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Archive for the ‘Reproductive Rights’ Category

OBAMA ENDS GLOBAL GAG RULE!

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It’s Official!  Here’s what Choice USA says:

It’s a beautiful day in the history of reproductive justice. There’s been a lot of speculation and now it’s actually happening: President Obama is lifting the global gag rule.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

In the time I have been involved in the reproductive justice movement I have never before known what a major victory feels like. I know this is an experience shared by many in my generation of reproductive justice organizers and activists. I am so excited to be involved in this movement at a time when we can make real positive change.

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Written by Lissette

January 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Big Week!

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This is where I was when President Obama was inaugurated.  I watched in awe with hundreds of fellow classmates as our country made history.  I feel as if it’s a new day now.  I feel as if the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders as I watched Former President George W. Bush along with Laura Bush get on that helipoter to take them away from Washington.

Watching the news yesterday has reassured me that Obama is going to do what’s right for this country.  He’s already signed to have Guantanamo closed, he’s going to repeal the Global Gag Rule, and doing so with sensitively.  He’s going to do right by our country, and I’m proud for the first time in a long time of what America is and what it stands for.  I lost my faith in my country during the past 8 years, especially 8 years ago when Bush stole the election.  But you get past it and move on and hope the country will correct the mistakes of the past, and it has now.

Yesterday also marked the day that 36 years ago Roe v. Wade was passed by the Supreme Court.  This is a momentous day, because the ruling states that a woman has a right to bodily privacy, to make whatever decisions she feels is right for her to make, not her father, not her husband, not the government.  I feel people forget this.  I feel that certain groups in our society feel that women are incapable of making educated decisions regarding their body and that they, the government, or someone else who is not a woman knows what’s best for them.  The truth is that nobody knows what’s best for someone except that person.

Because of this anniversary, there was a March in front of the Supreme Court in D.C., and man tried to ram his SUV into an abortion clinic in St. Paul.  What I find most interesting though is the fact that most of the people who are against abortions and whom are violent toward abortion clinics and patients are men.  It’s patriarchy doing it’s thing.  It reminds me a lot of the movie I saw about the Suffragettes, Iron Jawed Angels on HBO and all the men who were against them getting their voting privileges. Here’s a photo clip of the violence I’m talking about that was portrayed in the movie.

I’m completely convinced that this violence has everything to do with loss of power and control, just like it did back then, 100 years ago.  With every little freedom a woman is given towards the right to form her own decisions regarding her life, her body, and her well-being, certain men simply freak out, and I don’t seem to understand this.  I’ve always been priviledged to have my independence, and I was raised to speak my mind and take care of myself, because nobody was going to do that for me, so here I am, taking care of myself, forming my own opinions, and speaking my mind.

Another momentous thing happened in D.C. yesterday: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed the Senate!  Here’s what Planned Parenthood had to say about it:

Tonight the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, vindicating Lilly Ledbetter’s long search for redress after 19 years of pay discrimination.

“This is an important first step in our efforts to undo years of backsliding on the right to be paid a fair and equitable wage,” said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. “The Ledbetter bill will allow redress for workers with the energy and willpower to seek redress in the courts, but we have a long way to go before we have fair pay for women, and laws with real teeth.”

While it is too late for her to receive the compensation she deserved from Goodyear and was denied by the Supreme Court, Lilly’s determined quest for equal rights for women in the workplace led to today’s Senate passage of the legislation introduced in her name. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation next week after an expected concurrence from the House.

The Ledbetter Act, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the 2007 Supreme Court decision that required workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within six months after receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, which reversed the jury’s compensation award to Ledbetter, essentially gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate in pay, as long as they weren’t caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.

Earlier this month the House passed the Ledbetter Act with a companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences for that discrimination. The Senate today acted only on the Ledbetter Act, so work on passage of the companion bill begins tomorrow.

But tonight NOW salutes Lilly Ledbetter and promises to continue working for passage of fair pay legislation with real teeth, so that her long journey through the courts and the halls of Congress will not have been in vain, and all workers will be able enjoy a fair, safe and equitable workplace where they can do their jobs and support their families.

Little by litte we are working our way to equality.  Little by little women are being freed from the oppressions they face that hold them back from achieving the great things we all know they’re capable of.

I also just got word that Obama overturned the Global Gag Rule this morning via Twitter (thanks Veronica!).  More on that as the info comes in.

It’s been a big week indeed!

Written by Lissette

January 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

GOP on matters of “Decision”

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For the most part, I want to stay away from this issue because as Obama said, we need to lay off families, but the truth of the matter is that there’s several hypocrisies surrounding Bristol Palin’s pregnancy.  Firstly, she’s 5 months pregnant which means that this was hidden from the public for FIVE months.  Why?  Was it kept hidden for the same reason that Sarah Palin kept her own pregancy a secret until the very end?  Here’s the official statement from Sarah regarding her daughter Bristol’s pregnancy:

“Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents,” Sarah and Todd Palin said in the brief statement. {emphasis mine}

This statement seems like an oxymoron to me coming from a staunch Anti-Choice governor.  I have to wonder how much of it was truly her choice. I wonder how much coercion (whether they’ll admit to it or not) was involved in this teenagers “decision” to keep the child and to marry the father(!?).  I have issues with what I’m going to consider this shotgun wedding because I have to wonder whether she would have considered marrying this boy had she not been pregnant at this time.  If the answer to this is no, then in my opinion, she really shouldn’t marry the boy because it will eventually lead to a divorce.  Why am I mentioning all this?  Coming from the conservative right who believe in “family values”, I don’t believe that forcing a teenager into marriage, or even teaching that she must marrying because she’s pregnant, is very good family values.  It is teaching her that marriage isn’t about loving and caring for your family, it’s about the situation you’ve put yourself in and concequences you have to suffer through.  It’s seems that it’s setting her up to fail and making her just one of many statistics.  I may be wrong but I’m almost positive I won’t be.  Very few marriages in this day and age survive, and even less when they’re married as teenagers.  What kind of “family values” are these?

Over at Feministing there’s a debate about the pregnancy/choice issue because it just seems as if these incredibly staunch conservatives are flinging around the word “decision” and going around pretending as if “decision” does not equal “choice” when it truth it does.  It seems that this “decision” is fine and dandy when it comes to their own families, but when it comes to the general public-which I seriously feel as if they think we’re too stupid to know what to do with ourselves should we be faced with such a decison-it’s not ok for them to make this decision and they feel as if the government needs to make the decision for us.

I could be totally off on my assumptions, I could be completely backwards on my thinking, but seeing as how things are evolving in this election, and the things that I’m hearing lately, I really don’t think I’m wrong.

Written by Lissette

September 2, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Politics, Reproductive Rights

Tagged with , ,

Sarah Palin

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I have a lot of thoughts on the issue of Sarah Palin being picked by McCain as his running mate.  The one thing that does scream out at me is that this is a sad attempt to rope in what people are calling the “angry Hillary supporters.”  I think this is just a cheap ploy to gain votes among the female constituents, but I am truly offended by this act.  Sarah Palin is very anti-Choice, anti-gay rights, and anti-anything that speaks of people who are not just like her having any kind of freedoms and rights, and by McCain appointing her (because she’s basically a carbon copy of his beliefs) I’m offended that he would think I would be stupid enough not to do my own research on this woman and come to my own conclusions as opposed to voting for someone simply because he had a female running mate.  I would also hope that the rest of the nation can see the ploy for what it is: a trompe d’oeil, an illusion at bringing women closer to “breaking through the 18 million cracks” when in truth it’s the beginning steps necessary to replace the glass with a newer, stronger pane.

For more, as always, visit Feministing, Huffington Post, even CNN.

Written by Lissette

August 30, 2008 at 12:25 am

Posted in Politics, Reproductive Rights

Tagged with

Sociological Experiment

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This is a really great video. I found it over at How Much Time Should She do? and I feel it’s really interesting how they view the penalties that should be imposed should abortions become illegal. Watch it and leave me your thoughts.

Written by Lissette

August 30, 2008 at 12:08 am

I’m upset!

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First off, let me start with a huge apology for not writing any sooner.  It’s been a bit hectic here around the Feminista household as coming into finals week, the stepson has had a TON of Boy Scout events and trips, and life’s just been incredibly busy for me.  I do need some really positive vibes from all you wonderful people out there because I interviewed today for a job that will not only afford me the time I need to be able to finish school an entire semester earlier, but will also help me save in gas and car mileage, since I drive about 25 miles a day on average, and it would dramatically drop if I were to get this job.  So please send me good vibes because I really want this job!

Now, for the reason I’m upset.  Within the last week or two (I forget as my weeks are meshing right now), I sent off letters to the members of Congress in my state over the latest Bushism that’s going on where the conservative, right-wing, dweebs in office are trying yet again to tell me what is the right thing for my body and what values and morals I should have without even so much as getting to know me first.

In the proposal, obtained by The New York Times, the administration says it could cut off federal aid to individuals or entities that discriminate against people who object to abortion on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

Now, here’s my issue with this: when you take an oath to practice medicine or pharmacology, you’re taking an oath to do what is in the best interest of the patient, not your own moral beliefs.  If you have a problem with someone who is seeking birth control or is seeking to have an abortion performed, why did you enter this type of medicine then?  And I have to wonder if these same people would object to such body modifications as breast enhancements, liposuction, etc., that really has no medicinal value (except in extreme cases) other than that of vanity.  I live in Miami, I see thing things walking around the street all the time and I can’t honestly say that these people look as if they feel any better about themselves after they had all these modifications done, but the men sure do like to look at them!  As a matter of fact, I know someone who recently had breast augmentation surgery and underwent a HUGE depressive episode after the surgery. But I’m veering off topic here.  Body image issues is another topic for another time.

So I went on this letter writing thing using the Naral letter, and I received a response from my Senator.  Here’s what he had to say to me:

Dear Ms. FEMINISTA:

Thank you for contacting me regarding President Bush;s proposed new Health and Human Services regulations. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

Throughout my career in public service, I have been consistently and strongly pro-life. Every human life is precious, and I believe that the sanctity of life is a critical characteristic of a strong nation. These are beliefs I have held both personally and professionally throughout my entire life, and they are beliefs that I will continue to hold and promote.

Our country is currently divided over the issue of abortion rights and my views are not shared by all Floridians. I understand your concern about the availability of contraceptives and birth control. However, I am opposed to drugs that can destroy an early embryo and is abortive in nature. I believe the public has the right to access health information and services, and I will continue to support measures, such as abstinence education and adoption programs, that promote a culture of life in America.

Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at http://martinez.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Mel Martinez
United States Senator

[all emphasis mine]

Ok, so let me break down this letter piece by piece.  First he says that he believes human life is precious and believes that the sanctity of life is a critical characteristic of a strong nation.  Firstly, considering he was born in 1946, he was around for all the “coat hanger abortions” and knows about the lives lost due to the desperation these women were underwent, so he can’t claim ignorance.  What about the sanctity of those lives?  What about caring what will happen to the mother who not only can’t get pregnant-for whatever reason-but is also not allowed birth control?  What does this woman do than?  Not have sex?!  Sorry, that’s not an option.

Now, as we all know, abstinence education does not work.  Abstinence education leads to kids being undereducated about safe sex and the options they may have and these leads to a lot more teen pregnancy, because again, assuming that these kids will not have sex simply because that’s what you’re supposed to be teaching them, is also not an option.

Adoptions are all great and dandy, but the truth of the matter is that there may be a lot of good parents who are willing to truly love and care for these children, but there are also a lot of bad families from bad homes who will raise unstable deviant children that will be a burden on society, and Goddess forbid, take another life later on.  What about the sanctity of that life?  Granted, this is a very extreme situation, but it does happen, and it is possible.  Gangs are based on the neediness of adolescents and the lack of attention and affection that they receive at home, and these kids will do anything for their family/familia.

The on thing that sticks in my head most when I think about the adoption issue is the movie I watched called I Had an Abortion from Women Make Movies.  There was this one woman that they interviewed who was Christian and she ended up pregnant.  With everything that she was brought up to believe, when she became pregnant she decided to seek adoption for her unborn child, and the moment the interviewer found out that the baby would be interracial, they wanted nothing to do with her.  So, under certain circumstances, again, adoption is not an option.

Now I skipped a little because the last statement I want to discuss really shows me this man either has a lack of education or immense gullibility, I’m not sure which one yet.  It is just about every pro-lifer who believes that contraceptives are a type of abortifacient, when it is not.  Chemical birth control does not cause and abortion, it deters an egg from implanting, or it does not release an egg, as is the case with the pill and others like it.  Is Mr. Martinez telling me then that life begins at fertilization?  What truly bothers me is that from his standpoint, an embryo that could not come any where near sustaining life outside of my womb has more rights than I do.  When will this kind of control stop?!  I say that the moment men start menstruating and start worrying about pregnancy and whether or not it’s the right time for them to conceive, and what they can do in order to avoid getting pregnant, or abstain all together when they have a partner who is threatening to leave because you won’t “give him some” is the moment that these men can tell me what to do with my body.  They are not me, they do not understand my circumstances, nor my reasons to not want to conceive at this time.  Therefore they can not feign to know what is right for me, and there will be no lack of sex in my life right now so to take all these options away from me is not an option.

Written by Lissette

July 30, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Why isn’t the pill OTC yet?

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Could somebody please tell me why in the world Birth Control Pills and Nuvaring are not over-the-counter yet? Is there anything in the world wrong with the pills being OTC when they’re no more dangerous than taking an aspirin? Why do I have to go through this madness every year of having to somehow get in contact with my OB/GYN to renew my prescription for birth control, which is something that would take a couple of hours on a good day, and a couple of days on bad ones. This situation could easily be remedied if these stupid pills would be made OTC already. In my state, EC is considered OTC when you flash your ID proving that you’re over 18 years old, which that in itself is bullshit if you ask me. Any woman REGARDLESS of age should be allowed to get EC without having to consult your parents, but that’s another issue for another time. My point is that if EC, which is a couple times the dosage of a birth control pill, is considered OTC, then why the fuck can’t the pill or Nuvaring, or all the others that are like the pill be considered OTC too?

Written by Lissette

July 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm