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March 3, 2011

GOP’s Attack on Women: Take Action to Protect Women’s Rights + Health.

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” — Madeline Albright.

In Ohio this week, a 9-week old fetus is set to “testify” to law makers via a live ultrasound in favor of the pro-life Heartbeat Bill. The legislation that would outlaw abortions as soon as doctors can detect a heartbeat (about 6 weeks).

“I think it’s a stunt that trivializes women’s health,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. “It’s obvious this committee is a lot more interested in making headlines than in giving women better access to health care…” If enacted, it would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country.

As a woman. No, as a human. It’s hard not to take offense to this mind-blowing outrageousness. The scary part is that other states are chomping at the bit to beat out Ohio with a more restrictive bill. From Georgia to South Dakota and Texas, GOPers are waging an all out war on women’s reproductive health…

Last week via Mother Jones:

Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin—who last year proposed making rape and domestic violence “victims” into “accusers”—has introduced a 10-page bill that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia completely illegal. Both miscarriages and abortions would be potentially punishable by death: any “prenatal murder” in the words of the bill, including “human involvement” in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death. Basically, it’s everything an “pro-life” activist could want aside from making all women who’ve had abortions wear big red “A”s on their chests.

I doubt that these archaic bills will pass, but the kicker is that none of these bills show concern at all for women’s health or well-being… In the bill’s logic, a fertilized egg is the same as a human, and its destruction is murder. If you’re a woman, have a girlfriend, a wife, sister, daughter or mother — you should be livid.

On February 18, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives — led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a fierce opponent of abortion rights — voted to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from all federal funding for birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and other lifesaving care. The bill slashed the nation’s family planning program from $327 million to zero — a program that serves 5 million women every single year.

Planned Parenthood is the largest women’s health care provider in America — 1 in 5 women in America count on their health centers for care. Because of Planned Parenthood, every year more than 1 million women get cancer screenings, more than 1.2 million teens will get honest sex education and more than 2.5 million women receive birth control to allow them one of the most basic human rights — to plan their family for themselves.

In a video from the House floor, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) — a pro-life advocate, btw — said: “The best way to reduce abortion in this country is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This bill, this amendment will increase the number of abortions in this country.”

While this is being called the GOP’s anti-abortion agenda, I’m going to call it what it is: an all out war on women’s rights.

“On behalf of the 3 million women who have turned to us this year. Congressman Mike Pence, you ignited a movement,” Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards said at a rally.

Since the House stripped funding for family planning, more than 700,000 people have signed Planned Parenthood’s petition. We can stop this in the Senate. Let’s make sure our Senators hear us loud and clear. TAKE ACTION NOW! Share this petition with everyone you know. Get loud. And fight!

The most ironic part yet? March is Women’s History Month. Just this week, President Obama released a proclamation that states:

In America, we must lead by example in protecting women’s rights and supporting their empowerment… As we prepare to write the next chapter of women’s history, let us resolve to build on the progress won by the trailblazers of the past. We must carry forward the work of the women who came before us and ensure our daughters have no limits on their dreams, no obstacles to their achievements, and no remaining ceilings to shatter.

Our rights and our health is under attack. At the end of the day, how we decide to take care of our bodies and how we decide plan our families should not be up to a bunch of old men with a ideological agenda. It should be up to us. Access to health care is a basic human right — whether you’re a woman or a man, pro life or pro choice. Today, fight as if your lives depended on it — because in this crazy world, it actually does.

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