Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where do we live again?

I don't know what country I am living in anymore. I mean, I know this is still the US, but it sure doesn't feel like it right now. Especially for women. It feels more like we're living in one of the oppressive regimes politicians are always denouncing.

But, no, this is the US.

And, frankly, I'm scared. I don't want to live in a theocracy, but that's what certain lawmakers and presidential candidates are trying to create.

Yes, there's a War on Women. That's pretty clear, considering recent pieces of legislation. Many of these have been the result of lawmakers trying to enforce their own religious beliefs of the population at large.

Arizona will allow employers to fire female employees who use birth control if they can't prove it isn't for a non-birth control reason. Tennessee wants to publish names of abortion providers and information that could identify their patients. A Georgia politician thinks women are equivalent to animals and should be required to carry dead fetuses until they naturally go into labor. Some states want to protect doctors who lie to patients to prevent abortions. Colorado is on the way to passing a bill that make abortion or use of the "morning after" pill murder.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg of recent legislation either passed or proposed that are chipping away at the rights of women. We've been seeing increasing restrictions on abortion, reduced access to birth control, interference in women's ability to make their own medical decisions and their doctors' ability to provide politics free health care.

There have been calls for doctors to stand up for their rights to care for their patients without interference, but the full-on assault from the right continues to heat up. Now a Republican from Arizona (remind me never to move there) has stated that women should have to watch an abortion before they can have one. Never mind that no other surgical procedure requires a patient to observe one first.

Frankly, if you are female, know anyone who is female, care about anyone who is female, or even just believe women are people, you need to pay attention and remember come November. We need to vote these people out of office or we will be living in conditions worse than our parents grew up in. We'll be living in a country where being female is a crime.

If you don't want to live in an oppressive regime, educate yourself and exercise your right to vote. Learn about the candidates. An excellent, non-partisan, resource is Project Vote Smart, which collects voting records, biographical information, issue positions, and more on all federal-level and many state-level candidates.

Consider running for office yourself. The 2012 Project is encouraging women, in particular, to run for office. Write your Senators and Representatives and let them know how you feel about invasive legislation.

DO something. Because this isn't the country I want my kids to grow up in.

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