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Posts tagged ‘War on Women’

An Open Letter Against the War on Women

I can’t explain how appalling I find the recent efforts on the part of the GOP to limit womens’ rights when it comes to health care. So much so that I haven’t trusted my own amateurish writing to effectively tackle the issue. Luckily Susan J Demos has written an open letter that beautiful outlines why exactly the so called war on women is a disgusting trend. You can find her letter on Mlive here but I am including the entire text below as well. Please read and pass this on. If any of the efforts mentioned in the letter are successful, the health and safety of women in our lives will be threatened as will our nation.

Dear GOP,

Allow me to tell you a little about myself. I am a mom in my mid-thirties who, for lack of a better term, is a WASP. As a businesswoman and writer, I work hard, pay my taxes and split my ticket.

I am, in other words, exactly who you need to win over to take back the White House this fall.

So I can’t say that I appreciate being called a slut.

True, no one has called me that to my face, but you really may as well have when your de facto party leader, Rush Limbaugh, tore into a law student who had the gall to ask that birth control be covered by insurance like any other medical expense.

Limbaugh was only saying what too many Republicans have implied — including the two GOP presidential frontrunners, Messers. Romney and Santorum — by declaring war on birth control.

Somehow, we womenfolk can’t be trusted to make our own medical decisions — and not just about abortion. And those of us who want to decide when we will or won’t be parents — say, after we earn college degrees and become contributing members of society — are now whores.

Are you kidding me? Is this really the way you plan to win elections — by insulting the very group that decides the presidency every four years? Do you think that independent and Republican women in the suburbs who work hard, play by the rules, but doggone it, have been on the Pill, are going to vote for a party with so little respect for them?

Please.

I don’t expect men to get why I’m this upset. And I really don’t care. I’ve spent years talking with gray beards who philosophically declare over a delightful glass of Chardonay that “abortion is really a federal issue.” I’ve dealt with cretins who gleefully sneer that the idea that women and our doctors should make medical decisions (instead of well-paid lobbyists from Right to Life) is laughable. And I’ve been polite with them all.

But with Republicans now pushing to turn the clock back 50 years on something as basic as contraception, I’ve had it with niceties.

Unless you have a uterus, I am not interested in your opinion. I have carried a child for nine months, spent 40 hours in labor and cared for her every day of her life in the nine and a half years since.

I have lost a child. I have never had an abortion; nor would I. This is none of your damn business, but I have nothing to hide.

And yes, I have used birth control and I would do it again. And you know what? I think Mr. Limbaugh and the Republican Party should send me a big, fat thank you note for doing so. Because I got married when I was 18 and quite purposely decided not to bring a child into this world for seven years until my husband and I attended college and had good jobs, which meant we could raise her without government assistance.

If we had passed on the condoms, I doubt we could have passed on a welfare check. So you’re welcome, GOP.

I’d also like to point out how many of my friends who have spent thousands of dollars out of pocket on fertility treatments and IVF because they are dying to be parents. And they have gladly donated their unused embryos for further scientific research to help cure diseases like ALS or Type I diabetes, likely at the University of Michigan or other institutions.

So when they hear about Republican lawmakers bullying the U of M and other universities over embryonic stem cell research that they don’t understand, but don’t agree with anyway — I can tell you that they’re not nuts about your party either. And that goes for dads as well as moms.

Furthermore, allow me to confess all my sins. I am now a single mother who spends a lot of time shuttling between Girl Scouts, gymnastics and honors school activities.

I am blessed to lead a comfortable life in a nice corner of Lansing and have been able to show my daughter a bit of the world. I don’t have debt and have committed to be the sole parent to provide for her college education.

So it confuses me when Rick Santorum rails against me as the scourge of the earth because I am, yes, a single mother. He has all sorts of plans for we motley fallen women, like withholding welfare when we can’t name the father of our babies.

Alas, dear Ricky can’t do much to keep me in line, because I’m not on welfare or food stamps. And although my ex-husband and I don’t agree on much, we’re 100 percent in agreement on the paternity of our daughter.

I am a productive member of society and a taxpayer. There are thousands of us in Michigan, many of whom are in Oakland County, which is were the presidential election in the Mitten State likely will be decided.

And even though Mitt Romney doesn’t treat us with the obvious scorn of his chief rival nowadays, let’s not forget his past. In the 80s as a lay bishop in the Mormon Church, Romney threatened to excommunicate a single mom if she didn’t give up her baby for adoption.

Sounds like adoption coercion to me. And not at all like family values.

Not to mention the fact that Romney is the one who declared he’ll get rid of Planned Parenthood when elected president — you know, the place low-income women go for breast cancer screenings and pap smears.

The fact that he would want to jeopardize their health care to score ideological points is disheartening. The fact that more Republicans won’t stand up to declare how stupid and offensive this whole war on women is, is even more so.

So in conclusion, if you would like me to vote for your party for anything this fall, please stop treating me like a slut or a damn child.

I am a woman. And I vote.

I wish I had the eleoquence to even begin to give Ms. Demos the thanks she deserves. I just hope that enough people are staying informed of this and that all of these efforts are foiled.

15 Mar 2012