Rally Against the War on Women is this Saturday, April 28, 12-4pm at the State House (125 West State St, Trenton). Speakers include Blue Jersey’s own Sen. Loretta Weinberg, ACLU-NJ’s Deborah Jacobs, Planned Parenthood’s Michele Jaker, Marie Corfield and another Dem running in LD-16 Sue Nemeth, Michael McPhearson of United for Peace & Justice, Adrienne Sanders of NAACP and many others. – promoted by Rosi.
The conservative Right was swept into office two years ago on a platform of fixing the economy. Instead of focusing on our country’s economic crisis, the Right turned its attention to women’s private lives, seeking to govern nearly every aspect of women’s reproductive healthcare, employment, and voter status. Since 2010, over 1400 of pieces of legislation aimed at controlling women have been introduced across the United States: humiliating mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortion, fetal personhood laws, the redefinition of rape, denial of coverage for birth control, defunding of women’s clinics, refusal to authorize the Violence Against Women Act, Voter ID acts, and more. Instead of creating jobs, the Right has created a War on Women.
One particular attack on women’s lives stood out to me, made me mad, and made me worried about my teenage daughter’s future. A February 2012 Congressional hearing on birth control did not include any women. I was outraged. Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke was viciously slandered by right-wing shock jock Rush Limbaugh, called a “slut” and a “prostitute” simply for speaking out in defense of birth control access. Fluke was denied the opportunity to speak on the all-male panel of theologians and clergy who testified against birth control, claiming that comprehensive healthcare coverage for paid employees of churches somehow damaged their religious freedom. Ridiculous. Religious freedom does not include the freedom to deny healthcare to paid employees, or to the entire country. But that’s the goal of the Religious Right and its ALEC-authored legislation: controlling women’s access to reproductive healthcare, and holding women down in every way possible. Is this the legacy we’re leaving to our daughters?