Friday, February 17, 2012

The War on Women

Why do Republicans hate women?

I have been beyond furious since yesterday, and my mood did not improve as I read news reports today.

If you don't watch Rachel Maddow, please look at this 10 minute video clip. It starts with a report about the Westminster Dog Show, but then moves into what is happening in Virginia right now. If you are impatient, move the slider forward to about 3:30 minutes into the piece.

This is a report about the abortion bill (SB 484) in Virginia which will require women seeking abortions in Virginia (abortion, a legal medical procedure) a medically unnecessary vaginal probe (a transvaginal ultrasound) to determine gestational age of the embryo.

A Chicago Tribune article makes excellent points about this barbaric governmental intervention which the party of "smaller government" is trying to inflict on the women of Virginia.

To quote Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure at the University of Pennsylvania Law School,

Try to envision the mindset of a legislator who would enact a bill the sole purpose of which is to mandate the forcible, medically unnecessary invasion of a woman's vagina as the price -- the attempt at forced shame -- for terminating a pregnancy. Whatever a person's views on abortion might be, this is an assault of a different order. It is one thing to believe that abortion should be restricted; it is quite another to use the law to impose humiliation and invasion upon women who seek out the procedure. A person cannot enact such a law without embracing a willful disregard for the personhood and dignity of all women.

An article in the Virginian Pilot says,

The bill, among the most invasive ever passed in Virginia, is the result of frustration by lawmakers opposed to abortion. Unsuccessful in making abortion illegal and unwilling to be frank about their goals, they have tried by technicality and obfuscation to make it harder for a woman to terminate a pregnancy.

And now this. In addition to the ultrasound, the bill mandates a waiting period of at least 2 hours and as long as a day before a woman can have an abortion. That waiting period has no medical necessity at all.....

Seeing the bill as a fait accompli, Virginia Representative David Englin sought to add an amendment that which would at least require that a woman give her permission to that medically unnecessary, state-ordered vaginal probe. The amendment failed by a vote of 64-34.

There is a similar bill being discussed in Texas and an article in the Houston Chronicle observes, a close reading of the Texas Penal Code, Section 22.011, suggests that the new law may also constitute a sexual assault upon women, which is a second-degree felony. The code defines a sexual assault as an offense in which a person intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent. Furthermore, the law stipulates that one condition of nonconsent is met when the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate.

A transvaginal ultrasound may give a more clear picture of the embryo, but if there is no doubt that the woman is pregnant, what is the purpose of just seeing it more clearly, if not to make the whole procedure even more upsetting for the woman?

And then this morning there is a report on a contraceptive hearing where Republicans refuse to let women testify. Witnesses consisted of only male religious leaders, and a female college student was denied the right to voice her opinion because she was deemed not to have the appropriate credentials to testify.

These are the people who swept into office on the promise of creating jobs, reducing the deficit and bringing us smaller government. Yet there have been no jobs bills, and they are spending their time creating laws that will affect the very private lives of thousands of women across this country, without allowing the women to voice their opinion.

I feel paralyzed with anger and frustration....and this doesn't even affect me at all. I can only imagine how women of child-bearing years are feeling, if they are even aware of what is going on.

The all-male GOP leadership is calling on all-male religious leaders
to decide whether birth control should be fully covered by insurance plans.

1 comment:

Harriet said...

Many Republicans (I won't say all, give the benefit of a doubt) attack anyone who scares them. After all, what happens if the stronger, smarter part of the population gets into a place of power?

If you saw that stupid comment by Liz Trotta, I think she ought to lie back and volunteer.

I get mad too. Happy birthday, Bev.