This was written for the I Stand with Planned Parenthood blog carnival, hosted by Fair and Feminist. For a list of participating blogs, click here.
I haven't written about reproductive rights since NARAL's sixth annual Blog for Choice Day over a month ago. And it's not because I haven't been paying attention. It's not because there hasn't been anything to write about, either. The GOP has been up to all kinds of no good lately. MoveOn.org has referred to their bullshit (accurately, I think) as a "war on women," and published a list of things that the GOP has done recently to destroy what matters most.
Notice that a few things are missing from that list. Like the Georgia rep who announced that he wants to investigate all miscarriages (to make sure that women haven't induced abortions--talk about demoralizing). And the House's recent vote to bar Planned Parenthood from federal funding. Neither of those things made the list because they came up after it was published.
So see, they're not stopping. I've hardly been able to keep up. that's why there have only been a few brief mentions of all this on my blog: Holy shit, look what the Republifucks are up to now...
It's all so overwhelming. So I'm grateful to Fair and Feminist for hosting this blog carnival, and providing a prompt, therefore forcing me to focus.
So! I stand with Planned Parenthood because really, it'd be stupid not to. What kind of person would I be if I didn't? Everyone should stand with Planned Parenthood--even those who voted to bar it from funding.
Yeah, that's what I said. Because what gets me about this bill is that it works against what the GOP says it wants: no abortion. If you really want to eliminate abortion, you shouldn't cut funding to the very thing that prevents women from having to seek one.
As fellow feminist blogger Katie Stack so eloquently stated on her Facebook page, "You can't have an ideology based on the idea that abortion is murder without taking away pregnant women's autonomy entirely."
And that's what the GOP wants to do. They may not say it (because hello, they know it'll piss us off), but they sure have jumped at the chance to act on it. And regardless of what they say, this bill isn't about protecting anyone--not fetuses, and certainly not pregnant women.
This bill isn't even really about abortion. Public funds aren't allotted for abortions (I think they should be, but that's another rant for another day). So many important services would be barred from funding under the Pence Amendment: Birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, etc. So really, what the fuck is the GOP doing, then?
And that's why I consider what happened in the House last week to be one of the most blatantly anti-woman acts I've encountered in my lifetime. If the members of the GOP were really true to their convictions, they'd look more closely and be a little (um, okay, a lot) more careful. But no. Instead, they just want to destroy the one thing they associate with what (or who?) they don't like. Because they see Planned Parenthood as nothing more than a giant baby killer.
(And we're the ones who are labeled extremists?)
In other news, Michigan governor Rick Snyder is busy trying to turn my state into a third world country. So naturally, I'm pissed. But what makes me even angrier is hearing people say, "Well, whatevs. It sucks, but I didn't vote for him." Neither did I. but I do live here. And I don't want to see my home go to shit.
Same thing with what's happening to Planned Parenthood. It's unfair that we have to work this hard, especially since we didn't vote for the people who are causing this to happen. But the reality is that the GOP isn't messing around, and neither should we. The term "forcible rape" was removed from the HR3 bill because we spoke the fuck up and demanded that it be removed. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't the biggest victory in the world. But it's something--proof that if we fight, we can win.
So we must. My mother worries about me, because she knows that the things I care about don't lie on neutral ground. She supports me until I start to piss off a certain group of people (read: the religious right). This is because simply enough, she's a nice person who wants everyone to get along. And I do, too. But the GOP has been pissing me off for a damn long time. Not just pissing me off, actually, but hurting me, and hurting those I care about. So if by voicing my opinion, I'm going to piss them off, then that's good. Because at this point, they need to know how it feels.
I know this blog post has been all rage so far, but know that I am hopeful. Seeing what erupted on my Facebook page and in the blogosphere within minutes of the vote in the House was pretty inspiring. And the Democrats still have control of the Senate. We have a pretty kick-ass president, too.
But that doesn't mean I'm 100% confident. Because it's still hard for me to believe that despite the efforts of everyone I mentioned above, the GOP has managed to do as much damage as it has--and in such little time! If I wasn't worried about anything, I wouldn't be so angry, and I wouldn't be writing.
Hopeful and angry is a good mix for me, though. It makes me do things, makes me act.
So, act. Sign an open letter to Congress. Contact your representatives--see how they voted, and send them a message. See if there's a walk for Choice event going on in your area. (There's one in Detroit on Saturday!) Share your Planned Parenthood story.
And whatever you do, don't fall for the rhetoric.
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