This isn’t just a war on women, it’s a war on dignity, it’s a war on common decency, it’s a war on the GOP’s own conservative principles. When someone accuses liberals of being smug and turning our country into a “nanny state”, ask them which party thinks women are too stupid to make their own decisions about their body.
Ask them which party thinks a woman needs a sonogram, an intravaginal ultrasound, a lecture, and a 72-hour waiting period to be able to make a choice about their body.
This is not just a war on women, it’s a war against progress, it’s a war against economic recovery, it’s a war of obstructionism. It’s a war for gaining political points instead of actually helping people.
In 2011, there were 1100 bills about reproductive rights introduced at the state level; 135 passed. So far this year, 45 states have considered 944 bills about reproductive rights. Tell me, which of these bills created a job? These jaded conservatives don’t think all of these bills will pass, they just want to prevent anyone else from actually governing.
Nikki Haley was almost right — women don’t care ONLY about contraception — so give us our rights so that you can get on with real legislation.
Women are not doing OK. Our unemployment rate has stayed stagnate in the past three years. 88% of the jobs in the recovery have gone to men. The rate of poverty for women is over 25% higher than that of men. In South Carolina, we still make only 76 cents to the dollar.
This is not just a war on women, this is a war on the first amendment — on freedom of speech, on freedom of religion.
This is a war trying to force the Christian version of Sharia law into our secular constitution.
This is a war trying to make it so the 1960s never happened. To take the US back to an imaginary time when women held “aspirin between their knees” and didn’t have sex. Where it’s ok to repeal equal pay laws because “men care more about money.” In a country where 2/3 of women are the primary or co-breadwinners of their family. It’s a war to make women’s only function to be married with children.
To create a world where we can arrest women for having a miscarriage and make killing abortion doctors Justifiable Homicide. Where Maryland can justify cutting pre-school funding because women should be at home, NOT working. Where Wisconsin can introduce a bill designating single parenting as child abuse.
Where Arizona can demand women prove they’re taking birth control for a REAL medical reason, as though NOT GETTING PREGNANT wasn’t a real medical concern. This in a country where a woman is fourteen times more likely to die in childbirth than if she lived in Greece. That sounds like a real medical concern to me.
They want to create a land where Arizona doctors can legally lie to women if they think it will prevent them from getting an abortion. Where wife beating is LEGAL in Topeka, KS. Where the ER can refuse to save a woman’s life if it might kill her unborn child.
Where democrats are so afraid of the religious right that the Obama administration ignored science and the advice of the medical community and prevented Plan B from being over-the-counter. WHAT IS SCIENCE FOR? Apparently just for Christian Conservatives to dismiss as a “liberal agenda”, the facts so rarely being on their side.
This is not just a war on women, it is a war on facts, it is a war on reality, it is a war on America. Where women are worth less than fetuses, where Congress fights for horse contraception but not for women’s contraception. Where conservatives are either ignorant or liars about how birth control works. Where Susan Komen would rather cut funding to save women from breast cancer than be associated with Planned Parenthood.
This is not just a war on women. It is not a war on women’s rights, it is a war on human rights.
But it is not hopeless.
Planned Parenthood raised over $400,000 when Susan Komen dropped them. Republican women are starting to speak out for women, women like us. Women like Senators Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski. Women like Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Though it had opposition — far more opposition than I am comfortable with — the Violence Against Women Act passed the US Senate. And there are things we can do. We can vote this November for the president.
The Supreme Court has four justices over 70 and Mitt Romney’s chair of judiciary appointments is Robert Bork.
Robert Bork, the man Reagan failed to get on the Supreme Court 15 years ago. Robert Bork who doesn’t believe in the right to contraception, much less abortion, who thinks discriminating against women is QUOTE “not possible”, who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I know who I don’t want putting people on our already too anti-woman court.
We can vote. We can run. We can refuse to shut up. We can tell our friends, our lovers, our husbands, our brothers, our sons.
We can fight and we will fight.
We’ve been sitting still for too long, but now we’re standing up and we will not be silenced. I can’t speak for you, but I have no intention of sitting back down.
(Speech given at the Unite Against the War on Women Rally in SC)