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A Woman’s Body

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Planned Parenthood Takes Another Hit From The Right: Loses Support of Susan G. Komen Foundation

It looks like the rabid right to lifers won a small victory this week. Succumbing to pressure from the right, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that it is cutting ties with Planned Parenthood. A long time contributor to Planned Parenthood, the foundation will stop funding of all Komen sponsored breast cancer screening and education at all Planned Parenthood centers. The foundation did not even have the courage to respond with Planned Parenthood’s requests to meet with the Komen board of directors.
Fortunately, Planned Parenthood has established an emergency fund, thanks to the generous gift of $250,000 from the Amy and Lee Fikes Foundation. This Breast Health Emergency Fund is expected to help offset the 19 programs that will be lost from the Komen Foundation.

When will these right wing, religious zealot, misogynistic, elitist, patriarchal nut jobs understand that Planned Parenthood is more than just abortion clinics?

In the 800 centers across the country,90% of Planned Parenthood’s health care is preventative cancer screenings, birth control, STD prevention and treatment, breast health services, PAP tests, and sexual health education and treatment. They perform a much needed service to millions of women, men, and teenagers, who otherwise could not afford these services.

The right doesn’t care about this; what they care about is how much control they can exert over a woman and her uterus. Bullying the Komen Foundation into cutting ties with Planned Parenthood is yet another example as to how low the right is willing to sink.

Posted from my piece of crap Blackberry

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers | ThinkProgress

Does anybody else find it ironic that rabid “pro-lifers” want to kill every abortion provider in the country? Yeesh.

North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers | ThinkProgress.

BTW Rep Larry Pittman, because you are a nut job Tea Bagging right wing extremist who favors public hangings of abortion providers, you win this installment of the Obama Ear Scratch of The Week.

The Bipartisan Dog and Pony Show

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

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As more details from the 2011 budget agreement are becoming available, it looks as if President Obama and the Democratic Party may have gotten their way. Most of the $38 billion dollar reductions are a product of creative book keeping based on money left over from previous years. Furthermore, much of the cuts are to programs that Obama had targeted in the first place, such as earmarks, unspent census money, and leftover federal construction money. Meanwhile, programs such as Pell Grants and health research, in addition to Planned Parenthood and the EPA will remain safe for now.

In the 2012 budget fight, it is widely believed that Obama will go after tax cuts; he is expected to revive his recommendations that the Bush tax cuts for households making $250,000 or more a year come to an end. Overall, he will be seeking a tax increase on the wealthy from Bush’s 25% tax rate to 35%, which would restore the tax code to the level that existed during the Clinton administration. In my opinion, Obama’s tax hike proposal will be nothing more than a paper tiger. After all, the Democrats have their hands out to big business every bit as much as the Republicans.

If we are going to get this $14.3 trillion dollar debt under control, raising taxes for the rich is going to have to come hand in hand with cutting spending. While Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal would supposedly trim more that $5 trillion from our deficit over the next decade, it does nothing to generate more revenue (read taxes) from the highest income brackets. Ryan’s proposal follows the Tea Bagger’s playbook on spending; force the poor, middle class, and elderly to tighten their belts even further by cutting spending on needed programs for their health and well being, while reducing even further the taxes paid out by the top 1% of our country.

The Republican’s 2011 budget is looking more and more like it’s nothing but smoke and mirrors; the 2012 budget plan looks even worse. While Obama seems to have won a temporary victory by protecting many of the programs that actually benefit the public, he needs to step up his game and demand an end to the generous tax cuts to the rich.

A successful business plan is a simple one: Spend wisely while generating revenue. Our government does not do this. I’m surprised we’re still in business. If the government were a legitimate business, it would have been forced to shut its doors permanently during the Bush administration. If both parties can’t get their greed under control and formulate a balanced fiscal plan that actually works, the business that is the government will soon operate under a new credo; “open under new management.” Look for that sign to be written in Chinese.

Government Shutdown Averted… For Now

Republicans and Democrats got their act together last night and finally hammered out a budget deal. $38 billion was cut from the budget, but Planned Parenthood, health care reform, and the EPA were spared for now.  The Republicans, Democrats, and Tea Baggers are all claiming victory. My gut feeling says that the Democrats caved on many issues and we’ll find out just how much they caved in the next few days as more details become available. Meanwhile, the government stays open, and the rich continue to get richer, as it is believed that most of the tax cuts were left in the budget for corporations and the wealthy.

Next up: The 2012 budget proposal. This will probably be an even bigger fight.

Stay tuned!

Budget Fight Almost Over?

It looks like the Republicans and Democrats are close to reaching an agreement on the budget,averting a government shutdown. The last sticking point is the massive cuts directed toward Planned Parenhood funding. Hopefully the Democrats will not budge on this, and Planned Parenthood won’t be effected.

Frankly, after watching President Obama hem and haw last night about the ramifications of a government shut down, I thouroghly expected that the Democrats would cave on most of the major sticking points, because, for the most part, that’s what Democrats do. I’m betting they already caved on cuts to PBS, NPR, and EPA.

If this bill goes through with the planned cuts to Planned Parenthood, whatever trust I have left in the Democratic party may go right out the window.

Top 10 Worst Things about the Republicans’ Immoral Budget

I love lists: this one is from MoveOn.Org:

Top 10 Worst Things about the Republicans’ Immoral Budget

 1. Destroy 700,000 jobs, according to an independent economic analysis from Sachs-Goldman.

2. Zero out federal funding for National Public Radio and public television.

3. Cut $1.3 billion from community health centers—which will deprive more than 3 million low-income people of health care over the next few months.

4. Cut nearly a billion dollars in food and health care assistance to pregnant women, new moms, and children.

5. Kick more than 200,000 children out of pre-school by cutting funds for Head Start.

6. Force states to fire 65,000 teachers and aides, dramatically increasing class sizes, thanks to education cuts.

7. Cut some or all financial aid for 9.4 million low- and middle-income college students.

8. Slash $1.6 billion from the National Institutes of Health, a cut that experts say would “send shockwaves” through cancer research, likely result in cuts to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research, and cause job losses.

9. End the only federal family planning program, including cutting all federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to support cancer screenings and other women’s health care.

10. Send 10,000 low-income veterans into homelessness by cutting in half the number of veterans who get housing vouchers this year.

Their budget isn’t about stimulating jobs or reducing the deficit; it’s about stimulating their bank accounts and reducing our liberties. If this bill goes through as is, we will lose close to a million jobs by 2012. We will lose federal funding for Planned Parenthood and Head Start. We will lose much needed research aimed at eliminating Cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. We will put veterans on the street, and make it even harder for low income families to send their children to school, or you know, eat. Meanwhile the bloated carcass that is our government will sap our hard earned money from us while feeding huge corporations with massive tax breaks.

Trickle down economics has never worked and it never will. I stand corrected; it works for the outlandishly wealthy and the politicians who serve them.

Roe v. Wade Saves Lives and Liberties of Women.

Albert Wynn and Gloria Feldt at the U.S. Supre...

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A woman’s right to choose whether or not she can get an abortion or contraception has risen to the national stage once again in full force. On the federal level, the Republicans are using the budget as a convenient excuse to shove their moral agenda down the nation’s throat. They have put measures in the bill that would de-fund Planned Parenthood, an organization with over 800 locations across the country. Services provided at locations include contraceptives (birth control); emergency contraception; screening for breast, cervical and testicular cancers; pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counseling; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; comprehensive sexuality education, menopause treatments; vasectomies, tubal ligations, and abortion.

Planned Parenthood is a vital service geared to maintain women’s health. The cost to the government is 1 billion dollars, a mere pittance to our budget when compared to our military budget, or the huge tax breaks given to billionaire corporations. Since Women’s History Month is upon us, I thought it would be relevant to write about the history of Roe v. Wade, and the impact that it has carried over the last 37 years.

Abortion is not only being challenged on the Federal level; in many states politicians are challenging a woman’s right to choose either by passing legislation that attacks doctors who provide abortion, or the women who seek them. In fact, anti-abortion laws have been in place since 1821, when Connecticut passed the first statue criminalizing abortion. By 1900, every state in the union had abortion legislation in place. Unless pregnancy was induced by rape or incest, abortion was not legal until the landmark decision Roe v. Wade was decided in the Supreme Court in 1973. That decision relied on the “right to privacy” that is provided in the 14th amendment, and struck down state and federal statutes that made abortion illegal as unconstitutional. The court’s decision would later influence the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision to declare that abortion laws unconstitutional in the R. v. Morgentaler case, which was decided in 1988. 

The case came to be in Texas, when Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) became pregnant with her third child in 1969. She tried to get an abortion in Dallas, but could not because abortion was only legal in the afore mentioned circumstance of rape or incest. After the birth of her child, she hired attorneys Linda Coffe and Sarah Weddington, who filed suit in a U.S. district court challenging the abortion laws in Texas. Dallas district attorney Henry Wade was chosen to represent Texas in the suit. Although the district court found in favor of McCorvey, Wade would continue to appeal until the Supreme Court passed their final decision on January 22, 1973 with a 7-2 majority.  

Roe v. Wade is the landmark decision in our country concerning abortion. The decision to declare that due process extends to a woman’s right to choose until the fetus is potentially viable after 24 weeks reshaped national politics. You’re either pro-choice or pro-life, there is no middle ground. Christian right to lifers are so motivated to stop abortion that they are willing to break the law by bombing clinics, terrorizing patients and staff, or brutally murdering doctors that provide abortions. They would rather send women back to the days of involuntary servitude (which by the way, violates the 9th amendment), than allow women to make their own choices concerning what’s best for their own bodies. In their eyes, freedom extends to everyone, unless you’re a woman and pregnant, in which case a woman’s liberty belongs to God.  

Roe v. Wade remains of the utmost importance to a woman’s liberties to this day. Before the decision abortion and most forms of contraception were illegal. If a woman wanted a legal abortion she would either have to declare rape, which McCorvey attempted to do, or go to a “back alley” clinic which would often put many women’s lives at risk. Roe v. Wade allowed clinics to open across the country to not only provide safe abortions, but to provide contraception and other women’s health services. It is vital to women that these clinics stay open. It is of the utmost importance to not only their reproductive health, but their right to privacy as well. I can not state it strong enough; Roe v. Wade made abortion LEGAL. The overzealous attempts by christian conservatives to limit abortions are ILLEGAL. It’s time we recognize that and do something about it; otherwise women’s rights will be set back over 100 years, when women were property, not people.

The Fight For Choice: Women’s Liberties Are at Stake!

On Saturday, my partner and I made our 2nd trip in 5 days to Columbus to join a protest rally. Tuesday we went to support the protesters against SB5, which effectively eliminates state workers rights to collective bargaining. Saturday we marched in protest to the Republicans proposal to de-fund Planned Parenthood. There were approximately 500 people who showed up; there were men and women, young and old, religious and secular. What was  wonderful was the fact that at the same time, there were thousands there who showed up again to protest SB5, as well as show their solidarity for the workers in Wisconsin.

As we marched up the street to the capital building, the workers rally was just ending. They lined the sidewalk on either side of us, voicing their support for our cause. They cheered and gave us high fives as we entered the main courtyard to the state house grounds. Their message was clear to us: women have a right to choose when it comes to their bodies, and their civil liberty is equally as important as any state worker’s right to collectively bargain.

As many of you know, the Republican Party is trying to inflict their moral beliefs upon us under the guise of reducing federal spending. They insist that a major step toward reducing spending is to de-fund Planned Parenthood, as well as other vital social programs that involve women’s health and the care of children born to disadvantaged families. Many state governments are taking their moral agenda a step further; in some conservative states such as Georgia, there is legislation that will make a miscarriage a felony if it isn’t proven that the miscarriage was a natural occurrence. In some instances, a woman who miscarries can even face the death penalty!

The Republicans are sending a clear message; they are going take away a woman’s right to choose even if the woman and unborn child die in the process. They are going to force a woman to have her baby even if she does not have the means to bring the child up by herself. They are going to force women to have back alley abortions again, returning to the disgusting days of shady doctors and wire coat hangers. This is not about budgets. If it were, the Republicans would know that ending funding for programs such as Planned Parenthood would actually put a huge strain on the budget. Health care costs as well as welfare costs would rise exponentially. Of course even though they want to strong arm women into having their babies regardless of the consequences, they have every intention of ignoring the child once it’s born. Not only do they want to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, they also want to eliminate funding for programs such as WIC, a crucial program that helps feed poor single mothers and their children.

The Republican agenda has never been about budgets or jobs. The Christian conservative zealots who are now in charge of making our laws are trying to control our daily lives. They want to eliminate the middle class and keep the poor at their mercy. They want to put women in their “rightful” place, which is barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. What the Rethuglicans are doing is attempting to return our country to an era that is over a century old. They want to squeeze bi-partisan politics out of the American lexicon. They’re working fervishly to place themselves in a position of control that would ultimately turn our country into a closed society, much like Hitler and Stalin did in the 20th century. They want to fatten their wallets and increase the bottom line for the huge corporations that they shill for. That is what the Republican Party is all about. If we sit silent, they win. If we exercise our still existing rights to free speech, we may still have a chance to keep our country free.

Gone Protesting

Protect Women's Health solo

Image by ProgressOhio via Flickr

It’s going to be a busy day for my partner and I. We’re heading back to Columbus to march in the protest against the proposed de-funding of Planned Parenthood, and then we will be joining the protesters against SB5. I’ll be taking the trusty camcorder to get some  pictures and footage of both rallies. Hopefully I’ll get more shots of the action and less shots of my feet. I really need to take a photography class!

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