No Forced Pregnancy! In Defense of Choice

The War on Women being waged in Washington and in the States is an attack on women‘s lives, bodily sovereignty, autonomy, and agency.  This year marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade and we will NOT GO BACK to the days of illegal abortions!  Women are not brood mares, incubators, or chattel and abortion is a woman’s choice, and hers alone.  We vehemently reject the incursions of the radical religious right into our bedrooms and the legislation of our bodies to fit the fundamentalist Christian worldview and we will not sit by and see our basic human rights eroded by those who would coerce us into unwanted childbearing.

“Motherhood by Choice, Not Chance,” directed by Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman, is a new film celebrating the freedom of choice ushered in by the cherished 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.  To watch this quality film, and the abortion rights trilogy, “FROM the BACK-ALLEYS to the SUPREME COURT & BEYOND” go to:

The Power of Choice Project

Occupy Patriarchy—End the War on Women!

The attempts to roll back the gains of the women’s movement have been going on for a long time now, almost immediately after Roe v. Wade was passed, but it has become increasingly escalated lately with attacks now being leveled against not only reproductive rights (including contraception) but women’s health care, and even programs for victims of violence and rape being dismantled. It is time for us to stand up and take action to help raise the awareness that this onslaught is about patriarchal dominance and religious tyranny, not “religious freedom”.

Women are steadily making gains in other parts of the world, one of the most heartening examples being the women of the Congo, who have risen up in the face of wartime torture against the violence that has been directed at them, demanding an end to rape.[1]  We see women making strides towards freedom in the Middle East with Tunisia granting equal rights to men and women, and in India, despite much discrimination, women currently holding all three of the high offices of President, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Leader of the Opposition, ]while here in the U. S. women are seeing our rights and gains erode and to this day are the most under-represented group in government and the poorest members of society.

Today, in America, we are contending with escalated attacks on women’s human rights like never before, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.

The long list of assaults on women’s basic human rights includes the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons”; fetal “personhood” bills; bills requiring ultrasound, including invasive vaginal probes, prior to allowing abortions; bills outlawing abortions after 20 weeks; bills allowing health care providers to refuse to perform abortions[2] and hospitals to refuse to perform emergency abortions, even in the case of the mother’s life being at stake in the “Let Women Die Bill” that passed in the U. S. House of Representatives; the defunding of Planned Parenthood, including the Susan V. Komen Foundation dropping planned parenthood funding for cancer screenings; the continuing harassment, arson attacks, bombings and shootings of family planning staff and doctors, four of whom have been murdered between 1993 and 2009.[3]

In view of such attacks, one might think we lived in a country ruled by an Ayatollah rather than in the United States where there is supposed to be a government of, for, and by the people with the separation of church and state.  But, as it turns out, the Christian fundamentalists who have made inroads into our government have been steadily blurring this line and are little different from their Muslim counterparts in their determination to restrict the freedoms of their respective female citizens.  Patriarchal religion has historically often been friendly to fascism and feudalism and hostile to the values of freedom and enlightenment, particularly of course with regard to women. See article [4] below for a horrific example of this.

Patriarchy is about domination and the abuse of power and we wish to raise the awareness of the public that the war on women is about the attempt to control women’s lives, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.  We will not sit by and allow women’s human rights to be treated as if they are expendable or ignore the sexist mentality that fuels these attacks.  It is time for us to Occupy Patriarchy and end the War on Women!

[1] http://drc.vday.org/why-congo

Romney: 10 Really Important Reasons to Vote for Anyone Else!

Romney-01

And by anyone, I mean even Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or Barack Obama, though there are far better choices out there:  Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Roseanne Barr for example.  I feel compelled to spell this out, especially since Romney is trying so hard to pretend he is someone other than who he really is, by listing the reasons he is the worst choice in my humble opinion.  When reviewing them, you may wonder why I have left out civil liberties, foreign policy, trade agreements, drug policy, and war.  This is because this piece is about reasons voting for anyone other than Mitt Romney, and Obama and Romney are both so disregarding of our civil rights, militaristic, devoted to continuing the destructive and pointless war on drugs, and ready and willing to enable corporate world government and a police state that Romney could not be singled out as worse, though on foreign policy his debate comments about “getting bad guys” reveal a more simplistic, comic book tone than Obama’s.

Ron Paul is only marginally better on most of these issues I have enumerated but infinitely better on war and civil liberties (except for women as he is anti-choice).   The only person running that is worse in most every way than Romney is Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party because he is right-wing-on-steroids crazy when you look at his voting record vs. what he says in the debates, where he comes across less extreme (kind of like Romney and Obama).  That should put this in perspective. Even so, voting for him means less chance of a Romney/Ryan win so I can still say for that reason, he is a better choice (only because he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning). Remember you can write names in in many states, even if they don’t appear on the ballot!

Here are 10 reasons why anyone sitting on the fence should NOT cast a vote for Mitt Romney:

  1. Paul Ryan – the architect of the most severe austerity budget imaginable, anti-government fanatic, misogynist extraordinaire, self-congratulatory elitist, utterly confused religious zealot who simultaneously embraces fundamentalist Catholicism (except for the part about caring for the poor) and the ultra-selfish philosophy of the very damaged, anti-social, arguably sociopathic Ayn Rand (an atheist), oblivious to the inherent contradictions. Romney, with his corporate raider, fascistic, anti-human policies and questionable ethics, not to mention his polygamist father and beliefs that are viewed as cultish by the rest of Christendom, has picked an even more dangerously fringe running mate who would be a heartbeat away from being President, in addition to being set up for a White House run later if elected VP.
  2. Women’s Rights – If you are a woman or care about a woman—any woman, say your mother, sister, wife, daughter, grandmother, friend, or your housekeeper, Romney is a disastrous choice.  Romney not only has declared his intention to defund Planned Parenthood, supported employers being able to refuse to cover employees’ birth control for ‘moral’ reasons, continued to back the likes of Todd Akin and now Richard Mourdock and Joe Walsh with their abhorrent views on abortion and rape and rape-induced pregnancy, and vowed to work towards Roe v. Wade being overturned, but has even endorsed the crackpot idea of a Constitutional Amendment to endow “fetal personhood” on nonviable life, like gametes and zygotes, being included in the Republican platform, and has never supported Lily Ledbetter and equal pay.  Romney and Ryan don’t have “binders of women,” they are BINDERS of women!  They will not stop until women have no rights whatsoever and are barefoot and pregnant, dependent brood mares; if elected maybe Romney might provide some “sister-wives” to help out with the laundry and childrearing since he certainly won’t support day care.
  3.  The Earth – Fast track to environmental doom with resulting drought, famine, worsening storms, hurricanes, fires, and water shortages await if this demonic duo wins the White House.  Romney is a climate change denier and actively promotes nothing but dirty forms of energy like oil and nuclear power and environmentally devastating practices like clearcutting, drilling in the antarctic, mountaintop removal, and fracking, when clean alternatives are not only preferable and available but essential, and actually uses the term “clean coal,” an oxymoron if there ever was one, while being hellbent on dismantling all of our environmental regulations and agencies.
  4.  The 99% or the 47% – If you are a member of the 47%, or even the 99%, Romney clearly not only doesn’t care about you, he sees you as a “parasite” who wants to mooch off of him and his other plutocratic, capitalist multimillionaire/billionaire/multibillionaire friends.  If anyone is parasitic, it is these two guys who have lived off of the work of the 47% and the 99% their entire privileged lives.  Romney and Ryan will do everything in their power to amass more power and wealth for the 1% and themselves at the rest of our expense, and enable the so-called “job-creators” they promote to do exactly what they are doing now–sit on all their cash like the fat-cat hoarders they are.
  5.  The Economy and Income Inequality – Extremist, trickle-down, voodoo economics is what this man and his side-kick believe in, the same policies that will only increase the already huge divide between the haves and have-nots.  The pathetically inadequate health care reform bill, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” that has instituted a few much-needed reforms such as outlawing the practice of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, Social Security, Medicare, and the entire social safety net will be under attack; tax breaks for the ultra-rich will not only be continued but likely increased while they pile on more taxes for the middle class and the poor; the already bloated military budget will increase (along with the deficit) and there are not going to be any jobs, not here anyway. Romney and Ryan believe in austerity, for everyone but the uber-wealthy and people like them who serve them; this is a rehash of Hoover’s policies that plunged us into the Great Depression and are currently causing financial collapse and social chaos in Europe.  A vote for Romney is a vote for Herbert Hoover.
  6.  Education – Romney believes in education for the 1% and those who can afford to go to an Ivy League school; everyone else doesn’t need an education because the fictional “jobs” he is going to provide won’t require one, especially if you have to commute to India or China. He probably “loved” his teachers at Harvard, but he doesn’t love the ones at your child’s grade school or those teaching at a community college, and you can forget about Title IX or Brown v. Board of Education because these rightwing people want to do away with equal opportunity.  If you think education should be less important than Halliburton’s profits, especially for girls and minorities, vote for this guy.
  7.  Theocracy, not democracy – These two men have no respect for the separation of church and state, support the blurring of these lines, and espouse beliefs that rationalize rule by the church.  Which one you ask?  Any of the authoritarian, fundamentalist, patriarchal religious sects will do as they all agree that basic human rights are expendable, such as sovereignty over one’s own body, right to make your most personal decisions regarding conception, whom you bed and whom you wed, what books you can read and films you can see, what words you can say and hear, freedom from religious tyranny, and so on.  The Bill of Rights (especially the 1st amendment) is basically superfluous to these people, except for corporations of course, though they love to abuse particularly the 10th and 14th amendments; only the 2nd amendment is exempt because corporations rake in obscene profits on firearms.  Obama has been a civil liberties nightmare also; he just isn’t as much of a Bible thumper as these two and doesn’t support their radical religious social agenda—nor does Biden, despite being a practicing Catholic.  You might as well vote for the Taliban as for Romney/Ryan as there is little difference.  Do we need more gun-toting religious bigots?!
  8. Corporate rule unchecked – The fact that corrupt billionaires like the Koch Bros. and Sheldon Adelson (a modern-day Meyer Lansky) support Romney and Wall Street has abandoned Obama for him says it all, this despite Obama’s letting banksters off the hook and caving in left and right to corporate demands. Romney, which someone pointed out can’t be spelled without “money,” is going to make sure that Bain Capital and its ilk are the bane of our existence because he is 110% corporate.  He thinks they should rule over every single aspect of our lives and continue to get government handouts in the form of subsidies and military contracts and pay no taxes in order to line the pockets of their shareholders while complaining about the deficit.  Corporations are not only “people,” they are the only “people” that matter.
  9. The Supreme Court – Mitt Romney has reportedly said that Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Antonin Scalia are his favorites.  Need I say more?  He apparently favors judges who give corporations free rein to wreak havoc on actual people and the environment, allow unlimited contributions from billionaires and super-pacs to elections as in the 2010 Citizens United decision because they claim money is speech, collude in the stealing of elections by ordering a voter recount to be stopped as in the 2000 elections, and who, like Thomas, don’t believe they need to report their wife’s income or recuse themselves from cases where there is a conflict of interest (his wife employed by the Susan Komen foundation and the Affordable Care Act ruling, for example).  What can you expect from a presidential candidate who doesn’t think the American public has a right to see his tax returns?  With him in the White House, he may be able to nominate up to FOUR justices to the Supreme Court, who we will have to endure for 40 or 50 years.  Remember Robert Bork?  He’s BA-A-CK as Romney’s top legal advisor!
  10. Oppression vs. Justice – that means people of color, LGBT people, women, workers, students, older Americans, the poor, the ill, virtually everybody but the privileged, entitled, ultra-wealthy, elitist 1% will be further disempowered, their rights trampled, their votes suppressed, and their lives and health degraded.  Vouchers for inadequate, for-profit healthcare (another oxymoron) at astronomical prices, no equal pay for women, no raise in minimum wage, corporate price gouging, GMO-engineered, pesticide, hormone, preservative-laden Frankenfood, exploitation of public lands, pollution of the air, water, and soil, privatized social security, corporate propaganda passing for news, no public television with quality programming or accurate, in-depth journalism, and limited legal recourse for injustice.

When considering for whom NOT to vote, Romney is at the top of my list; I hope you will consider putting him there as well and pick any of the others.  I personally am voting for Roseanne, the antithesis of everything Romney represents being a feminist, environmentalist, populist, pro-education, pro-worker, secular humanist (yes I used that wonderful term!), working-class, civil libertarian peace and justice advocate and the antidote to everything that is wrong with Washington.

Occupy Patriarchy—End the War on Women!

The attempts to roll back the gains of the women’s movement have been going on for a long time now, almost immediately after Roe v. Wade was passed, but it has become increasingly escalated lately with attacks now being leveled against not only reproductive rights (including contraception) but women’s health care, and even programs for victims of violence and rape being dismantled. It is time for us to stand up.  Today is International Women’s Day, this is Women’s History month, and we are speaking up, taking to the airways, and taking action to help raise the awareness that this onslaught is about patriarchal dominance, not “religious freedom”.

 Women are steadily making gains in other parts of the world, one of the most heartening examples being the women of the Congo, who have risen up in the face of wartime torture against the violence that has been directed at them, demanding an end to rape.[1]  We see women making strides towards freedom in the Middle East with Tunisia granting equal rights to men and women, and in India, despite much discrimination, women currently holding all three of the high offices of President, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Leader of the Opposition, while here in the U. S. women are seeing our rights and gains erode and to this day are the most under-represented group in government and the poorest members of society.

Today, in America, we are contending with attacks on women’s human rights such as the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons”; fetal “personhood” bills; bills requiring ultrasound, including invasive vaginal probes, prior to allowing abortions; bills outlawing abortions after 20 weeks; bills allowing health care providers to refuse to perform abortions[2] and hospitals to refuse to perform emergency abortions, even in the case of the mother’s life being at stake in the “Let Women Die Bill” that passed in the U. S. House of Representatives; the defunding of Planned Parenthood, including the Susan V. Komen Foundation dropping planned parenthood funding for cancer screenings; the continuing harassment, arson attacks, bombings and shootings of family planning staff and doctors, four of whom have been murdered between 1993 and 2009.[3]

In view of such attacks, one might think we lived in a country ruled by an Ayatollah rather than in the United States where there is supposed to be a government of, for, and by the people with the separation of church and state.  But, as it turns out, the Christian fundamentalists who have made inroads into our government have been steadily blurring this line and are little different from their Muslim counterparts in their determination to restrict the freedoms of their respective female citizens.  Patriarchal religion has historically often been friendly to fascism and feudalism and hostile to the values of freedom and enlightenment, particularly of course with regard to women.

Patriarchy is about domination and the abuse of power and we wish to raise the awareness of the public that the war on women is about the attempt to control women’s lives, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.  We will not sit by and allow women’s human rights to be treated as if they are expendable or ignore the sexist mentality that fuels these attacks.  It is time for us to Occupy Patriarchy and end the War on Women.


Women’s Access to Birth Control & the Blunt Amendment

The recent effort to deny women access to affordable birth control is an affront to women’s basic human rights. The message is clear:  these right-wing extremists want to deny a woman access to health care and  her basic human right to sovereignty over her own body, and to make her own medical decisions.  It is an outrage!

The true intent of the radical religious right-wing behind the birth control battle is to “expose” pro-choice representatives so they can be targeted by these zealots and in order to try to pass their “Life at Conception Act” in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade.  They plan to abuse the 14th amendment as their legal argument, which has been used to achieve corporate “personhood”, in order to deem a fertilized egg as a “person”.  These are the same people who claim to be “Constitutionalists”, when neither the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights mentions corporations or gametes, zygotes, or fetuses.

We must stand firm in our support of a woman’s right to self-determination and renounce each and every attempt to erode women’s rights and to return women to being chattel.