased health care costs for women, dropped insurance coverage for a previously covered benefit, and penalties for small businesses. Small businesses can receive tax cuts for offering insurance that includes the benefit, and HR-7 ends the tax cut.

Are you ready for the most horrendous part of the bill?  HR-7 ends medical deductions for abortion. Pregnancies from rape, incest, and possible severe medical issues are exempt; however, in order to carry the tax deduction, the IRS must have proof that the woman, indeed, was raped and is not committing tax fraud. Fortunately, this bill will more than likely not go farther since the Senate is Democrat controlled and President Obama has promised to veto the bill. Once again, there is already a law preventing federal funding for abortion in the Hyde Amendment, but the Republican men seem to suffering memory loss – maybe too much Viagra that is paid for by insurance?

And now for the good news, if it can be called that. Last night, I was fortunate to have been on a nationwide call sponsored by NARAL that included Lily Ledbetter, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. Yesterday was the five year anniversary of the signing of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by President Obama to end pay discriminatory. Five years later, we are still fighting as women for fair and equal pay for equal work. Women earn overall 77 cents to the dollar that men earn in the same position with the same qualifications. Wage discrimination is very much alive and well.

Congresswoman DeLauro spoke about a bill that has been introduced and defeated many times, the Paycheck Fairness Act.  Senator Tim Kaine, co-sponsor of the bill, is pushing it again. The PFA would require businesses to end pay discrimination. Businesses would be forced to prove why a woman in the same job is paid less than her male counterpart. If discrimination is present, there would be hefty penalties.

In addition, a push for a national paid family leave that would require employees and employers to pay a minimal contribution for paid family leave insuring up to 12 weeks of partial income for health, pregnancy, birth or adoption, parent or child illness, and any other medical reason.

California and Rhode Island currently have such programs that are working well and would be a model for the national program.  One of the call participants pointed out that the United States and Papua, New Guinea are two of the few countries that do not offer paid family leave. It was questioned why America is as backward for its workers as a third world country.

In an effort to achieve equal pay for equal work, President Obama has said that he will sign an Executive Order making it illegal to fire an employee for asking for information on pay of colleagues in an effort to receive equal pay. The Lily Ledbetter Act started the possibilities of inequality having its day in court, and the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Executive Order will take American women into the 21st Century.

Leader Pelosi encouraged women to “Don’t agonize – organize” and “Know your Power!”

Congresswoman DeLauro pointed out the President Kennedy began the fight for equal pay for equal work for women, and we are still battling today.

Congresswoman Edwards talked about the Child Care Act that would cause critical changes to the child care tax credit making it fully refundable for all levels of income including low income families for the first time. The tax credit would be indexed to inflation to allow all families needing child care much deserved tax help.

One caller, Maureen, spoke of an experience in which her family could not afford their number one choice of day care because of the cost at $13,000 per year. So, they chose a less expensive day care. When her husband picked up their child one day, the child had been running a fever and was laying lifeless on the floor. When they got the child to the emergency room, his fever was 104.  No one had been called.  She spoke of needing the assurance of safe and affordable child care for all working families. No one should compromise on the care and welfare of their children because of costs. The Child Care Act would alleviate this.

The call ended with a statement that the men of our government who would delineate the value of women and their place in our country need to remember:

“When you treat women like they’re worth less, you treat them like they’re worthless.”

I call on all who are reading this blog, women and men alike, to join in turning the tides once and for all for equality regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc. Call, write, or email your Congressperson and let them know that you want equal pay for equal work and that you are tired of living in a country that does not honor women’s contributions and value.  After all, it is a Constitutional right!

Hell Hath No Fury

“ ‘If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.’ ” This is a direct quote cited by Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post today.

At this point, I really do not care if one is a Democrat or Republican.  The thought that these men, who in their so-called wisdom, take exception to women having access to contraceptive care covered in their health insurance plans is so offensive and so degrading that I have to wonder what century they are from.  Quite frankly, it is not the women’s libido that often needs controlled – it is the male partner that cannot control his.  And since it is the woman who gets pregnant, does it not stand to reason that she should be able to protect herself from an unwanted pregnancy?  All the while, I have to wonder how many of these wise men receive prescriptions for Viagra and other male enhancement and libido drugs just so that they can do things, as Republican Rep. Rick Santorum said,  “in the sexual realm” and such to improve their libidos.

Well, there is an answer.  Remember when Republican Rep. Rick Santorum railed against covering women’s contraceptive and reproductive maintenance in ObamaCare?  He called it, “a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Foster Friess, his top donor, even went so far to say that women should just “put [an aspirin] between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”  In an article by Meagan Carpenter of The Raw Story last year, wrote that there are five sexual health care issues covered by insurance for men only.

Today, we have Mike Huckabee blubbering about women and their libido while men remain able to just be boys.   And they say that there is no war on women?  These men who wish to be elected back to office would do well to remember that it is the women who are the majority now.  We fought and won the battle of suffrage.  We fought and won the battle to have contraception legal under the privacy law.  We fought and won the battle in Roe v. Wade.  We continue to fight and will win this battle of women able to control their own bodies.  Remember, Republican or any group of men who doubt – Hell Hath No Fury!

It’s Not a Minor Inconvenience

While other states are busy passing legislation restricting abortion access, my elected governor, Governor Jerry Brown of California, just signed a bill, AB 154 that creates easier access to early abortion for women in California.

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins sponsored the bill which allows non-physician practitioners to perform the early abortion procedure called aspiration.  These practitioners include midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.  Reuters broke the story, “California enacts law allowing nurses to perform some abortions,” on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 that spells out the background.

At a time when states all over the country are passing legislative restriction to a woman’s right to choose, California is the first to increase access by codifying the law.  This is important to women and could set a precedent when GOP leaders push a revisit of Roe V. Wade.  According to an article in the New York Times, Elizabeth Nash, an issues manager for Guttmacher Institute, states in her research that there have been 68 restrictive laws passed in other states.

In a time when it seems that attacks on women’s rights and their health is on a non-stop level, California does the opposite.  When a woman becomes pregnant, it is not a minor inconvenience but a life changing event.  The father can simply walk away and sign over his rights.  He is done and bears no responsibility.  The mother carries the infant for nine months while she experiences more than an inconvenience. She experiences pain and discomfort.  Her body changes drastically.  If the pregnancy is unwanted, the effects are felt emotionally at a much greater level.  Even those that dream of having children experience more than a mild inconvenience.

The mother is the one giving birth and taking care of the baby through it all.  She is the one who, through consensual sex (because she is, after all, human) became pregnant, has the most to lose and the greatest and most difficult decision of her life.  This decision must be between the mother and her physician not up to some politician who has no medical degree and no idea of the biological changes involved.  The impetus of Roe v. Wade was based on the Privacy Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and that is where all of America needs to remember the argument was decided within the halls of judicial review by the Supreme Court.

Kudos to you, Governor Brown, for being committed to women’s rights when it is not a popular stand.  And thank you for being brave, Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, for doing what’s right.

Strong Women Need Not Apply

Here we go again!

The Texas Legislature just keeps pounding on Women’s Rights.  This time a Democrat has entered the Anti-Woman Legislature fever.  It’s not just Conservative GOP members any more.

Texas Senator Eddie Lucio has introduced SB42.  Essentially, it mandates that if a woman intends to have an abortion, she must go through what is called a Pre-Abortion Adoption Course.  What is so repulsive about this bill is that there is no difference in reasons.  In other words, a woman who is pregnant from rape and wishes to abort the baby must take this course.  How many times must a rape victim be raped?

What is not clear about this bill is the length of time it takes to receive the course.  Remember, just a few weeks ago, Senator Wendy Davis fought hard against the now passed abortion bill that limits most abortions past 20 weeks.  At this time, SB42 was introduced at the end of the second special session called by Gov. Rick Perry, so Lucio’s bill will be considered in an already promised special third session.  Bureaucracy being what it is – what happens if the paperwork goes past 20 weeks?  Oh, well.  Does the blame once again fall on the woman?  Where is the man in all of this?

In researching this particular bill, I could find nothing that spells out the semantics of the language other than Texas Health and Human Services will be required to formulate a 3-hour course on adoption services available.  Nothing is spelled out concerning if all abortions are required or if there are any exemptions.

In Texas, the Child Welfare Services, which falls under the umbrella of Health and Human Services and would handle these adoptions, is already beyond available manpower and cannot keep Social Workers.  Children are falling through the cracks at an alarming rate.  My question is this.  If you already cannot handle your caseloads, how can you handle any more?  There is no guarantee of money from the State to help.  And this helps how?

Again, it is not about pro-life.  Now, the war on Women’s Rights is becoming Anti-Woman.  As long as women remain silent and allow these men to continue to pass legislature that keeps women “in their place,” we will continue to lose the rights gained by our foremothers – Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cody Stanton and the brave women and men who fought so hard together to win women’s suffragette (link).

You may think this is an overreaction, but little by little our rights are being whittled away as we sit by and allow these bills to go.

What is so humorous to me is the fact that Gov. Rick Perry called the filibuster and protest of women a “Mob Convention.”  This is the exact wording of a women’s meeting at the 1853 World Fair in New York City at the Broadway Tabernacle.  I quote, “It will go down in history as ‘The Mob Convention,’ marred by ‘hissing, yelling, stamping, and all manner of unseemly interruptions.’”   Remember the tampon issue?

I’m just one voice here in California.  I was born and raised in Texas, and am shocked and appalled at how women are denigrated in my home state – that is, unless they take on the role of the Stepford Wife.  It seems in Texas that strong women need not apply.

Are You Without Sin?

After a heated debate on Twitter yesterday, I think I have processed enough that I can write about it rationally.  The debate started as a discussion between myself and a few other progressives about the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial which included a thread about the fact that if the previous behavior of Trayvon Martin was relevant to the case then so should have been the previous behavior of George Zimmerman.  According to a Washington Post article written on May 28, 2013 by Jonathan Capehart, George Zimmerman’s past included resisting arrest violently with a police officer, a restraining order from a former fiancé resulting in a dual restraining order, and logged approximately 46 calls to the Sanford, Fla. Police department concerning suspicious behavior by African American males.

Although, eventually, Trayvon’s past behavior of marijuana possession and use, fights at school, and suspension from school did enter into consideration by the defense to justify Zimmerman’s acts, Zimmerman’s behaviors and altercations were deemed irrelevant in the case.  So went the discussion.  Enter into the mix a few people who called themselves conservatives to debate the act of self-defense on the part of Zimmerman.  Somehow, this lead to pro-life and anti-abortion rants.

I will admit that I should have stepped away, but after being called a slut and whore because I claimed that in order to be pro-life, one must honor all life.    That means that killing in self-defense as in Zimmerman is wrong as is killing in war, and even, gasp, the death penalty.  Well, that really got the Conservatives going and before I knew it, not only was I a slut and whore, I became a baby killer, a murderer, and a racist. (Oh, by the way, I have been married to the same man for 39 years and have enjoyed a healthy sexual relationship with him only and no one else before and during our marriage).  Today, I was accused of being a “dumb ass.” Me?

So, I will address these accusations not for my own sake but, well, because I just need to.

First of all, I do not believe in abortion as a means of birth control; however, I do believe in choice.  My point is that it takes the male sperm and the female egg to create life.  If a man and woman wish to have consensual sex, then the responsibility of birth control falls to BOTH partners.  It is the woman who gets pregnant and lives with the consequences far longer than the male.  So, perhaps, the responsibility falls more on the male partner.  He does not worry about pregnancy and can walk away anytime.  She cannot.  My viewpoint is that it is up to the male partner possibly more than the female.  And, no, I do not see a baby as a bad consequence – quite the opposite.

In the case of rape and incest, the decision is up to the woman and her physician – not a governing entity.  The trauma of rape is far beyond what most men can imagine and a pregnancy of rape or incest can be a far reaching trauma.  To force a woman to carry until full term so that the baby can be adopted seems to be cruel and unusual punishment.  I acknowledge that the baby is an innocent victim as well, and this is a devastating decision to make; therefore, counseling and discussions with health and mental care professionals is best for all.

In the event that a carried pregnancy could affect a woman’s health or possibly cause her death, again, this is a decision of all parties – woman, partner, and physician – and not the government.  No one knows the mental and emotional health of the woman and her partner; therefore, no one has the right to tell her what she should and should not do.  Of course, that follows with all abortion decisions.

I, myself, had fertility problems and miscarried until finally I was blessed with two very beautiful daughters.  It took me and my husband six long agonizing years to finally conceive.  We attempted adoption in the process – even asking for hard to place children – and were turned down three separate times because we had no children, and we were too young.  So, I fully understand the agony of infertility, and it is hard for me to even imagine aborting a baby.  But, that being said, I also fully understand the ramifications of having a baby that is not wanted.

I am a product of an unwanted pregnancy.  My mother attempted several times to abort her pregnancy which resulted in physical and health issues in me.  And, believe me, growing up knowing that one’s mother wished her not to have been born is traumatic in itself.  I could have ended in foster care where many unwanted babies are found, but I had caring and loving grandparents that took over.

So, besides personal experiences and intelligent research and understanding, I feel fairly qualified to take my stand.  The next time a debate ensues, I will bow out.  Name calling does not bother me, but judging and casting blame and shame on women who are forced to make devastating decisions does.  My question to those that would cast stones is this – are you without sin?  I think someone asked that already, right?

Return to the Good Ole Days

Wow, those so-called pro-lifers have sure been busy this month.  What amazes me is that we have been doing just fine for the past 40 years of Roe v. Wade.  To be sure, there have been times that those pesky anti-choicers have raised their ugly heads and tried to infringe on women’s rights, but the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade has always stood for freedom and liberty for women and their choices over their bodies.  That is until the past few years when something called the Tea Party began their crusade to take away liberties while they cried loudly about Constitutional Rights and our Founding Fathers.

This morning, as I sit at a Starbucks watching people come in and out purchasing their Café Mochas with double and triple shots, I wonder why, in this country where we have fought for civil rights and civil liberties, a very loud minority political party would take away liberties for some, yet scream that our country is falling away from the Constitution and everything it represents.  And why is abortion their flag and not creating jobs for the millions of American citizens without work or working at jobs without a livable wage?  Control of women!

I remember, as a girl, the Women’s Liberation movement with Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem at the forefront as a continuation of the women’s suffragette movement.  Women have fought for their rights in this country since the early 1900s when they fought for the right to vote.  It has been a long and hard fight with small victories here and there.  Roe v. Wade was a major victory that shook those good ole boys right to the core.  And until our country voted in a Progressive Democrat African American President, there did not seem to be a clear avenue to put those pesky feminists back in their places and show us who is boss.  Enter the Tea Party!

Here we go!  And we will use our little women to promote our cause because they know their place – under the thumbs and oppression of the patriarchal oppressive religious conservative right men.  They will do exactly as we say because they know who butters their bread.  So, the Sarah Palins and Michelle Bachmans became the poster girls for a movement that intended to end feminism and the very rights for which our founding mothers fought so hard.  And these women have become the face of the Tea Party.  Why not use the very gender that needs to be controlled?  Make perfect sense actually.

Abortion is not really the cause – abortion is just a smoke screen because it speaks to strong emotions.  Just the thing to tug at the hearts and minds of the uneducated and ignorant masses.  Women who are entrenched in the old ways of thinking straight from the Bible and fundamentalist religious views believe that men should the heads of the house and women are to submit to their husbands.  Therefore, they are quick to point out what us women who are strong and independent and desire to be treated with respect and equality are the devil’s own tools that will destroy our country.  Abortion is the banner that is proof of our evil ways.  And it’s working!

Texas, Ohio, and North Carolina are the most recent states to create anti-abortion bills, and yet what these states are really doing is taking away rights of women to receive quality healthcare and keep women under the rule of the very men that see women as merely objects of their own desires.  What strikes me is that the men that donate their sperm to fertilize the eggs are not held accountable at all.  Oh, wait!  According to the ultra-conservative religious Tea Partiers, it is always the woman’s fault.  Really?

I remember those dates when the boys would try to “go all the way” by saying, “If you really loved me, you would.”  How girls are tricked by this one?  It is not the guy that can get pregnant – it is the woman.  How many boys and men coerce the girls and women into having unprotected sex?  “Don’t worry.  No one gets pregnant the first time.”  Really?  And let’s not even consider date rape and incest!

As a woman, myself, who experienced the wrath of a boy refused, I fully understand this experience.  Telling this boy no resulted in a very painful date rape in the back seat of his car.  When he unceremoniously dropped me off and I told my grandmother what had happened, the visit to the local hospital to address the injury resulted in a cover up.  You see, his father was the Sheriff in town and a fine upstanding deacon of the First Southern Baptist Church.  Of course, it was my fault for “teasing” the poor boy.  I’m just grateful that it did not end in pregnancy.  I was lucky.  Not too many girls are.  If the Tea Party has its way, we will be back in the days when girls were sent to those “Wayward Girls” homes to have their babies under shame and guilt.

I propose that, if the Tea Party really cared about constitutional rights, they would make sure that the phrase, “We the People,” was the mantra of truth instead of the mantra of sound bites.  What is occurring now under the flag of Pro-Life is a gross violation of the Constitution.  I cringe when I hear them say that they wish to return our country to what the Founding Fathers governed.  Excuse me, but in those early days, the majority of the founding fathers were slave owners, and women had no rights at all under the thumb of those fine upstanding male church leaders.

So the next time, you hear Pro-Life and a return to the Constitution, keep that in mind.  Because that surely is the exact desire of the Tea Partiers, Right Wing Conservatives.  Return our country to a time of slavery and no rights for women.  Really – is that what you want?

Freedom of Religion and Women’s Health?

Freedom of Religion and Women’s Health

Should Freedom of Religion also include Women’s Health Issues?  Evidently, Freedom of Religion has everything to do with Women’s Health, at least, according to the newest bill up for vote in North Carolina.

Today, the Atlanta Wire broke a story about North Carolina’s House Bill 365  in which the state’s Anti-Sharia Law bill now includes Anti-Abortion laws.  Why?  Well, apparently, not only are the state’s women being “corrupted” by Muslin law, but women cannot make decisions concerning their own health either.

According to the Atlanta Wire story, the bill introduced late Tuesday is not being called the “Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act of 2013.”  Please, someone tell me how does disavowing and violating the First Amendment have to do with family, faith, or freedom protection.  It seems to me that this bill directly violates the protection of freedom and faith in that it prohibits one religion from exercising its religion.

I fully understand how many find Sharia Law abhorrent in our country, but quite frankly, many find the exercise of fundamentalism Christian Law just as abhorrent.  How many American citizens would agree that snake handling  is a part of Christian practices that prove one’s faith?  And yet, there are no bans on that practice.  How about “spare the rod, spoil the child?”  How many Americans today find it proper to whip a child with a belt or any object?  No, that practice is considered child abuse by most.  And yet, while there are laws against child laws, there are currently no states that specifically ban the act of spanking.

I am assuming, just for argument’s sake, that the “Family” part of the bill has to do with the anti-abortion issue.  Please, stop mistaking the abortion issue for women’s health.  Defunding Planned Parenthood has nothing to with “family.”  It has to do with control over women and their health.  Planned Parenthood provides valuable health services to women that otherwise could not afford such.  Women utilize their services on a regular basis– and guess what!  Not for abortions!  No, for gynecological checkups, birth control, and mammograms.

What this boils down to is not about preventing abortions at all.  If a woman gets pregnant and does not want to keep the pregnancy, she and her male partner will find a way.  No, once again, it is about one group of men that intend to maintain control over and keep women in oppression and servitude.  And yet, that same group of men promote medication for men to aid them in having sex, called erectile dysfunction.  How many advertisements for Cialis and Viagra are viewed daily?  What a mixed message this sends.  Women, you have to have sex, but if you get pregnant, well, sucks to be you!

What is so abhorrent about this issue is that the very women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their well-being are the very women at the greatest risk of unwanted pregnancies and are the very women who are at risk of losing the financial aid needed to care for the children that are unwanted.  You can bet that those wonderful men that impregnated that woman will be long gone!  So often, these children wind up in the foster care system and are the forgotten lives about which no government cares once they are born.  Or they are raised by a woman struggling to find work because she has a child and cannot make ends meet, let alone pay rent and buy food.  Resentment builds, and there you go!  But, boy did this so-called Pro-Lifers care before they were born!  Whose life are you for anyway, and where are you when that child and mother need help?

Every time a state institutes control over religions that are not Christian and include women’s health issues in budget bills, anti-religion bills, and other dissimilar bills, civil rights are violated.  Human rights are violated.

The conservatives cry about our personal freedoms being stripped, yet they are intent on stripping away very personal freedoms.  Remember, if you fail to speak up about even the smallest of personal freedoms being stripped away, you are guilty yourself, and you risk even greater freedoms being taken away until one day there are none.

Freedom of Religion, Women’s Health, State Budgets?  None are related if rights are gone!

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