Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't LET Them Mess With the Women of Texas!

RH Reality Check by Beverly McPhail, University of Houston Women's Resource Center.

There are a multitude of excuses that women offer to rationalize their lack of political participation: We are tired. We are busy. We are working in our jobs and raising our families. There is laundry to be done, bills to be paid, and a project due at work. Politics is too messy. Or we are too busy surfing the web or watching reality television. Or this is about other women and not me.

However, such excuses are reminiscent of the famous statement attributed to Martin Niemoller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power when, one by one, certain groups were selected for purging.

The text starts, “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist . . . ”

The paraphrased version for Texas women today would read:

First they came for the women who needed abortions, and even though one in three women in the United States will have an abortion in her lifetime, I didn’t speak out because I didn’t think I think I would ever need one.

Then they came for poor women’s health care by shutting down the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which provided breast cancer screenings and pap smears for cervical cancer screening, and I didn’t speak out because I am not a poor woman.

Then they came for outspoken women who express their opinions on birth control mandates in preventive health care policy, like Georgetown University Law Center student Sandra Fluke, and I didn’t speak out because I was afraid I, too, would be branded a slut and a prostitute.

Then they came to take away women’s birth control (more than 99% of sexually active women aged 15-44 have used at least one contraceptive method reports the Guttmacher Institute) and I did not speak out because I am beyond childbearing years.

Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me....

What will it take for Texas women to use our voices and our votes to protect poor women’s health care, roll back restrictive and onerous abortion regulations, and gain back control of our bodies, our lives, and our daughters’ futures?

Read the full article @ RH Reality Check

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