This week I’ve been asked about the Zimmerman verdict, what I thought about it and if I was going to write about it this week. No, I am not going to write about it. I have nothing to add that the hundreds of talking heads and TV lawyers have not already said. The verdict came in and the jury voted to acquit, that’s it. Our justice system may not always work what way we wish, but this case was exceedingly hard to prosecute. At any rate, be prepared for more Stand Your Ground murders. Oh and good luck getting a job, Georgie boy. I don’t need an idiot with an anxious trigger finger roaming the office corridors carrying that loaded gun with a live round in the chamber and the safety off. He is a coward and his life is ruined, he will be sued civilly by the Martins, possibly prosecuted by the Feds and he will have to keep paying lawyers for years to come.
What I am more incensed about is this continued attack on all things related to women’s health. This recent bullshit Texas Bill, HB 2, that Governor Rick “Oops” Perry rammed through the Texas legislature after it failed the first time, absolutely turns my stomach. The new law, which starts in October, bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and dictates when abortion-inducing drugs can be taken. But even more outrageous, it also requires abortion clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and restricts abortions to surgical centers. Only five of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics currently meet the new requirements. Here is the interactive map from the Texas Tribune that shows the location of the 5 remaining clinics out of the 42 that this bill targets.
These self-proclaimed Christians have such disregard for women’s health, they actually passed on a federal grant for $30 million because some of it would fund Planned Parenthood clinics. Yet this money, by law, is to be used only for contraception and gynecological care, and is expressly forbidden to be used for abortion. I cannot fathom why anyone, especially female Texas lawmakers, would want to keep low-income and uninsured women from getting basic healthcare services. Is it too difficult for these ladies to understand that a healthy population will save the state millions of dollars? Why do they want to keep women from getting cancer screenings? Do they want these women to have their cancer go undetected? Is it because these women either won’t vote for them or are not from districts of these lawmakers? Is it because they are poor and therefore less important? I honestly cannot wrap my brain around the thinking of the Texas State Legislature.
Researchers say nearly 200,000 Texas women have lost or could lose access to contraception, cancer screenings, and basic preventive care, especially in rural parts of the state. But even more disturbing is the disconnect these lawmakers have between the lack of access to birth control and the rise in unwanted pregnancies. Of 300 pregnant women seeking an abortion in Texas, nearly half said they were “unable to access the birth control that they wanted to use” in the three months before they became pregnant.
Because of the closing of women’s healthcare clinics, cutting off preventive care, including well-woman examinations, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and contraception, there are over 147,000 women now who cannot access any kind of family planning resources. Great, a Baby Boom for those who can least afford it with no services available for it after it’s born.
By now we have all heard of Wendy Davis, she of the pink sneakers and 11 hour filibuster, the new superstar State Senator from Texas. What I found so moving is that Senator Davis stood for 11 hours and gave a voice to those women who were denied their right to speak in front of their elected officials. There were so many heartbreaking stories from the woman who had to go 9 months carrying her rapist’s baby while people congratulated her on her pregnancy to a woman who had to have a late abortion because of the dire medical condition of the fetus. If you want to learn more about the women and their stories, please visit this Texas Tribune article.
Contrary to what these tone-deaf lawmakers think, women aren’t running to get abortions then off to dinner and drinks. Women are not using abortion as birth control. Sure there are stupid people who do incredibly selfish and stupid things and I am sure there are women who abuse their legal right to safe abortions. But then there are also stupid and selfish people in the Texas State Legislature who want to make personal medical decisions for all the women in Texas.
Imagine someone telling you what you can and cannot do with your own body. Remember the Death Panels the Right Wing lunatics like that quitter Sarah Palin were screaming about? They relished scaring everyone into believing that an anonymous bureaucratic government will decide your health care and if you live or die? Well, who knew that spunky Sarah was right! There is a panel deciding what procedures Texas women can and cannot receive and they actually sit in the Texas State House. These elected officials, not doctors, are making your health care decisions for you. They are making these decisions for you based on their religion and their personal beliefs. They have no medical training, they are not doctors, nurses, or in any way part of the medical community.
Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, an ophthalmologist, asserts in a state hearing that she should be the expert on reproductive health. Because…um…she’s an eye doctor? Senator Nelson didn’t see eye to eye (see what I did there?) with Sarah Slamen, who came to give testimony opposing the bill. She was shut down and called disrespectful even after she watched “a parade of anti-choice zealots and misogynists who got up for 13 hours and called women murderers, killers, promiscuous, thoughtless, and selfish. Not a peep from committee chair Nelson on those.”
Now, this isn’t just happening in Texas. In the last few years there has been an outpouring of restrictive anti-abortion bills going through State Houses. They require women to have ultrasounds with Transvaginal sonograms where a large thick wand is inserted way deep inside a women’s vagina. I suppose it’s to help us little ladies understand what pregnant means. Thanks guys!
The horrific list goes on: Transvaginal Ultrasounds, Race and Gender Requirements, Biased Counseling, TRAP laws: Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers, Fetal Pain Laws, Heartbeat Laws, Personhood Laws, Legalized Murder of Abortion Providers. Take a gander if you have the stomach, and view the new laws that men think we girls need.
According to yet another enlightened Republican lawmaker, Nebraska state Sen. Bill Kintner stated in a questionnaire given by the Nebraska Journal Star:
Biggest mystery? Women. No one understands them. They don’t even understand themselves. Books and books and books have been written about it, and no one understands it.
Men are very easy to understand. Very basic, very simple.
Yes, Bill, you are simple, very simple.
Women, wake the EFF up! As a proud user of Planned Parenthood during many years when I did not have insurance, I beg you to stand up and be heard. These clinics took care of me, made sure I was healthy, gave me my pap smears, birth control, and basic health care at a minimal cost I could afford. This basic service is being yanked away from us. Laws are being introduced and passed by men dictating your medical decisions. Your legal right to have complete control over your body and choices are being stripped away. North Carolina cowardly hides these new laws in Bills about motorcycle safety!
Hey men, before you go and fill your insurance covered prescription for Viagra so you can get it up and have non-procreational sex, I suggest that female legislatures start introducing bills that will force men to have a proctology exam to make sure that this pill is a medical necessity. That’s right, Viagra is OK for insurance companies to sell and companies to provide, yet the fight goes on to keep birth control out of insurance policies and away from women. Sickening. And just to push my point a little bit farther, here is a typical moronic Right Wing mouthpiece, Erick Erickson from redstate.com who tweeted “Dear Liberals, go bookmark this site now,” he taunted, with a link to an online warehouse selling coat hangers.” Ladies, it’s time to fight!