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Entries in Republican War on Women (82)

Friday
Nov022012

Your Rights At Risk | Republicans Criminalize Being A Woman | Dear Walmart Moms #3 

By Soraya Chemaly

Abortion, Yes or No?

This is how we’ve reduced the issue of women’s fundamental rights to a bullet point. It’s also how we’ve ended up asking our representatives the wrong questions and using words that are not rooted in the reality of women’s every day lives. “Will you make abortion illegal in all circumstances?” is the wrong question to ask Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Consider the difference if we ask, instead, “How will your policies criminalize pregnancy and infringe on women’s rights?” or “How will your beliefs about “life” help millions upon millions of girls and women feed themselves and their existing families?” Or “How will this decision help them survive their high-risk pregnancies?”

We use three words “Abortion.” Then “Life.” Then “Choice.” When the real words at stake are Women. Bodies. Freedom. Health. Who gets the benefit of being considered morally competent? What about “Citizenship”? And last but not least, “RIGHTS”?

Take Ann Romney

Consider what Mitt Romney’s presidency would mean for a contemporary Ann Romney. On August 20th of this year it was revealed that Ann Romney suffered a miscarriage and depression between the births of her fourth and fifth sons. One week later, she walked into the GOP Convention to make her speech. I was amazed. She might as well have basted herself in sugar water and walked naked in to an apiary. Here is why:

If Anne Romney miscarried today, Georgia Republican Representative Bobby Franklin and others like him, would require that she prove her miscarriage was natural or face felony charges.

If she miscarried today, she could be charged with manslaughter or murder, like Christine Taylor who fell down the stairs in her house, went to the hospital to make sure her she wasn’t miscarrying and, at the discretion of a nurse, doctor and members of the local police force, was arrested, jailed, publically shamed and charged under Iowa’s feticide law. Thirty-eight states have these laws and they are being used to prosecute women instead of protect them from abusive spouses as originally intended.

Criminalizing Miscarriage

If she miscarried today, like 15-year old Rennie Gibbs, she could face life in prison because of Republican state legislators steeped in ignorance, illogic and scientific illiteracy.

If Ann Romney miscarried today, she would have to consider living with being at the mercy of an overly personhood obsessed pharmacist, police officer, nurse…well, anyone, really who thought her actions or medication contributed to her miscarriage.

If she miscarried today, if she needed to see a doctor for her miscarriage, she’d have to think twice since doctors, in order to protect themselves or act according to their consciences, could either lie to her or turn her in to the police for investigation.

If she miscarried today, like Amanda Kimborough, and hundreds of others she could be charged with “chemical endangerment” and imprisoned. Now, Ann Romney wouldn’t be accused of being a meth lab, but could be investigated using the same laws for using medication for illness just like hers. Women with cancer will die if her party succeeds in its openly stated objectives because they will be denied treatment, like chemotherapy, as happened to Angela Carder and others in parts of the world that have already gone down this path. Why do people think this cannot happen when it already is?

You might think, some of these problems don’t apply to you, because you are a good woman and mother and only “bad” women are imperfect and personally irresponsible. They should deal with the consequences of their behavior, have personal responsibility for their sins, lose their freedom, and not get the medical help they need. Leaving aside the question of who defines what makes a woman good or bad (including the racial implications) according to personhood tenets the specific circumstances or the illegality of certain behavior or substances are irrelevant. A chemical is a chemical and endangerment is endangerment.

If she hadn’t miscarried, but like many women experienced depression (which she did), sadness or despair during her pregnancy, the situation would be equally full of risk in some states. Homocide and suicide are the two leading causes of death among pregnant women. Bei Bei Shaui, who attempted suicide and whose baby died three days after emergency Caesarian, was been imprisoned and charged with feticide in a situation that bodes ill for all women.

If she hadn’t miscarried, but wanted to decide how to give birth, like Laura Pemberton, a “pro-life” mother of seven in Florida, she might today find herself arrested during labor, taken to a hospital, tied to a bed and forced to have surgery because the state had an interest in her birth decision.

It’s Not About Criminalizing Abortion. It’s About Criminalizing Women

“Abortion” is only the very tip of the iceberg. The same people who have fetishized fetuses have made it possible, in some cases, necessary, for doctors to lie to their patients, for women to pay for unnecessary medical procedures, for health care clinics to misinform deliberately, and for women to be denied healthcare entirely.

Obstacles, taxes and shaming procedures do nothing to reduce abortions, they just infringe on rights, make women vulnerable and their lives more precarious. The toll that these measures take on girls and women is immeasurable. It’s also criminal. History will take note even if we fail to this week. Regardless of whether you root the right in liberty, privacy, or autonomy, until women have agency over their own bodies they are not liberated - a word we’ve forgotten. We might as well be living in 1969.

What was baffling to me was how Ann Romney could reference so openly her experiences with miscarriage and illnesses at a convention where personhood-for-fetuses was part of the Republican party platform. Because of the Republican party’s explicitly stated beliefs, intentions and actions women are being investigated, jailed and prosecuted for exercising their legal constitutional rights and also for experiencing miscarriages and illnesses like Ann Romney’s. How could she mention her children and grandchildren when these same beliefs in separate fetal rights from the time of conception would criminalize her own sons and their wives and, in the foreseeable future should the Romney/Ryan ticket win, deny them the right to have the children that are now her grandchildren?

Reproductive Rights Are Basic Rights

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Saturday
Oct202012

Swing State Women Gallup Poll Proves Republicans Have American Women Running Scared

Abortion Rights Top Priority of Women Swing State Voters

There is a well established gender divide in American politics, with women tending to vote Democratic and men tending to vote Republican. Within that mix, married women tend to be real swing voters. In those 12 states considered crucial “swing” states in the 2012 election, a massive gender-based disparity in top issues of concern was established this week in a Gallup Poll.

These results are based on an Oct. 5-11 USA Today/Gallup poll among registered voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The survey was conducted prior to the second presidential debate held in Hempstead, N.Y., on Oct. 16 and at a time when Romney has been gaining in national polls.

American Women Are Running Scared

The reality of women embracing abortion rights as their top priority in these states, confirms that thinking women are running scared in America. Rush Limbaugh reduces these findings to a diatribe about American women wanting to have indiscriminate sex all day long, and then aborting as a form of birth control.

Reality is that American women understand that we have reason to be worried. The Republican War on Women has truly convinced us that we are not safe from transvaginal probes or personhood amendments that gives an hour old fertilized egg the same exact rights as a married woman with children and a loving husband, an advanced college and who serves as mayor or her town.

Republicans support the Blunt Amendment, putting not only the Catholic bishops in charge of women’s bodies in 1 in 6 American hospitals — that’s both patients and workers — but ANY employer who has a moral objection to women using birth control.

Mitt Romney DOES suffer from Romnesia, and there is no reason to believe that once elected the flip flopper won’t unleash the full forces of America’s social conservatives on American women. Gone in a Romney administration: abortion rights, contraception rights, federal protection for equal pay and countless other rights won by American women in the last 50 years.

Salt Lake City Tribune Endorses Obama, Writing Romney Will Say Anything To Get Elected

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Tuesday
Oct022012

Fighting For Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Against Mike Fitzpatrick, Against Sex Trafficking & Against Personhood Bills

Anne of Carversville and GlamTribale are on the road today, popping up at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

This 10’x10’ shop comes just eight days after our Mt. Airy event was a wonderful financial, marketing and PR success. Our Mt. Airy event, following our earlier gallery stay at Karen Riggs’ Tribal Home, gave us the opportunity to both improve our game and better articulate our GlamTribale progressive values.

First and foremost, GlamTribale jewelry is an opportunity for me to stand publicly for women worldwide and also in Pennsylvania. It gives me the opportunity to ‘walk my talk’, not only study and articulate the intersections of women’s rights, religion, sexual politics, business and humanitarianism.

At GlamTribale, my personal beliefs and those of Robert, Zuwena, Ben and Cat are reflected in the way we do business. There is no doubt that we stand for progressive values and especially we stand for women worldwide — with a few exceptions.

Standing for Dr Muhammad Yunus

If you haven’t read Nicholas D. Kristof’s recent column ‘Women Hurting Women’, you must. Dr Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen bank and the women’s microfinance movement. He is a nobel laureate and a revered fighter in the global movement to empower women.

As Kristof reminds us, women can be just as contemptible as men, in their exercise of power.

Sheikh Hasina’s government has already driven Yunus from his job as managing director of Grameen Bank. Worse, since last month, her government has tried to seize control of the bank from its 5.5 million small-time shareholders, almost all of them women, who collectively own more than 95 percent of the bank.

Standing Against Mike Fitzpatrick

Anne of Carversville, GlamTribale jewelry and I stand against Mike Fitzpatrick, the Republican incumbent defending his Congressional seat against Kathy Boockvar in PA’s 8th congressional district, the place where Anne of Carversville was sounded.

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