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Assault on Women and Girls…Global Women’s Rights Now!

Evening all, Minx here and I am once again grinding on about the Crusade Against Women and Girls that seems to have hit full stride in the legislative branches of many states…as well as, our own US Congress.  I know that I sound like a broken record, but dammit, we have to keep this important issue of Women’s Rights in the forefront. So once again I will highlight some recent articles that deserve attention. It is safe to say that the GOP politicians are complete a-holes, because when it comes down to it, only someone without a real sense of humanity can propose some of these bills we will discuss below. War on Women and Girls in the USA: Are these GOP PLUBs (Pro-Life-Until-Birth aka fetus fanatics) fulfilling an agenda to bring women back to the age of Queen Victoria, hoop skirts and corsets…and the harsh standards females of the age had to adhere to. Carolyn Maloney: A Forced March for American Women: Back to the 19th Century

Right now, in the halls of Congress and in state legislative bodies around the country, there is a calculated and cynical attempt underway to force the women of America to march in lockstep back to the 19th century when it comes to their choices, their rights, and their health care. And those who aren’t frightened by this prospect, may not be paying close attention. Consider this: In Georgia a bill has been introduced that would make miscarriages a felony if the mother cannot prove there was no “human involvement.” Anyone convicted under this law could face the death penalty or life behind bars. Given the fact that as many as 20% percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, imagine what a zealous right wing prosecutor could do with a law like this. In Texas a bill has been proposed that would ban all abortions unless a physician certifies that the woman’s life was at risk. It would not permit abortions in the case of rape or incest. Such a law would give the state the cruel and invasive power to compel a woman to bear an attacker’s child, and force victims of incest, however young, however fragile, to bear their own siblings. Though these two bills are not likely to make it into law at this time, they are emblematic of efforts by far right-wing elected officials all across the country to set women’s rights back to the 19th century. […] Despite new polls showing that a clear majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose in most or all circumstances, 11 states are now considering legislation to require women to see an ultrasound and 16 states already have such laws. And in the US Congress: HR 358 would allow medical providers to decline to perform a life-saving abortion or to transfer the woman to another facility that will. Some critics are understandably calling this bill the “Let Women Die Act.” And the Pence Amendment would strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding. According to their 2008-2009 annual report, Planned Parenthood conducted one million pap tests, 830,000 breast examinations and 4 million STD tests. Government grants currently make up about 33% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue. So, do the math. Take away all that federal funding, and all the cancer screenings, and all the AIDS tests and all the medical care that those funds would otherwise provide, and how many women do you estimate will suffer or die, simply for lack of such basic care? And mind you, all these new coercive powers that would be granted to the government, all these intrusions into the most private aspects of women’s intimate lives, all these forced procedures, are being pushed by those very same people who have decried what they call government’s intrusion into people’s lives.

GOP Bill Would Force IRS to Conduct Abortion Audits | Mother Jones

Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt? In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans’ “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they’d have to detemine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.
The proposed law, also known as H.R. 3, extends the reach of the Hyde Amendment—which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake—into many parts of the federal tax code. In some cases, the law would forbid using tax benefits—like credits or deductions—to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortion. If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.
“Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest,” says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. “If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it.” The proposal, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has declared a top priority of the new Republican Congress, has 221 cosponsors and is expected to pass the House easily.

The Limits of Tax Jihadism | Mother Jones

Remember the Republican abortion bill that tried to redefine “forcible rape”? That bit of the bill got removed after a public outcry, but the rest of it is still sailing through the GOP-controlled House. And in its zeal to make sure that no one anywhere ever gets an abortion, Republicans have decided that money you save via tax breaks or tax credits isn’t your money after all. It’s their money, and they want to make sure you spend it the way they want. […] It’s unclear, of course, what the law would actually require. But at least we finally know the limits of the GOP anti-tax fervor. In a battle between tax cuts and making it harder for women to get an abortion, it turns out that abortion demagoguery wins.

Why we should protect Planned Parenthood –

We shudder to think what other women would do if their local Planned Parenthood facility was forced to shut down. It is critical for the lives and health of all women and families that we never have to live in a world without Planned Parenthood. Whether or not a Pence Amendment becomes law is now in the hands of Congress, and we urge our elected officials to stand with Planned Parenthood and women everywhere by voting a resounding “No.” This fight isn’t about politics or ideological preferences –it’s about making sure the women in our lives have the care they need.

They sure want to bring back the age of exploited workers, and of course, the workers they target are primarily women. Wisconsin Hits Labor, Repro Rights in Single Blow | Womens eNews

Wisconsin’s new law against collective bargaining by public-sector workers is another front in the mass attack on reproductive rights, since unions pioneered such things as contraceptive health coverage, now considered politically vulnerable.

(WOMENSENEWS)–Wisconsin’s passage last week of a law stripping public workers of their bargaining rights is another major attack on reproductive rights and women’s health care access, say family-planning advocates.

“This law has undone four decades of progress in Wisconsin to ensure women’s reproductive health,” said Amanda Harrington, spokesperson of the Madison-based Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, in a telephone interview. “It has turned Wisconsin into ground zero in the national movement to make it more difficult for women to obtain and pay for birth control, breast cancer screenings and tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.”

In Arkansas, House Bill 1889 by Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Hensley failed to get the votes needed to go ahead in the process to become law. 20-Week Abortion Ban Bill Falls – The Times Record: News

Mayberry cried as he testified for his bill. “This is about killing a child who feels pain,” he said. Several parents testified in support of the bill, including Mayberry’s wife, Julie, who said the couple’s 9-year-old daughter, Katie, was found to have spina bifida before she was born. She said she was once pro-choice but was happy that by the time Katie was born she had changed her views. Deputy Attorney General Elisabeth Walker testified against the bill, which she said would contradict 40 years of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that states cannot ban abortion before a fetus achieves viability, or the ability to survive outside the womb. Mayberry told reporters he had no plans to bring the bill back before the committee. “Hopefully I will have an opportunity, if re-elected, to come back with more pro-life legislation,” he said.

Mayberry cried and wept? What an ass..including his wife who had a choice and made it according to her own ideals as a capable adult making a personal decision. She should not crush another woman’s ability to choose to abort and avoid the horrible emotional toll of watching their baby die as well. We’ve already mentioned that In Illinois, Women Are Cattle — Literally |

Sometimes it seems like women are treated like breeding stock by Republicans when it comes to reproductive autonomy.  But in Illinois, Rep. Darlene Senger, of Naperville proved it by putting a bill she sponsored regarding regulating clinics that perform abortions in front of the state’s agriculture committee rather than a health committee.

There is a group that has put together a list of Democrat Political Candidates and Elected Officials that are Pro-Woman. Debbie Hines: Women to GOP: We’re Fighting Back

House Republicans choose now to target cuts to programs which help women and children as their focus. House Republicans proposed eliminating all funding for Planned Parenthood and drastic cuts to Women, Infants and Children (“WIC”) which provides grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. They not only want to eliminate a woman’s choice but want to eliminate help to infants and their mothers before and after birth. They support pro-life but don’t want to support basic life needs for women and infants in need after birth. Isn’t that absurd? Well, progressive women are mad and are not taking it lying down. Emily’s List, a national organization aimed at electing pro-choice Democratic women, has joined forces with to campaign against the Republicans’ budget attack against women. Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock says the Republicans “passed a budget so backwards, so punishing, and so unacceptable to women and families that we’re fighting back.” Emily’s List, a major fundraising force, took in almost $39 million last cycle in support of Democratic Women candidates who support abortion rights, Planned Parenthood and women’s health related programs. Emily’s List launched a new initiative called “Stop the War on Women” on March 16, 2011 and includes a web site, petition drive, grass roots campaign and other means to bring attention front and center to the Republican bait and switch. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund says the Republican Congress is the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health.

Here is the website link to EMILY’s List please click on over and take a look at which Democrats are Pro-Women. Now all these politicians on the list need to stand up and fight for their constituents.  Giving lip service to woman’s issues is not enough. They have to actually do something! At least in Detroit the  National Council of Jewish Women are working on a campaign to send letters to Government Officials in protest of the GOP’s all out war against women. Good for them! Letters: Protect women’s choice | Detroit Free Press | It is not just abortion that the PLUBs are against, it is every thing associated with Women, from crazy laws that are proposed to keep cash out of the hands of those on Assistance…to the increase in cost for a pregnancy drug, Mekena,  to prevent premature birth. That particular assault on pregnant women got the okay node from the FDA and Obama’s administration. And we all know who is going to be feeling the brunt of these laws and agencies like Planned Parenthood loosing funding and the increase in cost for birth control and other reproductive health medications like Mekena…the poor woman, the college student, the rape victim, the incest victim, the average woman…because the wealthy will still get there costly abortions…and you know that includes the daughters and wives of the same PLUBs that are waging this war against women. As for more on worldwide disregard for women and girls rights….keep reading…

“Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?” African-American women held as slaves were particularly vulnerable to abuse at the hands of their white owners. This engraving appeared in abolitionist George Bourne’s Slavery Illustrated in Its Effects upon Women, published in 1837. It highlighted the connections between the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements, as some women abolitionists, such as Sarah and Angelina Grimke, used the anti-slavery cause to address their own plight as women. The connections they drew were highly controversial, and many anti-slavery organizations were split over the issue of women’s rights.

Below you will find some recent articles regarding Women and Girls rights throughout the world. Fight for Women’s issues on the global front: U.S. Denies Travel Visa to Afghan Activist

The U.S. government has denied a travel visa to Afghan women’s and democracy activist Malalai Joya. In 2005, Joya became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan parliament. She was suspended in 2007 for her denunciation of warlords and their cronies in government. Joya had been planning a three-week U.S. tour to promote a new edition of her memoir.

This next link really pisses me off. I believe this is the same USAID that Obama was referring to during his recent “speech” in the Rose Garden. In Afghanistan, U.S. shifts strategy on women’s rights as it eyes wider priorities – The Washington Post

When the U.S. Agency for International Development sought bids last March for a $140 million land reform program in Afghanistan, it insisted that the winning contractor meet specific goals to promote women’s rights: The number of deeds granting women title had to increase by 50 percent; there would have to be regular media coverage on women’s land rights; and teaching materials for secondary schools and universities would have to include material on women’s rights.

Before the contract was awarded, USAID overhauled the initiative, stripping out those concrete targets. Now, the contractor only has to perform “a written evaluation of Afghan inheritance laws,” assemble “summaries of input from women’s groups” and draft amendments to the country’s civil code.

The removal of specific women’s rights requirements, which also took place in a $600 million municipal government program awarded last year, reflects a shift in USAID’s approach in Afghanistan. Instead of setting ambitious goals to improve the status of Afghan women, the agency is tilting toward more attainable measures. […] A senior U.S. official involved in Afghanistan policy said changes to the land program also stem from a desire at the top levels of the Obama administration to triage the war and focus on the overriding goal of ending the conflict. “Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities,” said the senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal policy deliberations. “There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

BBC News – Chechnya women’s Islamic dress code: Russia blamed

Russia has been criticised for letting Chechen authorities impose a compulsory Islamic dress code for women.

A report by Human Rights Watch includes testimonies from dozens of Chechen women who were threatened or even attacked with paintballs by young men enforcing the ‘virtue campaign’. The rights group says some attacks involved Chechen security forces.

Women’s rights get short shrift in Egypt’s makeover | Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/18/2011

Women – at least from the point of view of Western TV coverage – appeared prominently in the Egyptian uprising that led to the resignation of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. They protested, they spoke to the media, they slept overnight – once unthinkable – in Tahrir Square. Aasma Mahfouz became world famous when she posted a YouTube video Jan. 18 that went viral. Her hijab did not prevent her from challenging men everywhere: “If you think yourself a man, come with me on Jan. 25” – the first big rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. But as Saturday’s referendum nears on amendments to Egypt’s constitution, the first surge has faded, and women’s rights seem far in the background. When a committee was assembled to draft the amendments, not a single woman was on the panel. And on March 8, International Women’s Day, women took to Tahrir Square again, but this time they were heckled, booed, and threatened. Journalist Ethar El-Katatney wrote on Twitter: “Was just ranted at by a ‘sheikh’ telling me to go home and raise my kids.” Geoffrey Mock, Egypt specialist for Amnesty International, writes by e-mail: “It’s disheartening that first steps taken by the interim government have been indifferent to the calls for reform by the many women who took to the streets in the Egyptian uprising. To exclude women from the panel recommending legislative and constitutional reforms bodes poorly for hopes for a new Egypt.”

Some encouraging articles that I found highlight men who are working towards women’s rights and putting an end to violence against women and girls in their own countries. Men should fight violence against women – Newsday: Everyday News for Everyday People

A lot of effort has been made by women’s groups, the international community, the government, rights groups, civic society and churches to help improve the welfare of women in our country. The role played by few men’s organisations such as Men Against Women Abuse and Padare/Enkundleni among others should also be acknowledged. Men need to be actively and meaningfully engaged to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

Men’s Group Takes Up Fight for Women’s Rights | The Jakarta Globe

Amen’s organization advocating gender equality was launched in Jakarta on Thursday, giving women an unlikely ally in the battle against male dominance. The New Men Alliance (LLB) aims to promote awareness of women’s rights among Indonesian men, according to the group’s chairman, Nurhasyim. He said the group had around 50 members from Jakarta, Aceh and East Nusa Tenggara. “Men should realize that the problem we experience is that there is an unjust system [in terms of the rights of] men and women,” Nurhasyim said during the group’s news conference and official launch on Thursday.

I realize that this is something we must continue to discuss, we have to work and keep the rights of women and girls a priority.  Until we can “change the record” and listen to some new tune that celebrates hard fought Women’s Rights….I will continue to grind this broken record on my own form of turntable, this wonderful blog. Keep up the fight y’all, do it for the mamas and the sisters and the daughters you all know and love! Do it for all the women and girls you don’t know, who are fighting this fight everyday of their lives. Global Women’s Rights Now!


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