Women’s March on Washington

This event is intended to send a loud, clear message to the new administration that women’s rights are human rights. All defenders of human rights are urged to participate, as we stand together in defense of all people who are marginalized in our society.

If you’re planning to participate, please let the organizers know by registering here and completing this march questionnaire. For more information and to stay up-to-date, visit the official march website and official march Facebook page.

Women’s March on Philadelphia

Philadelphia will unite with Washington, D.C. and cities across the country and around the world for this historic Women’s March. In Philadelphia, we will stand together in the birthplace of our nation, united with our partners, friends and children for the protection of our civil liberties, civil rights and equality. Regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, religious affiliation, political party, immigration status, sexual identity or orientation, we come together in Philadelphia to represent the fabric of America, to voice our concerns and to peaceably express our grievances.

The Women’s March on Philadelphia recognizes the vibrancy and diversity of our communities as our country’s most important strengths. We refuse to normalize targeted discrimination disguised as policy, and invite you to join us in taking the next steps to demand a real and lasting change.

Register for the march here. For more information and to stay up-to-date, visit the official website of the Women’s March on Philadelphia and the official Facebook page.

If you miscarry, you can go to jail

I'm not joking. In Tennessee, there's a new law that has passed both chambers which allows prosecution if a pregnant woman miscarries. Even in the first few weeks when she is carrying an embryo. Let's be clear: about half of all fertilized eggs never become babies, as per NIH.

It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%. Most miscarriages occur during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy.

Some common causes include, but are not limited to, obesity, maternal age, diabetes, physical problems with the egg, and physical problems of the mother. Suddenly, this is a crime. Miscarriage can also be caused by accident, exposure to toxins and chemicals and all sorts of other things. For example, if you have cancer and are undergoing chemo and get pregnant, a miscarriage is likely. You're in a car accident. Or you accidentally fall down the stairs. Like this:

Life can't get much worse for Christine Taylor. Last month, after an upsetting phone conversation with her estranged husband, Ms. Taylor became light-headed and fell down a flight of stairs in her home. Paramedics rushed to the scene and ultimately declared her healthy. However, since she was pregnant with her third child at the time, Taylor thought it would be best to be seen at the local ER to make sure her fetus was unharmed.

That's when things got really bad and really crazy. Alone, distraught, and frightened, Taylor confided in the nurse treating her that she hadn't always been sure she'd wanted this baby, now that she was single and unemployed. She'd considered both adoption and abortion before ultimately deciding to keep the child. The nurse then summoned a doctor, who questioned her further about her thoughts on ending the pregnancy. Next thing Taylor knew, she was being arrested for attempted feticide. Apparently the nurse and doctor thought that Taylor threw herself down the stairs on purpose.

Amazing? No – the far right in action in Iowa. 

Let's say you're a drug addict who is raped and gets pregnant. You go for drug treatment so that the baby can be born clean. In Alabama, you can be arrested for child endangerment since you exposed the fetus to drugs, even though the intent is to protect the pregnancy. It's happened to 60 women to date. 

It's hard to know what to say here. You've got a bunch of far right teabaggers who care about cellular clumps, which is what a 2 week old embryo actually is: undifferentiated cells. Care more then they do about actual people. Look at all the couples who try in vitro: most of those embryos are lost. Should they be prevented from trying because of the fear of jail?  Should a woman immediately go to bed and stay there once she knows she's pregnant to avoid any potential threat? The people who write these laws are insane, and devoid of any knowledge of science. And yet they get re-elected. Get up, get angry, and make sure everyone you know knows what they're voting for when they vote for a Republican. 

The War Against Women Continues, and Now Includes Men

When the Pennsylvania House goes back into session in March, they'll be considering House Bill 1077, the “Women's Right to Know Bill”. You guesses it, ultrasounds…

Providing for ultrasound test requirements to determine gestational ages of unborn children; establishing the right to view ultrasound image and ultrasound video of unborn child and the right to observe or hear the fetal heartbeat; providing for powers and duties of the Department of Health and for duties of physicians performing abortions; requiring certain reports to be filed with the Department of Health; imposing administrative sanctions and criminal penalties; and providing for remedies. Full bill.

If you live in Pennsylvania and want to call your rep, you can find his/her contact info here.

I keep ending up with the same two questions: who's going to pay for this? It seems that since the state won't pay, the docs won't do it for free, and insurance won't pay since it's not medically necessary, women have to pay to be raped. 

My bigger question though, is why do the Republicans want MORE government action in medicine? Their argument against the Affordable Health Care Act was that it put government between a patient and doctor. They seemingly want government out of every single aspect of people's lives except when it involves shoving an ultrasound probe up a woman's vagina. 

But there's more, and it's on a national scale. Remember the Violence Against Women Act which came out of Joe Biden's office in 1994? The one that authorized funds related to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking? It's up for re-authorization and Republicans are opposed. Yes, Republicans like violence against women. Yes, it does slightly expand:

The bill includes smart improvements aimed, for example, at encouraging effective enforcement of protective orders and reducing the national backlog of untested rape kits. The Republican opposition seems driven largely by an antigay, anti-immigrant agenda. The main sticking points seemed to be language in the bill to ensure that victims are not denied services because they are gay or transgender and a provision that would modestly expand the availability of special visas for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence — a necessary step to encourage those victims to come forward. 

Every single Republican on the Judiciary Committee voted against it. Their idea? Cut funding, and obliterate the Justice Department on Violence Against Women.

Finally, we come to the Blunt Amendment which would not only eviscerate the Affordable Health Care Act, but would allow employers and insurance companies to deny coverage to anything that went against their “moral and ethics.” Men, they obviously hate you, too. Here is a list of things insurers and employers could say no to:

  • HIV/ADIS testing (you should have been more careful)
  • Liver transplants (you shouldn't have been drinking)
  • Hepatitis treatment (we don't know how you got it, so we're assuming the worst)
  • Lung cancer treatment (even though you say you weren't smoking, we think you were)
  • Accident coverage (you shouldn't have been skiing, skydiving, swimming, diving, running, driving so fast, etc., those things can be dangerous)
  • Type 2 diabetes coverage (it's your own fault for not eating better)
  • Cardiac conditions (you should have taken better care of yourself)
  • Mental health coverage (you should treat it with prayer)

Here it is. And yes, really, under the amendment they can refuse everything on the bullet list. And more. Who the @$%&)#@ made insurance companies and employers the arbiters of “ethics”? The pedophile priest church? Enron? Exxon? BP? Any Wall Street bank? Really? Ethics?