In case you haven’t heard, rumor has it that, as of 12:01 tomorrow morning, our government will no longer have an active budget in effect and will be forced to shut down “unnecessary” services and stop issuing payment for just about everything else. This includes nonpayment of our military forces, both here and serving abroad, state subsidies, and I’m willing to bet, tax refund checks. What this does not cover, is Congressional (and Presidential) salaries and perks.
All because Congressional Republicans are in a tizzy over–get this–pap smears.
That’s right, the right wing whackadoodles in Congress have decided to completely stop the government until they successfully unfund Planned Parenthood. It isn’t enough that they have made it increasingly difficult for women to access their reproductive rights, now they’re working overtime, literally, to keep routine and necessary medical care from the women who can least afford it. Including screenings for STD/s and cervical cancer.
Welcome to the War on Women.
It isn’t enough that a vocal minority has removed federal funding for abortion–a right repeatedly upheld by the United States Supreme Court–even during a time when Democrats controlled the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Presidency. The new health care bill doesn’t even allow insurers to pay for abortion care. Thank you Mr. President, for throwing half of the population–and over half of your constituents–under the bus. This same vocal minority now wants to completely remove Planned Parenthood from the Federal Rolls.
If I was a true fiscal conservative, I might, in theory, support this. After all, I might argue that the government has no business funding any non-governmental agency. Unfortunately, this is not an attack on government spending. These same individuals voted to increase funding on unsuccessful “abstinence only” reproductive (mis)education in public schools. This is about seizing the United States Government, removing fifty years of women’s rights , and recreating our country in their own warped and outdated image.
How these mostly middle aged white men must hate us. They’re threatened by the smallest things–our wombs, our fertility, our vaginas. But mostly I think, they are threatened by our brains. Over fifty percent of all college graduates are women. Same for the professional and graduate programs. Women are less likely to be unemployed–even in this economy. We are succeeding. And, we are increasingly doing it without a man in the house. Even though we still make roughly seventy-one cents for every dollar made by a man.
By denying us access to affordable reproductive care, they are essentially sending us back into the kitchen. Where we are no longer in competition for a piece of the community pie because repeated pregnancies makes it virtually impossible to have a professional career, an education, or even a life outside the home. Where we need a man for economic survival. It returns us to that place where we constantly live in fear. It returns us to back alleys where we hope the person really IS a med student and knows what s/he’s doing. In short, they want to send women back sixty years. Back to second class status.
Maybe some good will come out of this whole mess. Maybe moderate women will stop seeing these individuals as viable candidates and recognize them for what they really are. Maybe they’ll begin to support candidates who conform to a more equality oriented agenda. Maybe they’ll stop patronizing anti woman business (Domino’s Pizza comes to mind) Maybe they’ll start protesting. Heck, it worked in the sixties, when our foremothers did it. Now we have the internet (until some governmental agency shuts it off). This should make it easier to organize. Maybe women will engage in some healthy self interest and put their rights first. (Okay, this one may be too much to ask–women seldom put themselves first. )
We need to do something because this is a coup. In the next twenty four hours we’ll discover who in Washington really supports equality for all its citizens and who considers a woman’s right to self determination “expendable.” I only hope that it’s not too late.
Thank you for reading.