Friday, October 26, 2012

Why your voting matters in November - Womening Up Edition *UPDATED 3*

It has been another week of this election season. Make that saga. We' have had one last debate, focused on foreign policy. But let's be sure, as we go out of this weeks of the electoral fight, that we do not forget what Romney, Ryan, and the rest of the Republican Party has said and done in regards to rights of and health care access for women.

Women, the often forgotten majority. Women, too easily shuffled into a 2nd Class position.

So let's be sure we don't stop talking about the GOP Agenda, in regards to...


So, what is their plan for womenfolk?

On LILY LEDBETTER, Republicans have been all too clear on how hostile they are to assuring women equal pay. For a long time it has been a fight to get this passed through Congress. Finally, President Obama just had to act on his own, to bypass Republican roadblocks. Once in office, Romney has no reason to protect the fair wages for women.

But let's not forget the health care impact of further Republican power in government. Also, don't forget, as we look at it, that what Republicans would affect in health care will lead to new costs, barriers, and troubles that are also economically impactful. Access to birth control through your health care provider will change the lives of many women in the workplace.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD, a name well known, reviled by conservatives, vitally needed by women in many communities. But the organization dares, among many vital services, to aid women in questions about or having an abortion. So everything else they do is ignored (help with cancer, help with pregnancy, etc), and they must be destroyed. (Granted, if they actually just focused on abortions, I would say it should be protected. But it does so much other vital work.)

In conservative dominated states like Texas and Oklahoma the GOP has worked to cut off all support to the group, to hell with the impact on the women of the state. And yet other conservatives have worked to try and smear the group, much like ACORN was. And from the federal end Romney has talked, on the record, about cutting off Planned Parenthood. As for Paul Ryan, he's been active in attempting this already from within Congress.

In office, Romney would lead an executive branch attack on this key gateway for millions to health care. McConnell and Boehner would attack on the legislative end. And Scalia and his ilk would be attacking on the judicial. They truly do all have dreams of making Planned Parenthood into another dead husk, like ACORN. Again, to hell with the consequences for women across America.

The result for many women will be to be more isolated from medical support, and preventative medicine.

Along with Planned Parenthood, we actually have the question of access to BIRTH CONTROL, contraception. It is stunning. For so long now it was thought that this was settled, and the conservative fight was on access to birth control. Complaining about contraception was the job of the silly prude from your church. But, no, not anymore. The GOP has decided that birth control, the Pill, is CONTROVERSIAL. It has been made dirty yet again.

Now Republicans seem ready to take on some fights on this question. They are more eager to race out and call women sluts. Women on the Pill, and the Pill, are being presented and seen as vile. From celebrity conservatives, to conservative mouthpieces, to actual conservative legislators, they are more ready and confident they can be openly hostile to birth control. And conservatives are eager to howl over questions of religious rights, ignoring the rights of women to have access basic medicine. Medicine that we've seen wide access to otherwise for more than half a century. Along with so many other mad positions, this has gotten itself into the Republican Agenda.

Here's Rep. Steve King of Iowa, on whether he thinks contraception should remain legal:

He won't take a position. He can't just say, "Sure it should be legal." Simple answer. Worse, he's afraid to give his real stance, that contraception should not be. Because that would cost some votes.

And what of Romney/Ryan? Will they fight against pressure from the base to cut off access? They will be happy to cut support to women for contraception from Obamacare. It'll be the first thing to go.

And here's the thing. The vast majority of us Americans feel, women should have access. Most of us are in agreement. But how will we vote and act when one party is focused so doggedly in blocking access?

Along with birth control, the fight to keep ABORTION legal or even available in most of the country continues. Romney has danced back and forth on questions of his positions. His brain is whirring trying to see where he is best off, to win the election. So he tells us he has no part of his legislative agenda that deals with abortion. That doesn't include new Supreme Court justices or federal judges he'd appoint. Or the fact he seems keen to support old conservative Global Gag Rule. (In fact, he has talked a lot over recent years about all the ways he's support limiting or ending access to abortion for women. And, as governor, he went after help to rape survivors.) But not legislatively. He promises.

Yeah. This is an old joke. But so is Mitt Romney.
Along the way, Mitt has worked to muddy the waters to claim he is the candidate of "choice." Just maybe not what you might think. It's just window dressing, while others take the country another way.

This is where his party is, where the pressure on him will come from, and where he's stood most consistently is all too clear. While ignoring other issues, Republicans have tried to push 46 bills on abortion through Congress. Across the country, the GOP is every working to find a better way to deny women the ability to choose. Where they can they bar it. Other places, builders get scared off. Some place laws on the books detailing the mandatory dimensions of a facilities broom closet. Or have law requiring doctors to have privileges at a local hospital, knowing no hospital wants that relationship.

Then there is Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan. Ryan is already known to be in league with Todd Akin, of legitimate rape infamy. He's consistently voted against women's ability to choose. He's repeatedly voted to cut off Planned Parenthood. He's cosponsored personhood legislation. He's even cosponsored a mandatory probing measure. And he's made it clear he isn't impressed with the plight of rape victims seeking abortions. This is who Mitt Romney has chosen to place a heartbeat away from the presidency. What more do we need to say on that?

Conservatives have worked to get people to limit and shape what is acceptable to happen to women, hoping to turn society to judge women who have pregnancies. Look at the recent shocking talk of rape. Should women then have access to abortion, or even the morning after pill? Well, was it legitimate rape, one conservative asks. Another asks, is it an honest rape? Paul Ryan asked, was it forcible rape? Then another asks, was it enjoyable rape? But, of course, Richard Murdock pipes up to remind conservatives of what they've been saying at other times, "Gentlemen, why are you fretting? It's God's will. It's God's gift. Tell the women that they should just be grateful."

The effort is to define rape away. It is an effort to define away one reason abortion is supported in our society. And all it will take is to turn society against rape survivors. Define them as liars, as ungrateful people shunning gifts from God. That's the Republican Party.

The Republicans seem to be so concerned about women getting to free. Having the ability to have sex, free of the danger of disease or pregnancy?

Women having to the choice to limit or not start a family outside of their own planning?

That just leads to promiscuous and loose women!

It's like the fear with the HPV vaccine.  Where, yes, a Republican governor was supporting vaccination. Then the conservative prudish base got upset, and it all became, "Shame! Shame!"

That, sadly, is how conservatives see reproductive health questions. And the result of these policies and views of Republicans? A life where women have to fear their sexuality, are ashamed, and soon enough burdened by "womenly" duties, or destined to the life of a spinster. That is their 1930's view of the future of American culture.

Tina Fey has it right.

They should not have power over these issues. And they won't if we don't vote for them, and vote in smarter better choices.

Make the choice to protect your choices.


Have you seen the great ad in Wisconsin from Republicans to reach out to all you gals?

Hey, doll face! Who should you vote for? The cute one, of course. Now get me a tumbler of scotch. ...

The GOP really gets to the heart of all the issues that concern women, huh.

And here's a list of 101 ways conservatives have gone after women recently.

Add to that another charming Mitt Romney story. Those are always a joy.
It was in August of that year, shortly after the Romney family returned from their vacation to Lake Huron, that a pregnant woman in her late 30s—Carrel Hilton Sheldon—was informed by her doctor that she had a life-threatening blood clot lodged in her pelvic region. 
In treating the clot, Sheldon was administered an overdose of the blood thinner Heparin, an overdose that not only resulted in significant internal bleeding, but also extensive damage to her kidneys, to the point where she was on the verge of needing a transplant. Her life was clearly in peril. 
Sheldon's doctor advised her that the overdose of Heparin might have also harmed her 8-week-old fetus and, given the possible fatal repercussions to her, he recommended that she abort her pregnancy. 
Sheldon, a mother of four at the time (a fifth child had died as an infant), was then a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), outside of Boston. The LDS leader in Massachusetts at that time, called the "stake president," was a Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Gordon Williams, and he counseled Sheldon to follow her doctor's advice to terminate the pregnancy and protect her own life, so that she could continue caring for her four living children. 
"Of course, you should have the abortion," she recalled him saying. 
According to an account later written anonymously by Sheldon for the LDS women's journal,Exponent II, it was after receiving this counsel from her Williams supporting the potentially life-saving procedure that she experienced an uninvited visit in her hospital from her Mormon bishop at the time, 36-year-old Mitt Romney, who adamantly opposed the abortion. 
"He regaled me with stories of his sister and her retarded child and what a blessing the child had been to the family," Sheldon wrote of the incident. "He told me that 'as your bishop, my concern is with the child.'" 

And the story goes on from there. Charming. He met a woman who's life was at stake, who's children would have been left without there mother, and he was just the cold agent of his church. Maintaining order, the religious order, keeping everyone in line with his worldview. This is the man who wants into the presidency. 


And here is Obama's message to Planned Parenthood, it's supporters, and it's customers.

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