This was originally published on Off The Main Page on June 21, 2017.
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are very much pro-life. But, are anti-abortion activists really that “pro-life?” They talk about a “culture of life,” but what would that look like?
So far, Trump has reinstated a global gag rule, which prevents funding for organizations that provide reproductive health care overseas. He also passed a billthat would allow states to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.
Is this what a “culture of life” looks like? These Republicans are cutting women’s reproductive rights. Unfortunately, that is not going to stop women who want abortions from getting them. They imagine a perfect world full of bouncing babies, but many women don’t want that. We would just end up with a bunch of dead women.
Take a look at El Salvador. They have banned abortion completely. Many women die from illegal abortion procedures. Either that or they ingest poisons to try and force a miscarriage.
It is hard to track just how many because these procedures are performed illegally. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 11 percent of these women die from illegal abortion procedures. That is, at least, 2,000 women. Amnesty International reports that 57 percent of deaths of teenage pregnant women in El Salvador is from suicide. We don’t want our country to turn into this.
This was originally published on Liberal America on June 19, 2017.
Birth control can have many great benefits, some of which include regulating menstrual cycles, controlling acne, and, obviously, helping prevent women from becoming pregnant and having children before they are ready to do so.
Republicans love to try and prevent women from getting access to birth control, and then try to outlaw abortions too. As if a woman must become pregnant regardless of her desire to do so.
Many women are being forced to choose more long-term birth control options, or to choose methods that they may not have chosen otherwise. One Twitter user is a nurse at a women’s clinic, and she is witnessing the effects of this.
She had a patient curse House Speaker Paul Ryan while having her intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. The nurse tweeted:
“This was funny, yes. But the meaning behind it is what should frustrate everyone. With all of the threats to reproductive health care, women everywhere are feeling pressured to get long-acting contraception. A lot of docs won’t even provide IUDs if you haven’t had children. It’s very stupid. So women feel pushed to get IUDs or implants when that may not be the right choice for them ultimately. So once again, the choice is being taken away from women. So sincerely, fuck you, Paul Ryan.”
She works at one of the few Planned Parenthood clinics left in Iowa. She also said:
“We see women who are rushing to get long-acting contraception because they feel they are backed into a corner. These women are afraid of losing their coverage and their clinics altogether while this administration is in power. On one hand, it makes me so happy that we can provide these services and contraceptive methods to women, but it is so frustrating when you understand the fact that women are, once again, feeling like their choice and their bodily autonomy is being taken away from them.”
For most women, a contraceptive pill or the Depo-Provera shot is a better choice, but they are losing faith in having access to medical care to be able to get refills on the pills or the shot. IUDs can last five to ten years, depending on which version is inserted.
This was originally published on June 19, 2017 on Liberal America.
Under this new Republican regime, reproductive rights are taking a hit left and right. Many states are limiting abortion rights and access to birth control. Women in Missouri may be facing another setback in their reproductive rights.
The Senate in Missouri just passed a bill that would legally allow hiring managers to discriminate against women who use birth control or women who have had abortions. The law also requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers.
Governor Eric Greitens said:
“We want to protect life. We want to defend life, and we want to promote a culture of life here in the state of Missouri.”
Currently, the state bans employers from discriminating against these women. However, this new law would repeal it.
Alison Dreith, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, criticized the lawmakers for waiting until midnight to vote on this bill. She said:
“Passing further restrictions on women’s access to abortion in the dark of night is shameful, at best. Republican senators know this, or they would have allowed the hundreds of people rallying at the Capitol on Wednesday take part in the process.”
The Kansas City Star reports:
“It also would provide stronger whistleblower protections for employees of abortion clinics and new requirements for pathologists who provide services to abortion clinics.”
This is a huge step backward in the fight for women’s rights. A woman’s reproductive decisions should not cost her a job. An employer has no business even discussing it or asking about it. That is a private decision between a woman, her spouse, and her doctor. The bill is using the rights of faith-based employers as an excuse, but it’s a pretty thin excuse. No employer has the right to discriminate against women in this way. This would set a scary precedent for other states, as well.
This was written by Zoe Grey and originally published on Mean Left Hook on March 31, 2017.
The New Yorker released a video showing how to defend yourself against a hijab-grab attack or something similar.
This video was released on their Facebook page in response to the increase in hate crimes after the election of President Donald Trump.
It is sad that we have to develop these attacks. Many Muslims and women were attacked just after the election because of nasty Trump supporters attacking people. When we take self-defense classes, we hope that we will never have to use those moves.
Rana Abdelhamid was just 15-years-old when she was attacked, she also came up with moves to help women defend themselves. She was a black belt, so she was able to pivot, face her attacker, and deflect his attack.
She tells women multiple ways to deflect an attack. She tells women to tuck their chin if they are grabbed, so that the scarf won’t tighten around their necks.
Zaineb Abdulla, who developed the attacks shown in the video below, says:
“These hijab-grab escapes were new and developed specifically as a response to the rise in hate crimes we saw after Trump’s election.”
Here is The New Yorker video, which demonstrates ways to fend off various types and angles of attacks:
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 29, 2017.
Back in 2015, the Republicans were in a frenzy over some videos claiming that Planned Parenthood doctors were selling aborted baby parts. Obviously, those videos are fake and were staged. The duo behind these horrible videos has been charged with 15 new felonies in California.
Planned Parenthood’s official statement said:
“As we have said from the beginning, and as more than a dozen different state investigations have made clear: Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong, and the only people who broke the law are those behind the fraudulent tapes. The California Attorney General filing criminal charges sends a clear message that you cannot target women and you cannot target health care providers without consequences. We look forward to justice being served.”
David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are the ones facing charges for the videos. Daleiden is still holding that the videos are real and Planned Parenthood is the one who broke the law.
It is legal to donate fetal tissue for research, and that’s what Planned Parenthood does. The organization gives its patients the option to donate the tissue for medical research. The videos claim that the clinic is selling the tissue, which is not true.
Daleiden was indicted on charges of trying to buy human tissue, which is what he was trying to pin on Planned Parenthood. That charge was dismissed.
The new charges are for recording without consent. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said:
“The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society. We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations.”
Daleiden and Merritt are being charged for each person who they recorded against their consent in these smear videos. One way or another, I hope these two end up in jail for a really long time.
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 26, 2017.
Fox News, aka “Faux News,” often talks about having a hatred and resentment of poor people. They throw out statistics about “poor households” that are just plain ridiculous. They claim that poor people shouldn’t have basic appliances like refrigerators and microwaves.
A blogger on Cracked, going by John Cheese, shows the ridiculousness of these claims by using his mother as an example. He went on a Fox News-style rant about the things in his mother’s home.
When talking about her refrigerator, he said:
“What the hell is that bullshit? She claims to be poor, but right there in front of me is a refrigerator! She didn’t even try to hide it. It’s right out in the open, where any tax-dollar-providing citizen — nay, hero — can see. As if that wasn’t enough, notice that in the bottom-left corner of the picture, there’s a chair propped up against the door to hold it shut, because the magnetic strip has long lost its holding power. So my mother not only owns chairs, but owns so many that she can use one as a doorstop?”
When he got to her medicine, he said:
“Oh my Tax God of the Dollarverse, what is going on? I thought I knew my mother, but this is too much. Here I am, working 7,000 hours per week in order to give the government money, who in turn gives it to her, and she’s hoarding baskets of drugs like some sort of … drug hoarder. This is the true face of drug-fueled poverty right here, sheeple, and you need to wake up.”
Side note: “Tax God of the Dollarverse” may be my new favorite phrase.
I guess I’m living the life that Faux News would find “luxurious.” I have a chronic condition, but how dare I have a phone and a car? I guess I have offended the Tax God of the Dollarverse with my wicked ways.
Here are The Young Turks talking about this topic:
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 27, 2017.
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet seen the film The Most Hated Woman In America, information in this article could spoil the plot. Read at your own risk.
Netflix released its latest original film on Friday, The Most Hated Woman in America. It follows the life story of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists and activist who fought against prayer in public schools and won.
Her Supreme Court case took on mandatory Christian prayer in schools.
Even if you are a Christian, you may still root for Melissa Leo in this well-done biopic. As an atheist, I admire her courage to challenge Christian prayer back then.
She is not perfect, but she is brash and bold. She stands up for what she believes in, and she does it with style. Melissa Leo does a great job portraying her.
She didn’t just fight against school prayer either. She also fought against segregation and the Vietnam War. She was also an ardent feminist. She was not perfect, but she was a good person in her own way.
She lost her life because she trusted an employee who turned against her. A man she hired at American Atheists is the one who abducted her, her son, and her granddaughter in the mid-1990s. They were never seen again.
Here is some biographical information about her:
“Born in 1919 to a poor family in Pittsburgh, she was raised by church-going parents but claimed she became an atheist after reading the complete Bible in her early teen years. Madalyn Murray O’Hair became a household name when she contested the required moment of prayer and Bible reading in her son William’s Baltimore-area public school in 1960. The Supreme Court, then under Chief Justice Earl Warren, delivered its 8-1 verdict in favor of O’Hair on June 17, 1963, expanding an earlier school prayer decision in the 1962 Engel v. Vitale case. Murray v. Curlett, along with Abington v. Schempp, eliminated not only obligatory school prayer but also mandatory Bible readings in public schools.”
She was a great pioneer, and I admire her.
This was originally published on March 8, 2017 on Liberal America.
I love to see things like this out of my state. Today, March 8, 2017, is International Women’s Day and it is also the “A Day Without A Woman” strike. Many women are taking the day off paid and unpaid work and not shopping today. Businesses were urged to close for the day. There are other small things we can do to participate if you can’t get out of work.
I’m proud to say that one radio station in Birmingham, Alabama, HOT 107.7, is not playing any songs by women during syndication hours today in solidarity with the strike.
Operations Manager Ken Johnson, said:
“Women are our core listeners and these women contribute a great deal to our sound. Honoring women by highlighting to the community how important they are is a no-brainer.”
“Plus, hearing more Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, and Luther Vandross is not a bad thing.”
Two of the hosts, Tasha Simone and Jeanine Johnson, are not going to be working today.
There are many other interesting protests going on for the strike today as well.
Planned Parenthood is open, but the National Women’s Law Center and the National Organization for Women are closed.
Female Democrats in Congress are staging a walkout in support of the strike.
A 10-year-old school child wrote a letter to her principal explaining that she wants to use this day to make sure that her voice is heard. She even said she would pick up all of her school work in advance.
The television channel, MTV, is flipping the letter “m” in their logo upside down in solidarity with the women who are striking today.
Many websites such as Bustle and Romper will not be posting new content today. Netflix and NBC are offering personal days for their female employees.
Last night, the lights at the Statue of Liberty were out for a few hours. The National Park Service says it was just technical difficulties, but many people online think that it was a silent protest.
This was originally published on Liberal America on March 10, 2017.
There are many things that women have to do or like to do every day to avoid being sexually or otherwise harassed. Here are just seven things that women do that men might not realize they do:
1. Keys In The Hand
Women often carry their keys in their hand as a “weapon” when walking alone at night. Walking alone at night can be very nerve-wracking for anyone, but I often feel it myself as a woman.
2. Telling Someone Where You Are
Sometimes if I’m uncomfortable or just if I’m out late at night, I will tell my family or someone where I am going. Many women feel uncomfortable being out and about by themselves at night.
3. Pretending To Be On The Phone
Yes, many women will pretend to be talking on a phone call or pretend to be texting. If someone is staring at them or if someone is making them uncomfortable, they can pretend to be on a phone call. I have done this myself just to avoid people I didn’t really want to talk to.
4. Calling A Friend When In A Cab Or Uber
Sometimes, getting into a taxi can be a bit unsettling. Taking a ride from a stranger can be unnerving. If you are uncomfortable, talking to a friend can help make you feel safer.
5. Keeping Your Drink Covered
When women are at a bar or a club, it is good practice for them to cover their drink and not to leave it unattended. It is easy for someone to slip something in the drink when you are not looking.
6. Giving Fake Names To Men
Sometimes, women are afraid to say no to men out of fear that they might get angry at the rejection. A lot of women will give men a fake name, number and/or a fake address.
7. Turning Your Headphones Off
Some women will turn their music on to avoid being in an awkward conversation. Others might turn off their music so they can tell if someone is following them.
This was originally published on Liberal America on October 19, 2016.
Ryan Williams, a teenager in the United Kingdom, is taking a stand against feminine products that he obviously knows nothing about. He is in favor of an extra luxury tax on tampons and pads, also known as the “tampon tax.”
Williams says that women should be able to “control their bladders” and not need tampons. This poor boy is in need of an anatomy lesson.
This 19-year-old is just so confused that people are telling him to get an anatomy lesson. Williams actually said:
“I saw a post about ending tampon tax and I was so annoyed I had to have my say.”
“People are saying tampons shouldn’t be taxed because they are a necessity but why can’t those women just learn to control their bladders?”
“If they are going to bleed then they should wait until they get to the toilet. It’s all about self-control.”
“If you can’t control your bladder then that’s not the taxpayers’ problem. I don’t urinate everywhere and expect free nappies.”
“If you make tampons free where do you draw the line? They’ll be going about petitioning for toilet roll to be free next.”
He actually called women who are in favor of ending the tampon tax “cheapskates.” This kid needs a sex-ed class ASAP. He doesn’t seem to realize that we can’t stop our periods. We can’t hold it in.
Williams set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his “biology lessons,” but it was removed.
This story is happening in the U.K.; however, we have similar problems here. Back in March, Chicago got rid of its luxury tax on pads and tampons.
Here in the United States, about 40 states still place extra taxes on periods. These products are essential for women. Trust me, if we could stop our periods we would. We shouldn’t have to pay extra for things we can’t control.
Here is English comedian Russell Howard’s take on this ridiculous tax.: