Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,9 July 2013

The Snap:

What do you think of when you consider the 4th of July holiday? Cookouts, parades, fireworks or maybe you even think back to that hot July in Philadelphia when a group of plucky colonists decided to declare their independence. It must have reeked like a junior high locker after gym class: no a/c or deodorant, plus men in wigs and tights. Bleh. But I digress. What you probably don’t think of is it being a time to strip half of the population of its rights. Unless you are the legislatures of Wisconsin or North Carolina who decided the holiday weekend was the perfect time to announce major restrictions to reproductive rights.

The Download:

I was just thinking the other day that it’s been a while since a middle-aged or old white man told me what to do with my body and I’ve been walking around lost and confused. Please, tell me the story again of how big government is bad unless it is legislating what I can do with my body or who I can marry. Well, thankfully a few state governments have decided to help me out.

Fearing a Texas-style backlash (you go, Wendy!), state governments in North Carolina and Wisconsin decided to try to fly under the radar with their assaults on reproductive rights. Friend to teachers and women everywhere, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker chose July 5th to quickly sign a bill into law that will close 2 of the state’s 4 abortion clinics and mandate that all women seeking an abortion must have an ultrasound. Meanwhile in North Carolina, the state that so fears religion entering politics that it proposed an “anti-Sharia law” bill, policymakers decide the Independence Day holiday is the perfect time to curtail the reproductive rights of women — ironically, largely based on religious reasons.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics offer birth control, medical screenings and vaccines, and safe and affordable abortions. Shutting them down and demonizing the doctors and staff of those clinics takes us backwards in time and will undoubtedly result in life-threatening procedures done illegally and unsafely. It is yet another way for the male dominated economy to exclude women. For if we cannot choose if and when we’re slowed down in — or sidelined from — the professional world, we become one step closer to poverty and several steps removed from empowerment.

Personally, I think abortions are a sad choice to have to make but I also think that I have absolutely no right to tell another woman what to do with her body and when. That decision belongs to each individual woman in consultation with her doctor, not someone else’s priest or minister and certainly not the North Carolina state legislature, governor of Wisconsin, or the once-and-future mathematically challenged presidential candidate, Rick Perry.

Want to get involved? Check out this petition, donate or volunteer, but most importantly contact your state government and state reps in the federal government and let them know what you think.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

JezebelABC NewsSlateThe Maddow BlogSalonBaltimore SunNPR, Image Credit: Flickr


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