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Ms. Wright Goes to Washington

By Sheryl Wright

Despite their pledge during the 2010 mid-term election campaign to focus on jobs,Republicans have used their majority in the House to push abortion to the front of the Congressional agenda. On January 7, 2011, Congressman Mike Pence introduced H.R. 217(the Pence Amendment).


Bachmann Spiking the Tea

By Karima E. Rustin

One of the many things I look forward to on a Saturday morning  is reading The New York Times. And who do I see prominently figuring at the beginning of the column but Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN)...damn, not Bachmann again!


The Politics of Union Envy 

By Sheryl Wright

Neither of my parents went to college, but both were union members—my father in the private sector and my mother in the public. In addition to their salaries, which allowed them to provide a comfortable life for our family, the benefits won by their respective unions


Roundtable: Delegitimizing Obama–The Intersection of Gender, Power & Politics  

Sheryl: Almost 800 days in office and it seems every day is seen as an opportunity for renewed criticism of the President. The latest kerfuffle is around the claim that President Obama’s decision to involve the U.S. in the action in Libya


« Roundtable: Delegitimizing Obama–The Intersection of Gender, Power & Politics | Main | Standing With Planned Parenthood »


By Karima E. Rustin
For the past few weeks, I’ve found it truly amazing to see the people of other nations take a stand for their civil rights, overthrowing tyrannical regimes, and coming together with one voice to establish a movement for change. But I also start every day with an ache in my heart—and a little indigestion—after reading or hearing news reports about certain acts being done right here in my own backyard.
So I decided to establish a movement—yes, my very own revolt. I too must speak out against the outlandish measures certain elected officials are trying to impose on us. These special individuals (don’t worry I will name them)  seem hell bent on pissing me off in regards to women’s reproductive rights.
I revolt against stupidity!!!!!
Right now as I type this there are people in the  United States who are trying to drown out, subvert and sabotage well-meaning discussions about reproductive rights...wait let me make this clear, women’s reproductive rights. Now I would like to call out a few candidates for this week’s gallery.

The Prime Suspects:
South Dakota State Senator Phil Jensen (R) introduced a bill (HB1171) a few weeks ago (which fortunately was shelved) that would have allowed the use of the “justifiable homicide” defense for people accused of killing with the intent to prevent harm to a fetus.  This “justifiable homicide” defense requires there only be  a pregnant woman. I don’t understand—can you also kill  her husband, her parents, or her children to commit "justifiable homicide" in defense of her fetus?  Now…..is it just me or does this sound like chicken shit? Senator Jensen stated he did not intend for “anti-abortion vigilantes” (his words) to use such a defense when drafting this bill but only to protect the life of the fetus. So if an 18-year-old girl (let’s call her Sandra) comes home and tells her father she is with child, and Sandra’s father decides he has every right to beat his daughter, then I guess she is fully within her right to defend herself and her unborn child by blowing her father’s head off. Gee, thanks, Senator Jensen!!
Then we have Nebraska State Senator Mark Christensen (R) who wrote a nearly identical bill to the one in South Dakota.  However, the difference is that the bill expands the defense to a third party. Why the hell not? Let’s have everyone join in on the fun of a potential killing spree! Senator Christensen is another pro-lifer who doesn’t believe abortions should be legal in the event of rape and can’t wait for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Now here are some things Mr. Christensen really believes in: the right to carry concealed unregistered guns and… the death penalty. So Mr. Christensen will not be there for you when you get pregnant, are sexually assaulted, need affordable health care for your child or when you get gunned down by that irate public school teacher (who just lost his or her pension) on your way to drop off your child at school. But if by chance that teacher gets convicted of murder, you can count on Christensen to be there to strap his or her ass to the electric chair!

Georgia State Senator Bobby Franklin (R) is a real prize fighter. Senator Franklin introduced a bill, HB 1, that would distinguish an abortion as “pre-natal murder” and punishable under the law. He believes that abortions have had a negative impact on the people of Georgia in many ways: including economically, psychologically, emotionally, and in terms of overall health and  medical well-being (that was a mouthful). At no point should an abortion be legal in the state of Georgia, according to Mr. Franklin. Okay. I also found something very interesting about Senator Franklin. He believes that if a woman was raped, stalked, or abused by a family member (which usually results in rape or murder), this woman is deemed just an “accuser” and not a “victim” during court procedures. Rape and sexual assault are the most underreported crimes in America. Georgia is ranked 11th in the nation for incidences of “forcible rape” (also see The Daily Show’s take); this suggests there is a fundamental issue in how crimes against women are perceived in Georgia. So Senator Franklin, are you saying that sexual assault does not have a negative impact on rape victims, their families, and their livelihood? What message are you trying to send Mr. Franklin to women who are sexually assaulted when you want to accuse them of murder if they want to terminate pregnancies that result from such acts?

You would think women were the sexual predators; the majority of the birth control that is produced is aimed at controlling women’s fertility. All that is asked of a man is to place a protective barrier on his sexual organ while women are asked to insert, ingest and implant various items and devices into their person. Why is there this belief that the sperm is more important than the egg?
Why are men entitled to explore their sexuality and promote their fertility while women’s reproductive rights need to be so strictly governed?

A century ago a registered nurse started a column for the New York Call titled “What Every Girl Should Know.” She wanted to educate women, especially impoverished women about birth control after seeing countless women suffer from self-induced abortions and health issues resulting from frequent childbirths. She believed a woman should be “the absolute mistress of her body.” She opened up the first family planning and birth control clinic in Brooklyn, NY. Her name was Margaret Sanger and now her hard work and the work of thousands of women (and men) for the past century is unraveling because of the folly of people who come to us with distorted intentions to balance the budget.

We cannot let this happen. We must be the mistresses of our bodies. We must be warriors for our girls and educators to our boys. Women make up 51 percent of the population in the United States so why are there elected officials who don’t represent our voice?

Senator Jensen, Christensen and Franklin and other like-minded congressmen must understand they do not have sovereignty over our bodies and they  need to keep their hands out of our uteruses!


Reader Comments (2)

Here, here!

March 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

Good read...keep the fires burning!

March 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarlin

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