Yesterday the female politicians from my place of birth, St. Louis, attempted to speak about the federal birth control mandate and were either denied the right to speak or were chastised for what they said. One of them spoke out about her experience, and the rest of the representatives from my area made it clear that this is an attack on women, largely by the Republican party.
We cannot allow this to happen. More and more attacks on women are being waged across the entire nation, from personhood bills that allow women to go to jail for miscarriage to mandatory vaginal ultrasounds prior to abortion services that are akin to being raped. Some states are even attempting to outlaw abortion entirely—threatening the lives of thousands of women while violating Roe vs. Wade in the process. This is 2012, not the 1950s—and women should be able to live their lives in full control of their bodies.
Republicans, stop claiming that you want less government control in your lives while you simultaneously use your party to control women (and to deny rights to gays and lesbians). You can’t have it both ways. Admit that the only people you want to be ignored by the government are rich, white, cisgender straight men, and that you use your power as a tool to control every single other person that you possibly can.
Women have died from the denial of birth control and other family planning services by local religion-controlled hospitals—which should be an oxymoron rather than something that actually exist, by the way; why do we even have them?—and I know from experience that even if your life is threatened by pregnancy, they won’t even provide you with a vasectomy or other permanent sterilization, as my husband and I have attempted to procure from our local hospital. We will have to travel much farther if we want these procedures—which would prevent me from developing preeclamsia again and possibly dying, leaving my daughter motherless.
It’s time to stop putting the special privileges of religion ahead of the very safety and lives of women.