By Doris Deits
Last year a bill was introduced by lawmakers that would require women seeking an abortion to subject themselves to an invasive probe procedure. Many saw this as a punitive and abusive action against women rather than an improvement to our health care system. This bill did not pass, but only by a narrow margin. So it’s no surprise that the reproductive rights of women are again under siege.
But this time, Republicans were ready with stealth and cunning, shock and awe. It appeared that almost no discussion was allowed for opposition on Senate Bill 206, which limits access for women seeking an abortion and requires a woman to undergo an ultra sound (which may require an invasive probe). In a you-tube video I watched Democrats being silenced with yelling and gavel pounding when they attempted to speak on the subject. The democratic process was over-ruled that day.
Governor Walker then let it be known throughout the land that he was eagerly waiting with pen in hand for the bill to arrive at his desk for a speedy passage! I have never before seen a bill processed and signed into law with such lightning efficiency.
Many of us are unable to overlook the hypocrisy of the state’s Republican Party becoming the new ‘right to life’ advocates. Strange how concerned they are about a fetus while it’s in the uterus. I guess it’s just an unfortunate coincidence that once babies are out of the uterus all those new mothers appear to be on their own.
No universal health care, no equal pay for women, few jobs with livable wages or affordable child care. Thank goodness women are resilient and resourceful if they just put their minds to it. We all know how easy it is to work two jobs, maybe get a college education, pay off the medical bills and care for a newborn – it’s just a myth that women need sleep.
But not to worry, for those women without the resources to achieve Wonder Woman status, there is government assistance. Women raising children on welfare are always treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Perhaps it would be easier if we just overlook the fact that those caring, baby loving Republicans are busy, busy cutting away funding for programs that assist women and children in need.
Of course we all know that abortion is not just a financial issue. It’s a civil rights issue. We have a large political group of predominately older, wealthy, southern white men, spending huge amounts of money, time and resources to erode, reduce and control basic human rights for women. Yes, ‘Not Helping Women’ is high on the Republican priority list in a country where women represent 50.8% of the population (2012 US Census).
And what a coincidence that Texas is also taking advantage of ‘special sessions’ in its legislature, passing similar laws that limit and restrict access of healthcare options for women seeking an abortion. And just recently, Texas has banned tampons, but not guns from its legislature, concerned that angry women would use the most feared feminine hygiene product as projectiles. Women’s purses were searched and the offensive weapons confiscated. This was done to preserve the ‘rules of decorum.’
In 2011, arguing to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, Sen. Jon Kyl stated that ‘abortion services were well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does.’ According to Planned Parenthood statistics, just 3% of the services they provide are related to abortion. All the rhetoric, the emotional frenzy and frothing at the mouth along with the completely ignorant (and false) statements made by politicians about abortion, ‘legitimate’ rape and the demonization of women choosing abortion going unchallenged by the media over the last few years is beyond ridiculous.
One can’t help wonder why so much effort is being channeled into a sustained, ongoing attack against women’s rights. Mainstream media repeatedly turns a blind eye and refuses to address the lack of facts or rational discussion on this issue. Compared to everything that is facing our nation, the war, unemployment, homelessness, violence, health care, etc., we have to ask ourselves why is abortion so significant? Why is this issue so important to these rich white guys? Why now? Why?