Congratulations to Arkansas and to all the LGBT couples who have won an important hurdle in equal rights in regard to marriage equality!
Today, Judge Chris Piazza stuck down the state’s 2004 ban on gay marriage. According to Piazza’s ruling, he said:
“This is an unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality. The exclusion of a minority for no rational reason is a dangerous precedent,”
“Although marriage is not expressly identified as a fundamental right in the Constitution, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized it as such.”
Citing the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Loving vs. Virginia, Piazza addressed LGBT discrimination directly:
“It has been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice. The hatred and fears have long since vanished, and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it.”
These are powerful words backed up by important action on Judge Piazza’s part. Unfortunately, the state’s Attorney General Dustin McDaniel will appeal Piazza’s decision, even though McDaniel himself is a Democrat who supports gay marriage. But for now, gay marriage is legal in Arkansas!
So, Mississippi … Let’s get on task here and support our LGBT residents who have a basic human right and a Constitutionally-based guaranteed right to marry. Please don’t let Mississippi be last in granting LGBT marriage equality!
originally posted on Trish4Congress.me
On Thursday, January 9, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice met to gather information on bill H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. The problem with this subcommittee? It is yet another all-male panel set to determine policy that affects women. Another problem with this bill is that it isn’t just about taxpayer funded abortion but also abortions provided via private insurance — insurance the woman pays for via her premiums.
If you recall the all-male birth control panel that propelled Sandra Fluke to unwanted fame and started the infamous slut-shaming by GOP windbag Rush Limbaugh, this new subcommittee is yet another misogynist attempt to harm women and violate our natural rights to body autonomy and self-determination. These men have no idea what it is like to be a poor woman, a woman with a pre-existing health condition, a woman who is scared, or a woman who simply cannot afford to have a child.
This latest all-male subcommittee heard from three witnesses, only two of whom were female. These women were Susan Wood, Associate Professor of Health Policy and of Environmental & Occupational Health in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, and Helen Alvare, a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law. The third witness was a man, Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yes, a religious figurehead getting a say in secular, governmental matters that do not affect him as a religious person OR as a man.
Wood had this to say in her testimony:
The Bill Would Ban Abortion Coverage for Virtually All Women in this Country, Including Those in the Private Insurance Market.
Those who oppose abortion have tried and failed to make it illegal, so instead they have worked to make it almost impossible to obtain. Indeed, some object even to insurance coverage of contraception, the most effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion. One of the ways they have accomplished this goal of limiting access to abortion is to make it unaffordable. This bill is their most recent attempt to place affordable abortion care out of reach for even more women.
The need for access to abortion to protect the health of women, not just when they are in danger of imminent death, is critical….. Health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy or others would not necessarily fit the definition of placing a woman in “danger of death,” but could have potentially serious consequences for her health. Health insurance currently routinely covers the range of pregnancy care and other health services that may be needed by any individual woman. By denying abortion coverage, this would not only change the current insurance women have, but would put some women’s health at risk.
In conclusion, this bill would impose a sweeping and unprecedented ban on abortion coverage, with far-reaching and harmful consequences for women’s health and economic security. When it comes to the most important decisions in life, such as whether to become a parent, it is vital that a woman be able to consider all her options–including an abortion– no matter what her income or source of insurance. It makes sense that health programs cover the whole spectrum of women’s reproductive health needs, including birth control, abortion, and childbirth, because when people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.
Here’s a link to the Judiciary page where you can read all three statements.
Part of Deorflinger’s complaint is that he, and some others, do not want tax-payer dollars going to pay for elective abortions. As a pacifist, I don’t want my tax-payer dollars going to build bombs and fund wars based on lies. And yet, my wishes aren’t granted. For women who might get a teeny bit of tax-payer money to help them get an abortion if they need or elect to have one, these women are tax-payers, too. If they’re adult women, they pay taxes in some form or another, whether it’s sales tax at the grocery store, gasoline tax at the gas pump, property taxes on their house or apartment, or income tax.
Do we even need to go over how hypocritical it is that Viagra is covered by insurance but abortion may not be?
STOP MAKING WOMEN OUT TO BE MOOCHING SLUTS. Women get pregnant. By MEN. We’re in this together. Drop the misogyny and look at the facts as presented by Wood.
This subcommittee and this bill are yet another step backwards for American women and American politics. According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2013, 56% of women live in one of the 27 states considered hostile to abortion. Guttmacher also crunched the numbers on anti-abortion laws:
Twenty-two states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013. This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year…. 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).
Let’s review some of the other misogynist highlights that happened in the USA in the past couple of years that I covered here on ArousedWomanBlog.com:
What does this mean for women in the United States? We MUST stand up and speak up for our rights as American citizens and human beings with basic human rights. And we MUST vote more pro-choice women in Congress.
Thursday, I had a live call-in show to address the horrific misogyny happening in Texas, North Carolina, and around the country.
As the national spotlight shone on Wendy Davis and the women (and men!) of Texas standing up for women’s reproductive rights, other states are systematically legislating our rights away, requiring ultrasounds and other invasive procedures that amount to legal rape — rape BY the legal and political system.
North Carolina snuck an anti-choice measure into a motorcycle safety bill, and it was passed.
Meanwhile, across the pond, even Ireland has begun to awaken to their misogynist theocracy by passing legislation to legalize abortion if the life of the woman is at stake.
Late last night, the Texas legislature voted in opposition to the thousands who protested their anti-choice bill, as well as their own constituents, 90% of whom did not want the bill to pass.
Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com, or post a comment here on the AW Blog.
SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.
“When Fascism comes to America…” Oh, wait. Fascism is already here, and it is alive and well.
I will readily admit that doing this show was one of the most exciting interviews I’ve done. I absolutely had a blast — perhaps because I was able to combine my passions of theatre and activism into one show. Ahhhhh…. bliss!
I talked with Dr. James Miller about experiencing fascism in action firsthand at the University of Wisconsin – Stout over a “Firefly” poster he put up.
You can hear the 1-hour show (that became a 2-hour show) via the reply here: Trish Causey Discusses “When Fascism Comes to America…”
Dr. Miller is a professor of Speech and Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Stout, where has been employed since 1985. He earned a double doctorate in Speech and Theatre from Southern Illinois University. He currently teaches courses in all areas of Theatre and Speech Communication, and for twenty years (1987-2006), he was the Director of Theatre at UW-Stout. He is an actor, a director, and a designer as well as a teacher, with more than 150 shows to his credit as director or designer over the last 35 years.
This was truly a great interview, and I hope all of YOU enjoy it as well! Be sure to leave a comment below.
Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com.
SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.
Last night’s show was a quick one, but a good one. I talked with women’s reproductive rights activist Sunny Clifford.
REPLAY: Trish Causey Chats With Women’s Rights Activist Sunny Clifford
Being a Lakota from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Sunny is a staunch advocate for reproductive rights for indigenous women. Though she is very shy as a person, she is not shy about the lack of pro-choice options for indigenous women being a direct result of colonialism.
We also touched on the topic of what is happening in Texas with the anti-abortion bill before the state legislature, a bill that 80% of Texans oppose, but that the Repugs are trying to pass anyway. (More on that later!)
Sunny is also the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary, Young Lakota, and she was the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Leader Award by the Ms. Foundation.
Have a listen to the replay, and follow Sunny on Twitter: @SunnyClifford.