There Really Is A War on Women

Every time I turn around there seems to be a war on something. There is a War on Christmas even though Christmas decorations go up before Halloween. There is a War on Christians; again, Christmas decorations go up before Halloween. But don’t be fooled, there really is a War on Women.

After the 2010 midterms, when republicans took over governor mansions and state houses, they have been systematic with their approach to limiting a woman’s right to her healthcare. It’s as if the republicans read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and thought it didn’t go far enough and they could do better.

I read this book just this year and it was frightening. Not because it depicted this dystopian future where women are just breeders but because some of the policies depicted in the book have already been proposed or implemented in some republican states. And it’s not just the republicans’ obsession with cutting funds for Planned Parenthood, since 2010 republican legislators have introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and reproductive rights-related provisions. 68% of these bills restrict access to abortion services including bans, waiting periods, ultrasounds, and insurance coverage restrictions.

Many of the provisions have nothing to do with actual health care and seem to be implemented to humiliate and punish women. Some of the most egregious bills include:

· South Dakota proposed a bill that would require spiritual counseling at religious centers before allowing an abortion. Even if you’re an atheist you would have to have religious counseling I assume to tell you about how you are going to the hell you don’t believe in.

· Texas State House of Representatives passed the Sonogram Bill requiring women to get a sonogram before ending a pregnancy which requires women to not only view the sonogram image but also hear the heartbeat. This procedure, of course, is unnecessary and costly. But cost is never a factor in republican bills since those costs won’t be paid by the people proposing the bills.

· Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin introduced a bill that would make abortion illegal and would make miscarriages illegal. That’s right, MISCARRIAGES. Did any of these men actually take a biology class?

· Indiana wants to force doctors to lie to women about abortion causing breast cancer. These people want doctors to lie to their patients. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept. So now, women in Indiana can’t trust their own doctors to give them factual information.

· Representative Chris Smith from New Jersey introduced a bill that would limit the rape exemption for abortion to “forcible rape”. Statutory rape would be classified as non-forcible rape. That would be news to all the underage girls who were raped.

· North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx sponsored a bill prohibiting teaching hospitals from receiving federal funding if they teach doctors how to perform abortions. Demonstrating that republican women can be as clueless about reproductive rights as republican men.

· Georgia Republican Representative Terry England proposed a bill that would force women to carry dead fetuses to term. Think about that. This isn’t even about abortions. A fetus dies, and this disgusting man wants to make women carry a dead fetus in their bodies for the entire term of the pregnancy no matter the health risk to the woman.

· In Tennessee, H.B. 3808 would require the names of doctors who perform abortions and women who had abortions to be posted on the internet for all the crackpots to see. Clearly, Tennessee has forgotten about the abortion clinic bombings and the murder of Dr. Tiller.

· Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey proposed a bill that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food. Mr. Shortey has never heard of this practice but felt a bill to stop a practice that doesn’t happen was a good use of taxpayer funds.

· And in January, Texas introduced a bill, which directs state officials to ignore any conflicting federal laws, and criminalize abortion except when a mother’s life is at risk.

If you aren’t watching American Crime, you should be. It does an amazing job at depicting the barriers that have been put in place to stop women from having abortions. It’s heartbreaking to watch someone trying to explain her reasons for having an abortion to a judge who gets to make the choice for her, a judge who has never met her, knows nothing about her life or her circumstances. Ironically, these same states that want a woman to jump through hoops to get an abortion also cut funding for Medicaid, day care, housing and food stamps. Right now, on average, households who receive food stamps get about $1.40 per person per meal. And congress wants to cut that.

I’m turning 50 this year, these bills will not affect my personally. But they piss me off nonetheless. I want my daughter, my nieces and any other woman to be able to decide what is best for their life. Despite what these state houses filled with old white men believe, women are perfectly able to make their own decisions about their reproductive healthcare.

Maybe it’s time women fight back. Women in congress and local state governments should start their own War on Viagra. Let’s see how men respond when woman restrict their rights to the little blue pills. It might not change hearts and minds but it’s payback. And we all know karma is a bitch.

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